The Great Missing Episode Swindle – Part Two


A while ago on Outpost Skaro we wrote an article called The Great Missing Episode Swindle, highlighting the find of Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. As it turns out, we were pretty close to the mark, which was nice, but the rest of the Omni-Rumour (I hate that word, it’s much closer to the Malcolm Tucker word OmniShambles!) has yet to make an appearance.

I’ve been slightly misquoted in our own forum and on Twitter, so I thought it was only right I set my own particular record straight with regards to what I know and don’t know concerning this.

Firstly, let me say that, and reiterate and reiterate it, that I am by no means an expert in this thing. If you want experts, look no further than Puqui and Scot on the forums. Those guys know their shizzle and are far deeper into it than me. For the record, I’m not a big Missing Episode fan. I mean, I’m glad they’re back, but I won’t lose any sleep if their not. I only got involved in this as I was being given information (as though I already knew it) I couldn’t ignore. It also helps as an interviewer to have ALL the facts about your subjects.

So, with that out the way, what exactly can I tell you about the Missing Episodes. Well, there is some pretty neat little mentions in my book, Face To Face, which deals with the Classic Series. Both Anneke Wills and Deborah Watling allude to what they know, but, of course, those interviews aren’t bang up to date anymore, however with hindsight the interviews reveal more than on first reading.

More up to date, is this situation of whether 90+ stories have been recovered. Short answer, as before, is that I DON’T KNOW. Not for certain. I’ve not seen anything personally, but I have been told by some pretty reliable sources.

How reliable? Well, the same people who told me about EOTW and Web, for instance, the same people who told me Paul McGann was appearing in an online minisode and the same person who told me Matt was leaving. All this was 100% accurate and happened last year. So that’s how confident I can be with what I’m told.

So what have I been told? Well, I want to be very specific about it because it tends to be misquoted. Here’s what I’ve been told, in parts…

1) That the majority of the missing Doctor Who episodes HAVE BEEN FOUND AND ARE IN SAFE HANDS.

Caveat: This does NOT mean they are back with the BBC or that they are being worked on by the RT. I’m not willing to say who I’ve been told does have them, but this has been corroborated by more than one source. Although, to be fair, those other sources are on a “yeah, I’ve been told that too” basis.

2) Marco Polo has been restored.

Caveat: I don’t know whether this was restored by the regular RT or someone else. If the RT say they haven’t, I’ve no reason to call any of them a liar. It could have gone elsewhere, especially if it wasn’t sanctioned by the BBC

3) ONE person has told me that ALL BAR ONE missing episodes have been found, the missing one being one of The Dalek Masterplan. I don’t know which one, sorry.

Caveat: I can’t, at present, get this corroborated. I’ve no reason to doubt my source, but they are very happy with me stressing that this is by no means certain. They are waiting on confirmation themselves.

4) ALL Troughton episodes have been discovered.

Caveat: This comes from two sources, who aren’t exactly separate, so it could be a bit of cross-pollination.

5) There are tentative plans for an announcement at Easter.

Caveat: This doesn’t mean an announcement a la Web and Enemy where they are suddenly available on iTunes. It could be an announcement to say “the episodes are discovered and we’re now going to start working on them” or something. This will only happen if all parties are happy, sorted and in agreement. It’s by no means 100% and by no means definite.

And, finally, I have to say, we need to get into our heads the difference in being discovered and being available. The availability of this discovery could take ages. Years. I would really be thinking years rather than weeks or months. It’s huge. If, indeed, it’s real. It may be that there’s nothing left but cans of vinegar and melted plastic, or things might stall which means we’ll never get to see some of this. It’s all in the lap of the gods.

I hope that helps clear up where I am on the missing episodes thing, I don’t want to give anyone false hope. What I would say, finally, though, is that if nothing comes by Easter, we’ll be waiting years, I would imagine, before we get any announcement or any confirmation.

7 thoughts on “The Great Missing Episode Swindle – Part Two

  1. You do give us hope, false or otherwise. It’s exciting times. And I would be very happy with a big announcement and then for them to trickle out over years. Just to know that they’re safe, and the exist (again!), and that they’re coming…

  2. Warren

    Would it not be ironic if the missing DMP episode is the same one loaned to, and lost by, Blue Peter? And if they have found all but one DMP episode, why did they not release all of the The Web of Fear?

  3. Andy

    Reblogged this on "Five Rounds Rapid" and commented:
    For every fan of Classic DW the ongoing quest for those episodes that are Missing Believed Wiped (MBW) provides both elation and heartbreak in equal measure.

    Rumours of long lost treasure troves of film cannisters turning up in far-flung corners of the globe serve to whip up a great deal of fervour across the fan community, but more often than not they remain just that – rumours!!

    Naturally the rumour mill kicked up a gear last year around the 50th Anniversary celebrations, and the announcement of Phil Morris’ find of the missing episodes from PT’s ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Web of Fear’ only added fuel to the fires of further speculation that there was more to come! But as yet nothing’s materialised…

    However I did spot this piece a little earlier from Ed McGuigan of Outpost Skaro that gives me a little hope… So give it a read if you’re anyway interested in those MBW episodes of Doctors past, and roll on Easter!!

  4. Ann Ony Moss

    ” ONE person has told me that ALL BAR ONE missing episodes have been found, the missing one being one of The Dalek Masterplan. I don’t know which one, sorry.”

    Feast of Steven, then.

  5. Obviously I’m wary of getting any hopes up, but if this is true then it is wonderful to know that they are safe and not mouldering in a shed somewhere. It’s something to hope, at least, whether it’s true or not… I really want to see The Macra Terror, that for me would be incredible.

    Also, if there is one missing episode from The Daleks Master Plan that has not been recovered, it is almost certain to be The Feast of Steven.

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