Tag Archives: missing episodes

Philip Morris, the Pandorica Convention and the Web of Fear Mystery

On the weekend of 26th and 27th September, Philip Morris was amongst the guests at the Pandorica convention in Bristol. This is the man who found and returned nine previously missing episodes from the stories Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, part of the Patrick Troughton era, just ahead of the programme’s 50th anniversary in 2013. But it now appears it should have been ten episodes!

One of the things Mr Morris revealed over the convention weekend was that despite what was said at the time of the return, that episode three of Web had not been on the shelf with the other episodes, it actually was there when he discovered the lost gems. Web 3 went missing while he was negotiating for the return of all the episodes to the UK, taken by the manager of the TV station in the city of Jos, Nigeria, where they were found. The manager later denied knowing anything about “missing episodes”, a phrase that had not previously been used in his presence.

It appears that Philip Morris shared his discovery with a handful of people he trusted, one of whom alerted someone else who seems to have got in touch with the manager at Jos, leading him to take one of the film cans and investigate further. It also seems that he passed on the can. It was said at the convention panel that the episode was now in private hands and could be in Australia and that inquiries about it were ongoing.

Now Philip Morris has shared a photograph he took of the film cans in situ  with the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook. Looking at the cans there are twelve, all obviously of the same type and style, one of which (the fourth one down) clearly displays the production code PP (Enemy of the World) on its side. These are the two episodes that were already in the BBC archives, Enemy 3 and Web 1, and the ten episodes of the two stories that were missing at that time. Sadly, one still remains missing. This statement was released by the Facebook group, along with the image…

12 Doctor Who film cans, sitting in a storage room in Jos, Nigeria (Photo: Philip Morris)
12 Doctor Who film cans, sitting in a storage room in Jos, Nigeria (Photo: Philip Morris)

“On the second anniversary of the release of the newly-recovered and restored “Enemy Of The World” and “Web Of Fear”, Philip Morris, Executive Director of TIEA has authorized us (The Doctor Who Missing Episodes Group on Facebook) to release this photograph of the twelve film cans which he originally discovered in Jos, Nigeria.

“This photo was taken immediately after Phil had discovered the film cans and verified that the film reels inside matched what was on the labels.

“As you are no doubt aware, one of these film cans – the one containing Episode 3 of “The Web Of Fear” – went missing in between when this photo was taken (in late 2011) and when the cans were delivered to the central collection point in Abuja, Nigeria. The location and disposition of this film can and its contents is currently unknown.”

Philip Morris at Pandorica, with Facebook admins Tony Chamberlain (left) and Wyn Lewis (right) (Photo: Tony Chamberlain)
Philip Morris at Pandorica, with Facebook admins Tony Chamberlain (left) and Wyn Lewis (right) (Photo: Tony Chamberlain)
Philip Morris at Pandorica with Facebook admin Jason Clifford (Photo: Jason Clifford)
Philip Morris at Pandorica with Facebook admin Jason Clifford (Photo: Jason Clifford)

There were some other interesting items discussed in the two panels attended by Philip Morris. He told the audience that he had been to every country that had officially bought Doctor Who in the 1960s and 70s, and was now following up information on audition prints. These were episodes sent out to countries that were not currently buying the series, as a ‘taster’ of what was available to them. It is known that a couple of episodes of Marco Polo were sent to Iran, and four episodes of The Reign of Terror were found by Paul Vanezis in Cyprus in the 1980s, a country that never bought that serial. And the first time he found a film can marked as an “audition print” was an episode of The Goodies, though he did not say where this was.

He also confirmed that any finds and returns would be dealt with through BBC Worldwide and that BBC Cardiff and the New Series team were not involved on any level. Back catalogue stuff is not part of the Cardiff remit, they just concentrate on the production of new adventures for the Doctor. Also discussed was the omni-rumour, which was ‘a load of nonsense’ and that the return of all 97 currently missing episodes was ‘unlikely’. Though interestingly he did say he was ‘pretty sure’ that The Feast of Steven, the seventh episode of the epic Dalek Master Plan and the one episode never sold abroad, was copied to film. It has always been thought this episode was never copied.

