Helen Papadopoulos (the Project Manager) has been set the task of chronicling a complete and comprehensive broadcast history by the BBC from its inception in 1922, the results will then be published online for the public to view and theyâ€™re getting the episode information from back issues of the Radio Times.
Many of the BBCâ€™s early broadcasts were wiped from their archives to make space for newer shows. It was only in the 1970â€™s that they decided to keep their original broadcasts for future generations to enjoy (thank goodness, imagine if theyâ€™d deleted Genesis of the Daleks, Earthshock or – even worse - The Twin Dilemma!). This means that classic BBC shows such as Hancockâ€™s Half Hour and Doctor Who are missing episodes from their earlier series – in particular a massive portion of episodes from 1966-1969 covering Patrick Troughton’s tenure as the Second Doctor.
In many cases, Radio Times contains the only information known about the episodes, writing on a BBC blog, Helen commented:
“It contains a record of everything we intended to broadcast – even if what actually went on air wasn’t what we planned to show – and it is in a structure and format that people readily recognise, with basic but consistent details for all programmes, along with regional variations… In less than a year we expect the Radio Times digitisation project to be completed and for the first time there will be, in one place, a comprehensive record of every programme.”
Soon, nearly 400, 000 pages from the popular television magazine will be available online.
Check the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk for more details.