Sunday 13 February 2011

083 Galaxy 4 Part 2: Trap of Steel

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 2: Trap of Steel
TRANSMITTED: 18 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 Doctor and Steven are briefly trapped in the Tardis while it is assaulted by Chumblies while Vicki is unimpressed at the Drahvins diet. Returning to the Drahvins ship the Doctor first lies to the Drahvins about how long the planet has left but when Vicki is threatened he's forced to tell them that there are just 2 dawns remaining. Leaving Steven as a hostage the Doctor says he and Vicki will capture the Rills spaceship for the Drahvins who refuse to cooperate with the aliens. Steven attempts to escape but is foiled. Vicki & the Doctor work out to evade the Chumblies and locate the Rills base complete with it's drilling rig. Enteringm the base, far more advanced than the Drahvin ship, they notice a smell of ammonia in the air. They are distracted by a deactivated Chumblie but Vicki turns round letting out a scream.....

I'm really enjoying this story. I like the way we're slowly being forced to look at the Drahvins in a different light as Maaga's bullying behaviour towards her cloned troopers is revealed. Splendid cliffhanger too - what has scared Vicki so?

This is the first time since Reign of Terror that I've listened to (as opposed to watched) two episodes on the trot. To be honest I feel a little grim at the start of Season 3. In the first two series a total of 11 episodes were missing out of the 70 broadcast (it was 15 for many years). In Season 3 10 are missing before I reach the first episode that still exists and that's the most recent episode returned to date. Here's the state of the archives now for the first six years of Doctor Who:

Season 1: 42 episodes made, 09 episodes missing, 33 episodes remaining.
Season 2: 39 episodes made, 02 episodes missing, 37 episodes remaining.
Season 3: 45 episodes made, 29 episodes missing, 16 episodes remaining.
Season 4: 43 episodes made, 34 episodes missing, 09 episodes remaining.
Season 5: 40 episodes made, 27 episodes missing, 13 episodes remaining.
Season 6: 44 episodes made, 07 episodes missing, 37 episodes remaining.

But it was worse than that: when Ian Levene visited the film & video library in 1978 there were just two episodes from this season there: The Ark 3 & The Gunfighters 4. His visit to BBC Enterprises yielded two complete four part stories: Unfortunately they were the same Ark & Gunfighters as we already had one episode each of. That brings the holding to eight episodes. Levene obtained War Machines part 2 from a collector in Australia (9), episodes 5 & 10 of the Dalek Masterplan were found in a church (11), Celestial Toyroom 4 was returned via the ABC in Australia (12), the remaining 3 parts of the War Machines came back with the Time Meddler from Nigeria in 1984 (15) and in 2004 Dalek Masterplan 2 was returned by a former BBC Engineer who had removed it rather than destroying it. One episode of this season is probably gone for good: It's believed no film recording of Dalek Masterplan 7 was ever made (we'll cover why when we get there). The BBC Film and Video library believed they held another episode of the Dalek Masterplan, episode 4: The Traitors, in 1978 but it couldn't be found. It transpired it had been borrowed by Blue Peter in 1973, who used a clip which survives to this day in a recording of that program, and was never returned. Over the years this story has been slightly mangled to be told that it was Tenth Planet 4 that Blue Peter borrowed and never returned!

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