The rumors have been swirling for months, driven by the hot air of fan frenzy and official non-denial denials, but at last the BBC has confirmed that at least some missing episodes of DOCTOR WHO have been found and returned!
A statement from the BBC declared:
“There will be big news this Tuesday [Oct. 8] regarding lost Doctor Who episodes. It is great that in the show’s 50th year, fans will now be able to look back with classic episodes as well as looking to the future with the new film-length episode in November.”
The Radio Times stated:
“BBC Worldwide will put the previously lost episodes from different stories – both believed to be from the Patrick Troughton era – for sale on digital platforms such as iTunes from Wednesday, RadioTimes.com understands. They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy. It is understood that other episodes have also been found, although it is not yet known whether these will be made available.”
The assertion was backed up/confirmed by Doctor Who Online, which Tweeted:
“There is definitely some misinformation with the #DoctorWho Missing Episode rumours in todays @DailyMirror. We will finally break our silence on subject by saying missing episodes HAVE been found and some official news will be released within the next month! #Yay!”
Details are still shrouded in mystery, but indications are that there are not 106 recovered episodes, as rumored earlier in the year, or even more than 100, as suggested by a weekend report in the notorious British tabloid The Mirror. It could be as few as a handful, with the most likely candidates being episodes of Troughton’s “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear.”
There’s probably still some garble mixed with the misinformation in the message —it seems a bit surprising that the episodes would go directly to iTunes without the fanfare of a BFI screening, but perhaps Auntie Beeb is in a hurry to get the shows into the hands of fans as soon as possible.