Fans of Doctor Who are entering a shiny new year. The show has reached a new apex of popularity, DVDs and Blurays of almost every episode are available worldwide and we’re weeks away from basking in the warm glow of a new Doctor Who Christmas special. For longtime fans of Classic Who we’ve got even greater news. Two episodes of the series which had been thought to have been lost forever were recently rediscovered and returned to the BBC.
Some of you might be thinking, “Lost? What do you mean, lost?” Well, in the 60s in their infinite wisdom the BBC would re-record over the tapes of television episodes. You can’t completely blame them, even though we do, because at that time episodes were never re-aired and they weren’t sold on any format to be viewed at home. After an episode aired there was no reason to hang on to it. Sadly, this means dozens upon dozens of Doctor Who episodes, mostly from the original Doctor, William Hartnell and his successor, Patrick Troughton‘s tenure in the TARDIS, disappeared never to be seen again. Occasionally an episode or two would be found at the studio of a BBC affiliate, but since the 1990’s most of those episodes had been recovered.
Amazingly, two new episodes have been found, the third episode of the Hartnell serial “Galaxy 4” and the second episode of Troughton’s “The Underwater Menace” (Doctor Who stories used to be told in four to six part serials as opposed to one contained episode). The were discovered by film aficionado Terry Burnett who purchased them in the 1980s. They had originally been owned by Australia’s ABC channel.
Watch the news report below and rejoice in knowing more of Doctor Who‘s amazing 48 year history has been found!