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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Louis Chilton

TV archive boss says lost Doctor Who episodes are ‘out there’ – but collectors refuse to share them

James Pardon/BBC Studios

A leading TV archivist has claimed that dozens of lost Doctor Who episodes are currently “out there” in the hands of collectors.

At the moment, 97 episodes of the popular BBC sci-fi series are unavailable to watch anywhere, and had been believed to be “lost”.

The episodes went missing when the BBC stopped archiving programmes between 1967 and 1978, during which time Doctor Who was in its original run.

Chris Perry, CEO of the TV archive organisation Kaleidoscope, has now told Radio Times that the lost episodes – featuring William Hartnell as the first Doctor and Patrick Troughton as the second – are known to still exist in some form.

However, the collectors in possession of the lost episodes are said to be refusing to share the broadcasts with the world.

“We know where there is missing Doctor Who out there, but the owners won’t return it at the moment,” Perry said.

“Every year we find 50 to 70 lost programmes, some famous titles and internationally known names and others not, but significant examples of regional television output, for example.”

Founded in 1987, Kaleidoscope has long worked in partnership with the BFI to recover and restore “lost” British TV broadcasts.

Last month, returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies shared a photo from the set of the forthcoming season to celebrate the end of filming.

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The 14th season of the series is expected to air on BBC One over Christmas 2023. Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is set to step in as the new Doctor – but not before David Tennant reprises the role in November for three specials, pegged to Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary.

David Tennant in ‘Doctor Who’
— (BBC)

Millie Gibson is set to portray the Time Lord’s new companion Ruby Sunday.

In May, the BBC released trailers for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, which also offered a look at the return of Catherine Tate.

The Catherine Tate Show comedian previously starred in the show as sidekick Donna Noble.

The three specials will be titled “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder” and “The Giggle”.

Doctor Who returns in November.

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