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Published on June 20th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

TIEA Issues Statement on Lost Episode Rumours

Will this statement put the rumours concerning rediscovered missing episodes of Doctor Who to bed? Television International Enterprises Archives Ltd is the company run by Philip Morris, TV archivist and film hunter.

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It is also the organization said to be involved in the discovery the supposed 90 missing episodes. In a statement, TIEA makes things pretty clear:


T.I.E.A DOES NOT HOLD ANY MISSING EPISODES OF THE LONG RUNNING DR WHO SERIES. THE ORIGINAL VIDEO TAPES WERE WIPED SUBSEQUENT FILM COPIES WERE EITHER RETURNED TO THE BBC AND SENT TO LANDFILL ODD FRAGMENTS HAVE SURFACED TWO EPISODES ON 16MM FILM BUT THATS IT. THE PROGRAMMES IN QUESTION LIKE MANY OTHERS WERE DESTROYED AS THEY HAD NO FURTHER COMMERCIAL VALUE .THEY ARE NOT MISSING BUT DESTROYED THE END.I am sorry if this upsets some people but these are the facts.I have also become aware of the tracking of some of our clients shipments these are local cultural materials sent to us for migration to a modern format as the playback equipment in the country of origin no longer exists and as such is the best road to preserve international cultural heritage .I will be making no more statements on this subject.

Philip MORRIS Executive director T.i.e.a

The end of the dream? Perhaps – but we don’t want uncertainty during Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary year do we?

(via Television International Enterprises Archives Ltd Facebook Page | Thanks to Elton)


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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+.

24 Responses to TIEA Issues Statement on Lost Episode Rumours

  1. avatar Francis Cave says:

    Sad to say but this is what I was expecting to read.

    The rumour caught on like wildfire and somehow one site reporting on what another was saying was taken to be further evidence when of course it was nothing of the sort.

    I feel sorry for Ian Levine who was clearly on a high judging from his twitter posts yesterday and of course today he’s hit rock bottom again…..

    • BC was always on a hiding to nothing.

      I don’t want to come over proprietorial, but not one respected Doctor Who site has reported on this rumour despite it doing the rounds for several months. When I heard about it before Christmas it had already been around a while.

      If a DW site had gone with this already the owners and the writers would have been rightly savaged by disgruntled fans. It’s a very tricky situation, one that requires a delicate touch that I think some of the BC posts missed (particularly the one we mentioned in the podKast).

      But look at it this way – the blushes have been saved for the DW sites. And I can put my “X missing episodes found!” post back into draft mode (yes, I pre-write occasionally).

  2. avatar Al says:

    What fragments and “two odd episodes” are being referred to here?

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      Presumably they are referring to the Galaxy 4 & Underwater Menace Eps recovered a couple of years ago which from memory are the first ones to have surfaced in seven or eight years.

      That may also be the “fragments” they are referring to as well i.e. ODD FRAGMENTS HAVE SURFACED, TWO EPISODES ON 16MM FILM, BUT THATS IT.

      A bit of punctuation would probably have made it clearer but it looks like its been written in a rush. Probably sick to death of getting e-mails etc asking if they’ve found Dr Who and wanting everyone just to sod off and leave them alone….

  3. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Let’s call it a hoax. A shame we don’t have some type of reverse gossip columnist, like an anti-Johnson that could investigate the source all the way back to the first jerk.

  4. avatar Neu 75 says:

    Yeah, I don’t trust Johnson. A source of many comic-based exclusives for sure but this is Doctor Who we’re talking about here. I don’t trust Bleeding Cool to tell the time, frankly. Stick to Batman comics, boys…

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Bleeding Cool appears to have as much validity as The Daily Star…

  5. avatar Ian Gettings says:

    The end of a dream – another big disappointment in the anniversary year…

    • avatar Gareth says:

      Totally agree. Feel completely gutted at the moment. But this has been more exciting than random 12th Doctor casting speculation. Which if cast wrong will be the next disappointment

  6. avatar Caity says:

    Sad, yet not surprised. I always thought it was too good to be true.

  7. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    I think because of the lack of televised Doctor Who recently and it being the 50th anniversary we were all willing to believe this slighty more than we usually would have done. Hoping the BBC had some returned episodes for us come the big day in November! Wishful thinking. I hate these sort of hoaxes and false reports. Nothing wrong with continually hoping and wishing though.

