Doctor Who News Doctor Who missing episodes include many starring Patrick Troughton

Published on October 8th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Confirmation Pending: BBC News Reports On Missing Episodes!

BBC News online has today provided some degree of authenticity to the rumours surrounding missing Doctor Who episodes with a report that tells us nothing new, but hey – it’s there.

The report – by fan Lizo Mzimba – follows on the heels of a mention on the BBC Radio 4 News Briefing on Sunday (skip to 9.23) and a mention on Sky News.

Noting that “a number” of episodes have been returned and that BBC Worldwide has indeed scheduled a press conference later this week, the piece also refers to the discovery in 1993 of The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Back in 1993, that discovery made big news here in the UK. One reason why that find is still significant is that it was a full serial, and that we knew what was in the haul.

It would be nice if we could find out in advance just how many episodes have been found, but the smart money is on the BBC letting this one play on over the next few months, given the build up of the omnirumour so far…


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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+.

29 Responses to Confirmation Pending: BBC News Reports On Missing Episodes!

  1. avatar David F says:

    Extremely excited by the possibility that within a few days I might be watching episodes I’ve known about for decades and assumed to be lost forever. Seeing moving pictures to go with dialogue I’ve only heard over photo montages.

  2. avatar IGettings says:

    Dizzying. I hope they tell us the full info finally. Glad it’s here and the announcement of the announcement of the announcement has come.

  3. avatar TonyS says: this is exciting news

  4. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Its continuing to gain traction. I certainly hope its more than one episode, and that maybe we’ll have some more completed serials, or at least as nearly complete as they can be so the addition of some animated episodes completes them

    • avatar David F says:

      The reports over recent days have suffered from that recurrent problem: Many writers aren’t aware of the distinction between “stories” and “episodes”, and use the latter label to refer to original-run Who stories.

      When it was reported yesterday that two episodes would be available for download, I’m pretty sure it should have read “stories”.

      And from the BBC’s own wording, it seems as though a decent number of episodes has been found (although that might still add up to only a few stories).

      The tension between the part of me that really wants to know and the part of me that likes the suspense is causing a really pleasing buzzing sensation in my chest. The slow build-up of rumours over several months is making this pay-off really sweet.

  5. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Wasn’t Tomb returned in 1991? Anyway, whatever, this is an extremely happy and fortunate time to be a Doctor Who fan! Can’t wait to discover and see whatever has been returned. I have my own personal wish list, as do we all, but I’ll settle for anything! I couldn’t have imagined myself being so excited by the return of an episode of The Underwater Menace, but I was – so bring whatever there is on!

  6. avatar IGettings says:

    Another popular who site have responded by reinforcing a ban on discussing it. I guess they got caught up in the excitement and felt they had to act – ha ha. (I guess they will reconsider when they think about it)

  7. avatar Jonathan Hansen-Knarhoi says:

    Bloody great news I think. The BBC wouldn’t report on it themselves unless there was something returned. Not expecting all 106 to be returned, but half would be nice!😛

  8. avatar koth says:

    Given all the hype and misinformation I knew Lizo would be the man to break the story. He seems to get the announcement on everything DW. I notice the the number of episodes has increased from 90 to 106 in the past week which fuels the doubts but if they announce Web, Enemy and Marco then there may be legs on the others being returned in due course. Yaay!

  9. avatar Lozzer says:

    The rumours so far seem to be turning out to be correct and the word is Marco Polo, The Ememy Of The World And The Web Of Fear have been found… The latter being the story I most wanted to see. Fingers crossed…

  10. avatar Al says:

    That’s cool – but I wonder what the DWM editor and Restoration Team guys who were denying it have to say? Assuming they weren’t just BS’ing (we’ve seen that happen before with other folks connected with the franchise), that means someone did an end run around somebody.

    • In some people’s eyes, a big credibility hit.

