BBC Archive Holdings

In 1997, Richard Molesworth was commissioned to write the definitive history of Doctor Who in the BBC Archives for Doctor Who Magazine. His three articles are reprinted below by kind permission of DWM and are subdivided to cover the sixties, seventies and eighties. This section is necessarily long and the reader is advised to save the text as a file and read it off-line. Much of the information in these articles was intended to be used in magazine box-outs and little attempt has been made to format it for on-line viewing.

Additionally, Richard has researched overseas sales of Doctor Who for many years and an overview of the sales of currently missing episodes in MS Word fomat can be downloaded by clicking here.

Part One: The Sixties

The BBC Film and Television Library at Windmill Road, London, is a rambling series of unassuming, interconnected buildings of varying ages. When standing outside, it is difficult to envisage the premises as the main home of the BBC’s entire television output - ranging from their earliest film recordings (including the Queen’s Wedding in 1947) through to last nights episode of "Eastenders". Great television characters of the past now find their only home on the shelves at Windmill Road; from Alf Garnett to Professor Bernard Quatermass, from Albert Steptoe to Adam de vere Adamant. And since 1989 (with the exception of a couple of notable outings since then), this great repository of television history has been the last resting place of the good Doctor himself.

And like Quatermass and Steptoe, Garnett and Adamant, not all of the Doctor’s outings have been preserved for a future dusting down - either for repeat or for video release.

But this is common knowledge. It is almost impossible to find a debate on the subject of ‘lost’ television programmes that does not mention ‘Doctor Who’. How and why certain portions of the programmes’ history are missing - and why some episodes still remain - is a complex story of chance, good and bad luck, detective work and dedication. The story begins in 1963, when the programmes themselves started to be made.

A certain amount of generalisation is required when outlining how "Doctor Who" was made in the 1960’s - otherwise a highly detailed tome worthy of Howe/Stammers/Walker would be the result. Essentially, when a ‘Doctor Who’ script was about to be made into a story for television, it would first be broken down into it’s component episodes - be it 2 or 12 parts.

Next, a director would be assigned to the story, and a production schedule would be drawn up. If any location filming for the story was required, then this would usually be completed first. Then it was into the studio for as many weeks as the story had episodes. A six-part story would be recorded an episode at a time, with all the necessary sets erected and taken down week-in week-out for however many episodes of the story they featured in. The episodes would usually be recorded in scene-by-scene order, rather than out of sequence, for ease of editing. Occasional recording breaks were scheduled, to give cameras time to reposition, or to move actors from set to set. Mainly, events were recorded in real-time, and it was not unusual for small mistakes to be left in, rather than halt the recording and go back to re-record. Very occasionally, whole episodes would be recorded as-live, in one go, without a recording break. For this reason, the myth - perpetrated in all innocence by early cast and crew members - that ‘Doctor Who’ used to ‘go out’ live still crops up in the less well-informed media today.

Location work was usually recorded on black and white film, mainly 16mm, although 35mm film was also used (more so than it would be in the later colour years of the programme’s life). 35mm film was also the format favoured for model and effects work. However, material recorded in the television studio was a different matter entirely.

A television studio is a predominantly electronic environment, and the pictures/output from the studio cameras during the making of the programme were recorded directly onto two-inch videotape - an electronic medium. From ‘An Unearthly Child’ through to ‘The Enemy of the World’, the videotape used was 405-line. From ‘The Enemy of the World’ through to ‘The War Games’, it was 625-line. There were, however, exceptions to this procedure.

Certain episodes in the sixties were recorded in the TV studio, but instead of the camera’s output being recorded on videotape, the output was instead routed to a film recording area. Here, it was played into a film recording suite, where a special film recorder (running at 25 frames per second, not the usual 24 f.p.s. associated with film) ‘telerecorded’ the main image, in a process identical to the film telerecordings later made for overseas sale by BBC Enterprises.

The handful of episodes transmitted on film should have been sent to the BBC Film Library for safe keeping after broadcast, whilst the remainder of the episodes - which were transmitted from videotape - were never archived (because the library was - at this time - only a film library, not the Film and Videotape Library that the BBC has today). Instead, the videotapes themselves remained the property of the BBC’s Engineering Department, where a separate rudimentary library of sorts was kept. As there was no mandate for this library, tapes were periodically wiped - sometimes for re-use - from time to time.

It is important to put these wipings into context. At around the time of any given episode’s broadcast on the BBC, the videotapes were requisitioned by BBC Enterprises, where Pamela Nash (who was a Film Recording Clerk at the time) would arrange for 16mm black and white film recordings (‘telerecordings’) to be made of the episodes, for the purposes of sale overseas.

The only episode from the Hartnell/Troughton era not to be telerecorded for BBC Enterprises was the Christmas day episode 7 from ‘The Dalek Masterplan’ - ‘The Feast of Steven’. Consequently, when the story was offered for overseas sale, it was only listed as an 11-part story. (No country ever purchased this story, although the Australian broadcaster ABC did have viewing copies of the films sent to them, before deciding that the story was not suitable for transmission). As a result, no other copy of this episode was made, and once the original 405-line videotape was erased, the episode was lost forever.

Every other Hartnell and Troughton episode was copied by BBC Enterprises, and a full set was held at least until early 1972, as 16mm black and white film negatives (apart - of course - from ‘Masterplan’ 7). Every time a story was then sold to an overseas broadcaster, a copy would be provided in one of two ways. Either a 16mm positive film print would be struck from the BBC Enterprises negative, or another broadcaster - who already had purchased and transmitted the story - would be requested to pass on their film copies to the new broadcaster - a system often referred to as ‘bicycling’. Sometimes, the negatives held by BBC Enterprises would be damaged or unusable in some way, and a second set would need to be struck from the videotapes while they still existed (as happened with ‘The War Machines’ - one set of Enterprises films were struck in 1966, whilst a second set was made in 1968 - on the instructions of Pamela Nash).

Only after an episode had been telerecorded, would the videotape of the episode be wiped by the BBC’s Engineering Department. These wipings generally occurred a good few years after the programme’s transmission. There are many stories and theories about these wipings. Some sources tell of a failed safety inspection by the Fire Department, resulting in a policy of destroying the tapes due to their classification as a fire hazard. Other people surmise that the new colour dawn of 625-line television sealed the fate of the stock of old black and white 405-line and 625-line videotapes. No tapes were ever wiped without reference to BBC Enterprises and/or the relevant production department (in Doctor Who’s case, the programme’s Production Office).

Whatever the reason was, the videotapes began to be wiped, or re-used, until the formation of the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library in 1978 put a stop to this particular practice. But by this time, it was too late for the Hartnell and Troughton stories - every single episode that was transmitted on videotape now no longer existed. Most of the tapes were bulk-erased and then destroyed in some way. A few were re-used: for example the two-inch tape that once contained episode 3 of ‘The Enemy of the World’ still exists, but with an episode of ‘Blue Peter’ now recorded onto it.

The newly-created Film and Videotape Library quickly took stock of the situation. It did not have a single videotaped episode of ‘Doctor Who’. What it did have were films. Of the episodes transmitted from film, the library had retained the 35mm film telerecordings of ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth" episode 5, ‘The Wheel In Space’ episode 6, ‘The Krotons’ episode 1 and ‘The Space Pirates’ episode 2.

In addition, the film library held 16mm black and white film prints of other odd episodes, although there was only one complete story in this tally - ‘An Unearthly Child’ (and the reason this was held may have something to do with the fact that the fledgling Doctor Who Appreciation Society had purchased film prints of the story - presumably from BBC Enterprises - to show at a convention in 1978). In 1978, there was a total of 47 Hartnell and Troughton episodes that were preserved and kept in the Film Library.

Quite why the Film Library kept copies of these particular 47 episodes is again a mystery. They only had a mandate to keep programmes made on film, or film inserts. In all likelihood, it may be that copies of the episodes had been requisitioned for viewing by the ‘Doctor Who’ Production Office, or by another programme department in the BBC (programmes such as ‘Blue Peter’, or the 1977 edition of ‘The Lively Arts’ used clips from ‘Doctor Who’). These episodes were probably all viewing copies taken from the film negatives held at BBC Enterprises, and ended up in the film library by accident, or default (being film copies).

There should have been 53 episodes in the Film Library. At various times before 1972, it had been in possession of - but had junked - the following material: 16mm film copies of ‘The Crusade’ part 1 and ‘The Ice Warriors’ part 3, and 35mm film copies of ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ part 2 (plus film sequences and trailer), ‘The Power of the Daleks’ part 6 (plus film sequences) and ‘The Wheel in Space’ part 5. Then in 1973, the children’s magazine programme ‘Blue Peter’ ran a feature on the tenth anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’. Many clips were chosen for the feature, including one from the only episode of ‘The Dalek Masterplan’ that the Film Library held - episode 4. After a clip from this episode was used (Katarina’s death scene), the 16mm print was due to be returned to the Film Library, but appears never to have made it back. The Film Library sent memos out to the person who had ordered the episodes for ‘Blue Peter’ (an individual by the suspicious-sounding name of J. Smith!!), reminding them that the print was overdue, but it was never returned. It was the only episode unaccounted for in 1978, when as inspection of the Film Library’s catalogue took place.

