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Over 100 Missing Episodes of Doctor Who Located

timothy posted 1 year,18 days | from the as-a-result-of-time-travel dept.

Television 158

MajikJon writes "The BBC junking policies of the '60s and '70s resulted in the loss of hundreds of episodes of the classic series in its earliest years. Through the work of ardent fans over the succeeding decades, dozens of these lost episodes have been painstaking recovered and added back into the BBC archives. Now, it seems, the searchers have struck the mother lode. According to the Wikipedia, there are currently 106 missing episodes of the serial. If reports are correct, we may finally get to see all the episodes."

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WHO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049531)

gives a fuck !!

Re:WHO (3, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049723)

Yes, The World Health Organization [who.int] does care..

Re:WHO (2, Funny)

S.O.B. (136083) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050739)

Horton hears them.

This is still not actually confirmed (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049539)

The BBC have not confirmed this and it has been rumoured already for months now, hardly an exclusive by the Sunday People as the article claims, but maybe there is a chance the BBC will say something about these rumoured negoiations this time.

Re:This is still not actually confirmed (3, Interesting)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049659)

No problem, being a fan is talking about the series, not watching them. I even secretly hope it's not true, otherwise I have to wade through hundred passed episodes.

Re:This is still not actually confirmed (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050391)

If it turns out to be a cache of old I Love Lucy episodes, the BBC will have some 'splainin to do.

Re:This is still not actually confirmed (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051665)

Pics or GTFO.

Interesting. (4, Interesting)

Delusion_ (56114) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049551)

I'm not a fan of the series in any incarnation, but assuming the report is accurate, I'm thrilled that those that are fans may finally be able to dig a little deeper into the archives.

And thanks to the internet being the world's most effective copying machine, if these episodes do release, we'll never have to worry about this particular series going dark again.

I'm always a little intrigued by some of the other long-running shows where archival is not (at the time) a financially sound move. I have to wonder exactly how many episodes of, say, daytime soap operas are lost. Many? Most? The airing schedule on some of the longest-running is so frequent that catching up from a series from beginning to end (if it were possible) would take 6 or so years if you tried to plow through at 40 hours a week.

Re:Interesting. (5, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049567)

I'm not a fan of the series in any incarnation, but assuming the report is accurate, I'm thrilled that those that are fans may finally be able to dig a little deeper into the archives.

It's a tabloid newspaper, on a Sunday, when all the journalists are at home, and they just make shit up instead. I'm going for 100% untrue, until proved otherwise. Fan sites seem completely dismssive also.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049705)

It's a tabloid newspaper, on a Sunday, when all the journalists are at home, and they just make shit up instead.

Yeah, the generally focus on kiss and tell sex exposés, football, sex, some more football, paedo news, stuff for women, and an occasional piece of useful news.

Re:Interesting. (4, Informative)

gallondr00nk (868673) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049793)

I also wonder what condition the reels will be in.

Someone on another thread discussing old Doctor Who episodes pointed out that early tape stock was an absolute nightmare to keep in decent condition, and the expense was sufficient enough that the BBC decided it was too expensive.

It wasn't that they just carelessly throwed their archives away.

Re:Interesting. (4, Informative)

NoMaster (142776) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049947)

Someone on another thread discussing old Doctor Who episodes pointed out that early tape stock was an absolute nightmare to keep in decent condition, and the expense was sufficient enough that the BBC decided it was too expensive.

But these would be (if they existed, which they probably don't) distribution copies for foreign broadcasters, not the original tapes.

These distribution prints - which were 16mm film, not tape - were passed from country to country, usually ending up in the tail ends of the empire in Africa & Asia. They were supposed to have been returned or destroyed at the end of their tours, but it wasn't unusual for them to be put into storage, grabbed by local staff for their own archives, or sold on the sly to broadcasters in neighbouring countries.

Re:Interesting. (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050317)

These distribution prints - which were 16mm film, not tape - were passed from country to country, usually ending up in the tail ends of the empire in Africa & Asia. They were supposed to have been returned or destroyed at the end of their tours, but it wasn't unusual for them to be put into storage, grabbed by local staff for their own archives, or sold on the sly to broadcasters in neighbouring countries.

