It was pretty big, and timely, news the other week when Bleeding Cool reported a rumor that the BBC had unearthed some old episodes of Doctor Who including classic storylines like Dad’s Army, Morecambe And Wise, and The Sky At Night. But did someone jump the gun when they talked to Bleeding Cool?
An official source with the BBC told Bleeding Cool that, yes, they have. Philip Fleming, Head of Communications, Brands, Content & Digital, BBC Worldwide told BC’s Rich Johnston:
There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered, however we cannot confirm any new finds.
Well that’s the end of that right? Not to fast, Bleeding Cool ran a follow-up to the follow-up that seemed to indicate that the BBC may have been fibbing a little as to just how much this rumor is not-true. Indeed one reformed naysayer, an archivist named Ian Levine, tweeted that “I am so f***ing speechless, I have no idea how I am going to sleep tonight. I was utterly wrong, but I was lied to, yes barefaced lied to.”
He then tweeted further that, “I have just seen ‘three tons’ of evidence that tells me it’s all true. Saying no more. Apart from I now believe it again.” He then responded to a follower saying, “I’ve just been given proof that backs up the entire story,from 2011. So yes I now really believe he has found 90 missing episodes.”
The reference to “three tons” of footage was a 2011 report about a huge shipment of old BBC footage from several shows from the 60s, up-to and including Doctor Who. From the original article:
I work at a regional branch of a large international logistics company. On Tuesday morning a customer called in to collect a box sent from Zambia via Nigeria containing BBC tapes and 16″ films, supposedly for returning to the archives. The guy apparently said (I didn’t serve him myself) that the box contained recovered 60s material including episodes of Doctor Who (the only programme he mentioned by name, it seems) and that we’d be hearing all about it before the end of the year. Naturally I was keenly excited, particularly given that this seemed to suggest a major find, but, having encountered neither box nor customer myself, I couldn’t pursue the matter directly. I’ve checked the paperwork but I can’t fathom why BBC archive stuff would be addressed to a Merseyside address, especially one where the company name given doesn’t match the stated premises or postcode (hence why we couldn’t deliver the box and the customer had to fetch it himself). Then again, the shipper may have just cocked up the address slightly, it’s all perfectly kosher and I’m just fretting inappropriately. After all, the customer did say all would be revealed in time.
So don’t discount the possibility that there may be some found Doctor Who out there. This year would be the perfect time to unleash some lost then found Who and obviously the BBC is going to let those punks at Bleeding Cool ruin the surprise.
More news as it develops.