Doctor Who News 2nd Doctor - Snowmen

Published on August 15th, 2013 | by Nick Kitchen

Is The Missing Episode Rumour Just Blowing Smoke?

And here we go again! A little while back, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool ran with the rumors that several of the missing Doctor Who episodes had been returned to the BBC, which forced the BBC to publicly say that there was nothing to report at this time.

2nd Doctor - Snowmen

However, Rich also initially reported that along with those long sought after episodes of Doctor Who, there were also missing episodes of Dad’s Army and Morecambe and Wise in the reported findings. Where it gets really interesting is that Bleeding Cool is reporting that the BBC’s site for Dad’s Army’s second series has a teaser that indicates the missing three black and white episodes from series two are coming soon.

Where does this leave us? Is this Rich’s smoking gun? Maybe, maybe not. The question that really needs to be asked is what would benefit would come from denying the finding of the lost episodes, if in fact, they have been found?

A couple of initial thoughts; firstly, being the big 5-0 year for Who, a finding of this magnitude should be cause for celebration at the BBC, especially if these episodes can be restored in time to air before the end of the year, not to mention the revenue from subsequent DVD releases. Secondly, isn’t it possible that this a coincidence and that even though they were initially rumored to be tied to the haul allegedly containing the Who episodes, the Dad’s Army episodes are returning from a different source? Given that the website teased that more information would be forthcoming, hopefully we’ll know more soon. Lastly, if the BBC is staying mum on the fact that these episodes have returned, is the silence another (and rather cost effective marketing) way to keep Doctor Who in internet news and speculation while we barrel towards November? Given the problem with leaks and unintentional early shipments lately, you can only hope the payoff is worth the work that they would be putting in to keep it under wraps.

You can read the whole thing over at Bleeding Cool. What do you think? Smoking gun or blowing smoke?


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About the Author


“That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” And from that line on, I’ve been unable to stop watching, reading, musing about the Doctor. As a recent transplant to the Whoniverse, I’ve been trying to soak up as much Who-related knowledge as possible. That journey has taken me from the Tenth Planet to the Fields of Trenzalore and gently set me at the edge of my seat for what’s next. It’s an honor to be here and I plan to bring a unique perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey alongside me.

36 Responses to Is The Missing Episode Rumour Just Blowing Smoke?

  1. avatar Hoosier Whovian says:

    “Fool me once, shame on you.”
    “Fool me twice, shame on me.”

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      “fool me three times or more, you’re a Doctor Who fan”

      No harm in dreaming though.

  2. avatar Jim says:

    Sorry but what its actually stating about Dad’s Army season 2 on that website is how many episodes that season made up and how many are actually available. This is repeated for other incomplete programmes on the same website and as little research will prove. Last year someone also raised this query about Dad’s Army so this is nothing new.

    Since I hate to be depressing howver, and since I do work for the BBC, I will that a Patrick Troughton serial HAS been recovered and is being prepared for release next year. I can’t say anymore, since I like my job here…

    • I think what Bleeding Cool are referring to is not the number of episodes, but the “more information coming soon” which sounds like a tease…

    • avatar Kelleth says:

      Better be true, or else we’ll come by and TP the whole BBC HQ and scratch Michael Grade’s car, if so we’ll just come scratch Michele Grade’s car because he fired Colin and cancelled DW… Yes we’re still not over it. xD

      • Yes we are. I hardly think scratching someone’s car is going to change the past, is it?

        Then again, I could be wrong. Perhaps a key, an automobile exterior and a malicious intent are all that is required to unlock the secret of time travel. Perhaps every weekend in the small hours pissed up mischief makers get whisked through time and space on their way home, never to be seen again, leaving just a mark in the paintwork of a nearby car as evidence anybody was ever there…

        • avatar David F says:

          Yeah, I’m over it too. It’s a TV show. I love it, but it’s a TV show. I’m also over everything else that made me sulk in 1985 when I was ten years old.

        • avatar Francis Cave says:

          Well I’m not.

          Watched the Trials & Tribulations Documentary a few days and got pixxed off all over again.

          Its just a shame to think that with a bit of actual thought we could have had more episodes featuring the sixth Doctor rather than the series and a half we actually got….

          Deep breaths……

          • But why scratch Michael Grade’s car? Did he sit on production meetings, come up with the character and outfit for the Sixth Doctor? Did he commission the stories, including a pointless overseas jaunt?

            I’ve absolutely no love for the chap, he’s traded on the family name for his whole career and appears to know next to nothing about broadcasting. However the people we should be angry with about this are JN-T and Eric Saward. They gave Grade the excuse he needed.

        • avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

          For all their flaws I don’t think you can portion more blame on JN-T and Saward than Grade for the cancellation in the eighties.

          Colin Baker’s first season is a ratings success – just look at the figures compared to the rest of the eighties. Grade cancelled a series – that, at least in the public eye – was actually pretty healthy. Grade failed in that he didn’t care for the show, and lacked the appreciation and faith in genre TV that his father demonstrated so well.

          To the TV viewing, non fan, casual viewer, Colin’s coat of many colours suited the basic public perception of the character – an eccentric time traveller. For that level it fulfilled its function and can’t be attributed to the cancellation.

          Grade was the man at the top. He made the decision to bring in the axe. He axed plenty of other long established BBC programmes like Strictly Come Dancing. Look at Grade’s judgement there. With money, effort, support, and appointing the right people Strictly and Doctor Who are now global brands. Shows what Grade knew doesn’t it?

          Grade did not like Sci-fi. They wanted to pump money in setting up miseryfest Eastenders for perpetuity (gee, thanks for that).

          My point is that Grade didn’t need an excuse, and certainly not Grade and Saward. Grade would have zapped it whoever was in charge. That first Baker season performed well in viewing figure terms.

