As the Third Doctor said before he regenerated into the Fourth Doctor, or more precisely, what he intended to say was “Where there’s life, there is hope.” The Doctor, unfortunately, didn’t get all the way through and said “Where there’s life, there’s…” We are now learning a lot more about the existence of these episodes, but they have not yet been recovered by the BBC.
A few months ago, I came across rumours that there were a huge amount of the missing Doctor Who episodes about to be returned to the BBC. Then I heard it again. And then I heard it from someone who really should know one way or another. So last week, I ran the rumours on Bleeding Cool, stating that’s exactly what they were.
And all hell broke loose. Some were confirming the stories, some were denying it. But what was clear was that I’d broken the dam on a huge pent up amount of hope, fear and despair that had remained on message boards, in pub meetups, some behind private member forums and firewalls since late last year.
According to Johnston, not all of the episodes have been found. He reports that, of the 106 missing episodes, ninety of them have been found. Not recovered appear to be nine episodes from The Dalek Master Plan, the entire episode Mission To The Unknown, two episodes of The Invasion, two episodes of The Wheel in Space, and two episodes of The Ice Warriors.
Johnston states that “So that’s not quite The Full Hartnell, but it’s pretty close. And that’s an awful lot more Troughton than I was expecting.”
From what Johnston says, it appears that almost the entire series will be restored.
The thing is, they are not in the possession of the BBC yet. Currently, the BBC is negotiating their safe return and Johnston is reporting that Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, Mark Gatiss, Caroline Skinner and all the main players along with the Cardiff production office, Doctor Who Magazine and a few more are aware of what is happening.
Johnston is also reporting that this goes well beyond Doctor Who to missing episodes of Dad’s Army, Out Of The Unknown, Morecambe and Wise, The Sky At Night and so on. It may be a huge cache of BBC episodes the likes that haven’t been found in ages.
Well, we also have to give Johnston credit for admitting this “Bleeding Cool reports rumours and news. These are most definitely rumours repeated at the highest levels, and we now have more details. But they remain rumours.” This has lead to some reporting that the whole thing may be nothing more than an elaborate hoax.
He wraps up by saying “And those repeating them, like us, all want to believe…”
Which we all do. Still, as the Third Doctor tried to say to Sarah Jane before regenerating “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
And we all hope that these rumors are true.