Friday, October 11, 2013

Good News, Everyone!

Good news for Doctor Who fans today: the BBC announced today that several more long lost episodes have been found! Huzzah!

A couple weeks ago rumors began flying across the interwebs that a cache of episodes had been found in Nigeria of all places (no doubt hidden by one of those princes who's always emailing everyone about their fortunes). The BBC refused to comment on the topic "until they were ready to make a statement," which was the absolute worst thing they could have done. This only caused rumor and speculation to spread like wildfire.

Stories started popping up saying that all 106 missing episodes had been found. Most fans knew this was too good to be true though. First of all, finding ALL the episodes in one spot just seemed unlikely. Secondly, there's a Christmas episode titled The Feast Of Steven that was erased shortly after airing that is lost forever, so it's impossible to find all 106.

The BBC finally deigned to clear up the confusion and speculation today and announced that eleven episodes had been found, nine of which hadn't been seen for forty six years!

All six episodes of the story The Enemy Of The World have been found. The story features Patrick Troughton in a dual role as the Second Doctor and his enemy Ramon Salamander.

Also found were five out of six episodes of The Web Of Fear. Sadly episode three of this story is still missing. But hey, it's better than nothing! The Web Of Fear features the Second Doctor's famous foes the Yeti as they crawl around in the London underground. It's also the first ever appearance of fan-favorite character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (although he's just a colonel here). Cool!

As you can probably tell, the recovered episodes all feature the Second Doctor, which is good news. For some reason poor ol' #2 has the most missing episodes of any Doctor, so any of his that can be recovered is always a good thing.

Supposedly the video restoration team is working to reconstruct the still-missing third episode from still images and the audio soundtrack, which is still available.

This leaves ninety six episodes that are still missing, not counting the one that can never be found (106 missing - 1 that will never be found - 11 that were just found + 2 that we already had = 96). Here's to hoping that somewhere out there is a dry, dusty warehouse containing a box full of the rest of the episodes.

As always it's galling to me that we're still missing ninety six episodes of Doctor Who, while every single miserable second of Two And A Half Men will be forever preserved in stunning 1080p high definition. The universe is a very unfair place.

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