Could a letter from US Sergeant hold the key to finding the much coveted lost Second Doctor serial The Power of the Daleks?
Doctor Who Worldwide – with a hat tip to The Consulting Detective – reports that contributor Will Barber-Taylor received a tip from The Cult Box from a man who was in contact with a US Armed Forces Sergeant in 1984.
The Sergeant, who was stationed in the Far East at the end of the Vietnam War, and had spent a considerable amount of time in South Korea, Japan (Okinawa), and, more importantly Taiwan, recalled that he’d seen episodes in ‘black and white’ and that at least one episode had featured the Daleks.
He also added that the Doctor for these stories was ‘the guy who looked like Moe (of the Three Stooges)’
What’s interesting about the USAF Sergeants recollections is the possibility that lost episodes may have been aired as part of the Armed Forces Network – the sergeant couldn’t recall if the episodes had been aired on the AFN – but if the episodes did air on AFN Taiwan, it throws open the possibility that the BBC, like they have in other countries, bicycled the episodes between various countries due to the finite amount of programming available for the AFN.
Taking this line of enquiry further Doctor Who Worldwide speculates the episodes that were couriered in this fashion from Asia could have been the ones discovered by Tombraider Philip Morris in Singapore and Nigeria.
While it goes some length to explain why some of the batches of episodes never made it back to their country of origin or why some are missing from those same batches – the episodes could have been supplied to AFN or copied by ABC for the AFN in Taiwan and then the episodes were swapped around various countries.
Regardless, there seems to be an untapped line of enquiry in Taiwan.
Back in December news emerged of Doctor Who fan and lost episode hunter Ian Levine’s quest to unearth missing episodes to Taiwan – where, alas, he was only able to find episodes that had previously been recovered, such as The Dominators episodes 2 and 3 and The Seeds of Death episode 2.
The full list of found episodes included:
¦The Enemy of the World 6 ¦The Keys of Marinus 6 ¦The Krotons 3 ¦The Ambassadors of Death 1 & 3 ¦The Seeds of Death 2 ¦The Dominators 2 & 3 ¦The War Games 1 & 2 While these finds were noteworthy, what is interesting is the spread of episodes across the Doctors incarnations. Perhaps indicating that they were just a selection of the episodes floating about Asia between the AFN’s.
One flaw in this burgeoning theory is this quote from Eric Loveman, who worked for AFNT Radio at various intervals during the late 1960’s early 1970’s:
“AFNT was just radio. [We weren't allowed a TV station,] the speculation was that the local government didn’t want us competing with the two local TV stations” However Doctor Who Worldwide countered:
“Jon Preddle meanwhile over at BroaDWcast suggests their broadcast had been “blocked” in 1976 and the episodes existed as part of a package gifted freely to the American Forces, which may suggest the normal groups and chains may not apply. What this package comprised of is unknown, nor whether these were new prints or sent from elsewhere…” So a new venture with nebulous routes or an interesting footnote in the ongoing search for lost Doctor Who episodes?
BBC Worldwide have announced a cinematic outing for the two recently recovered stories The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear.
The stories will be shown together at the Prince Charles Cinema in London on Saturday 22nd February from 11:15am, and will also include a 45-minute Q&A session, chaired by Toby Hadoke, with cast members from the stories and a member of the Troughton family.
Fiona Eastwood, Director of Consumer Products at BBC Worldwide, said: The recovery of these missing stories was undoubtedly a high point for BBC Worldwide and Doctor Who fans around the world last year, and we hope there will be more to come. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to make both of these stories available and the marathon screening at the Prince Charles Cinema is a great moment for Doctor Who fans to come together and celebrate their recovery.
Paul Vickery, Head Programmer at the Prince Charles Cinema said: I couldn't be more proud to be part of this one-off experience - as a cinema, it's a dream come true for us to finally have the Doctor fill our screen and delight audiences and fans of the show. As a HUGE fan of the series I'll be there too, front row-centre. I’m very excited about having the opportunity to revisit these incredible episodes in a truly unique way… on the big-screen. It's sure to be one of those events for the PCC history books and I for one can't wait.