Also used in this edition of ‘Blue Peter’ was a 30-second excerpt of the Hartnell/Troughton regeneration from episode 4 of ‘The Tenth Planet’. One of the greatest myths surrounding missing ‘Doctor Who’ material stems from this ‘Blue Peter’ incident, where this episode was alleged to have gone missing. Although it appears ‘Masterplan’ 4 went missing after this programme, there is no reason to suggest that ‘Tenth Planet’ 4 also disappeared at the same time. The ‘Blue Peter’ office couldn’t have obtained this episode from the BBC Film Library - they never held it, and so must have obtained the material from BBC Enterprises. If this was the case, there is no reason to suggest that it was never returned - BBC Enterprises were still offering all 4 episodes from ‘The Tenth Planet’ for sale a year later in 1974. It is possible that a viewing print of this episodes may have been loaned to (and perhaps never returned from) ‘Blue Peter’, but BBC Enterprises would still have had the original negative of this episode. Otherwise, they could not have offered it for sale the following year.

Other old stories were still being offered for sale by BBC Enterprises in 1974. A sales list from the time shows which stories were still available. The Hartnell stories on offer were: ‘The Edge of Destruction’, ‘The Web Planet’, ‘The Space Museum’, ‘The Time Meddler’, ‘Galaxy 4’, ‘Mission to the Unknown’, ‘The War Machines’. ‘The Smugglers’ and ‘The Tenth Planet’. Every Troughton story was offered for sale, with the single exception of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’. The stories not listed were no longer available - for copyright reasons, according to the paperwork.

When the BBC Film and Videotape Library was formed in 1978, Sue Malden was appointed Archive Selector - a role that effectively put her in charge of the Library. One of the first people she came in contact with was long term Doctor Who fan Ian Levine. Levine was given access to the Library’s records, and started making arrangements allowing him to purchase film copies of all the episodes they held. However, he was disappointed at the small amount of material the library held, and started making enquiry’s around the BBC, as he felt sure that there was more material from the programmes past still in existence.

He discovered that the library at BBC Enterprises held episodes of ‘Doctor Who’, and made arrangements to visit. He discovered what exactly they held, and also discovered what was happening to programmes that no longer could be sold for ‘copyright reasons’. Interviewed in 1993 (for the BBC’s five minute mini-documentary about missing episodes broadcast before the repeat of episode 3 of ‘Planet of the Daleks’), Levine spoke at length about the events of the time:

‘In 1978, I found out that there were a large number of episodes in the BBC Film and Videotape Library, but not as many as I knew still existed. I also knew that BBC Enterprises had a huge film library in Villiers House in Ealing, and there was a rumour going round that they held episodes that the Film and Videotape Library didn’t.’

‘I arranged for somebody from the BBC to take me down to Villiers House to see what was there. We went into their film vault, which was this tiny little room covered in shelves. On the shelves were loads and loads of film cans, most of which were ‘Doctor Who’ or another science fiction series called ‘Out of the Unknown’. There was a huge pile of cans in the middle of the floor - about twenty cans in two piles - all taped up with white masking tape, and with a huge red stamp all over them saying ‘Withdrawn, De-accessioned and Junked’. Amongst these were all 7 episodes of the first Dalek story - ‘The Dead Planet’. I saw the ‘Doctor Who’ labels, and tore off the masking tape to see what it was. I saw it was the first Dalek story, and threw an absolute fit. I turned to the BBC guy who had taken me in there, and said "Quick, quick, we’ve got to do something - we’ve got to do something to stop them from destroying this". I felt a mixture of horror and elation. If I had been a day later, they would have been burnt and gone, and there would have been no way of ever retrieving them - they would have been missing to this day’.

‘We contacted the woman from BBC Enterprises - Pamela Nash - who was in charge of destroying these prints. He asked her why she was destroying old ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. She said "No one wants them, they’re only old black and white prints".

‘I wanted them, as I had just got clearance from the BBC to buy copies of these episodes. And now I knew they were being destroyed. She didn’t seem to care - she had been destroying all the prints, all the negatives and all surviving master copies. Just incinerating them, destroying them - they were lost forever. I had seen all the cards showing when she had junked all the episodes. They had held every single episode of ‘Doctor Who’ up until 1972’.

This demonstrates a great degree of dramatic irony. Pamela Nash - the woman who was systematically destroying the last archive of ‘Doctor Who’ at the BBC - was the person who had ordered the film copies to be made in the first place. Many episodes had been destroyed by this point - but many still remained. All that needed doing was ensuring that they remained in existence.

Ian Levine continues the story. ‘I contacted the head of the BBC Film and Videotape Library - Sue Malden - and got her to issue an order to Pamela Nash telling her not to destroy any more ‘Doctor Who’ films. We saved all the episodes that were still there, but she had destroyed over 150 episodes over the previous five years - because she said the rights to sell the episodes had expired.’

A complete review of the archive at BBC Enterprises revealed complete film prints of ‘The Dead Planet’, ‘The Edge of Destruction’, ‘The Keys of Marinus’, ‘The Aztecs’, ‘The Sensorites’, ‘Planet of the Giants’, ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’, ‘The Rescue’, ‘The Romans’, ‘The Web Planet’, ‘The Space Museum’, ‘The Chase’, ‘The Ark’, ‘The Gunfighters’, ‘The Mind Robber’ and ‘The Seeds of Death’ - plus another copy of all 4 episodes of ‘An Unearthly Child’. The films were safely handed over to the Film and Videotape Library. Also handed over were a handful of episodes with foreign soundtracks dubbed onto them in languages such as Spanish and Arabic.

It would appear that BBC Enterprises were blissfully unaware that they were the owners of the only copies of these episodes of ‘Doctor Who’. As Levine explains: ‘I don’t think there was any logical reason as to why BBC Enterprises junked these ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. Pamela Nash obviously thought she had to make shelf space for future programmes. She must have reasoned that these were only BBC Enterprises copies, and she obviously thought that the master copies were held at the BBC Film and Videotape Library. She never, ever once thought to phone the Film and Videotape Library, and say "I’m junking all these Doctor Who’s - do you want them?". Conversely, the BBC Film and Videotape Library assumed that BBC Enterprises had all the episodes, and never bothered too much about obtaining their own copies’.

Soon after the return of the material from BBC Enterprises, Sue Malden made enquires with the British Film Institute, to see if they held copies of any BBC programmes that the BBC itself no longer held. To her delight, three complete Patrick Troughton stories were discovered - ‘The Dominators’, ‘The Krotons’ and ‘The War Games’ - all on 16mm black and white film (apart from ‘The Dominators’ part 3, which was on 35mm). It was later discovered that episodes 4 and 5 of ‘The Dominators’ had originated from an overseas television company, and had minor cuts made to them.

A chance return visit to BBC Enterprises by Sue Malden yielded yet another discovery - amongst a batch of material returned from Asia Television in Hong Kong was a 16mm film print of ‘The Web of Fear’ episode 1. Also, a wrongly labelled tin of 16mm film already held by the Film and Videotape Library was found to contain the 16mm film recording of the Pilot episode - a version of the first episode that was not chosen for transmission, but has since been released on video and screened on BBC2 (see side panel). Ian Levine once again became involved in the story after he made contact with an Australia film collector by the name of David Gee. Gee had a 16mm film copy of ‘The War Machines’ part 2 which had originated at ABC TV, the Australian broadcaster. Arrangements were made for the BBC to be able to borrow this film in order for them to make their own copy of the print. By 1980, the number of missing Hartnell and Troughton episodes stood at 135.

It was very nearly 131, as Ian Levine recalls: ‘The Doctor Who Appreciation Society had decided to show ‘Galaxy 4’ at their 1978 convention. They got full clearances from the actors, the writer and the musicians to screen the story, and then approached BBC Enterprises to buy the prints of all 4 episodes. BBC Enterprises told them that the prints had been junked about three weeks earlier’.

A short clip from episode 1 of ‘Galaxy 4’ still remained, however - it was used as part of the 1977 documentary ‘The Lively Arts: Whose Doctor Who’. Other ‘Doctor Who’ material was also found to exist - 35mm black and white film sequences from part 2 of ‘The Dalek Masterplan’ and 16mm film sequences of part 2 of ‘The Abominable Snowmen’. Although added to the library, the film sequences were initially not considered to be all that important. Although these two examples survive to this day, it would appear that other film sequences from the Sixties were junked as late as 1981.

The Eighties began with a slow trickle of material being returned to the BBC. In February 1982, a film collector came forward with a 16mm film print of ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ part 2, and allowed the BBC to take a film copy for themselves. Three months later - in May - a second collector approached the BBC with a 16mm film print of ‘The Reign of Terror’ part 6, and again the BBC was able to take a copy.

The next material to surface remains the oddest recovery to this day. A Church in London (the name of which varies depending on whom you talk to) was having its basement cleared when half-a-dozen film cans with BBC stickers on them were discovered. The films were offered back to the BBC, where two of them turned out to be episodes 5 and 10 of ‘The Dalek Masterplan". As this story was never sold abroad, it was probably the one least likely to have any episodes returned, which makes the discovery of these episodes all the more remarkable.

During a routine examination of its film archive in April 1984, the Australian TV broadcaster ABC discovered a 16mm black and white film print of ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ episode 4. When the film was returned to the BBC, it was discovered that the ‘Next Episode’ caption had been edited from the print.

In the same month, long-term fan David Stead returned a 16mm film print of episode 3 of ‘The Wheel in Space’ to the BBC. Stead recalls the events: ‘I had placed an advert in my local newspaper, saying that I was interested in obtaining old episodes of ‘Doctor Who’. Indirectly, this brought me into contact with a film collector, who had ‘The Wheel in Space’ part 3 on 16mm for sale. I enquired as to how much money he wanted for it, and he sold it to me for the princely sum of 15! This was around March 1983. I still recall how extremely excited I was when watching the episode for the first time on an old film projector’.

