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Episode Recoveries


Since 1978, there have been numerous discoveries and recoveries made by fans, film collectors and BBC staff. This page is therefore dedicated to those people that have reduced the number of missing episodes (at time of writing) to 108 missing episodes.


All recoveries should be listed in chronological order. Recovery dates listed refer to when that particular item became public knowledge and not necessarily when the discoverer of the item found it. Should any of the details be incorrect please email me. This page will always be a work-in-progress page, as the process of recovering Doctor Who material will continue for some time yet. As such this page will (hopefully) be updated on a regular basis.





When the Junking was stopped in 1978, 6 years after it began, the BBC set up The Film & Videotape Library for the purpose of storage, preservation and future access to older material. It fell to the first appointed Archive Selector, Sue Malden, to track down the lost footage, and one of the shows she focused on happened to be Doctor Who. The 47 episodes found early on during the audit were 100,000BC 1 2 3 4, The Keys of Marinus 5, The Romans 1 3, The Web Planet 2, The Crusade 3, The Space Museum 3, The Time Meddler 2, The Ark 3, The Gunfighters 4, The Tenth Planet 1 2 3, The Underwater Menace 3, The Moonbase 2 4, The Faceless Ones 1, The Enemy of the World 3, The Dominators 1 2 4 5, The Invasion 2 3 5 6 7 8, The Krotons 2 3, The Seeds of Death 1 2 4 6 & The War Games 2 5 8 9. The prints for The Dominators 4 & 5 were edited. It has long been believed that the print for The Invasion 6 was edited also, but this appears to be a just a rumour. Also recovered were the 35mm prints of The Dalek Invasion of Earth 5, The Wheel In Space 6, The Mind Robber 5, The Krotons 1, The Seeds of Death 5 & The Space Pirates 2.


Once the restrictions for purchasing old Doctor Who episodes had been lifted, long-time fan Ian Levine approached Sue Malden to see what he could acquire, but was disappointed with what existed. He had heard a rumour that more Dr Who episodes existed elsewhere, and organised a trip down to the film vault at Villiers House in London, where BBC Enterprises kept all their footage for overseas sales. What Ian found was a staggering 79 episodes, most of which didn't exist in the newly formed Film & Videotape Library. Ian's quick reactions saved these film prints from destruction, as, according to the story, they would have been destroyed less than a day later. Ian had located 100,000BC 1 2 3 4, The Daleks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, Inside the Spaceship 1 2, The Keys of Marinus 1 2 3 4 5 6, The Aztecs 1 2 3 4, The Sensorites 1 2 3 4 5 6, Planet of Giants 1 2 3, The Dalek Invasion of Earth 1 2 3 4 5 6, The Rescue 1 2, The Romans 1 2 3 4, The Web Planet 1 2 3 4 5 6, The Space Museum 1 2 3 4, The Chase 1 2 3 4 5 6, The Ark 1 2 3 4, The Gunfighters 1 2 3 4, The Mind Robber 1 2 3 4 5 & The Seeds of Death 1 2 3 4 5 6.


During the junking period, some Production Teams (people responsible for specific shows) would gift some of their material to The British Film Institute for preservation, mainly as an example of genre. Sue Malden contacted the BFI and they promptly returned 3 complete Troughton stories from Season Six; The Dominators 1 2 4 5, The Krotons 1 2 3 4 & The War Games 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, plus The Dominators 3 on 35mm film. The prints recovered from the BFI for The Dominators 4 & 5 were again edited.


A check of a stack of film cans recently returned from Hong Kong lead to Sue Malden finding the classic Troughton episode from Season Five; The Web of Fear 1.


Later, Sue was checking film cans in the vault when was surprised to find the original Pilot Episode of Doctor Who on 16mm film! Complete with bloopers, dialogue errors and 3 different takes of the second half of the episode, this was an episode that no one expected to see again.


Ian Levine, who had recovered almost the entire first two seasons a few months earlier, came into contact with a film collector in Australia called David Gee. David had in his possession The War Machines 2. After negotiations, he was able to convince David to return his film to the BBC, where a copy was made.


The previous year, a documentary called "Whose Doctor Who", produced by The Lively Arts, had featured footage from episodes in the 1960's. Upon checking the material in the documentary, and material that hadn't been used, Sue Malden found a short clip from an episode that didn't exist; 30 seconds from Galaxy 4 1.