I wouldn't be shocked if someone had been striking copies of the films either.

Re:Interesting. (4, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051019)

I talked to the head of the TV department at the British Film Institute in 1993; he used to be head archivist at the BBC. He told me that the BBC would send staff overseas to check that their material wasn't being shown outside of its allotted contractual period.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051045)

These distribution prints - which were 16mm film, not tape..

Yes, and one has to ask oneself the following question;

Why the fuck didn't the BBC keep an archive copy of these 16mm film copies of the programme tapes they then subsequently wiped?

Consider: they produced the film copies anyway, what was so fucking difficult about keeping one in an archive somewhere?

I'm not so much interested in the missing Doctor Whos (though as they're slap bang in the middle of my early TV exposure to the good doctor, they do have some interest), there are a lot of other things the bastards at the beeb wiped that I'd have liked to see again, so I hope that this story isn't 100% bullshit and that some of the other wiped material I am interested in survives.

Re:Interesting. (3, Interesting)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051579)

Its because the different departments of the BBC didn't speak to each other. Occasional filmed episodes of many TV shows wound up at the BBC Film Archives, but BBC Enterprises held just about all the original kinescopes/films for overseas sales. When BBC Ents decided it didn't want their episodes, they didn't bother to check with the archives whether they would want them instead of ditching them. BBC Ents held videotape copies of the original shows, but the master tapes were held by the Engineering Department who would wipe and reused the tapes after a number of years.

Re: Interesting. (2)

Dzimas (547818) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051629)

In the early 1970s, there was no home video industry, and a live action drama like Doctor Who wasn't seen as valuable once it had been sold to other markets. The BBC also faced extreme budgetary pressure, forcing them to cut back nonessential services such as archiving. So they focused on the "important" stuff like news clips and current affairs and allowed plodding Saturday night sci-fi to fall through the cracks.

Re: Interesting. (1)

Ian Kennedy (2970251) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051823)

Why? Before the BBC made mad money exporting for anglophiles, they were a cut rate incompetently run no budget tv studio that cost money and Dr Who was seen as a silly kids show with no cultural value.

Re:Interesting. (0)

mikael (484) | 1 year,18 days | (#45052005)

The program tapes were steel magnetic tape. It wasn't the responsibility of the individual production teams to archive material. They had a deadline to make and at that deadline they had to have everything in a can, ready to send. Once sent out at the end of the week, they re-used all the tapes to produce the next episode and discard the ones that were too worn out.

There wasn't any archive department at the time. These days, a master copy is sent to an archive as well as sent out to the distributors.

Re:Interesting. (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051699)

In other words, the episodes would be lost forever if not for blatant copyright infringement.

Re:Interesting. (2)

Princeofcups (150855) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051465)

I also wonder what condition the reels will be in.

Someone on another thread discussing old Doctor Who episodes pointed out that early tape stock was an absolute nightmare to keep in decent condition, and the expense was sufficient enough that the BBC decided it was too expensive.

It wasn't that they just carelessly throwed their archives away.

Uh, no. The BBC was too cheap to buy more tapes, and reused the Doctor Who (and other aired show) tapes to record new shows. Losing tapes has NOTHING to do with tape quality. As a matter of fact, a few episodes were digitally reconstructed from tapes in worse shape than anything sitting in the BBC archives.

Re:Interesting. (3, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050053)

It's a tabloid newspaper, on a Sunday, when all the journalists are at home, and they just make shit up instead. I'm going for 100% untrue, until proved otherwise. Fan sites seem completely dismssive also.

The proof is in the pudding, but I will point out that the tabloid newspapers tend to have better fact checking than the mainstream news because of the risk of getting sued for libel. It's unlikely that somebody'll sue them for reporting incorrectly that episodes of Dr. Who have been recovered, but they employ people to verify facts because it's *very* likely that somebody'll sue them if they report that Celebrity X got arrested after a 3-hour high speed police chase, and that they were high on cocaine, completely naked, and had a dead hooker in the boot at the time.

