Are more DOCTOR WHO missing episodes coming our way soon? - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Are more DOCTOR WHO missing episodes coming our way soon?

Marco Polo, one of the missing William Hartnell stories supposedly restored for release.
Over the years rumours have always surfaced about missing Doctor Who episodes being discovered here, there and everywhere, but there's one large omnirumour that just refuses to go away, and it's possible that there might just be a good reason for that!

Before the announcement of the recovery of The Web Of Fear and The Enemy Of The World, the BBC repeatedly claimed no missing episodes had been found. On June 20, 2013 both the BBC and Philip Morris (executive director of the Television International Enterprises and Archives Ltd, and the man who found the episodes) issued statements about the situation. The BBC said:
“There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered. However, we cannot confirm any new finds.”
Philip Morris added:
“T.I.E.A. does not hold any missing episodes of the long-running Dr Who series. The original videotapes were wiped [and] subsequent film copies were either returned to the BBC [or] sent to landfill. Odd fragments have surfaced – two episodes on 16mm film – but that’s it. The programmes in question, like many others, were destroyed as they had no further commercial value. They are not missing but destroyed. The end. I am sorry if this upsets some people but these are the facts.
However 4 months later both The Web Of Fear and The Enemy Of The World were topping the iTunes charts after having been restored and made available to the public. Philip Morris was celebrated because his long and extensive quest had made these shows available to us once again.

Clearly they weren't just discovered the week before release. There would've been many months of restoration work and lengthy legal negotiations to bring them to the public. Clearly both the BBC and Philip Morris knew the stories had been recovered in June, so why didn't they tell the truth?

The answer lies in the form of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Basically everyone involved with the recovery and restoration of the episodes had to sign an NDA, if they spoke about it then they would likely have been sued. This way the information would only come out when the BBC were ready to announce it.

Moving the story along a bit to this year and the omnirumour that the 2 Troughton stories were just the tip of the iceberg keeps reappearing. It has been covered by numerous websites, forums and blogs but there's one very good source that is definitely worth reading. Eddie McGuigan, author of Face to Face: Interviews Across Time in Space, posted an article on his blog summarizing what his sources have told him. We recommend you read his blog post, The Great Missing Episode Swindle, in it he reveals that the same people who told him in advance about the Troughton stories, Paul McGann appearing in The Night Of The Doctor and Matt Smith's departure have revealed information to him about recently discovered Doctor Who episodes.

McGuigan reveals that the vast majority of the missing Doctor Who episodes have been found, they are not necessarily back with the BBC yet but they have been located. This includes every missing episode, with the exception of one from The Daleks Masterplan (likely The Feast Of Steven). That's 96 out of 97 missing episodes, meaning that all of Patrick Troughton's time as the Doctor has been located, and not just the two stories released last year.

He goes on to reveal that the William Hartnell adventure, Marco Polo has been restored, and that there are tentative plans for an announcement around Easter time. This announcement may not be a release date but could be just confirmation of discovery.

Now this was revealed a few weeks ago and quite honestly could easily be written off as fandom getting carried away, it's certainly happened before hasn't it?

But this week things got very interesting when McGuigan tweeted...
So those non-disclosure agreements have appeared again, and in doing so have thrown much more fuel on an already burning fire.

Next Saturday will mark the 50th anniversary of the broadcast of the first episode of Marco Polo. Is it possible that a last minute press conference could come together, just as it did last Autumn, and Marco Polo might appear on iTunes? Next Saturday is also the day that The Enemy Of The World and The Web Of Fear get a BFI cinema outing in London with a panel Q&A session, is that just a coincidence? Or is there an announcement coming that day too?

Whatever happens next weekend I personally do believe that the missing episodes have been found, there are very credible sources claiming they exist, not just McGuigan. I have no problem waiting until Easter for an announcement because it's likely that these episodes will need a lot of work in both restoration and the necessary complicated legal wranglings before we will ever get a chance to see them, but I do believe we will slowly see them. I also believe that at least one story is being worked on right now for imminent release, the Marco Polo rumour certainly seems the most likely of them all.

It's logical that the episodes would be restored one story at a time, and as much as we'd like to have all 96 episodes in our hands right now, it is good business sense for the BBC to slowly drip feed these releases. It not only maximises sales but keeps classic Doctor Who in the limelight for a long time to come.

For most Doctor Who fans, myself included, it would be the very first time they could view these adventures, and I know I'm happy to wait if that's how the BBC want to play it. I can't explain just how exciting it was looking at the computer whilst The Web Of Fear was downloading, knowing I was minutes away from seeing it. Just thinking that over the next few years I might be able to watch The Power Of The Daleks, The Abominable Snowmen or Fury from the Deep makes me a very happy man indeed.

Roll on Easter, hopefully we will get that announcement.

For your information, the current 97 missing episodes are:

The First Doctor
Marco Polo - all seven episodes missing
The Reign of Terror - episodes 4 and 5 (out of six) missing
The Crusade - episodes 2 and 4 (out of four) missing
Galaxy Four - episodes 1, 2 and 4 (out of four) missing
Mission to the Unknown - single episode story, missing
The Myth Makers - all four episodes missing
The Daleks' Master Plan - episodes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 (of twelve episodes) missing
The Massacre - all four episodes missing
The Celestial Toymaker - episodes 1, 2 and 3 (out of four) are missing
The Savages - all four episodes missing
The Smugglers - all four episodes missing
The Tenth Planet - episode 4 (out of four) missing

The Second Doctor
The Power of the Daleks - all six episodes missing
The Highlanders - all four episodes missing
The Underwater Menace - episodes 1 and 4 (out of four) missing
The Moonbase - episodes 1 & 3 (out of four) missing
The Macra Terror - all four episodes missing
The Faceless Ones - episodes 2, 4, 5 & 6 (out of six) missing
The Evil of the Daleks - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (out of seven) missing
The Abominable Snowmen - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing
The Ice Warriors - episodes 2 and 3 (out of six) missing
The Web of Fear - episode 3 missing
Fury from the Deep - all six episodes missing
The Wheel in Space - episodes 1, 2, 4 and 5 (out of six) missing
The Invasion - episodes 1 and 4 (out of eight) missing but re-animated
The Space Pirates - episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of six) missing

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