Serial: 4C Episode Nos. 386, 387, 388, and 389. Title: The Ark in Space Special Edition
The TARDIS arrives on a strangely dormant space station. Exploring, the Doctor and his
friends find hundreds of people in suspended animation, but their revival systems have
been sabotaged by an intruder: a giant alien insect called a Wirrn. When the sleepers start
to revive, the Queen Wirrn's larvae also awaken...
starring Tom Baker as Doctor Who, Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, and Ian Marter
as Harry Sullivan.
Written by Robert Holmes, Produced by Phillip Hinchcliffe, and Directed by Rodney Bennett.
Contents listed in italics are new to this Special Edition. Those in normal type were present
in the original release.
A 2-Disc release. On Disc 1:
- All 4 25-minute episodes of the serial, newly remastered and restored.
- Graphical menus, episode selection features, scene selection features, and optional
subtitles for the hearing impaired.
- Commentary track by actors Tom Baker (the Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah), and
Producer Philip Hinchcliffe.
- Production Notes Subtitles. Freshly-researched and rewritten for this edition.
- A New Frontier. A 30-minute featurette about the making of the story, featuring new
interviews with Philip Hinchcliffe, production designer Roger Murray-Leach, director
Rodney Bennett, and actors Kenton Moore (Noah) and Wendy Williams (Vira), and
actor Nicholas Briggs offers a fan perspective.
- Original 4:3 aspect ratio.
- New CGI Model Sequence - The exterior shots of the
be replaced as you view the episodes with computer-generated images. You can
choose to either watch all the new shots at once via a menu choice in the Special
Features menu, or let them appear during the episodes as you play them.
(The original unaltered episodes with the original model footage are the default
version on the disc.)
- Roger Murray-Leach interview from the original edition.
- Alternative Title Sequence. An earlier, unused version of Tom Baker’s opening title
sequence that started by using some of the previous Jon Pertwee sequence.
- Model Effects Roll - Selecting this plays some film reels of the original modelwork from
1974 of the Ark’s transport ship launching and of the Wirrn space-walking around the Ark.
- Trailer for Episode 1
- Photo Gallery
- 3D Technical Schematics - This selection displays a computer-generated schematic
animation of the structure of the Ark.
- TARDIS-Cam No. 1- This selection plays a 1-minute modern modelwork featurette
of the TARDIS having landed on a desolate planet which has the remains of a
Cyberman’s head on it. This was a sort of promo for the BBC’s own official
Doctor Who website at www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho for which other TARDIS-
Cam short subjects were made and shown. Those have been discontinued, but this
was present on the original edition so has been left here as well.
- 3 Easter Eggs. Use your mouse to highlight the blank-looking area below and you’ll see
how to find them and what they are.
- Egg 1: On the Main Menu, immediately press your left arrow and you will see the
Doctor Who logo appear out of nowhere. Click the logo, and you will see the 30-second
countdown clock and slate for Part Two of the story used at the start of its master video tape.
- Egg 2: Go into the 2nd page of the Special Features menu. Highlight the Photo Gallery
Selection, then press the left arrow. A Doctor Who logo will appear. Click this and
the Doctor will appear for about 17 seconds, tell you “goodbye” and that he can’t stay
long because he’s going to Blackpool, and that you should brush your teeth.
A caption card for a Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool then displays.
(This was an advertisement for said exhibition.)
- Egg 3: At the conclusion of the final episode, after the credits have finished rolling,
the Doctor appears again in another short segment for that Blackpool exhibition that
would appear to have been used at the exhibit itself as people left because he asks you
to tell everybody about it, and to mind the steps.
On Disc 2:
- Graphical menus and optional subtitles for the hearing impaired.
- The Ark in Space: Movie Version. A one hour-ten-minute continuous edit of the story
that was used in by the BBC during a rerun season. This copy has not been
- Doctor Forever! Love and War. A new 28-minute featurette about how Doctor Who
continued in new fiction books from 1991 to 2005. Features interviews with
Virgin Books editor Peter Darvill-Evans, BBC books editors Steve Cole and Justin
Richards, actress Lisa Bowerman, David Richardson from TV Zone, audio and TV
authors Rob Shearman and Joseph Lidster, and book authors (and in many cases,
future writers or producers of new series episodes) Paul Cornell, Russell T. Davies,
Mark Gatiss and Gary Russell.
- Scene Around Six. 8 minutes of film footage of Tom Baker on a promotional tour
of Belfast, Northern Ireleand, being mobbed by huge crowds of kids everywhere he goes.
- Robot 8mm Location Film. 1 minute of 8mm home movie footage shot during the
making of Tom Baker’s debut story, Robot.
- Coming Soon. A 1-minute trailer for the DVD of The Aztecs Special Edition.
- PDF Files. Place this disc into a computer and you can access four PDF files.
-- The original Radio Times billing for this story from 1974.
-- The complete Doctor Who Technical Manual, an oversize paperback published in 1983.
69 pages of technical schematics of the popular props, sets, and monsters seen up to
that point (and some unpopular ones).
-- Promotional materials for Crosse & Blackwell. Flyers that were included in cans of
-- Promotional materials for Nestle. Candy bar wrappers featuring Doctor Who
characters from this era of the show.
There are three features that were present in the original edition of this release that
are absent from this one. The first two were features unique to the North American
editions which were eliminated as a series when the range was unified to have the
same contents worldwide. These were the “Who’s Who” text files containing extra
biographies of the cast, and the 15-minute featurette that compiled all of the
Howard Da Silva narrations that were used in the initial 1978 syndication package
to U.S. TV stations to introduce the episodes to the uninitiated American audience.
The third feature was a BBC local news item that visited the location filming on
Revenge of the Cybermen in the Wookey Hole caves. This segment is now present
on the DVD of Revenge of the Cybermen and so was felt to be redundant here.
(the Cybermen DVD wasn’t out at the time of the original release and wasn’t until
many years later)
The original release also had a flaw on the main feature that is not present on this new
edition. This took the form of the picture dimming at various points in the last two
episodes if the subtitles were switched on.