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Television Sci-Fi

BBC Unveils Newly Discovered Dr.Who Episodes 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the original-tardis dept.
BigBadBus writes "Putting an end to months of speculation, the BBC announced at a press conference today that it had recovered 9 previously lost episodes of Dr.Who, from the Patrick Troughton era (1966-69). The episodes complete 'The Enemy of the World' and almost complete 'The Web of Fear' (leaving one episode outstanding). The episodes were found in a relay station in Nigeria by Phillip Morris; previously Nigeria had been checked and had returned 6 lost episodes in 1984. The episodes are now available from UK and US iTune stores and can be for pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk"
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BBC Unveils Newly Discovered Dr.Who Episodes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2013 @03:15AM (#45099167)

    and now they want to charge for them. Making them available via Bittorrent would be the moral choice.

    • by moteyalpha (1228680) on Friday October 11, 2013 @03:24AM (#45099189) Homepage Journal
      Suppose a person taped that missing episode at that time for themselves. Would they get a share of the profit they make for archiving their stuff for 50 years or would they be prosecuted for theft if they came forward? Copyright is very strange. I suppose it depends on the local laws. It seems there is a statute I recall from grade school called "Finders keepers, losers weepers".
      • by mysidia (191772)

        Having "lost" the episodes turns out to be lucrative for them, perhaps...... if they ever find them, they can make a killing selling them for $$$

        You think a person having taped the episode, will have a high enough quality rendition for them to use? I doubt it.

      • I highly doubt they would be prosecuted just for coming forward. Going after someone for taping a show for their own use would be massively bad PR. If they started selling copies I'm pretty sure the BBCs lawyers would be onto them very quickly.

        Not sure what would happen if they put it on bittorrent or similar.

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        I'm not 100% sure of how it works in Britain, but I think the way it works is that there is a tax/fee on recording media that then gets passed to an organization that dishes out the money to copyright holders based on a measure of popularity. If you bought a blank VHS tape you have already payed for the right to make copies of any video content that you have obtained legally. The terms of use for those copies are pretty strict, but they are legal.

        If a person made a private copy of a BBC program and then sha

        • Unless the legal owners (the BBC) gave permission for limited distribution i.e. back to themselves. Sharing is only illegal if you don't have the original owner's permission.
        • by Smauler (915644)

          I'm not 100% sure of how it works in Britain, but I think the way it works is that there is a tax/fee on recording media that then gets passed to an organization that dishes out the money to copyright holders based on a measure of popularity. If you bought a blank VHS tape you have already payed for the right to make copies of any video content that you have obtained legally. The terms of use for those copies are pretty strict, but they are legal.

          We don't have a special tax on recording media in the UK, a

      • by dj245 (732906)

        Suppose a person taped that missing episode at that time for themselves. Would they get a share of the profit they make for archiving their stuff for 50 years or would they be prosecuted for theft if they came forward? Copyright is very strange. I suppose it depends on the local laws. It seems there is a statute I recall from grade school called "Finders keepers, losers weepers".

        The US Supreme Court weighed in on this in the case of "Keepers vs Weepers". Justice Scalia penned a fierce dissent against the Supreme Court's 8-1 decision in favor of "Weepers", on the basis of the "I gots mine" theory and insisting that the principle of "screw the rest of you's" overrode all other laws.

      • It seems there is a statute I recall from grade school called "Finders keepers, losers weepers".

        I find this perfectly typical of what passes for legal reasoning on Slashdot.

        I suppose it's worth adding that the expiration of copyright does not give you ownership or access to primary sources. It does not fund conservation or your digital restoration project. It does not fund distribution.

    • by Gavagai80 (1275204) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:54AM (#45099499) Homepage
      Is it more moral to make the public (license payers) pay more in order to give these episode away free, or is it better to draw more of their revenue from rich fans who will buy these old episodes? It's not like BBC lawyers are launching lawsuits against downloaders anyway.
    • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:56AM (#45099507)
      They were found by a 3rd party commercial firm who specialise in finding lost footage. The BBC would have had to pay them then cover the cost of restoration/remastering etc.
    • BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC is selling them. Their profits, believe or not, go right back in to the BBC! Why don't we just start giving away DVD's of the Top Gear while we are at too?
      • by Nyder (754090)

        BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC is selling them. Their profits, believe or not, go right back in to the BBC! Why don't we just start giving away DVD's of the Top Gear while we are at too?

        https://thepiratebay.sx/search/top%20gear/0/99/205 [thepiratebay.sx]

        Individual episodes, easily converted to DVD for ya, for free.

