For the longest while, we’ve been living in the land of the Doctor Who Lost Episodes Omnirumor. It seems like every week or so, another one crops up detailing the “potential” discovery of one of our lost treasures. Usually, it leads to nothing more than a few press releases stating that there is nothing new to report at this time. Occasionally, it brings us the return of stories like The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World.
At the very center of those rumors is Philip Morris, executive director of Television International Enterprises and Archives Ltd (TIEA). The other name that creeps up frequently is Ian Levine who has assisted in the return of some of these lost episodes as well. According to Levine, Morris may very well be holding out on us Whovians and the world.
In a lengthy note on Facebook, Ian Levine calls out Philip Morris with several damning allegations. First, he begins by recounting the beginnings of the drive to recover the missing episodes:
“In 2005 Philip Morris started a thread on the Missing Episodes forum, titled “Ian Levine” in which he suggested searching for Doctor Who in Africa. He was derided and mocked but I alone stood up for him and arranged to meet him. I asked Paul Vanezis to get an offical [sic] BBC letter asking to whom it may concern to allow Philip Morris access to archives in Africa and anywhere else.
At this point Phil had never met Paul Vanezis. Phil subsequently discovered all these missing episodes had been distributed by Television Internation Enterprises, so formed a new company with the same name.”
He then goes on to lay some heavy allegations at Morris’ feet:
“Yes indeed, it has obviously yielded huge massive results, but what earthly use are these results if he hoards them, locked away for no-one to see or enjoy or benefit from. I applaud what he did, and the initiative to go out and do it, but I revile what he has done since. They should have all been given back the minute he found them, and by now they would all have been out on DVD.”
The rest of his post continues to blast Morris (and it can be read in its entirety here). The biggest takeaway from Levine is the allegation that Morris has not only found more missing footage, but that he is holding on to it for a yet unknown answer (writer’s note: if true, probably money). This leaves us with two possibilities: 1) Levine’s allegations are true and Morris may incur the wrath of Whovians worldwide or 2) Levine, for unknown motives, is making false allegations against someone who has worked incredibly hard to bring us these highly sought after classics.
Neither scenario is good for business and has the potential to become very ugly before the entirety of the truth is revealed.
So dear readers, what is your take on the situation? Is Morris holding out on us? Or is Levine stirring up trouble for unknown reasons? Let us know!