Sunday, 11 December 2011

More lost 1960s Doctor Who episodes found? BFI event gives a hint...

The annual Missing Believed Wiped event at the BFI later today - where recently rediscovered episodes of classic tv programmes are shown again for the first time in decades - may include something quite significant, especially if you're a Doctor Who fan.

The latest timetable for the event refers mysteriously to BBC Sci-fi footage (Title TBC} (BBC 1960s).

Of course, it might not be Doctor Who - but previous information on the event also hints at 'one or two very special items'.

What else could justifiably be described in that way? No-one would drop those sort of hints for a rediscovered episode of relatively obscure 60s sci-fi such as Quatermass or A for Andromeda? Would they?

Organisers have given no more information - it's likely they'd want the identity of the episode or episodes to be kept secret, and for it only be revealed as it's shown and not a minute before.

We should hear soon after though: no doubt the audience will all be armed with smartphones and have their Twitter posts at the ready.

There are 108 missing episodes of early Doctor Who, partly due to a once-routine practise of 'junking' old episodes after opportunities for overseas sales had diminished. Episodes do occasionally return - over the years they have been found in the lofts of private collectors or in forgotten cupboards of foreign tv stations.

Episodes from the first two tv Doctors are mostly affected - and as a result many lost episodes by William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton have gone down in fan folklore as 'classics'. While some episodes may deserve that title, or show key parts of the series' history, in reality many have only a curiosity value that doesn't stretch far beyond the completist hard-core fan.

If this BBC 1960s sci-fi footage is indeed revealed to be rediscovered Doctor Who, it will be interesting to see what it is - a lost classic like Power of the Daleks or more from The Web of Fear would be much more welcome than, say, something regarded as a bit more ho-hum, like The Macra Terror or Galaxy Four.

Either way, a DVD release shouldn't be too far behind...

Related stories:
Doctor Who movie: an appeal for calm at this confusing time
So did the Doctor Who Confidential film crew capture the meeting in which it was decided to cancel Doctor Who Confidential
Doctor Who - The God Complex review: Nice touch with the Nimon as it all gets good again
Doctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler review - the only River in the, er, River, is a River?
Doctor Who: Episodes 8 - 11 trailer: 8 fatuous observations
Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War review: 'Epic', ' Blimey', 'quips'
Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane: Andy Pandy outfits in space


  1. Fury From The Deep please.

  2. That would be cool. I hope we are not disappointed later!