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BBC Unveils Newly Discovered Dr.Who Episodes

samzenpus posted 1 year,20 days | from the original-tardis dept.

Television 184

BigBadBus writes "Putting an end to months of speculation, the BBC announced at a press conference today that it had recovered 9 previously lost episodes of Dr.Who, from the Patrick Troughton era (1966-69). The episodes complete 'The Enemy of the World' and almost complete 'The Web of Fear' (leaving one episode outstanding). The episodes were found in a relay station in Nigeria by Phillip Morris; previously Nigeria had been checked and had returned 6 lost episodes in 1984. The episodes are now available from UK and US iTune stores and can be for pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk"

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The public paid for them, the BBC threw them away (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099167)

and now they want to charge for them. Making them available via Bittorrent would be the moral choice.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (5, Insightful)

moteyalpha (1228680) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099189)

Suppose a person taped that missing episode at that time for themselves. Would they get a share of the profit they make for archiving their stuff for 50 years or would they be prosecuted for theft if they came forward? Copyright is very strange. I suppose it depends on the local laws. It seems there is a statute I recall from grade school called "Finders keepers, losers weepers".

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099215)

Having "lost" the episodes turns out to be lucrative for them, perhaps...... if they ever find them, they can make a killing selling them for $$$

You think a person having taped the episode, will have a high enough quality rendition for them to use? I doubt it.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (5, Insightful)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099257)

Any quality is better than no quality.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099911)

this.
bootleg trader here

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (5, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099501)

>You think a person having taped the episode, will have a high enough quality rendition for them to use? I doubt it.
They've done a lot of work on previous DVD releases repairing and restoring from multiple sources. One series was reconstructed using a B&W film copy for the detail with the colour from a betamax home recording. End result was pretty good.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (4, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100053)

The BBC has also been recovering color information from the dot crawl that was recorded on the B&W telecines they had of many episodes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_recovery [wikipedia.org]

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100167)

Yes, they managed to get the colour information back from 11 episodes [paullee.com] , but strangely it was rather weak and needed a fair amount of extra work to enhance it. Even so, the results, while usually good, are variable in places. At the start of episode 2 of the Mind of Evil, the flesh tones of Jo and The Doctor seemed to be "flashing" for want of a better word. And when people move, there is sometimes a trail of multicoloured mess left behind them. Still, some colour is better than no colour. If you don't like it, turn it off :)

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099617)

You think a person having taped the episode, will have a high enough quality rendition for them to use? I doubt it.

I've seen some of the other 'found' episodes and the quality is quite bad, yes.

Real fans only...

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100271)

How would they have taped it, did they have a time machine? The entire problem is that this was before VHS so virtually the only copies were the ones BBC destroyed.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100959)

Guess what? Before VHS was a huge number of other video tape standards, like reel to reel machines.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

petermgreen (876956) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099915)

I highly doubt they would be prosecuted just for coming forward. Going after someone for taping a show for their own use would be massively bad PR. If they started selling copies I'm pretty sure the BBCs lawyers would be onto them very quickly.

Not sure what would happen if they put it on bittorrent or similar.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100035)

THE BBC has paid for home copies on 8mm in the past. They're happy to have them back.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100403)

I'm not 100% sure of how it works in Britain, but I think the way it works is that there is a tax/fee on recording media that then gets passed to an organization that dishes out the money to copyright holders based on a measure of popularity. If you bought a blank VHS tape you have already payed for the right to make copies of any video content that you have obtained legally. The terms of use for those copies are pretty strict, but they are legal.

If a person made a private copy of a BBC program and then shared it with the BBC the BBC could probably try to sue the person for misuse, because the act of sharing a private copy with a corporation probably violates the terms of use, but that would of course be very stupid of them.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

Custard Horse (1527495) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100527)

Unless the legal owners (the BBC) gave permission for limited distribution i.e. back to themselves. Sharing is only illegal if you don't have the original owner's permission.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

Smauler (915644) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100925)

I'm not 100% sure of how it works in Britain, but I think the way it works is that there is a tax/fee on recording media that then gets passed to an organization that dishes out the money to copyright holders based on a measure of popularity. If you bought a blank VHS tape you have already payed for the right to make copies of any video content that you have obtained legally. The terms of use for those copies are pretty strict, but they are legal.

We don't have a special tax on recording media in the UK, at all.

Until very recently (2012), it was technically illegal to make copies of anything you owned without the copyright owner's permission, though AFAIK no one was ever sued for it. Now you can. Unfortunately, you still are not allowed to break security measures, so ripping a DVD to video is still illegal. I think you can make straight copies, since you do not need to circumvent the security to do this. Most people in the UK thought making backups was not illegal, even prior to the new law.

The Wikipedia page on ripping [wikipedia.org] is out of date and therefore wrong, though it is still illegal to rip DVDs because of CSS, it is not illegal to rip music from CDs. This [techradar.com] page and this [ibtimes.co.uk] page have decent explanations.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45101121)

I'm not 100% sure of how it works in Britain, but I think the way it works is that there is a tax/fee on recording media that then gets passed to an organization that dishes out the money to copyright holders based on a measure of popularity.

