27½ Things We'll Be Surprised to Find Out if the Lost Episodes Have Really Been Found

By now, you've heard the rumors. A shipment of three tons of old videotape has made its way from Africa to the BBC (some rumors say from Nigeria, other Uganda), among which might be some of all of the lost Doctor Who episode. Rumor says as much as 90 of the missing 106. At first considered hopeful 50th Anniversary fantasy, even Who's premiere archivist Ian Levine dispelled the rumors as "a massive hoax" on Twitter. The next day, Levine took it all back, saying he was effing speechless and that he'd seen "three tons of evidence" that his sources had lied to him about the rumors not being true. Could we soon see the Hartnell and Troughton eras restored to their full glories? Which of the 27 missing or incomplete serials will remain lost? What will we discover when these episodes are screened for the first time in more than 40 years? The SBG gives itself permission to imagine...

1. Susan and Ping-Cho playing a game of Marco Polo.
2. Gruesome decapitation scenes from "Realm of Terror".
3. Proof that King Richard is really Scaroth.
4. A Drahvin-Chumblie dance number.
5. Mission to the Unknown becomes Mission to the Known.
6. The Trojan Horse interior has a fancy hot tub, cuz Odysseus is PIMP!
7. The Doctor's Christmas wish was shot in 3D.
8. The Massacre is clearly a backdoor pilot for Steven's adventures in Huguenot France.
9. The Celestial Toymaker watches the U.S. Batman TV show in the robot's belly.
10. At the start of The Savages, Steven finds his Panda mutilated in the corner of the TARDIS. His expression reveals why he leaves so easily at the end.
11. The Smugglers shocked by Polly's choice if bikini.
12. Incredible model cyber-cities on Mondas.
13. The TARDIS hat room.
14. Jamie's upskirt.
15. An Aquaman cameo in The Underwater Menace.
16. Polly's beauty salon proves fatal for a Cyberman in disguise.
18. Samantha Briggs changes her mind, runs to the TARDIS, but it's been taken away.
19. Terry Nation's unscripted cameo as a Thal pushing the "final end" button on the Dalek Emperor's base.
20. Yeti in love.
21. The entire cast slipping and sliding on a wet floor around the thawed Ice Warrior.
22. Troughton's stand-in gets a full frontal shot when the Doctor meets Salamander.
23. Lethbridge-Stewart smokes two packs of smokes.
24. Fury from the Deep is just awful. AWFUL.
25. Zoe's teen idol posters in her room - all famous mathematicians!
26. The missing episodes of the Invasion were cartoons all along.
27. The integral The Space Pirates can put you into a hypnotic trance.
27½. Shada WAS finished. WHAAAA??!

Which Who stories do YOU most want to see restored? What lost piece of footage most intrigues you? The comments section awaits!


Craig Oxbrow said...

Troughton's first adventure, naturally, but also The Myth makers because Iliad geek.

Siskoid said...

The Myth Makers is hilarious and I love historicals, so yeah, me too.

The completely missing stories are those I most long to get a taste of, Marco Polo, Power of the Daleks, Fury from the Deep, The Macra Terror, Mission to the Unknown, etc.

I'd love to have The Feast of Steven too, because it's too much slapstick to make any sense in audio format.

Eric TF Bat said...

The secret final scene of The Tenth Planet, where William Hartnell briefly regenerates into Caligula, Winston Smith, the Elephant Man and a rabbit, before finally settling on Patrick Troughton.

Siskoid said...

Romana's regeneration had a precedent!

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard any of these rumors. Now you've got me all excited.

Siskoid said...

Then I'm sorry. I hope no one's hopes are unduly up.

Larry E said...

Nice to see all that money I sent to that Nigerian prince is doing some good!

Anonymous said...

Holy &@*$# !!!!!

You may have just made my day, even if the DVDs will cost a kidney.

I am not going to get much work done for the next half hour.


Siskoid said...

Again, let me apologize in case (and I believe it's likely) this all turns out to be much ado about nothing.

Anonymous said...

The more I read about it, the fishier it looks, but no apologies necessary as it's a lot of fun to speculate about and hey, you never know.

