Site Menu

December 11th, 2011 67 comments

Two 1960’s lost Episodes Recovered – Video Clips

Two 1960’s lost episodes Recovered

Two previously missing episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been returned to BBC. The recovered episodes are Galaxy Four part 3 & The Underwater Menace part 2.

The news has been officially confirmed by the BBC and both episodes were shown this afternoon at the British Film Institutes’s Missing Believed Wiped event.

From the official BBC Doctor Who Site…

Two classic episodes of Doctor Who – thought to be missing forever – have been returned to the BBC archive.

Episode 3 of the William Hartnell adventure “Galaxy 4” and Episode 2 of Patrick Troughton’s “The Underwater Menace” were purchased by film collector Terry Burnett at a village fete near Southampton in the early 80s. He had been unaware that the canisters contained material missing from the BBC.

Thanks to the kind loan by Mr Burnett, the classic footage has been shown today at the British Film Institute’s annual “Missing Believed Wiped” event at the National Film Theatre in London. Host at the event was Doctor Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss who said: “Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans everywhere. It’s always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it’s been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant. Add to that a proper bit of action from the legendary Chumblies (and the horrifying Rills!) plus the utterly mesmeric Patrick Troughton on great form. Well, what more could we all ask for?”

Over 100 episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s still remain missing. The tapes were routinely wiped once the rights to repeat them had expired. It seems unfathomable to us today, but before the advent of DVDs and iPlayer, grainy black and white material was thought to no longer be of interest to the television audience. However, many film prints sold overseas have since been returned. These latest discoveries are the first complete episodes to have been located since 2004.

None of the four episodes of the 1965 adventure “Galaxy 4” were known to have survived, although a short extract had been retained. “The Underwater Menace” dating from 1967 is now the earliest surviving complete episode featuring Patrick Troughton’s performance as the Second Doctor.

Research has shown that the returned episodes originated from the ABC channel in Australia. In fact, the copy of The Underwater Menace is still missing a few short sections which were removed by the Australian censors upon its original transmission Down Under. Fresh scans of the missing material have been made by the National Archives of Australia and will be incorporated into the restored episodes ahead of a DVD release.

Details of a commercial release will be announced by 2 entertain in 2012.


  • Nigel Wassell

    December 13th, 2011 - 11:04am

    This is great news for all fans of the programme. One could be cynical about the timing of the announcement (just before Christmas, etc.), because according to the Radio Times article it is “some months” since the discovery was made, but wonderful news all the same. The recovery of an episode of Galaxy 4 is particularly ironic since this may well have been the last story to be “junked” by BBC Enterprises, back in the 1970s. The DWAS enquired about renting an episode to be screened at a convention in about 1977, presumably because it was still listed in a then-current calalogue, only to be told that the films had recently been disposed of! Ian Levine takes the credit for stopping the destruction of The Daleks (or The Mutants, depending on your fancy), but the reason so much material does survive in the archives (no matter what anybody says) is down to a change of policy on the retention of old programmes at the BBC, together with the birth of home video in the late 1970s.

    • Nigel Wassell

      December 13th, 2011 - 1:36pm

      And, I should have added, very nice to have another Troughton episode – still THE Doctor for me.

  • The Georgia-Doctor

    December 13th, 2011 - 1:33am

    i can not believe that two more episodes have been found, it just makes me so happy.
    i have just been reading the doctro who magizine issue 439 and it said that 253 episodes of doctor who were broadcast in the 1960’s but 108 no longer exist so i’m happy that people have found some:)

  • Daniel The William Hartnell Buff

    December 12th, 2011 - 11:49pm

    Great to hear two more episodes have been found. The two I would love to have found is Mission to the Unknown and The Tenth Planet Episode 4. Those two are the “Holy Grail” of missing episodes from the Hartnell era

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 13th, 2011 - 7:42pm

      Those are the only two stories with only one episode missing.

  • Tim_M

    December 12th, 2011 - 10:43pm

    Great to see a ‘near’ complete print of part 3 of ‘Galaxy 4’ plus another episode of the hugely underrated ‘The Underwater Menace’. There are NOT 106 missing episodes of Doctor Who in my view. Although there are 106 episodes of Doctor Who without the visuals but with the soundtrack. So NONE of them are completely gone, lets remember that!

  • Jason doctorwhoone

    December 12th, 2011 - 7:17pm

    If I could travel back in time to the 1960’s, I’d tell the people who wiped many of the classic episodes to not wipe them, but put them all into a large warehouse, built to store EVERY Doctor Who story, so that way, we wouldn’t have any missing episodes right now in the 21st Century. Offcourse, they would need proof, so I’d have to show them a DVD of a 1960’s story on a portable DVD Player to show them how we watch the stories now, plus a list of every missing episode yet to be found. An excellent plan, but sadly can’t be done . . . . SMEG !! πŸ™

    • Commander Strax

      December 13th, 2011 - 5:25pm

      future πŸ˜‰

  • Sammywho01

    December 12th, 2011 - 7:03pm

    I cant Belive It !!!!! This Is The Kind Of News That You Wait For ,For A Lifetime!
    All We NEED Now Is The Celestial Toymaker And Daleks Master Plan At Least.
    That…… Would Be Sweet

    • Sammywho01

      December 12th, 2011 - 7:05pm

      Oh And You Know Who I Said Just 2 Episodes,Well I Said Bare Minimum.
      Dont Get Me Wrong …. I Really Want The Others Too.