No country in the world had those laws 50 years ago. Back then copyright laws were almost sensible.

Taping for own use was completely legal no matter how you look at it. Redistribution might not be, but the copyright for the work in question will expire in 3-6 years.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45101075)

No, taping for personal use is completely legal, even now. As long as he/she doesn't redistribute the content the copyright law doesn't apply.

The UK law that applies to this broadcast would be Copyright Act 1956 that establishes the copyright for the broadcast to 50 years from broadcasting date or 50 years from creation date if the content never is aired. This means the episodes in question will enter into public domain in 3-6 years.
Someone could be hanging on to the last missing episode to 'The Web of Fear' for a few more years until they can legally sell it, but since it will be in public domain by then the buyer could legally put in on pirate bay.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099191)

If I recall correctly from the previous Dr. Who story on here, the episodes fall to the public domain 50 years after their production (so 2016-2019 for these episodes). So BBC is capitalizing on the last few years when they can make money off these. Yes, I'm disappointed too but not the least bit shocked.

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/10/03/2232213/first-few-doctor-who-episodes-may-fall-to-public-domain-next-year?sdsrc=popbyskid

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099319)

Oh, don't worry, they'll just extend the copyright term as they did for Mickey or Beatles. I mean there is still money to be made.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

jamesh (87723) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099321)

If I recall correctly from the previous Dr. Who story on here, the episodes fall to the public domain 50 years after their production (so 2016-2019 for these episodes). So BBC is capitalizing on the last few years when they can make money off these. Yes, I'm disappointed too but not the least bit shocked.

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/10/03/2232213/first-few-doctor-who-episodes-may-fall-to-public-domain-next-year?sdsrc=popbyskid

Are they releasing the lost episodes verbatim, or is some remastering involved? And if they are remastered, does that constitute a new original copyrightable work?

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099481)

if they add something to it then yes.

The broadcasted version(or rather copy of the broadcasting) is the one that goes out of copyright.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (3, Insightful)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099499)

Is it more moral to make the public (license payers) pay more in order to give these episode away free, or is it better to draw more of their revenue from rich fans who will buy these old episodes? It's not like BBC lawyers are launching lawsuits against downloaders anyway.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (4, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099507)

They were found by a 3rd party commercial firm who specialise in finding lost footage. The BBC would have had to pay them then cover the cost of restoration/remastering etc.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099581)

That is like saying we should be given DVDs for free.
The licence pays for LIVE-AT-BROADCAST only, not everything else.

This is what infuriates me even more than BBC weren't allowed a payments system on iPlayer because some stupidity like this post.
No chance of watching anything from the entirety of BBC history now without having to fork over for DVDs. THANKS.
iPlayer is an archive, just like this is. Archives aren't covered. People still need to pay for archives.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099887)

No chance of watching anything from the entirety of BBC history now without having to fork over for DVDs. THANKS. iPlayer is an archive, just like this is. Archives aren't covered. People still need to pay for archives.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/ [bbc.co.uk] .

Now, admittedly, it's hardly a complete archive and the selection is a bit crap, but you don't have to pay for it.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

Severus Snape (2376318) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099775)

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC is selling them. Their profits, believe or not, go right back in to the BBC! Why don't we just start giving away DVD's of the Top Gear while we are at too?

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099817)

They are a commercial company, morals don't come into it. If they did, they'd look at doing something for the greater good, and therefore selling these things to raise funds to make more shows seems best for fans, yes?

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100031)

You're confusing the BBC with BBC Worldwide - the latter is the commercial arm of the BBC, which means if they want to sell DVDs, they can sell DVDs. Yes, the profits do go into the BBC itself, but if that keeps the licence fee down, then I'm all for it.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099843)

What you fail to realise, when taking this "our money" stance, is the money SAVED by throwing them away.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (1)

pla (258480) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100863)

What you fail to realise, when taking this "our money" stance, is the money SAVED by throwing them away.

You seem confused on the real intent of "the purge". It had nothing to do with freeing up space or reusing media or anything of the sort.

Didn't you ever wonder why the BBC archives have such a bizarre patchwork of content missing? Not entire years, or seasons, or shows, but just completely random, with concentrations in a few years/seasons/series, but even then not consistent.

The BBC purge had more in common with Tom (as in "& Jerry") having a soft-spoken white owner in reruns, than with any actual economics of the situation. Simple as that.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100043)

I think, by the end of the day, they WILL be available on bit torrent. So I wouldn't worry.

Re:The public paid for them, the BBC threw them aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100285)

I don't recall every paying any British taxes. Perhaps it is just to charge for some (despite the fact that I would love to have them for free).

Re: The public paid for them, the BBC threw them a (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45101015)

Fuck off, freetard.

