Loose Cannon Production 13
Mission To The Unknown
(aka Dalek Cutaway)

"There's something very big going on here,
and if the Daleks are involved you can bet
your life our whole galaxy is in danger."

BBC Production Details
Production Code: T/A
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 09th October 1965
Season: 3
Number of Episodes: 1
Writer: Terry Nation
Producer: Verity Lambert
Director: Derek Martinus

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Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: September 2000
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1
Source Material: No telesnaps exist for this story
Audio recorded by David Butler
  No clips exist for this story
Other authentic pictures
  Composite pictures
Pictures from other stories / sources
Specially Created Material
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T120

Bonus Material

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


Celebrity Introduction

Special introduction by by Edward de Souza (Marc Cory). Learn more about Edward's work in our Hall of Fame...


Celebrity Interview

A 70 minute interview with re-united cast!
Learn more about Edward de Souza, Jeremy Young and Barry Jackson in our Hall of Fame.


Special Note:  

The sole episode of this story is not known to survive. If it should resurface and be released at a later date, this reconstruction will be withdrawn.

Support The BBC Video Releases.


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


Loose Cannon Says:

This reconstruction features many previously unseen set photographs; interior and exterior shots of the damaged space ship, the planet surface, the distress rocket, are just a few examples of original authentic photos exclusive to this reconstruction. More specially filmed material has been created to help the flow of the story in some cases utilising Derek's full size Dalek prop. The likenesses of the actors are woven into composite photos to produce a very convincing representation of this rather unique single episode teaser.

The star of the show for that week (actor Edward de Souza) kindly provides the introduction to the tape. Edward de Souza recalls the time he played the marooned space special security agent Marc Cory.

A bonus to this tape is the popular Mission to the Unknown - Reunion. The Loose Canon team was very pleased to arrange this unique event that after 35 years brought together actors Edward de Souza, Jeremy Young and Barry Jackson. This reunion is a self-perpetuating interview in which the actors reminisce about Mission to the Unknown, Dr Who and life in general. Our thanks go out to these actors for sparing so much of their valuable time for the Loose Cannon team.


A Special Space Security Agent is sent to the hostile planet Kembel in an attempt to discover the truth behind the Daleks' presence there.

Following two strange deaths, agent Marc Cory is forced to fight on alone, facing dangerous carnivorous plant life before finally uncovering the sinister plot...


Review by Matthew Kresal

I have just finished watching the Loose Cannon reconstruction of Mission to the Unknown aka The Dalek Cutaway. Considering it was a) a one off story/teaser for the epic The Daleks' Masterplan and more importantly b) it doesn't feature the Doctor or his companions I was rather intrigued to see this before the epic that followed it.

I was rather surprised how good it was. Considering that the whole story revolves around two characters it was amazing to see just how well those two characters (Space Security Agent Marc Cory and crew member Gordon Lowery) were brought to life by actors Edward de Souza and Jeremy Young respectively. The Daleks also get some good use as they not only pursue Coy and Lowry but make plans of their own which lead into Masterplan.

The story has very effective moments. In particular is the use of the Varga plant and its effect on the third member of the ship's crew Jeff Garvey (played briefly by Barry Jackson). While the Varga plant is a definite piece of sixties BBC wizardry and not quite convincing the concept wins out. The story also features a very nice jungle set as well that when combined with both the black and white filming of the era, the Varga plant and the Daleks makes for great atmosphere. Sadly that isnít the case with other aspects.

As with many sixties Doctor Who stories it is the technology that dates the story. The lynchpin of this story (and in fact its real link to Masterplan is a message on an audio tape. One can't help but wonder why (even in 1965) nobody would have realized that the audio tape would be practically extinct forty years after broadcast let alone by the year 4000. But that could just be a modern-day fan looking on the past...

