Doctor Who News The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

Published on October 6th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Missing Episodes Omnirumour Turned Up To Eleven [UPDATED]

Hot on the heels of the the missing episodes rumour hitting the printed press this morning, the Radio Times claims tonight that two long-lost episodes are set to be released online this week.

Just when we thought the rumour had been put to bed, has been lead to believe that two digitally restored episodes from the Patrick Troughton era will be listed on iTunes (and presumably other platforms) from Wednesday.

In addition, a BBC statement said:

There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered – however we cannot confirm any new finds.

A spokeswoman apparently told them

We can’t confirm because it’s not true, as far as I’m aware.

It’s not clear if she also denied the claim.

So what do we think? It’s not inconceivable, given previous aspects to this ever-growing rumour. However, we’d have thought that the BFI was the place to unveil and release such things, rather than iTunes.

After all, everything turns up on iTunes these days…

(Via Radio Times.)

Update: BFI Event Announced

Since we published the report above we’ve since learned from The Mirror that a press screening has been arranged this Tuesday night (October 8th) with a BBC spokesman stating:

There will be big news this Tuesday regarding lost Doctor Who episodes. It is great that in the show’s 50th year, fans will now be able to look back with classic episodes as well as looking to the future with the new film-length episode in November.

For some fans watching their lost episodes will be like going back in time.

Details are as yet unknown, but those attending the event will no doubt be informed as to what exactly is going on. A press screening suggests at least one lost episode has been uncovered.

We’ll have more as it becomes available.



Tags: , , ,

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+.

51 Responses to Missing Episodes Omnirumour Turned Up To Eleven [UPDATED]

  1. avatar IGettings says:

    Amazing – am assuming this is the beginning of more. Wonder what eps. I can’t believe it. Wonderful news!!

  2. avatar Ian says:

    There is a screening for journalists this week, according to the Mirror…..

  3. avatar lee moone says:

    Interesting… anyone seen what is on at BFI on Tuesday evening. ‘Missing presumed wiped!’

    • avatar Al says:

      The BFI website shows a bunch of short films being shown on the 8th. But the Mirror is claiming the press conference is being held at a hotel.

  4. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    Looks liker we’re on for Tuesday chaps!

  5. avatar vortexter says:

    I knew it! The rumour ripples were so big something had to have been found. Superb news! Only a few days to find out eh?

  6. avatar GallifreyanFallenAngel says:

    My ocean’s worth of salt is still with me, but I just hope that this is true.

  7. avatar Ian says:

    I would find it strange that the BBC would put it on itunes. Why pay to see it? Wouldn’t iplayer be better? Its the 50th Anniversary, can’t the BBC just give something back to the fans without wanting to make even more money?

    • avatar vortexter says:

      If the beeb want to make some money why not? Who knows, perhaps they had to pay for the episodes recovery and this is a way to recoup some of the costs back. It’s a time of celebration!
      Reports suggest two complete stories! Even the missing episodes forum is sounding more positive rather than the usual negative ‘we wont find anything else ever again’ remarks it peddles. I hope they apologise to Rich Johnson and the others who showed a positive attitude when reporting the good news. Sometimes rumours can be true.

      It’s far from being all over…

    • Putting it on iTunes doesn’t necessarily mean they’re selling it, and iTunes might be better equipped to cope with the demand than iPlayer.

      We won’t know until next week…

      • avatar vortexter says:

        C’mon Christian, jump up and fist punch the air! At last something is happening! I’m hoping for Marco Polo and anything with Pat Troughton. What’s on your wishlist?

        • I don’t do air-punches :)

          I’m more of a sit-down-with-a-glass-of-something-strong-to-celebrate sort of a chap.

    • avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

      The iPlayer doesnt work for everyone, namely Americans. iTunes would allow it to be available worldwide

      • avatar Ian says:

        After I posted my comment I thought that was why. But I do hope I player has it as well :)

  8. avatar Geoff says:

    I think Mr Cawley sums up the mood perfectly in one word: Blimey! ( and not “Limey” as my predictive text tried to
    Convince me!