On a side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099225)

The final episode of The IT Crowd aired two weeks ago. Did that make the Slashdot frontpage?

Re: On a side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099261)

Use search and get the answer yourself

Re:On a side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099281)

I dunno, how long ago did the first episode of The IT Crowd air? 40 years ago? 45? 50? How many episodes were lost and suddenly found 46 years later? Come to think of it, were you even alive 46 years ago? (I was, but...)

OMG OMG OMG!!! (5, Interesting)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099255)

Oh my goodness I'm freaking out and waving my hands like a schoolgirl right now.

But seriously, the Web of Fear is one of my favorite classic Doctor Who episodes, despite the fact that the only available version is almost entirely an audio reconstruction with still-photograph accompaniment. Notably, this episode is where the much beloved stiff-upper-lip character Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced. He is of course instantly recognizable even as part of an audio-only soundtrack.

As much as I enjoyed the 3rd (Jon Pertwee) and 4th (Tom Baker) Doctors, like everyone else, I'd go so far as to say that many of the 1st (William Hartnell) and 2nd (Patrick Troughton) Doctors' episodes were some of the most interesting and entertaining of the entire series, just as many of the most original and memorable episodes of Star Trek and TNG came during their first and second seasons. The more I watch the older episodes of Doctor Who the more I appreciate what they accomplished, especially in the context of the fact that the series started out in 1963 in seriously grainy black and white as basically a televised live-action play. So finding more old episodes is a big thing for me. I love 'em.

I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

Hooray for more classic Doctor Who!

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099411)

Oh my goodness I'm freaking out and waving my hands like a schoolgirl right now.

But seriously, the Web of Fear is one of my favorite classic Doctor Who episodes, despite the fact that the only available version is almost entirely an audio reconstruction with still-photograph accompaniment. Notably, this episode is where the much beloved stiff-upper-lip character Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced. He is of course instantly recognizable even as part of an audio-only soundtrack.

As much as I enjoyed the 3rd (Jon Pertwee) and 4th (Tom Baker) Doctors, like everyone else, I'd go so far as to say that many of the 1st (William Hartnell) and 2nd (Patrick Troughton) Doctors' episodes were some of the most interesting and entertaining of the entire series, just as many of the most original and memorable episodes of Star Trek and TNG came during their first and second seasons. The more I watch the older episodes of Doctor Who the more I appreciate what they accomplished, especially in the context of the fact that the series started out in 1963 in seriously grainy black and white as basically a televised live-action play. So finding more old episodes is a big thing for me. I love 'em.

I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

Hooray for more classic Doctor Who!

They started playing Doctor Who from the start here (Australia) a while back, and I really enjoyed it. One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :) Unfortunately The timeslot ended up conflicting with meal times and hungry kids aren't compatible with TV watching, so i gave up watching it. This was before I had a PVR or anything.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (3, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099495)

One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :)

Don't forget the time they filmed a gecko and claimed it was a crocodile.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (2)

Megane (129182) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099963)

But at least The Doctor saved a few quid on his TARDIS insurance.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (4, Interesting)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099751)

They started playing Doctor Who from the start here (Australia) a while back, and I really enjoyed it. One episode was entirely set in the tardis where the tardis seemed jammed and was trying to tell them something and they had to figure out what it was. And the hand to hand combat fighting was absolutely awful. And the Dalek's spaceship wobbled on the string it was suspended on. Awesome stuff :) Unfortunately The timeslot ended up conflicting with meal times and hungry kids aren't compatible with TV watching, so i gave up watching it. This was before I had a PVR or anything.

Sounds like "Edge of Destruction", the third episode. A short two-parter, but great. Fortunately you can find all the existing classic episodes and reconstructions on torrent sites these days.

Every time I restart the series from the beginning I'm always amazed that the Daleks are introduced already in the seven-part second episode (The Mutants). One of the greatest things about the old stuff is that it was more of a serial format, where if they needed seven, eight or nine 23-minute parts to tell the complete story then that is how many parts were made to tell that story. Which resulted in quite a few "episodes" of classic Doctor Who that are really more like awesomely epic multi-threaded 2-hour and 3-hour movies. The modern "wrap it up in a single 41 minute episode or leave a cliffhanger for next season" seems incredibly lame and creatively limiting by comparison.

I wish somebody today had the balls to start some new shows using the old serial formats and the same kind of shoestring budget special effects they used to use. If they had decent actors and compelling stories it would be an absolute gold mine.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (3, Insightful)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099779)

And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (5, Insightful)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099983)

And they din't use the sonic screwdriver as a deux es machina to get out of any tricky situation, rather than the Doctor using his intelligence and wits. Today, the screwdriver is a euphemism for lazy, sloppy writing. No wonder John Nathan-Turner got rid of it in 1982!

