Patrick Troughton is regarded as the most important actor to play the role of Doctor Who. Having influenced nearly every one of his successors from Peter Davison to Matt Smith, he set the standard in the blend of a weird alien persona who could be silly, intense and charming all at once. Sadly, most of the stories that he appeared in are lost. Only half of his catalog has been released on DVD, much of it with gaps filled by narration or cartoons. In 2013, two of his stories (Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear) were made viewable with the discovery of nine parts, a major boon for fans.
To date, The Underwater Menace is the only story with a recently reclaimed missing episode not to be released on DVD. According to rumor, the folks at 2|Entertain were prepared to explore adding animated sequences to fill in the blanks for this classic story.
A 4-part story screened from 14 January 1967 to 4 February 1967, this was the third outing for Troughton as the Doctor, who was still finding his footing as the cosmic hobo. At this stage, there was a lot of quirkiness, silly hats and cross-dressing still to be worked through. This version of the Doctor was still in progress and to add to the challenge, a third companion, Jamie McCrimmon was added to the mix!
The Underwater Menace is set in Atlantis, a mythical civilization guarded by men in wet suits, a general population bedecked in seaweed and shells and… the Fish People. Lording over them all is the great god Amdo, a deity represented by a massive stone idol. Challenging Amdo is the mad Professor Zaroff, who has plans to raise the sunken continent to the surface from which he will rule the world. The story isn’t generally regarded as a ‘classic’ due to the runaround plot and Joseph Furst whose performance as Zaroff stretches to outer space, but Underwater Menace does have some of the most iconic imagery of 1960’s Doctor Who in a long sequence following the Fish People in their habitat.
Episode 2 was discovered in 2011 and marks the earliest complete episode of the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton. This would join episode 3 which is already in the ‘vault.’ At this time, there are no plans to release this on DVD.
If, like many fans, you want to see this adventure released on DVD, let BBC Worldwide know by contacting them at this site.