        This is the internet, if it can be digitized, you can find it for free generally.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday October 11, 2013 @07:33AM (#45100043)

      I think, by the end of the day, they WILL be available on bit torrent. So I wouldn't worry.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      and now they want to charge for them. Making them available via Bittorrent would be the moral choice.

      They will be, give it a couple of days.

    • by Bo'Bob'O (95398)

      At the time it was normal not to save TV shows. There was no home video market then, and for a long time not even really 'reruns'.

      I'd bet that if you had some sort of time traveling box and went back to talk to people paying their TV tax then, they'd complain that the BBC would be wasting their money on all the storage of a TV show for no reason. Then you would have to fight some sort of robot men. At least I'm pretty sure how that would go.

  • OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @03:44AM (#45099255) Homepage

    Oh my goodness I'm freaking out and waving my hands like a schoolgirl right now.

    But seriously, the Web of Fear is one of my favorite classic Doctor Who episodes, despite the fact that the only available version is almost entirely an audio reconstruction with still-photograph accompaniment. Notably, this episode is where the much beloved stiff-upper-lip character Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced. He is of course instantly recognizable even as part of an audio-only soundtrack.

    As much as I enjoyed the 3rd (Jon Pertwee) and 4th (Tom Baker) Doctors, like everyone else, I'd go so far as to say that many of the 1st (William Hartnell) and 2nd (Patrick Troughton) Doctors' episodes were some of the most interesting and entertaining of the entire series, just as many of the most original and memorable episodes of Star Trek and TNG came during their first and second seasons. The more I watch the older episodes of Doctor Who the more I appreciate what they accomplished, especially in the context of the fact that the series started out in 1963 in seriously grainy black and white as basically a televised live-action play. So finding more old episodes is a big thing for me. I love 'em.

    I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

    Hooray for more classic Doctor Who!

    • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jamesh (87723) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:26AM (#45099411)

      Oh my goodness I'm freaking out and waving my hands like a schoolgirl right now.

      But seriously, the Web of Fear is one of my favorite classic Doctor Who episodes, despite the fact that the only available version is almost entirely an audio reconstruction with still-photograph accompaniment. Notably, this episode is where the much beloved stiff-upper-lip character Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced. He is of course instantly recognizable even as part of an audio-only soundtrack.

      As much as I enjoyed the 3rd (Jon Pertwee) and 4th (Tom Baker) Doctors, like everyone else, I'd go so far as to say that many of the 1st (William Hartnell) and 2nd (Patrick Troughton) Doctors' episodes were some of the most interesting and entertaining of the entire series, just as many of the most original and memorable episodes of Star Trek and TNG came during their first and second seasons. The more I watch the older episodes of Doctor Who the more I appreciate what they accomplished, especially in the context of the fact that the series started out in 1963 in seriously grainy black and white as basically a televised live-action play. So finding more old episodes is a big thing for me. I love 'em.

      I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

      Hooray for more classic Doctor Who!

      They started playing Doctor Who from the start here (Australia) a while back, and I really enjoyed it. One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :) Unfortunately The timeslot ended up conflicting with meal times and hungry kids aren't compatible with TV watching, so i gave up watching it. This was before I had a PVR or anything.

      • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:52AM (#45099495) Homepage

        One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :)

        Don't forget the time they filmed a gecko and claimed it was a crocodile.

      • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @06:09AM (#45099751) Homepage

        They started playing Doctor Who from the start here (Australia) a while back, and I really enjoyed it. One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :) Unfortunately The timeslot ended up conflicting with meal times and hungry kids aren't compatible with TV watching, so i gave up watching it. This was before I had a PVR or anything.

