Oh, my word! Two missing Doctor Who stories from the Patrick Troughton era have been returned to the BBC Archive!
The BBC has officially confirmed that all six episodes of "The Enemy of the World" and five episodes of "The Web of Fear" from Doctor Who's fifth season in 1967 and 1968 were discovered in Nigeria. They were found by Phillip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, in a television relay station in Jos, central Nigeria. According to the article, Morris tracked records of shipments made by the BBC to Africa, that contained tapes for transmission.
"The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station in Nigeria," said Morris. "I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words 'Doctor Who.' When I read the story code, I realized I’d found something pretty special."
Until now, only episode three of "The Enemy of the World" and episode one of "The Web of Fear" were found and released onto DVD as part of the Lost in Time DVD collection in 2004. The stories are now being released digitally on iTunes but are expected to have DVD releases in the United States early in 2014. The still-missing episode three of "The Web of Fear" has been reconstructed using still image "telesnaps" of the episode and the original audio soundtrack, which has been restored.
"The Enemy of the World" sees Troughton take on the dual-role of both the Doctor and his antagonist, Salamander, in a thrilling tale of spies, natural disasters and one man’s desire to control the whole world. "The Web of Fear" introduces Nicholas Courtney as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (who later returns as the Brigadier) and sees the Doctor do battle with the Great Intelligence and the Yeti for the second time.
Fiona Eastwood, Director of Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide commented on the discovery. "We are thrilled with the recent discovery of 'The Web of Fear' and 'The Enemy of the World' and we’re very happy to be working with iTunes on bringing remastered versions of these treasured episodes to fans as we celebrate the fiftieth year of Doctor Who."