Monday, October 7, 2013

Over 100 long-lost Doctor Who episodes found by dedicated fans - in Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency

The Sunday People can exclusively reveal that 106 BBC programmes have been unearthed featuring the first two doctors

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-pa
rt 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.