The latest release from the animated stories range sees the Doctor take on The Macra. Is it worth picking up the steelbook?
Welcome back to “Worth It?”. Today we’ll be taking a look at the 2019 release of The Macra Terror. I purchased the Steelbook release for just over $50 + shipping and handling. Included with this set are three discs and a booklet with information on the 1967 production and the 2019 animation. Let’s go disc by disc and check out what each one has to offer.
DISC 1: Color Presentation
Disc One features the color presentation of The Macra Terror. The animation for this story is just beautiful. It’s smooth, nicely shaded, and unlike Power of the Daleks from two years ago the color version doesn’t seem like a rush job. The colorization of the 1967 titles themselves (which can be viewed on the Official Doctor Who YouTube Channel) are just incredibly done. They are colored in the style of the titles of Jon Pertwee’s first season in 1970.
Also on this disc is the Behind The Scenes material for the animated version of The Macra Terror, including animatics, the animation tests, an animation gallery and the teaser trailer for the animation. Also on Disc One are parts one and two of the Macra Terror in the usual reconstruction format, available with or without the narration by Anneke Wills.
One interesting addition to this set is the inclusion of the ten minute animated version of The Wheel in Space, Part One which was shown at a BFI event in 2018. The style of the animation almost seems like a cross between Power of the Daleks and The Macra Terror. They only animated the portions featuring Jamie, the Doctor, and the Robot. Maybe this could serve to get interest in an animated version of The Wheel in Space in the future?
DISC 2: Black & White Presentation
Disc Two features The Macra Terror in the black and white format that viewers on BBC1 would’ve seen in March/April of 1967. Though this version of the animation is pretty good, I prefer the color one. I feel that the shading is much better looking in the color version.
Also on this disc are parts three and four of the recon. Just like Disc One they include narration by Anneke Wills. Also on this disc is the 1992 audio version with Colin Baker doing the linking narration. We also get some Behind The Scenes material from the Shawcraft Models workshop. They produced the original Dalek, Cybermen and Macra props. In the silent film we get glimpses of props from several Doctor Who stories.
Also included on this disc is the usual bonus material for missing stories, such as surviving clips and title sequence restorations. What I find most interesting is that they had a scene from episode 2 reconstructed where they gave us a glimpse of what Australian viewers saw after their censorship board had done their work. It’s very interesting to see such things as it’s not something they have ever included in previous releases.
DISC 3: Gridlock
Disc three features the Tenth Doctor adventure, Gridlock, which featured the return of the Macra after 40 years. Alas, it doesn’t really add or subtract anything from this set.
Along with Gridlock, we have the cutdown version of the Doctor Who Confidential for this episode. Honestly, if they wanted to add more to this set they could’ve added the full version of Doctor Who Confidential.
Overall, I think this release of The Macra Terror is one of the best Doctor Who releases we’ve had in a long time. Comparing the animation to previous productions, its quality is unmatched. Though it doesn’t follow the 1967 production to the letter, I think it’s pretty great.
Comparing it to the other Steelbook in my collection (Shada 2017), I think while this has a better main feature, Shada has better bonus features with no less than two extra versions of the story (1992 & 2003) and so much Behind The Scenes material from the 1979 production.
This set is absolutely worth it! If you love 60’s Who, if Troughton is your favorite Doctor, or even if you just like the animated Power of the Daleks and Shada (2017), this set is for any Whovian to enjoy.