Reports are popping up that lost episodes have been found. As usual, be careful about believing this because there’s nothing official yet. If they HAD been, it would make sense to reveal them just in time for the 50th anniversary, but rumors pop up about this every few years.
From Radio Times:
In what looks set to be the best 50th birthday present fans could imagine, missing episodes of Doctor Who will be made available for sale to the public this week.
BBC Worldwide will put the previously lost episodes from different stories – both believed to be from the Patrick Troughton era – for sale on digital platforms such as iTunes from Wednesday, RadioTimes.com understands.
They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy.
A BBC Worldwide spokesman refused to officially confirm the discovery or the “speculation” around further missing episodes.
It is understood that other episodes have also been found, although it is not yet known whether these will be made available.
The existence of a cache of lost Doctor Who episodes has long been rumoured, although in June the BBC suggested that no tapes existed.
Asked by RadioTimes.com if there were around 90 missing episodes from the 1960s a BBC statement said: “There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered – however we cannot confirm any new finds.”
A spokeswoman added: “We can’t confirm because it’s not true, as far as I’m aware.”
BBC Worldwide has confirmed it will syndicate the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, simultaneously to more than 75 countries across the world on 23 November.
Originally the BBC had scheduled a Wednesday release but now sources confirm that the date is likely to be later this week.
A reason has not been given, but sources are adamant that the release will be this week.
And from The Mirror:
A group of dedicated Doctor Who fans tracked down at least 100 long-lost episodes of the show gathering dust more than 3,000 miles away in Ethiopia.
It was feared the BBC programmes from the 1960s – featuring the first two doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton – had vanished for all time after the Beeb flogged off a load of old footage.
But after months of detective work the tapes have been unearthed at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.
A television insider said: “It is a triumph and fans everywhere will be thrilled.
“This is a really big deal for the BBC and is set to make them millions from the sale of the DVDs.”
If the tapes are returned in time the BBC hopes to announce the news during celebrations to mark Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary next month.
The Thick Of It actor Peter Capaldi, 55, takes over from Matt Smith as the 12th Time Lord at Christmas.
The recovered episodes from the 60s include much-loved scenes from The Crusade, The Enemy of the World and The Ice Warriors series.
In the four-part Crusade story Hartnell and his assistant Vicki, played by Maureen O’Brien, arrive in the Tardis in Palestine in the 12th century just as King Richard the Lionheart is doing battle with the Saracen ruler Saladin.
After each airing only once between 1964 and 1969, copies were sold to the Ethiopian Agency and the BBC then lost or wiped the originals.
As the corporation still owns the copyright the shows could be digitally remastered and shown again. The prospect will delight millions of fans worldwide.
Doctor Who expert Stuart Kelly revealed news of the discovery at the Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland last week.
When contacted by the Sunday People he said: “I was told by a friend that the episodes have been found in Ethiopia. The BBC is negotiating to get them back right now. I really can’t say any more than that.”
Rumours emerged of the lost shows earlier this year when tapes and 16in films of 90 episodes were thought to have been handed to a TV historian after turning up in a container loaded on a ship from Zambia.
In December 2011 two other episodes that were thought to have been lost were returned to the BBC.
The shows, from 1965 and 1967, starring Hartnell and Troughton, were found three decades after they were sold by mistake at a village fete.
The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will be broadcast simultaneously in at least 70 countries on November 23, the BBC has said.