On the subject of damaged prints he repeated something he originally said on the message board of the Facebook group last year, that the only time he has ever found a Doctor Who print with advanced damage beyond saving was a monochrome copy of episode two of The Ambassadors of Death, thankfully not something that is missing. This totally scotches a recent rumour doing the forum rounds that while lots of missing episodes were found, many were suffering with vinegar syndrome.

One of Philip Morris' panel sessions, with Anneke Wills at front left (Photo: Wyn Lewis)
One of Philip Morris’ panel sessions, with Anneke Wills at front left (Photo: Wyn Lewis)

Philip Morris was once contacted by a private individual wanting to buy any and all episodes of Doctor Who he had found to that point, which he flatly refused. He does not get paid by the BBC for what he finds, funding comes from contract work done by TIEA. When asked about social media he said that the work was more important than what anybody says on a twitter account, though he did highlight that some libellous comments were ‘in the process’ of being investigated. It was also stated that for everything someone makes up, he has to answer for it!

The search is still going on, but will not last forever. He loves surprising people and has some surprises in store, which everybody will learn about in time. Feedback from fans is positive on the whole and he repeated a favourite phrase, ‘believe it when you see it’.

The Philip Morris panels were very well received on the weekend and audio recordings have made it onto the forums now, along with transcripts, which have been well received by many.

***

STOP PRESS – Full statement on Web 3 by Philip Morris himself, as sent to the DWME Group this evening.

Hi Guys, the picture you see is one I took after checking the 12 Doctor Who film cans in Jos in 2011. All film leaders were checked to ensure cans matched their contents, this is a practice we follow in fine detail with due care shown. All programmes held at this station were physically checked by myself and my own team. No undue attention was drawn to the Doctor Who prints by myself or any of my staff, however I instructed one of my trusted team to ensure the Doctor Who prints were hidden until authorisation for retrieval could be obtained.

However two prints, one QQ3 Web of Fear 3 and another spare print were taken from one of my guys by a guy at the station who took the two prints to his office. This was reported to me within hours. I was not unduly concerned I knew their location. I have to admit I was really excited and told somebody I thought would not leak any sensitive information – big big mistake. Within 4/5 days the station had been named online. Fortunately by this time our job was done, however what of Web 3? I physically searched Jos again, asked the guy who took the films where they were. Initially he denied all knowledge until I produced the picture-he just looked at the floor and said he put them back on the shelf.

I didn’t believe a word, and took the pictures and with one of my colleagues and went straight to the top of the NTA, however the guy simply denied it. That is until earlier this year when I returned to Nigeria. I met the same guy again so I asked him directly – he just laughed and said “I don’t know anything about missing episodes”.

I firmly believe this episode is in the hands of a fan and we will trace it. I hope this goes some way to explain why I must maintain a certain level of security around TIEA and its work.

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Facebook Q&A with Sue Malden

Over on Facebook, the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group are currently inviting questions for another of their popular and successful Q&A series. This has already featured Philip Morris (the man who returned Enemy of the World and Web of Fear in 2013), Richard Molesworth (author of the popular book Wiped!) and Paul Vanezis (documentary producer and member of the Restoration Team) and next up to answer fan questions will be archivist Sue Malden.

Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.
Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.

For those whose memory is hazy at best on the saga of the missing episodes of Doctor Who, it was Sue Malden who was instrumental in the discovery and return of many thought lost episodes in the late 70s and early 80s, having been alerted to the junking of archive TV by Who fan Ian Levine. She also put together the first paper trail of episode sales, building on the work of Pamela Nash who had established a stock of 16mm prints to be sent to foreign TV stations. These along with the episodes held by the BBC were brought under one roof in the new BBC Film and Videotape Library, aka BBC Archives. Sue Malden became its first ‘archive selector’, responsible for deciding which programmes were worthy of storing there.

