Thursday, October 10, 2013

Official Press Release Regarding Found Episodes

Despite news leaking about the found classic episodes, the BBC have officially unveiled the contents of their press conference from earlier today. As reported earlier, 9 episodes from The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World were found in an archive in Africa. The find brings Enemy to completion, with Web still missing part 3.

The official press release includes no new information, but I've made part of it available below. The two episodes have been made available to iTunes users in the UK here and here. Part 3 of The Web of Fear has been specially reconstructed for release. Presumably, the stories will eventually be released on iTunes to the rest of the world and DVD.
Nine missing episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been found at a TV station in Nigeria, including most of the classic story The Web of Fear.

The black and white story sees Patrick Troughton's second Doctor battle robot yeti in the London underground.

Also recovered is a complete version of Troughton's six-part story The Enemy of the World.

It is thought to be the largest haul of missing episodes recovered in the last three decades.

"It's thrilling," said Mark Gatiss, an actor and writer for the 21st Century incarnation of Doctor Who.

"Every single avenue seemed to have been exhausted, every now and then something turns up - but to have two virtually complete stories out of the blue is absolutely incredible."

The BBC destroyed many of the sci-fi drama's original transmission tapes in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, many episodes were transferred on to film for sale to foreign broadcasters. It is often these prints found in other countries that are the source of retrieved episodes.

In this case, 11 Doctor Who episodes were discovered, nine of which were missing, in the Nigerian city of Jos.

The find was made by Phillip Morris, director of a company called Television International Enterprises Archive.

Mr Morris said: "The tapes had been left gathering dust in a storeroom at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words, Doctor Who. When I read the story code I realised I'd found something pretty special."

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