The Ice Warriors
The Missing Years
Included in The Ice Warriors Release

Presented by Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling

Synopsis: A documentary on what survives in the BBC archives and what doesn't. Includes recovered clips, previously unseen home movie footage and a surviving episode.


A Review by Tom May 30/11/98

The Missing Years tape includes a wealth of important, rare footage from the lost episodes. Clips from Galaxy 4 and The Daleks' Master Plan show promising glimpses of their respective stories. The much-hyped studio footage from Evil of the Daleks and Fury From The Deep is impressive, if a little brief. The Regeneration sequence is one of the highlights of the tape, and works really well, although perhaps more footage could've been used (that is, if they didn't use all the footage from Tenth Planet 4 and Power of the Daleks 1).

The fact that I'd already seen the Oak/Quill scene via the reconstuction, months before I obtained The Ice Warriors Collection obviously took away the surprise factor that anyone watching it for the first time would feel. It's a superbly chilling sequence, superbly directed and portrayed by the three performers. We should all be truly grateful to Damian Shanahan for finding such clips. Shanahan, shown on an Australian beach, provides a much needed contrast to the tedious succession of individuals, who, while providing invaluable service to the archives, have little screen prescence. Sue Malden though, gives a measured optimistic view on the likelihood of further recoveries, while Ian Leveine gives an overtly melodramatic, pessimistic view.

The clips from Tomb of the Cybermen, Faceless Ones and Evil of the Daleks were superflous though. Frazer Hines does a steady job as presenter, although Debbie Watling's over-exaggerated reading of her script fails to satisfy.

The main problem is the running time. Many clips had to be left out, and footage trimmed down, and this does leave me with the impression that there should've been more. This problem cannot be blamed at all on producer Steve Roberts or any other members of the Restoration Team, but it's still unfortunate. The Missing Years was a truly worthwhile documentary, minor gripes accepted, and a must-see for all fans.

A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 6/3/99

The Missing Years must be considered something of a landmark in the world of Doctor Who videos. Never before have such a vast array of rare clips been included on one commercially available tape. True reconstructions of various missing tales have included clips, but not all on the same tape.

Presented by Frazer Hines and Debbie Watling, The Missing Years really is invaluable and is essential viewing. Frazer Hines comes across as a better presenter than Debbie Watling, who tends to overemphasise every phrase she utters; as such her presentation comes across as forced rather than natural. Interspersed between the various clips are tales of how various episodes were discovered, which become slightly repetitive after a while. Ian Levine in particular puts a dampener on things, with h is assertion that no more Doctor Who episodes could be found (fortunately he was proved wrong by the discovery of The Crusade`s first episode, some weeks later.)

The clips themselves tend to focus more on the monsters than the historical tales, with the Daleks getting a fair amount of screen time. Perhaps the two most important sequences are those from The Tenth Planet/Power of the Daleks giving us a virtually complete regeneration sequence. The other clip of note is from Galaxy 4, an underrated tale, which effectively showcases the acting abilities of Stephanie Bidmead as Maaga, in just a few minutes.

Some clips are unnecessary however... those from episodes already in existence such as The Wheel In Space and The Tomb of the Cybermen, although this is compensated with the inclusion of colour footage of the effects teams behind Fury From The Deep and The Evil of the Daleks.

The only thing to really find fault with is the running time, which should`ve been extended to allow for more clips from tales such as The Savages and The Reign of Terror. Overall, though, The Missing Years is essential viewing.