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October 19th, 2013 53 comments

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Long Lost Doctor Who Episodes Recovered

Lost Doctor Who Episodes Recovered

11 episodes from the 1960s, nine of which have not been seen for over 45 years, will launch exclusively on iTunes today (Friday 11 October).

BBC Worldwide is delighted to announce that nine recordings from the 1960s featuring missing episodes of Doctor Who, the world’s longest running sci-fi drama, have been recovered in Nigeria, Africa.

11 Doctor Who episodes were discovered (nine of which were missing) by Phillip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, by the tracking records of overseas shipments made by the BBC containing tapes for transmission. BBC Worldwide has re-mastered these episodes to restore them to the fantastic quality that audiences expect from Doctor Who.

The stories recovered are The Enemy of the World (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968), both starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor.

Patrick Troughton the second Doctor

The Enemy of the World, is the fourth six-part tale of Series 5 which first aired on the BBC in December 1967. Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 had been missing from the BBC archives.

Alongside Patrick Troughton who plays both the Time Lord and his antagonist (Ramon Salamander) are his companions Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria).

Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria)

Also recovered is the 1968 six-part story, The Web of Fear. Episodes 2 – 6 were feared lost forever but now episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 have been recovered. Unfortunately, episode three is still missing but a restoration team has reconstructed this part of the story using a selection of the 37 images that were available from the episode along with the original audio which has been restored.

The Web of Fear

Also starring Patrick Troughton alongside Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling, The Web of Fear introduces Nicholas Courtney for the first time as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (who later returns as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart).

Nicholas Courtney as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart pictured in the middle

All episodes will be available to download exclusively from iTunes on 11 October. The Enemy of the World will also be available to pre-order exclusively on DVD from BBC Shop from 11 October for release on 22 November. The Web of Fear will be available on DVD from early 2014.

Phillip Morris says

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, BBC Worldwide comments:

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.

On the 23rd November 2013, Doctor Who celebrates 50 years since the very first episode, An Unearthly Child, aired on BBC television. A number of episodes from the first series of Doctor Who were lost as a result of BBC Archive space-saving measures and there are still 27 Doctor Who stories that are missing or have incomplete episodes.


Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria) and Mark Gatiss answering questions at the press conference yesterday where Episode One of The Enemy of the World and Episode Two of The Web of Fear were shown. In front of Mark Gatiss is one of the recovered episodes from Africa.

The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear are available to download from itunes now

The DVD SHOULD be available to pre order exclusively from within the hour (if all goes to plan) Released date 25th November 2013




  • The Cyber Squirrel

    January 3rd, 2014 - 12:03pm

    It has been found. My friend has several contacts inside the bbc. It will be released within the next month

  • MasterKasterborous

    October 21st, 2013 - 4:04pm

    Plus, so much Hartnel exists when there are so many larger gaps for Troughton. Glad the balance can be readdressed some what for the first time in over 20 years.

  • Johnny

    October 18th, 2013 - 10:49am

    Sadly a typical response from “Doctor Who” fans –

    “Nine epsiodes have been recovered – great! But I’m disappointed that xx story is still missing as I would have preferred that over what was recovered”.

    Remember that we are all *very* lucky that these epsiodes have been recovered.

  • doctor who 10

    October 18th, 2013 - 10:18am

    Can’t Wait

  • Anonymous

    October 16th, 2013 - 12:57pm

    Not in anyone’s life time, there’s one episode we know of that is completely accounted for and so is gone forever (that’s The Feast of Steven if you are interested, the seventh episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan).

    The other 96 though still have copies unaccounted for and may yet rear their heads at some point in the future.

  • Anonymous

    October 16th, 2013 - 12:52pm

    We will need to wait and see, many people denied this recovery when in actual fact it has been found. There is a reason why they cannot give the full details of this recovery yet, which would in theory point to something else having been found. However this could be absolutely anything and may have nothing to do with Doctor Who other than alerting them to the existence of these nine episodes.

    The best thing to do is sit and wait and if something else has been found we will hear about it when they are ready (and then we will then get the full story of the recovery that has just happened), speculating or demanding to know information before it is ready could completely ruin negotiations and ensure we never see any other hypothetical recovered episode (even though the chance of it being more Doctor Who is slim).

