Site Menu

October 19th, 2013 53 comments

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



  • whovianmaster

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:55pm

    I just watched enemy of the world that ending..

  • booboo

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:20pm

    no need, just cancel it, plenty of time

  • Nick

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:17pm

    I just want the TWO DISC EDITION DVDs I thought I’d preordered from the BBC Shop yesterday. I now hear there will be NO FEATURES at all and feel swindled!!!

  • Chooky

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:04pm

    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they can just make it a hollow rotocast figure with light up eyes and arms the go up and down. I’d be happy with that.

  • greyzinychimp

    October 11th, 2013 - 6:37pm

    COOL 🙂

  • the astronaut of death

    October 11th, 2013 - 5:47pm

    I doubt we will be getting a yeti figure they said it will cost to much to make them as it is just a big lump of plastic

  • Tardis’nt

    October 11th, 2013 - 3:22pm

    to be honest, I was hoping for more… But I want to get web! and it could mean a slight chance of a yeti figure!

  • Dalek The Supreme

    October 11th, 2013 - 2:00pm

    I should hope not! We finally have a Classic Great Intelligence story almost completed, and with the return of the Great Intelligence in Season 33, I can’t help but think there couldn’t have been a better year to find all but two episodes of The Web of Fear (One already discovered, one still missing).

  • Dalek The Supreme

    October 11th, 2013 - 1:58pm

    A very good second half to it’s 33rd season, two lost stories almost completely recovered, the exit of a great Doctor, and what looks to be an exciting 50th Anniversery Special! I agree! 😀

  • Dalek The Supreme

    October 11th, 2013 - 1:56pm

    I don’t imagine the Doctor would be too terribly interested in where movies get released, but I imagine if he did take up a side he’d want it broadcasted on the TV. I also imagine his ego would be rubbed at the thought of a television show all about his adventures 😆 Come to think of it, if there was a real Doctor, he could just go back in time and recover all the lost episodes! 😀

  • Dalek The Supreme

    October 11th, 2013 - 1:53pm

    Oh, YES!!! I was hoping for The Web of Fear, and though I could say that I’m disappointed that Evil of the Daleks or Power of the Daleks aren’t among those rediscovered, I am more ecstatic about the complete restoration of The Enemy of the World, which looks like an interesting story since Troughton gets to play both the Doctor and the villain! 😀 😀 😀

  • ppete

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:37pm

    o yer it good that they have found some of them but they should not have lost them in the 1st place i wood have loved to watched all the old one with my kids its a shame i do hope that they find them all don`t think it will be in my life time tho

  • booboo

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:35am

    These were distributed by the “Bicycle” method – shipped from one country to another for broadcast so episode 3 could have been lost or damaged at any point along the way

    its like following a trail of clues which we hope is still hot

    we are so lucky they were still in good condition

  • the ergon

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:30am

    I,m surprised there being releasd so early,was expecting a delay for possible animation.Still, i,m thrilled to bits.I can,t understand why episode 3 is missing, surely all the episodes were shipped intact before their broadcast. Lets find those other 97 now.

  • Nick

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:26am

    Just pre-ordered both DVDs from the BBC shop. Both are double disc editions with lovely artwork (though only the spines match earlier releases); £13.99 each with free P&P; not bad at all. EOTW also issued with limited edition slipcover for the same price. No clues as to special features yet. Not bothering with iTunes; sorry, fandom….can’t afford to buy twice really and not really that computer literate either!

  • Johnny

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:14am

    This is not serendipity – the “Enemy of the World” DVD is being released to coincide with the anniversary.

  • Johnny

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:12am

    Just buy the DVDs when they come out!

  • Mick Spastik

    October 11th, 2013 - 9:01am

    Why available “exclusively” on Itunes? Is this what our television history has come to? Just an advertising tool for one of the evil empires of the net? If there was a real Dr Who I know who’s side he’d be on….

  • Some bloke

    October 11th, 2013 - 8:14am

    no it’s missing episode 3. It’s been reconstructed

  • the astronaut of death

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:51am

    this is truly an amazing year for doctor who

  • TheWhomobile

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:50am

    I never possibly dreamt that if they found more episodes we’d get a complete 6 part story and nearly complete a fan-favourite! It’s a miricale!

  • the astronaut of death

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:43am

    ive just got out of bed

    am I dreaming

  • Aspire

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:35am


  • The 14th Doctor

    October 11th, 2013 - 7:23am

    Well, I know what I’ll be getting for Xmas. WOW!

  • Chooky

    October 11th, 2013 - 1:15am

    OMG (Fan-gasm) Well now I have to download iTunes but it’s so worth it. I can’t wait to download and watch them tonight. All praise Phillip Morris. Lol

  • Drjakeyoung

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:33am

    Have you seen the trailers booboo?

  • matparks08

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:08am

    and the dvd for Enemy of the World is only about 6 weeks away, pretty much 50th anniversary time…..think i’m looking forward to these more than the actual 50th episode now.

  • Rikki Krystal

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:05am

    WOW,i’m pleasd they are being released on dvd.
    Patrick is my fav Doctor.
    Oh my giddy aunt,I’m over the moon

  • MasterKasterborous

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:04am

    Downloading them now (thanks to a voucher) and will be getting the DVDs!

  • matparks08

    October 11th, 2013 - 12:01am

    and that’s a very happy birthday to me – excellent, never thought it would happen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions (below), we reserve the right to edit or delete inappropriate messages.

Comment rules

The Doctor Who site welcomes constuctive comments related to the news article in question. Links posted in comments may not be displayed. We reserve the right to delete or edit any post entirely at our discretion. If you leave unacceptable comments your IP address will be banned and reported

Click here to read full comments terms and conditions