BBC today announced the release of two sets of lost episodes from the hit show Doctor Who, which it is currently exclusively selling on iTunes. Five new episodes of the first set titled The Enemy of the World and four new episodes of the second set titled The Web of Fear have been digitally remastered after they were found in Nigeria, Africa earlier this year, and will remain on the iTunes Store until a DVD release later this year.
BBC Worldwide North America announces that a stash of BBC master tapes from the 1960s featuring missing episodes of Doctor Who has been recovered in Nigeria, Africa. The BBC has re-mastered the tapes, and is making two stories, "The Enemy of the World" and "The Web of Fear," now available exclusively on iTunes (www.itunes.com/DoctorWho).
Eleven Doctor Who episodes were discovered (nine of which have not been seen for 46 years) by Philip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, by tracking records of tape shipments made by the BBC to Africa for transmission. Morris says, "The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words 'Doctor Who'. When I read the story code I realized I'd found something pretty special."
Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World and Doctor Who: The Web of Fear are now available on the iTunes Store for $9.99 each.
Top Rated Comments
Thanks for the clarification. Please maintain this informative style by referring to your location as USA, North America.
United Kingdom, Europe.
The more profit these episode generate, the more weight the BBC will put behind looking for more of them. As a "massive" fan, surely that's a good thing? I'm more than happy to pay $10 for something I thought I'd never get the chance to see.
As the article states, they didn't "just happened to find them", Philip Morris spends his time and money traveling the globe looking for lost film and I'm sure he passes that cost onto the BBC. There's also the cost of the restoration work involved.
Sure, sell it outside the UK but given that we've already paid for the damn thing to be made and restored it makes no sense that we should have to pay for it again.
To put it in perspective for anyone in a country without a license fee.
We pay £145.50 per year. At todays rate that's about $232 USD, so $19.33 a month.
If you were paying for Netflix, and were then told "sorry, all this new stuff is premium, you gotta pay extra for it", you'd be pretty pissed, and netflix is only $7.99 a month.
My understanding is that following the demise of the series in 1989/90, the BBC basically sold the rights to the show to BBC Worldwide/Enterprises. As such, at the moment, the BBC are acting on behalf of BBC Worldwide by making the current series of the show. Worldwide OWN Doctor Who.
As such... It's quite within their rights to sell the episodes on iTunes. Frankly, it's MUCH better than us fans having to wait for a DVD release, which quite frankly is the only other feasible route we will have to see them.
Of course, there's also the theory that there are more missing episodes to come, and that whilst the BBC says they are going to screen the first ever Doctor Who - An Unearthly Child - on 23 November to celebrate the anniversary, it may in fact be a different story that goes to air... IE a currently missing story.
Hopefully the episodes will make it to free-to-air tv in the fullness of time - ie the next time your local channel decides to play Classic Who... whenever that may be...