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December 11, 2011 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Missing Doctor Who episodes found at the 2011 Missing Believed Wiped event.

Every year, the British Film Institute airs television believed wiped by the BBC, (more info and some examples in this writeup from the 2008 event.) This year's event had a special treat for many, with the discovery of two missing Doctor Who episodes, which until now only existed in audio form, or in unofficial reconstructions combining the audio with still photographs.

View clips from the restored episodes:
Episode 3x03 - Galaxy Four, Part 3: Airlock, starring William Hartnell
Episode 4x20 - The Underwater Menace, Part 2, starring Patrick Troughton. (Compare that clip with one of the reconstructions of that sequence, starting at 5:50)

Commercial releases of these episodes will occur in 2012.

About 106 episodes of Doctor Who (out of roughly 783, depending how you count,) are still missing, with the most recent previous find being in 2004.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher (22 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Well, found and announced at, I should say.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2011

Yay! Now do Not Only... But Also.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by Kevin Street at 5:43 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

That is amazing!

2 or 3 years back, when I finally got into Doctor Who, I made it a goal to watch every episode, in order. I managed, but I will admit that a lot of it didn't get much attention, as I'd put it on when I was studying, and the reconstructions / audio were hard to pay attention to.

Maybe when those come out I'll actually watch those serials again.

Or maybe I'll just read the Eruditorum entries and learn more about them than I would have done on my own.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:43 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I hope all the missing episodes are eventually animated, like with The Invasion. If not by BBC contractors, then eventually by enthusiastic fans.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:46 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh hey speaking of the Eruditorum, here are some thoughts about the newly-recovered episodes by its authour.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:53 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'd really given up on hearing that they'd found any more footage, never mind more episodes. I'm glad I was wrong.
posted by immlass at 6:01 PM on December 11, 2011

posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:26 PM on December 11, 2011

I just announced this to about two dozen coworkers. The two who responded with gleeful excitement instead of apathy, confusion, or annoyance are my new best friends.
posted by maqsarian at 8:02 PM on December 11, 2011 [6 favorites]

maqsarian, The others won't be so apathetic once you and your companions save them from the monster from space who devours minds.
posted by JHarris at 8:07 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

We've actually been watching first doctor serials I've been able to scavenge from the internet. Susan is great! I can totally see having a crush on her if I had seen these when I was a teenager. It's nice having a Gallifreyan character on-hand who isn't such a know-it-all, as the Doctor sometimes can be.
posted by JHarris at 9:45 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by ZeusHumms at 10:43 PM on December 11, 2011

I was there! We were told at the start there was going to be a surprise but nobody had any idea it would be Doctor Who. The audience reaction when it was announced was amazing, I have never seen so many middle-aged, bearded nerds cry with joy and probably never will again.
posted by essexjan at 11:37 PM on December 11, 2011 [12 favorites]

The only negative aspect to this is that these are only episodes, not entire serials. Given it's been seven years since any new finds, I think it's safe to assume the vast majority of the remaining 106 never will be.

I endorse animating over the gaps wholeheartedly.
posted by dhartung at 2:05 AM on December 12, 2011

Since the history began, scientists have yearned to destroy the Earth, and all that live upon it. No wonder everybody hates scientists.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 4:00 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

In Doctor Who forums, almost every time the topic of missing episodes come up, there's someone who says "It's 2008/9/2011 -- Doctor Who is more popular than it's ever been -- there's on way they haven't found all the episodes that they still can."

Though a part of me always sees their point, I love it when they are proven wrong.

Like others, if I had my choice I'd prefer other episodes as these aren't exactly "Marco Polo"; however, when I told my partner about it yesterday, he said the announcement was like 'the early birthday present he wishes he could give me.' At this point, any missing episodes -- even scenes -- are a gift.

For example, for a long time, it was a common misconception that the Rills, the 'monsters' but... slight spoiler* not villains of "Galaxy Four" were the only monsters for which there were no surviving images of. That turned out to be not true in a couple of ways, but now,
if I remember the story correctly, there's even moving pictures of them. Like I said, a gift.

* Slight spoiler because, while the beautiful militerastic Fembots Drahvins being the baddies when the ugly beastie Rills are helpful was the 'twist' back in 1965, it's pretty obvious to anybody who has ever seen television these days and was spoiled by the BBC in promotional materials 46 year ago, which I think makes it fair game.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:44 AM on December 12, 2011

The way the Doctor asks Zaroff why he wants to blow up the world is now on my list of favourite things ever.
posted by Grangousier at 5:51 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Now there's some good stuff!
posted by tokidoki at 7:16 AM on December 12, 2011

The way the Doctor asks Zaroff why he wants to blow up the world is now on my list of favourite things ever.

Perfect example of why Troughton is my all-time favorite Doctor, (and one that Smith borrows from in the same way Tennant borrowed from Davison)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

I just can't believe that anyone who worked for the programme back in the sixties hasn't rooted through their attics by now for any Doctor Who they might have acquired. 'Durrr!'

On a positive note I read somewhere that the last great hope for a worthy trove of lost episodes is Zimbabwe, but the ban on the BBC there means that communication is difficult.

*crosses fingers*
posted by Monkeymoo at 8:37 AM on December 12, 2011

Coincidence that this happens just after we discover fatser than light neutrinos? I think not.
posted by ciderwoman at 10:13 AM on December 12, 2011

Just heard on BBC 6music that they've also found a recording of David Bowie doing Jean Genie on Top of the Pops from 1973 that had been lost. The cameraman was given a copy and never realised it's significance.
posted by Helga-woo at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

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