‘Soon after I had obtained the film, I contacted the BBC Film and Videotape Library, and spoke to a gentleman called Steve Bryant. We discussed the film print, and we both decided that it would be a lovely gesture it I were to officially hand over the film to the BBC on the date of the programme's 20th anniversary - in November of that year. All the preparations were made, only for me to go down with ‘flu. November quickly turned to Christmas and then to the New Year. Before I knew it, nearly 6 months had gone by before I could arrange to finally let the BBC have the episode in April 1984’.

Later in 1984, Ian Levine was following up several clues about missing episodes in his own time. One of them revolved around African countries retaining old episodes, triggered by a chance remark made on a radio programme. Levine started making telephone calls to the various TV stations, until... ‘... a wonderful woman called Victoria at Nigerian Television told me she knew that there were some old ‘Doctor Who’ episodes over in Nigeria. It took her about a month to find them - 14 episodes. It was the first time complete stories had turned up rather than odd episodes.’ What Levine had discovered were three complete Hartnell stories - ‘The Web Planet’, ‘The Time Meddler’ and ‘The War Machines’. The BBC already had film copies of ‘The Web Planet’, although their parts 1 and 6 were slightly edited. The Nigerian prints of this story were complete. The BBC also already held the respective part 2’s of ‘The Time Meddler’ and ‘The War Machines’, but the discovery enabled them to add two more complete stories to their collection.

Unfortunately, diplomatic relations between Britain and Nigeria were extremely strained at the time, and complications meant that it was early 1985 before the BBC actually received the films. It was only then that it was realised that episodes 1, 3 and 4 of ‘The Time Meddler’ and episodes 2, 3 and 4 of ‘The War Machines’ had been edited.

By the time the BBC finally retrieved the episodes from Nigeria early in 1985, another discovery had taken place. Encouraged by the Nigerian discovery, a member of BBC Enterprises staff - named Roger Brunskill - took it upon himself to enquire with a selection of overseas TV stations to see if they had any BBC material still in their possession. Although he got a couple of negative replies - from Iran and the Ascension Islands - he did get a positive response from the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

Which was particularly ironic, as future ‘Restoration Team’ member and BBC Video Producer - Paul Vanezis - had made the same enquiry to Cyprus television only a few weeks earlier. Both of them had discovered the same thing - a haul of thirteen episodes which included episodes 1, 2 and 3 of ‘The Reign of Terror’.

Paul Vanezis explains exactly what had occurred: ‘My father comes from Cyprus, and at the time, I was particularly interested in Cyprus’ television, and had long wondered if they had ever shown ‘Doctor Who’. I wrote to them early-October 1984, and got a letter back a few weeks later - but two weeks before Roger Brunskill from the BBC contacted them. I was delighted to discover that they still had episodes 1, 3 and 4 of ‘The Aztecs’, all of ‘The Sensorites, and episodes 1, 2, 3 and 6 of ‘The Reign of Terror’ - the first three episodes of which were missing from the BBC at this point. I contacted my father - who was visiting Cyprus on business at the time - and asked him to contact the TV station in question to see if there was any way of him bringing the films back to England. But before I could take this line of enquiry any further, Roger Brunskill’s telex was received by the TV station, and he was able to move matters onto an official level without my help’.

To this day, rumours persist as to whether parts 4 and 5 of ‘The Reign of Terror’ still survive in Cyprus. Paul Vanezis knows this is not the case - he visited Cyprus TV a few years later in 1989, and examined Cyprus TV’s original documentation pertaining to the episodes. ‘Episodes 4 and 5 of ‘The Reign of Terror’ - along with ‘The Aztecs’ part 2 - were held in a separate vault from the others. This vault - and all its contents - was totally destroyed in a shell attack during the illegal Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Sadly the episodes no longer survive, but I did discover over 200 other 16mm BBC films that the BBC themselves didn’t have, including the first 7 episodes of ‘Z-Cars’.

Paul Vanezis - like Ian Levine before him - continued to make enquiries in the hope of finding missing ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. This lead him to make contact with an individual at the 1985 ‘Panopticon’ convention in Brighton, who claimed at the time to be in possession of two missing Patrick Troughton episodes. Although ridiculed by other fans at the time of the event, the person at ‘Panopticon’ did indeed have access to two episodes - ‘The Faceless Ones’ part 3 and ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ part 2. Contact was maintained for nearly two years, until...

‘Myself - and several other - people were planning the first ‘TellyCon’ convention in 1987’, muses Vanezis, ‘and we were desperate to screen a ‘missing’ episode at the event. Out of the blue, I received a ‘phone call from the chap I met in 1985, who had claimed to have ‘Evil’ 2 and ‘Faceless Ones’ 3. He was interested in the event, and we were discussing the sad news of Patrick Troughton’s recent death. The conversation turned to what a nice idea it would be to show something special at the Convention as a tribute to Pat Troughton, and he readily agreed to send ‘something special’. Two days before the event, a VHS tape arrived in the post, with episode 3 of ‘The Faceless Ones’. We were able to make convention history, and also helped start negotiations that saw the 16mm film print of this episode loaned to the BBC in April 1987. The 16mm film print of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ part 2 was able to be loaned to the BBC a month later’. Although the BBC made their own film copies of these two episodes, the print of part 3 of ‘The Faceless Ones’ showed signs of being damaged at some point in the past, and had been repaired by splicing the film together over the breaks. This causes the film to ‘jump’ quite badly at times, and so makes it unlikely to be repeated or released on videotape.

It was not until August 1988 that more missing material resurfaced, in the most unlikely of places - BBC Enterprises. Whilst preparing to move out of its premises at Villiers House for the final time, a previously unexamined storage area was found to hold several cans of 16mm film - a missing episode of ‘Adam Adamant Lives’, and what appeared to be five missing episodes of ‘Doctor Who’. The discovered film cans were labelled as containing ‘Fury from the Deep’ episode 6, and episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6 of ‘The Ice Warriors’. The ‘Fury’ episode turned out to be a different programme entirely, and the tin marked as part 2 of ‘The Ice Warriors’ actually contained part 1 of that story.

In terms of actual episodes, the final complete story discovery to date was the return in late 1991 of all 4 episodes of ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ from Asia Television in Hong Kong. The 4 episodes were returned on 16mm film, and were rush-released on BBC video in May 1992.

In early 1999, fans in New Zealand announced the discovery of 'The Lion', the first episode of the William Hartnell story 'The Crusade'. For more information, see the article on this site. Although in quite poor condition, the episode formed the basis for a video release containing the other surviving episode of the story, linking narration and the complete subsequent story, 'The Space Museum'.

Almost exactly five years later, in January 2004, 'Day of Armageddon', the second episode of 'The Daleks' Master Plan' was returned to the BBC by an employee of Yorkshire Television. He had rescued the print from destruction in the early seventies, when, as a young BBC engineer, he had found it in a room at the BBC's Ealing Film Studios which he had been asked to clear of rubbish. Aside from a brief time in the library of University College London's film society in the early seventies, he kept the film safe until its return and it is in very good condition.

Since the recovery of 'Tomb', most of the material which has resurfaced has been clips from missing episodes. The first such instance was late in 1991, when Steve Roberts (who was at the time part of the production team behind the 1992 BBC2 documentary ‘Resistance is Useless’) accidentally came across 100 seconds of silent 35mm film from ‘The Dalek Masterplan’ part 1. The film had been mis-filed in the BBC’s own Film and Videotape Library, and was supplied to the production team instead of the film material from part 2 of the same story which was known to exist. It was later found that this 35mm film of sequences from part 2 of ‘Masterplan’ had gone ‘missing’ from the Library, but was later returned anonymously to the BBC during the ‘amnesty’ at the ‘Missing Believed Wiped’ conference at the NFT in 1992.

(Also at this time, material missing from ‘The Time Meddler’ episodes 1 and 3 was able to be restored to the BBC’s copies, thanks to a private film collector who loaned the BBC his complete film prints of these two episodes).

During research for the 1994 video release of ‘More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS’, fellow DWM scribe and ‘archivist’ Andrew Pixley unearthed clues that eventually led the video production team to a 1973 edition of ‘Blue Peter’. This programme contained a 90-second excerpt from the missing episode 3 of ‘The Dalek Masterplan’.

Following up reports which had circulated for some time, BBC Restoration Team member Steve Roberts contacted ABC TV in Australia in 1995 to enquire about a programme entitled ‘Perspectives: C for Computer’. Transmitted over 20 years previously on ABC, the programme was rumoured to have featured clips from ‘The Power of the Daleks’ - rumours which proved correct when a copy of the black and white film sequences from the programmes were returned to the BBC late in 1995. In total, 4 brief excerpts from parts 4 and 5 of this story were recovered.

