Philip Morris, the Doctor Who enthusiast rumoured to have unearthed 90 missing episodes of the series, has revealed that he has not found anything.
Morris utterly refutes claims that his company Television International Enterprises Archives [TIEA] has found the material in Africa despite weeks of speculation that he was negotiating with the BBC over the release of the material to mark the show’s fiftieth anniversary in the autumn.
His “brief statement”, written in caps, reads: “T.I.E.A DOES NOT HOLD ANY MISSING EPISODES OF THE LONG RUNNING DR WHO SERIES. THE ORIGINAL VIDEO TAPES WERE WIPED SUBSEQUENT FILM COPIES WERE EITHER RETURNED TO THE BBC AND SENT TO LANDFILL ODD FRAGMENTS HAVE SURFACED TWO EPISODES ON 16MM FILM BUT THATS IT. THE PROGRAMMES IN QUESTION LIKE MANY OTHERS WERE DESTROYED AS THEY HAD NO FURTHER COMMERCIAL VALUE .THEY ARE NOT MISSING BUT DESTROYED THE END.”
Morris’ statement draws attention to the supposed tracking of some of his company’s shipments and says that the cargo in question is not missing film material but “local cultural materials sent to us for migration to a modern format as the playback equipment in the country of origin”.
He adds that he will be making “no more statements on the subject”.
Morris’ company, which calls itself the “world’s foremost archive recovery company” and has as its motto “Preserving the past for a better future” has allegedly been travelling the globe looking for missing gems of UK TV.
The BBC, keen to recycle expensive tape in the1960s, wiped many episodes of Doctor Who and other classic TV. Some have been found, in lofts and skips, but some were sold to other countries according to the rumours.
On his Facebook page Morris discloses that it has found an episode of The Sky At Night.
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