German DVD release of An Unearthly Child

German release An Unearthly Child (Credit: WVG / Polyband) German company Polyband is going to release An Unearthly Child on DVD. It will be Volume 1 of a new range called The Classic Episodes and be released on 28th April 2017. 

The DVD will be identical to the UK version that was part of The Beginning boxed set, adding German subtitles to the features. Since the early serials have never been broadcasted in Germany there is no German dubbing available for this story.

Polyband promotes the release with the following statement:

German: Ein nebeliger Abend, ein Polizist geht Streife in seinem Revier ... ein verlassener Schrottplatz ... und eine Polizei-Box, die geheimnisvoll surrt und brummt. Diese Bilder sind heute Kult. Sie sind die Anfänge einer Serie, die nun schon seit mehr als 50 Jahren produziert wird und Generationen von Zuschauern prägen sollte: DOCTOR WHO - AN UNEARTHLY CHILD ist der erste, aus 4 Teilen bestehende Handlungsbogen der Serie DOCTOR WHO und eröffnet die 1. Staffel. Die vier Folgen wurden erstmals zwischen dem 23. November und 14. Dezember 1963 ausgestrahlt. Mit brillantem Erzähltempo und erstaunlicher Überzeugungskraft lädt AN UNEARTHLY CHILD behutsam in die Welt von  DOCTOR WHO ein. Bereits wenige Minuten nachdem man die sichere Umgebung der Coal Hill Schule verlassen hat, befindet man sich mit dem ersten Doktor (William Hartnell) sowie seiner Enkelin Susan (Carole Ann Ford) inmitten der ersten Reise durch Zeit und Raum mithilfe einer blauen Polizei-Box, der legendären TARDIS.

English: A foggy evening, a poilce officer walks around in his area... a junkyard... and a Police Box that makes strange mysterious noises. These pictures are cult today. They are the beginning of a TV show which is in production for over 50 years now and has impressed many generations of viewers: DOCTOR WHO - AN UNEARTHLY CHILD is the first four part serial of DOCTOR WHO and is the opening to the very first season. These four episodes were first broadcast between 23rd November and 14th December 1963. Featuring a brilliant pace and impressive imagination AN UNEARTHLY CHILD introduces you well to the world of DOCTOR WHO. After only minutes of leaving the safe environment of Coal Hill School you find yourself with the first Doctor (William Hartnell) and his grandchild Susan (Carole Ann Ford) travelling through space and time with the blue Police Box, the famous TARDIS.

Rodney Bennett 1935-2017

Rodney Bennett (Credit: Toby Hadoke)The director Rodney Bennett has died at the age of 81

Rodney Bennett directed 10 episodes of Doctor Who.

His first outing was on the two part 1975 story The Sontaran Experiment, the first Doctor Who story to be filmed entirely as a Television Outside Broadcast. The production, filmed on Dartmoor, was disrupted when the leading actor, Tom Baker, broke his collarbone during filming, necessitating the actor wearing a neck brace under his scarf.

He returned to the studio for his next production The Ark In Space, which was shown before The Sontaran Experiment despite being filmed after it. The story is widely regarded as a classic, with both Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat citing the story as one of their favorites from the original run of the series. The story enjoyed some of the highest ratings in the programmes history, with 13.6 million tuning in for episode two.

Rodney Bennett's final story for Doctor Who was the 1976 story The Masque of Mandragora. Filmed largely at the welsh resort of Portmeirion, the story also marks the first appearance of the TARDIS' secondary console room.

Rodney Bennett had a long career with the BBC first working in Radio. He moved into Television in the late 1960's, working first in the Schools department. He happened to be in the right place when the regular Z-Cars director fell ill, giving him a chance to move into mainstream drama. He went on to work on such series as The Legend of King Arthur, Sense and Sensibility, Dombey & Son and Doctor Finlay.

In 1980 he directed the BBC Television Shakespeare version of Hamlet in which he cast Derek Jacobi as the eponymous Dane, alongside Patrick Stewart and Lalla Ward. In 1993 he directed the ITV production of The Darling Buds of May in which he cast a relative unknown called Catherine Zeta Jones.

He received two BAFTA nominations for Monsignor Quixote and The Legend of King Arthur.

Rodney Bennett was born March 1935, died January 2017.

You can read a full obituary by Toby Hadoke, who interviewed Rodney Bennett for the Big Finish Who's Round series, at

Toby has also compiled a tribute to those from the world of Doctor Who who died in 2016 which can be viewed on YouTube.

Obituary: Rodney Bennett – (Classic Series Director) – [1935-2017]

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Rodney Bennett.

Rodney directed the 4th Doctor stories; The Ark In Space, The Sontaran Experiment & The Masque Of Mandragora. As an in-joke reference, the 4th Doctor mentions the "Bennett oscillator" in Episode One of The Ark In Space.

Rodney's other career highlights include directing credits for; The Darling Buds Of May, Z Cars, Tales Of The Unexpected and Soldier Soldier (to name just a few).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Rodney's family and friends.

Comedian, Actor and Writer, Toby Hadoke has put together a more in-depth obituary on his blog. You can also watch Toby's 'In Memoriam' video for the Doctor Who personalities we lost in 2016.

[Sources: Toby Hadoke; DWO]