The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks
The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks

So, if anybody is interested in asking Sue a question about Doctor Who missing episodes in particular or Film and TV archiving in general, follow the link above to the group and add your question to the pinned thread. All questions to be received by 9pm BST (UK time) on Wednesday July 1st please.

Monday Morning News Round Up – April 28

Well, here we are again, with a round up of all things TIMD from the last week. Be sure to follow us on twitter @troughtonsmydoc and get the news as it happens.

New writer for series 8? Read all about it.

Also on the subject of series 8 (sorta), some musings on Doctor Who’s long-standing habit of meeting famous historical figures. But who’s next?

On a series 8 tangent, yesterday was lovely Jenna Coleman’s 28th birthday, happy birthday Impossible Girl!

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It was also former showrunner Russell “The” Davies’ birthday, and, if we fancy getting meta about this, Rose Tyler’s too. Quel Dommage, Russell!

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This week has seen a huge glut of Pathe newsreel clips uploaded to YouTube, featuring some fleeting glimpses of William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee. Thanks to Sammi Carter for sniffing these out from the huge archive that Pathe have made available.

New YouTube Clips discovered

Pertwee Clips!

More Pertwee Clips!

And one more for luck.

Fed up with the Omnirumour? Ignore it. Just for fun, in an ideal world, which season would you most like to see completed? Let us know by taking part in our Wish Fulfilment Quiz.

Also, take a look at Part One of our feature on the mostly missing Season Three, the first great gap in the canon, and a period of change both in front of and behind camera.

Finally there’s a new fan produced audio being released soon. Doctor Who Dark Journey.

Is that all? It can’t be all, we must have missed something… Nope, that’s all the news from the past week.

Monday Morning News Round Up- April 7

Welcome to April. If you were too busy to check these stories out as they happened, here’s a quick rundown on what you might have missed. Follow @troughtonsmydoc to get updates as stories are posted!

Glyn

Glyn Jones Passed Away

A writer and actor for Doctor Who, Glyn passed away a few days ago.

Fishfingers

Happy Fish Fingers and Custard Day!

It’s been four years since Matt Smith debuted as the mad man with a box. Here’s a reminiscence on that fateful day!

Introducing Podcastrovalva

Our newest segment where Al Miller talks about podcasts that he likes. Here’s his first about Podshock. Want to know more about Al? Check out his introduction.

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So Tired, Tired of Waiting, Tired of Waiting for … Who?

We have become accustomed to getting New Who every Easter weekend, but that’s not to be the case this year. And we’re tired of waiting.

April 1st Brings Out The Fools

Did you skip your online time April 1st? Trying to avoid heartbreak and agitation? Here’s the best of the Doctor Who related April Fool’s jokes.

Marco

Omni Time!

Okay, it has been incredibly slow the last few days, so to pass the time check out our Omni When Poll. When do you think the next announcement will be.

facebook

The DWMEDG on FB has almost reached a milestone. The group is sitting at 580 members. Haven’t joined in on the discussion yet? Why not?

 

And finally we have series 8 spoilers, spoilers spoilers. Nothing really major, just writers, episode names, that kind of thing.

The Best Of April Fool’s Update

Happy April Fool’s Day to everyone who has chosen to venture into the dark and murky depths of the web on this most irksome day. Public Service Announcement, do not believe anything that you read online today, especially if it’s about series 8 spoilers or missing episodes. But you didn’t need to be told that, right? To save you some time and possible heartbreak, I thought I would collect some of the better/more interesting pranks out there today.

Let’s start with the rumour that Arthur Darvill is returning to Doctor Who! Amazing, Rory’s going to be back? No, he’s going to play the Master. Good one. I had a chuckle when I read that. Then there was the one that Peter Capaldi was actually going to play the Master, not the doctor.

