Tuesday 19 July 2011

239 The Space Pirates: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Space Pirates: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 15 March 1969
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Michael Hart
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are trapped in their section of the space station running out of air. The V-Ship encounters Milo Clancy in his ship the Liz-79. General Hermack dispatches Major Warne in a minnow ship to follow him but proceeds himself to Ta, where he speaks to Madeleine Issigri, the head of the Issigri Mining Corporation formed by her father and Clancy. Clancy finds the space station segment and enters it, shooting Jamie.

I know what we'll do: after having the Tardis crew absent for most of the first episode, lets lock them in a room for the second separate from the rest of the story and what little action there is. The space ship crew are as wooden as my dining room table and the "eccentric" Millo Clancy is nothing but an annoying imitation of a wild west prospector. What a boring, awful, episode. I'll be honest: Given the opportunity to have a missing episode of any other story back in return for this I'd happily sling this into the incinerator. It's a shame it exists and none of Power of the Daleks or Fury from the Deep does.

Me and Space Pirates 2 have history. It was on the Troughton Years VHS and I hated it then. Why was this on the tape and not Web of Fear 1? It has been speculated that it owes it's early release on video to being the only surviving episode of the first Doctor Who story that John Nathan Turner worked on as a floor assistant. Eleven years later JNT would become Doctor Who's producer and in 1991 he was helping BBC Video with their Doctor Who range and was responsible for producing the Years tapes of orphaned episodes from missing stories.

And speaking of orphaned episode, this is the last one. So we bid farewell to the mighty Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD which contains the most recent release of Space Pirates 2 as well as 17 other orphaned episode, those from the stories of which 50% or less exists. Four stories which have more than 50% of their episodes existing but are still missing episodes also exist. The Invasion is already on DVD and since we covered it Reign of Terror has had a 2012 release announced. We don't yet know when The Tenth Planet or The Ice Warriors will be released.

The full list of surviving episodes from stories that aren't 100% complete is:

The Reign of Terror: 1, 2, 3 & 6
The Crusade: 1 & 3
The Daleks’ Master Plan: 2, 5 & 10
The Celestial Toymaker: 4
The Tenth Planet: 1, 2 & 3
The Underwater Menace: 3
The Moonbase:2 & 4
The Faceless Ones: 1 & 3
The Evil of the Daleks: 2
The Abominable Snowmen: 2
The Ice Warriors: 1, 4, 5 & 6
The Enemy of the World: 3
The Web of Fear: 1
The Wheel in Space:3 & 6
The Invasion: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8
The Space Pirates:2

With that little milestone out the way we'll be counting down the remaining missing episodes: Four, and they're all in this story. From the start of the next story every Doctor Who episode exists. But there's another count running too: there's only fourteen Troughton episodes left for us to enjoy.

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