For loyal fans of Doctor Who, Christmas — or whatever the equivalent is on Gallifrey — may have come early. A new rumor suggests that the BBC may have uncovered a significant stash of lost classic Doctor Who material, including episodes that haven’t been seen since they aired the first time, all those decades ago. The scuttlebutt is that this happy occurrence will be officially announced this fall, tying into the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Doctor Who’s early history has always been full of holes, as many episodes from the era of the first two Doctors (William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton) were taped over, destroyed, or simply lost. Some thought-lost eps have resurfaced in various places over the years, but there’s still tons of material missing. Now Bleeding Cool is reporting that two unnamed sources have confirmed to them that the BBC has recovered a big chunk of the missing material, and plans to release it sometime this fall.
Apparently some of the rediscovered material was recovered from an African engineer who had been nabbing things for years for his private collection. No word whether the BBC tracked him down or if he had approached them. Either way, Bleeding Cool says the material is rumored to include a full run of the 1967 Evil of the Daleks serial, of which only the second of seven episodes had been previously unearthed. The material may even mean fans can finally see the full run of Hartnell’s episodes.
If all this proves to be true, Who fans will have much to celebrate later this year. It will also add a bit more to the so-far underwhelming line-up of anniversary events. We’ve got the 50th anniversary special that brings back David Tennant, obviously, and a TV movie about the creation of the show. But so far it’s all seemed sort of lacking for a show that’s celebrating five freaking decades of life. Hopefully the rumors will prove to be true. What better way to celebrate the show’s long history than with revisiting parts of it thought lost forever?