With anticipation growing for Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary, the Radio Times is launching a campaign to find more lost classic episodes staring William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton as the first two Doctors respectively.
The aim of the campaign is to discover any remaining film copies of the original videotapes that were made for foreign sales. Some of these copies were retained by the BBC while some have been recovered from other archives, TV stations and private collections throughout Britain and the world.
Episodes have emerged from as far away climes as Nigeria, Singapore and New Zealand. A few have even turned up in the basement of a Mormon Church in South London; so there is still a chance that more could be discovered in the most unlikely of places.
In fact it’s been nearly a year since the discovery of two long lost episodes from the 1960’s by the RT’s own historian Ralph Montagu:
Two years ago many believed that the chances of finding any more missing episodes had dwindled to almost nothing. Surely, we thought, after so much publicity, anyone with a missing episode would have come forward. But the discovery I made last year taught us that missing gems from television’s past can be found in the collections or even the attics of people who don’t understand the significance of what they’ve got.
So the word is clear; there’s no need to rule out ever finding these episodes:
“Keep looking, keep asking, and get in touch with us if you think you have something of interest.”
If you have any useful information, please contact RT at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will forward it to their contacts at the BBC.