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'Missing episodes', or, the gaps in the memory of Doctor Who

September 29th, 2013 (12:44 am)

"...the total of missing episodes now stands at 106. The fact that so much of Doctor Who exists is a testament not only to fans’ determination but to the incompetence of the BBC; not only could they not manage to keep a proper archive, they couldn’t even manage to throw things away."

Jonathan Morris's Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition introduction on how the BBC manage not to have a complete run of Doctor Who (though it's fared better than most BBC drama series and serials of the 1960s) is useful background for those interested in the subject and can be found on his blog; much, much more on the matter can be found in Richard Molesworth's Wiped, now in its second edition (Prestatyn: Telos, 2013).

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2013/09/29/missing-episodes.html.


Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: September 29th, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
Worcester College

With my fan and librarian hats on, I am naturally horrified by the archive purges, but with my historian's hat I can take a calmer view: TV was not seen as a durable medium, nor did cultural history have as much prominence as it does now. I suspect that in two hundred years historians will lament the short-sightedness of our generation for failing to accurately archive the vast social history resource that is the blogosphere. (On my librarianship course, I was told by the head of the British Library's digitization programme that the BL has been trying to archive a small, but representative slice of British websites each year, but I suspect it is like trying to carry an ocean with a sieve.)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 30th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)

I agree with you about the blogosphere and indeed forums. Remember the loss of Outpost Gallifrey, though I hope it survives quietly and undisclosed in private collections somewhere.