Bookmark and Share New high quality audio recordings of missing episodes discovered

1/02/2019 03:15:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Kaleidoscope, a non-profit organisation that specialises in locating missing television programmes, have announced that a new selection of audio recordings of missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered, many of which are an improvement of recordings that have previously been available.

Chris Perry on Facebook reported:
Randolph Tapes: Missing Episode recordings (Credit: Kaleidoscope)In late 2018, Kaleidoscope was delighted to be contacted by one of our volunteers who normally helps with photographic restoration. Robert Wyn is normally better known to us as the man who works with glass photo negatives for us; but this time he had been given some audio reels of Doctor Who stories.

Kaleidoscope transfers hundreds of hours of radio and TV soundtracks every year that are quietly returned to us without any fuss. We know many audio experts including Keith Wickham, Ted Kendall, Alys Hayes and Mark Ayres. Where possible, we try to give them full access to all our archive so they can create the best CD and DVD projects possible for commercial release.

Mark Ayres and I have worked together before; we share the same aims; and we trust each other's work. Mark asked if he could work on the reels first. We agreed, with Robert’s permission.

Kaleidoscope is a team of volunteers from many backgrounds, all guided by a love of preservation, heritage and history. Mark and I sit in the same camp, working together to safeguard our heritage for the future. As with all Kaleidoscope projects, we returned the material to Mark Ayres and the BBC free of charge so all may enjoy in the future.

Mark Ayres provided a technical report on the find to Kaleidoscope:
These tapes are the real deal. Original off-air recordings.

The first half of the first episode recorded (The Nightmare Begins) was not captured, so it starts with the second half. That aside, uniquely these recordings include opening and closing music with all cliffhangers and reprises intact. No surrounding presentation was captured, but some episodes have back-announcements on the closing titles.

I have two main machines I use for this kind of thing. One is a heavily modified Ferrograph that I use for troublesome tapes. But I got a very marginally better result from the Sony TC377, which tends to be better for good condition tapes originally recorded on decent machines (as these obviously were). The TC377 dates from 1971 and was a very common high quality, reliable domestic deck. It’s recently been thoroughly serviced … and it’s the same machine we used to transfer the Graham Strong tapes.

A couple of Graham [Strong]’s Master Plan episodes are trumped by these, but we now have some cliffhangers and reprises that we’ve been missing due to all of them being intact on this new collection. For instance, Graham’s tape ran out a couple of minutes before the end of The Highlanders ep 1, and the best (not very good) patch we had was far inferior. We now have that. And Graham recorded over The Celestial Toymaker so we only had roomy microphone recordings - this trumps those. (These are probably mic recordings, but using a rather good, close mic).

It’s all a jigsaw, and we now have some much better quality pieces. And as I say, where other collections can vary from very good to very poor within the batch, these are pretty consistent.

It’s amazing these have never come to light before.

The Randolph Tapes

Original off-air audio recordings of 1960s Doctor Who, being three 5 3/4-inch reels of 1/4” tape recorded 4-track mono at 1 7/8 ips (except “The Savages” episode 3 which was recorded at 3 3/4 ips).

The boxes all have the name “Randolph” written on the front. They are also numbered (1) - (3) and finish with episode 1 of “The Moonbase”, suggesting there were originally more. There are also a couple of part-episodes of “The Sky at Night”.

Unless otherwise stated, episodes include cliffhangers, reprises, and themes. Most appear to be line recordings (or, at least, very close-mic’d). First half of the first episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan is missing. There are two big faults during the recording of episode 3 of The Ark.

The quality is generally very good (within the limitations of the recording medium - frequency response is limited to 6-8kHz at best). Quality is the most consistent of any collection of these episodes we have found; many of the episodes here are now probably our best source for future remastering. They are particularly useful given that all cliffhangers and reprises are intact. It is a shame that reels (4) onwards have not been retrieved.”

TAPE CONTENTS

TAPE 1 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 1 - The Nightmare Begins [second half only]
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 2 - Day of Armageddon
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 3 - Devil's Planet
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 4 - The Traitors
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 5 - Counterplot
The Sky at Night - 111 - THE MOONS OF JUPITER, tx 14.1.66 (complete)

TAPE 1 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 6 - Coronas of the Sun
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 7 - The Feast of Steven [microphone recording]
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 8 - Volcano
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 9 - Golden Death
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 10 - Escape Switch

TAPE 1 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 11 - The Abandoned Planet
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 12 - Destruction of Time [with closing continuity announcement]
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 1 - War of God
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 2 - The Sea Beggar
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 3 - Priest of Death

TAPE 1 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 4 - Bell of Doom [with “next week” continuity announcement at end]
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 1 - The Steel Sky
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 2 - The Plague
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 3 - The Return [contains two large faulty-connection dropouts]
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 4 - The Bomb

TAPE 2 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 1 - The Celestial Toyroom
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 2 - The Hall of Dolls
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 3 - The Dancing Floor
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 4 - The Final Test [with apologies to Frank Richards Estate at end]
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 1 - A Holiday for the Doctor

TAPE 2 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 2 - Don't Shoot the Pianist
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 3 - Johnny Ringo [no end titles]
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 4 - The OK Corral
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 2

TAPE 2 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 3 (recorded at 3.75 ips)
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 4
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 1 [end continuity announcement: later time next week]
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 2
The Sky at Night - 114 - MAN ON THE MOON, tx 11.3.66 [final 3m36s]

TAPE 2 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 3
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 3
“Out of Time” (Chris Farlowe) (part) (recorded at 3.75 ips)
“Get Away” (Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames) (recorded at 3.75 ips)

TAPE 3 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 4

TAPE 3 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 1 [voice-over credit for Terry Nation at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 2 [voice-over credit for Terry Nation and Tristram Cary at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 3 [voice-over credit for Tristram Cary at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 5

TAPE 3 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 6
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 4
Unknown US comedy clip (recorded at 3.75 ips)

TAPE 3 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Moonbase Ep 1

Mark Ayres
31st December 2018

Details from Kaleidoscope can be found via their website, Facebook and Twitter.