    • avatar vortexter says:

      Blimey indeed Geoff! It’s a good year to be a Dr Who fan.

  9. avatar Ian says:

    But you have to pay for itunes I thought? I would love anything from Daleks Master Plan, Abominable Snowman, Web of Fear, Power of the Daleks. Anything would be good!

    • avatar Al says:

      I hope the iTunes thing is just a temporary release; if there are missing episodes to be had, I want them on DVD with all the rest. My wish list is Marco Polo and the remainder of Daleks Master Plan (with our without Feast of Steven).

    • avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

      Not necessarily. The software is free and will work on any pc even if you don’t own an Apple device. They can do whatever they want for a price or have it be free. I really think its just a format thing, to make it available to everyone. And I think most of us would pay just about anything to see whatever it is that’s been missing for so long.

      • It only works on a PC that happens to be running Windows. Not everyone does (I don’t anyway). Also, if your mobile device of choice is Android for example, then you won’t get it there either. Also, afaik, not all countries have access to TV content from iTunes – I live in Belgium, and there are no TV shows there at the moment at least. Strongly suspect that there’ll be no access for me until the DVDs are released. Really looking forward to the opportunity to see it, but suspect it will take some time for me…

        • iTunes is available for OS X and Windows.

  10. avatar Al says:

    Or could this be another ruse similar to what they did with the special announcing the new Doctor? Is this really a screening of “missing” episodes, or might this end up being a surprise screening of the anniversary special, along with the much-awaited trailer release? There is precedent; back in 2009 a huge special event screening of The Wrath of Khan was held in the US; they made a big deal of it so a lot of people went. 5 minutes in, the film “broke”, Leonard Nimoy came out on stage, said “would you rather watch this?” and gave the audience the first full public screening of the new Trek movie.

    • avatar iank says:

      I don’t think that would go down well with classic fans, dude. We’d lynch the bastards for a stunt like that. Web of Fear or the latest NuHu nonsense? Not much of a choice!

  11. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    If they did that I’m sure the resounding reply to stopping a missing episode screening with some Mat Smith ep would simply be ‘no we wouldn’t, stick the Troughton ep back on’

  12. avatar paybaragon says:

    The best news I’ve heard all year…about anything. They’ll make it to dvd eventually- won’t they?(…)

  13. avatar iank says:

    You do realise the BBC comments in your article are what was said several months ago, not in response to what’s just happened?

    • avatar James Lomond says:

      Yeah but the BBC comments were repeated in the RT article announcing the itunes news.

      I CANNOT BELIEVE this is real – if there is actually a haul of lost episodes I am going to EXPLODE with excitement. I tried to explain to a friend how exciting it would be if the rumours were true and the best I could manage was: if I were a MASSIVE BUDDHIST it would be like getting to SNOG THE DALAI LAMA. In space.

      Fingers crossed for Tuesday :D

  14. avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

    I’m taking this one with what I’ve taken all these missing ep rumors with – a whole salt mine. SUPER words cant even describe how happy if its true but will not have any expectations.

  15. avatar drewboynton says:

    What if it turns out to be a cheesy “We found a lost Doctor Who episode…starring John Hurt!” And some sort of digitally-inserted John Hurt in an adventure?

  16. avatar Lozzer says:

    I’ve been following this story with a sprinkling of optimism and a healthy does of skeptism, but I’m starting to get excited now, and it might almost be time to open a good bottle of red.

  17. avatar Ian says:

    I don’t think it would be a screening of the anniversary special just yet. I hope its true. Not getting too excited.

  18. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Could there really be something to this persistent rumor? I hope so. Eagerly awaiting to hear this news when it comes out, but I won’t be too surprised either if its not what we’re expecting.

  19. avatar Ian says:

    Read this on Doctorwhotv:
    Doctor Who’s brand manager Edward Russell said: “It’s Sunday. The weather’s gray and the papers are full of rubbish…” Asked if he was referring to the above story, he replied, “What do you think?!”