In late 1996, Australian fan-turned-researcher Damian Shanahan discovered nearly 4 minutes of ‘edited’ film trims at the Australian Archives. ‘I could hardly believe it when I finally realised the clips had been kept after all this time.’ recalls Shanahan. ‘It seemed as though all I was able to do was spend a lot of time telling everyone how bloody marvellous it was. My next task is to try and find out what exactly happened to the viewing prints of the 11 episodes of ‘The Dalek Masterplan’ that were sent to ABC in the sixties.’ Featuring material from stories such as ‘Fury from the Deep’, ‘The Macra Terror’ and ‘The Smugglers’, the film was copied onto a professional videotape format and returned to the BBC. Included on the tape were scenes missing from the final 2 episodes of ‘The War Machines’, that enabled the ‘Restoration Team’ to re-master the story for video release in 1997 (see the articles Restoring 'The War Machines' and 'The War Machines - 1997 Style!' on this website, along with issue 253 of DWM for more information on this project). The tape also contains material edited from episode 4 of ‘The Dominators’, and it is hoped that this will enable the episode to be ‘restored’ in the same way as ‘The War Machines’ at a later date - a complete film print of episode 5 of ‘The Dominators’ was loaned to the BBC in 1995, who took a D3 videotape copy.

Further censored clips were found in a private film collection in New Zealand in 2002, featuring material from several episodes of 'The Web of Fear' and an episode of 'The Wheel in Space'.

In 2003, Andrew Martin, an employee of the BBC's Windmill Road archive, discovered two items from the Troughton era on films stored in the archive. The first was a series of cutting-room floor film trims featuring mute alternative takes from 'Fury from the Deep', discovered on an ancient roll of scrap film that had been used for  film spacing. A little later, his discovered most of a trail for the first episode of 'Power of the Daleks' on the beginning of a film recording of a political debate show which had screened the night before the episode.

Hartnell / Troughton episodes in the BBC Archives

Pilot Episode 1
An Unearthly Child (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Dead Planet (7 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
The Edge of Destruction (2 eps) 1,2
Marco Polo (7 eps)
The Keys of Marinus (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Aztecs (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Sensorites (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Reign of Terror (6 eps) 1,2,3,6
Planet of Giants (3 eps) 1,2,3
The Dalek Invasion of Earth (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Rescue (2 eps) 1,2
The Romans (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Web Planet (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Crusade (4 eps) 1,3
The Space Museum (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Chase (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Time Meddler (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
Galaxy 4 (4 eps)
Mission to the Unknown (1 ep)
The Myth Makers (4 eps)
The Dalek Masterplan (12 eps) 2, 5,10
The Massacre (4 eps)
The Ark (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Celestial Toymaker (4 eps) 4
The Gunfighters (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Savages (4 eps)
The War Machines (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Smugglers (4 eps)
The Tenth Planet (4 eps) 1,2,3
The Power of the Daleks (6 eps)
The Highlanders (4 eps)
The Underwater Menace (4 eps) 3
The Moonbase (4 eps) 2,4
The Macra Terror (4 eps)
The Faceless Ones (6 eps) 1,3
The Evil of the Daleks (7 eps) 2
The Tomb of the Cybermen (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Abominable Snowmen (6 eps) 2
The Ice Warriors (6 eps) 1,4,5,6
The Enemy of the World (6 eps) 3
The Web of Fear (6 eps) 1
Fury from the Deep (6 eps)
The Wheel in Space (6 eps) 3,6
The Dominators (5 eps) 1,2,3,4,5
The Mind Robber (5 eps) 1,2,3,4,5
The Invasion (8 eps) 2,3,5,6,7,8
The Krotons (4 eps) 1,2,3,4
The Seeds of Death (6 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6
The Space Pirates (6 eps) 2
The War Games (10 eps) 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

All the above exist as 16mm black and white film telerecordings, except for "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" 5, "The Wheel in Space" 6, "The Dominators" 3, "The Mind Robber" 5, "The Krotons" 1, "The Seeds of Death" 5 and "The Space Pirates" 2, which all exist as 35mm black and white film telerecordings.

Although the above lists the master formats of all episodes, the BBC has had many of the episodes re-mastered onto videotape formats - such as "The Time Meddler" for the 1992 repeat, or "The War Machines" for the 1997 video release. Any further uses for the above stories ( for repeats or video release) would automatically call for them to be re-mastered onto video.


Foreign Prints

The BBC own a number of 16mm black & white film prints returned from overseas of various episodes dubbed into Arabic - these are "The Edge of Destruction" 1 & 2, "The Keys of Marinus" 1, "Planet of Giants" 1, 2 & 3, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" 1, 2, 4 & 6 and 'The Rescue' 1 & 2. In addition, the BBC owns a Spanish-dubbed print of "The Edge of Destruction" 1, also on 16mm.


Clips from "missing" episodes

Story Ep. Scene
Galaxy 4 1 Maaga talks to the Doctor and Steven 30s (1)
The Dalek Masterplan 1 Kert Gantry is exterminated by a Dalek 54s (2)
Starfield overlay 09s (2)
Chen’s Spar lands on Kembel 28s (2)
2 The Daleks light their pyroflames 38s (3)
Daleks burning plants 47s (3)
Smoke overlay 38s (3)
The Spar on landing pad 12s (3)
3 The Doctor, Brett and Steven in Spar, Daleks in their ship 1m 38s (4)
4 Katarina’s death 58s (5)
The Smugglers 1 Cherub kills Longfoot 25s (6)
3 Pike kills Jamaica 15s (6)
Cherub kills Kewper 04s (6)
The Tenth Planet 4 Hartnell/Troughton regeneration 27s (5)
The Power of the Daleks 4 Two Daleks gliding through a doorway 10s (7)
Daleks on a conveyer belt (model shot) 06s (7)
5 Gunless Dalek moves to camera 10s (7)
Daleks assembling in a room 08s (7)
Daleks circling round chanting "Daleks conqueror and destroy" 40s (8)
6 Daleks exploding 06s (9)
The Highlanders 1 McLaren battles a redcoat 03s (6)
Ben, Jamie & McLaren are about to be hanged 10s (6)
The Underwater Menace 1 Polly on operating table 13s (6)
2 Damon injects Polly 19s (6)
4 Zaroff drowns in the flood 07s (6)
The Macra Terror 2 Polly and Ben are surrounded by Macra 25s (6)
Controller attacked by Macra claw 02s (6)
3 Controller attacked by Macra claw (reprise) 02s (6)
The Abominable Snowmen 4 A Yeti standing by the TARDIS 02s (9)
Three Yeti’s dragging a man 06s (9)
The Web of Fear 2 Soldiers fire at advancing Yeti 14s
4 Yeti strikes down Professor Travers and his daughter  11s
Victoria discovers web-covered bodies 10s
Private Evans screams as the web pulsates 5s
Soldiers fire at Yeti, which continue to advance 5s
Various short shots of yeti attacking soldiers 7s total
Lethbridge-Stewart hides as Yeti lumbers past below 5s
5 Yeti roars as Travers and Victoria attempt to escape
Fury from the Deep 1 The TARDIS lands on the sea 19s (10)
2 Oak & Quill overpower Mrs Harris 54s (6)
4 Van Lutyens death 14s (6)
The Doctor & Jamie escape the weed 14s (6)
5 Robson attacks a guard 14s (6)
Robson kidnaps Victoria in helicopter 13s (6)
The Wheel in Space 4 Duggan’s death 04s (6)
5 Shot of man's head being forcibly banged against a door. 5s


1 - exists on the master tape of "The Lively Arts: Who’s Doctor Who" transmitted 03/04/77

2 - exists as a mute 35mm insert film

3 - exists as a 35mm insert film, with soundtrack

4 - exists on the master tape of "Blue Peter" transmitted 25/10/71

5 - exists on the master tape of "Blue Peter" transmitted 05/11/73

6 - returned to the BBC from Australia in 1997 as a Digital Betacam transfer from the original film sequences of censored material

7 - returned to the BBC from ABC in 1995 as a Betacam SP transfer from the programme "Perspectives: C for Computer" - some clips without correct sound

8 - exists on the master tape of "Whicker’s World" transmitted 27/01/68 (direct from 35mm film), and on the master tape of ‘Blue Peter’ transmitted 27/11/67 (from 16mm telerecording)

9 - exists on the film sequences of "Late Night Line-Up" transmitted 25/11/67

10 - re-used in "The War Games" episode 10


Cuts to episodes

Many episodes are held in a cut form. Episode 4 of "The Celestial Toymaker" has had its "Next Episode" caption snipped off, whilst the print of "The Evil of the Daleks" 2 is missing the first few frames of the opening title sequence and a few frames from the closing credits. Episode 4 of "The Time Meddler" originated in New Zealand, and was later sent to Singapore and Nigeria. At some point censors removed scenes of the Saxons stabbing Ulf and Sven (episodes 1 and 3 originated from the same place, but their missing segments have been re-instated after a private collector loaned the BBC his film prints of the episodes). Until recently, the BBC had similarly censored prints of "The Dominators" episodes 4 and 5 (these are the versions released on the BBC home video). Part 5 has been returned in its complete format from a private collector, whilst a tape of censored sequences returned from Australia in 1997 contains all the missing material from part 4. "The War Machines" - despite the valiant efforts of The Restoration Team and BBC Worldwide - is still missing almost a minute from episode 3, and a few seconds from part 4, again due to the censors knife. Episode 3 of "The Faceless Ones" - although essentially complete - has some very bad splices and jumps, which could prevent its repeat, or release on video.


Film Transmissions

Not all Hartnell/Troughton episodes were transmitted from two-inch videotape. Episode 4 of "The Dead Planet" - "Ambush" - was transmitted from a 35mm film telerecording, although all the studio material was recorded onto 2 inch tape and then telerecorded for transmission. The reason for this is not clear, although it may have something to do with the re-mount of the recording of the first episode of this story being booked into the studio block originally allocated to this fourth episode.

