Across the nation and the world, an army of scuttling menaces makes its way through unsuspecting people’s letterboxes and emerge from back rooms to colonise shop shelves. The Macra are here at last!

In a highly anticipated release, the long lost 1966 serial has been reimagined in animated form for DVD and Blu-Ray. Originally broadcast as part of Patrick Troughton’s first season as the Doctor, the adventure co-stars his companions Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) and sees them land in a human colony, centuries in the future. But the Doctor is disturbed by just how happy and shiny and perfect everything and everyone is. And he’s right to worry, for below the surface are the creatures everyone in the colony insists do not exist… the Macra!

The new animation of The Macra Terror features the Second Doctor, Polly, Jamie and Ben and is available in both colour and black and white (c) BBC Studios
The new animation of The Macra Terror features the Second Doctor, Polly, Jamie and Ben and is available in both colour and black and white (c) BBC Studios

The Macra have been reborn for generations old and new

All four episodes of the story were destroyed by the BBC decades ago and remain lost. However, a new team have created an animated version of the story for generations old and new to enjoy. Matched to the original audio soundtrack the new version’s mandate is to take full advantage of the animated format to create a Macra Terror beyond that which was possible on a 1960s budget. The Macra have been redesigned (the original design having been deemed ‘unsatisfactory’ even in paperwork at the time) and the scale and scope of the colony and landscape are bigger than ever before. It’s also been created in full-colour widescreen, though a black and white version is also included.

For purists, both DVD and Blu-Ray also provide a high-quality reconstruction of the serial as it would originally have been transmitted. This uses a combination of the complete original soundtrack, telesnaps (effectively contemporary screencaps), publicity photos and specially created visuals. The reconstruction itself can be viewed with optional narration from Anneke Wills or with the plain audio. And the classic 1992 audio release of the soundtrack, with linking narration by Colin Baker, is also included on this release. That’s five different ways to experience The Macra Terror!

Doctor Who: The Macra Terror Blu-Ray cover (c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who: The Macra Terror Blu-Ray cover (c) BBC Studios

In all, there are over four hours of bonus material including:

  • Audio Commentary Featuring Toby Hadoke, Frazer Hines (Jamie), Terence Lodge (Medok), Anthony Gardner (Alvis), Maureen Lane (Majorette) and director, John Davies.
  • Episode Reconstructions
  • Bonus Mini-Episode A ten-minute animated short based on The Wheel in Space Part One
  • Animation Test
  • Animatics
  • Animation Gallery
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Alternative Black and White presentation
  • 1992 Audio Presentation: The Macra Terror narrated by Colin Baker.
  • Surviving Footage: The two minutes of surviving original footage, restored and remastered
  • Behind the scenes film: A 1966 visit to the unit building the monsters and props for this story, with commentary by present-day model unit expert Mike Tucker
  • Censored Scene: A reconstruction of how a scene, which was heavily censored in Australian, would have looked to Australian audiences
  • Title sequences: The Macra Terror saw the debut of a new title sequence for Doctor Who – the first time the programme had made such a change. The title sequence is presented here in full, remastered in HD and in some alternative versions.
  • Photo gallery
  • Production Paperwork

Additional extras exclusive to the Steelbook Blu-Ray:

  • Gridlock: The Macra returned to Doctor Who in 2007, in this episode starring David Tennant and written by Russell T. Davies
  • Audio commentary: Julie Gardner, Travis Oliver and Marie Jones discuss the making of ‘Gridlock’ in this audio commentary track from 2007.
  • Doctor Who Confidential – Are we there yet?: A documentary looking at the making of the 2007 story, Gridlock.

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