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Sci-Fi Television

Two Lost Doctor Who Episodes Found 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the forgot-them-in-the-tardis dept.
First time accepted submitter crow writes "Two episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s, thought to have been destroyed in the 1970s, have been found. Both were in the hands of a private collector who didn't know what he had. Like most episodes of the time, these were half-hour shows, part of a four-part story, and portions of both stories are still missing."
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Two Lost Doctor Who Episodes Found

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  • Ironically, (Score:5, Funny)

    by newsman220 (1928648) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:41PM (#38344810)
    We're still going to need a TARDIS to put the whole series together.
    • That might still be difficult, there's a metric ton of retconning in that series.
    • Re:Ironically, (Score:4, Insightful)

      by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Monday December 12, 2011 @02:25PM (#38345406) Journal

      You know, if the FTL neutrinos are real, then there is every possibility that the episodes are on their way to a rescue point in the future right now. There could be a time machine in transit at this very moment, recovering this lost cultural icon for our enjoyment, as soon as they land in the recovery era.

      If I were a time-traveller, you can bet that my first stop would be the 1960s, to rescue the lost episodes.

      My second stop, of course, would be the mid-to-late 1930s, to have a drink with Hitler and get to know him and then decide whether I have a moral duty or even moral right to kill him.

      • If FTL travel is possible, we could just travel out N light years from Earth and pick up the signal from the original broadcast. Of course, the signal's probably degraded too far for it to be recognizable.

        If I were a time traveler, my first stop would be the local convenience store a couple weeks ago, to pick up a "lucky" lottery ticket. Or maybe South Africa a few millenia ago, when there was no De Beers to stop me. It's not as convenient as Corwin's shadow from The Guns of Avalon, where he just picked the

        • by ubrgeek (679399) on Monday December 12, 2011 @02:37PM (#38345524)
          > Of course, the signal's probably degraded too far for it to be recognizable.

          Yeah, 'cause that's the only problem with the plan ... ;)
          • Re:Ironically, (Score:4, Informative)

            by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday December 12, 2011 @03:50PM (#38346498) Homepage

            Of course, the signal's probably degraded too far for it to be recognizable.

            Yeah, 'cause that's the only problem with the [FTL travel] plan ... ;)

            You don't need FTL at all. You simply locate a planet around a distant star system- or some other extrasolar object- at a distance of 24 or slightly more light years, then detect the (admittedly quite small) proportion of the original TV transmission that travelled out there, bounced off that object, and is now heading back in our direction, due to reach us 45 to 50 years after it first went out.

            You may need one of those mains-powered antenna/aerial amplifiers for this to work properly ;-)

            • Talk about a cosmic coincidence- literally a couple of minutes after I'd posted the above, I become aware of this spoof article [rimmell.com] while reading this comment [slashdot.org].

              I can only swear that I thought that one up without ever having seen that article (and some time ago as well), though I'd be surprised if others hadn't come up with a similar idea independently as well.
        • And how are you going to sell a large quantity of diamonds with no legal background? I wouldn't want to be involved with the kind of people who fence that kind of thing....picky, I know, I just prefer the lottery idea.
          • easy...
            go to the time of the civil war in the US.
            Make a big to do about the boatload of diamonds on the ship (of which there are a few, the rest still in your FTL timeship). Sink the ship in a reasonable depth of water.
            Travel to the time you want to start selling them.
            Go on a treasure finding mission.
            "find" the "lost" diamonds that you retrieved from your FTL timeship.
            -nB

        • it seems like going back to a recent lotto drawing would be relatively non-disruptive to the timestream.
          at worst the actual winner(s) would have to split the jackpot with you, and if there was no winner, the only effect is on the future: the jackpot for the next drawing wouldn't be as large.
          you can easily blend in with the society of a few days ago

          as opposed to going back a few millenia for diamonds, or going back a couple decades/centuries to invest in some big company early on - who knows what ripple effe