Dick Fiddy, Missing Believed Wiped Co-ordinator at the BFI, added: These finds are truly significant, offering a further opportunity to re-visit the Patrick Troughton era. The recovery of these episodes indicates the possibility that more episodes are out there somewhere awaiting re-discovery – a mouth-watering prospect for all Doctor Who fans and those interested generally in the recovery of missing UK television programmes.
Tickets go on sale from 9:00am on the 14th February, priced at £14 (£11.50 members).
ATTENTION: Absolutely NOTHING has been confirmed but put down your tea and lean-in, Kasterborites. The Omnirumour has sprouted another Kroll-like tentacle. (Or rather lengthened a pre-existing one. Read on…)
Legendary Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One took place last weekend and featured a panel discussion on the on-going search for missing 60s episodes… Nerdist has reported welcome comments from Restoration Team founding member Steve Roberts at the panel. This included quoting a letter from Philip Morris, the man responsible for returning 1967s The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear to the BBC…
…The letter said that the remainder of a large haul of discovered film prints of vintage television shows that had been discovered in Nigeria were still being sorted though. However we were told to “expect the unexpected” and Roberts had reason to believe that the most likely find is all or some of Marco Polo (1964) – the only missing serial from season one.
We reported on the possibility of Polo having been found back in November last year though that followed reports by the Mirror from a ‘TV insider’ (yeah, OK) that a fan had recorded film of all seven episodes back in the 60s and held on to it until now. But last weekend’s panel seem to indicate that Polo may instead have been found in the haul from Nigeria.
Whatever the truth is, the Omnirumour is being strangely persistent and there seems to be reason to hope for good news… I certainly hope so as, personally, the discovery of missing Who is more exciting than getting snogged by that super-hot celebrity you’ve always had a massive crush on. In space. (I’m sure you’re the same, dear reader). And it’s tough reigning in the excitement just in case the Omnirumour turns out to disappoint.
It’s a week of celebration for Doctor Who fans as The Web of Fear, the once-lost classic from 1968, is released on BBC DVD.
I am overjoyed that my all-time favourite Doctor Who serial, in which second Doctor Patrick Troughton battles the Yeti on the London Underground, miraculously “exists” again after 46 years. And I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for the Restoration Team (who have achieved a pristine clean-up job) and to Television International Enterprises and Archives Ltd (TIEA) who returned the film prints to the BBC last year.
But TIEA’s executive director Philip Morris, the man who located the film cans in Nigeria, has yet to find time to sit down and enjoy his discovery. “I still haven’t watched Web of Fear,” he tells RT. “Maybe the BBC will send me a copy!”
Now 46, he is as old as the episodes himself, so obviously never saw them on original transmission on BBC1, “but I did read the Target novels when I was six or seven years old.”
Philip (pictured below) explains how the episodes came to light: “TIEA had been working on a very large project in Nigeria called Project Genesis, alongside the Nigerian Television Authority. The first phase involved checking every station countrywide to ascertain conditions and storage of materials. It was while visiting one station in Jos [a city in central Nigeria], during a careful catalogue of materials with my staff, I noticed a piece of masking tape on a shelf, which after closer inspection read ‘Dr Who’.
“I immediately pulled down one of the film cans. It read ‘Dr Who QQ5’ [the official code for The Web of Fear episode 5]. From TIEA records, I knew it to be a missing Doctor Who story. Wow! I thought and I must admit my heart skipped a beat.” He’d found The Web of Fear alongside cans for The Enemy of the World. “These films were the last survivors of two classic Patrick Troughton tales, which should have been destroyed years ago according to contract.”
When Philip contacted the Nigerian programme purchaser, “He informed me he had instructions to burn them. I informed him it was not necessary and the BBC would be delighted to have them back.”
Unfortunately, although Philip found all six episodes of The Enemy of the World and five of The Web of Fear, the film can for episode three of The Web of Fear was not among them. “Eleven were retrieved in total, but who knows, maybe out there another copy exists somewhere; we live in hope.” (On the BBC DVD, episode three has been re-created using off-screen photos and the surviving soundtrack.)