Re:Interesting. (5, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050185)

It's unlikely that somebody'll sue them for reporting incorrectly that episodes of Dr. Who have been recovered

Hence the increased possibility that if they had to make something up to fill space they decided to go for this instead of something involving Harry Styles, Hazell Dean, a lorryload of quaaludes and a goat.

The proof is in the pudding

No, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".

Re:Interesting. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051349)

Actually according to Chuck at SFDebris [sfdebris.com] it WAS true at one time,late 80s/early 90s, but they were destroyed along with the TV station and half the countryside during the civil war.

Re:Interesting. (3, Informative)

stud9920 (236753) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049575)

I have to wonder exactly how many episodes of, say, daytime soap operas are lost. Many? Most? The airing schedule on some of the longest-running is so frequent that catching up from a series from beginning to end (if it were possible) would take 6 or so years if you tried to plow through at 40 hours a week.

Generally, when you skip a year or so, the same conversation is still ongoing. So watching an episode per season is enough

Re:Interesting. (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049623)

And thanks to the internet being the world's most effective copying machine, if these episodes do release, we'll never have to worry about this particular series going dark again.

Why do people have so much more faith in the Internet than any other medium before it? It is young and requires an incredible level of infrastructure to exist and advanced factories to maintain. Do you know how much data you would lose access to if your country were without even power stations for even a couple of days? How long did it take for civilisation to be able to build a thermionic valve, let alone a modern CPU?

Re:Interesting. (4, Insightful)

Delusion_ (56114) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049695)

Because copying data is exactly what the internet is for. If this "incredible level of infrastructure" - the internet, the power grid, and modern computing - ever goes away, I'll have much bigger concerns than idly thinking about the fact that someone out there has a hard drive with Dr. Who episodes that they can no longer watch.

Short of that sort of civilizational collapse, that content is effectively around forever.

It took three years for OiNK to archive 200,000 torrents. It took nine months for the biggest of the trackers that OiNK's closure caused to get to that point, six more months to double to 400,000, and has grown since.

So, yes, I have faith that either the internet will archive this content adequately, presuming the shit doesn't hit the fan so hard that video entertainment and the preservation of history is the least of our worries.

Re:Interesting. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049797)

The important thing in all that is that it's Doctor Who, not Dr. Who.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050227)

I like how you avoid mentioning what tracker that is to protect its anonymity, as though everyone doesn't already know it exists.

Re:Interesting. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051397)

You are forgetting that the governments and corps are becoming one and the corps don't want you watching or listening to anything that they don't get a cut of and certainly not in a DRM free format. All it would take is the countries tightening that noose a little bit tighter (six strikes anyone?) for your amaing Internet to become nothing but a home shopping channel and propaganda outlet for the government. Now break out your CC and watch the latest approved DRMed video from Michael Bay, that is a good citizen.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049889)

and now their here. so we should ignore them being here and go back to beta and 8-track?? or are you saying we shouldn't back anything up except on floppy discs? carve 1's and 0's onto stone tablets?
what point are you trying to make, new stuff is all bad? there's a drawback for every advancement.

Re:Interesting. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049919)

Thermionic valve? It's called a vacuum tube, you fuck. British English is dead. Long live American.

Re:Interesting. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050131)

You can go suck a fuck.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050173)

'Murica. Where the English language went to die and became a disfigured zombie.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050175)

That would be vacumn tube in American no?

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051251)

Why#? yout empires dying so fast it will be a mere footnote in the history books as how not to run an empire.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050061)

Why do people have so much more faith in the Internet than any other medium before it?

It is not about internet as a medium really.
The big difference is that the decision of what needs to be saved and what needs to be stored with redundancy is left to the population as a whole rather than made by a single person that may or may not represent the population.

The first episodes of Monty Python weren't received that well when first aired either, if things had gone differently those could also have been lost.

Re:Interesting. (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050205)

The first episodes of Monty Python weren't received that well when first aired either, if things had gone differently those could also have been lost.

Apparently the BBC *did* consider erasing the Monty Python master tapes [chicagotribune.com] .

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049641)

Sadly this happens a lot, rumors of all those lost episodes being miraculously found. Most of the time it's either wrong or greatly exaggerated.

