There is finally some solid news on the long standing rumor of lost Doctor Who stories being found. At the moment, the BBC has revealed that two Troughton episodes were discovered and will be streamed online (which I believe leaves out the average US fan) but there may be more to come… maybe much more… or maybe nothing at all.
It often sucks to be a Whovian. Imagine waiting months on end for something new and then seeing a reunion of all the living Doctor Who actors in a Coronation Street mash-up. It can really really suck.
But for the time being we are getting two new Troughton episodes… and that is huge!
In what looks set to be the best 50th birthday present fans could imagine, missing episodes of Doctor Who will be made available for sale to the public this week.
BBC Worldwide will put the previously lost episodes from different stories – both believed to be from the Patrick Troughton era – for sale on digital platforms such as iTunes from Wednesday, RadioTimes.com understands.
They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy.
A BBC Worldwide spokesman refused to officially confirm the discovery or the “speculation” around further missing episodes.
It is understood that other episodes have also been found, although it is not yet known whether these will be made available.
The existence of a cache of lost Doctor Who episodes has long been rumoured, although in June the BBC suggested that no tapes existed.
Asked by RadioTimes.com if there were around 90 missing episodes from the 1960s a BBC statement said: “There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered – however we cannot confirm any new finds.”
A spokeswoman added: “We can’t confirm because it’s not true, as far as I’m aware.”
BBC Worldwide has confirmed it will syndicate the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, simultaneously to more than 75 countries across the world on 23 November.
• 106 episodes are currently known to be missing from the BBC archive
• 62 from Patrick Troughton’s era as the second Doctor
The missing stories are varied. Troughton’s era was hit the hardest by the junking which has traditionally left a large gap in the knowledge base of fans, one since filled by novels, audio recordings and telesnaps. Anything recovered from the Troughton era is a boon. Regarded as the most experimental era of the program, it reads as practically the same invasion/base under siege story from week to week with limited variations. However, once you can see how these stories were achieved with the psychedelic imagery, electronic music and haunting monsters.
Ask any classic Who fan and they can tell you that many of the most important stories of Doctor Who are part of this era and include Power of the Daleks, the first story to show the Doctor change into a new persona, Evil of the Daleks which is regarded as one of the best Dalek stories ever made, The Abominable Snowmen which saw the introduction of the Yeti and the Web of Fear which has one complete episode, the first, and not only continues the Yeti story but also introduces the Brigadier (them Colonel) Lethbridge-Stewart. Fury from the Deep featured the first use of the sonic screwdriver (then a simple pen light) and also some totally insane visuals.
So what can we expect on Wednesday? Only time will tell but it will be a big day for Doctor Who fans waiting to see these gems for a very very long time.