The reconstruction itself is fantastic. Considering how little visual material survives the results are fantastic. The Varga plants (and their effects on Gravey) are brought back to wonderful life by Loose Cannon. The use of composite photographs helps illustrate the show as well and could trick anyone who didn't know they were the real thing. I also enjoyed the lengthy (70 or so minutes) interviews with actors de Souza, Young and Jackson about their time making the story, Doctor Who and their respective careers.

It's another fine reconstruction from Loose Cannon that wets the appetite for the reconstruction of Masterplan.


Review by David McCambridge

Great work on Mission. I watched the whole tape last night and was enthralled. The "reunion" was a fun idea to fill out the two hours. But the best part was, of course, the recon. The illusion that we are watching actual stills from the show was almost perfect. Much better than Galaxy 4. And Galaxy 4 had been a small miracle of production excellence itself.

O.K. So we already know that these photographs are composites or special creations. But if you can just lay this pre-knowledge aside, one could just wallow in the nostalgia of imagining that this is what it must really have looked like. Purists may like to have the telesnaps where possible. But given that this is not possible for all stories, the creativity that your team uses to reconstruct long lost scenes is almost overwhelming.

Amazing work. I know that the fans are not going to be disappointed. Other than I wanted to send some message of praise, words would fail me. Yours in awe!


Review by Paul Trickett

Brilliant. A story I knew very little about beyond trying to sit thro' the old recon and giving up after a couple of minutes. It was rather gripping - very sinister and bleak - it must have been baffling and shocking for audiences back in October 1965. Marc Cory was obviously the convention tough guy secret agent (had Nation been writing The Baron by this time?) - the line "Space Security?" "Yes, Licensed to Kill" is a cringe inducing classic and sometimes Edward de Souza's delivery sounds like Gripp Type Thinn (or however you spell it) from The Goon Show. However, the short story length doesn't allow for subtle characterisation - never Nation's strong point anyway. Indeed, many of his usual themes - crashed expedition on a violent planet with daleks hiding in a city - were all present and correct. It remains a very tight and claustrophobic story, and a very enjoyable one.

The recon itself: I thought the composite work was excellent and the attention to detail very fine indeed. You, Dean and Rick are to be congratulated on a great job of piecing together various photos to make a very professional looking whole. I find it difficult to imagine that the Beeb would have put so much work into reconstructing the story. That it was a labour of love rather shines through. One or two of the composites looked a little clumsy - the black dalek's 'plunger' on the map of the solar system provoked a smile from me - but then again even in full Technicolor the Dalek's plungers make me laugh. The audio was of very high quality - much better than the old version that I sat through for a few minutes. My overall feeling was disappointment that it was over so fast - it was a very enjoyable and obviously very accurately evoked the story. My congratulations to all concerned. It was particularly cheering to watch the recons this weekend. This was because I'm recovering from the 'flu - teaching first years US Government and Second Years International Relations is no fun with the 'flu - so that cheered me up. Congratulations to you all - and you Derek especially for your work on 'Mission'. Well done and keep up the good work!


Review by Frank Dana

Mission to the unknown was slated to be a prequel to the 12 part epic THE DALEKS' MASTERPLAN. It marked the final episode to be produced by Verity Lambert, and the only story not to feature The Doctor or any of his companions. It starred Edward De Souza, Barry Jackson, and Jeremy Young as three astronauts who crash land on the planet Kembel. A planet infested with Daleks. As two of the members attempt to make repairs, the third member wonders off and is stuck by a thorn from a Varga plant. A plant that grows only on the Dalek's home planet Skaro. The poison from this thorn turns the crewman into a homicidal killer. At this time, Marc Cory (De Souza) reveals that he is an agent of the Space Special Security Service on a mission to learn the Daleks' plans for domination of the Galaxy. This recon is probably one of the most inventive that I have seen. It manages to capture the viewer and wrap you up in suspense. I totally forgot that I was watching a recon, and can only imagine that this is what Terry Nation had in mind when he wrote the story. Clear pictures and excellent sound quality lend to the enjoyment. Look for the imaginative manipulations of the photos and clips. LC makes this story come alive. There are those who claim that the "day of the fan produced reconstructions is over". They obviously have not seen the latest work of the Loose Cannon Team. Also of interest is the reunion of the three main actors which follows the recon on this tape. Very informative, with insight into the production of this story 35 years ago. Get this recon,its another 5 star effort from LC.