The second episode to be transmitted from film was episode 3 of "Planet of Giants". The story was originally written and recorded as a 4-part story, all on two-inch videotape. It was only after editing that Head of Serials, Donald Wilson, instructed that the story be cut down to three episodes. To do this, material from the final two edited episodes "Crisis" (3) and "The Urge to Live" (4) was compiled into the transmitted episode 3 "Crisis". To do this, the 2 episodes were telerecorded onto 35mm film, and then the film was then edited down into a single episode, albeit one that overran its 25 minute timeslot.

The next episode transmitted from film was episode 5 of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". In this instance, the material was never recorded onto videotape - the output of the electronic 405-line studio cameras was instead routed directly to a film recording suite, where a 35mm telerecording was made for transmission. The reasons for this again are not clear, although it may be because the episode in question required advanced editing or post-production that was too complicated to be carried out on videotape.

This technique was next used on episode 6 of "The Power of the Daleks", although this time the studio cameras used were 625-line, not 405-line. "The Power of the Daleks" 6 was the first episode therefore recorded from a 625-line source - although the programme would not use the 625-line medium again until "The Enemy of the World".

Other episodes telerecorded and transmitted from 35mm film were: "The Wheel in Space" episodes 5 & 6, "The Dominators" episode 3, "The Krotons" episode 1, "The Seeds of Death" episode 5 and "The Space Pirates" episode 2. In the instance of "The Wheel in Space" 6, the film print has an incomplete optical soundtrack, which was never intended for transmission. Instead, there is a separate magnetic ("SepMag") soundtrack, which contains the complete sound. There is not and never has been a scratch print of this episode held by the Film and Television Library.

Apart from "The Dead Planet" 4, "Planet of Giants" 3, "The Power of the Daleks" 6 and "The Wheel in Space" 5, all of these 35mm film prints still survive to this day. In addition, there also exists a 35mm film telerecording of episode 5 of "The Mind Robber", although this was not transmitted from film.


Film Sequences

Although made predominantly on video, many sequences from these episodes were recorded on location or in the studio on film. Model work was also recorded on film. All film sequences for an episode were edited together for playing-in during the studio recording sessions. These sequences were usually on silent 35mm film, and had a separate magnetic soundtracks. Currently, the BBC holds the film sequences for episodes 1 and 2 of "The Dalek Masterplan", although the former is missing its separate soundtrack. These sequences are the only remaining material from these episodes. Also in existence are the 16mm film sequences for "The Abominable Snowmen" 2, which ironically is the only episode of this story to exist in full. These sequences feature all the scenes used in the episode, plus a small sequence at the end of a scene of Travers, Jamie and Victoria running down a mountainside. Debbie Watling loses her footing and slips out of shot with a very audible yell of surprise. A small reel of 35mm film of a War Machine advancing down a street also exists, although logged against a "Blue Peter" programme - the sequence is used in the "Blue Peter" as well as "Doctor Who". Finally, a reel of mute 35mm film sequences exists under the BBC programme number for part 2 of ‘The Space Pirates’. This film has recently been viewed by members of the ‘Restoration Team’, and was found to contain the various model/space shots from episode 2, plus a telerecorded sequence of the reprise from part 1 - all of which features in the actual episode.

Although not strictly film sequences, the library contains two separate 16mm film prints containing a ‘long’ and a ‘short’ trailer for ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’. Excerpts from these trailers can be seen on the ‘The Daleks: The Early Years’ videotape.

Until recently, the BBC didn’t realise the value of these film sequences, especially if the episode they came from also existed. Even if it didn’t, material was still junked. The film sequences from episodes of (amongst others) "The Power of the Daleks", "The Moonbase" and "The Faceless Ones" were possibly in existence as late as 1981.


Private Collectors

Although treated as a dirty word by many members of fandom, private collectors do usually share access of their material with the BBC - over half a dozen Hartnell and Troughton episodes exist thanks to collectors allowing the BBC to take copies from their material.

Other material exists "out there" that does not reside at the BBC - this includes film sequences from episode 3 of "The War Machines" (which features two rather worried operators fleeing from the back of a War Machine as it looks set to catch fire in a battle scene), a 5 minute telerecording extract from episode 1 of "Galaxy 4" that originated at the time of the "The Lively Arts: Whose Doctor Who" documentary, and a brief 10-second film of Dalek models from "The Evil of the Daleks" 7. The ‘War Machines’ film has been loaned to the BBC, and portions of it were used for the closing captions for the video release of this story. An Arabic language version of episode 4 of ‘The Aztecs’, and a Spanish language version of episode 3 of ‘Planet of Giants’ are also held in private hands.

8mm film camera’s have been used to preserve examples of early location filming. Extracts from filming "The Smugglers" and "The Abominable Snowmen" have been recorded in colour, and may be seen on Bill Bagg’s "The Doctors" video. Other colour 8mm film exists showing the studio sets and recording of "The Evil of the Daleks" episode 7 and the seaweed creature attack on the control room from "Fury from the Deep". 8mm film was also the format used to capture off-screen recordings of small scenes from some missing episodes of "The Reign of Terror", "Galaxy 4", "The Myth Makers", "The Savages", "The Tenth Planet", "The Power of the Daleks" and "The Macra Terror", although the quality of this material is not of broadcast standard and is of limited appeal to the BBC.

Collectors do not limit themselves to film. It is thanks to collectors Graham Strong and David Holman that the BBC has access to near-perfect audio recordings of every missing Hartnell / Troughton episode (yes all 109 of them!), far superior in quality to the BBC audio releases of "The Power of the Daleks", "The Macra Terror", "The Evil of the Daleks" and "Fury from the Deep".


The Film and Videotape Library - 1978

When the library was brought into existence in 1978, it only held the following episodes on film:

An Unearthly Child 1,2,3,4
The Keys of Marinus 5
The Dalek Invasion of Earth 5
The Romans 1,3
The Web Planet 2
The Crusade 3
The Space Museum 3
The Time Meddler 2
The Ark 3
The Gunfighters 4
The Tenth Planet 1,2,3
The Underwater Menace 3
The Moonbase 2,4
The Faceless Ones 1
The Enemy of the World 3
The Wheel in Space 6
The Dominators 1,2,4,5
The Mind Robber 5
The Invasion 2,3,5,6,7,8
The Krotons 1,2,3
The Seeds of Death 1,2,4,5,6
The Space Pirates 2
The War Games 2,5,8,9

All were held on 16mm film, apart from ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ 5, ‘The Wheel in Space’ 6, ‘The Mind Robber’ 5, ‘The Krotons’ 1, 'The Seeds of Death' 5 and ‘The Space Pirates’ 2, which were held on 35mm.


The Pilot Episode

Before "Doctor Who" started in November 1963, the BBC commissioned the filming of a pilot episode. In story terms, it was almost identical to the version of "An Unearthly Child" transmitted on November 23rd 1963, apart from some minor costume and script changes. The film recording that exists is of the whole studio session for this episode. The episode begins with the first 12 minutes-or-so of action, followed by a recording break at the point where Ian and Barbara barge through the TARDIS doors for the first time. Recording then picks up for all the TARDIS scenes, and continues through to the end of the episode. After this, the cast go back, and attempt another go at the TARDIS scenes, although recording is halted very quickly. A third assault on the TARDIS material begins, and is continued through to the end of the episode. The whole tape features many fluffed lines and problematical sets (most notable the TARDIS doors, which absolutely refuse to close on cue). Viewers of the Lime Grove day on BBC2 in 1991 had the opportunity to view one of the complete versions of the TARDIS scenes in that version of the Pilot Episode transmitted in that day. The other complete version of the TARDIS scenes (along with excerpts from the other two) can be found on the BBC video "The Hartnell Years".


Title Sequences

From "An Unearthly Child" to "The Moonbase", "Doctor Who" used the same set of opening titles for all episodes. These titles no longer exist as a single film sequence, although all of the build-up material (some of which can be seen on the "More then Thirty Years in the TARDIS" video) still exists on 35mm film, along with the original test footage for the titles shot in 1963. This test footage was shot in August 1963, and included experiments in applying feedback effects onto peoples faces. This produced some nightmare-like images of people sprouting horns, and turning into demons.

The Troughton sequence used from "The Macra Terror" through to "The War Games" exists in full on 35mm film, along with an unseen and unused alternative version of the titles. Test material from the Troughton sequence also still remains on film. No generic end titles were used for the Hartnell and Troughton stories. However, film sequences of the pulsating Web - as used as a backdrop for the end credits of ‘The Web of Fear’ - still exist on 16mm film.


405-line or 625-line ?

The debate has raged for many years as to which was the first episode of ‘Doctor Who’ to be made in the 625-line format. Although this honour goes to episode 6 of ‘The Power of the Daleks’, the process would not be used again until ‘The Enemy of the World’.

The scripts for episodes 1 and 2 of this story indicate that it was scheduled to be made using the 405-line format, whilst the scripts for episode 3 onwards indicate that they were to be produced using the 625-line format. However, the switch between the two formats was a production decision, and one which may have taken a few weeks to filter down to the Production Secretary - and it was the Secretary’s job to oversee the typing of the scripts. It has also been argued that to switch formats mid-way through a story would not make much sense, technically - for example, if the story were to be repeated. When the videotapes of the six episodes of this story were scheduled for erasing, the internal BBC documentation that had to be raised, show that all six of the episodes were held on 625-line tape. However, the Wipe Forms for episodes 1 and 2 had subsequently been amended by hand to show that the erased tapes were actually 405-line. The jury is still out... (but the jury will admit that in all probability the evidence points to part 3 being the first).