        • Actually, it's much easier than this. We just wait for them to hit something and bounce back [rimmell.com]. Then we just have to record them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You do know, of course, that there's an entire division of the Time Corps that does nothing but stop people from killing Hitler? Without the Nazi invasion of Russia, Stalin took all of Europe, most of Africa and parts of Asia in World War II (which began in 1937 with the Soviet invasion of China and the subsequent Soviet annexation of Poland in 1939). Fighting between the Japanese (who were also invading China) and the Soviets prevented the Japanese from attacking Pearl Harbor, and the United States didn'

        • So, what you're saying is that if I kill Hitler, then in a really roundabout way, I prevent 9/11?

          Also, I didn't even say I was going ti kill Hitler. I was going to get to know him. I doubt I'd have the guts to kill him, especially once I know him, so the Time Corps has nothing to worry about.

          Also, I think you mean there was a division of the Time Corps. Or will be, depending on your point of view. But they have to be an organization started in the relative future, who are patrolling the relative past, s

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Monday December 12, 2011 @03:15PM (#38346000)

        You know, if the FTL neutrinos are real, then there is every possibility that the episodes are on their way to a rescue point in the future right now.

        Look, you might think the copy protection on Blu Ray is a pain, but wait until you get a load of the confusingly-named Hyperspatial Digital Causality Protection that the unelected cartel of the Time Lords require on any temporally displaced media. I mean, one can downgrade your nice 1080p to standard def, but that's not as bad as the headache you get when the real HDCP cuts in and makes you never have been going to see the video you just watched.

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday December 12, 2011 @03:43PM (#38346384) Homepage

        My second stop, of course, would be the mid-to-late 1930s, to have a drink with Hitler and get to know him and then decide whether I have a moral duty or even moral right to kill him.

        Future Kryten: Kryten, we're epicures now. We travel through history enjoying the very best time has to offer.
        Future Rimmer: Dolphin sweetmeats, roast suckling elephants, baby seal hearts stuffed with dove pate. Food fit for emperors!
        Future Lister: We socialize with all of the greatest figures in history -- the Hapsburgs, the Borgias ...
        Future Kryten: Why, only last week, Louis the Sixteenth threw a banquet especially in our honour.
        Future Rimmer: The man is a complete delight -- urbane, witty, charming ...
        Kryten: He was an idiotic despot who lived in the most obscene luxury while the working classes starved in abject poverty.
        Future Rimmer: Well, we certainly didn't see any of that while we were there!
        Future Kryten: And his wife's an absolute cutie.
        Future Cat: I think they're our favourite hosts. If you don't count the Hitlers.
        Kryten: The who?!
        Future Rimmer: Providing you avoid talking politics, they're an absolute hoot.
        Kryten: You're good friends with the Hitlers?!
        Future Kryten: It's just a social thing. We don't talk about his work. We just have a few laughs, play canasta, and enjoy the odd game of mixed doubles with the Goerings.
        Kryten: I don't believe what I'm hearing!
        Future Rimmer: Look, you have to understand -- we travel back and forth throughout the whole of history, and naturally we want to sample the best of everything. It's just a bit unfortunate that the finest things tend to be in the possession of people who are judged to be a bit dodgy.
        Kryten: Herman Goering is a "bit dodgy"! What has become of you all? You've all abandoned your morals, been seduced by power and wealth. All you're interested in now is indulging your carnal desires.
        Future Rimmer: And could we tell you some stories about _that_!
        Kryten: I don't recognize any of you! You're just amoral self- serving _scum_, freeloading your way through history!
        Future Kryten: Good grief! I can't believe I used to be such a stuck-up pompous prig.

    • Re:Ironically, (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pwileyii (106242) on Monday December 12, 2011 @03:36PM (#38346304)

      Actually, what we need is an alien from the planet Omicron Persei 8 (they'd actually have to be closer because that is 1000 light years away) to have recorded all of Earth broadcasts and be willing to give us a copy of them.

