When the BBC recently announced that two Doctor Who episodes that were thought to have been ‘lost’ forever had been found, there was joy not only in Mudville, but across the Doctor Who Nation. Unseen by audiences for some 45 years since their original broadcasts in 1967-68, “The Web of Fear” and “The Enemy of the World” both featured Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, were recently discovered Phillip Morris of Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA). With the discovery, Morris has earned the nickname of the ‘Indiana Jones’ of the film world for his recovery of missing episodes of the longest running science fiction series in the history of television.
It’s Morris and his team’s job to assist overseas stations with the storage and migration of their materials and, on the outside of that, they recover lost British television programs.
On finding two missing episodes of Doctor Who “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear” Morris revealed to Radio Times that simple masking tape played rather a crucial role in the discovery.
“These episodes were discovered on a project we were working in Nigeria. And they were found in a TV station in Jos. Just sitting on the shelf, which I can remember now seeing a piece of masking tape, which said Doctor Who on it.
“I thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting’, pulled the cans down I read the story codes. Instantly, of course, recognized what the stories were and realized they were missing from the BBC’s archive. A lot of Doctor Who fans around the world are going to be happy”, Morris added.
He continues: “These episodes had come from Hong Kong and they’d been on what’s called a bicycle system. So they travelled from this country to the next country to the next country and they came to be in Nigeria through this bicycle system. Not at the station in Nigeria they were actually sold to. They were at a relay station. The condition that those programmes were in when we found them, we were quite lucky, considering the temperatures we can be in the upper 40 degrees, luckily they’d been kept in the optimum condition.”