Part Two: The Seventies

The BBC has always had its own film library; its celluloid collection dating back to the 1940’s. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, videotape became a popular medium for the recording and transmitting of programmes. These videotapes used to come under control of the BBC Engineering Department, and no internal charter was initially drawn-up for their long-term storage.

Until 1978, that is, when the BBC Film and Videotape Library came into existence. At the time, the library’s collection of Hartnell and Troughton episodes numbered less than fifty (out of over 250 transmitted episodes), whilst only half of the third Doctor’s episodes remained. Today, a total of 109 episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ are missing from the BBC’s film and videotape library - a figure significantly better than at the library’s inception.

All of the missing episodes are those of William Hartnell’s and Patrick Troughton’s eras. In 1997, every single episode from Jon Pertwee’s era exists - and all but 13 of these episodes exist in a transmittable colour format.

Since its formation in the 1970’s, a great deal of once-missing material has been returned to the library (as demonstrated by its Pertwee collection) whilst, sadly, other material remains absent. From 1978 onwards, all new episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ have automatically been placed in the library, whilst a few other examples of recorded material from the programmes history has also ended up in its vaults.

In this, the second in a series of articles, we take a look at the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of the programme, and discover exactly what still remains at the BBC...

When the third Doctor staggered from the TARDIS and collapsed in Oxley Woods after his trial by the Time Lords, ‘Doctor Who’ as a TV programme had by this time just taken the giant leap from the monochrome format of the sixties, into the brave new world of seventies colour television. This despite the fact that well over half the audience watching ‘Doctor Who’ in 1970 still owned black and white television sets.

Like the transition from 405-line to 625-line transmission, the switch from black and white to colour television did not happen overnight for the BBC. Although black and white television sets sold up until the mid-sixties could receive both 405-line VHF transmissions and 625-line UHF transmissions, newer television sets sold after this point could receive only the new 625-line UHF signals. To get around this dual format problem, the BBC had already installed line-converters into their UK network of television transmitters some time before the launch of 625-line and colour transmissions, enabling both UHF and VHF signals to be transmitted simultaneously. As the sixties moved into the seventies, the 405-line VHF transmitters were slowly switched-off up and down the country. The last one to be decommissioned was the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham) transmitter in 1982, making Peter Davison’s debut season the last one to be transmitted in the 405-line format by the BBC. During the seventies, ‘Doctor Who’ was available to anyone who wanted to watch the programme in colour, but was as equally accessible to all those who still had their old black and white television sets.

So the decade effectively began in colour with ‘Spearhead from Space’. This was a bit of false start for ‘Doctor Who’, as it was produced entirely on location on 16mm colour film, due to internal industrial action by the BBC. However, the following story - ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’ - quickly got into the routine that would serve the programme well for the rest of the decade; being produced on 625-line PAL colour 2 -inch (‘Quad’) videotape.

Although this videotape format was used primarily for recording all material shot in the studio, the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years made full use of 16mm colour film for (primarily) location work, and both 16mm and 35mm film for special effects and modelwork. With the recording of ‘Robot’ in 1974 , the programme experimented - for the first time - with the use of videotape for the recording of location material. This technique would then be utilised again for some other stories, such as ‘The Sontaran Experiment’ and ‘The Seeds of Doom’, although film was usually the preferred medium.

Just as location recording did not always utilise film, studio recorded material did not always rely on videotape. The atmospheric jungle scenes from the stories ‘Planet of Evil’ and ‘The Creature from the Pit’, for example, were achieved in the studio by the use of film as the recording format. Such decisions were as much an artistic requirement than a technical one.

By the time of the recording of the very last Tom Baker story - ‘Logopolis’ - the mixture of two-inch videotape (for studio material) and 16mm film (for location material) had more-or-less established itself as the standard format for the recording the programme.

All the recorded film and videotape for a story was dubbed (copied) down onto 625-line two-inch videotape for editing purposes. This format was the medium that the final version of each episode was completed and transmitted from. These two-inch 625-line tapes are themselves now being copied onto the BBC’s new digital transmission format - D3 - to be kept in the Film and Videotape Library as their master copies, whilst the original two-inch tapes are deposited with the National Film and Television Archive (NFTVA) for safe keeping.

It was during the late seventies that the BBC established its own aforementioned Film and Videotape Library, based at Windmill Road, London. The formation of the library was extremely significant, as the BBC only had a film library up to this point. This library had only retained a handful of black and white film telerecordings of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes from the sixties. It had no remit for storing videotape, so did not contain any colour episode at all (apart from ‘Spearhead from Space’ as this was the only colour story made on film).

When the library was formed (sometime in 1978), one of the first tasks it had was the recovery, storage and cataloguing of the BBC’s vast collection of two-inch videotapes; tapes which, until now, had come under the jurisdiction of the Engineering Department due to it being an electronically produced medium.

On examining their new collection, the library discovered that they held a full set of Tom Baker episodes from ‘Robot’ part 1 onwards.

The only ‘minor’ problem was with ‘The Deadly Assassin’ part 3, which was only kept as the edited repeat version. This videotape was the actual transmission master tape of the episode, but had had the end-credits re-edited back on to the end of the episode at a slightly earlier point, effectively removing the freeze-frame cliff-hanger ending for its repeat transmission - the ending that had elicited much criticism from Mary Whitehouse and the vocal National Viewers and Listeners Association. This ending has since been re-edited back to its original form from an off-air U-MATIC recording of the episode to give the version now available on BBC video (although the drop in picture quality is noticeable for this end sequence).

All fourth Doctor episodes made and transmitted after ‘The Deadly Assassin’ existed in full on their original transmission tapes, at least until the BBC started transferring their stock of two-inch tapes onto the new D3 format.

However, with the Jon Pertwee episodes, there was a less impressive story. A full inventory of two-inch colour transmission tapes was drawn up. Season 11 was missing: ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’ part 1 and ‘Death to the Daleks’ part 1. Season 10 was missing: Frontier in Space’ parts 1,2,3 and 6 and ‘Planet of the Daleks’ part 3. Season 9 had only ‘Day of the Daleks’ left in its entirety, plus episodes 4, 5 and 6 of ‘The Sea Devils’ and episodes 3 through to 6 of ‘The Mutants’. Season 8 only had three episodes remaining - ‘The Claws of Axos’ parts 1 and 4, and ‘The Daemons’ part 4 - whilst season 7 only had a single episode -‘The Ambassadors of Death’ part 1 - left (apart from the colour film prints of ‘Spearhead from Space’). This represented only about half of the third Doctor’s episodes - the rest were all missing.

All was not completely lost. For many years, BBC Enterprises had been selling copies of ‘Doctor Who’ stories to various overseas TV stations. The BBC Film and Videotape Library quickly contacted BBC Enterprises to enquire what material they still held, looking mainly to plug the gaps in their collection of Hartnell and Troughton episodes. The full story of the Hartnell and Troughton episodes has been discussed in great detail earlier, but suffice it to say that some episodes were discovered. In addition to this material, a bonus discovery was made - a whole collection of 16mm black and white telerecordings of Jon Pertwee episodes was also discovered at the same time. Namely, monochrome episodes from all stories from seasons 7 through to 10 were located, and in instances where a story did not exist completely in colour at the Film and Videotape Library, all the episodes from that story were returned.

The reason why the episodes existed at all at BBC Enterprises was that the transfer of colour material onto black and white film was a standard practice for overseas sales at the time. It was a way for the Corporation to sell copies of its newer colour programmes to countries that could not transmit colour material, or had wildly differing videotape standards to that used by the BBC. Film transmission was almost a world-wide constant, so it was far easier to sell TV programmes abroad on film than it was on videotape. Film was a relatively cheap medium, was incredibly durable, and was easy for the BBC to transfer its videotape material onto, utilising its vast film recording area - where high-standard film telerecordings were made from videotaped programmes.

Overseas TV stations themselves were the next port-of-call for the BBC, in an attempt to locate and recover material that they no longer held. One of the first Jon Pertwee episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ to be returned was a 525-line NTSC colour copy of ‘Death to the Daleks’ episode 1, although it is not known exactly which TV station returned this episode. This return left only part 1 of ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’ effectively missing in any shape or form from the BBC’s collection of Jon Pertwee episodes - a gap that was later plugged in 1983, when a diligent fan - Roger Stevens - unearthed from a private collector a black and white 16mm film telerecording of the episode, and arranged for the BBC to make a copy for the Film and Television Library.

A full set of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker episodes was now in residence at Windmill Road. The objective of the library now switched from locating material to upgrading the material it held.

More overseas TV stations were contacted, and the library was quickly rewarded with a response from Canadian broadcaster TV Ontario, who held 525-line two-inch NTSC colour copies of ‘The Claws of Axos’, ‘The Curse of Peladon’, ‘The Mutants’, and ‘The Time Monster’ - stories they had purchased in colour from the BBC in the early seventies, when the original colour videotapes were still in existence.

Later in 1983, TV Ontario again was able to return material to the BBC, when they turned up 525-line two-inch NTSC colour copies of ‘Colony in Space’ and ‘The Sea Devils’. The Canadians came up trumps a third time, with all 7 episodes of ‘Inferno’ being returned, in the same format, in 1985. This colour version of ‘Inferno’ also contained an extra scene in episode 5, a scene that was never transmitted in England, and did not survive in the black and white film prints that the BBC held up until that point.

