Looks like at least two of Doctor Who’s adventures are no longer lost in time… As two episodes from the 1960s – long ago declared missing by the BBC – surfaced over the weekend. The episodes, from 1965 and 1967 respectively, were found for sale at a town fair, and shown for the first time publicly at the British Film Institute. Also, they may be bad.
The most interesting bit of news to come out of this (beyond the end of the story, of course), is that due to poor archiving methods in the ‘60s, the BBC is missing nearly 100 episodes of Doctor Who. Occasionally – like in this case – copies turn up for sale, or in the collections of Who fans who had no idea they’re characterized as missing.
In this case, the episodes are believed to have come from ABC in Australia, bought by a TV engineer in the ‘80s, and then rediscovered when he tried to sell them this year. Now, the episodes will be coming to DVD next year, making a fair amount of change for the BBC… While, we assume, the engineer will have to content himself with two quid and some leftover funnel cake. Note: we have no idea how much two quid is.
Here’s the description of the episodes, according to The Guardian:
“Airlock, the second of a four-part story called Galaxy Four, was originally broadcast in 1965.
The doctor, played by Hartnell, is joined by Peter Purves and Maureen O'Brien in a story about a race of cloned females, the Drahvins, which also features an appearance by tiny robots called the Chumblies.
The second rediscovered episode was part of The Underwater Menace, aired in 1967. It features Troughton in his third appearance as the doctor doing battle with a mad scientist attempting to restore Atlantis.”
…And as we’ve heard from a few viewers who have seen them before, they’re kind of not the best episodes ever. That said, it’s always nice to have a piece of television history back where it belongs.