Wednesday, 28 August 2013

DVD News Round-Up: William Hartnell Interview Discovered / 'The Crusade' Animation Campaign

William Hartnell. A man who we've never had the chance to see outside of an acting role, with no audio/visual interviews known to survive... until now.

Shock-waves have travelled around fandom with the recent revelation that a television interview with Hartnell has been found. The discovery was made in 2009 by Doctor Who researcher Richard Bignell. In an article posted on The Guardian's website, Bignell explained:

While I was over at the [BBC] Written Archives [Centre], doing some stuff for the DVDs, I thought it would be worth going through the programme logs for regional news programmes. So, I had a look through for the four weeks [that Hartnell toured with Puss in Boots] and there were two interviews. There was one for Look East, for the first week of the pantomime at Ipswich and one for Points West from the last week when he was at Taunton. I got in contact with the Look East archive and found that their stuff didn't exist any more. So, that one's definitely gone. But, I dropped the Bristol library an email, and about 20 minutes later, they got back to me with an email: 'Yes, we've still got it. I've got the can of film sitting on my desk here.'
His reputation for being a grumpy old so-and-so really does come over in this particular interview. The interviewer says to him at one point, something along the lines of: 'Is pantomime something you'd like to continue doing in the future?' And he sort of goes: 'Ooh, no, no, no, no, no.' So, he says: 'Oh, why not?' And he says: 'Well, I'm a legitimate actor. Pantomime is for the sort of person who is used to variety and going on the front of the stage, but I'm a legitimate actor. I do legitimate things.' He very much comes over with that sort of gruff manner. In fact, towards the end of the interview, the actual interviewer says to him: 'You're actually quite a grumpy man. Why do you think that people like the Doctor so much?'
The interview, which runs to approximately 3 minutes 16 seconds according to the British Board of Film Classification, will appear as a special feature on November's DVD release of Hartnell's final story, The Tenth Planet.

In other news, a fan campaign is currently in progress to support a DVD release of the historical Hartnell adventure The Crusade. This four-part 1965 serial is missing its second and fourth episodes, and these could hypothetically be animated against the surviving original soundtracks (the Patrick Troughton story The Moonbase, which is another 50% complete four-part serial, is due to be released with two animated episodes next year). However, indications have emerged from the Doctor Who Restoration Team that no such plans are currently in place.

To add your voice to the campaign, visit the Facebook page at or tweet using the hashtag #AnimateCrusade.

1 comment :

Ian said...

Seems a shocking shame that it has not been considered. Seems the series will go out with a whimper rather than a bang.