Review by Bill Moser

An excellent reconstruction. The existing stills from the episode are well blended with Dalek clips from other stories (I'm still not sure how they got the Dalek lights to blink in time to the voices), and the unique material with Marc Cory & company.

I don't know if any of the scenes with the astronauts were genuine originals (the space suits look identical to the Thals' in Planet of the Daleks), but if not, it makes it even more impressive. Well done.

One thing that I particularly enjoyed about this was the variety of clips presented. Luckily the Daleks and the "jungle planet" sets in Doctor Who don't change much from story to story, so there's a wide variety of source material to take clips from that is almost identical to the original footage. I hope to see something similar with the upcoming "Dalek Master Plan" reconstruction!

Again, a good storyline, and an outstanding reconstruction of it.


Review by Julian Shortman

Ever since I saw a few fleeting photos and a brief synopsis for Mission to the Unknown in 'The Making of Doctor Who' as an eight-year old, I've been keen to know what this story might be really like. As a one episode, Doctor-less story it intrigued me to see how it might set the stage for The Dalek's Masterplan, and whether it could work as a stand-alone episode. Before I saw Loose Cannon's recon, the nearest I'd got to this was by reading John Peel's target novelisation as a teenager. Good as it was, it still left my imagination with a lot of blanks.

The first phrase that came to mind after watching Loose Cannon's reconstruction of Mission to the Unknown was 'a labour of love'. Considering there are no telesnaps available for this story, and that the majority of photos had to be composites, I was amazed and impressed with the number of stills (and footage) that I saw. The blending of clips from the Dalek Masterplan episodes was a great idea, and they worked remarkably smoothly. Another unexpected bonus was the newly filmed Varga transformation clip, which definitely added an extra shiver to that sequence. The storyline itself isn't perhaps as gripping as I'd hoped it might be, but it does fulfil its purpose, and the conference of freaky aliens, all intent on smashing our little solar system was great fun. I couldn't help but giggle at the thought of the Dalek's plunger sweeping the model Earth from the table in the sterotyped style of an over-enthusiastic Nazi officer.

Edward D’Souza’s intro was lively and interesting, and it was clear that he too had taken great pleasure from watching this recon. The lengthy reunion ‘interview’ at the end was also fun – the atmosphere captured was as if you’d invited the three actors to come round and have a cup of tea and chat in your own home. Very informal, gentle and pleasant.

Considering the amount of work which must have gone into producing this single episode, the thought of taking on the Daleks Masterplan must be a daunting one – but if this quality could be sustained over re-creating those ten episodes, then Loose Cannon will have a masterpiece to be proud of.


Review by Timothy Kocher

What an incredible piece of work this is! With so little to start from, the LC gang has so thoroughly visualized MTTU that, should it someday be recovered, I will be disappointed because it won't look exactly like this. I can't possibly convey the ingenuity of the visual presentation, you really have to see it for yourself. The audio is nicely remastered so that everything is understandable, and the story is clearly told. What emerges is a pacy, grim, and exciting half hour that really held my attention and left me hungry for more.

Also of note are the wonderful reminiscences of the three principal cast members that played the human crew. They are both hilarious and informative, full of great stories and facts that I was really glad to hear. Make sure you listen for their anecdotes of performing live television, they're incredible. I am very grateful to the LC team for not only reuniting and grilling these veterans, but also devoting so much time to their reminiscences. They are very relaxed, and as the session goes on the good stuff just keeps coming. Thank you so much for letting the camera roll, it was worth it for me!

Highest recommendation possible.


