More Than 100 Lost Episodes of a Beloved Science-Fiction Show From the 1960s Are Found

Oct 8, 2013  •  Post A Comment

At least 100 lost episodes of a much-loved science-fiction show have been tracked down by fans of the program, with the lost installments of "Doctor Who" found in Ethiopia, reports the U.K. paper The Mirror.

It had been feared that the episodes, which were from the 1960s, had been lost after the BBC got rid of old footage, the story reports. The episodes feature the first two actors to play the Doctor, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, and were found at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.

"The recovered episodes from the ’60s include much-loved scenes from ‘The Crusade,’ ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Ice Warriors’ series," the story says. "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."

The episodes could be digitally remastered, and the BBC could make millions by selling them to fans, the story notes.

william hartnell doctor who.jpgWilliam Hartnell — the original Doctor Who


  1. Hopefully the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency will get a fair cut of all those profits.

  2. It is an interesting scenario because although someone owns the rights, they do not have the footage. Hmmmmmm.

  3. One of the most amusing media stories in memory!
    As a fan of Dr Who, it is grand to know that these long missing telecasts were not “exterminate(d)”!
    But given a list of say 100 countries where these might show up, certainly Ethiopia would be a 500 -1 shot. Hilarious.

  4. The short-sightedness of some media companies is almost unfathomable. Studios and networks erasing master tapes to save the cost of new acetate? Trashing old movies from their vaults rather than build new storage facilities?
    Hey, I know, let’s repaint old canvases in storage at the Met. Think how much we’ll save over buying and stretching new canvas.

  5. Writerguy, you are so correct! But back in the day, networks and syndicators never saw the value of saving shows as Television was in its infancy. I am of the thinking that Johnny Carson’s first ten years of shows are out there somewhere. THOUSANDS of television shows were erased prior to 1978 because 2 inch video tape was very expensive for the day and storage was an issue. Most, if not all of the “Mike Douglas Show’s” 1960’s Group W archive was “wiped,” but a technician made copies of all of the shows so Group W was able to keep that series in tact. Now as I mentioned, even though producers own the rights, what good are they if they do not own the videotapes that were “discovered?”

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