Doctor Who‘s Missing Episodes
In the 1960s, the BBC screened 253 episodes of its cult science fiction show Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell and then Patrick Troughton as the time travelling Doctor. Yet by 1975, the Corporation had wiped the master tapes of every single one of these episodes. Of the 124 Doctor Who episodes starring Jon Pertwee shown between 1970 and 1974, the BBC destroyed over half of the original transmission tapes within two years of their original broadcast.
In the years that followed, the BBC, along with dedicated fans of the series, began the arduous task of trying to track down copies of as many missing Doctor Who episodes as possible. The search covered BBC sales vaults, foreign television stations, overseas archives, and numerous networks of private film collectors, until by 2012 the tally of missing programmes was reduced to just 106 episodes.
For the first time, this book looks in detail at how the episodes came to be missing in the first place, and examines how material subsequently came to be returned to the BBC. Along the way, those people involved in the recovery of lost slices of Doctor Who‘s past tell their stories in candid detail, many for the very first time. This second edition updates the story with details of the 2011 episode discoveries from ‘Galaxy 4’ and ‘The Underwater Menace’ as well as general updates, corrections and revisions throughout.
No more rumours, no more misinformation, no more fan gossip. The truth about Doctor Who‘s missing episodes can now be told in full!
‘A labour of love that’s clearly involved an immense amount of painstaking research’ SFX
‘This is a cracker of a book that lays to rest many myths (and confirms many more).’ Total SciFi Online
‘Exhaustively researched and fascinating’ SciFi Online
‘If you want to know the full story behind the lost ‘Doctor Who’ stories and how they were got back then this is the authoritative book to own and should be on your reading list. A brilliant study.’ SF Crowsnest
576pp. A5-format hardback book.
Published 28 February 2013
Also available as a paperback:
Cover of the original edition, published 30 October 2010:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Molesworth was born in 1968, and was hooked by Doctor Who when he first saw the Daleks menacing Jon Pertwee in ‘Day of the Daleks’ in 1972. He began writing for various Doctor Who fanzines in the mid 1980s, including DWB, where he first wrote articles about the BBC archive holdings. He has since contributed articles to publications such as Doctor Who Magazine, Starburst and Sci-Fi Now. In 1993, he acted as a researcher for Thirty Years in the TARDIS, the BBC documentary celebrating Doctor Who‘s thirtieth anniversary, and became a member of the unofficial Doctor Who Restoration Team soon after. He worked with the team on various projects for BBC Worldwide/2|entertain in the following years, which included the first restoration of ‘The War Machines’ for its VHS release, and ‘The Five Doctors: The Special Edition’. When Doctor Who started being released on DVD, he was responsible for a multitude of special features on the releases; producing audio commentaries with cast and crew, scripting on-screen production subtitles, and writing, directing and producing a number of documentary ‘extra’ features. He has also written Surf ‘n’ Turf: The Unofficial Skins Companion for Miwk Books, and has occasionally written for the Mail on Sunday.