Two Lost Doctor Who Episodes Recovered

Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans this year.  Earlier today the BBC announced that two complete lost episodes of Doctor Who have been returned to the BBC Archives.

The complete third episode (Air Lock) of the 1965 William Hartnell story Galaxy 4 has been recovered.  Prior to this only a short clip from the first episode remained in the archives.

Also the complete second episode of the 1967 Patrick Troughton story The Underwater Menace was recovered.  This is the earliest complete episode for the Second Doctor to now exist in the archives, along with episode three of the same story.

The episodes were found by former TVS engineer Terry Burnett, who bought them at a school fête in Marchwood, Southampton in the 1980s.  Ralph Montagu, Doctor Who Restoration Team member, told the Radio Times how they came to his attention.

I occasionally meet up with a group of film collectors and retired TV engineers at a café in Hampshire. A few months ago I spoke to Terry Burnett, who used to be an engineer at TVS [the former ITV franchise based in Southampton]. Somehow Doctor Who was mentioned in passing, and Terry said, ‘Oh, actually I think I’ve got an old episode. I thought it was bound to be something we’ve got already,” says Ralph. “I tried not to get too excited, but he came back the next day and brought this spool with him. It had no label, so I had a look at the film leader and it said ‘Air Lock’. I thought, ‘What’s that?’ I checked online and saw that Air Lock was an episode of Galaxy 4 – a missing Hartnell serial. So then I got very excited.

(meeting with Terry a couple of weeks later) And he said, ‘Guess what I’ve got.’ It was another episode of Doctor Who! Again not labelled on the can, but it turned out to be The Underwater Menace part two.”

Read the full article at the Radio Times website.

Both episodes were screened this afternoon at the British Film Institute’s Missing Believed Wiped event.  That was the first time they have been seen in the UK since their original transmission.

There will have to be a lot of restoration work done to the two episodes before they will be commercially released on DVD.  Film damage will have to be repaired and some censored clips will have to be re-instated.  Research has shown that the episodes originated from the ABC channel in Australia.  The Underwater Menace Episode 2 is still missing a few short sections that were removed by the Australian censors for its original transmission.  Fresh scans of the missing sections have been made by the National Archives of Australia and will be used to restore the episodes for the DVD release.  2|Entertain will make an announcement in 2012 as to the DVD release date.  All other partial stories have been previously released in the Lost in Time Collection box set.

These are the only full episodes that have been recovered since 2004 when the 1965 Dalek’s Master Plan episode Day of Armageddon was found.  There are still 106 Doctor Who episodes from the First and Second Doctors’ eras.  Hopefully these finds will inspire more people to dig through their attics, basements, and garages for more missing episodes.

I am really looking forward to seeing these new-old episodes.  Ever since I heard the news today, I’ve been extremely excited.  It instills me with the hope that we might, some day have a complete collection of all the Doctor Who episodes.  I have full faith in the Restoration Team being able to repair any damage to the episodes, they have been doing unbelievable work since the first Doctor Who DVD releases.

Doctor Who Episodes That Are Still Missing:

The First Doctor

Marco Polo - All 7 episodes

The Reign of Terror - Episodes 4–5 (of 6 total)

The Crusade - Episodes 2, 4 (of 4 total)

Galaxy 4 – Episodes 1, 2 & 4 (of 4 total)

Mission to the Unknown - Entire episode

The Myth Makers - All 4 episodes

The Daleks’ Master Plan - Episodes 1, 3–4, 6–9, 11–12 (of 12 total)

The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve - All 4 episodes

The Celestial Toymaker - Episodes 1–3 (of 4 total)

The Savages - All 4 episodes

The Smugglers - All 4 episodes

The Tenth Planet - Episode 4 (of 4 total)

The Second Doctor

The Power of the Daleks - All 6 episodes

The Highlanders - All 4 episodes

The Underwater Menace – Episodes 1 & 4 (of 4 total)

The Moonbase - Episodes 1, 3 (of 4 total)

The Macra Terror - All 4 episodes

The Faceless Ones - Episodes 2, 4–6 (of 6 total)

The Evil of the Daleks - Episodes 1, 3–7 (of 7 total)

The Abominable Snowmen - Episodes 1, 3–6 (of 6 total)

The Ice Warriors - Episodes 2–3 (of 6 total)

The Enemy of the World - Episodes 1–2, 4–6 (of 6 total)

The Web of Fear - Episodes 2–6 (of 6 total)

Fury from the Deep - All 6 episodes

The Wheel in Space - Episodes 1–2, 4–5 (of 6 total)

The Invasion - Episodes 1, 4 (of 8 total)

The Space Pirates - Episodes 1, 3–6 (of 6 total)


Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy Who Year!

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