Chris Perry, CEO of the TV archiving company, Kaleidoscope, has confirmed that he knows more episode of missing Doctor Who exist and will be returned to the BBC at some point in the future.
Many First and Second Doctor stories (and even some Third Doctor ones) were wiped from archives, leaving gaps in the history of Doctor Who, but Perry says he’s aware of lost episodes that should be recovered sometime in the future.
“We know where there is missing Doctor Who out there but the owners won’t return it at the moment.
“Every year, we find 50 to 70 lost programmes, some famous titles and internationally known names and others not, but significant examples of regional television output, for example.”
We’ve heard similar claims from other sources, notably Philip Morris who recovered episodes of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear a decade ago, but it’s great to hear another expert in the field concur.
First Doctor stories, either partly or wholly missing, include Marco Polo, The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, The Smugglers, and the final episode of The Tenth Planet, which famously featured the first ever regeneration. Lost Second Doctor episodes or stories include The Highlanders, The Evil of the Daleks, The Wheel in Space, and The Space Pirates.
We don’t know which other episodes are out there, although it’s likely that episode three of The Web of Fear exists — Morris says he found it with the rest of the serial, but by the time the shipment of reels arrived in the UK, it had vanished.
And so the saga of missing Doctor Who rumbles on. We can, at least, see a glimmer of hope…