      No one compelled either of them to respond. There was no gun. Personally, I’d have done the same in that position, but there are some dissenting voices…

      • avatar Al says:

        Fair enough, but the editor of DWM you’d think would be in a position to know something was coming. And if the Restoration team – which recently announced they’d just finished their final DVD work – isn’t involved, that doesn’t bode well for future DVD release of these episodes. As noted, even if they chose to play dumb, it hits their credibility. I checked Twitter and Tom S. seemed to be walking back his comments, suggesting that he was just denying the People/Mirror story- which you’ll recall claimed all 106 missing episodes were found – which could likely have been the case because even those who have claimed to have been in the know all along have said there’s nowhere near that many episodes.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          Or maybe, just maybe, they were forced to sign documents legally forbidding them from revealing anything and forcing them to deny everything. Or maybe, just maybe, even if they weren’t, they just didn’t want to spoil what is looking at becoming the best ‘surprise’ gift for us fans in this special year. In any case, who cares? What matters is what we eventually end up getting. If you wish to carry a grudge against anyone who denied any knowledge when your sitting down happily watching Marco Polo or whatever for the first time, that is you prerogative. No credibility lost for those individuals in my eyes. Thanks guys for managing to keep the surprise secret for so long!

          • In the case of NDAs, you avoid the question. You don’t even get tithe point of lying.

  11. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    A couple of things occur to me. One is that the fact that the BBC recently announced they are not animating “The Crusade” could suggest this is now complete with the missing episodes found. If, as claimed, these are coming from Ethiopia it should be noted that they did not buy any Troughton stories apparently. But we could have Marco Polo and other Hartnells.

    Second thought though – when the media and fans get excited over 90-106 episodes, perhaps these are from a variety of programmes, not just DW. Personally, I can’t see the BBC holding a press conference for two returned DW episodes, or even two stories. But if they have had a lot of old episodes from different shows, including whole DW stories, found then that would be different.

    • avatar Al says:

      The first report of this rumour that I heard was that a big cache of 1960s shows was found, not just Doctor Who. So it’s possible we might hear of other shows being restored a little, like Z Cars (which featured many DW alumni), or even the first season of The Avengers.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but very, very few, if any, foreign countries purchased The Feast Of Steven as part of The Daleks’ Master Plan, which makes it’s recovery unlikely – immediately knocking the ’106 episodes recovered’ story on the head.

      • avatar Simon Magellan says:

        As I understand it, none – being a standalone Christmas episode, they never sold it to any other countries.

  12. avatar GallifreyanFallenAngel says:

    This has gotten so intense, I’ve been checking for updates at school!

  13. avatar DonnaM says:

    This is turning into a damn good year to be a Doctor Who fan. I’ll be thrilled whatever they announce but oh, I hope there’s some Troughton in there! I was born the year he left the role but he’s by far my favourite of the Classic Doctors!

  14. avatar Mark P says:

    It Iooks like Richard Molesworth is going to have to update his Missing book into a 3rd edition!

  15. avatar TimeChaser says:

    If they found the remaining episodes of The Web of Fear, I would be over the moon. I’ve always wanted at least one the Yeti stories to have survived somewhere, and I’ll take that one as its always been my favorite Target book.

  16. avatar joesiegler says:

    I did have a theory about that, this could help bridge the gap between Christmas day and September, when Peter Capaldi’s series is supposed to start.

  17. Lizo Mzimba is NOT just a fan, he is a mouthpiece and spokesperson for the BBC Entertainment News and he handles the Doctor Who news most of the time… this is not just a fan, but a report on what going on with these missing episodes. Since the formal announcement isn’t until Thursday, he’s not giving details but this is as good as gets. It’s official. Episodes have been returned.

    • avatar David F says:

      No one here suggested Lizo was “just a fan”, or even mentioned him.

      • avatar David F says:

        Oh, sorry, I see. As you were.

  18. avatar Andrew G. Dick says:

    It was actually 1991 when they found “Tomb” I remember that well, nagged my parents to buy our first VCR for Xmas so I could watch the damn thing!

    This is great news though, and considering this rumour has been brewing for 2 years (remember it was leaked that Galaxy ep 3 and Underwater Menace ep 2 was found). Who’s to say this “number” is a large collection. 106 would be a bit too good to be true, but what ever they have found, and that this is the second finding in 2 years, this is very encouraging news. I believe there are many more out there to be found. Don’t forget the BBC did say 12 months ago this year would be the best time ever to be a Doctor Who fan. I recon they’ve known about this for years and been holding on until now to do this.

  19. avatar Dave Rudin says:

    I am almost afraid to begin believing…………

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