Phillip Morris talking about recovering missing Doctor Who episodes

Archive television recovery expert Phillip Morris recalls how he found the film cans of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear sitting on a shelf, at a TV relay station in central Nigeria. For that find he earned the nickname Indiana Jones from the Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA).

It’s Morris and his team’s job to assist overseas stations with the storage and migration of their materials and, on the outside of that, they recover lost British television programmes.

He goes on to explain how the prints – the largest single haul of episode returned since the junkings were halted – they were part of the ‘bicycling’ system of sharing TV programmes between territories, and shares his fond childhood memories of Target’s Doctor Who novelisations. Stories that can now be seen on screen for the first time in decades.

He admits masking tape played rather a crucial role: These episodes were discovered on a project we were working in Nigeria. And they were found in a TV station in Jos. Just sitting on the shelf, which I can remember now seeing a piece of masking tape, which said Doctor Who on it.

I thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting’, pulled the cans down I read the story codes. instantly of course recognized what the stories were and realized they were missing from the BBC’s archive. A lot of Doctor Who fans around the world are going to be happy.

These episodes had come from Hong Kong and they’d been on what’s called a bicycle system. So they traveled from this country to the next country to the next country and they came to be in Nigeria through this bicycle system. Not at the station in Nigeria they were actually sold to. They were at a relay station. The condition that those programmes were in when we found them, we were quite lucky, considering the temperatures we can be in the upper 40 degrees, luckily they’d been kept in the optimum condition.

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Download The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear

The story of the week is the recovery of nine episodes starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, as BBC Worldwide finally confirmed, bringing the total missing from the archive down from 106 to 97! The film prints were discovered in Nigeria by Phillip Morris, director of the Television International Enterprises Archive.

These are two (almost) complete Patrick Troughton six-parters: The Enemy of the World (in which the Doctor has an evil double, Salamander – all six episodes were recovered) and The Web of Fear (the Yeti invade London via the Underground – 5 episodes recovered, episode 3 still missing, but a version has been constructed using photos and the surviving soundtrack and is included in the iTunes package). The serials were transmitted consecutively over 12 weeks in the winter of 1967/68.

From today fans can download the two adventures via iTunes, priced £9.99 each. This includes people in the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and France and in the UK (excluding the Republic of Ireland).

Download The Enemy of the World

Download The Web of Fear

The first episode of The Web of Fear (read the story guide of the series) and the third episode of The Enemy of the World (read the story guide of the series) have long existed in the BBC archive.

Additionally, The Enemy of the World will be released on DVD on Monday 25 November – the disc is available for pre-order now from BBC Shop. The Web of Fear will follow in early 2014.

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Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466

Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466 cover 1 of 2
Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466 cover 1 of 2
Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466 cover 2 of 2
Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466 cover 2 of 2

2 covers for Doctor Who Magazine DWM Issue 466, you will be getting it soon.

In the DWM issue 466 you will meet Phillip Morris, the hero who scouted the globe and rescued Doctor Who’s 60s classics, you’ll find out more about The enemy of the world and The web of fear, the episodes considered lost, but recently found.