Details of the release of Mission to the Unknown – the 2019 recreation of the lost 1965 classic – have been revealed

Earlier this year Blogtor Who reported on the excitement and drama surrounding the surprise resurrection of a lost Doctor Who classic. Ever sense fans have eagerly speculated when and where they would actually get to see the results. Now, we have an answer. Mission to the Unknown will be premiered on the Doctor Who YouTube channel exactly 54 years to the minute after the original episode aired.

So the date and time are set. 5.50pm BST on the 9th October. Mark your calendars and set your alarms to experience an adventure lost to viewers for more than half a century.

Check out the newly released trailed for Mission to the Unknown here:

The new Mission to the Unknown strives to be as close a recreation of the original as possible

Mission to the Unknown is remarkable in a number of ways. It’s a one part story designed as a prelude to the epic The Daleks’ Master Plan. As such, it’s also the only episode to not feature the Doctor or his companions at all. Naturally making it uniquely ideal for this kind of recast remount. Moreover, even by the standards of the 97 missing Doctor Who episodes, extremely little of it survives. Almost no visual reference for the episode in the form of photographs exists.

This faithful recreation was the result of an ambitious project by a team of students, graduates and staff of the University of Central Lancashire, and master-minded by Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries at the university. Ireland brought together a dedicated group of students from a wide range of disciplines. Not just film and television and acting,  but also fashion, music, design and dance. All with the goal to recreate the episode from the original script as authentically as possible. Careful research also went into reproducing as faithfully as possible the original 1960s production techniques. All of which contributed to accurately re-creating the classic look of the series.

Space Security Agent Marc Cory (Marco Simioni) desperately tries to warn Earth about impending Dalek invasion in Mission to the Unknown
Space Security Agent Marc Cory (Marco Simioni) desperately tries to warn Earth about impending Dalek invasion

 “It is such a loss to our cultural heritage that so many episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives,” notes Ireland. “This project presented us with an exciting opportunity to address that, to explore a new way of bringing these missing slices of TV history to life, and in the process, help students learn their craft by comparing contemporary production methods with historical approaches.” And he’s pleased that not only did the project “gave so many people great experiences” but is giving the general public another chance to wonder at “Daleks menacing a black and white jungle once more.”

Doctor Who stars past and present have given the project their enthusiastic support

The recreation caught the imagination of several Doctor Who luminaries including Nicholas Briggs, who has provided the Dalek voices for the recreated episode, and stars including Peter Purves, who played 1960s companion Steven Taylor, and Edward de Souza, who played Marc Cory in the original episode, visiting the new set to lend their support. Purves, in particular, has proven a great supporter of the project, regularly taking to Twitter to express his excitement.

Speaking about the decision to give the student project an official BBC airing on their YouTube channel, the Digital Publishing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios, Luke Spillane said he was delighted to do so.  “We will be bringing the story of Space Security agent Marc Cory to our 1.3 million subscribers on the Doctor Who YouTube channel. It’s such a fantastic recreation, made lovingly with real craft and expertise by everyone at the University of Central Lancashire.”

Peter Purves, Edward de Souza and Nicholas Briggs with the cast of UCLan's Mission to the Unknown remake (c) UCLan
Peter Purves, Edward de Souza and Nicholas Briggs with the cast of UCLan’s Mission to the Unknown remake (c) UCLan

On scheduling for exactly 54 years after the original, Spillane said, “I hope audiences around the world can imagine that it’s tea time on the 9th October 1965 as they rather excitingly watch a black and white episode of Doctor Who premiere on their television sets, mobile phones and tablets.

A making-of documentary short created by YouTuber Josh Snares will follow the episode. The short features the cast and crew of Mission to the Unknown along with Nicholas Briggs, Edward de Souza and Peter Purves.




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