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Published on July 23rd, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Philip Morris: Missing Episodes “wind is blowing the right way”

Doctor Who archivist Philip Morris recently took to Facebook to discuss his work with fans interested in recovering more missing episodes.

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Morris was understandably cagey about things, while optimistic. So why the mystery? Let’s put it in his own words:

“…during the last announcement, I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywhere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target. So we must plan these things carefully for the greater good of the project and the safety of the personnel involved.”

This all seems fair enough, and Morris is well aware that fans “just want a yes or no…. it’s complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient.” He goes on to add that “there are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation.”

Anyone doubtful about the danger of recovering missing episodes might consider Phil’s experiences in Syria, where he missed a shell attack. “There have been lots of tricky moments – bandits, armed militia – but that was the closest.”

Perhaps the most important thing to take from all of this relates to the announcements. It seems unlikely that BBC Worldwide would want to risk distracting from the the era of Doctor Who about to hit TV screens, so we don’t expect to see any new announcements about missing episodes until the New Year (although of course we’d like all of them tomorrow!).

(Via Mirror Online.)


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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+.

8 Responses to Philip Morris: Missing Episodes “wind is blowing the right way”

  1. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    “…during the last announcement, I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywhere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target”

    Enough said. These people are out there basically putting their lives on the line as it is. Seriously, lets not add to the danger just for what is at the end of the day trivial fanwank wishful thinking concerning lost episodes. Let them do their job as safely as possible and we shall reap the rewards should they be forthcoming in the future. We now have Enemy and Web to watch from the comfort of our homes thanks to these guys so lay off them – and that includes you Mr Levine!!!

    Now, lets just hold tight and enjoy Capaldi next month :)

  2. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Exactly. Let PM do his thing. Basically, let’s simply try and forget about the whole missing ep drama and be pleasantly surprised when there’s an actual announcement. Here’s hoping we see and hear NOTHING from now on from anyone until there’s an *actual announcement*. Time to enjoy Capaldi.

  3. avatar Howard Railton says:

    I think Morris and his team deserve a medal. If anyone can find missing Who, it’ll probably be him. But I think the BBC are wrong to keep Underwater Menace ep 2 from fans when it could easily be put on a re-issue of a Troughton etc.

  4. avatar Oliver Bain says:

    It is surprising and reassuring that there have only been three responses. Apparently the omni-rumour nonsense has died down finally. It’s good to hear some vague positives from Morris, and maybe there are more goodies in the future. Is there any word on what he’s found apart from ‘Doctor Who’?

  5. avatar mark duncan says:

    Hartnell or Troughton? I’d be happy even with an excerpts compilation if no episodes emerged since more complete stories are unlikely. For now. Best case scenario would be any “Power of the Daleks” episode. Anybody else have a single episode they would like recovered?

  6. avatar Jayman says:

    I would be happ with the return of any episode. It would be nice if they found the last episode of the Tenth Planet just so that story could be completed.

  7. avatar mark duncan says:

    Agreed. But I think its best to avoid the typical classic stories. Interesting how a high number of wiped stories were historical. Were futuristic tales deemed more valuable? If so, would new fans (post-2005) be more or less excited by episodes of “The Smugglers” or “The Highlanders” as opposed to “The Savages” or “The Macra Terror”? (Note: These remain not well-regarded by long-term fans.)

  8. avatar mark duncan says:

    With the demise of DVD and iTunes only interested in complete shows, it’s not financially viable to restore single episodes just for a BBC repeat – UNLESS another “Lost In Time” box set was an option. Really this is how the Public (and most fans) will EVER see orphan episodes AND allow the BBC to make money. Given the media attention (and success) of Troughton’s DVDs, wouldn’t the New Series’ 10th Anniversary in March 2015 be perfect? They stated there is no CURRENT restoration under way. For such a release the work would be done ALREADY (thus the statement is true) ahead of an announcement early next year. Will fans be celebrating again in New Year 2015..?

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