Currently missing two episodes, this six-part William Hartnell story has been completed by animating the missing episodes against the original off-air audio.
The archive holdings for 'The Reign of Terror' are a bit of a mixed bag, as noted in the article on the VHS release. The best copies of episodes one and two are 16mm suppressed-field film recordings returned to the BBC from Cyprus in the eighties. However, the prints of episodes three and six held in the hands of private collectors Francis Niemczyk and Tim Hawtin respectively were from the later full resolution film recording run and were of higher quality in general. Luckily both collectors were more than happy to help us out by loaning their prints and although there was much more cleanup work to do than on the BBC prints, the final results were well worth the effort.
Animation duties on episodes four and five were handled by Australian animation company, Planet 55.
• 6x 25 mins approx monochrome episodes
with mono audio.
• Commentary - For the original episodes, actors Carole Ann Ford, Neville Smith, Jeffry Wickham, Caroline Hunt and Patrick Marley and production assistant Tim Combe join moderator Toby Hadoke. Animated episode four features actor Ronald Pickup in conversation with Toby, and animated episode five features Toby in discussion with missing episode hunters Philip Morris and Paul Vanezis.
• Don’t Lose Your Head (dur. 25’ 05”) – Actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford are joined by production assistant Tim Combe in this entertaining look back at the making of the story.
• Robespierre’s Domain Set Tour (dur. 2’ 41”) – a virtual tour around the CGI sets created for the animated episodes.
• Animation Gallery (dur. 3’ 37”) – early character designs for the animated episodes.
• Plus of course the usual PDF materials, Coming Soon trailer, Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes and Photo Gallery.
Copyright Steve Roberts, 4 July 2013. No reproduction allowed without written permission.