It's the news that fans around the world have been waiting for - at a private press conference today, BBC Worldwide announced that in one of the biggest Doctor Who missing episode finds of all time, nine missing episodes of Doctor Who starring Patrick Troughton have been recovered from Nigeria.
Second Doctor serials The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear were both recovered by Philip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive from a television relay station in Nigeria. They have been re-mastered for release and will all be available online and on DVD very soon.
Five episodes - Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 - were discovered of six-part 1967 serial The Enemy of the World, starring Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria). Episode 3 had previously been discovered, so the find completes the serial.
Four episodes - Episodes 2, 4, 5 & 6 were also discovered of 1968 serial The Web of Fear, starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Nicholas Courtney in his first ever appearance as Colonel (later Brigadier) Lethbridge-Stewart . Episode 1 previously existed in the archives, but Episode 3 was unfortunately not recovered. However, the Restoration Team have reconstructed using images available from the episode and original audio.
In a move sure to please fans, all of the episodes are available on iTunes right now priced at £1.89 per episode or £9.99 for each serial. Both stories will also be available on DVD soon - The Enemy of the World will be available for pre-order today from BBC Shop for a release on 22nd November, and The Web of Fear will be available in early 2014.
Philip Morris, who found the episodes, stated:
“The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station 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.”
Fiona Eastwood, Director of Consumer Products at BBC Worldwide also said of the find:
“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 re-mastered versions of these treasured episodes to fans as we celebrate the 50th year of Doctor Who.”
There's still 97 missing episodes out there - but such a large find is a vital step in the recovery of Doctor Who's lost past.
[Source: BBC Worldwide]