        Sounds like "Edge of Destruction", the third episode. A short two-parter, but great. Fortunately you can find all the existing classic episodes and reconstructions on torrent sites these days.

        Every time I restart the series from the beginning I'm always amazed that the Daleks are introduced already in the seven-part second episode (The Mutants). One of the greatest things about the old stuff is that it was more of a serial format, where if they needed seven, eight or nine 23-minute parts to tell the complete story then that is how many parts were made to tell that story. Which resulted in quite a few "episodes" of classic Doctor Who that are really more like awesomely epic multi-threaded 2-hour and 3-hour movies. The modern "wrap it up in a single 41 minute episode or leave a cliffhanger for next season" seems incredibly lame and creatively limiting by comparison.

        I wish somebody today had the balls to start some new shows using the old serial formats and the same kind of shoestring budget special effects they used to use. If they had decent actors and compelling stories it would be an absolute gold mine.

        • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday October 11, 2013 @06:15AM (#45099779) Homepage
          And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!
          • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @07:11AM (#45099983) Homepage

            And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!

            Indeed a good point. If I remember right it wasn't even introduced until episode 42 (Fury From the Deep) and used quite sparingly for the most part. Of course, since the Doctor has now transformed into Magical Space Jesus, he doesn't even need his now ridiculously powerful and versatile sonic screwdriver to work miracles. He can just stand up on a rooftop or a rock and tell a whole alien battle fleet to run away, and instead of him being immediately reduced to a pile of smoking ashes the powerful aliens actually run away! Isn't that great?

            Aaaaand that pretty much sums up why I can no longer watch any new Doctor Who. Or Bond films, for that matter. Same phenomenon. So many things these days have become caricatures of themselves with no substance beneath the immaculate surface.

            • by Nyder (754090)

              And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!

              Indeed a good point. If I remember right it wasn't even introduced until episode 42 (Fury From the Deep) and used quite sparingly for the most part. Of course, since the Doctor has now transformed into Magical Space Jesus, he doesn't even need his now ridiculously powerful and versatile sonic screwdriver to work miracles. He can just stand up on a rooftop or a rock and tell a whole alien battle fleet to run away, and instead of him being immediately reduced to a pile of smoking ashes the powerful aliens actually run away! Isn't that great?

              Aaaaand that pretty much sums up why I can no longer watch any new Doctor Who. Or Bond films, for that matter. Same phenomenon. So many things these days have become caricatures of themselves with no substance beneath the immaculate surface.

              While I can basically agree about what you are saying, I think you are missing out on the new bond films. Danial Craig is a more realistic James Bond then any ever before and the movies seem to capture a more truer essense of what it would be like spying, then the bond movies with cheese galore before him.

            • He can just stand up on a rooftop or a rock and tell a whole alien battle fleet to run away, and instead of him being immediately reduced to a pile of smoking ashes the powerful aliens actually run away!

              In that particular instance, the alien battle fleet ran away as part of their ruse. The Doctor's arrogance was used against him.

              There are a lot of complaints you can level at new NuWho, particularly deus ex machina resolutions, but the writing is a tad more sophisticated than you seem to think.

          • And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!

            Fuck John Nathan Turner and everything he did on Doctor Who. His tenure is directly responsible for the decline in viewers, immature sappy idiotic plot lines, and the eventual cancellation of the show. He took it from it's top rating during Tom Baker and trashed it with his arrogance. Talk about someone not listening to the fans. It was only that very last McCoy season when Turner had already abandoned the show that things started getting back on track, but by then it was too late.

            Turner's sins:
            - Replac

      • Don't worry, ABC is reshowing them all on iView to celebrate the 50th anniversary. You can catch them anytime!
    • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233) on Friday October 11, 2013 @05:55AM (#45099703)

      I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

      They turned him into a trickster God. A bit different from what came before and what you want perhaps but I quite like a lot of the stories of the Doctor as a trickster God.

      • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @06:46AM (#45099899) Homepage

        I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

        They turned him into a trickster God. A bit different from what came before and what you want perhaps but I quite like a lot of the stories of the Doctor as a trickster God.