The return of ‘Inferno’ gave rise to one of the most frequently-quoted ‘urban myths’ regarding ‘missing episodes’. When John Nathan-Turner announced the materials return in an interview with an American Science Fiction magazine, the magazine writer erroneously reported the recovery of a ‘7-part Patrick Troughton story in colour, which the BBC only held in black and white’. Rumours of a colour copy of ‘Evil of the Daleks’ persist to this day!!

The Australian broadcaster - ABC - also stepped in with the discovery of material, returning all 6 episodes of ‘Frontier in Space’ on 625-line two-inch PAL colour tapes in 1985, whilst a member of the Amateur Television Society in the UK came forward in 1991 with a two-inch 625-line recording of episode 1 of ‘Death to the Daleks’. This episode was superior in quality to the 525-line version (returned earlier) and completed this story in full PAL colour. This left only ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’, The Ambassadors of Death’ episodes 2-7, ‘Terror of the Autons’, ‘The Mind of Evil’, ‘The Daemons’ episodes 12,3,& 5, ‘Planet of the Daleks ’ episode 3 and ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’ episode 1 in black and white.

At this point in the story, it is necessary to go back in time to 1977, and to one fan's desire to have his own collection of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. Ian Levine - long term fan and film collector - had in 1977 just purchased his first domestic video recorder, and was put in touch with an American contact named Tom Lundy. Lundy informed Levine that early Jon Pertwee stories were being screened in colour on a station called KCET - a Los Angeles station in his area. Ian Levine made arrangements for Tom Lundy to record the stories on an American domestic NTSC betamax format, and then to send the tapes to him in the UK. Although the transmission tapes of the stories were destroyed shortly after these broadcasts, Levine’s action in securing recordings from KCET and other local station transmissions ensured that recordings of ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’, ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ ‘Terror of the Autons’ and ‘The Daemons’ (plus nearly 5 minutes of material from the opening of part 6 of ‘The Mind of Evil’) existed in colour.

Early in 1992, Ian Levine made his colour tapes of this material available to a team of people from the BBC who were interested in trying to combine his domestic colour recordings with the superior picture quality of the black and white film prints held by the BBC. This ‘restoration team’ comprised of Steve Roberts and Ralph Montagu of the BBC, and James Russell, a broadcast system designer.

Together, they had developed a system of overlaying the colour signal from the videotapes onto the 16mm film of the material. The project started initially with episode 1 of ‘The Daemons’, with the results proving to be so successful, that full colour restorations on the other episodes from this story were quickly commissioned. This was followed in turn by colour restorations of all 4 episodes of ‘Terror of the Autons’ and all 7 episodes of ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’. These versions were then made available on BBC video, with ‘The Daemons’ also being repeated on BBC2.

The full details of these colour restoration projects has already been told in-depth by Steve Roberts in the 'Colour Restorations' article on this website, so it is perhaps better not to dwell too much on the technical details now. Briefly, one of the main problems of project revolved around missing portions of colour material on Levine’s tapes, in both ‘The Daemons’ and ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’. Through a combination of ingenuity and an American recolourising technique, full colour broadcast-standard versions of these stories were able to be completed. However, the restoration of ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ was brought to a halt when a colour patterning fault on the NTSC videotapes of this story proved an insurmountable problem to the team; at least for the time being. It is hoped, however, that advances in technology may yet enable the restoration to be re-attempted in the near future. Only episodes 5 & 6 of ‘Ambassadors’ was completed in colour in their entirety (parts of episode six still suffering from intermittent colour patterning however) , although portions from the other episodes were also recolourised.

(Whilst on the subject of ‘The Ambassadors of Death’, it is worth mentioning that the BBC still has the original trailer for this story. Although in black and white, it features specially recorded dialogue by Jon Pertwee over clips from the story).

In addition, the portion of episode 6 of ‘The Mind of Evil’ that existed in colour was also recolourised using this technique.. A small sequence was later used by Kevin Davies, when he directed the final 5-minute mini-documentary that preceded the repeat of episode 6 of ‘Planet of the Daleks’ in 1993.

Coincidentally, another BBC employee was contemplating the same system of recolourising material at about the same time that Steve Roberts and his team were actually embarking on their restoration. Paul Vanezis, who was working as a videotape editor at BBC Pebble Mill at the time, approached the restoration team, and eventually used the technique on another project.

In 1987, a 625-line tape of ‘The Time Monster’ episode 6 was discovered at the BBC. Although the tape was of a low-band monochrome (black and white) format, it did mean that the actual picture quality was of a better resolution than the 525-line colour version. Paul Vanezis then used the same principle (already employed on the above-mentioned material) to combine the 625-line black and white picture with the 525-line colour signal from the NTSC two-inch tapes, which the BBC already owned. As both the black and white pictures and the NTSC colour signals were superior in quality to the source material used for the other recolourisations, the results on ‘The Time Monster’ episode 6 are equally noticeably superior in quality to both the other restoration colour material and the 525-line colour conversions.

The formation of the ‘Restoration Team’ saw the inception of other projects that would benefit material from this era. Steve Roberts had developed a system of ‘scratch repair’ which could be used for 625-line two-inch videotape; a technique that was then utilised to remove a particularly bad tape scratch on the master videotape of ‘The Sea Devils’ part 5. It was this very fault that prevented the repeat of this 625-line version of the episode on BBC2 in 1992, with the 525-line conversion being used in its place.

Episode 2 of ‘Planet of the Spiders’ also suffered from a bad tape scratch (although not nearly as bad as that on ‘The Sea Devils’ episode 5, it can be clearly seen on the BBC video release of this story). Paul Vanezis worked on repairing the tape, utilising Steve Roberts’ system of scratch removal, plus alternative 625-line material from this episode, which was still available -unscratched - on the repeat compilation of the story (broadcast in 1974) that still survives.

Apart from the transmitted episodes from this decade, the library is also home to a small amount (small when compared to what survives from the next decade) of untransmitted versions of certain episodes (‘71 edits’). A couple of these 71 edits - ‘Carnival of Monsters’ part 2 and ‘Frontier In Space’ part 5 - are unique in that they still have the unused version of the theme tune on the opening and closing credits. This version was composed especially for the tenth season, but was then changed back to the original version just prior to transmission.

An equally small amount of studio recorded material still survives, the most significant being the 90-minute tape of material from ‘The Claws of Axos’. Apart from featuring opening credits showing the original title ‘The Vampires from Space’ captioned in, the tape features PAL studio material from part 2 (the episode itself only exists as a 525-line conversion).

The last two pieces of Jon Pertwee material to be discovered have ironically always existed at the BBC. The first was a black and white film print of the location material recorded for episodes 1 of ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’. The film contained a scene that was not utilised in the final version of this episode - a scavenger steals a bag full of money from a dead milkman only to turn and scream at an unseen ‘something’ - and was in existence even before the return of the black and white version of episode 1 in 1983.

The final discovery was made late in 1994. Researcher Andrew Pixley came across various pieces of BBC documentation whilst assisting Kevin Davis with the video release of ‘More than Thirty Years in the TARDIS’. The paperwork - from the BBC Contracts Department - indicated when payment had been made to actors for clips from ‘Doctor Who’ which had been used in other BBC programmes. The paperwork indicated that Katy Manning had received a small residual payment for a certain edition of ‘Nationwide’ in 1973. Documentation showed that this edition of ‘Nationwide’ had in fact featured an interview with Katy Manning regarding her departure from ‘Doctor Who’. Although the actual edition of ‘Nationwide’ did not still exist, a two-inch colour insert tape did. This tape contained three clips from Katy’s time in the show, including a clip from ‘Terror of the Autons’ part 1 featuring Jo’s first encounter with The Doctor. Running to nearly a minute, this is the second-oldest surviving PAL colour material from ‘Doctor Who’ (after ‘Ambassadors’ part 1).

The future for this era of the programme’s history looks reasonably good. All the Tom Baker episodes exist in the format they were transmitted in. The Jon Pertwee episodes all survive, and nearly all of them survive in colour. Future projects hope to improve the quality of some of the colour material, whilst the hope remains - however small - that the rest of ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ can be recolourised.


Jon Pertwee / Tom Baker episodes in the BBC Archives

Spearhead from Space 1,2,3,4 - All 16mm colour film

Dr Who & the Silurians 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 - All ‘recolourised’

The Ambassadors of Death 1 - 625-line PAL colour

2,3,4 - 16mm black and white film telerecordings, 5 - ‘recolourised’ , 6,7 - 16mm black and white film telerecordings

Inferno 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 - All 525-line colour conversions

Terror of the Autons 1,2,3,4 - All ‘recolourised’

The Mind of Evil 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 16mm black and white film telerecordings

The Claws of Axos 1 - 625-line PAL colour, 2,3 - 525-line colour conversions

4 - 625-line PAL colour

Colony in Space 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 525-line colour conversions

The Daemons 1,2,3 - ‘recolourised’, 4 - 625-line PAL colour, 5 - ‘recolourised’

Day of the Daleks 1,2,3,4 - All 625-line PAL colour

The Curse of Peladon 1,2,3,4 - All 525-line colour conversions

The Sea Devils 1,2,3 - 525-line colour conversions, 4,5,6 - 625-line PAL colour

The Mutants 1,2 - 525-line colour conversions, 3,4,5,6 - 625-line PAL colour

The Time Monster 1,2,3,4,5 - 525-line colour conversions, 6 - recolourised

The Three Doctors 1,2,3,4 - All 625-line PAL colour

Carnival of Monsters 1,2,3,4 - All 625-line PAL colour

Frontier in Space 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 625-line PAL colour

Planet of the Daleks 1,2 - 625-line PAL colour, 3 - 16mm black and white film telerecording, 4,5,6 - 625-line PAL colour

The Green Death 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 625-line PAL colour

The Time Warrior 1,2,3,4 - All 625-line PAL colour

Invasion of the Dinosaurs 1 - 16mm black and white film telerecording

2,3,4,5,6 - 625-line PAL colour

Death to the Daleks 1,2,3,4 - All 625-line PAL colour

The Monster of Peladon 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 625-line PAL colour

Planet of the Spiders 1,2,3,4,5,6 - All 625-line PAL colour

For Seasons 7 through to 11 only the best quality copies of all episodes have been listed, although most episodes exist on more than one format. For example, any episodes may exist as a 625-line PAL copy, a 525-line conversion and as a black and white film telerecording. From Seasons 12 through to 18, all episodes exist in their original 625-line colour format.


