Saturday 12 February 2011

082 Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns
TRANSMITTED: 11 September 1965
WRITER: William Emms
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Tardis lands on a planet where the crew are captured by a robot that Vicki names a Chumblie. They are rescued by the beautiful female Drahvins from the planet Drahva in Galaxy Four, who take them to their crashed spaceship and their leader Maaga. She tells them they are war with hideous looking Rills who shot them down while they shot down the Rills. The Rills told them the planet is due to disintegrate in 14 dawns an observation the Doctor offers to confirm. The Doctor returns to the Tardis with Steven, and after watching a group of Chumblies try to break in they enter allowing the Doctor to use his equipment to confirm the planet will explode not in 14 dawn but two!

Not a bad episode at all. My problem with it is I know the twist in the story that's to come! The deadline of 2 dawns gives the end of the episode a cliffhanger and adds some urgency to the next 3 episodes. Vicki's got a habit of giving things cute names - she's done it before to a beast in the Rescue and a controlled Zarbi in the Web Planet. It was annoying there and is annoying here.

Galaxy Four is the story that tipped the wider world off that not all Doctor Who existed anymore. In 1978 the Doctor Who Appreciation Society contacted the BBC wanting to show Galaxy Four at their convention and were told it no longer existed. Why Galaxy Four? Well the president of the society was already in possession of two clips from this story and that may of played a part. In 1977 a documentary Whose Doctor Who was made about the program (it can be found of the Doctor Who - The Talons Of Weng Chiang DVD which has been re-released in Doctor Who: Revisitations DVD Box Set 1 with The Caves Of Androzani & the Paul McGann Movie)) The makers of the documentary ordered a 6 minute section of film duplicated, took a 30 second clip out the middle and were meant to throw away the rest but instead gave them to the DWAS President Jan Vincent-Rudzki. Years later these two pieces of film, lasting 2 min 31 seconds and 2 min 52 seconds were reunited with the clip from the documentary to form the original 6 minute clip. This was first made available in The Ice Warriors VHS boxset in the Missing Years documentary which also is available in the Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD. Unfortunately an error led to it not being listed with the other Hartnell clips on Lost In Time disc 1 so the only place to find it is in the Missing Years documentary Lost In Time disc 3. The footage can be found at 27:08 minutes in and lasts to about 33:03. It's taken from 11:33 into the episode and concludes at 17:18 into the episode and can be found on the CD from 26 seconds into track 8 till 33 seconds into track 13.

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