        Yeah, that pretty much sums it up in one sentence. They turned a fun sci-fi show that happened to mainly star a quirky character called the Doctor who likes to travel to strange places and get himself into trouble and solve mysteries into a show that is almost entirely _about_ the Doctor, and changed the character so drastically he might as well be called Magical Space Jesus. You can practically see the stars in the eyes of every other character who looks at him or talks about him, as if he's the love child of Rassilon and Yahweh. Blech.

        I'm glad there are lots of people who are enjoying the new show but as far as I'm concerned it is no longer Doctor Who and the character bears little resemblance to what the Doctor was as a character for the ~45 years prior to the Matt Smith seasons. It was a sad day when I realized that I just couldn't handle watching my favorite show anymore. I'll probably never find a true replacement either. Doctor Who has been quite a unique show from the very beginning.

        Of course I am also one of those who hold the remarkably unpopular opinion that Man of Steel was a silly abomination directed by someone who is apparently incapable of comprehending what the Superman archetype is even supposed to represent, and that the new Star Trek films are dramatic but hollow imitations of things that already exist, but again I digress. Oh, look, explosions and lens flares 'n stuff!

        • by SirGarlon (845873)
          You forgot to say, "get off my lawn." :-) But I agree with you. I wish the entertainment industry would make new characters and franchises when they want something "fresh" and "edgy", instead of re-branding and re-purposing a perfectly good existing franchise into something completely different.
          • by RedBear (207369)

            You forgot to say, "get off my lawn." :-) But I agree with you. I wish the entertainment industry would make new characters and franchises when they want something "fresh" and "edgy", instead of re-branding and re-purposing a perfectly good existing franchise into something completely different.

            The funny part is that I have at least a couple decades to go before I should have even _started_ to become an old fogey who hates everything new. So there is either suddenly something seriously wrong with me after a couple of decades of enjoying absolutely everything, including some of the most awful sci-fi and fantasy imaginable, purely because it's sci-fi and fantasy, or there is something drastically wrong with the way this new stuff is being written.

            Since I have no problem enjoying (and re-enjoying) ne

          • Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Friday October 11, 2013 @09:41AM (#45100759) Journal
            What about the first few seasons of the rebooted BSG? That was undoubtably an improvement on the original, took a vacuous but fun space opera into new territory as a dark and edgy SF psychodrama. "33" was one of the most sublime SF TV experiences that I've had in my life. Such a pity they ruined it towards the end... actually, that's unfair. They didn't ruin it, but it did drop dramatically in quallity.
            • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:52AM (#45101439) Homepage

              The Cylons may have had a plan, but the writers were making it all up the night before filming.

            • by RedBear (207369)

              What about the first few seasons of the rebooted BSG? That was undoubtably an improvement on the original, took a vacuous but fun space opera into new territory as a dark and edgy SF psychodrama. "33" was one of the most sublime SF TV experiences that I've had in my life. Such a pity they ruined it towards the end... actually, that's unfair. They didn't ruin it, but it did drop dramatically in quallity.

              You probably meant this for SirGarlon, but as for me I really couldn't get into the new BSG. Not necessarily because it was poorly written but because of the endless, unrelenting "edgy" ultra-melodrama. It just burnt me out after a few episodes, after I realized it was going to be like that for the whole series. That's one of the aspects of the new Doctor Who that I couldn't stand. When shows go super edgy and dramatic at the cost of everything else it's just not fun anymore. It becomes incredibly monotonou

            • The new BSG was probably the single best sci-fi series I've watched in the last couple decades. But wow ... what an *awful* way to close it out!

        • by Nite_Hawk (1304)

          I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

          They turned him into a trickster God. A bit different from what came before and what you want perhaps but I quite like a lot of the stories of the Doctor as a trickster God.

          Yeah, that pretty much sums it up in one sentence. They turned a fun sci-fi show that happened to mainly star a quirky character called the Doctor who likes to travel to strange places and get himself into trouble and solve mysteries into a show that is almost entirely _about_ the Doctor, and changed the character so drastically he might as well be called Magical Space Jesus. You can practically see the stars in the eyes of every other character who looks at him or talks about him, as if he's the love child of Rassilon and Yahweh. Blech.

