Two Views On The Doctor Who Missing Episodes

odw4Welcome to Gallifrey Base. The premier Doctor Who forum, that was birthed by the previous premier Outpost Gallifrey when that site ended.

Naturally, they've discussed the Doctor Who Missing Episodes rumour, nicknamed the Omnirumour which encapsulates the belief of some that ninety of so missing episodes of Doctor Who have been recovered – as well as the more recent specific version that full series of Marco Polo, Enemy Of The World and The Web Of Fear have been returned to the BBC and are being restored for release.

I'd heard the rumour for months, but from other fans. It was when I was told from good sources that people involved with the actual production of Doctor Who were discussing the rumours as if they were true that I reported a version on the site, which soon got whittled into shape by other sources.

I've always stated that I had no actual knowledge whether or not the rumours were true, I just found it rather engaging that Who production folk were engaging in the exact same speculative activity as the fans.

But things then exploded rather.

A few months on, little has changed. There have been more details, more sources named, more NDAs reported and more expectation. There have also been semi-denials, pooh poohing and a sense of malaise.

Here are two very distinct points of view being expressed on Gallifrey Base this weekend;

One, from Scott Ferre, a long standing, much respected and well-connected Doctor Who fan who writes confirming he's been told of the ninety-ish episodes recovered. And that he knows people… who know people who've seen them. Here are some clips…

[On the Power Of Daleks] Yep! I believe it's back. Whether the BBC has it or not, I don't know.

I have several credible sources.

I am aware of at least five viewers of missing DW materials.

At least 9 episodes were seen.

Let me clarify – I have sources whose friends and/co-workers have seen missing episodes.

A lot of information are consistent across the sources I have. Some of them, I've known for a long time – and know them to be honest people. I'm not worried – there's been a big find.

That many episodes, yeah – but I must caution that it could be a while yet…..

You're right that anyone could post what I have so far. Fortunately, I'm not the only poster with similar information who has publicly posted. Others have corroborated the information I have. It's healthy to be skeptic, and proof is one standard of threshold for some skeptics. The time will come for that – hopefully before the anniversary.

I wasn't chosen. I just happened to ask the right questions to certain people and built up a network of sources because confidentiality is something I value. Some details are okay to post, others are not. It's those other details that may jeopardize certain negotiations.

So – with MEW, I am trying to reassure the DW community that good things are coming our way without compromising details.

And then there is Paul Vanezis, responsible for finding previously thought lost episodes, and part of the Doctor Who Restoration Team in the past, responsible for, you know, actually restoring episodes of Doctor Who from recovered to something of broadcastable quality, who replied to the following statement as part of a wider discussion on Missing Episodes on the forum;

Well apparently one member of the "Restoration Team" has confirmed to someone on one forum that episodes have been found and returned. If true, that suggests to me that there is a public face to these rumours and a very different take in private.


I didn't though confirm that anything had been found, or that anything had been returned. However, I did say that the number 16 was significant (a number which eventually in mid June rose to 19) and that negotiations were delicate and ongoing. Whilst I wasn't directly involved in the discussions, I was kept fully informed, as were the BBC. Up until a month ago, I was hopeful that this would bear fruit, but it does appear to have been a private collector (residing in a foreign country) who was basically time wasting. As I said to my fellow moderator, what will be will be, although in this case sadly not.

See the full post and followups for detail and context. So there you go. Place your bets, folks, place your bets.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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