Although Doctor Who is now a cherished cultural icon, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, many episodes of Doctor Who’s earliest adventures have been lost, thanks to the BBC’s tendency to simply record over the archival tapes. Occasionally, though, “lost” episodes are found, either because someone at home recorded the episodes by pointing a camera at their screens, or because the BBC shipped a copy of the tape to some international affiliate.
That’s how two lost stories from Doctor Who were just recovered. The BBC just discovered a small cache of Second Doctor episodes in Nigeria. And they’re now available on iTunes!
All the episodes are from the Second Doctor’s era and come from two stories – The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. The Enemy of the World first aired on BBC One in December, 1967. Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 had been missing from the BBC archives but have now been found which means that a complete version of this classic six-parter now exists. Episodes 2 – 6 of The Web of Fear were feared lost forever but now episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 have been recovered. This means that now, aside from episode 3, this adventure also exists in its entirety.
The Web Of Fear is particularly interesting, in that the episodes introduce Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the Doctor’s longest-running companions. Great news for Doctor Who completionists, and well-timed too: this year marks the good Doctor’s fiftieth anniversary.
Source: BBC America.