The last discovery of the 1970's came in the form of Film Inserts from The Abominable Snowmen 2 & The Daleks' Master Plan 2. They were recorded on either 16mm or 35mm film, and would be added to the final episode during studio filming. Despite being archived, this footage wasn't deemed important at the time.


Still missing at the end of 1978: 135 - 60 Hartnell / 75 Troughton






A redundant 16mm film print of The Moonbase 4 is returned to the BBC.


A higher quality yet redundant 16mm print of The Space Museum 1 is returned to the BBC.


Still missing at the end of 1981: 135 - 60 Hartnell / 75 Troughton






A 16mm print of The Abominable Snowmen 2 was returned to the BBC.


Late in the year a 16mm print of The Reign of Terror 6 was returned to the BBC.


Still missing at the end of 1982: 130 - 59 Hartnell / 74 Troughton






March: Fan David Stead returned a 16mm film print of The Wheel in Space 3 to the BBC. Stead bought the print from a film collector for £15, and planned to give it back to the BBC in November of that year. However illness and other factors prevented the BBC from receiving the print until the following year, finally obtaining it in April 1984.


September: In what would prove to be the most bizarre discovery to date, Steve Bryant (Sue Malden's successor to the role of Archive Selector) took a call from a Parish in London. They explained they were clearing out a Church basement ready for storing their own materials when they came across a crate emblazoned with a BBC logo. Intrigued, Steve Bryant headed down to the Church and was delighted to find the crate contained about half a dozen film cans, including The Daleks' Master Plan 5 & 10.


Still missing at the end of 1983: 130 - 57 Hartnell / 73 Troughton






April: During a routine examination of its film archive, the Australian TV broadcaster ABC discovered a 16mm print of The Celestial Toymaker 4. When the film was returned to the BBC, it was discovered that the ‘Next Episode’ caption had been edited from it.


Two complete stories, The War Machines 1 2 3 4 and The Time Meddler 1 2 3 4, were returned from Nigeria, although most of the episodes were edited. The respective episode 2 from both stories had already been recovered.


Still missing at the end of 1984: 123 - 50 Hartnell / 73 Troughton






A search in Cyprus saw the recovery of The Reign of Terror 1 2 3 on 16mm film. It is generally considered that the missing two episodes of this story, parts 4 & 5, were lost in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, 11 years earlier, when an attack destroyed one of their film archives. This is currently the last recovery of any footage from Season One.


The Web Planet 1 2 3 4 5 6 were returned from Nigerian Television on 16mm film. These of course were redundant, having been recovered previously by Ian Levine in 1978.


Still missing at the end of 1985: 120 - 47 Hartnell / 73 Troughton






The 16mm film prints of The Faceless Ones 3 and The Evil of the Daleks 2 were returned by a collector. He intended to screen them at a convention.


Still missing at the end of 1987: 118 - 47 Hartnell / 71 Troughton






During a clear out of Villiers House in London, a BBC Enterprises employee was shocked to find a handful of film cans pushed to the back of a storage cupboard. The cans found were labelled The Ice Warriors 2 4 5 6 and Fury from the Deep 6. On inspection, The Ice Warriors 2 was actually The Ice Warriors 1, and the can labelled Fury from the Deep 6 sadly didn't contain the missing episode.


Still missing at the end of 1988: 114 - 47 Hartnell / 67 Troughton






April: Ian Levine returned unedited copies of The Time Meddler 1 & 3 on 16mm film just prior to the screening of that story on BBC1. Unfortunately, this act of generosity created a stir in the fandom; he had kept those episodes, maybe he had more… Ian Levine has simply retained these complete episodes as a favour to friends of his, and because they were not his property, he didn’t see fit to return them himself.


Late 1991: Hong Kong returns 16mm prints of The Tomb of the Cybermen 1 2 3 4. This came as a surprise as in 1978 after returning The Web of Fear 1, Asia TV stated they didn’t have any more episodes of Doctor Who. The story was rush released onto BBC Video in May 1992, where it became an instant hit.


Still missing at the end of 1991: 110 - 47 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






Researcher Andrew Pixley located an episode of 'Blue Peter' from 1973 and discovered 90 seconds of 16mm footage from The Dalek Master Plan 3, as part of research for the More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS video release.


