With the original transmission tapes long-sinced erased, by the beginning of the 1980s only black and white prints of the episodes were still held by the BBC, meaning that the story has only been available to broadcasters around the world since then in that format. However, 2013 saw the story prepared for release on DVD with a newly colourised episode one by Stuart Humphryes (aka Babelcolour) and Peter Crocker, and colour-recovered episodes two to six by Richard Russell. Premiered at the British Film Institute in March last year, the story has since been shown a number of select locations, and made available on DVD and streaming services such as Hulu; Retro's broadcast will mark the first time the story can be enjoyed in colour on broadcast television once more.
Stuart Humphryes told us:
The work required to bring this classic serial back to colour was quite mind-boggling, but the fact it has been embraced so warmly by fans and now about to receive a wider audience through TV broadcast is extremely exciting and very satisfying and makes the thousands of hours worthwhile. I hope the viewers enjoy it!More details about the colourisation process for episode one can be read via the Babelcolour website.
Episode One airs on Retro from 8:30pm on the 15th October.