    Paul Vanezis from the Doctor Who Restoration Team wrote on his Twitter: “I would love it to be true. But it isn’t.”

    Tom Spilsbury, editor of Doctor Who Magazine, said: “It’s nonsense, I’m afraid.”

    • avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

      And do we really even half believe most of the people connected to the show or anything else these day? I think they’ve all taken courses with Moffat on how to troll and make bold faced lies

  20. avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

    I have another question – if this is all true and it is this whole lot of episodes found in Africa, I wanna know how the hell long they’ve been there and why in the bloody hell it was only someone in Africa that had the sense to save these things? I still will never comprehend why the BBC thought ditching so much stuff was the smart thing to do…

    • avatar David F says:

      It’s terrible that the ditching of episodes happened, but surely it’s easy to comprehend why it did. I hope an expert will correct me if I go wrong here, but basically:

      a) At the time, storage of old programmes was difficult, because it was all on big reels of tape that took up loads of room. It was also expensive to buy new tape, so it was sometimes reused for new shows.

      b) No one imagined that someday a market would open up for TV shows to be resold on VHS, DVD or as digital files. They had no reason to suspect it would be financially prudent to keep them.

      c) Doctor Who fandom wasn’t then what it is now. It was only around the turn of the 80s, when the original child viewers were hitting adulthood, and enough of a backstory had accumulated, that conventions, magazines, novelisations and a sense of nostalgia began to coalesce into a dedicated fan culture.

      d) Doctor Who was, actually, a rarely repeated show during the sixties and seventies. Episodes had been reshown so seldom that there was no sense of a continuing interest in what had gone before.

      e) There were only three TV channels, and one of them was a rival. No one imagined there would ever be hundreds of minor channels that would depend on repeats.

      f) Almost all TV was considered disposable. The mentality of theatre had carried over into the new medium, and productions weren’t perceived as processes that would have a fixed, permanent result.

      Hindsight is wonderful. We have it, but the people at the BBC back then didn’t. They acted in good faith.

      • avatar Mark Lenton says:

        I think you are right David. And it would be their duty to make sure the money they got in was maximised on spending on new programmes, not warehousing more and more old stuff that Equity decreed they couldn’t repeat.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        In addition the rights to show old material was a much more complicated issue back then.

      • avatar Ian says:

        At the time of junking home videos were becoming common.

        • avatar David F says:

          They might have been available earlier, but the tipping point for video players becoming common in people’s homes was in around 1983. I thought the destruction of episodes had finished by then. It certainly began many years earlier.

        • In fairness, Ian, I think you mean “becoming available”. Junking stopped in the mid-to-late 1970s. Home video players in those days were £££s!

          • avatar Ian says:

            Isn’t it on one of the Dr Who DVDs about the missing episodes and it said something about Home videos?

          • They might have been common in West London ;)

  21. avatar Ian says:

    We should know tomorrow…BBC Radio 4 covered the story yesterday afternoon.
    Try to go straight to 9 minutes and 23 seconds, and listen.

  22. Individual episodes or entire stories? Could they be announcing reanimations of missing episodes (but why do that when previous DVD releases have had animated episodes anyway?). Curiouser and curiouser.

  23. avatar Ranger says:

    Aarrgghh!! I can’t bear the suspense! Please let it be true!

  24. avatar Gruff says:

    If there’s no news by Sunday I’ll grill the Boss at the Literary Festival!!

  25. avatar lee moone says:

    So latest rumour all of Web (bar ep 3) and all of Enemy of the world. Bloody Wow!

    • avatar Ian says:

      Where did you read that?

  26. avatar Ian says:

    We have to wait until the end of the week now as the press conference has been postponed.. Many stories are claiming different amounts of episodes. Some say 100,9 & 2.

  27. avatar Ian says:

    UPDATE From The Guardian:

    BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, will hold a press conference on Thursday when an announcement about the lost episodes is expected. The BBC declined to provide more details, athough it is understood it will make some of episodes available for fans to purchase

Please be aware that all comments are subject to adherence to our comments policy.
Back to Top ↑