Loose Cannon Production 24
The Macra Terror
"The colony is in the hands of grotesque insects!"

     

Hover your mouse over the image to see the increase in telesnap quality used for the Revised Edition
BBC Production Details
Production Code: JJ
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 11th March 1967 -
Saturday 01st April 1967
Season: 4
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
Producer: Innes Lloyd, Peter Bryant
Director: John Davies
 

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as designed by Derek Handley

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: January 2006
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,2,3,4
Source Material: John Cura's telesnaps
Audio recorded by Graham Strong
Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T160
     

Bonus Material

As well as the reconstruction we are able to bring you the following goodies…

 

Celebrity Introduction

Terence Lodge, who plays Medok, provides a very nice introduction to the reconstruction. This covers factual aspects of the production plus Terence's personal memories of freezing cold quarries, working with Patrick Troughton and later working with Jon Pertwee.
Learn more about Terence's work in our Hall of Fame...

   

Celebrity Interview

As a bonus feature we have included a specially recorded interview with actor Ian Fairbairn who plays Questa in the Macra Terror. Ian has appeared in a total of four Doctor Who stories and has very fond memories of working with three of the Doctors.
Learn more about Ian's work in our Hall of Fame...

 

Special Note:  

No episodes of this serial are known to survive. If any should resurface and be released at a later date, please purchase the official BBC video release to complement our reconstruction.

Support The BBC Video Releases.

     

Request a copy here
Please note recons are ONLY available on VHS quality.

LOOSE CANNON WILL NOT, AND NEVER WILL, SUPPLY RECONS FOR DOWNLOAD IN DVD OR VCD QUALITY OR EVEN ON TICKER TAPE!!!!!!


Loose Cannon Says:

The original Loose Cannon Macra Terror reconstruction was in desperate need of a make-over. Although other Dr Who stories still need to be reconstructed, we felt that the time was right to revisit one of our old recons and see what we could do with it. We are very pleased with the final result. Nice clear telesnaps, newly discovered photos plus our usual creative input and special effects has turned an old reconstruction into a very nice polished production

Synopsis:

The colony is a utopian paradise that knows no fear or concern. Everyone is happy and works hard for the colony's benefit, each giving their part to a collective whole. However there are hidden masters in this paradise who control the minds and lives of the colonists for their own ends.

When the Doctor, Polly, Ben and Jamie arrive on this futuristic planet they are pampered and given wonderful hospitality. Despite outward appearances, the Doctor senses something is drastically wrong when he talks to an escaped lunatic named Medok who claims to have seen strange crab like monsters, the Macra, lurking in the night. Soon afterwards the Doctor finds that Ben has come under the vile influence of the Macra and can no longer be trusted.

Betrayed and sent down into gas mines, the Doctor, Jamie , Polly and the mysterious Medok must work together to free Ben's mind, discover the secrets of the Macra, and expose their existence to the colony before it is too late...

 
Reviews:

Review by Logan Gill

Truly astounding. What Loose Cannon has done here is quite simply brought life from lifelessness. I think its the subtle additions that add movement that really make the difference. There are explosion effects when the Doctor shorts out some wires and gas effects when the crew are in the mines. These additions, along with the surviving clips really bring the story to life. The Macra is classic Who at its finest, the forced happiness and joy of the colony belies the terror that is just a fingernail scratch below the surface. Troughton's 4th and 5th seasons are quite possibly the best of the entire 26 year run of the classic show, and thanks to Loose Cannon these wonderful stories are back in the Who pantheon. While I would do the dance of joy were these episodes to be found, I now no longer feel that these stories are "lost".

 

Review by Timothy Hand

I once saw the BBC classic photonovel of the Macra Terror, and thought it would be great to see on screen. A friend told me about this website, and when I ordered, one of the ones I chose was the Macra Terror. It was absolutely brilliant! Loose Cannon combined audio, clips and photo's perfectly, bringing forth an amazing reproduction, of an excellent classic episode! Keep up the good work!

I can't wait to get more of the recons. Finally, many thanks to the team and goodbye for now.
P.S I would highly reccomend it to any genuine Doctor Who fan!

 

Review by N.Willis

What can I say , other than this is a wonderfull reconstruction. I adored the majorettes, the idylic sounds of the colony and Ben's betrayal of the Doctor. "the colony, the colony is happy to obey". I thought that the telesnaps were really useful and helped to put each episode into perspective and the surving clips helped the story to flow. I love it when Ben does not trust the others, we get to see another side to his character and the Doctor's warnings that "Jamie may not be as forgiving (as the Doctor)". The telesnap and sound quality is flawless and it helps you to understand the ignorance of the colony and the Macra's influence on them and Ben. Having seen the new Doctor Who story Gridlock, I felt that this was a goood background into their past and Troughton played the part wonderfully, definitely one of the underrated classics. My only concerns were that some of the images were used more than once, but this is no fault of yours. You have done a fantastic job and I am looking forward to more recons in your range, even more so the revised edition of the Faceless Ones.
My rating 11/10, yes I did say 11/10. Thank you very much for this recon.