Indeed a good point. If I remember right it wasn't even introduced until episode 42 (Fury From the Deep) and used quite sparingly for the most part. Of course, since the Doctor has now transformed into Magical Space Jesus, he doesn't even need his now ridiculously powerful and versatile sonic screwdriver to work miracles. He can just stand up on a rooftop or a rock and tell a whole alien battle fleet to run away, and instead of him being immediately reduced to a pile of smoking ashes the powerful aliens actually run away! Isn't that great?

Aaaaand that pretty much sums up why I can no longer watch any new Doctor Who. Or Bond films, for that matter. Same phenomenon. So many things these days have become caricatures of themselves with no substance beneath the immaculate surface.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100719)

Don't worry, ABC is reshowing them all on iView to celebrate the 50th anniversary. You can catch them anytime!

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099703)

I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

They turned him into a trickster God. A bit different from what came before and what you want perhaps but I quite like a lot of the stories of the Doctor as a trickster God.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (4, Insightful)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099899)

I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the most recent few seasons of the show are boot-licking, Doctor-worshiping, ultra-melodramatic, vomit-inducing crap that caused Doctor Who to go from one of my favorite shows of all time to something I cannot physically stomach watching anymore. But I digress.

They turned him into a trickster God. A bit different from what came before and what you want perhaps but I quite like a lot of the stories of the Doctor as a trickster God.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up in one sentence. They turned a fun sci-fi show that happened to mainly star a quirky character called the Doctor who likes to travel to strange places and get himself into trouble and solve mysteries into a show that is almost entirely _about_ the Doctor, and changed the character so drastically he might as well be called Magical Space Jesus. You can practically see the stars in the eyes of every other character who looks at him or talks about him, as if he's the love child of Rassilon and Yahweh. Blech.

I'm glad there are lots of people who are enjoying the new show but as far as I'm concerned it is no longer Doctor Who and the character bears little resemblance to what the Doctor was as a character for the ~45 years prior to the Matt Smith seasons. It was a sad day when I realized that I just couldn't handle watching my favorite show anymore. I'll probably never find a true replacement either. Doctor Who has been quite a unique show from the very beginning.

Of course I am also one of those who hold the remarkably unpopular opinion that Man of Steel was a silly abomination directed by someone who is apparently incapable of comprehending what the Superman archetype is even supposed to represent, and that the new Star Trek films are dramatic but hollow imitations of things that already exist, but again I digress. Oh, look, explosions and lens flares 'n stuff!

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100315)

You forgot to say, "get off my lawn." :-) But I agree with you. I wish the entertainment industry would make new characters and franchises when they want something "fresh" and "edgy", instead of re-branding and re-purposing a perfectly good existing franchise into something completely different.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (1)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100517)

You forgot to say, "get off my lawn." :-) But I agree with you. I wish the entertainment industry would make new characters and franchises when they want something "fresh" and "edgy", instead of re-branding and re-purposing a perfectly good existing franchise into something completely different.

The funny part is that I have at least a couple decades to go before I should have even _started_ to become an old fogey who hates everything new. So there is either suddenly something seriously wrong with me after a couple of decades of enjoying absolutely everything, including some of the most awful sci-fi and fantasy imaginable, purely because it's sci-fi and fantasy, or there is something drastically wrong with the way this new stuff is being written.

Since I have no problem enjoying (and re-enjoying) nearly any sci-fi and fantasy created in the last century, even stuff I've never seen or heard of before, and stuff that was created long before my time as well as during my lifetime, I choose to believe that there really is something drastically wrong with how a lot of new stuff is being written.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (3, Interesting)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100759)

What about the first few seasons of the rebooted BSG? That was undoubtably an improvement on the original, took a vacuous but fun space opera into new territory as a dark and edgy SF psychodrama. "33" was one of the most sublime SF TV experiences that I've had in my life. Such a pity they ruined it towards the end... actually, that's unfair. They didn't ruin it, but it did drop dramatically in quallity.

Re:OMG OMG OMG!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100423)

As a possible reframing of the "art" here, one could look as the Dr as getting younger (physically) as he gets older (chronologically). I sort of see what you mean about Matt Smiths mad "Magical Space Jesus"(lol!), but this character is supposed to be 1000 years old.

And it is *fiction*, let us not forget....;-)

Glad (4, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099269)

I'm glad that this got accepted! Apologies for the slightly garbled last sentence; I typed that at about 2am and was extremely tired. The reporting embargo was due to be lifted at midnight, but two papers had prematurely reported the news on their websites. These news items were pulled; an irate BBC contacted one of them and read them the riot act (mind you, it was the Northern Echo, my home newspaper which has a murky reputation, so what do you expect?)

By about 11.50pm GMT the news had broken and links to iTunes gone up. Amazon links a short time later and then YouTube material. I put the iTunes and Amazon pre-order links on my website (see link in my signature)

Sadly, I think the following quote from the BBC shows their contempt for us. This is from one of the papers that broke the embargo:

"Asked whether viewers might also see the recovered episodes, without having to pay Apple £1.89 per episode or £9.99 to download the complete stories, BBC Worldwide said licence-fee payers had already enjoyed a chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s"

Don't they realise that WE might have wanted to watch this stuff again at some point?