          I'm glad there are lots of people who are enjoying the new show but as far as I'm concerned it is no longer Doctor Who and the character bears little resemblance to what the Doctor was as a character for the ~45 years prior to the Matt Smith seasons.

          Honestly I felt like this was by far worse near the end of David Tennant's reign. While the story was that he was starting to (mistakenly) buy into his own greatness, he should never have been able to do half the stuff he did in the first place. Snap his fingers to close the door to the tardis? The trickster god indeed. To me it seems like Matt Smith's doctor relies too much on the sonic screwdriver and seems to be able to intiimidate his opponents way too easily, but David Tennant in my mind is more th

          • by RedBear (207369)

            Honestly I felt like this was by far worse near the end of David Tennant's reign. While the story was that he was starting to (mistakenly) buy into his own greatness, he should never have been able to do half the stuff he did in the first place. Snap his fingers to close the door to the tardis? The trickster god indeed. To me it seems like Matt Smith's doctor relies too much on the sonic screwdriver and seems to be able to intiimidate his opponents way too easily, but David Tennant in my mind is more the Magical Space Jesus Doctor than Smith's. Having said that, I greatly enjoy the most recent episodes with the right expectations. :)

            At the time I thought (and still think) that Tennant had done a marvelous job during his tenure as the Doctor and just accepted all the weirdness at the end as giving him a good send-off. But I think you're right in that it was already at that time the writers were going down the road of turning the Doctor into Magical Space Jesus. Sadly I even bought into the Matt Smith version of the Doctor for a few episodes despite some uneasiness, until about halfway through his first season when it finally dawned on m

        • Too bad the Time Lords are sealed away so nobody can really give Doc a sense of hierarchy. (Well, there's the Shadow Proclamation...but face it, they're the U.N.)

          I quite enjoyed Eccleston and Tennant, but the new Smith writers are terrible.

      • They turned him into a trickster God.

        It even has a name: Cartmel Masterplan [wikipedia.org]. I quite like Sylvestor McCoy's take on it-- it made a nice change from the sixth doctor rubbish.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      New episodes are there because old episodes just aren't broadcast anymore. Sure some of us remember old Dr Who on television but it was tricky to do so regularly if you weren't British. I don't think I saw an entire story line from start to finish until the new series with Eccleston.

    • by fatphil (181876)
      > I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore.

      Are you mad!?!?!?!?

      You forgot "human-lauding".

      There were more "brilliant"s (or synonyms) in every Tennant-era program than in a whole series of The Fast Show. Barf!

      Give me Sylvester McCoy any day over that, with his "You
  • Glad (Score:5, Informative)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday October 11, 2013 @03:46AM (#45099269) Homepage
    I'm glad that this got accepted! Apologies for the slightly garbled last sentence; I typed that at about 2am and was extremely tired. The reporting embargo was due to be lifted at midnight, but two papers had prematurely reported the news on their websites. These news items were pulled; an irate BBC contacted one of them and read them the riot act (mind you, it was the Northern Echo, my home newspaper which has a murky reputation, so what do you expect?)

    By about 11.50pm GMT the news had broken and links to iTunes gone up. Amazon links a short time later and then YouTube material. I put the iTunes and Amazon pre-order links on my website (see link in my signature)

    Sadly, I think the following quote from the BBC shows their contempt for us. This is from one of the papers that broke the embargo:

    "Asked whether viewers might also see the recovered episodes, without having to pay Apple £1.89 per episode or £9.99 to download the complete stories, BBC Worldwide said licence-fee payers had already enjoyed a chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s"

    Don't they realise that WE might have wanted to watch this stuff again at some point?

    • Re:Glad (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rylin (688457) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:01AM (#45099315)

      I'm sure they'll air them at some point in the future, but for now there's a cost for remastering the episodes, and so I'd say it's fair for the beeb to try and recover some of the cost through iTunes/Amazon.

  • So, I am an american 25 year old cs student. Why should I watch this show and/or how can I convince my lady to watch it with me?
    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      These old classic episodes that they are talking about are quite dated by todays high-paced entertainment standards. There is almost zero chance that your woman will enjoy watching them even if she is a modern scifi nerd.