You would be surprised how much you can watch if you really want to watch all of something. I have a very broad taste in anime and as such this has lead me to watch a ton of anime. It's fair to say I've watched hundreds of series with some of those series being multiple seasons. Anime series are either 12 or 24 episodes and sometimes have a couple extra episodes to tie up loose ends or provide closure, that's per season.

Despite all that time spent watching anime I've had time to: build a large patio deck, the entire inside of a house, chop a few trees worth of wood, and wrote a ridiculous amount of programming code. I honestly have no idea how I manage to get so much done when I watch so much anime. I literally turned white when I realized just how much I had watched but my skin color returned when I realized I pulled it off without losing hold of my life.

Man I really should get on making a website to review all of the ones I watch. Could probably make a decent living off from it if I improved my writing skills.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049939)

No one gives a shit over your extremely minor accomplishments.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45050727)

Despite all that time spent watching anime I've had time to: build a large patio deck, the entire inside of a house, chop a few trees worth of wood, and wrote a ridiculous amount of programming code. I honestly have no idea how I manage to get so much done when I watch so much anime.

Big deal. I did that when I was a child. It isn't that much of an achievement.

Posting as AC just to avoid flamage. But it's true.

Re:Interesting. (1)

ezdiy (2717051) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050751)

When you are forever alone, everything is possible! Ganbatte!

Re:Interesting. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049763)

They started repeating Neighbours on UK Gold from the start, so someone must be keeping those tapes.

Re:Interesting. (1)

SpzToid (869795) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049895)

I haven't seen the show yet, but have heard a little about it. Dr. Who is a sort of time traveling detective, that is apparently victorious once-again having re-released his complete recorded video-taped series for the masses to consume and enjoy; thwarting, for now, his time-traveling enemies. I hope I've accurately understood the gist of this current episode. Long live Dr. Who!

Mailed to the BBC in a blue envelope (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049555)

With a note that read. "You're welcome; please be more careful next time. -The Doctor"

Re:Mailed to the BBC in a blue envelope (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049577)

spoilers...

Childish fad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049561)

Who really cares? Some old grainy black and white kinescopes? BFD. The artistic merit compared to the childish cult-like following is nil. Dr. Who is for adolescents who never grew up. It is like cabbage patch dolls or beanie babies.

Re:Childish fad (2, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049605)

Obvious troll is obvious, but depending on where you set your standards, all science fiction, all fiction, or even the wonder of life itself is reserved for "for adolescents who never grew up". Put another way:

"We conceal it from ourselves in vain - we must always love something. In those matters seemingly removed from love, the feeling is secretly to be found, and we cannot possibly live for a moment without it." - Pascal

Re:Childish fad (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049717)

adolescents who never grew up

That's me!

The only people that want to be seen as grown up are people who aren't.

Re:Childish fad (1)

denzacar (181829) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050071)

people who aren't

Are we talking fast clones, androids or shape-shifting aliens masquerading as humans?

Re:Childish fad (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050793)

It's depressingly true. The people who have grown up simply look on at the "childish" passion with envy. Sometimes envy masked with disdain, but unmistakable envy.

The exceptions to this rule are the people who are truly dead inside.

What a damp blanket you must be: (4, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049993)

"Who really cares? Some old grainy black and white kinescopes? BFD. The artistic merit compared to the childish cult-like following is nil. Dr. Who is for adolescents who never grew up. It is like cabbage patch dolls or beanie babies."

Dear heavens, isn't it horrible that someone might get enjoyment out of something you don't particularly like.

Do you also blow out candles on adult's birthday cakes and then sternly lecture them about how "That's just for kids"?

Re:What a damp blanket you must be: (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050675)

Given Auntie Beeb's treatment of previous episodes, expect them to throw whatever resources they can at it to restore it as close to crystal clear quality as possible and make an attempt to colorize them. Countless untold DVD sales are riding on it.

Re:What a damp blanket you must be: (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051537)

But to play Devil's Advocate here...how many of you have actually WATCHED any of the first two Doctor's shows? I have watched a few and....its pretty sad actually, they treated it like a show for children and looks like they had a budget of something like 2 pounds, its pretty rough to watch some of them. Oh and lets not forget the first Doc had quite a few that were VERY un-PC, even saying nigger a few times on the show.

