This is a rumor that’s been swirling around for months and we generally don’t like to touch unsubstantiated rumors, but it’s gotten to a fever pitch now and there may be some validity to it. For quite a long time, there’s been talk of a bundle of missing (presumed wiped) Doctor Who episodes being found in, of all places, Ethiopia. Wild speculation ensued, often saying that all 106 missing episodes from 1963-1969 have been found, while other reports say it’s somewhere in the 90s, and still others say it’s only around 10-12. The BBC always denied this kind of talk, but still the wondering went on. Many online outlets ran with the rumors, but that was about it. Until…
On Sunday, The Mirror, a UK newspaper, reported that all 106 episodes were found. This was quickly believed to be false, or at the very least too good to be true, but later the Radio Times, the BBC’s radio and TV publication and a quite reputable source, it has to be said, released this report that the BBC had in its possession two Patrick Troughton adventures and would be releasing them for sale on iTunes as early as Wednesday.
So, after all this talk, the BBC still has neither confirmed nor denied this most recent claim of found episodes. Exactly what was found, by whom, or when fans will get to see them, is of course up in the air, but there’s a belief that the two stories that could be released this week are “The Enemy of the World,” which had Troughton playing both the Doctor and the vile dictator Salamander, and “The Web of Fear,” which was the second story to feature the Yeti and the Great Intelligence (villains from this past series) and the first appearance of Col. Lethbridge-Stewart, soon to be promoted to Brigadier.
Naturally, this is a story I’m following very closely, and as soon as anything official comes down the pike, I will of course be passing it along. It seems like this could be the week we actually get a real answer to this question. To be honest, I’ll believe it when I hit play on my iTunes after having downloaded them, but we can always hope.