          I completely agree with you Christian as far as JN-T and Saward were responsible for some terrible crimes against Who, but if it wasn’t for JN-T DW would have been cancelled earlier than 1989. He was pretty much told, as one of the last on staff BBC producers if he resigned Doctor Who would go with him.

          The blame lies with Grade and the BBC executives who came after him who didn’t realise the value of the brand they had.

          I wouldn’t scratch Grade’s car though…….

    • avatar David says:

      I think you mean The Underwater Menace. Episode 3 the BBC already had. Episode 2 found in 2011. It’s rumoured it’s being release sometime next year with episodes 1/4 completed with annimation.

    • avatar Nick Kitchen says:

      If that’s the case, I think the reason it’s being picked up on is that the wording of the phrase is off. If you wanted to indicate how many episodes are in series 2, wouldn’t you say there “are” six episodes in this series as opposed to saying there “will be” six episodes?

  3. avatar vortexter says:

    It has been confirmed that something ‘previously not known to exist’ will be included on the Tenth Planet DVD which will (quote) ‘knock peoples socks off’. I do have a friend who has returned previously missing BBC material back to the archives (non Dr Who I should add) and after asking him if 90 odd episodes have been secretly returned his answer was “Nope: that’s *********” The starred out word starts with a B, ends with an S and has an ollock in the middle.

    However…I still think something has been found. Just not anywhere near 90 episodes. To answer why the BBC are being silent I personally think that there are stories in the hands of private collectors that are known to exist and they are negotiating with said collectors about returning/releasing the stories and they don’t want to discuss the details in case money is involved. If a Troughton story or Hartnell does turn up soon then I wont be too surprised personally. There is something definitely in the air.

    • avatar Al says:

      The “knock peoples socks off” thing could be a trailer for the release of a recovered story. I don’t think it’s going to be a recovered live-action Episode 4 otherwise it’d have been included in the Regenerations set, and hasn’t the BBFC already issued its detailed ratings/clearances for the Tenth Doctor release? It could also be something else completely, like behind the scenes footage or an alternate take of the regeneration, or an interview.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Confirmed by who?

      • avatar vortexter says:

        Steve Roberts. Apparently its a film recorded interview with William Hartnell! The only one known to exist and it was found by Richard Bignell. This is a real treat and worth the price of the DVD alone!

  4. avatar GallifreyanFallenAngel says:

    Missing episode recovery rumors never come out straight, it’s really quite wibbly wobbly timey whimey stuff.

    I’ve been reading other rumors from everywhere, not knowing who to trust. I really do want to have more Doctor Who episodes recovered, but I’ve found it a little fishy that all of these rumors seem to pop up in the year of the 50th… Time will tell.

  5. avatar Geoff says:

    I think Vortexter sums it up pretty well. It sounds like there’s a chance something might be coming out way but not a vast amount. Still anything is welcomed frankly.

  6. avatar iank says:

    The Dad’s Army thing is a misunderstanding blown out of proportion via lack of adequate research.

    That said, there’s been a lot more peculiar things than that. Just hope they announce something (whatever or however many there are/is) before my head explodes.

  7. avatar drewboynton says:

    What benefit would it be to the BBC to keep the recovery of DW missing episodes a secret? I hope that something has been found, but I don’t get why they would keep it under wraps.

    • avatar Mark Farndale says:

      Apparently the last two missing episodes to be returned were kept under wraps for a while, that’s one of the reasons why people don’t believe the denials.

  8. avatar Pete da Caldwell says:

    I wonder if the “previously unknown to exist” item to be included on the 10th Planet DVD is the early regeneration test shots done out in a grassy field somewhere? Anyone remember hearing about this awhile back? Hartnell and Troughton were involved but it was NOT actually Who footage per se, Just some test film. Might make a cool “what if” alt timeline more-than-just john Hurts missing Doc incarnation? :-) but more than anything, I would love recovered Troughton episodes – whole serials that much better, but give us a couple episodes from Web of Fear, Power of the Daleks, Evil of, Macra Terror, Fury from the Deep, and Abominable and I think I’d be totally happy!

    • avatar John Dorney says:

      That was a DWM April fools, I’m afraid.

  9. avatar Ian says:

    The Dad’s Army thing is a default message for when the BBC’s interactive team haven’t been bothered filling in details of episodes yet.

  10. avatar Neu 75 says:

    Even one recovered episode is better than none, but if none of this turns out to be true, Bleeding Cool will be sitting uncomfortably in their chairs…

  11. avatar Ian says:

    Remember Michael Grade was one of three who axed Doctor Who. If he had his way we would also not of got any New Who.

    • But he didn’t get his way. So there is no case to answer :)

      • avatar Paddy says:

        Attempted murder? :)

        • avatar David says:

          No, processing an offensive attitude.

  12. avatar doigy says:

    Och no, it is all jobbies.

  13. avatar Ian says:

    Bleeding cool & Outpost Gallifrey would have a lot to answer for if these stories are false. I can see why the BBC would want to keep it a secret. Make it part of a special programme as they did with Doctor Who live.

  14. avatar Jon Platt says:

    The tenth planet DVD extra that’ll blow your socks off is the only surviving television interview of William hartnel in panto from 1967

    • avatar David says:

      This is a really nice 50th. Surprise. I looking forward to watching it in November.

  15. avatar vortexter says:

    It blew my socks off.

  16. It’s just Bleeding Cool blowing smoke out of their arses, yet again.

    Individual episodes may surface in the future, as they have done in the past, but the original story from Rich Johnston about a mother lode of 90 episodes is a bunch of horseshyte,

  17. avatar graham says:

    Trouble is this missing episode thing is taking over the 50th build up itself ! It overshadowing what should be a good build up !

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