      I watched many many episodes of doctor who in the early 1980's and loved them at the time, but recently I tried watching some of these classics and found that they are just too unbearably slow. However the new doctor who episodes from the past decade are completely awesome, top notch, gra
      • I watched many many episodes of doctor who in the early 1980's and loved them at the time, but recently I tried watching some of these classics and found that they are just too unbearably slow. However the new doctor who episodes from the past decade are completely awesome

        Odd, I find the new ones unbearably fast. Same for a lot of new TV and film in general, like the latest Star Trek films. Granted, the very early Doctor Whos (e.g. Hartnell era) were extremely slow, but by the time you got to Pertwee & Baker they'd pretty much got it right. Now they just seem to be going for the "attention span of a goldfish" market.

        • I think people have less imagination in addition to a shorter attention span. There are signs of this out there including studies if you look.

          I've been on the edge of dropping the new Who myself. I don't mind the fast pacing and I love FAST dialog (prefer it's not gibberish) but when they cut corners with it just like many lazy action films use a mess of cuts because their actors are not coordinated and their directors suck --- shows today use quick pacing, bad editing and disjointed situations to keep att

    • It's not compulsory to care. Really. Us Brits get a bit excited (at least those that grew up with this)
    • by ledow (319597)

      I'm a brit and a geek.

      I've honestly never watched that tripe. It's like watching an old episode of Star Trek but without anywhere near as much budget or class or talent.

      Watched one at a friends' house on Netflix recently, we found the first episode we could to show my girlfriend (who's Italian). It was damn hilarious. The acting was absolutely atrocious. The sword-fight was incredibly poor (if you thought the old Sinbad movies were bad, this is orders of magnitude worse, and no exaggeration).

      It was a ju

    • If you don't already want to watch these old episodes, then you're not a hardcore fan and probably wouldn't enjoy watching them. I've been a fan of Doctor Who for decades but I find that even the Jon Pertwee episodes are difficult to watch due to the poor quality and pacing compared to modern shows.

      Don't even try to convince your lady to watch them as you'll just bore her. You'd be much better off watching something like The Prisoner if you want some old retro sci-fi.
  • by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:03AM (#45099325) Homepage
    The gentlemen who found these episodes did so of his own remit. He told fans in 2005 his plan:

    "'does anyone know,what ian levine,plans to do about the recovery of missing episodes,i myself have been considering,a little overseas travel, i work overseas and i think by traveling to some or even all countrys and searching ,is maybe the best way now,of finally putting the rumours,and stories to rest,if its there lets go there,and ask politely it can do no harm,who knows i might turn up a thing or two'

    'yes i see your point,i have contacted the restoration team,and offered my services,free at no cost to them ,whatsoever,but i have had no reply.you are perfectly right the beeb themselves should do this,but they dont seem to want to know,official paperwork and authorisation,from the beeb would have been great,but if not forthcoming i will go it alone with whatever ,background information i can find and see were it leads me,any help from anyone interested will be much appreciated,to all fans i will give it my best shot for dr who'"

    For those not in the know, Ian Levine is a superfan, who saved many of the early episodes from destruction and found many others. The above appeared on a forum dedicated to discussing missing episodes, and is partially run by BBC staff members some of whom restore the old episodes for DVD release. Apart from Ian Levine, everyone wrote him off. The BBC didn't seem to want to know. But if the story is right, he must have managed to acquire some paperwork to show how the episodes had been cycled round the world; when one TV station had finished with them, they would be sent to another one to reduce costs of producing new episodes from the negatives.

    Another thing I'd like to mention. In 1984 the BBC and Levine contacted old foreign TV markets who had bought the early years of the show to find lost episodes. Most stations didn't bother to reply; 6 did come back from Nigeria (the newly found episodes were from a relay station so its not surprising they were missed) and one from Australia. Iran said "Who in the name of Allah are you talking about?" But as Phillip Morris has shown, you need to go over there and physically sift through the paperwork and film cans. Expecting an overworked archivist to do it isn't going to work, especially if the documentation of what they have is fragmentary. But I do wonder what other "lost" TV shows were found sitting on the shelf. When Dr.Who has been found in the past, other TV has usually come back, but it is rarely, if ever reported. This makes TV historians fury with despair, as the archival side of things is so Dr.Who-centric.