Now don't take this wrong, I LIKE Dr Who, I used to watch the Fourth Doctor on PBS every weekend, it was a blast, but if you look STRICTLY based on quality, quality of sets, writing, costumes, etc, there are really only a handful of the first two Dr Who Doctors that are really worth watching for anybody but the most hardcore of completionist. If you were to magically have them show on my monitor right now? I'd watch the Daleks, the Cybermen, especially Tenth Planet, but the rest? The rest were sadly hampered by the way the show was treated by the BBC...Remember folks it was originally supposed to be an EDUCATIONAL show, think "Magic School Bus" for the 60s, with the dr going back to historical points for educating the childrens.

Re:What a damp blanket you must be: (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051605)

Can you give examples of when the word "nigger" was used or is this a case of "the memory cheats"? I don't think the word has been said once in the whole of the series.

Re:Childish fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051133)

Dr. Who is for adolescents who never grew up. It is like cabbage patch dolls or beanie babies.

Better that than apparently being in a rush to get old and die.

Re:Childish fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051291)

or murican football, oopps sorry forgot thats the official religion after Jeebus

Re:Childish fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051965)

Lol. My douche older brother almost literally masturbates to baseball. Yet he makes fun of me for liking warhammer 40k and other sci fi/fantasy stuff. He's also almost 40 and still gets drunk 3+ times a week and has no family. I have an awesome wife and an amazing 5 month old son. But "I'M" the loser. rofl. Enjoy your overpaid arrogant prick douche bag druggies chasing a ball around fuck face.

Old news? or confirmed rumors (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049565)

http://bleedingcool.com/2013/06/13/wqill-doctor-who-have-a-very-special-surprise-for-us-in-november

3 month old rumour (2, Informative)

Pop69 (700500) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049571)

Printed in a sleazy tabloid newspaper with no corroboration ?

I don't think so somehow, is this what passes for news on /. now ?

Re:3 month old rumour (4, Funny)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049701)

is this what passes for news on /. now ?

Look at it this way: The news is only three months old, there isn't a dup on the front page (yet), and it's from a sleazy tabloid rather than a blog about someones blog about a sleazy tabloid article they saw on reddit.

I'd say it's a step forward!

Re:3 month old rumour (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050845)

Can I quote you on that?

is this what passes for news on /. now ?

Look at it this way: The news is only three months old, there isn't a dup on the front page (yet), and it's from a sleazy tabloid rather than a blog about someones blog about a sleazy tabloid article they saw on reddit.

I'd say it's a step forward!

Yep, apparently I can.

Re:3 month old rumour (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050573)

It's what gets published in the Sunday Edition of Slashdot, actually.

Re:3 month old rumour (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051191)

is this what passes for news on /. now ?

"News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters.", it doesn't get any bigger than this.

Lots of comments about this being a fake story (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049583)

I;d love it to be true but even looking in to the article there are a lot of comments about this being and old fake story

Nothing is lost, at least in space. (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049585)

All the BBC has to do is get the aliens that are watching them right now to turn on their tivos. Of course in another 50 years some might mistake this for a Dalek [beust.com] and come to earth with guns blazing! Or they might think that a Dalek compiler is where they are being manufactured and just blast Mountain View from outer space instead to save the poor enslaved earthlings from them.

Lost opportunity for digital gods. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049651)

1) Make fake episode
2) record it on old VHS
3) send it to BBC
5) Bet on how long it takes for BBC to realize
4) ????
6) Profit

Here's some from 1967 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049665)

Tomb of the Cybermen
Episodes 1 & 2 [rutube.ru]
Episodes 3 & 4 [rutube.ru]

Re:Here's some from 1967 (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049685)

These episodes were recovered in 1991.

Re:Here's some from 1967 (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050085)

And they're on Netflix... in Canada at least... :)

What the effing fuck? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049683)

"This is a really big deal for the BBC and is set to make them millions from the sale of the DVDs."

Hopefully the BBC doesn't make a penny selling anything related to these episodes. The BBC didn't want them. They shouldn't have them.

Re:What the effing fuck? (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049737)

"This is a really big deal for the BBC and is set to make them millions from the sale of the DVDs."

