Two missing episodes of Doctor Who (probably) exist; alas, we probably won’t get to see them for a while, if ever. And yes, that sound you can hear is the anguished screams and breaking hearts of fans all over the world.
Paul Vanezis, a member of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, told Radio Free Skaro that he knows someone with two film cans in his possession… but that he won’t share them.
Though Vanezis hasn’t actually seen the films, the unnamed collector assures him of what he’s got, and Vanezis is inclined to believe him. However, he says:
“[He’s] a very nice guy; he’s got a couple of cans on his shelf. I’ve not physically looked at those films; I know what they are… He’s not a Doctor Who fan… He isn’t really interested in any of this.”
Essentially, we know it’s likely two missing episodes of Doctor Who do actually exist still, and that the Not-We is holding out for… uh, some reason? Presumably, it’s about money. Hey, everyone needs to make a living.
The BBC would only take a copy; they would return the cans to the collector afterwards so we can’t see that factoring in as a reason the guy wouldn’t relinquish them.
Paul Vanezis is perhaps most notable for aiding in the recovery of The Sensorites, and much of The Aztecs and The Reign of Terror.
We can only speculate which two episodes these are. Aside from the one-part Mission to the Unknown, various serials only have one or two episodes missing, including First Doctor stories, The Reign of Terror, The Crusades, and The Tenth Planet.
Missing Second Doctor tales include The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors, The Web of Fear, and The Invasion. There are currently 97 First and Second Doctor episodes missing from the archives.
But that’s what we can take from this: yes, we might have to wait to see any episodes recovered soon, yet it does demonstrate that there are still some out there – waiting…