Two missing Doctor Who episodes found

Doctor WhoTwo Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s have been returned to the BBC archives.

Unfortunately around 100 episodes of Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives because of the wide-spread wiping policy of the 1960s/1970s. The corporation was not alone in the policy with commercial broadcasters also wiping tales of broadcast programmes. Doctor Who is one of many programmes to have been affected by this with other notable shows including Dad’s Army and Crossroads.

Over the years a number of missing episodes of Doctor Who have been recovered and returned to the BBC. The number of recovered episodes have declined though giving some to have little hope of further discoveries. The BBC though has announced two missing episodes have been recovered and returned to the corporation. The recovery of the missing episodes was announced at the BFI‘s Missing Believed Wipe event in London, they were recovered by Terry Burnett.

Anneke Wills who played PollyEpisode three of Galaxy Four (starring William Hartnell, Peter Purves and Maureen O’Brien) and episode two of The Underwater Menace (starring Patrick Troughton, Anneke Wills, Michael Craze and Frazer Hines) are the two newly recovered episodes. Previously on brief clips of Galaxy Four remained in the BBC archive while only one episode of The Underwater Menace was held by the BBC.

The recovery of these two episodes will raise fans hopes that further missing episodes may yet be recovered. The William Hartnell/Patrick Troughton years are the ones mostly affected by the wiping policy with only a few Jon Pertwee stories affected. However, with the Jon Pertwee stories all of the episodes are still within the archives though some only exist within black and white form instead of colour.