For a few weeks now there has been a crazy rumour floating around the internet that someone has found a whole load of missing BBC TV programmes from the 60’s… Including things such as Morecambe and Wise, The Sky at Night (PATRICK MOORE!) and Dr Who… Now anybody who reads my stuff on a regular basis will know how much of an obsessive fanboy I am when it comes to Dr Who… Even my own work has been compared to it (And yeah, maybe some of Dr Who did subconsciously go in there but I wouldn’t say Dr Who was a direct inspiration in terms of the actual story…) The most Recent reports suggest that a whopping 90 of the 106 missing episodes have been found.
And do I believe it? As much as the fanboy in me wants to believe this to be true, when thinking rationally I can honestly say that it probably isn’t. 90 episodes, plus all the rest, is quite a lot when all things are considered. People have been searching for these lost gems for years and to suddenly come up with all of that is mind-boggling. You have to ask yourself, if these really do exist, why has nobody found them before when the search has been going on since the seventies? Surely, if these did exist they would have been found before. Although, saying that, according to one source i read they were found in Zimbabwe and considering the political situation there it might just be feasible they haven’t been found until now. As for the so called ‘proof’ which constitutes a delivery notice for a box of ‘old films’ from 2011 and some ancient forum post that tells of how ‘a colleague’ at the delivery office met the guy who told him the box contained the Dr Who episodes. That was two years ago… You can’t tell me this guy has been sitting on all that stuff for two years. Also consider this, the BBC are releasing animated versions of some missing episodes in the next few months. If this guy really did have the episodes and the BBC knew as is claimed, why would they go to the trouble of animating them? Even if they didn’t know I’m willing to bet that they’d be quite miffed at going to the expense of making these animations only to have the real things show up.
Perhaps there is a grain of truth to this story and perhaps an episode or two has been found. It happened last year when they found a couple so maybe they’ll find something like ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ which was filmed in a valley not far from one of the major places where my own works take place (And that’s a coincidence… Not a reason to compare.) I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for that story actually which is why I’d love to see it but there are a few more I’d like to see. In short though i don’t think that a whole 90 episodes have been found. It may be that there are one or two or that most of them turn out to already exist in the archives… So you’ll excuse me if I remain sceptical for the moment.