Doctor Who fandom loves nothing more than a good rumour, but the idea that entire treasure troves of episodes were being held in reserve for the 50th Anniversary was always a little bit too good to be true.
I actually held off writing up the rumour that ran rampant around the web last week, stating that a whole host of missing episodes had been recovered from Africa because, well, they’re rumours.
I’ve heard them all before; somebody’s got film of The Tenth Planet stored in granny’s attic, Pat Troughton’s kids have home movies of him on the set of The Power Of The Daleks, and you wouldn’t believe where they found all of the Daleks Masterplan… etc… etc..
It looks like the BBC’s a bit sick of the rumours as well, given that it’s bothered to note on the Radio Times web site that the official position is a rather stern no:
“There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered – however we cannot confirm any new finds,” a statement says.
Can’t confirm? What does that mean? Does this meant that it may be true but they can’t confirm or that the can’t confirm because they have no information to this effect? Can they not confirm because it isn’t true?
“We can’t confirm because it’s not true as far a I’m aware,” the spokeswoman adds.
But are they talking to Morris? Or anyone with lost episodes.
“I don’t think so?”
So there are no episodes?
“Not as far as we know.”
That doesn’t sound like an elaborate episode-hiding conspiracy to me. Indeed, it sounds like an annoyed PR person — and I should know, I’ve annoyed enough of them in my time — trying to deal with a story that just isn’t there.
Yes, it’s always feasible that an episode here or there might be lurking, and I’d be delighted as any for 90 episodes to suddenly and magically appear out of thin air. I can’t say I can see a reason why the BBC would magically quarantine all those episodes if it knew about them, though. It doesn’t really stand up from a logical viewpoint, given there are hosts of “new series” Who fans who don’t much care at all for classic stories, let alone the slower pace of the classic black and white stories. In a year that’s all about Doctor Who hype, why wouldn’t you simply announce their existence and start building up anticipation for eventual DVD releases?
Source: Radio Times via Doctor Who TV