Thread: Doctor Who
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:00 AM   #73
Raph's Girl
Dierna Soul, Reporter
 
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceFlash78
The ones that still exist? Were some of the older seasons lost in a fire or something?
They were erased.

From Wikipedia:

Sometime between about 1967 and 1978 large amounts of older material stored in the BBC's video tape and film libraries were destroyed or wiped. This included many old episodes of Doctor Who, and mostly affects the first two Doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. Archival holdings are complete from the programme's move to colour television (starting from Jon Pertwee's time as the Doctor), although a few Pertwee episodes have required substantial restoration work and a handful have only been recovered in black and white. In all, 108 of 253 episodes produced during the first six years of the programme are not currently held in the BBC's archives.

Some episodes have been returned to the BBC from the archives of other countries who bought copies for broadcast, or by private individuals who came into possession of copies by various means. Early colour videotape recordings made off-air by fans have also been retrieved, as well as small excerpts recovered on 8mm cine film from clips shown on other programmes. Audio versions of all of the lost episodes exist from home viewers making tape recordings of the show.

In addition to these, there also exist photographs made by photographer John Cura, who was hired by the BBC to document the filming of many of their most popular programmes during the 1950s and 1960s, including Doctor Who. These have been used in fan reconstructions of the serials. These amateur reconstructions have been tolerated by the BBC, provided they are not sold for profit and distributed as low quality VHS copies.

The most sought-after lost episode is Part Four of the last William Hartnell serial, The Tenth Planet, which ends with the First Doctor transforming into the Second. The only portion of this still in existence, bar a few poor quality silent 8mm clips, is the few seconds of the regeneration scene. With the approval of the BBC, efforts are now under way to restore as many of the episodes as possible from the extant material.

Starting in the early 1990s, the BBC began to release existing audio recordings of missing serials on audio cassette and compact disc, with linking narration provided by former series actors. "Official" reconstructions have also been released by the BBC on VHS as well as MP3 CD-ROM.
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