The global search goes on for TIEA, and of course they’re not just looking for lost Doctor Who. Many other programmes are of historical interest. TIEA have also returned two 1963 editions of the BBC’s The Sky at Night.
Philip reveals that he and his team are currently “working in South America, South East Asia, as well as a whole host of other larger and smaller countries. We are also working with lots of private film collectors around the globe transferring lots of old domestic video recordings from old reel-to-reel tapes, Shibaden and Philips 1500/1700 [obsolete videotape formats].”
Read any fan forum, and it’s hard to keep up with the frenzied rumours and conspiracies about missing/found TV programmes. There’s the so-called “omnirumour” that almost all 97 missing 1960s Who episodes have been found. There are less far-fetched assertions that another batch of discoveries might be announced some time this year.
At Radio Times, our Missing Episode Campaign has attracted all sorts of wild stories and credible accounts of film collectors in far-flung locales. But there are positive stories. In 2011, British collector Terry Burnett passed on to RT historian Ralph Montagu episodes from Galaxy 4 and The Underwater Menace. We’re still waiting for a DVD release of the latter.
My old friend Ian Levine, who saved many episodes from destruction in the 1970s and 80s, is back on the trail for lost classics. Recently, his contacts located ten film prints in Taiwan; such bad luck that they were all episodes already existing in the BBC archive. But the search goes on.
We’ll end on a personal message from Philip Morris: “To the fans, never give up hope. Be patient. People are working very hard in lots of very volatile and dangerous corners of the globe, sometimes paying with their nervous systems, which is a hard thing to give. As always, TIEA are out there. Expect the unexpected.”
That’s the intriguing question posed by blogger Chris Swanson, who claims that it’s been ‘personally relayed’ to him by a ‘confidential source’ that this late era First Doctor story has been recovered.
Important for us to stress that the usual health warnings apply to this the same as any other missing episodes information; indeed as Swanson himself says, he hasn’t been able to find any additional confirmation.
The Smugglers is perhaps best remembered for being exceptionally bloodthirsty with various gruesome acts of violence. As with so many of these rumours this is frustratingly inconclusive, of course, and fans will have to make their own minds up as to how much credence to attach to an unconfirmed story with no supporting detail.
With all of its episodes missing from the archives, The Smugglers is perhaps best remembered for being, as described by Jonathan Morris in Doctor Who Magazine‘s Missing Episodes First Doctor Special, ‘exceptionally bloodthirsty’ with various gruesome acts of violence. A surviving clip from part 3 was unsurprisingly excised by an overseas censor, who took exception to Pike doing away with the unfortunate Jamaica with his spike.
The Smugglers may not be the most fondly remembered story of its era but the censor clips and behind the scenes footage are surely enough to make the prospect of seeing it for what would be the first time for most of us enticing, if irritatingly out of reach. What do you think? Time for an extra rum ration?
It is going DOWN on Twitter, dear reader. Well. It might. Nip over to the microblogging site to read some fizzing comments from Northern Soul DJ and missing episode supremo, Ian Levine.
He has challenged Philip Morris, head of the international television archive company that recently returned 1967's Enemy of the World and Web of Fear to the BBC to a public debate:
This centres around the fact that a number of other finds alongside the two returned Troughton stories are suspected to have been made and we all waiting on an announcement. We’ve previously reported on the rumored discovery of Marco Polo and check out our overview of a Starburst article examining why there might be legitimate reasons to delay announcing more recovered episodes. Levine is well-known for his strong views and at times vitriolic commentary on the return of missing episodes to their original home. He thinks we should have been told more by now. Others are sure that Morris will spill the wonderful beans when the time is right. Levine replies,
His challenge has prompted some less-than-impressed responses. We can understand, given his role in saving the first Dalek serial from destruction and long-term involvement in the search, that he might feel entitled to a view on these things. Like the rest of us, Ian really, really, really wants to know, like, NOW. But that doesn’t give any of us a right to demand information – however strongly we feel it.
