With some classic episodes lost or missing, Doctor Who has become some sort of a television legend. Not every show has its own Indiana Jones travelling the world looking for tapes of the missing episodes! Reconstruction works based on audio and stills also gave a scent of “lost treasure” to Doctor Who.
But as many have pointed out, it’s not enough. Fans want closure. They want the serials to be complete one way or another. When Power of the Daleks came out last year, it was very interesting to see classic and modern Whovian share a bond over an animated serial. Animation might very well be the solution to all those heartbroken Whovians, who dream to see their favourite TV show complete.
While an animated series might feel like a dream come true, let’s not forget that money rules our society. Animation works cost a lot of time and money and it seems clear to me that the BBC has no intention in pulling the resources to animate each and every missing episodes.
The way I see it, it’s all about “give to get”. Give us an animated series and we will happily buy not one but two versions so that you get money out of it. I still remember the marketing success of Power of the Daleks. Issuing two DVDs, one in black and white and then, a few months later, a colourised version, was as bold as it was insulting. This was clearly a way to get twice the money on one single serial! For once, I considered myself lucky to be colour-blind as I saved money on the colourised version…! Some forgiving Whovians claimed that it was a way to get funding for future animated episodes…
With the news of Shada being completed with animated sequences to fill in the gaps, who isn’t tempted to think that way too? Providing that Shada encounters the same success Power of the Daleks did then we might get another animated version of a missing serial.
As I’m writing those lines, this feels like emotional blackmail… “Buy the DVDs or we don’t give you closure.”
I would rather believe that Whovians infiltrated the Doctor Who department at the BBC and have the power to make animated versions happen. Sure thing, there would be commercial and financial expectations, but at least we would look up to those powerful Whovians and support them. Mind you, I would even buy the colourised version of Power of the Daleks if that was the case!
As romantic as this all sounds, let’s just be realistic and enjoy what we get. We are getting Shada and this is one happy news that we should cherish before thinking about what will come next.