Wow! Wow! And yet again WOW! It’s the most exciting news – and perhaps worst kept secret – in the history of fandom.
But at a press launch in central London today, BBC Worldwide finally confirmed that nine episodes starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor are back at the BBC, bringing the total missing from the archive down from 106 to 97! The film prints were discovered in Nigeria by the resourceful Phillip Morris, director of the Television International Enterprises Archive.
To clarify, these are two (almost) complete Patrick Troughton six-parters: The Enemy of the World (in which the Doctor has an evil double) and The Web of Fear (the Yeti invade London via the Underground). The serials were transmitted consecutively over 12 weeks in the winter of 1967/68.
Best of all, fans don’t have to wait months for DVD releases. From midnight tonight (ie Thursday night/Friday morning, Greenwich Mean Time) fans can download the two adventures via iTunes, priced £9.99 each. This includes people in the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and France and, of course, in the UK (excluding the Republic of Ireland).
Download The Enemy of the World
Download The Web of Fear
Episode 1 of The Web of Fear and Episode 3 of The Enemy of the World have long existed in the BBC archive. All five remaining episodes of The Enemy of the World have been found, so it’s now complete and intact. Four instalments for The Web of Fear were located. Sadly, Episode 3 is still missing, but a version has been constructed using photos and the surviving soundtrack, and is included in the iTunes package.
In a carefully stage-managed press conference, no mention was made of the rumour that other 1960s episodes may be in the pipeline.
Additionally, The Enemy of the World will be released on DVD on Monday 25 November. The Web of Fear is to follow in early 2014.