Tag Archives: patrick troughton

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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Season Six – A Delicious Box of Chocolates

For many years, season six was all we had from the three years of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. Up until the late 80s and the discovery of four episodes of ‘The Ice Warriors’, we only had five episodes from the fifth season, and not many more from the fourth. Today we are so lucky to be able to buy more than half of season five on DVD, although we still don’t have a complete story from Season Four.

But the majority of season six hasn’t really been an issue. Only seven episodes are missing of forty-four. Yet it has always been regarded as the weakest of the Troughton seasons and often as a poor year for Doctor Who. I challenge that assertion. I believe it’s one of the most important years in the show’s life, with some great, varied stories too. And there’s more to it than that.

Looking firstly at the stories, it’s worth remembering that every story in Season Six was affected by some issue or another. Three stories – Krotons, Space Pirates and War Games, all came about because planned stories fell through at the last minute. The Seeds of Death was a completely new story by Brian Hayles (substantially rewritten by Terrance Dicks) when ‘Lords of the Red Planet’ was rejected as too expensive. Derrick Sherwin had to add an episode on to The Mind Robber when major scripting issues befell The Dominators and it lost an episode.  The Invasion, the prototype to the Pertwee era, was originally a four-part Kit Pedler script which Derrick Sherwin doubled in length and rewrote from scratch. After The Seeds of Death Sherwin replaced Peter Brant as producer too, so he was a busy bee during 1968-69. Yet with all these difficulties, Season Six is one of the most creative, interesting, best written Doctor Who seasons of all.

The ratings dipped, it’s true, but only really during the last two serials. There were a whopping 44 episodes in Season Six and that took The War GamesWho. because there are three stories that are often regarded as clunkers in Season Six.

Clancy

The Space Pirates – well, Episode Two doesn’t make it look very good, does it? It seems an overly-ambitious attempt at a full blown space opera where a guy with a ridiculous southern accent seems to have a bigger role than the Doctor. Nothing at all happens in Episode Two, and we’re missing the rest. It’s the hardest to reconcile, but without being able to see the whole thing, I think criticism should be tempered.

Dominators

The Dominators. It’s embarrassing at points there’s no denying. The design is poor and the characters are two-dimensional. However the concept of a planet that is so pacified they can’t defend themselves? Brilliant. It’s a political dig at hippies, and although the execution is poor, and the script needed a lot more work, I can appreciate what the authors are saying. It has quality moments too, when Jamie and the Doctor are prisoners of the Dominators and the Doctor is acting stupid, it’s pure 2nd Doctor/Jamie gold.

Krotons

The Krotons is worth watching just for the three leads, who are brilliant in it. The Krotons themselves are rubbish and some of the guest cast are poor, but the stuff with the Krotons’ testing machine and Troughton’s response to being called ‘Doctorgond’, is priceless. Frazer Hines plays stupid so well, and never better than in this story.

Zoe makes the Karkus submit
Zoe makes the Karkus submit

But it’s Wendy Padbury that makes Season Six a success in my eyes. The writers were kind enough to make her smart, and keep her smart. There are excellent examples of this in The Invasion, The Krotons and The Mind Robber in the fight scene with the Karkus, but it’s The War Games where she really steps up speaking for Jamie in Episode Eight. I think Deborah Watling is a great actor, but the character of Victoria had no depth, and very little function in stories but to scream and need rescuing. This was the fault of the writers, but with Zoe they proved that a strong female character who was smart could work and work well in the show’s format, even in the 1960s.

Padbury and Troughton combine brilliantly, and there has never been before or since a team of three in the TARDIS which works as well and Troughton-Hines-Padbury. You could put them in the direst of Who plots, and they would make it watchable. ‘Time-Flight’ would have been so much better with Troughton, Hines and Padbury!

Season Five is often looked on as the pinnacle of the black and white era of Doctor Who, yet with the exception of The Enemy of the World they are all monsters stories, and only Tomb strays from the ‘base under siege’ storyline. In Season Six only The Seeds of Death is base under siege, but the story moves beyond that as well. As my first ever Troughton video and the first ever Troughton story I saw, Seeds will always be special to me.

The Mind Robber is creative and clever, scary, funny, and brilliantly directed by perhaps the second best director the history of the show, David Maloney. Yes, it feels like it’s aimed mostly at younger Who-viewers, but that has never bothered me. It’s a magical episode, right up there with the best in the show’s history.

In my mind, Douglas Camfield is the best director the show’s ever had, and he gives us The Invasion, an exciting tale with a lot of action, and humour – Troughton and Hines again at their finest. David Maloney returned to helm The War Games, recently voted best regeneration story on the Missing Episodes Facebook page, a ten-part tale that drags less than some four-parters. Written at the eleventh hour by Dicks with his old friend Malcolm Hulke, The War Games is simply excellent television culminating in an epic farewell to the best TARDIS team there ever was.

The moments in part ten when the Doctor says goodbye to Zoe in particular are very moving. Troughton against the Time Lords is also wonderful. The story is not without its faults, James Bree and Edward Brayshaw could have played their parts somewhat differently and more naturalistically, and the magnets as time machine controls have never convinced me, but Philip Madoc is cold and terrifying as the War Lord and the guards are, frankly, hilarious. Kudos also to Michael Napier Brown as Arturo Villar – utterly fantastic appearance that livens up episodes eight and nine.

With the recent return of Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, shiny and new and not seen for 45 odd years, people are declaring Season Five as brilliant. It has its strengths, but for me Season Six is superior because of its variety, not something Season Five can claim in abundance. There’s a base under siege monster story, a fantasy, a political story, a space opera, alien invasion and military story, the massive epic that ends it all and, well, the Krotons.

Season Six is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. But heck, some chocolates appeal to some and not to others, and this season surely has one or two everyone would like to scoff down.

 

‘Doctorgond? Idiots!’

 

Andrew Boland is a travel writer and blogger, and avid Doctor Who fan since 1985. You can follow his blog and find his travel writings at his WordPress siteWorld Journeys

Please also follow on twitter@WorldJourneys75

Happy Birthday Patrick

94th

It was 94 years ago today, March 25, that Patrick Troughton was born. Pat has been my favourite Doctor for many years and the return of Enemy Of The World and Web Of Fear has only strengthened my love of the 2nd Doctor. I will take this opportunity to say thanks for everything Pat and it’s a shame that you aren’t still with us. If there is any justice in the world, the TV Gods will make the omnirumour turn out to be true, or at least mostly true, and we will get to see more of your genius.