Lost Doctor Who Episodes Surface, Two Troughtons On Sale Soon

Lost Doctor Who Episodes Surface, Two Troughtons On Sale Soon

But where were they found? The BBC won't say.

When Doctor Who first broadcast back in the 1960s, the BBC had little idea what it had on its hands and, as it needed archive space, many of the older episodes were wiped clean so the tapes could be reused. This included many of the episodes with the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, but now - thanks to a lucky find - two Troughton episodes are to go on sale this week via iTunes and other digital platforms, and more may come later. No, we don't know when later is, nor do we know how many are out there. We don't even know which Troughtons will go on sale. "We cannot confirm any new finds," says the BBC.

Even the source of the episodes is shrouded in mystery. There's long been rumor of a hoard of old tapes kept out in Africa, as part of an electrical engineer's collection. Back in the day, when several African nations were part of the British Commonwealth, BBC shows would have been sent out to all the local television stations, and apparently the unnamed engineer had a habit of keeping the tapes after broadcast. But the BBC is keeping its mouth shut, for now.

Troughton was a fantastic character actor who, when the show was on the air, refused to give interviews. "I think acting is magic," he said. "If I tell you all about myself it will spoil it." He played the part as a cosmic hobo, wandering time and space, and after the show was done went on to a career in fantasy and horror films, as well as many television appearances. He died in 1987 of a heart attack, while he was attending a science fiction convention as an honored guest. He was 67 years old.

Source: RadioTimes

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Cool, Wonder how much the dude who made the find got for those tapes? They must be priceless in this day and age.

Diablo1099:
Cool, Wonder how much the dude who made the find got for those tapes? They must be priceless in this day and age.

Given that the BBC runs on a government budget, not much.

I can't wait to see them!

I'm not going to add this as an update, since the article's source doesn't seem that eager to be quoted, is getting his information second hand, and isn't directly affiliated with the BBC. However if the Mirror is to be believed, the Troughtons are part of an archive of 106 episodes recovered in Ethiopia.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/106-doctor-who-episodes-uncovered-2343474

I thought that it wasn't that the BBC taped over the old episodes, but that the archive where they were being kept caught fire and many of the very old episodes were destroyed. I'd say that I'd read somewhere the BBC has a standing 50k pound bounty for anyone who comes forward with a lost episode they may have recorded from television prior to the fire, but I'm not so sure where I read that.

Karloff:
I'm not going to add this as an update, since the article's source doesn't seem that eager to be quoted, is getting his information second hand, and isn't directly affiliated with the BBC. However if the Mirror is to be believed, the Troughtons are part of an archive of 106 episodes recovered in Ethiopia.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/106-doctor-who-episodes-uncovered-2343474

Based on my understanding of the BBC's storage of shows back in Troughton's era, and that Doctor Who at that point hadn't reached critical mass, it's somewhat plausible until you get to the words "in Ethiopia."

I hope these lost episodes are the real deal. It saddens me that the BBC didn't take better care of the older classic Doctor Who episodes due to hindsight. I may come off as a wishful thinker, but if all the lost episodes were rediscovered, then a big piece missing from Sci-Fi history can finally be filled.

The episodes of Troughton's Doctor I've seen put him among my favourite Doctors, and I've always wished I could see more.

Binnsyboy:
it's somewhat plausible until you get to the words "in Ethiopia."

Well, it's not completely out of the question. ETV's been going since 1964 - which puts it in the right time frame - was established with the help of British engineers, and is the only TV station allowed to operate in the country thanks to government ban. If I had to pick anywhere that might have an archive of old stuff, I might pick a station like that; government-owned places tend to keep hold of their back catalog, and often in quite reasonable condition. But the Mirror's not my first pick for reliable information, so who knows?

These have been rumored for a long time, but since they won't tell us which ones have been found or how many, I'm skeptical. I've been disappointed too many times with these rumors. The Radio Times is not in any way affiliated with the BBC, and they've propagated these rumors before. I'm holding out hope, but this is a pattern I've seen before.

Karloff:

Binnsyboy:
it's somewhat plausible until you get to the words "in Ethiopia."

Well, it's not completely out of the question. ETV's been going since 1964 - which puts it in the right time frame - was established with the help of British engineers, and is the only TV station allowed to operate in the country thanks to government ban. If I had to pick anywhere that might have an archive of old stuff, I might pick a station like that; government-owned places tend to keep hold of their back catalog, and often in quite reasonable condition. But the Mirror's not my first pick for reliable information, so who knows?

Ah, well that makes more sense. But if they have a connection to these obscure stations, would they not have checked their archives in the recovery effort for things like this?

Binnsyboy:
Ah, well that makes more sense. But if they have a connection to these obscure stations, would they not have checked their archives in the recovery effort for things like this?

Who knows? It's not as if anyone hired Sherlock Holmes to get the job done and put him on permanent retainer in perpetuity. This is more along the lines of 'hey, I know a guy who knew a guy who back in 1968 when he was in Africa ...' In any event, the BBC is denying all knowledge of an Ethiopian stash - another reason why trusting the Mirror as a source is a bad idea - so it could all be a pipe dream. But the BBC seems to have *some* old episodes that it got from God knows where. I guess that's good enough for the moment. ;)

Looks like there's going to be more information on Thursday.

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/oct/07/doctor-who-early-episodes-recovered-bbc

Yeah I heard a while ago that apparently a bunch of episodes had been found and that they could come out around this time.
I guess it would make sense that they wanted to hold off on revealing all of them until it was closer to the anniversary if they indeed have found a lot of them.
But whatever, finding even one episode is great.

Karloff:

Binnsyboy:
Ah, well that makes more sense. But if they have a connection to these obscure stations, would they not have checked their archives in the recovery effort for things like this?

Who knows? It's not as if anyone hired Sherlock Holmes to get the job done and put him on permanent retainer in perpetuity. This is more along the lines of 'hey, I know a guy who knew a guy who back in 1968 when he was in Africa ...' In any event, the BBC is denying all knowledge of an Ethiopian stash - another reason why trusting the Mirror as a source is a bad idea - so it could all be a pipe dream. But the BBC seems to have *some* old episodes that it got from God knows where. I guess that's good enough for the moment. ;)

Indeed, it'll be brilliant if it turns out to be legitimate.

 

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