Are we going to see any more lost Doctor Who episodes discovered?
The question that is on the lips over every Whovian has moved a little closer to being answered after Philip Morris, the man who recovered nine lost Patrick Troughton episodes in Africa, says the indications are promising.
Asked in a Facebook discussion with fans whether there are more to add to the haul which BBC Worldwide made available to fans last October, Morris said: “A tricky one to answer. And fans will just want a yes or no, haven’t you or have you. But it’s complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient.”
However, Morris said in the same discussion: “There are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation.
He added that safety concerns were also an issue in the retrieval of lost episodes: “An example would be 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.”
Morris and his company Television International Enterprise Archive recovered 11 Patrick Troughton episodes from a TV facility in Nigeria, nine of which had been missing. These included all five lost episodes of The Enemy of the World, which made the six-part serial complete, and four of five from The Web of Fear. Episode three is still missing.
Regarded as one of the most significant hauls of lost Doctor Who, the discovery nevertheless means that 97 episodes from the Troughton and William Hartnell years are still missing because the BBC did not start routinely archiving its shows until 1978.
According to sources close to BBC Worldwide, the BBC is confident that more episodes still exist and could yet be recovered, but that an announcement is not expected soon.
A spokesman for BBC Worldwide told RadioTimes.com: “Naturally we continue to hope that all of the missing episodes are out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered and returned for the ultimate benefit of the fans.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.