Power of the Daleks is a top-ten story for me without having seen anything but a grainy VHS recon. So that would be my first choice to have back. Web of Fear, too.

Funny, but the recons and the Internet discussions (including yours) have made me think that a lot of the missing stories aren't as good as their reputation. Years ago, anything Doctor Who would have been like red meat to a hungry wolf, but these days can't I spend my rare and precious leisure time better than sitting through The Celestial Toymaker? (Which is not to say I wouldn't if I ever got the opportunity!)


Siskoid said...

The trouble with the lost stories is that a myth has built up around them. Based on sketchy childhood memories and evocative novelizations, people have imagined them, and our imaginations are usually better than the televised episodes. Unfettered by production limits, it should be!

That's why, for example, a lot of people were disappointed by Tomb of the Cybermen when it was found in the 90s. I'd never read the novelization nor decades of "fan wisdom" (the same wisdom that would have you believe Toymaker was wonderful), so I quite loved the story the first time I saw it (on DVD). It's largely a measure of expectations.

I'd still be surprised if Marco Polo were a dud.

Jeff R. said...

Even if this turns out to the maximally true, The Feast of Steven isn't going to be in it. That one never left the UK at all, so we aren't getting it back unless there turns out to be (1) A real 'bounce anomoly' out there (2) Aliens observing us and Tivoing our shows, or (3) Actual time travel working.

Siskoid said...

Mmmm... I'll pick option 2.

Anonymous said...

The most specific version of the rumor I saw had the 'still missing' episodes being the rest of DMP, Mission to the Unknown, the lost two each from The Ice Warriors and The Invasion, and two from the Wheel In Space.

Oddly enough, the only missing Hartnell stories I'd be dying to see would be DMP and Marco Polo, though I agree with you guys that if we got to see Myth Makers it might turn out to actually boost its reputation. I believe this happened when they found Part 1 of The Crusade.

Tomb lived up to the hype for me too, Siskoid. The awakening of the Cybermen was every bit as cool as everyone said it would be. Evil, I think, would lose some luster. On paper it's epic (from a coffee bar to Dalek armageddon!), but seeing the recon, the plot holes stand up and demand notice.


Siskoid said...

Myth Makers is a spoof, and since I love The Romans, I like MM too.

Siskoid said...

Sadly, TIEA, the company at the centre of these rumours, posted this on their Facebook page Thursday morning:

T.I.E.A DOES NOT HOLD ANY MISSING EPISODES OF THE LONG RUNNING DR WHO SERIES. THE ORIGINAL VIDEO TAPES WERE WIPED SUBSEQUENT FILM COPIES WERE EITHER RETURNED TO THE BBC AND SENT TO LANDFILL ODD FRAGMENTS HAVE SURFACED TWO EPISODES ON 16MM FILM BUT THATS IT. THE PROGRAMMES IN QUESTION LIKE MANY OTHERS WERE DESTROYED AS THEY HAD NO FURTHER COMMERCIAL VALUE .THEY ARE NOT MISSING BUT DESTROYED THE END.I am sorry if this upsets some people but these are the facts.I have also become aware of the tracking of some of our clients shipments these are local cultural materials sent to us for migration to a modern format as the playback equipment in the country of origin no longer exists and as such is the best road to preserve international cultural heritage .I will be making no more statements on this subject.Philip MORRIS Executive director T.i.e.a"

And Ian Levine tweeted: "Deeply sick, distressed, disheartened, all hopes dashed, all joy gone from the world. That's it. DO NOT ASK ME TO SAY ANOTHER WORD"

Not a rosy follow-up.

LiamKav said...

"Not a rosy follow-up"


Andrew Gilbertson said...

Well, we got two stories, in the end... that's pretty darn good! :-)

Personally, my most-desired for restoration in the future (impossible as it may seem at times) are Myth Makers (I agree that it is utterly hilarious, and I think Vicki's departure is quite sweet) and Dalek Master Plan. On a secondary level, Evil of the Daleks and Fury from the Deep... but if I could only pick two, Myth Maker and Master Plan would get the spots.


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