Hopefully the BBC doesn't make a penny selling anything related to these episodes. The BBC didn't want them. They shouldn't have them.

fta

As the corporation still owns the copyright the shows could be digitally remastered and shown again. The prospect will delight millions of fans worldwide.

Why do they need to own the copyright to remaster them? Fucking tabloid bs.

How things change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049691)

"Through the work of ardent fans over the succeeding decades," who were EVERY SINGLE ONE committing the "Theft" of piracy and costing the world trillions of dollars in lost revenue...

But the BBC aren't willing to join the dots here, are they. I guess that when this is all said and done, the BBC will take this hard work by ardent fans taken over decades and sell it and tell the fans to buy their stuff back. If it's stealing the work of peons, that's just capitalism!

And no note about how this destruction indicates that they have been destroying public property (the public domain) which, if they hadn't been using the force of law to ensure that they were the only ones who were allowed copies, would not have been a problem: other people could have done it. Here, nobody else is alllowed, therefore the entire responsibility belongs to the copyright owner.

But destruction of property is not a crime when you're powerful, it's just "Well, these things happen".

Re:How things change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049755)

Sadly, you're nuts.

You took an obviously fake story then babbled in the comments like someone with no understanding of ownership.

Re:How things change (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051147)

"ownership" of creative works are supposed to expire and these tapes are probably older than you are.

I don't believe it (5, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45049781)

This rumour started off in the summer as "90 missing episodes found" and even some big name fans were taken in by it, but the BBC (and those in a position to know and/or find out) always rubbished it. The story seems to be this: in the summer, someone in Africa (probably an old TV company, but a private collector has also been mentioned) sent a large package of old TV material to a company in the UK. The shows were to be remastered from old, obsolete formats into something that could be played with modern technology, something that the company specialised it. Somehow this news got picked up by the Dr.Who fraternity who made 2+2=106. So, almost certainly its a case of "move along, nothing to see here."
At any rate, if Ethiopia has got anything, they never bought the broadcast rights to the Troughton era, so all we'd have to recover at best would be a handful of Hartnells, but still better than nothing.
BUT just suppose the rumour is true, could the BBC have kept it quote for all these months? Ostensibly yes. The two episodes found in 2011 were "found" in the summer but this was a well kept secret until "Missing Believed Wiped" at the British Film Institute in December. Even the programme said they would be showing "1960s BBC Science Fiction" with no mention as to what it was. No one had a clue until much closer to the event. And when "Tomb of the Cybermen" was found in 1991, the BBC put out a cover story that it was simply four episodes of an already existing story. The secret was apparently kept hidden for at least a few weeks; all other missing episode "finds" have been quite quickly reported.
Lastly, a little plug for my own website [paullee.com] about the missing episodes of Dr.Who.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

nbritton (823086) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050353)

You catch more flies with honey... have the BBC put out a bounty per episode:

Master tape - $100k
Over the air recording - $50k
Alternate duplicate recordings - $10k

That's $10.6 million for whoever can find those 106 originals.

Re:I don't believe it (2)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050959)

When "Tomb of the Cybermen" was found, we were told that a missing episodes office would be set up inside the BBC to find all kinds of lost TV around the globe and that a finder's fee would be paid. The BBC would pay whatever the material was worth. Then...it all went quiet. Nothing more was heard, and those who talked in favour of it (including one BBC engineer who pondered what kind of goodies this would prise out of the woodwork when word spread) soon began to dismiss it as a bad idea. One Dr.Who fan even offered to buy a full size Dalek replica to anyone who returned an episode and this was featured reasonably prominently in the news at the time. Again, this was dismissed as a bad idea. Why?

I've seen lost TV shows go for auction on Ebay and consortiums of fans are happy to pay for the film prints, but when it comes to lost Dr.Who, their response is (and they have said this) is to email the seller and ask if they would be prepared to loan it to the BBC for copying. WHAT? And reduce the cost of it? And why not do this with other lost TV shows? Or is Dr. flippin' Who the be-all and end-all of archival chases?

Re:I don't believe it (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051085)

Actually, all 106 originals fit on just three master tapes: they're bigger on the inside than they are on the outside.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050557)

so all we'd have to recover at best would be a handful of Hartnells, but still better than nothing.