 

Review by Chris Longhurst

What a transformation.
The original Loose Cannon reconstruction LC01 was one of the few recons where I would have recommended an alternative (by Joint Venture) because of the muddy sound and blurred pictures of the LC original. The new version has an improved soundtrack but, more importantly, sharp telesnaps with nicely integrated film clips. The improvments to Macra enhance the story making it easier to follow and actually turning it from (for me) one of the lesser Troughton's to the middle ranks. The problem that LC Team have now created for themselves is that now we can see the improvements that are possible 'we' will expect the other early Loose Cannons to have a makeover. This will easily keep them busy until 2010 !!. Thanks for the excellent reconstruction and constantly improving standards.

 

Review by Justin Barnes

Wow. Just finished The Macra Terror and once again my hat is off to the wonderful LC team. Just they increase quality of the telesnaps for this and added touchs are just really really cool. They almost look like they were restored by the Restoration Team. You even get a few surprises add to and they interviews are just cool. Well can't wait for more but I know as all you do to that the wait however long is well worth it.
Thank again Loose Cannon! : )

 

Review by Sally Burr

I haven't seen Loose Cannon's first version, but I think this new one has been done very well. The telesnaps are very clear and mesh nicely with the soundtrack. We get a good idea of the acting in the original, from the hunted expression on Medok's face, the senile bewilderment and fear of the ancient controller at the end of episode 2, and the pompous rigidity of Ola, the Colony's police chief.
With regard to the story, maybe it wasn't all that subtle, but I enjoyed it. There was an irony in the contrast between the Colony's happy singing Hi-De-Hi atmosphere, and the sinister secret behind it all. I especially liked the moment when Jamie, having escaped from the twin dangers of the Macra and the poisonous gas, finds himself in the middle of the cheerleaders rehearsal and has to pretend to be a dancer to allay suspicion. Another good one was when Ben succumbs to the Colony's "deep sleep and thought patterning". As the sinister influence takes over his mind he says to Jamie "Go to sleep. We've a hard day ahead of us tomorrow. We've been eating their nosh so we've got to give something back." That's Ben's natural language, but we've just heard the hypnotic instructions he's been given, so we know where these ideas are coming from.
People make fun of the giant crabs, but when I saw them in darkness (i.e.at the end of episode 1) where all you could see was the glowing eyes, they really did look sinister.

 

Review by Gerry Briody

This is an excellent reconstruction. It was not until I looked at my old LC copy (which was good at the time) that I could see how much clearer and sharper the pictures are in the new one. The surviving clips were also much cleaner and enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
As for the adventure itself, it's okay. It is based on a promising premise but I'm afraid that the lumbering Macra just don't cut it at believable monsters. I think today's kids would fall around laughing at the clip where Ben saves Polly from the claws of the Macra. In the real world they would be lobster soup.

 

Review by Jerome Jones

What a pleasant surprise!
I have had LC01 for some time now and after a couple of aborted attempts, have never managed to watch even one episode the copy was so bad, but this is a totally different matter! The lessons have been learnt over the years and along with much better quality source material, the new version really is something special. The telesnaps are much clearer than ever before and the use of special techniques, such as the gas effect in episode 3, really does make the story sweep along. I loved sitting there anticipating the censor and 8mm clips and it is great to now see where these fit into the story.
A special mention must be made for the audio, possibly the best ever on a LC production, its just so clear! The Terence Lodge intro and outro are well shot and are reasonably interesting. The Ian Fairbairn interview likewise, and it was good to see him in all his Who roles - particularly his reminesences on Inferno.
Overall, an excellent addition to the LC stable. I hope other early stories can be revisited in the same way, as everything up to about LC07 could benefit I think. Brilliant work and congratulations to all the team.

 

Review by Steven Worek

I will state the obvious first and foremost - the new "Macra Terror" is like the difference between night and day!! Forget everything you remember about LC01... blurry telesnaps, pixelization, poor captions... all of the flaws have been wiped away. The result is a crystal clear recon that looks incredibly realistic, and one which always appears as if it is about to jump to life. Quite possibly the best telesnap reconstruction ever produced. 10 out of 10.

 
Alex Wilcock has written two very in-depth reviews of Macra which are here and here.
 

Review by Daniel Befield

Just finished watching The Macra Terror and it was GREAT! I especially like the Doctor's calculations in Episode 3, giving himself 10/10...only to find his 'boss' standing over him talking about how only three people in the entire colony know those calculations. The Doctor explains what he did...and I won't spoil the rest (for those who haven't seen it), but I can assure you that it's classic Troughton!

I agree that telesnaps help out greatly, there's great use of surviving clips (they make a lot more sense like this!), great bonuses (including two you somehow forgot to mention), just plain great! Now Macra has gone from 'I want to see that because the clips are so interesting' to 'Why did the BBC junk this?' HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED! 10 out of 10!

Oh, and before I forget: You should NEVER make a song about 'The Joy Of Working'.

 

Review by Tony Coburn

My first Loose Cannon recon and i must say, it was well worth it. I had never heard the BBC audio of this story in the past and to see it all pieced together with such care and precision from the LC team was just amazing. The story itself seems a little bit pointless but there are some creepy Macra sequences with a nice "twist" at the end of the adventure. The telesnaps and audio are perfectly clear and the only surviving censor clips or off-air snippets are a joy to see when placed into the episode. Many thanks to the LC team for re-creating this eerie and extraordinary Troughton episode. For anyone who hasnt viewed any recons before, I strongly advise you begin with this one. Their work really does prevent the lost episodes becoming forgotten episodes. 10/10!!!

 
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