Television International Archives Ltd have issued a statement on their Facebook page on the recovery of missing Doctor Who episodes.
The company, led by Philip Morris, was responsible for the recovery of nine missing Troughton episodes last year. Episodes found at a relay station in the Nigerian city of Jos.
Since then there have been many rumours of more episodes being discovered, prompting much discussion on twitter and in fan forums. However, as yet, no more episodes have been confirmed as being returned to the BBC. The statement from TIA pledges that they will endeavour to return any missing programmes while stating this is not their main purpose. Morris finishes the statement by saying Stay Tuned..
A list of current missing Doctor Who episodes can be seen on the Doctor Who Guide
Statement from Television International Enterprises Archives Ltd
T.I.E.A understands the passion felt by Doctor Who fans and that looking for missing episodes of Doctor who plus many other shows is an important but tiny part of the work that T.I.E.A does.The main aim of this organisation is to assist those archives whose own cultural heritage is under threat.If any programmes do still exist T.I.E.A will endeavor to recover them safely as with web of fear and enemy of the world.T.I.E.A are not sponsored by any organisation we are a completely independent body we work alongside many organisations such as the B.F.I.
However as much as people want specific programmes found wishing them into existence or starting rumors will not magically return them .Individuals trying to extract information which does not exist or is commercially confidential will be deleted unread any legitimate inquires for T.I.E.A LTD services are welcome.
Has Missing Doctor Who Serial The Power Of The Daleks Been Found?
Released in 2012, Power of the Daleks: Reimagined was an atmospheric adaptation of the original missing Doctor Who serial, released online (and at conventions) to largely favourable reviews.
However, in an interesting turn of events which we believe is omnirumour-related, the two-part film has been excised from YouTube, apparently following a request from the copyright holder, the BBC.
After two years, this seems like a slow reaction; could something else be a contributing factor?
With Nick Scovell as the Doctor and a notable cast for a fan film that included Nick Briggs, Barnaby Edwards and Lisa Bowerman, Power of the Daleks: Reimagined succeeded in keeping affection for the original serial alive while reworking some of its stunning scenes. Now, other than by watching the trailers, this is no longer possible.
Could this be omirumour related? Is the BBC paving the way for the original definitive version of The Power of the Daleks to be issued on DVD, recovered by Philip Morris’ Television International Enterprises Archives Ltd or some private collector?
The discovery of thought to be lost Doctor Who episodes has been in the forefront of Who related news in the last year or so, no doubt in part due to the persistent #omnirumor.
However, finding these treasures is only half of the battle. In the same manor that older movies and albums are rereleased under the moniker of “remastered,” these lost episodes that find their way back to the BBC on timeworn reels have to be shown an appropriate amount of TLC.
Key member of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, Paul Vanezis, has posted a must-see video to YouTube documenting some of the steps that have to be taken to save and restore these missing stories. The process is rather fascinating and the video is most definitely worth a look, if only to shed light on just why these things take so much time to release.
I'd like to know if they finally found some more lost reels? Any leads, any clues?
While not a missing episode, this rare 16mm Doctor Who of part 3 of 1968's The Wheel in Space available on eBay right now is sure to attract interest.
Says the seller:
16mm film. DOCTOR WHO tv episode “Wheel In Space” Part 3. Starring Patrick Troughton as The Doctor. This is episode 3 from a 6 part story. From what I know, only this episode and episode 6 exist at the BBC. As the Beeb have their own copy of episode 3, I’m only selling my copy on this basis. Condition: Excellent Print…no scratches, didn’t notice splices, picture and sound very good. This episode looks complete from the beginning to the end with all credit titles, black and white. Film will be posted by Special Delivery. Please Note: UK BIDDERS ONLY. However, if you want it, the price will be high. Over on eBay the bidding starts at £799.00!
Does a rare 16mm film version of a 1960s episode interest you?
Update: Item Withdrawn!
At 12.20pm the auction was ended by the seller, several days before its intended time…
Update: Item Re-Listed!
In a curious turn of events, it seems that the item has been relisted, again for £799. We continue to watch this auction with interest.