More Animated Doctor Who on the way!

The BBC and 2 Entertain have confirmed that the acclaimed Second Doctor story “The Web of Fear”, of which four previously-missing episodes were recovered and returned to the BBC archives in 2013, will be released with a newly-animated episode in 2021.

The Web of Fear is the fifth story from the fifth Season of Doctor Who, and was broadcast as a six-part serial from 3rd February to 9th March 1968. It starred Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor alongside Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling as his companions Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield.

It features a claustrophobic storyline as the Tardis crew find themselves wandering a seemingly abandoned London, wherein people have been engulfed in a web-like substance and the Yeti roam the meandering London underground train lines. 

This story marks the second appearance of the Yeti, a fearsome force controlled by The Great Intelligence, who first locked minds with the Doctor in “The Abominable Snowmen” three stories earlier. 

It also features the debut appearance of iconic Doctor Who character Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), who is still a Colonel in this story, and also sees the return of Professor Travers (Jack Watling), who warns of the threat the Yeti can bring – having battled them in The Abominable Snowmen some 40 years earlier.

The Web of Fear was initially released as part of the Lost in Time DVD compilation in 2004, due to only the first episode existing in the archives at the time. 

However in 2013, Doctor Who fans rejoiced as episodes of The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World were confirmed to have been located in Nigeria, and were subsequently recovered and returned to the BBC Archives. This recovery led to the total missing episode count to decrease to 97, where it has remained since. 

This recovery led to two DVD releases in 2013 for Enemy and Fear, both contained their respective recovered episodes, a reconstruction for episode 3 of Fear, and trailers. Now in 2021, The Web of Fear is being re-released with its missing third episode animated by Shapeshifter Studios.

This new release is expected to contain a host of special features, though as of today none have been announced outside of the new episode 3 animation. Based on the previous animated Who releases though, we can expect a solid package of extras.  

An exact release date has yet to be confirmed by the BBC but the story is available to pre-order on Blu Ray & DVD now, plus a steelbook variant has also been confirmed. 

Stay tuned for more information on this release and hopefully some news regarding The Collection boxsets too.

By HW Reynolds

Images provided by BBC

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