Review by Stuart Palmer

This was the first of your recons that I watched. In all fairness, I wasn't expecting that much from it. I mean, you do this stuff for nothing and distribute it for free, so what could I expect? Some sub-BBC snapshots with a crackly and inaudible soundtrack was my best guest. How far from the mark could I be! When I got to the end I felt like I'd watched the original recording. The story sprung to life and finally gave me an insight into this curious little tale. I think you're keeping the magic of Doctor Who very much alive with these excellent productions and you should all be very proud of yourselves. Mission was the first recon I watched, but it certainly won't be the last.


Review by Ian Snell

I have seen a few of the reconstructions available and I have been impressed and entertained with them.
The episode is excellent and the interview is interesting and very funny in parts.
If you only get one Reconstruction this year, get this one!


Review by Martin Penny

Brilliant! This was the first Recon I had watched and I wasnt expecting it to be too good, since there are hardly any pictures from this story. However I was wrong, This was excellent, the Varga Plant scenes were marvellous and the scenes in the Dalek Conference room with the Dalek Supreme and Malpha were done very well. I only hope that Loose Cannon will produce a Daleks Master Plan recon as well!


Review by Corey Charette

After watching this episode you long to see what will happen in "Masterplan."

I was shocked to learn that LC didn't have any actual video of this story to work with. With the way they integrated other story footage into the still frames you would have thought that some of it would have existed.

What a teaser. A well written story that moves quickly, leaving a heck of a cliffhanger! LC has done it again! I love the little things that LC does. For example, lighting up the lights on the Daleks heads to make it appear that they are talking and putting static on the screen in the spaceship when Cory tries to contact someone.

Great job, can't wait for "Masterplan"


Review by Kenneth Black

Kudos to the LC team for this marvelous production!

This is a recon I wanted to see, if only because it is the only episode to not feature The Doctor. Since it was also never broadcast outside the UK this is a good as it gets. No, this is as GREAT as it gets!

The story moves well and is interesting in it's own right. This recon just literally brings it to life. The reunion interview is also highly enjoyable and I found myself laughing along with Edward de Souza, Jeremy Young and Barry Jackson. There are seven LC recons I have now and I'm not stopping anytime soon!


Review by Steve Herbet

Wow, this was a very good recon, you guys have done another really good job, with very little in the way of photo's no film sequences etc. Your recon did a extremely good job of presenting the action, the photos you adapeted from the Sontaran Experiment, the flickering Varga plants the flashing Dalek lights. Great stuff, I took it round a mates the other week showed him this episode and some of Daleks' Masterplan & he was impressed too. And the interview with the three stars was brilliant too. If only you guys worked on the Dr Who DVDs (as well as the guys who already give us good extra's). Any way keep up the good work.


Review by Jack Rees

I was confused as to what Mission to the Unknown was for a while - I thought that it had the first Doctor, Steven and Vicki in it and was more than a one parter. Eventually I discovered the truth when listening to the CD which was not near as enjoyable as the reconstruction. The one thing I love about it is how innocent it is. This was the 60's, nowdays it isn't 'rocket' or 'saucer' or 'ray gun', its 'space galactic cruiser' 'or battle ship' or 'pulse blaster with neutron disintergraters.' Thats what makes Mission to the Unknown so great, it has a 60's sci fi essence that you don't get with modern day sci fi movies. And Loose Cannon have done an excellent job in restoring this masterpiece. The choice of 'Sontaron Experment' space suits was perfect and the manipulation of other Dalek clips worked very well. You've done the perfect job on restoring this dark 60's sci fi tale in all its glory! 10/10. Terry Nation would have been glad to know that his story has been made to the highest of standards.


Review by John Mehn

I want to congraduate you on a job well done. I had never seen this episode before nor had I had heard the audio. I was able to follow the pace of the program and also add to its tension. It is amazing what can be done with so little. Thank you for your hard work and so much creativity. It is evident that, like me, you are die-hard fans. Glad to see nearly all missing stories have been made into reconstructions now. Looking forward to SEEING more episodes now for the first time.

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