Missing episode recoveries history

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by diankra, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Were they fans though? Francis Watson grabbed the two episodes when being told to dispose of films in the projection room, and took them home to screen at his local film club.

    Terry Burnett just happened to mention to Ralph Montagu that he had episodes in his collection.

    I don't recall either of them stating they were fans of the series. Then again I didn't hear them say they weren't!
     
  2. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, you're right to say that they weren't fans: if they had been, they'd have known the episodes were missing. They were just people who'd watched Doctor Who a bit and liked it enough to think that they might as well hold on to a spare copy that would otherwise go to the bin.
     
  3. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I must have read some mis-information on the longevity of early technicolor films.

    What I don't get is, even in the 30's, there must have been at least dozens of copies of this short sent out to theaters when it was released. How is it there's only one copy left to get burned up in the 1960's?

    Outside of the copy in Australia of course. Unless all copies were technicolor and they all disintegrated.

    They can't have been as anal about keeping track of copies of films in the 30's as they are now.

    I think this gives us hope that some of those missing Doctor Who episodes could turn up, if a 2-reeler missing for 50 years can be found.
     
  4. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    After the release in cinemas had ended there would be a request by the studio for those films to either be returned or destroyed (similar to what happened to Dr Who episodes). If a studio is sitting on 12 prints but only needs to retain one (IE the original negative for example) then the other 11 get junked, and in future if any re-release is sold then more copies are run off that surviving neg.

    What they should have done - and a lot of companies do this these days, possibly from lessons learned from the MGM fire - is they'll have two vaults, in two different physical locations.

    That way if one is lost the other still exists.

    BBC Enterprises retained the 16mm negatives after the BBC engineering department had wiped the original quad master tapes, but after five years the rights to resell had expired, and so if there was no further use for the prints then they were junked.

    There was some belief that Enterprises only ever had copies of films, and that other versions were still in existence elsewhere at the BBC. It's highly frustrating that there was no global system to keep track of all the episodes; although at the time the Dr Who production office only cared about the upcoming season, and not of episodes past. :(
     
  5. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ I just wonder, in the 1930's, how strict they were about getting those films returned, and how closely they could keep track of everything.

    Today, I can totally see it, with all the technology & databases & licenses & anal nature about pirating.

    And hey, some missing Doctor Who eps are rumored to be in Australia, maybe the same guy has some of those.
     
  6. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    I keep hearing this rumour, what is it?

    I mean it's likely either a hoax or someone mishearing the source of the 2011 discoveries was (likely) Australia.
     
  7. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Possibly a garbling of the old hopes about the Harriet Street store in New Zealand.
     
  8. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I keep "hearing" the rumor too. No idea if it's true. :lol:

    But Oz was the main place, outside of the UK, that got Doctor Who episodes in that era (as a former colony?), and thus likelier to have them still around somewhere.

    I think the hope is, they didn't destroy them.

    The US didn't get anything till the mid 70's, I think, so probably no chance any of those missing eps are here.
     
  9. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    http://missingepisodes.blogspot.co.nz/p/howmanyprints.html

    A large chunk of the Australian episodes were sent back to the UK in 1975. A handful of episodes (The Chase 1, The Celestial Toymaker 4, The War Machines 2 and The Faceless Ones 1 off the top of my head) stayed in Australia. Others were confirmed as destroyed or sent to New Zealand (in terms of missing stories only The Reign of Terror was in this batch, and the NZBC destroyed these copies in 1971).

    In terms of main buyers, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore (and later Hong Kong) were the big broadcasters. Singapore in particular as they're the last known buyers of such stories as The Tenth Planet and The Power of the Daleks...

    Sierra Leone retained a batch of most of Season Three but their archive was destroyed in a civil war in 1999. :(
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hope it's okay to bump this thread, but I didn't want to start a new one for this question:

    Was episode 1 of "The Mind Robber" still missing after the rest had been recovered? I just watched it on Netflix streaming, and I'm pretty certain I've never seen part 1 before. Watching the episodes in "movie" format on PBS, I remember the story beginning with the TARDIS exploding in the black void and Jamie and Zoe clinging to the console, which is the start of part 2. So was episode 1 missing in the '80s, or was there another reason it wasn't included in the "movie" edit distributed at the time?
     
  11. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Might it be confusion on the part of your PBS Station? The following is from about half way down this Wiki page: The Mind Robbers Wikipedia

    Working titles for this story included Man Power, Another World and The Fact of Fiction. The Mind Robber was originally composed of four episodes, but the preceding serial, The Dominators, was reduced from six to five episodes. This resulted in a sparse first episode being written, as they had to use the limited budget of the replaced episode. This stretching of the story also resulted in the first four episodes only running between 19 and 22 minutes in length, and Episode 5 being the shortest Doctor Who episode ever at slightly over 18 minutes.
     
  12. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Mind Robber 1 was recovered in 1978, and I first saw it at the NFT weekend in October 83 along with the rest of the story. Never heard of a movie edit that skipped it, but in view of the Planet/Daleks without part 3 and the five part version of Inv-Dinos I guess there might have been one. Did you see Dominators then? Maybe part one ran as an add-on to that?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nope, my recollection is that it went right from the lava cliffhanger at the end of "The Dominators" to the TARDIS explosion at the start of "The Mind Robber." My only memory of the events of part 1 is from the novelization; I probably figured that was just the author's expansion or something.

    I guess it's possible that I've just forgotten part 1, but I feel so sure I've never seen it before. I mean, Zoe spent half the episode in her sparkly catsuit, and that's kinda unforgettable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  14. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That could well have forced memories of everything else in the episode.

    I suspect the main reason virtually all of series 6 survives is someone wanted to preserve Zoe's bum for posterity.
     
  15. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How many people became mathematicians because of that, I'd like to know.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    To be sure, that shot of catsuited Zoe sprawled on the console is one for the ages, but what's cool about "The Mind Robber" is how impressive Zoe gets to be in other ways. Okay, she spends a lot of the serial frightened and screaming and makes some impetuous mistakes, which is all par for the course for '60s female companions -- but she also gets to beat up a comic-strip strongman twice her size, and it's her plan that defeats the evil computer in the end.
     
  17. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True, the writers didn't quite know what to do with Zoe. Her personality and skill sets could change drastically from one story to the next, and even in the middle of a story.
     
  18. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    No, The Mind Robber was found complete by Ian Levine in 1978.

    It was only really Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Planet of the Daleks which had edited omnibus editions to skip the missing colour eps.

    EDIT: For some reason I didn't see the next page of this thread. :)
     

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