  • booboo

    October 15th, 2013 - 8:05pm

    wow forum members seem to be coming under a lot fire of late

  • lepter

    October 15th, 2013 - 7:48pm

    Paul vanesis on the missing episodes forumn has put paid to the marco polo rumour. Its not found…full stop.


    People should leave us to get on with what we need to do to secure material and restore it. I’m happy to discuss anything ongoing when it doesn’t affect what is at the core of what we do.

    One final thing. Anyone who believes that the constant chatter, rumour-mongering and outing of so called facts (such as the clearly false claim that people had seen clips and entire episodes) is wrong if they think it makes no difference. The powers that be read these forums and it causes all sorts of problems for us and for them. The constant reporting of this source and that source, with assertions as to the credibility of them may seem like ‘keeping hope alive’ in the absence of real facts, but it just spreads rumour with a veneer of truth. That veneer is easily wiped away with actual facts, facts we couldn’t provide. It’s also non stop; some are saying that the Restoration Team are beavering away behind the scenes restoring ‘Marco Polo’. That’s not true. Nobody is restoring that story because it hasn’t been recovered. The same goes for ‘The Web of Fear’ episode three. Sorry, but it has not been found,at all. It is not damaged beyond repair, it just hasn’t been found.

    This recovery has always been about these 9 episodes and no others. I only believe the evidence of my own eyes and these are all I’ve seen. I’m happy to have seen them.



  • james hope

    October 15th, 2013 - 3:21pm

    Much as i’m delighted that Enemy of the World and Web of Fear have been found and are going to be released on dvd I personally would like to have seen some missing Hartnell episodes being found

  • Johnny

    October 14th, 2013 - 2:27pm

    It has now been confirmed by BBC Worldwide that the DVD releases are single discs and are not 2-disc editions.

  • booboo

    October 14th, 2013 - 10:21am

    everything they have has been released unless they find more missing ones

  • phillip smith

    October 14th, 2013 - 10:16am

    when will the early william hartnell episodes be released may i ask?

  • Ollie

    October 13th, 2013 - 6:47pm

    The Yeti attack in Covent Garden is a million times better than I imagined, and it surpasses ‘The Invasion’ sequence for pure horror when each soldier is killed. Absolutely loved it and so glad we’re able to see it in full.

  • 100000BC

    October 13th, 2013 - 1:18pm

    Just found the answers to most of those.

  • MasterKasterborous

    October 13th, 2013 - 9:10am

    I’m happy with what we’ve got at the moment and won’t be getting my hopes up. Any more will be a further miracle!

  • Nick

    October 13th, 2013 - 7:33am

    I’m thinking Anon is referring to Marco Polo, which was bracketed in all the same rumours with the two stories made available. I’m also betting that one is next. And many more to follow. At least I hope so. Too many of those rumours were just TOO accurate.

  • MasterKasterborous

    October 13th, 2013 - 12:25am

    What next ones?

  • Anonymous

    October 12th, 2013 - 9:58pm

    So when will they reveal the next 7 then coz no has said anything about it so when?

  • The one Callan

    October 12th, 2013 - 3:24pm

    “The Web Of Fear”? Amazing! I finally get to see the Yeti in London.

  • 100000BC

    October 12th, 2013 - 12:39pm

    *Are the Single episodes bought separately

  • 100000BC

    October 12th, 2013 - 12:38pm

    On iTunes how much are they and are they bought separately? Also can you take it from iTunes onto a memory stick or hard drive?

  • Tim M

    October 12th, 2013 - 10:35am

    It’s just amazing that 2 previously lost classics of Doctor Who have been found gathering dust waiting and wanting to be found! It’s staggering to think after so long that 10 complete episodes from the Patrick Troughton era have been recovered in the last two years! 5 parts of ‘The Enemy of the World’, 4 parts of ‘The Web of Fear’ and 1 part of ‘The Underwater Menace’!

  • Dalek The Supreme

    October 11th, 2013 - 11:38pm

    I think we should get a Yeti, they’re icons of the Great Intelligence, and since there’s no sign of a 3.75 inch Whisperman, a 5 inch Yeti would be just as good.

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