Nine episodes from the fifth season of Doctor Who
and starring Patrick Troughton
as the Doctor have been recovered from Nigeria, having been feared gone forever, the BBC announced today.
The previously missing, presumed destroyed episodes hail from The Enemy of the World
and The Web of Fear
, with episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of Enemy
completing that particular story and the return of episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 of Web
meaning only episode 3 of the Yeti sequel is still missing. Episode 3 of Enemy
and episode 1 of Web
were also returned, but were already held in the archive.
The recovery now brings the total number of missing episodes down to 97
and is the biggest single find in decades.
They - and the relevant stories' already-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 remastered 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.
It is unknown exactly when the episodes were found, but in a BBC press release statement, Morris said:
The tapes had been gathering dust in a store room at a television relay 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. Doctor Who News
was at the press conference held yesterday in central London to announce the finds, where Deborah Watling
, Frazer Hines
, and Mark Gatiss
were the special guests and screenings of episode 1 of Enemy
and episode 2 of Web
took place to rapturous applause.
Speaking about the recoveries, Hines told Doctor Who News
For me, it's so exciting. We had Underwater Menace part two but the finds were in dribs and drabs. I'm so chuffed that we've got practically two complete stories. And I haven't seen these since they went out!
At the press conference, Dan Phelan
, head of communication for BBC Worldwide, commented on the recent rife speculation, calling it "some 'almost' well-informed, some very wide of the mark."
He also told Doctor Who News
We wanted to get the episodes available as soon as we possibly could, but they needed to be verified and cleaned and restored and it takes time to do that.
A statement from Morris was then read out by Roy Robinson
, archive co-ordinator at TIEA, part of which was as follows:
I would like to thank everybody at BBC Worldwide and BBC Television for their mammoth support during this project. It is my greatest pleasure in the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who, in a joint project between my company TIEA and BBC Worldwide, to unveil two classic adventures.
Sadly, due to other archive commitments overseas, I am unable to be with you today. My work is endless and, as you know, the search must continue.
I would like to dedicate these episodes to everyone who has ever worked on the show and to all Doctor Who fans around the world. I have the Doctor Who fans' best interests at heart. On behalf of myself and everyone at TIEA, thank you for your continued interest, and I hope our paths will soon cross again.
A filmed interview with Morris was also shown, in which he said they had been very lucky because the episodes had been kept in optimum condition. He also praised the restoration, recovery, and archive work done by the BBC.
The screening of the second episode of The Web of Fear
was introduced by Gatiss, who said:
As long as I've been a Doctor Who fan - and that's a very long time - there's been one story that I hoped, prayed, begged would one day turn up from the 106 episodes that are tragically missing from the archives.
Now, thanks to the astonishing endeavour of Philip Morris and TIEA, hunting Indiana Jones-like through dusty archives around the world and risking his neck, I'm over the moon to annnounce that not only is the number of missing episodes down to 97 but also amongst them is The Web of Fear - I'm going to say that again: The Web of Fear! Yeti! On the London Underground! Patrick Troughton! This is perhaps the quintessential Doctor Who story. A fantastic monster, a claustrophobic, iconic setting and, best of all, one of the very greatest Doctors at the height of his powers.
Watling's father, Jack, played Professor Travers in both Yeti stories, and during the question-and-answer panel, she commented on seeing her father again on the screen by simply saying: "That's brilliant!"
She also added how Troughton had been like another father and another uncle to her.
Hines praised "the set boys" on The Web of Fear
, saying they deserved a BAFTA and commenting that it was so realistic he thought the train lines would be live. He also recalled how Watling teased Troughton as he attempted a South American accent for Salamander in The Enemy of the World
, saying that it sounded Welsh, which caused Troughton to slink away somewhat deflated!
Watling said about the episode discoveries:
When I first heard it, I couldn't quite believe it. I just thought it was another hoax and it won't be me.
But when it was finally confirmed:
I thought 'My God! I'll be back on the screen again. I'm thrilled!
This now gives me hope more stories of Pat's will come out of the woodwork.
Stories Hines said he would most like to see returned were The Evil of the Daleks
and The Space Pirates
(because of the model work), while Watling cited Fury From The Deep
, and Gatiss named The Power of the Daleks
and The Daleks' Master Plan
as his choice candidates for recovery.
In the press statement, Fiona Eastwood
, director of consumer products for BBC Worldwide, commented:
We are thrilled with the recent discovery of The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World and we're very happy to be launching remastered versions of these treasured episodes to fans as we celebrate the 50th year of Doctor Who.
DVD, publicity and screen images from the returned stories