Re:Glad (3, Insightful)

rylin (688457) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099315)

I'm sure they'll air them at some point in the future, but for now there's a cost for remastering the episodes, and so I'd say it's fair for the beeb to try and recover some of the cost through iTunes/Amazon.

Re:Glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099357)

It's not fair for them to try a collect more money off these from BBC license payers. These people are paying BBC right now for content. It should be available to them. Now maybe it doesn't need even DVD or broadcast quality. But it should be made available.

Re:Glad (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100409)

It's not fair for them to try a collect more money off these from BBC license payers. These people are paying BBC right now for content.

But they aren't paying now for past content, but for new content. Heck, back when these episodes were broadcast, people loudly complained about wasted fees when the BBC dared to rebroadcast anything.

Re:Glad (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100583)

It's not fair for them to try a collect more money off these from BBC license payers. These people are paying BBC right now for content.

But they aren't paying now for past content, but for new content. Heck, back when these episodes were broadcast, people loudly complained about wasted fees when the BBC dared to rebroadcast anything.

Absolutely. Plus, for those in the UK, it helps defray the cost of the BBC by selling media to anybody who wants it.

In a time when content providers are being criticised for not providing content I find it a little odd that the BBC is being criticised for doing just that.

Re:Glad (2)

DrXym (126579) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100489)

This is a really stupid argument. Walk into WHSmith, or HMV, or any other video retailer in the UK and you will see Doctor Who episodes for sale. Go onto Netflix in the UK or the US and you will see Doctor Who and other BBC series. Just because they were produced and broadcast on TV does not mean the BBC will not try to monetize them in other ways. Just because these particular episodes were rediscovered doesn't mean they were destined to be shown on TV any more than any other random show from the 60s.

Re:Glad (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099333)

Why pay once, when you can pay twice? I think it's time to sqeeze the balls of BBC and remind them who pays their bills and salaries.

Re:Glad (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099659)

Unfortunately, it's tricky to avoid paying them without ending up in court and trying to prove that you have no devices capable of receiving their broadcasts.

Re:Glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100215)

Don't they have to prove that you are receiving their broadcasts (not just that you have equipment that can), and not the other way round.

Re:Glad (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100291)

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Technically, you're right - you need a license if you watch or record programmes as they are being shown (no matter what device is used). However in practise, it's assumed that everyone watches TV and thus you'll have to prove that you don't.

Re:Glad (1)

Smauler (915644) | 1 year,20 days | (#45101007)

However in practise, it's assumed that everyone watches TV and thus you'll have to prove that you don't.

Not my experience - when I moved into a flat a few years back, a guy came round after a fortnight and asked if I had a TV, and I said no. Never heard from them again. Of course, I did use iplayer constantly, but you don't need a license for that.

Re:Glad (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,20 days | (#45101215)

That's unusual as I've only heard scare stories of people suddenly facing police on their doorstep along with a TV license person. By the way, you are supposed to have a license for using iplayer, so you might want to keep quiet about that if they come knocking again.

Re:Glad (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099885)

Why pay once, when you can pay twice? I think it's time to sqeeze the balls of BBC and remind them who pays their bills and salaries.

Well, you should have recorded them when they were first broadcast. :-)

(I did on this organic based VCR that I have behind my eyes).

Re:Glad (1)

mrbester (200927) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099349)

That's a particularly childish and petulant thing to have said as this licence payer wasn't alive in the 60s so never had the chance to see it when it aired. It is extremely doubtful that the prat who said it was either.

Re:Glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099359)

They may just be a delusional Doctor Who fan who thinks we can all time travel.

Re:Glad (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099377)

By "we" I was speaking collectively. I wasn't born until 1971, but the sentiment echoed time and again by hundreds of people is the same: we paid for those episodes, technicians, actors and other production staff slaved over them, and some bean counter years later decided they were worthless. No one stopped to think that some people might have wanted to see them again.

Re:Glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100111)

"Asked whether viewers might also see the recovered episodes, without having to pay Apple £1.89 per episode or £9.99 to download the complete stories, BBC Worldwide said licence-fee payers had already enjoyed a chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s"

No, WE DID NOT! Here in the suburban US, I find myself surrounded by Dr. Who fans younger than myself who, when shown the classic series, just want to see more and more (except for the Tennant-only fangirls, but I don't count them as fans of the show).

I was born in the late 70s.
So, exactly how old ARE the BBC Worldwide execs who penned that opinion? And do they have their secretaries print their e-mail so they can read it?

Re:Glad (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100487)

"Asked whether viewers might also see the recovered episodes, without having to pay Apple £1.89 per episode or £9.99 to download the complete stories, BBC Worldwide said licence-fee payers had already enjoyed a chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s"

No, WE DID NOT! Here in the suburban US, I find myself surrounded by Dr. Who fans younger than myself who, when shown the classic series, just want to see more and more (except for the Tennant-only fangirls, but I don't count them as fans of the show).

