Doctor Who News Doctor Who: The Moonbase

Published on December 11th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Missing Episodes Found? (Updated)

Doctor Who: The Moonbase

One of the biggest bugbears of being a Doctor Who fan is the fact that the majority of the Patrick Troughton era is missing, presumed lost.

Thanks to the BBC’s short-sighted “television is a new fangled thing (forty years after its invention) and we don’t need to save anything for posterity” policy in the 1960s and 1970s, many episodes of the black and white era were junked.

The result of this has been both the BFI and the BBC running various campaigns in the last few years to uncover lost episodes. These campaigns have had varied success; save the accidental discovery of Tomb of the Cybermen in the Far East in 1991 there has been little in the way of complete stories being rediscovered.

The junking policy was poorly executed, with the expectation that the tapes destroyed or reused were copies or that copies of them existed. In some cases, this was true; some episodes of Doctor Who have materialised in Australia, Canada and various post-colonial African nations over years.

So what’s the big deal today?

Over at the BFI in London’s Southbank this evening is one of their regular “Missing Presumed Wiped” shows, in which recently uncovered lost material is presented. In attendance are various Doctor Who fans such as DWM editor Tom Spilsbury and contributors Gary Gillat and Jason Arnopp, as is Rob Shearman, writer of 2005′s Dalek. Now they might well be attending to enjoy some missing-believed-lost Peter Cook and Dudley Moore,

Moreover there is noise coming from other places online. The show isn’t set to be presented to the audience for a short while yet, so this could be all noise…

…except that the BBC’s official Doctor Who Twitter feed says:

Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans. Expect us to tweet some very – no REALLY exciting news in just a couple of hours’ time…

We’re already waiting with baited breath!

(Thanks to Gareth)


SFX is reporting that the episodes are Galaxy Four episode three and The Underwater Menace episode two. We’ll have full details in a subsequent news item later this evening.


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

9 Responses to Missing Episodes Found? (Updated)

  1. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    …well, if they happen to unearth ALL the rest of the episodes to “The Dalek Master Plan”, I’ll be of two minds on the subject… :)

    …but there seems to be an emphasis on Troughton so maybe I’m OK!

  2. avatar Gordon Rutter says:

    Underwater Menace Ep 2 and Galaxy Four Ep 3

  3. avatar Gruff says:

    Very excited! Not born until mid-fourth era, but family have always told me Troughton was the best. I have always wanted to see more of his episodes…

  4. avatar Krumstets says:

    The most tantalising news. Please update ASAP.

  5. avatar Castellan Spandrel says:

    Well, now it’s been confirmed that the 2 recovered episodes are from Galaxy 4 and Underwater Menace, the predictable gripe has to be:

    Why couldn’t they have found a decent story, like Web of Fear?

    However, it’s great news, isn’t it? Did anyone ever really think we’d find other missing episodes ever again?

    And it shows that it’s always possible more can turn up when you least expect them.

  6. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    Whew. Anyway, so now they have episodes 2 and 3 of Underwater menace this is the first episode of Galaxy 4 to be found, I believe. I really thought that the well had run dry but if they keep unearthing these things, even after all these years, I guess there’s still a chance that more are out there hiding.

  7. avatar Chris says:


  8. avatar daniel says:

    devil…if you are listening…

    Paradise Towers, Timelash, Warriors of The Deep…

    we will swop any of those for some decent missing eps

  9. avatar Elton Townend Jones says:

    I was there and it was an incredible experience. I knew something was to be unveiled, I just didn’t know what. But believe me, when you see Maaga’s performance in Air Lock and Troughton’s most impish performance in UM2, then you’ll look at these stories in a new light.

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