Well, it’s official. After months of rumours and speculation we finally know that nine missing episodes of Doctor Who have come back. This gives us a complete run of the Patrick Troughton story The Enemy of the World and an almost complete run of another Troughton story The Web of Fear. And that is pretty amazing.
In total eleven episodes were discovered in a storeroom in Nigeria. We are told that two of the found episodes were already in the BBC archives so I assume that they are the not-actually-missing installments of the above stories as we already had one episode of each.
The news was announced last night at midnight and the episodes were immediately made available on iTunes (for those who can work out how to use such a thing). In a surprise move (well, I was surprised anyway) the DVDs appeared for pre-order on Amazon UK and the BBC Shop. And the DVDs have lovely new artwork.
I note that the covers have great big “To Be Confirmed” watermarks stamped on them but I hope the final product does not deviate too much from what we can see here.
Additionally the BBC Shop is offering The Enemy of the World with an exclusive slipcover. Again, art to be confirmed.
The Enemy of the World is complete and the DVD will be released on 25 November 2013, in other words the Monday after the 23 November 50th anniversary special.
We have to wait a bit longer for the DVD of The Web of Fear. Its not out until 24 Feburary 2014. I assume the longer wait is due to whatever work is needed to present the missing episode 3 of that serial, perhaps as a reconstruction.
It’s great that the DVDs will be out so soon after the discovery was announced. In 2011 two missing episodes were found. The episode from William Hartnell story Galaxy 4 was only released on DVD this year and the other one, an episode from the Patrick Troughton story The Underwater Menace, still hasn’t been released.
It is slightly annoying that Web is incomplete. but then I remind myself that we have gone from one episode in existance and five missing to five in existance and one missing! That’s a pretty good trade. I’m a big Troughton fan, in fact he’s my favourite Doctor, so this is wonderful news.
These finds bring the total epsiodes missing down from 106 to 97.
An it is worth noting that there may well be more finds to come. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.
Here’s a link to the BBC news article with some video clips:
Update: the BBC Shop is now listing an exclusive slipcase for The Web of Fear as well.