BBC Worldwide North America has just confirmed long-held rumors that a stash of BBC master tapes from the 1960s have been recovered in Nigeria, Africa, providing access to several long-thought-lost episodes of “Doctor Who.”
The BBC has re-mastered the tapes, and is making two stories, “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear,” now available exclusively on iTunes.
Eleven Doctor Who episodes were discovered (nine of which have not been seen for 46 years) by Philip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, by tracking records of tape shipments made by the BBC to Africa for transmission.
“The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station in Nigeria,” says Morris. “I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words ‘Doctor Who.’ When I read the story code I realized I’d found something pretty special.”
The first recovered story, “The Enemy of the World,” is a six-episode tale which first aired on the BBC in December 1967. The story features Patrick Troughton as both the Second Doctor and his antagonist (Ramon Salamander), alongside companions Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling). Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 had previously been missing from the BBC Archives, and were returned by Morris.
Where are the Whovians on this ?