I was born in the late 70s. So, exactly how old ARE the BBC Worldwide execs who penned that opinion? And do they have their secretaries print their e-mail so they can read it?

So you demand that the BBC give you these episodes for free despite never having paid a single cent - or rather penny - of licensing fee?

Re: Glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100635)

Because in the US the idea has been that copyright is a deal, you get a time limited monopoly in exchange after that time if goes into the public domain. This is not a deal with a person, but with everyone. So it doesn't matter that you, me, the teen fan, or a newborn babe haven't paid money, they got the protection.

Disney, et al are fighting that, and winning. However that's the idea, and it's extended that to foreign works in our legal system (Yes England had copyright of its own). What the BBC did was essentially trash the idea of ever going to the public domain, so why should they get the benefit, when they fail to uphold their part of the deal?

Let me guess: slightly edited (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099275)

I think that the really old copies were going to run out of copyright soon. So they'll do some slight something to the copies, like retouching a background every 5minutes or resychronizing some coughs, and voila, copyright reregistration.

Except for such trickery, the old copies will be up on bittorrent or elsewhere, legally as copyright law intended pretty soonish. Music publishers like to do that sort of thing. They are printing from old plates engraved and copyrighted a century ago or so, but stamp in some additional fingerings or whatever, and voila: new "revised" edition, new "copyright".

Let's see how this ends up.

Re:Let me guess: slightly edited (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099337)

Basically, digitizing them automatically extends the copyright, since it's "remastering", so good luck with that. Unless you can run across an original tape (yeah, good luck with that), you can't distribute the copies the sell on Amazon and iTunes.

Re:Let me guess: slightly edited (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100239)

Basically, digitizing them automatically extends the copyright

I'm not saying you're definitely wrong, but I'm sceptical that you're right. There are a lot of half-truths, myths and downright misunderstandings around. On what basis do you hold this belief- is it something you think *should* be the case, something you *think* actually is the case based on some vague understanding, or do you know for sure that this is what UK law says?

Bearing in mind that "digitizing" is essentially just the process of making a copy of an analogue source using a digital format (rather than, say analogue to analogue or digital to digital) are you sure that this is covered?

From here [copyrightservice.co.uk] ;

"If the original work is in the public domain, it will remain in the public domain; you cannot prevent anyone else using the same public domain work for their own purposes.", and

"Provided it is significantly different to the original work the derivative work will be subject to copyright in its own right, and you will own copyright to the new content you have created as a result of your actions. Bear in mind that to be subject to copyright the creation of the derivative work must itself be an original work of skill, labour and judgement; minor alterations that do not substantially alter the original would not qualify."

, since it's "remastering"

Does "remastering" have any legal meaning? You could make any copy and claim that it's a new "master".

Re:Let me guess: slightly edited (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45100629)

Yes it most likely was slightly edited. Since the episodes were found by Phillip Morris then the episodes will now show The Doctor and his companion smoking Marlboro(TM) cigarettes as an in-episode advertisement. The beginning and end will contain "Doctor Who, brought to you by Phillip Morris, the makers of Marlboro Cigarettes." ;)

Why should I care? (2)

basecastula (2556196) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099309)

So, I am an american 25 year old cs student. Why should I watch this show and/or how can I convince my lady to watch it with me?

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099339)

These old classic episodes that they are talking about are quite dated by todays high-paced entertainment standards. There is almost zero chance that your woman will enjoy watching them even if she is a modern scifi nerd.

I watched many many episodes of doctor who in the early 1980's and loved them at the time, but recently I tried watching some of these classics and found that they are just too unbearably slow. However the new doctor who episodes from the past decade are completely awesome, top notch, grade-a+++ entertainment that your woman, scifi nerd or not, will most likely enjoy. You can find the new who on netflix streaming, as well as some of the old classics.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100587)

I watched many many episodes of doctor who in the early 1980's and loved them at the time, but recently I tried watching some of these classics and found that they are just too unbearably slow. However the new doctor who episodes from the past decade are completely awesome

Odd, I find the new ones unbearably fast. Same for a lot of new TV and film in general, like the latest Star Trek films. Granted, the very early Doctor Whos (e.g. Hartnell era) were extremely slow, but by the time you got to Pertwee & Baker they'd pretty much got it right. Now they just seem to be going for the "attention span of a goldfish" market.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099521)

It's not compulsory to care. Really. Us Brits get a bit excited (at least those that grew up with this)

Re:Why should I care? (1)

ledow (319597) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099649)

I'm a brit and a geek.

I've honestly never watched that tripe. It's like watching an old episode of Star Trek but without anywhere near as much budget or class or talent.

Watched one at a friends' house on Netflix recently, we found the first episode we could to show my girlfriend (who's Italian). It was damn hilarious. The acting was absolutely atrocious. The sword-fight was incredibly poor (if you thought the old Sinbad movies were bad, this is orders of magnitude worse, and no exaggeration).