    I do disagree with Mr Levine when he says there will ALWAYS be 106 missing episodes though. I remember him making a similair staement about a decade earlier stating there would ALWAYS be 108 missing episodes! How time can prove us wrong! I eagerly await more returned episodes before my life is through. In the meantime I will enjoy the excellent animated reconstructions released on DVD!

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      I think Ian has said on more than one occasion that the reason he likes making the statement that “there will always be X number of episodes” is precisely because we wants to be proven incorrect.

      This is proven by the fact that he got so excited about this rumour. Hardly the behaviour of someone who believes there are no more missing episodes that could be found,

      I guess its like saying “well I really hope it won’t be a nice sunny day tomorrow”!!!

  8. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I didn’t think it was true, but still, when people completely dismiss the expectation that there may be more lost Doctor Who out there waiting to be discovered, its seems rather silly. Did they believe Galax 4 Ep 3 and Underwater Menace Ep 2 to be among those that were wiped? If so, they’ve been proven wrong in the past. We may not have got a haul of 90 episodes this time, but I still wouldn’t discount the possibility that the odd one or two might still be found one day. Never say never (again)!

    • avatar Endy says:

      Time chaser has a good point. To infer there is no chance of any more episodes is odd indeed. Why not just say. ‘Sorry folks but even if episodes still survive out there, we have not found any.’ I know I am grasping at straws here but the long winded dismissal of any future episodes being found seems odd. Also if you had found something and were in negotiations with say the BBC would you at this stage say well yes we have found these 90 odd rare…… I don’t think you would. Anyway all I am saying is there is always still hope and now I am off back to cloud cuckoo land,

  9. avatar zarbisupremo says:

    To quote from Four Weddings And A Funeral, “Bugger… bugger ! Bugger ! Bugger ! Bugger !”.

  10. avatar vortexter says:

    Its such a shame but never mind. To a certain extent I did enjoy the rumour and would have liked it to go on a teensy bit longer. I did wonder if the statement above could be read a different way: TIEA does not hold any episodes of Doctor Who….any more that is.

    Sorry!, I’ll get my coat…

  11. avatar Luke Foord says:

    I fell sorry for anyone who ever believed this.

  12. avatar TonyS says:

    Ian Levine has tweeted that he is not going to comment- even if the Myth Makers is shoved through his letter box. I can sympathise with his attitude. He must have been through the emotional wringer these last few days. Let us assume (as I fear we must) that TIEA’s statement is correct. Some of us (and I include myself) have been either gullible prats or cruelly misled, depending on how charitable you are feeling. Speaking for myself, I DID allow myself to believe the rumour. Today I tend towards the gullible prat view. But for a couple of days a flicker of hope was there and we got excited. Wasn’t it fun while it lasted? We will get over the disappointment. We fans are a resilient bunch. We still have a lot to which to look forward. (Avoiding ending a sentnece with a preposition!) Our programme is 50 years old soon. Let the celebrations continue!

  13. avatar TonyS says:

    Oh and if Philip Morris is going to issue any statements in future, please can he get someone to proof-read it? The grammar in this is appalling!

  14. avatar TonyS says:

    Okay that’s the bitterness out of mys system. Back to the positivity :)

  15. avatar vortexter says:

    Just when we thought it was over! Check out the latest rumour at BC. And its a good un! Apparently there’s a trailer for a missing story on the ‘Terror of the Zygons’ DVD. Yes you heard it right good sirs, The Enemy of the World is being previewed as a future release! They have that one and two others in the pipeline…Just as I was going to sleep again. No wonder Ian levines quiet on twitter…

  16. avatar Boff says:

    So did they outright LIE to all of Who fandom then? Or did they luckily find episodes post this statement? What is the larger ‘game’ here? Very confusing. Surely there is enough cash in the enterprise to warrant just releasing these things even to a niche market? What’s with all the cloak and dagger?

  17. avatar Peter Ledwith says:

    yeah…if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…its probably a duck. They didnt tell us the truth. Notice they are not saying much since. Did they explain why they felt the need to say that statement knowing what they had recovered?

  18. avatar Brian F says:

    Of course the statement that TIEA weren’t holding any episodes would have been true if they had already been handed to the BBC.

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