Recovery of the missing episodes of Doctor Who has earned Phillip Morris of Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA) the nickname the ‘Indiana Jones’ of the film world.
It’s Morris and his team’s job to assist overseas stations with the storage and migration of their materials and, on the outside of that, they recover lost British television programmes.
On finding two missing episodes of Doctor Who – The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear (both starring Patrick Troughton) Morris admits masking tape played rather a crucial role.
“These episodes were discovered on a project we were working in Nigeria. And they were found in a TV station in Jos. Just sitting on the shelf, which I can remember now seeing a piece of masking tape, which said Doctor Who on it.
“I thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting’, pulled the cans down I read the story codes. instantly of course recognised what the stories were and realised they were missing from the BBC’s archive. A lot of Doctor Who fans around the world are going to be happy,” Morris adds.
He continues: “These episodes had come from Hong Kong and they’d been on what’s called a bicycle system. So they travelled from this country to the next country to the next country and they came to be in Nigeria through this bicycle system. Not at the station in Nigeria they were actually sold to. They were at a relay station. The condition that those programmes were in when we found them, we were quite lucky, considering the temperatures we can be in the upper 40 degrees, luckily they’d been kept in the optimum condition.”
The discovery is “probably the largest haul of missing episodes recovered in the last 25 maybe 30 years” Morris explains, adding, “They were something one day I hoped I would see and guess what? Now I can.”
Find out how to download the episodes here.