And there you have it, after yesterday’s speculation (below after the “read more” link), we now have the full scoop on what was found.
Nine episodes from the Second Doctor’s run were found in a relay station in Nigeria. The Patrick Troughton story line The Enemy of The World is now complete with all six episodes accounted for, and The Web of Fear is missing one episode which has been recreated using stills and storyboards, enough to release the series to the public.
Starting October 11th at midnight, the episodes will be available on iTunes for download. For those who want something more tactile, BBC Worldwide will also start pre-orders for both series on DVD (though the BBC store was down at the time this article was being written), to be shipped later this year.
This is very exciting for us Who fans, though we always wish we could have more. This drops the number of Doctor Who episodes MIA to 97, and now I have to wrestle with the geek fanboi in my head who is desperately trying to convince me to update my long since lapsed credit card information on iTunes…
Read our original rumor post for this story after the jump.
It’s the funny thing about production. Choices are made on what is “valuable”. At the time, there’s no way the BBC could ever have imagined a world with home video and streaming media. There was simply no reason for them to hold on to the tapes which contained over 100 episodes of Doctor Who, featuring the first two Doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. Once the shows had their run, the powers that be decided that it was too expensive to keep them archived on those old transmission tapes.
Now as we near the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, many are speculating that we’ll see an announcement from BBC Worldwide that some of these episodes have been recovered. Possibly through transfers to other media for foreign distribution. A little digital clean up, some restoration, and they could be as good as new, ready for a whole world of fans hungry for more Doctor Who.
While I love the new series, I was raised on Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee. Watching old episodes on PBS was a tradition in our household. Speaking with other Who fans, especially those older than me, there’s always a touch of sadness when they talk about the classic Doctors. “And you know, we’ll probably never get to see much before Pertwee because the BBC destroyed those tapes. Sometimes they just recorded over them!”
How nice it would be if we could reclaim some of that…
While I tend to stay away from rumor posts, BBC News is carrying this story, and who would know better what BBC Worldwide might be up to?