    • You know, they might not be so rare if every do-gooder with a time machine didn't keep going back in time and picking up all of the remaining copies before they were found.

  • by kiehlster (844523) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:41PM (#38344816) Homepage
    just time-shifted. Get your facts straight, DW fans!
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      just time-shifted. Get your facts straight, DW fans!

      In an infinite number of universes there are an infinite number of "Lost Episodes".

      Get used to it.

    • by Hillgiant (916436) on Monday December 12, 2011 @02:23PM (#38345382)

      People assume that Doctor Who chronology is a strict progression of one episode to the next, but actually, from a nonlinear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:42PM (#38344846)

    Theres a list of missing episodes on this website [paullee.com] but it hasn't yet been updated to include the new discoveries. With the finding of "The Underwater Menace" part 2, we now have a new "earliest surviving episode to feature Patrick Troughton." Hopefully the BBC can do their usual magic to restore these episode...there are apparently bits missing.

    • by mccalli (323026)
      With the finding of "The Underwater Menace" part 2, we now have a new "earliest surviving episode to feature Patrick Troughton."

      Yeah...but having seen The Underwater Menace, I'm not terribly sure he'd thank us for it...

      Cheers,
      Ian
    • by fermion (181285)
      Given that so much of the first and second doctor were basically kids serials with low production value, I am not as occupied with these episodes as I once was. I own and watch many of these early episodes, and pretty much agree there is a good reason why most of the doctor reruns shy from these early episodes. While there are a few that are remarkable, most seem to suffer from the 'have to get an episode out not matter how lame' syndrome. It is instructive to look at how many episodes were shot for tho
      • by jd (1658)

        Well, be fair. The first season, at least, was entirely funded on the basis that it was educational material for kids (it's the only way the light entertainment department would pay anything for it at all) and so naturally that's exactly what it looks like. But, having said that, it is precisely for that reason that the early episodes have a high sci-fi value -- the history was usually well-researched and the science was generally provided by a scientific advisor (Kitt Peddler, for example). The later stori

      • by dbIII (701233)

        Given that so much of the first and second doctor were basically kids serials with low production value

        How is that different from the fifth?
        I'm not knocking the talents of anyone there because they all did better before and/or later, but it was a step firmly back into very low budget and rushed childrens television with a fad or two thrown in. It's a bit of a let down to see it after the Tom Baker/Douglas Adams combination and almost only "The Five Doctors" shows that they could have done better with a dec

  • "Fresh scans of the missing material have been made by the National Archives of Australia and will be incorporated into the restored episodes ahead of a DVD release."

    If they're missing, how can the National Archives of Australia be scanning them?

    • Because writers are sloppy and occasionally omit the word "previously", as in "previously missing material".

      But yes... ha ha. Aussies will apparently make fresh scans of nothing. *guffaw*

    • by crow (16139)

      I believe they recovered scenes from a lot of lost episodes from Australia. What happened is that the censors were quite strict in Australia, but as part of censoring episodes, they kept the clips that they cut.

      All the lost episodes have fan-made recreations, using the original soundtracks (people recorded them when they broadcast), still photos taken during the filming, and recovered scenes. Some of them are pretty good, though most are painful to watch.

      • by jd (1658)

        They almost never used photos from the filming, they used telesnaps which were made from the film copies in the BBC Archives (distinct from the mag tape copes the BBC mentions in the article). Two copies were supposed to be kept of every program broadcast over a period of time, after that period the Archives would retain the film copy and the BBC would reuse its tape.

        The only episode never to have been transferred onto tape was Feat of Stephen from Dalek Masterplan.

    • by coolmadsi (823103)

      "Fresh scans of the missing material have been made by the National Archives of Australia and will be incorporated into the restored episodes ahead of a DVD release."

      If they're missing, how can the National Archives of Australia be scanning them?

      They were previously missing and now have a better version.

      There have also been some of the old missing episodes available online, using photo stills and audio tape recordings of episodes, as opposed to the original broadcast.

