UPDATED 11.10.2013 00:01BST (10.10.2013 11:01GMT)
Following the lifting of a BBC PRESS OFFICE embargo, we can detail the 11 CLASSIC SERIES episodes have been returned to the BBC ARCHIVE, and were screened, for the first time in over 40 years, at a Press Event held in Central London yesterday.
Nine of these 11 have been missing from the archive.
The previously missing episodes recovered are:
- DOCTOR WHO - THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD is now COMPLETE (six episodes) with episodes 1, 2, 4 5 and 6 recovered and remastered.
- DOCTOR WHO - THE WEB OF FEAR is now (still) PARTLY-COMPLETE (five of the six episode now retrieved ) with episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6 recovered and remastered. Only episode 3 remains missing.
BBC DVD will be releasing both stories via iTunes from 11 October 2013, with DVD releases to follow.
- DOCTOR WHO - THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD DVD - 25 November 2013
- DOCTOR WHO - THE WEB OF FEAR DVD (with an episode 3 Telesnaps presentation) - Early 2014 - Note: The print for this DVD release will be 'further restored' compared with the iTunes release. The iTunes download has been cleaned but is of unacceptable viewing standard at this stage. eyeofhorus.org.uk recommends that unless you have money to waste, fans may want to wait for the full DVD release, complete with Studio cast commentary and VAM Extras.
REPORT: BBC PRESS EVENT SCREENING - 10 October 2013
The BBC Press Event screened two of the recovered and remastered episodes. These were THE ENEMEY OF THE WORLD episode one and THE WEB OF FEAR episode two.
Attending the screening was Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria) and actor/writer, Mark Gattis, all of whom were genuinely surprised and overwhelmed by the missing episode haul and having a 'sneak preview' of the restored material. Following the screening there was brief Q&A focusing upon the recovered episodes.
eyeofhorus.org.uk was fortunate to sit behind both Hines & Watling, and it was beautifully heartening and touching to see the TARDIS crew briefly clutching hands and Hines whispering excitedly, "Here we go...", as the iconic theme music and Troughton's face loomed large on the screen. Certainly, it was a moment when the hairs on the back of your neck tingled with anticipation. Here was 'New' CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO, that i'd never seen before.
For THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD rehearsal process, Frazer Hines recalled Patrick Troughton's initial vocal demonstration for his doppelganger, Ramon Salamander, to which had 'ribbed' the lead actor in saying, "Salamander is not Welsh! Are you going to play him like that?"
Though it was 46 years since she had seen THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD, Deborah Watling admitted that she could recall the script content: "For Victoria, I knew the next line..." Adroitly, Frazer cheekily added: "You didn't on the set!"
On the location filming of THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD (episode one) on Climping Beach, Frazer Hines recalled that "... it was Pat's idea to don the 'Long Jonhs' for the swimming sequence. Personally, this sequence was a highlight of this missing episode. Troughton skipping across the beach (Matt Smith would love the comic dexterity of his Chaplain-esque movement) eventually disrobing and dashing into the surf, only to return moments later completely and inexplicably dry. Time Lord Instant drying or a hidden hairdryer stuffed in to his 'Long Johns'? The assembled audience of 'hardened' journalists were audibly amused by these scenes.
On THE WEB OF FEAR (episode two), Deborah Watling commended the studio design of the London Underground tunnels and stations: "Claustrophobic. Brilliant".
On seeing her Father, Jack Watling, on screen as Professor Travers, Deborah Watling was truly moved: "Seeing Dad on the screen again after so long. Lovely."
On her working relationship with Patrick Troughton, Deborah Watling: "Pat to me was another Dad. We had a chemistry."
On seeing THE ENEMEY OF THE WORLD's iconic scene between the Doctor and Astrid ("Which Law? Whose philosophy?"), Mark Gattis commented that it is only through seeing Troughton;'s performance on screen that the words (listened to on audio CD up until today) have more meaning, depth and "...justice...".
On being informed about the MISSING EPISODES recovery, Deborah Watling: "I thought it was another hoax. It was confimed-ish. I'm thrilled.
Frazer Hines: Gives me hope that more of series will come out of the woodwork.
On the NEW SERIES (from BBC WALES) compared to the CLASSIC SERIES, Deborah Watling: "It was innocent and kind of enthralled you. A charm about it. (on the NEW SERIES) Of course, I watch it.
Frazer Hines: Matt (Smith) has Pat's mannerisms.
Discussion Mark Ayres (audio track restoration) indicated that overall the sound tracks for the restored material involved only a marginal reliance upon "off-air recording", with a precise "...syllable..." addition within episode two of THE WEB OF FEAR (Anne Travers taking to Harold Chorley). This was due to a poor digital edit undertaken in 1968.
Print Restorer, Peter Crocker indicated that whilst all the newly recovered THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD episodes have been fully restored (including the use of VidFIRE), the iTunes digital print for THE WEB OF FEAR will be later re-mastered specifically for its 2014 DVD release. Interesting, both stories were originally edited digitally (as opposed to "tape and razor blade") and included a number of '...black frames..." (due to editing limitations at the time i.e. the videotape had no 'time-coding' capability) which were common-place in the industry at the time. In effect, Crocker's restoration has tightened-up episode by exorcising the errant '...black frames...'
Overall, the clarity and definition for THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD is superbly sharp if you consider the age of the film print recovered from Nigeria, however, as discussed above, the quality of THE WEB OF FEAR does not deserve purchase via download.
So, there are now 97 missing episode from the DOCTOR WHO archive. Any more out there?
MISSING EPISODES overview (from 11.10.2013)
UPDATED 08/10/2013 15:51: BBC NEWS is CONFIRMING that a number of "...permanently lost..." CLASSIC SERIES episodes have been FOUND, and will be available to download/watch later this week. A BBC PRESS BRIEFING is due on Thursday according to Sources.
Today, the non-BBC publisher, RADIO TIMES has published an articles that "lost episodes" from the Patrick Troughton era will be available for purchased online - via iTunes and other online platforms - from Wednesday 9 October.
Officially, 106 of the CLASSIC SERIES episodes remain unaccounted for, and recent hunt had led BBC Archivists to Ethiopia TV station, where, it is claimed, a large haul of missing episodes have been found.
On Tuesday (8th), there is a London-based event hosted by BBC WORLDWIDE that will announce recent developments. UPDATED: Any news conference has been delayed until "...the end of the week..." according to UK news sources.
Visit the RADIO TIMES website article