While getting through most of Classic Doctor Who‘s lost episodes has been a chore, “Mission to the Unknown” is a singular oddity in two respects.
The most important of those respects is that the entire episode was remade in 2019 by students at the University of Central Lancashire. Secondly, because this usual episode of Doctor Who is a one-off and does not feature the Doctor, the Tardis, or any of the companions. It’s literally a “meanwhile on another planet” episode and serves mostly as a prelude to an upcoming Dalek arc.
This is to the episode’s detriment because, to be perfectly honest, it’s not that interesting. The perils on the planet are not wholly original and the characters aren’t interesting enough to become invested in. Even this single episode seems padded out which is odd in of itself.
However, I have to applaud the recreation that was put together by UCL. They really nailed the look of the original series, shooting in black and white and on a soundstage, capturing the campy feel and cheap sets of classic Doctor Who. It’s really quite extraordinary that they were able to do this and the fact that the episode didn’t include any established stars of the series helps sell the illusion that this is an episode of the old series.
If nothing else, even though the episode itself isn’t that great and is weirdly out of place when compared to the rest of the series, I do think that anyone who loves the old series as I have learned to love it, should check out this lovingly crafted recreation that literally saved this episode from the jaws of obscurity.