Whipersnapper.

Re:I don't believe it (2)

argStyopa (232550) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050679)

I'm astonished at the amount of tinfoil expended over something of so little consequence, and which will be so easily proven (true or false) shortly?

Above all, one has to ask: WHY would anyone contrive a story about lost/found episodes of a tv show?

Re:I don't believe it (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051187)

It is similar to trolling, without the excuse of "I'm trying to populate my killfiles"

Re:I don't believe it (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050693)

Ummmm? Yes, yes, yes my boy.. I loved Troughton but watching Hartnell from the beginning, he is up there with my core group of favorite Doctors. The prospect of seeing the First Doctor's regeneration in its entirety, rather than the short clip from Blue Peter, would be nothing short of a miracle to the fanbase. Elements of Hartnell's Doctor can be found in Eleven. Every time Smith says "Come along _________", it's a throwback to the original era.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

raburton (1281780) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050891)

I've spent a little time in Ethiopia and I don't believe it either. I didn't go there to watch TV and don't claim to be an expert on the country, but it just seems highly unlikely. Sure, they have TV channels in Ethiopia, but the level of TV ownership now is nothing like in the west, let alone sometime around the 70's when these tapes might have been bought. I've seen no obvious references to science fiction in the popular culture. English isn't widely spoken outside tourist areas (and in medicine), it's becoming more used of course due to increased influence from the west (but again, that's today, not 30-40 years ago). Ethiopia has was never part of the British Empire, there was a brief relationship during/after World War 2, but no major historic links. Overall the idea of them buying British sci-fi to dub into Amharic in the 70s for a handful of people to watch seems implausible.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050981)

That may be so, but Dr.Who was indeed bought and broadcast. I'm not sure of the exact number, maybe about 80 episodes?

Yay, more feed for the pig trough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049833)

Eat up the b/w vomit slop, Dr. Who fans! Not like it's appreciably worse than the series in general, for a show that should have ended after it's first season.

Re:Yay, more feed for the pig trough (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050591)

Black and White?

I actually prefer The Goon Show. Which is monophonic audio-only radio broadcasts.

I used to have a 19" Black and White console (wooden cabinet) television. In a way I wish I still did.

Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45049885)

Dr. Where?

We don't remember what we saw, only what we felt. (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050455)

Human memory is a funny thing. It does not really remember what we saw, except for a few savants with photographic memory. What we generally remember is what we felt. I will cit two personal examples.

When I was in seventh grade I saw a movie with a typical bollywood number set on the Moon. Craters and boulders and stuff with the leading pair dancing and singing. I remembered it as a magnificent big set. After some 40 years I happened to see the same sequence, in an old is gold DVD set. The set was cheesy, tacky, at most 40 feet by 30 feet, craters were of just two sizes, nearly perfect circles, in a kind of semi uniform spacing. The leading pair looked horribly over made up. The only thing that was still great was the song. I was humming it for a couple of days. [*]

Whan I was young my dad used to take to the bank and I used to think the tellers were sitting on very tall chairs behind impossibly tall counters. Turns out that was just the perspective of a child who has to look up at everything. Once I grew up these counters seemed quite normal, at most 4 or 4.5 feet tall.

The point is, even if we unearth all those missing 106 episodes, the actual episodes might not stand up to all the hype and expectation heaped up on them.

[*]: For the Desis out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UeorX-aVo [youtube.com]

Re:We don't remember what we saw, only what we fel (4, Interesting)

Tapewolf (1639955) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050777)

The point is, even if we unearth all those missing 106 episodes, the actual episodes might not stand up to all the hype and expectation heaped up on them.

'Tomb of the Cybermen' actually did, for me, at least. I thought it was a rather slick production given the budget. Other stuff from that era is distinctly variable in quality (e.g. the little city model in 'The Krotons' which I honestly thought was supposed to be a heap of stones).

Nostalgia doesn't really enter into it for me because I never got to see the original broadcasts. In actual fact I only got into Dr. Who really when they repeated the Tom Baker episodes in the 90s and I found them to my liking.

