Doctor Who YouTube channel releases edited versions of classic episodes


Tom Baker played the Fourth Doctor on Doctor Who from 1974-1981, going down as one of the most beloved Doctors of all time. During those early days of Doctor Who, the episodes and seasons ran a lot longer than they do now, with episodes being shown at 30-minute intervals over the course of several weeks. Nowadays, things are bit more straightforward.

But the official Doctor Who YouTube channel is taking us back to some of those early days by cutting some of those extra-long episodes down to 30-minute chunks. This is a win-win for Doctor Who fans everywhere! We can enjoy the classics without having to piece together all the different parts.

The channel dropped the first of these shortened episodes just the other day with 1976’s “The Hand of Fear,” which was originally aired over four 25-minute episodes. In this new version, it’s been cut down to about 30 minutes, as we see the Fourth Doctor and his companion, Sarah Jane Smith, battle against Eldrad, the Kastrian criminal.

"The TARDIS arrives on contemporary Earth, where Sarah comes into contact with what appears to be a fossilised human hand. This is in fact the last surviving fragment of a Kastrian called Eldrad, who was blown up in space as a punishment for attempting to wipe out his own people.Eldrad’s essence lives on in a blue-stoned ring, which the possessed Sarah removes from the hand and places on her own. She then takes the hand to the nearby Nunton nuclear research and development complex where it soaks up the radiation from the reactor core and regenerates into a complete being."

Just another day on the job:

The special thing about “The Hand of Fear” is that it was Elisabeth Sladen’s final regular appearance as Sarah Jane. In the years to follow, we’d see her pop up in various spinoffs and audio dramas. Then, in 2006, she showed up in the second season of the Doctor Who reboot in the episode “School Reunion” alongside David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper).

And then Sladen went on to star in several seasons of The Sarah Jane Adventures until she passed away in 2011. Although I didn’t see Sladen in the original episodes, I adored her in the 2006 episode and the spinoff. She was one of my favorite companions from Doctor Who, and to say we miss her is a huge understatement.

And it looks like the Doctor Who YouTuber channel is giving more than one classic episode the recut treatment. You can also watch an edited version of the 1976 episode, “The Masque of Mandragora.” Originally, it was split into four parts of around 18 minutes each.

"The TARDIS is temporarily captured by the Mandragora Helix, a spiral of energy with a controlling influence, at the centre of which the ship is infiltrated by a sparkling ball of energy.The travelers then move on to the Dukedom of San Martino in Renaissance Italy, where the Doctor quickly realises that the Mandragora energy is loose. The energy enters an underground temple and reveals itself to the outlawed Brotherhood of Demnos, whose leader, the court astrologer Hieronymous, is instructed to make ready for Mandragora’s full appearance."

If this is the new way to get caught up and acquainted with old school Doctor Who, I am so here for it.

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h/t Gizmodo