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parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who: The Recovered Episodes, I

October 11th, 2013 (12:45 am)

I've added a Roman numeral to this as I expect I'll have more to say at a later date; but I'm in the process of downloading both stories from iTunes (pernicious system in many ways, but I'm curious to see these stories). For Doctor Who fans of my generation the knowledge that so many episodes from the 1960s were missing was infuriating. Most of us now know that Doctor Who did rather well compared to most other BBC television series from the period. Now, of course, it's done better, and The Enemy of the World can be enjoyed in full, and The Web of Fear has gone from missing episodes 2-6 of 6 to only missing episode 3 of 6. This is fantastic news, and it's been very well-managed.

Doctor Who Magazine, despite their apparent denials, have known for some time, as demonstrated by the magazine covers Debbie Watling and Frazer Hines are brandishing on DWM's new website; but one only needs to do a Google News search for the Nigerian city of Jos, where the episodes were found, to see why the presence of valuable BBC material there might have needed to be kept quiet. I suspect we won't have a full account of the discoveries for some time, if ever, though hero of the hour, Philip Morris, has a video up as part of BBC Worldwide's YouTube package of material related to the recoveries.

So: new Patrick Troughton to enjoy, completing one story in which we see Patrick Troughton's performance as dictator Salamander, and almost completing another including Nicholas Courtney's next-to-first appearance as Lethbridge-Stewart - not yet the Brigadier, but one story away from promotion. I might just manage an episode before bed...

ETA: "You're the most wonderful and marvellous man that's ever dropped out of the sky" will become a new favourite much-quoted line, I'm sure...

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2013/10/11/recovered-episodes-i.html.

Comments

Posted by: Alice Dryden (huskyteer)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 06:18 am (UTC)
Brigadier

Very excited about Web of Fear - it's a great favourite of mine, though I was a bit disappointed the first time I saw what remained of it since it was nowhere near as scary as the Target novel plus my imagination...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
Troughton

I've not got there yet! The Target novelisation was extremely good and benefited from Terrance Dicks's after-the-fact mythologisation of the first collaboration between the Doctor and the Brig; I remember being utterly taken aback and crushed when it was revealed who the Intelligence's vessel was (spoiled in the package of videos on YouTube, of course).

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC)
Harriet

I look forward to seeing both, though my internet is sufficiently flaky that I think I might have to wait for the DVD.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Troughton

BBC Worldwide and Apple have benefited from my impatience, and my bank may well in the long term... but waiting for the DVDs is probably sensible, and it's not that long to wait, with Enemy at the end of November and Web in February.

Posted by: thanatos_kalos (thanatos_kalos)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)

How much are they on iTunes?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC)
Troughton

£9.99 each, or £1.89 per episode.

Posted by: thanatos_kalos (thanatos_kalos)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)

hmm. Not bad...

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
Leekley

This is excellent news and only a few weeks after I listed Web 4 as one of the ten missing episodes I'd most like returned!

As the stories look like being released on DVD quickly (HOORAY!!!!!!), and as I'm an impecunious student, I think I'll have to wait for the DVDs rather than get the downloads. Still, patience is a virtue - and one Doctor Who fans have long been accustomed to developing... The DVD cover art at Den of Geek is impressive, especially the Bond-esque Enemy (though I think the Bond influence on that story is over-stated).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
Troughton

There's a Bond influence on the visuals of the first episode, but you're right, the Cold War influences are more varied and there is an apocalyptic futurist feel to much of the story which Bond doesn't have, quite apart from the ethical differences between Bond and the Doctor.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
Leekley

I have argued in the past for a le Carre-ish feel to parts of it with emphasis on the mundane parts of espionage: blackmail over sordid events in the past, personal betrayal and secret meetings in unglamorous locations. The final episodes do go more into Bond/Avengers territory, though.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)

I look forward to what you make of the story now it's complete.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
Leekley

Thanks, although you may have to wait awhile: fun writing is being replaced with dissertating for the foreseeable future, though I imagine the two forthcoming Doctor Who winter specials will be reviewed and if I'm lucky I might complete the half-finished third Changing Style of Doctor Who post sooner rather than later

Thoughts on the rediscovered episodes will probably have to wait until the dissertation is, if not finished, then more under control and I can turn my attention to the Changing Style of Doctor Who under Messrs Lloyd, Davis, Bryant and Sherwin.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

I admire your restraint regarding Doctor Who; good luck with the dissertation.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
Leekley

Thanks! I think the restraint is more necessity than will-power, though!

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 06:53 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

Ah, one to add to the list of Cold War stuff then, that I will need to get round to watching?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
DDR40

Very probably! It's full of references.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 11th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

Clearly more time must be made for That Sort of Thing sooner rather than later...