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 12th, 2011 - 11:15pm

      Are you forgetting, ‘Tenth Planet Part 4’???

  • Doctor Who DVD Collector

    December 12th, 2011 - 6:04pm


  • Anonymous

    December 12th, 2011 - 6:01pm


  • The 14th Doctor

    December 12th, 2011 - 4:53pm

    Hopefully there will be more. I think that there are still some to find but I think some might sadly be completely gone.

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 12th, 2011 - 5:48pm

      Yes you are right, some are completely gone. ‘The Feast Of Steven’ was erased but no copies were made for overseas sales.

    • Anonymous

      December 12th, 2011 - 6:09pm

      Hopefully the waves will bounce off a planet and come back to us one day.

  • blink?!?

    December 12th, 2011 - 4:13pm

    i dont get it…how are some episodes lost???

    • Anonymous

      December 12th, 2011 - 4:22pm

      3 EPISODES LOST Galaxy 4 The Underwater Menace And The Inavsion

    • blink?!?

      December 12th, 2011 - 4:28pm

      yes i know but i dont understand how they are lost?

    • the TARDIS

      December 12th, 2011 - 4:39pm

      Back in the 1960’s, the BBC did not keep records of all their TV programmes – they filmed it, broadcast it and a year later chucked it in the bin or recorded over it.

    • blink?!?

      December 12th, 2011 - 4:41pm

      oh, what a shame πŸ™ thanks anyway

    • matt smithy

      December 12th, 2011 - 5:09pm

      what actually happened:
      one day the producers of doctor who came into a room to find one of the crew BURNING the tapes. she said “they are old, no one will want to see them again”
      they stoped her im emdiatly. so, some are gone forever.
      others were lost in the BBC’s masive collection of tapes and some somehow got out and sold to people.then, the same as “the TARDIS”‘s comment. please don’t delete this so people can learn about what really happened.

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 12th, 2011 - 5:46pm

      There are more than 3 episodes lost. There is now 106 episodes missing:

      Marco Polo: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (Of 7)
      The Reign Of Terror: 4,5 (Of 6)
      The Crusade: 2,4 (Of 4)
      Galaxy 4: 1,2,4 (Of 4)
      Mission To The Unknown: 1 (Of 1)
      The Daleks’ Master Plan: 1,3,4,6,7,8,9,11,12 (Of 12)
      The Massacre Of
      St. Bartholomew’s Eve: 1,2,3,4 (Of 4)
      The Celestial Toymaker: 1,2,3 (Of 4)
      The Savages: 1,2,3,4 (Of 4)
      The Smugglers: 1,2,3,4 (Of 4)
      The Tenth Planet: 4 (Of 4)
      The Power Of The Daleks: 1,2,3,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      The Highlanders: 1,2,3,4 (Of 4)
      The Underwater Menace: 1,4 (Of 4)
      The Moonbase: 1,3 (Of 4)
      The Macra Terror: 1,2,3,4 (Of 4)
      The Faceless Ones: 2,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      The Evil Of The Daleks: 1,3,4,5,6,7 (Of 7)
      The Abominable Snowmen: 1,3,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      The Ice Warriors: 2,3 (Of 6)
      The Enemy Of The World: 1,2,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      The Web Of Fear: 2,3,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      Fury From The Deep: 1,2,3,4,5,6 (Of 6)
      The Wheel In Space: 1,2,4,5 (Of 6)
      The Invasion: 1,4 (Of 8)
      The Space Pirates: 1,2,4,5,6 (Of 6)

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 12th, 2011 - 5:47pm

      Sorry it turned it into a face…

      *The Invasion: 1,4 Of 8

    • Anonymous

      December 12th, 2011 - 6:53pm

      IT was actually a fan who stepped in (just as The Daleks was being taken away to be wiped) he gave an emotional appeal and saved the rest of the archive that remained.

    • TNDNR

      December 12th, 2011 - 10:12pm

      They were deleted so new programs could be recorded on them or they were sent abroad to be shown and eventually burned when they were of no use or space was needed. There was no home video back then so they couldn’t make them commerical. Also copyright reasons back then meant that a show could only be shown once with one single repeat so it was costing them space to keep a Doctor Who tape which they couldn’t show. Plenty of shows were lost and Doctor Who is really lucky in that we have audio recordings for every single missing story and telesnaps (pictures of a TV screen taken from a camera) for most. The fact Doctor Who clips were also often shown on Blue Peter means we have a load of clips as well so the situation could be much much worse.

  • McGann is the Doctor.

    December 12th, 2011 - 10:33am

    I heard the news this morning, mom told me, I said “Which episodes?” answer-“the Underwater something” I knew which one that was. Great news, I wonderd which episodes it would be !

