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Doctor Who missing episodes – found! (second update!)

Two long-missing Doctor Who episodes were aired on December 11 for the first time in nearly 50 years at the Missing, Believed Wiped convention at the British Film Institute in London.

The third episode of the William Hartnell story Galaxy 4, and the second part of the Patrick Troughton adventure The Underwater Menace are the first discoveries of missing Doctor Who episodes for many years. Although neither completes a missing story, they are both valuable finds, particularly as the Hartnell story will show the tale’s creatures, the Rills, in action.

The episodes were bought by film collector Terry Burnett in the 1980s although he was unaware of the contents of the film canisters, which derived from the Australian airing of the episodes, and are missing the censored footage that has already separately been found.

The prints were loaned to the BFI, and shown at their regular event on archive material. Introducing the event, Mark Gatiss said, “Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans everywhere. It’s always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it’s been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant. Add to that a proper bit of action from the legendary Chumblies (and the horrifying Rills!) plus the utterly mesmeric Patrick Troughton on great form. Well, what more could we all ask for?”

According to the BBC, 2 Entertain will announce a DVD release for the episodes in 2012. A clip from each story has now been posted to the official BBC Doctor Who website and can be accessed here.


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