Terror of the Zygons - DVD

The last unreleased Fourth Doctor story, Terror of the Zygons comes to DVD in a lavish two-disc special edition, packed with extra features and a very special surprise for fans in the form of a previously-lost deleted scene which can be viewed reinstated into episode one if desired.

Restoration of the story was straightforward and followed our established workflows as detailed in previous articles. The most interesting part of the job was undoubtedly the discovery and restoration of a 1' 48" long scene from episode one that had been cut during the episode's production. The scene includes a split-screen effect as the Doctor exits an invisible TARDIS, a shot which proved problematic at the time, as recounted by director Douglas Camfield in the 1978/79 DWAS Yearbook: “It was technically below standard. We couldn’t shoot it again, so in the end we had to abandon it…There was only 20 minutes between the two shots, if that, but the light had changed so much that you could clearly see the dividing line between the two halves.”  The shot was excised and thought lost forever.

However, in 2008 the widow of film editor Ian McKendrick contacted the BBC Archives to ask if they wanted any of the film that he had kept in his loft, which included missing material from two episodes of 'Z-Cars' and a Walker Brothers performance from a 1966 edition of 'Top of the Pops'. Archivist Andrew Martin contacted the Restoration Team's Steve Roberts to ask if he wanted to check the contents of a can marked 'Terror of the Zygons'. Along with footage of the model oil rig destruction from the beginning of the story (which was used where possible in the episode restoration), a mixed colour and monochrome cutting copy of the missing scene was found. By huge coincidence, a 1/4" location audio recording of the scene had been discovered a year earlier by researcher Richard Bignell, who had bought the tape on eBay. It was part of a batch of BBC tapes donated to hospital radio station Radio Brockley at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore and was labelled up as 'The Secret of Loch Ness'. The original music that accompanied the scene also still existed in composer Geoffrey Burgon's own library, so it was possible to reconstruct the scene completely. The cutting copy was very dirty, unstable and covered in chinagraph pencil marks, so proved a challenge for picture restorer Peter Crocker. The monochrome sections were recoloured by Stuart Humphryes and the entire sequence was graded by Jonathan Wood, who was able to match the problematic lighting levels to finally make the shot work almost forty years after it had been abandoned. Mark Ayres was able to complete the audio in both a mono and 5.1 multitrack surround version, so it was decided to offer the viewer the option of watching the episode as transmitted or with the missing shot reinstated.

Disc 1

• 4 x 25 mins approx colour episodes with mono audio or optional Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Option to view episode one in either transmission or ‘director’s cut’ version.

Commentary with producer Philip Hinchcliffe, writer Robert Banks Stewart, production unit manager George Gallaccio, make-up designer Sylvia James and special sounds designer Dick Mills. Moderated by Mark Ayres.

Isolated Music – option to view the episodes with the isolated music soundtrack.

Disc 2

Scotch Mist in Sussex (dur. 31’ 24”) – cast and crew look back at the making of this story. With actors John Levene and John Woodnutt, producer Philip Hinchcliffe, writer Robert Banks Stewart, designer Nigel Curzon, costume designer James Acheson, visual effects assistant Steve Bowman, writer and historian Simon Farquar and the director’s son, Joggs Camfield.

Remembering Douglas Camfield (dur. 30’ 04”) – the life and work of respected director Douglas Camfield is remembered in this documentary. With actors Celia Imrie, Peter Purves, Jonathan Newth and John Levene, Philip Hinchcliffe, Robert Banks Stewart, director Graeme Harper and Joggs Camfield. Narrated by Glen Allen.

The UNIT Family – Part Three (dur. 26’ 25”) – the concluding part of our series looking at the stories featuring the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. With actors Tom Baker, Nicholas Courtney, Katy Manning, John Levene and Richard Franklin, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks.

Doctor Who Stories – Tom Baker (dur. 22’ 56”) - Tom Baker talks about his work on the series in this interview originally recorded for 2003’s ‘The Story of Doctor Who’.

Doctor Who Stories – Elisabeth Sladen (dur. 20’ 00) – Elisabeth Sladen remembers her time as the Doctor’s companion Sarah Jane Smith in this interview also recorded for ‘The Story of Doctor Who’.

Merry-Go-Round – The Fuel Fishers (dur. 19’ 38”) – Elisabeth Sladen flies out to visit North Sea oil rigs and learn about the process of oil exploration in this schools programme from 1977.

South Today (dur. 3’ 08”) – Tom Baker interviewed on location in Sussex during the ‘Terror of the Zygons’ filming by the BBC’s South Today show.

• Plus of course the usual PDF materials, Coming Soon trailer, Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes and Photo Gallery.


Copyright Steve Roberts, 9 April 2016. No reproduction allowed without written permission.