It was a junky sci-fi thing that even kids would laugh at how bad it was. It was something to fill the 2 BBC channels we had back then. Somehow it gained a cult following (and not just because it's hilariously bad) like Star Trek and people swoon over it. It's awful.

And now that the "new" Doctor Who (which is at least a modern weekly sci-fi "psuedo-comedy" kind of thing) has awakened interest among teenagers, the BBC are milking the cash cow for whatever they can, after decades of threatening to cancel it, wiping old tapes, etc.

Nobody could seriously watch it except for nostalgia value or "gotta-watch-em-all" status.

Do yourself a favour - don't.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099685)

If you don't already want to watch these old episodes, then you're not a hardcore fan and probably wouldn't enjoy watching them. I've been a fan of Doctor Who for decades but I find that even the Jon Pertwee episodes are difficult to watch due to the poor quality and pacing compared to modern shows.

Don't even try to convince your lady to watch them as you'll just bore her. You'd be much better off watching something like The Prisoner if you want some old retro sci-fi.

Another point to make (4, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099325)

The gentlemen who found these episodes did so of his own remit. He told fans in 2005 his plan:

"'does anyone know,what ian levine,plans to do about the recovery of missing episodes,i myself have been considering,a little overseas travel, i work overseas and i think by traveling to some or even all countrys and searching ,is maybe the best way now,of finally putting the rumours,and stories to rest,if its there lets go there,and ask politely it can do no harm,who knows i might turn up a thing or two'

'yes i see your point,i have contacted the restoration team,and offered my services,free at no cost to them ,whatsoever,but i have had no reply.you are perfectly right the beeb themselves should do this,but they dont seem to want to know,official paperwork and authorisation,from the beeb would have been great,but if not forthcoming i will go it alone with whatever ,background information i can find and see were it leads me,any help from anyone interested will be much appreciated,to all fans i will give it my best shot for dr who'"

For those not in the know, Ian Levine is a superfan, who saved many of the early episodes from destruction and found many others. The above appeared on a forum dedicated to discussing missing episodes, and is partially run by BBC staff members some of whom restore the old episodes for DVD release. Apart from Ian Levine, everyone wrote him off. The BBC didn't seem to want to know. But if the story is right, he must have managed to acquire some paperwork to show how the episodes had been cycled round the world; when one TV station had finished with them, they would be sent to another one to reduce costs of producing new episodes from the negatives.

Another thing I'd like to mention. In 1984 the BBC and Levine contacted old foreign TV markets who had bought the early years of the show to find lost episodes. Most stations didn't bother to reply; 6 did come back from Nigeria (the newly found episodes were from a relay station so its not surprising they were missed) and one from Australia. Iran said "Who in the name of Allah are you talking about?" But as Phillip Morris has shown, you need to go over there and physically sift through the paperwork and film cans. Expecting an overworked archivist to do it isn't going to work, especially if the documentation of what they have is fragmentary. But I do wonder what other "lost" TV shows were found sitting on the shelf. When Dr.Who has been found in the past, other TV has usually come back, but it is rarely, if ever reported. This makes TV historians fury with despair, as the archival side of things is so Dr.Who-centric.

Normally, the episodes should have been returned to England when they had been shown an agreed number of times, or destroyed. Happily this isn't the case. I'm not too surprised that they were overlooked. My dad worked in Nigeria from about 1968-72 and I was born there. He says they are slovenly and corrupt. That's not being racist, that is what they are like over there, from his personal experience (like one local member of the Lagos glitterati who paid off the police to stop criminal proceedings after he nearly killed my mum in a speedboat accident). And yes my dad does recall Dr.Who being shown in Nigeria!

Re:Another point to make (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099961)

My dad worked in Nigeria from about 1968-72 and I was born there. He says they are slovenly and corrupt. That's not being racist, that is what they are like over there, from his personal experience

Yeah, if some imperialist bastards from the other end of the world walked up and told me what to do I wouldn't be terribly motivated either, genocide threat or not.

Dear Friend in God (4, Funny)

KNicolson (147698) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099347)

(Please read the following in CAPITALS)

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I have the believe you are a reputable and responsible and trustworthy person I can do business with from the little information so far I gathered about you during my search for a partner and by matter of trust I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.

I am Stella Morris 19 years of age the only daughter of late Mr Phillip Morris whom was killed by the daleks that attacked our country Nigeria and took over our town. I ran to Lagos the economical capital of nigeria from were I am contacting you. Before the death of my father he told me that he has a sum of DWE 9.000,000 (Nine point one million Doctor Who Episodes) kept in a private cloud here in nigeria in my name as the next of kin,

Dear, in the capacity of the next of kin and with all the tapes in my hand now, I am contacting you with due sence of gallifreyanity that you will give it a sympathetic and mutual consideration.

I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.