    Normally, the episodes should have been returned to England when they had been shown an agreed number of times, or destroyed. Happily this isn't the case. I'm not too surprised that they were overlooked. My dad worked in Nigeria from about 1968-72 and I was born there. He says they are slovenly and corrupt. That's not being racist, that is what they are like over there, from his personal experience (like one local member of the Lagos glitterati who paid off the police to stop criminal proceedings after he nearly killed my mum in a speedboat accident). And yes my dad does recall Dr.Who being shown in Nigeria!

  • by KNicolson (147698) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:08AM (#45099347) Homepage

    (Please read the following in CAPITALS)

    Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I have the believe you are a reputable and responsible and trustworthy person I can do business with from the little information so far I gathered about you during my search for a partner and by matter of trust I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.

    I am Stella Morris 19 years of age the only daughter of late Mr Phillip Morris whom was killed by the daleks that attacked our country Nigeria and took over our town. I ran to Lagos the economical capital of nigeria from were I am contacting you. Before the death of my father he told me that he has a sum of DWE 9.000,000 (Nine point one million Doctor Who Episodes) kept in a private cloud here in nigeria in my name as the next of kin,

    Dear, in the capacity of the next of kin and with all the tapes in my hand now, I am contacting you with due sence of gallifreyanity that you will give it a sympathetic and mutual consideration.

    I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.

    (1)To serve as the guardian of this drama and to come assist me visit the television company here to retrive the consignment.

    (2)To make arrangement for me to come over to your country by tardis to further my education and to secure a residential permit for me in your country.

    (3)To provide good viewing plans for the tapes and to manage the tapes for 5 years, during the viewing period,only our profit will be shared annually 70% for me the iTunes account holder while 30% will be for you the manager annually.

    Moreover, I am willing to offer you 11 % of the total tapes (1 (one) episode) as compensation for your effort /input after the successful transfer of this video to your nominated iTunes account overseas, before the viewing starts.

    Anticipating hearing from you immediately.

    Thanks, and would you like a jelly baby?
    Best Regards.
    Stella Morris

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I am very interested but with respect to (1) please clarify as to whether that is Black or White Guardian

  • Microsoft re-discovers Dr. Watson.
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday October 11, 2013 @06:19AM (#45099797)
    Finally, we know what is Nigeria supposed to be good for. Now I know where to store my collection of old books that nobody is interested in anymore until someone starts being interested in it again.
  • by SuperDre (982372) on Friday October 11, 2013 @07:20AM (#45099999) Homepage
    The biggest problem I have is with them putting them on iTunes store first.. The episodes were paid with public money so there shouldn't be an exclusive deal with one provider.. The episodes should even be available for free at least through the BBC iPlayer/website..
    • The biggest problem I have is with them putting them on iTunes store first..

      Well, be glad that you are just misinformed then. Your biggest problem is now gone.

  • by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstad AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @08:02AM (#45100145)

    I don't care much for Dr Who, but this is another reason to oppose DRM and be cautious about streaming. If the producers can't be trusted to keep a copy of their works, it's up to the audience to do the archiving. Some works may not be considered popular or good, but may later have a huge cult (or mainstream, in this case) following

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday October 11, 2013 @09:15AM (#45100545)

      To be fair, the situation with Doctor Who episodes not being kept was far different than a producer not keeping an episode today. Back then, tape was expensive and limited in supply so old episodes were wiped to reuse the tapes for new episodes (or other TV programs). They kept things that they thought would have long lasting value, like news clips. Doctor Who was thought of as a fun show but one that wouldn't last long. They had no idea that people would be enjoying it 50 years later. Today, all that's needed to keep a show is some extra hard drives or backup discs - a minimal cost investment Don't judge people from 50 years ago based on technology from today.

  • I actually got an e-mail about buying lost episodes of Dr Who from a nice Nigerian prince but I deleted it.

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