No you weren’t dreaming and it isn’t some strange PR ploy. It’s true! Eleven episodes – from the fifth season of Doctor Who starring Patrick Troughton have been recovered from Nigeria, the BBC revealed today.
The previously missing and presumed destroyed episodes hail from The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. The found episodes were 1,2,4,5,6 from Enemy of The World, which now completes this story in full, and episodes 2,4,5,6 from The Web of Fear – only episode 3 from this adventure remains missing. Also part of the discovery were episode 3 of Enemy and episode 1 of Web, both of which already existed in the BBC archives. This now brings the total number of missing Doctor Who episodes down to 97, with this recent find being the biggest single find in decades.
The discovered and surviving episodes had originally gone to Hong Kong but had been “bicycled” on and were discovered at a TV relay station in the city of Jos by Philip Morris, executive director of Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA), who tracked records of overseas shipments made by the BBC containing tapes for transmission.
All the episodes – including a reconstructed episode 3 of Web – have been re-mastered and are available to buy via download as of now from iTunes by people in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany. The third episode of Web has been reconstructed by the BBC Doctor Who Restoration Team, using a selection of the 37 images that were available from the episode, along with the original audio, which has been restored.
In addition, The Enemy of the World will be available to buy on DVD from Friday 22nd November at the Doctor Who Celebration. It will then go on sale to the general public on Monday 25th November, with The Web of Fear to follow in early 2014. (No word yet on when these releases will be made available for sale in North America, Australia or New Zealand.)
For more in-depth information on the find you fans can read the following news stories on these sites:
BBC News Entertainment
The Doctor Who News Site