    Lets hope Underwater Menace is released for 2013 ! πŸ˜€ Still, a shame the Tenth Planet part 4 is still lost.

    • the georgia-doctor

      December 13th, 2011 - 11:44pm

      it is a shame….:(

  • Cybermat

    December 12th, 2011 - 9:51am

    Fantastic news! At last old who episodes have been recovered! Also for those of you who don’t know I have written my own fan-ficton doctor who stories and my own Galifrey Tales (C). If you want to know the basic idea of Galifrey Tales then feel free to respond to this comment. I hope I can buy the found Doctor who stories soon, (2013 release?)

  • Hector Sandler

    December 12th, 2011 - 6:16am

    William Hartnell & Patrick Troughton were great Doctors. Now the second one I remember that professor in one of the James Bond movies & he came in 2 of Roger Moores TV series The Saint & The Persuaders.

  • NotADalek

    December 11th, 2011 - 10:00pm

    Wow, this is amazing! Finally, after such a long time, two more episodes have been discovered! This is a great day!

  • 11matt

    December 11th, 2011 - 9:00pm

    great the underwater menace story looks good

    • Anonymous

      December 11th, 2011 - 9:18pm

      Part 3 of it is available now if your interested. You can get it on the Lost in Time set, or it might be online somewhere.

  • Gallifreyan Watcher

    December 11th, 2011 - 7:40pm

    Fantastic news! I never thought we’d see another episode found, let alone two, since it’s been so long…

  • Anonymous

    December 11th, 2011 - 7:12pm

    106 to go (and only 10 totally incomplete stories left).

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 11th, 2011 - 7:27pm

      I take it you mean 10 full serials that have no episodes.

    • Anonymous

      December 11th, 2011 - 7:38pm

      Yes I do.

  • the TARDIS

    December 11th, 2011 - 7:05pm

    Booboo, have you seen the two clips on the website?
    This is great news – and to have now two consecutive episodes of the Underwater Menace!

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 11th, 2011 - 7:31pm

      Thanks for mentioning the clips. It was amazing watching these clips after they had been lost for over 40 years and I look forward to seeing the whole episodes.

  • Rooners

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:55pm

    Great news! I do hope that we get every episode on DVD soon…for those that cant be recovered, they should animate the missing episodes like the did for episodes 1 and 4 of “The Invasion”…mind you they still had the orginal sound recording which made the animation work…not sure what they would do for those episodes where the sound and vision are lost.

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 11th, 2011 - 7:29pm

      Sound tracks exist for every single lost episode. Being released next year is the Reign Of Terror with it’s two missing episodes being animated. It’s a matter of cost. Over the years they might animate them all but it will take a long time.

    • Anonymous

      December 11th, 2011 - 7:39pm

      It would, The Reign of Terror is coming out next year, and they are hoping The Ice Warriors and The Tenth Planet will be out in 2013 but nothing definite yet.

    • Nigel Wassell

      December 13th, 2011 - 1:29pm

      Good news about the Reign of Terror. The existing VHS is very fuzzy! The restored version of The Invasion, with animation by Cosgrove Hall, was very well done IMO, but it is a horribly expensive process for a (relatively) small audience. We should be grateful it is being considered for a couple of other stories.

  • WhoFan

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:50pm

    That is fantastic news! Maybe I could somehow get this on DVD?

  • MasterKasterborous

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:38pm

    I hope they release these in a ‘Lost In Time 2’ box set which could include these two new episodes, The Invasion, The Reign Of Terror, The Ice Warriors an The Tenth Planet alongside the short clips that were discovered following the ‘Lost In Time’ DVD release.

  • Admiral Icktheus

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:37pm

    Good to hear!!! πŸ˜€

  • Tick Tock goes the Clock

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:35pm


  • Adam

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:32pm


  • Jamie (OodSigma)

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:31pm

    Super news!

  • Kovarian Returns

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:23pm

    Amazing!! πŸ™‚

  • someone

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:22pm

    Hopefully this may spark new interest.

    • MasterKasterborous

      December 11th, 2011 - 6:34pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. There has been barely anything in the news about lost episodes for ages and hopefully this is going to be all over the papers. It will really show that you don’t have to be a TV company to have old episodes and hopefully in the next few years more will turn up.

  • IanWooley

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:09pm

    Absolutely brilliant news! My Christmas has come early.

  • Jason doctorwhoone

    December 11th, 2011 - 6:05pm

    2 down, 106 episodes to yet be found πŸ™‚

  • MasterKasterborous

    December 11th, 2011 - 5:57pm

    This is the best news in 7 years!!! I cannot believe that TWO episodes have turned up! I have been an avid follower of the topic for ages and as I only started watching Doctor Who in 2005 I have never been a fan of Doctor Who when an episode turned up. (Plus only 4 have been found in my lifetime) Thanks for posting this on Facebook otherwise I won’t have known! Plus this reduces the amount of stories without footage.


Leave a Reply to Doctor Who: Missing in Action Cancel 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