    • by laura20 (21566)

      The recovered episodes are broadcast versions from Australia, which had bits censored out of them. The Australian censorship board was very diligent about filing the sections they snipped out, however, so those segments still exist, we just didn't have the rest of the episodes until now. Now they can rejoin the edited version + copies of the censored sections and have two completed episodes.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Now that's irony! Thanks to the censorship board, those censored moments will; live forever!

      • "The recovered episodes are broadcast versions from Australia, which had bits censored out of them."

        Are you kidding me? Please pay attention that I come from a country with a dictatorship back then. Are you truly telling me there were something to be censored out of a Dr. Who episode from the sixties!? I think even Franco would be surprised to know.

        • by jd (1658)

          Actually, yes. Australia was fairly bad about it back then, though the US could be worse at times. Probably one of the most edited scenes was with body bits oozing out of a Cyberman in Tomb of the Cybermen, but stories featured drug taking (Aztecs), assassinations (Romans), religious extremism (Crusades) and other stuff that we'd think nothing of today but was really shocking back then.

          Probably the most heavily-edited story was Masterplan, where episode 7 was entirely edited out of all foreign sales by the

        • by dbIII (701233)
          I only saw "The Brain of Morbius" (4th Doctor) for the first time this year because the entire story was deemed unsuitable for broadcast. That story is basicly Dr Who meets Frankenstein without much in the way of horror, so I suspect the weirdos that demanded it not be broadcast were really objecting to the segments that made fun of strange religeous cults.
          Censorship "for the children" as cheap populist politics has a long history in Australia.
    • by Robadob (1800074)

      In October 1996, Australian Doctor Who fans Damian Shanahan and Ellen Parry discovered a collection of the censored clips – several from missing episodes which do not exist in their entirety – in the records of the National Archives of Australia.[12] The clips had been sent by the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board (now the Office of Film and Literature Classification) to the Archives as evidence of the required edits having been made.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_missing_episodes#Censor_clips [wikipedia.org]

  • collecting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:48PM (#38344924)

    Man, that doctor who series is so damn expensive. I have a complete known collection of stargate, sanctuary, star wars, and others I can't think at the moment, but when I walk past the movie isle at frys, and I see the price and size of DR WHO, I just keep walking every time. That's the fucking truth.

    • Re:collecting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:58PM (#38345080)

      You're not supposed to buy the whole thing! You pick a favorite doctor, buy that doctor's seasons, and simply pretend the rest don't exist!

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Or just torrent the whole thing and call it good.

      • by Noughmad (1044096)

        You're not supposed to buy the whole thing! You pick a favorite doctor, buy that doctor's seasons, and simply pirate the rest

        FTFY

        • by jd (1658)

          It's not pirating if you go back in time and watch them before they were made.

      • by isorox (205688)

        You're not supposed to buy the whole thing! You pick a favorite doctor, buy that doctor's seasons, and simply pretend the rest don't exist!

        My collection's pretty dismal -- Christopher "Lots of planets have a north" Eccleston is the best.

        That said, the Paul McGann fans would have even less!

        • by jd (1658)

          I dunno, if you include the Big Finish material then there's quite a healthy stockpile of episodes. Do an animated "reconstruction" (it's not a real reconstruction since there was never any video) in the same way fans have done for things like Evil of the Daleks -- or as Chatsworth Hall did for The Invasion -- and you've got a "proper" episode.

    • by Sleepy (4551)

      What the frell? No Farscape??

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I have the same feeling about the various Trek series. They're over $70/season (single data point of TOS season 1 on Amazon). If they were in the $20-ish/season range of most shows, I'd likely buy them all, even though I admittedly don't re-watch things often.

      (...and I hope "Blake's 7" is released on DVD or BluRay in the US at some point.. It's another one I'd love to collect.)

      • Funny, I bought TOS for $20-some/season a few years ago. Perhaps the higher price is for Blu-Ray and/or the "remastered" versions. Besides, you can stream them from Netflix as well.

  • ... at which point, they had always existed.

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