Nigeria Discovery: Nine Lost Doctor Who Episodes

Nigeria Discovery: Nine Lost Doctor Who Episodes

All of them from the Troughton era.

Earlier this week rumor had it that the BBC had uncovered a lost trove of Doctor Who episodes, and now the BBC has confirmed that eleven episodes have been found in Nigeria, including nine thought to have been lost forever. The episodes include almost all of The Web of Fear - only episode three is still missing - as well as the first ever appearance of Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT, a fan favourite character who would go on to appear in the series again and again over the next 40 years.

The discovery was made by the Indiana Jones of the film world, Philip Morris, executive director at Television International Enterprise Archive. In the spirit of his namesake, he found the treasure hidden away in a long-forgotten hiding place at a small TV facility in Jos, Nigeria. The episodes were "sitting on a shelf with a piece of masking tape that said 'Doctor Who'," said Jones, who also discovered the remaining lost episodes from 1967's six-parter The Enemy of the World in the Jos stash. BBC Worldwide has made the episodes available on iTunes, and the shows are also available for pre-order on DVD.

"It is extraordinary after all these years," said Deborah Watling, the actress who portrayed one of Troughton's two companions. She got to see the episodes at a BBC screening in London, as part of the press event. After a few moments, she began remembering all her old lines, and those of her fellow actors. "My God, I'm back on the screen again all these years later and I can see some of the work I did as a young 19-year-old."

This is the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who, and to celebrate, next month will see an extended 75 minute episode, starring Matt Smith and David Tennant.

Source: Guardian

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I still don't get it, how is it even possible for the BBC to lose something that they made? Something smells fishy here, sounds like a Royal Mail cover-up.

mad825:
I still don't get it, how is it even possible for the BBC to lose something that they made? Something smells fishy here, sounds like a Royal Mail cover-up.

Keep in mind that back in those times all of the episodes had to be kept on physical copies. When color TV came out, many TV companies thought that old black-and-white shows would become worthless so they destroyed the physical copies to save space and make room for the new color tapes. The only remaining copies are copies that were bought by private collectors and then forgotten about or hidden.

mad825:
I still don't get it, how is it even possible for the BBC to lose something that they made? Something smells fishy here, sounds like a Royal Mail cover-up.

image
Oh how I've missed you Brigadier. Damn I never realized he was on the show longer then any of the actual doctors =/

obedai:
Keep in mind that back in those times all of the episodes had to be kept on physical copies. When color TV came out, many TV companies thought that old black-and-white shows would become worthless so they destroyed the physical copies to save space and make room for the new color tapes. The only remaining copies are copies that were bought by private collectors and then forgotten about or hidden.

The main issue was that they re-used tapes. At the time they were very expensive, and the Beeb's always been keen on economising, so once the tapes had been used they blanked them and recorded new material on them.

DVS BSTrD:
Oh how I've missed you Brigadier. Damn was on the show longer then any of the actual doctors =/

You might want to check out the Scarifyers, if you haven't already. It's a faux radio show, and stars Nicholas Courtney as Lionheart. It's pretty much the last thing he did before he died. You can find the episodes here:

http://www.bafflegab.co.uk/scarifyers.asp

mad825:
I still don't get it, how is it even possible for the BBC to lose something that they made? Something smells fishy here, sounds like a Royal Mail cover-up.

It was a combination of things.

First up, in the pre-internet dark age of the 60's no one at the BBC knew for sure how popular Doctor Who was.

Second, the home video market was in its infancy and no one anticipated how far it would go. On a side note, nobody at the time had quite grasped the concept of "reruns".

And third, there was only so much shelf space the BBC could afford. And the tapes were long gone by the time digital storage came into common use.

British companies are being warned against a get-rich-quick scam involving thousands of letters sent from firms based in Nigeria.

The letters ask UK firms to assist in the transfer of funds from Nigeria to Britain - by sending signed headed paper, invoices and bank account details - in return for a cut of the sum transferred. Instead of transferring sums, the UK firm's money is removed by the fraudsters. Scotland Yard says that some companies have lost thousands of pounds in this way. About 25,000 letters are circulating in the UK. But the scale of the losses - which could run to many millions according to the Confederation of British Industry - is masked because some victims are ashamed to admit that they took part in such schemes in the first place.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/fraud/advancefee/nigeria.asp#yFtkY7ESoQLAOFic.99

Wonder how much the BBC "paid" for these "lost episodes". :P

Hell of a gift to receive for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. It's great that one lost storyline is complete (The Enemy of the World) and one is nearly complete (The Web of Fear). Let us hope that many more of these lost episodes will be discovered in the near future.

MinionJoe:

British companies are being warned against a get-rich-quick scam involving thousands of letters sent from firms based in Nigeria.

The letters ask UK firms to assist in the transfer of funds from Nigeria to Britain - by sending signed headed paper, invoices and bank account details - in return for a cut of the sum transferred. Instead of transferring sums, the UK firm's money is removed by the fraudsters. Scotland Yard says that some companies have lost thousands of pounds in this way. About 25,000 letters are circulating in the UK. But the scale of the losses - which could run to many millions according to the Confederation of British Industry - is masked because some victims are ashamed to admit that they took part in such schemes in the first place.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/fraud/advancefee/nigeria.asp#yFtkY7ESoQLAOFic.99

Wonder how much the BBC "paid" for these "lost episodes". :P

I think the running bounty is still a Dalek.

Wikipedia:
On 20 April 2006 it was announced on Blue Peter that a life-sized Dalek would be given to anyone who found and returned one of the missing episodes.[14]

Now I'm just wondering if employing a Dalek would make those Nigerian Prince scams more effective...

mad825:
I still don't get it, how is it even possible for the BBC to lose something that they made? Something smells fishy here, sounds like a Royal Mail cover-up.

Haha, A RM cover up.

But no it's quite easy to have lost alot of the shit from pre 70's-80's... Especially if the reception to the stuff was lukewarm at best...and it was. And Dr Who only really became kind of an iconic British thing much much later... hell I'd argue until it started making appearances in comic relief specials and the constant revivals it kept getting.

Given how bloody ancient it is, I'm really not surprised the earlier series episodes were misplaced or nicked.

Antitonic:
[quote="MinionJoe" post="7.830777.20265599"]

Now I'm just wondering if employing a Dalek would make those Nigerian Prince scams more effective...

Hello, I'm timelord I need to get my money away from the cybermen. All you have to do is send me your bank account details......

According to the wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_missing_episodes

there are still 97 missing episodes. We are below 100!

I don't really understand why, since audio exists for all the missing episodes, the BBC doesn't commission someone to restore the missing bits with animation. It seems like they would make a fortune from DVD sales if they could offer complete seasons.

This makes me very happy... Patrick Troughton is my favourite incarnation of the titular Time Lord.

omg almost all of The Web of Fear and the first appearance of the Brigadier?

I'm so excited.

Hello! I have found several lsot Docotor Who Episodes, However these Episodes are unforunately locked in a very sturdy safe, and it's combination has been lost. If you forward $1000 to enable us to open the safe, we will be happy to return these episode.

Sorry-- first thing that came to mind

 

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