The search for “lost” episodes of Doctor Who – usually in the form of copies made back in the day to replace those that the BBC so thoughtlessly recorded over – is an ongoing process. Rumours began to surface in recent months that some new missing episodes had been tracked down. Now the nine episodes, five from The Enemy Of The World and four from The Web Of Fear and all from Patrick Troughton's run as the Second Doctor, have been cleaned up and are available on iTunes.
One episode from Web Of Fear remains unaccounted for, but has been recreated using stills and the soundtrack. One episode of The Enemy Of The World's six was already held by the BBC. The footage was found at a Nigerian TV station by footage hunter Philip Morris, who told SFX about his discovery at a screening for two episodes held to celebrate their return.
“These episodes were discovered on a project we were working on in Nigeria,” Morris explains. “They were found at a TV station in Jos, just sitting on the shelf. I can remember now seeing a piece of masking tape that said ‘Doctor Who’ on it, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is interesting’. Pulled the cans down, I read the story codes, instantly of course recognised what the stories were… And realised they were missing from the BBC’s archive, and a lot of Doctor Who fans around the world were gonna be very happy. So it was a very pleasing discovery, really.”
While the early talk of "a hundred" unearthed episodes was premature, any discovery is good news for fans. Those who would prefer DVD versions will be able to get The Enemy Of The World from November 25 and The Web Of Fear is due to hit shiny disc in 2014. If you can't wait that long, head to iTunes.