As with the First Doctor, a number of episodes and stories from Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor tenure (1966-69) are also incomplete or missing altogether, so The Patrick Troughton Years attempts to reconstruct the "orphaned" stories through episodes and clips culled from a variety of sources. For Who historians, the most important footage here is from Troughton's first appearance as the Doctor in season 5's "The Power of the Daleks," which is missing in its entirety; a rough glimpse of the transition from actor William Hartnell to Troughton is included, along with other surviving fragments. The complete episodes offered here are the sole remaining episode from season 4's "The Underwater Menace" (fragments from this story are included in the extras), episodes 2 and 4 from "The Moonbase," which features the return of the Cybermen (audio from episodes 1 and 3 is featured in the extras), episodes 1 and 3 from "The Faceless Ones," and episode 2 from "The Evil of the Daleks" (which includes commentary by actress Deborah Watling, who played the Doctor's companion, Victoria). Disc 2 marks the only episode from the Yetis' debut in "The Abominable Snowmen" (Watling again provides commentary), two episodes from "The Wheel in Space" (with commentary by director Tristan de Vere Cole and story editor Derrick Sherwin) and just one apiece for "The Web of Fear," "The Space Pirates," and "The Enemy of the World." Chief among the extras is the 1998 documentary The Missing Years, which interviews several of the film collectors responsible for rescuing these lost episodes and fragments (the doc has been updated to reflect the 2004 discovery of two William Hartnell episodes); the supplemental features offer fragments and behind-the-scenes footage from "The Macra Terror" (with a rare clip of the monsters), "Fury from the Deep" (which includes a scene reconstruction), "The Highlanders," and the aforementioned stories.
The William Hartnell Years and the Patrick Troughton Years are also individually. Either scenario is sure to please the die-hard Doctor Who fan. --Paul Gaita
If, however, you know all about how the BBC decided back in the mid 70s that they had too many tapes lying around of the show, and decided to incinerate a bunch to save space, and wish the people doing it had thrown themselves in the incinerator instead, this release is for you.
This is your only chance to catch a glimpse of classic stories we, but for bad luck and bad decision making, might be able to watch in their entireties.
One bad thing, you'll be asking yourself when watching part 3 of The Celestial Toymaker "they junked The Web of Fear and kept this?!"....
There are some really good episodes in this set. Your enjoyment of them will be tempered only by the realization that you'll never get to see what happens next.
Excellent set though. I'd give it 6 stars if that were possible!
It's a bit unusual in that, although more of the Second Doctor's (Patrick Troughton) stories are forever lost, the Troughton collection takes up two DVDs, while the First Doctor (William Hartnell) has only one DVD.
Nevertheless, the BBC is to be commended for the production values they've put into this collection. On some stories (The Moonbase, eg.), they've included the entire story, even though only two of the four episodes still exist. For the other two episodes, the BBC have included the original audio soundtrack, so it is possible to at least listen to the entire story. Audio and video quality is surprisingly good. (It's often interesting to compare the sharpness of 1960s B&W video with the dreadful quality of late 1960s and early 1970s colour video - anyone who can receive a CHUM-CITY station such as VR or PL can check out the washed-out prints of Ironside or Kojak, or hockey fans can compare the quality of the recent Canada Cup rebroadcasts on TSN.)
The DVDs contain existing episodes from a number of stories which are incomplete, and also hold a number of gems such as original BBC trailers for stories, including a trailer for Troughton's first story, "Power of the Daleks".
An often-overlooked gem is the "Who's Who", biographies of some of the key actors in various stories. Some people who went on to bigger and better things appeared in the series in the Sixties, such as Julian Glover and Jean Marsh. It's also interesting to note how many actors in 1960s British TV played guest roles in Doctor Who, The Avengers, and Z Cars.
Certainly, this release is very specialized in nature, given its fragmentary condition. However, no fan should be without it.