As a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I am overjoyed to hear that two classic Doctor Who stories from the 1960s — long thought to be destroyed forever — have been recovered!
The two episodes are: part 3 of the William Hartnell story “Galaxy 4” and part 2 of Patrick Troughton’s “The Underwater Menace”.
The episodes have been held in the private collection of Terry Burnett since the early 80s. He had no idea that the episodes consisted of material missing from the BBC archive.
Watch a clip below from the recovered Hartnell episode Galaxy 4 part three:
The footage was shown publicly for the first time at the British Film Institute’s annual “Missing Believed Wiped” event at the National Film Theatre in London.
Doctor Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss hosted the event and said:
“Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans everywhere. It’s always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it’s been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant. Add to that a proper bit of action from the legendary Chumblies (and the horrifying Rills!) plus the utterly mesmeric Patrick Troughton on great form. Well, what more could we all ask for?”
Watch a clip from the second recovered episode, part two of The Underwater Menace:
Over 100 episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s still remain missing. The tapes were routinely wiped once the rights to repeat them had expired. Only two recoveries of missing Doctor Who episodes have happened in the past 20 years - a single Hartnell episode from The Crusade, and (more fortunately) the entire four-part story The Tomb of the Cybermen back in the early ’90s.
I can’t wait to see these two episodes in their entirety when they make it out on DVD. 2Entertain will be announcing when this will happen sometime in 2012.