Still missing at the end of 1994: 110 - 47 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






The ABC in Australia was having a clearout of it’s vault when it happened upon a 16mm telerecording with Doctor Who on the label. The BBC were contacted but were disappointed to hear that it was The Dominators 5, which already existed. However, after checking the print they discovered this episode hadn't been attacked by the censor's knife (as the previous 2 prints found of this episode had been), and as such the missing scenes were present. For the first time in 20 years, this episode was now complete in the BBC archive.


Late 1995: Staying in Australia and RT member Steve Roberts was enquiring with the ABC about a 20 year old programme that may have included some clips from missing Doctor Who episodes. The programme, called Perspective: C for Computer, was rumoured to have Power of the Daleks footage. In late 1995, 16mm film sequences were returned to the BBC containing 4 clips from The Power of the Daleks 4 & 5.


Still missing at the end of 1995: 110 - 47 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






Late 1996: Damian Shanahan, an Australian fan, was researching at the ABC in Australia when he discovered a 16mm reel of footage. On the reel was footage from various episodes currently missing. The footage, totalling roughly 4 minutes, was in fact deletions made by the censor, and under the contract had to retain the footage to prove it had been deleted.


It should be pointed out that this footage also contained the missing material for The Dominators 4. As such, with the return of the complete The Dominators 5 the previous year, this story was now complete as broadcast for the first time since 1969.


Still missing at the end of 1996: 110 - 47 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






January: The eight-year drought of a missing episode find was finally broken in mid-1998 when film collector Bruce Grenville purchased a 16mm film can at a film fair in Napier. Unbeknownst to him, the episode was The Crusade 1, a missing episode from Season Two. Mr Grenville's 'travelling cinema' eventually screened the episode, which was identified by a Doctor Who fan as a missing installment. The episode was eventually sent to the BBC where a Digi-Beta copy was made and the film print returned to Mr Grenville, after which he sold it at auction.


Still missing at the end of 1999: 109 - 46 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






November 1: 3 years after the recovery of The Crusade 1 in Napier, prominent NZ fan Graham Howard located a film collector who possessed the Censor Clips from the NZBC (New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, now known as TVNZ), similar to those found in Australia in 1996. The reel contained footage from The Web of Fear & The Wheel in Space, as well as episodes already found.


Still missing at the end of 2002: 109 - 46 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






July 30: 3’32” of footage from Fury from the Deep 6 was recovered from the BBC Archives at Windmill Road by Andrew Martin. He was checking through some reels of old waste film which had been stored away to use as filler and leader material. The footage exists on 16mm negative film and consists of nearly complete scenes depicting the Weed Creature attacking the control room. Despite being the first major find of 2003, the footage isn’t from the finished episode, but actually from off cuts that were removed during editing and never went to air. Also, the footage has no audio.


November 1: A short trailer of The Power of the Daleks 1 was discovered attached to a 16mm telerecording from a programme broadcast the night before The Power of the Daleks 1 was to screen. The slightly incomplete trailer, featuring the Doctor, Ben and Polly discovering the Daleks in the capsule was restored by Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team. The trailer was a surprise to fans as it was screened at the launch ceremony for the 2003 Panopticon Fortieth Anniversary event.


Still missing at the end of 2003: 109 - 46 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






January 15: Francis Watson, former Head of Engineering at Yorkshire Television in Leeds, returned a 16mm print of The Daleks' Master Plan 2 to the BBC after holding onto it for over 30 years. Watson also returned a poor-quality and redundant 16mm print of The Daleks 5.


May: Whilst preparing the Lost in Time DVD Collection for release, which contained 18 'orphan' episodes from the Hartnell & Troughton eras, the Restoration Team discovered the short clip at the end of The Wheel in Space 6 depicting the events of The Evil of the Daleks 2 is actually from The Evil of the Daleks 1, as it contains extra footage of Kennedy not seen in Episode Two. This entry is simply for completists sake, as unfortunately the extra footage only consists of a mere 3 frames…


August: Around 1'35" seconds of 35mm film inserts from The Space Pirates 1 were discovered in a can labelled "Dad's Army" by Ralph Montagu.


Still missing at the end of 2004: 108 - 45 Hartnell / 63 Troughton






August: Around 20" seconds of 35mm footage from The Power of the Daleks 4 was found under the most amazing circumstances – the footage went to air on another programme! The clips were recovered by the Restoration Team.


Still missing at the end of 2005: 108 - 45 Hartnell / 63 Troughton



Materialise at…


Nexus Home

The Complete List

The Trailers

Audio Recoveries

Telesnap Recoveries

Image Recoveries