Two classic episodes of Doctor Who have been found, according to the annual Missing Believed Wiped event at the BFI in London on 11 December 2011.
Episode three of 1965 William Hartnell story ‘Galaxy 4’ and episode two of the 1967 Patrick Troughton serial ‘The Underwater Menace’ have surfaced. Previously all four parts of ‘Galaxy 4’ were missing and episodes one, two and four of ‘The Underwater Menace’ were lost as a result of the BBC’s shortsighted 1967 to 1978 policy of destroying or erasing recordings.
‘The Underwater Menace’ is actor Fraser Hines’ first proper story as the definitive Second Doctor companion Jamie McCrimmon, introduced in ‘The Highlanders’, and ‘Galaxy 4’s Drahvins were mentioned as recently as the 2010 Season Five finale, ‘The Pandorica Opens’.
Both episodes were recovered from private collections by Ralph Montagu, Radio Times’ head of heritage, who explained, “I occasionally meet up with a group of film collectors and retired TV engineers at a café in Hampshire.
“A few months ago I spoke to Terry Burnett, who used to be an engineer at TVS [the former ITV franchise based in Southampton]. Somehow Doctor Who was mentioned in passing, and Terry said, ‘Oh, actually I think I’ve got an old episode.’
“I thought it was bound to be something we’ve got already. I tried not to get too excited, but he came back the next day and brought this spool with him. It had no label, so I had a look at the film leader and it said ‘Air Lock’. I thought, ‘What’s that?’ I checked online and saw that Air Lock was an episode of Galaxy 4 – a missing Hartnell serial. So then I got very excited.”
Read the full story at the Radio Times.