Things get more elaborate from there, though. The next one was set up on a page to look like the BBC news and says that tv signals from the 60’s have recently been bouncing back to Earth from space . Of course Doctor Who missing episodes were among those signals. They have been recorded and will eventually be released on dvd. Full marks for the effort, but not the most ingenious idea, I’ve heard something like this before.

UPDATE: turns out I fell for this one. If you look at the date on the article, it’s actually from 5 years ago. That confirms my suspicion that I had heard something like this before, probably when I read this for the first time many years ago.

Did you hear about the Supernatural/Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover show being done by CW and the BBC?

 

 

And finally here’s a fake online ad for Marco Polo pre-orders. Quite pricy though.

UPDATE: Special mention has to go to the Doctor Who Germany Facebook Group that lost 23 members when they posted that they were no longer allowing discussion of David Tennant or the RTD era of Doctor Who.

So that’s where we stand, the best of the pranks and jokes for April 1, 2014.

updated- From The Ashes Of Doctorwho worldwide.com

Did you ever get a chance to visit doctorwhoworldwide.com? There’s no point checking now, the site’s down, has been for over two weeks. It’s a shame, it was a great site. Even though I was a contributor on the site, I haven’t heard anything concrete about why it has gone down or if it will ever be back up. With more than 10,000 twitter followers at one point, it was a powerhouse of a news, reviews, rumours and opinion site.

I had my first article posted there on January 6th. After seeing “Keep Calm, Don’t Blink” online, I made a solemn vow that I would be the site’s number one contributor, the most prolific writer (other than the site’s owner) to post under its banner. I think I can congratulate myself that I did actually achieve my goal. So I was and still am extremely disappointed that it has disappeared.

Not only was it the best place to find out new rumours, its forum, the Panopticon, was a great friendly place where I made lots of friends. It was a nice relaxing walk in the park compared to the bitter anger that emanated from some other forums. Members were free to speculate at will without being ridiculed or mocked or talked down to.

Well, out of the ashes of Doctor Who Worldwide something beautiful has bloomed. It turns out that I am unable to keep my opinions to myself, so I took a blog that  I had neglected for years and made it in to the website that you’re looking at right now. I’ve been in contact with many of the other contributors from DWW and hopefully soon we will have some of them posting reviews, news and opinions on here as well. On that topic, if you would like to write something for the site, email me at dcollins@troughtonismydoctor.com and we can talk about it.

Missing the forum? Well Pascal Salzmann started up a facebook group to discuss missing episodes. It’s been an instant success. I would encourage all the former Panopticon members to come on in and check it out, you’ll see lots of familiar faces. Never visited the Panopticon? No worries, everyone who wants to have a civil discussion on missing episodes is welcome on board.

So although we have lost one great site, two more have sprung up to replace it. With your help they can achieve the sort of reach that DWW enjoyed. So spread the word, share the links, like the pages, join in on the conversation.

 

UPDATE 3/25

Well, it’s been an eventful few days on the new FB page. The numbers have exploded as posters and lurkers come flocking over looking for a new place to chat or gather the latest information. Right now we are sitting at 286 members and that’s climbing every hour.  With all the new members comes new troubles though, and I would like to take a minute to layout the ‘charter’ for the group.

“This is a friendly open discussion group. We don’t want to enforce rules or be no fun or too controlling like certain forums, but the rules are quite simple.

Basically, this group was set up to try and recapture the ethos of DWW, so, in a nutshell, let’s all be nice to each other.
Personal attacks are not on. Not trying to censor anyone, but lay into someone and you’ll be politely asked to back off. Three strikes and you’re out. There are ways of disagreeing that don’t involve all-out warfare, so please play nice and keep it civil. Anything just plain offensive is a one-strike-and-out deal.

Please remember this is a closed group. What’s said here stays here. You can talk about it in other forums, we can’t and won’t stop that, but please no direct quotes without the original poster’s permission.”

So we are still welcoming all new members, but must ask that everyone tolerate the views of others, even if you don’t agree. Civil discussion will always be permitted and only personal attacks or offensive comments will be moderated.