BBC finds lost episodes of Doctor Who in Nigeria

The Tardis from Dr Who. Photo / Prime
The Tardis from Dr Who. Photo / Prime

Doctor Who fans rejoice. The BBC says it has recovered nine episodes of the sci-fi series that were feared lost in space and time.

The broadcaster says the missing episodes, and two others, were found in the storeroom of a television relay station in Nigeria.

Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963 and remains one of the BBC's most popular programs.

Some early episodes were lost because the broadcaster wiped the tapes clean for re-use.

Patrick Troughton as Dr Who.
Patrick Troughton as Dr Who.

The BBC says the lost episodes were tracked down by tracing records of overseas shipments of BBC tapes for transmission.

The recovered episodes date from 1967 and 1968 and feature Patrick Troughton, the second of a dozen actors to play the show's time-traveling hero.

They include the six-part series The Enemy of the World and the classic 'robot yeti' story The Web of Fear.

Mark Gatiss, an actor and writer for the modern Doctor Who, told the BBC the find was "thrilling".

It is thought to be the largest haul of missing Dr Who episodes to be uncovered in three decades.

"Every single avenue seemed to have been exhausted, every now and then something turns up - but to have two virtually complete stories out of the blue is absolutely incredible."

New Zealand viewers will be able to see the episodes when they are released on DVD.

The Enemy of the World will be released on 27 November and The Web of Fear will be released early next year.

- AP

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