(1)To serve as the guardian of this drama and to come assist me visit the television company here to retrive the consignment.

(2)To make arrangement for me to come over to your country by tardis to further my education and to secure a residential permit for me in your country.

(3)To provide good viewing plans for the tapes and to manage the tapes for 5 years, during the viewing period,only our profit will be shared annually 70% for me the iTunes account holder while 30% will be for you the manager annually.

Moreover, I am willing to offer you 11 % of the total tapes (1 (one) episode) as compensation for your effort /input after the successful transfer of this video to your nominated iTunes account overseas, before the viewing starts.

Anticipating hearing from you immediately.

Thanks, and would you like a jelly baby?
Best Regards.
Stella Morris

Re:Dear Friend in God (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099425)

I have one word for anybody that doesn't mod this up:

EXTERMINATE!

Re:Dear Friend in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099497)

(Please read the following in CAPITALS)

I tried, but the Slashdot filter wouldn't let me.

Re:Dear Friend in God (1, Funny)

waynemcdougall (631415) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099579)

I am very interested but with respect to (1) please clarify as to whether that is Black or White Guardian

Coming soon.. (1)

James Andrews (2868439) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099393)

So we'll see DVD's of the series or streams from netflix soon?

"The Enemy of The World" has just been reassembled (1)

slincolne (1111555) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099543)

... sounds like something from a Dr Who plot line.

In other news... (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099569)

Microsoft re-discovers Dr. Watson.

Nigeria? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099645)

Dear Respected One,

GREETINGS,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your contact from the International web site directory. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to it's esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person I can do business with and by the recommendations I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.

I am Wumi Abdul; the only Daughter of late Mr and Mrs George Abdul. My father was a very passionate sci-fi lover in Lagos,the largest city of Nigeria before he was poisoned to death by his nerd friend on one of their outing to discus what movie to see. When my mother died on the 21st October 1984, my father took me and my younger brother HASSAN special because we are motherless. Before the death of my father on 30th June 2002 in a private hospital here in Lagos, he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a set of very rare Dr. Who episodes left in a safe deposite box in a local bank here in Lagos, that he used my name as his first Daughter for the next of kin for the safe.

He also explained to me that it was because of these episodes he was poisoned by his nerd friend, that I should seek for a R. Daneel Olivaw fearing foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer these episodes and use it for the good of humanity. Sir, we are honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.

1) To provide money in order for me to pay for the releasing and shipping of these episodes to you

2) To serve as the guardian of this incredible treasure since I am a girl of 26 years who can't understand the subtlety of sci-fi.

Moreover Sir, we are willing to offer you a rebate of 15% of the sum as compensation if you send money before the next two days. Please feel free to contact ,me via this email address BBC-scam@yahoo.com

Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God Bless.
Best regards.
Miss Wumi Abdul

Finally! (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099797)

Finally, we know what is Nigeria supposed to be good for. Now I know where to store my collection of old books that nobody is interested in anymore until someone starts being interested in it again.

New twist on Nigerian 419 scam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099845)

Dear friend

I represent estate of famous TV producer. I need help getting box of Dr Who film to BBC. They pay big bucks ...

Sneak preview of Doctor Patrick "Brown" Trouton (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#45099873)

Enjoy!

Dr Poo [youtube.com]

biggest problem... (2)

SuperDre (982372) | 1 year,20 days | (#45099999)

The biggest problem I have is with them putting them on iTunes store first.. The episodes were paid with public money so there shouldn't be an exclusive deal with one provider.. The episodes should even be available for free at least through the BBC iPlayer/website..

Re:biggest problem... (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100641)

The biggest problem I have is with them putting them on iTunes store first..

Well, be glad that you are just misinformed then. Your biggest problem is now gone.

Wouldn't be possible now (2, Insightful)

fa2k (881632) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100145)

I don't care much for Dr Who, but this is another reason to oppose DRM and be cautious about streaming. If the producers can't be trusted to keep a copy of their works, it's up to the audience to do the archiving. Some works may not be considered popular or good, but may later have a huge cult (or mainstream, in this case) following

Re:Wouldn't be possible now (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100545)

To be fair, the situation with Doctor Who episodes not being kept was far different than a producer not keeping an episode today. Back then, tape was expensive and limited in supply so old episodes were wiped to reuse the tapes for new episodes (or other TV programs). They kept things that they thought would have long lasting value, like news clips. Doctor Who was thought of as a fun show but one that wouldn't last long. They had no idea that people would be enjoying it 50 years later. Today, all that's needed to keep a show is some extra hard drives or backup discs - a minimal cost investment Don't judge people from 50 years ago based on technology from today.

very interesting (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,20 days | (#45100513)

I actually got an e-mail about buying lost episodes of Dr Who from a nice Nigerian prince but I deleted it.

Anyone else... (1)

pigiron (104729) | 1 year,20 days | (#45101293)

find the whole Dr. Who series of series stupid and unfunny?

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