Doctor Who: full details of the missing episodes
Patrick Troughton stories The Enemy Of The World and The Web Of Fear will be available on iTunes from Friday the 11th of October…
That sound you just heard? It’s the massive whoosh of breath we’ve been holding in since the Doctor Who missing episodes embargo landed on our desk. Finally, we’re able to confirm that nine recordings that haven’t been seen since the sixties have indeed been recovered from Jos, Nigeria. The stories in question are from 1967’s The Enemy of the World, and 1968’s The Web of Fear, both starring Second Doctor Patrick Troughton alongside companions Victoria and Jamie (Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines).
Eleven episodes in total have been recovered, re-mastered, and are to be made available to buy on iTunes this Friday the 11th of October. Then comes a DVD release on the 22nd of November for The Enemy of the World (a six-part series five story) and one in early 2014 for The Web of Fear (a six-part series 5 story). For anyone who hasn’t been tracking this somewhat leaky story on Twitter, we’ll just let that sink in for a moment.
Eleven episodes of classic Who.
Nine of which haven’t been seen since 1968.
(For context, that’s back when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, when David Tennant wasn’t even a twinkle in his father’s eye, and when England was yet to encounter the might of the Curly Wurly.)
As rumours suggested, the stories were discovered by Phillip Morris, who, in an interview filmed for today’s (ahem) top secret BBC Worldwide press conference, batted away the nickname bashfully while confessing that he’s known as the Indiana Jones of television archiving. As the director of Television International Enterprises Archive, Morris stumbled upon the missing stories at at a television relay station in Nigeria, “I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words Doctor Who. When I read the story code I realised I’d found something pretty special.”
The now complete The Enemy of the World, five episodes of which (one, two, four, five and six) had been missing since broadcast, sees Patrick Troughton play a duel role as both the Second Doctor and antagonist Ramon Salamander. The Web of Fear is now five sixths intact, thanks to the recovery of episodes two, four, five, and six. Episode three of The Web of Fear is still missing, but has been reconstructed using thirty-seven images from the episode with the original restored audio.
Whether it’s the news you were expecting or not, whether those eleven episodes were on your personal wish-list or not, and whether it managed to stay a surprise for you or not, nobody can argue that this is a real result for Doctor Who fans, in a very, very special year for the programme.
We saw two of the previously missing episodes at the BBC Worldwide press conference. Read more about the experience, here, and come back tomorrow for more from the Q&As.
Download the episodes on iTunes, here.
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