Re:We don't remember what we saw, only what we fel (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050787)

The Doctor's crack at Jamie's kilt in 'Tomb of the Cybermen' did it for me.. XD

BBC used to wipe all their shows (2)

media-dude (3384141) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050607)

BBC used to wipe all their shows. Which means after airing it once, they would erase or record the tapes over with something else with no thought to archiving them for future generations. This was a short sighted and incredibly stupid move by the BBC as well U.S. broadcasting corporations at the time . Thus hundreds and thousands of hours of valuable, classic entertainment were erased and gone forever with the flick of a switch based on poorly conceived management decisions. Much of Johnny Carson's classic Tonight Show from the 50's to the 60's were also wiped as well as many other classic shows including sports shows like the Super Bowl and the World Series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiping [wikipedia.org] The subject of wiping is not limited to just video tape. The worst management decision of all time had to be when the suits at ABC/Dunhill decided to throw entire master recording tapes in the garbage to save a little money in the early 70's. Thus original session tapes, multi-tracks, outtakes and master single mixes were just thrown away, gone forever. This was done without informing the artists or their management. This is why you will never hear original master recordings by Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf or The Mama and the Papas . All that remained were the analog album masters which were mastered and Equalized for vinyl. Hell even the single mix of "Magic Carpet Ride" is a different take altogether than the album version and the single mix is only available on the original 45 rpm vinyl and no master exists of the single mix.

Re:BBC used to wipe all their shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051851)

This was a short sighted and incredibly stupid move by the BBC as well U.S. broadcasting corporations at the time.

Oh, come off it. You can only say it was short-sighted and stupid NOW, given you live in a culture where everything is designed from the ground up to be painfully target-marketed and re-sold over and over again as kajillion-disc box sets. But back before the entire concept of home consumer video was invented, nobody could reasonably be expected to even conceive of the idea that, in fifty years, this one very specific programme out of the hundred or so other nondescript programmes they shoved onto the airwaves will be a runaway hit AND that people will have near-ubiquitous access to watch it repeatedly in their homes at their leisure, all using technology that, at the time, was either completely absurd to think of, cost obscene amounts of money, and/or took up way too much physical space to be practical in any way, shape, or form.

It's like saying that, in Edison's and Tesla's time, they were so incredibly short-sighted and stupid to not just use nuclear power plants to generate electricity. Or that Edison should've just come up with the iPhone's camera instead of wasting his time with the kinetoscope.

Jobs! did the unions do it? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051893)

The BBC's old policy is being partially blamed on the actors unions of the time. They didn't want reruns without having the actors repeat the performance and had an agreement limiting replays. Once that limit was reached, the recording was useless.

Thinking about how technology TAKES JOBS AWAY... just imagine if such policies continued... we would employ scores more actors than we do today; the big stars wouldn't get paid as much but they'd have to work more hours. We still have theater shows and without technology, TV and Movies would be more like that - fancy mindless FX would naturally be toned down... and actors would get sick of repeating vapid lines/characters... Cartoons would likely become bigger...possibly, as they could be a work around for the limitations.

This could be as painful (2)

plopez (54068) | 1 year,18 days | (#45050613)

As watching Star Trek TOS re-runs. And possibly as painful as watching $YourFavoriteSciFiShow in 20 years. :)

Re:This could be as painful (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#45051663)

I just watched The Doomsday Machine. If you can't appreciate that, I feel sorry for your lot. I'll grant that there are some goofy and awful episodes, but there's some real gold in TOS, too.

Captcha: deaden -- yeah, it happens to lots of people as they grow older, Captcha. It's sad, huh?

Worth saving, but for different reasons (2)

guytoronto (956941) | 1 year,18 days | (#45051857)

While it is very interesting that the missing episodes may be found, in reality, many of the early versions of Doctor Who are just painful to watch. Poor dialogue, agonizing slow pacing, terrible direction, etc, etc. If the BBC truly wants to revive the old episodes of Doctor Who, take the audio tracks (note: audio from EVERY episode survives) and created an animated series. Clean up the story lines and create something worth watching again.

One Small Step (1)

Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,18 days | (#45052011)

Maybe they'll find the Apollo 11 originals in the stack

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