Studio / Location Recordings

The following studio and location recordings from this era still exist:

The Claws of Axos A single PAL 90-minute two-inch studio recording tape exists, containing material from parts 1 and 2, plus the unused title sequence with the title ‘The Vampire from Space’.

Invasion of the Dinosaurs A black and white 16mm film print of location material from episode one exists, including a scene not transmitted in the finished episode. The scene features a scared scavenger stealing money from a dead milkman’s satchel, and would have been used in the initial ‘deserted London’ montage.

Death to the Daleks A single PAL 90-minute two-inch studio recording tape exists.

Planet of Evil Approximately three minutes of studio recording material exists at the end of the transmission tape of part 1, featuring the recording of the cliff-hanger sequence from this episode.

Shada All two-inch tapes from the completed studio recording session exists, plus transfer tape of all the film recordings. Most of the original 16mm location film exists.


Longer Episodes - 71 Edits

All recorded material (from either studio or location sessions) would be edited together during post-production to produce the actual episodes themselves. These first versions of a given programme were then known as ‘71 Edits’. Notes were then taken, and if necessary, a further edit was then undertaken to get the programme to length. These next versions of the programme were then referred to as ‘72 edits’, and would be submitted for the addition of music and special effects to produce the transmission master.


Story Ep Edit Time Notes

Inferno 5 N/A N/K The 525-line version has an extra scene featuring the eruption survivors listing to a radio announcement. The announcer is voiced by Jon Pertwee

Carnival of Monsters 2 71 N/K Available on BBC video

Frontier in Space 5 71 N/K

The Green Death 5 71 N/K

Invasion of the Dinosaurs 3 71 N/K

The Stones of Blood 2 71 N/K Available on BBC video

The Creature from the Pit 3 71 N/K One extra shot of a character being stabbed, which was omitted from the transmitted version

Warriors Gate 2 71 N/K No music or sound effects


Alternative Versions

The Curse of Peladon - Also exists as the 2 x 50 minute version shown in the ‘Doctor Who and the Monsters’ repeat season in 1982.

Carnival of Monsters - Episode 4 exists in a slightly edited form. The edits were made on the suggestion of producer Barry Letts prior to the stories repeat in 1981 in the ‘The Five Faces of Doctor Who’ season, and is also the version erroneously released by BBC video

Planet of the Spiders - Exists as the 105 minute repeat compilation transmitted 27/12/74.

The Ark in Space - The repeat compilation transmitted 20/08/75 also exists

The Sontaran Experiment - The 50 minute repeat compilation from 09/07/75 exists

Genesis of the Daleks - Also exists as the 2 x 50 minute version shown in the ‘Doctor Who and the Monsters’ repeat season in 1982.

Pyramids of Mars - The repeat compilation from 21/11/76 exists

The Brain of Morbius - The repeat compilation from 04/12/76 exists

The Robots of Death - Also exists in the 2 x 50 minute episodes format repeated 31/12/77 and 01/01/78



When strike action halted the production of the final story of season 17 late in 1979, all of the location material had been recorded on 16mm colour film, and the first of three studio recording blocks had been recorded on 625-line two-inch colour videotape. On the instruction of incoming producer John Nathan-Turner, all the recorded material was interred at the BBC’s film and videotape library with a preservation order slapped on them to prevent them from being junked.

Later in 1981, prominent fan and advisor to the Production Office, Ian Levine, was allowed to have copies of all the available material. Levine then privately commissioned the recording of certain model shots and effects, and then proceeded to string the material together to loosely form the story, with computer generated text filling the gaps not recorded in the abandoned studio recordings. This version was shown at a number of conventions in the mid-eighties.

In 1983, the material was reviewed by John Nathan-Turner who eventually decided to incorporate 2 scenes into the anniversary story ‘The Five Doctors’ (although a third sequence was also considered, but never incorporated).

Also at some point, it is understood that John Nathan-Turner privately commissioned Colin Baker to record some linking narration for the story, which was then edited into a format, presumably in an effort to interest BBC Enterprises in the project, although reports also state that it was also viewed at an American convention.

Eventually, the story was released by BBC video in 1992. New model shots were recorded, and David Brierley was re-engaged to overdub dialogue for K9 and a computer voice. Keff McCulloch was engaged to provide a musical score (said to be in the style of Dudley Simpson, but most people are sceptical on this point), and Tom Baker recorded linking dialogue in the first person at the MOMI Doctor Who exhibition. This edited version of the programme exists at the BBC Worldwide library, which is slowly being incorporated into the main film and videotape library at the time of writing.


Behind the Scenes / Documentaries

In 1972, the educational BBC programme ‘Looking In’ focussed upon the making of many other BBC TV programmes, ‘Doctor Who’ included. Shot on 16mm colour film, the production covered the studio recordings of ‘Carnival of Monsters’, plus material shot in the Directors Gallery. The programme was discovered to still exist in 1994, when much of this surviving material was used in the video release of ‘More than Thirty Years in the TARDIS’.

The only other significant behind-the-scenes material from this era exists on the 1977 documentary ‘Whose Doctor Who’, a Lively Arts special broadcast the day after the final episode of ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’ on BBC2. The 50-minute documentary covered the production of ‘Talons’ in rehearsal with Tom Baker, in the studio as the sets were constructed, and the recording of certain scenes. Interviews with key personnel were also featured, plus archive clips from the show's fourteen year history - including a 30-second clip from the William Hartnell story ‘Galaxy 4’. As well as the transmitted programme existing in full at the BBC, most of the film sequences still remain, some of which never made it to the transmitted version.


Private Collections

The original black and white test reels for the first Jon Pertwee title sequence exist in a private collection, along with a full colour 16mm film of an unused first version of the sequence- the collector in question being more than happy to make the footage available to the makers of ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’. An unused first version for the original Tom Baker title sequence also exist in a private collection, although it was not used in ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’, despite the collector in question happily making it available. Other items of interest in private collections include:

Colony in Space - 16mm mute colour film trims of location sequences

The Daemons - 8mm home movie footage of the cast and crew at Aldbourne

Carnival of Monsters - 16mm mute colour film of Drashig model shots

Invasion of the Dinosaurs - 35mm colour film sequences from episode 5

Terror of the Zygons - 16mm colour film sequences from episodes 2,3 and 4.

Underworld - A VHS videotape of approx. 40 minutes duration showing studio recording scenes of Tom Baker and Louise Jameson against the CSO background

Shada - 8mm home movie footage of the cast and crew in Cambridge

The Leisure Hive - 16mm colour film of the opening sequence set on Brighton Beach


Clean Titles

Although the full version exists in a private collection (see above), the BBC do still hold an edited compilation of the black and white build-up material (on 16mm film) that formed the first Jon Pertwee set of titles (as seen on the ‘Pertwee Years’ video). In addition, full clean opening and closing titles for both sets of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker sequences are held on 35mm colour film by the BBC.


Colour Formats

The UK now transmits all of its TV programmes in 625-line colour, which replaced the old 405-line transmission system in the mid sixties. The UK also uses a colour system known as PAL, and generates pictures by imposing a series of static frames in quick succession on the TV screen to give the impression of a moving image The pictures update at the rate of 25 frames per second. Other countries, such as The United States of America and Canada use a 525-line system, which has been in use since the fifties in these countries. The colour system is known as NTSC, and the pictures move at a quicker rate of 30 frames per second. The two systems are totally incompatible, and material needs converting before it can by played in the other format. The BBC have sold most Jon Pertwee and all Tom Baker episodes abroad in the 525-line colour format, and some master tapes of colour Jon Pertwee episodes now only exist in the 525-line format.

Part Three: The Eighties

The Eighties - a period that really began with Peter Davison propping himself up in the shadow of the Pharos project, and ends with Sylvester McCoy walking off into the sunset of Perivale. (And also includes, erm, Paul McGann - for the sake of the article if nothing else).

For a start, it’s the easiest era of the programme to catalogue. All Peter Davison / Colin Baker / Sylvester McCoy (and Paul McGann) stories exist in full in the format they were first transmitted (see inlay for full details).

The end.

More detail required? OK. Firstly, a brief history of how the programme was recorded at this time. When Peter Davison took over the role in 1981, ‘Doctor Who’ was transmitted from a colour videotape format known as 625-line two-inch (or Quad). These tapes were a spool to spool (or reel-to-reel) type of format, about as big as a car wheel and comparatively heavy (you wouldn’t want to drop one on your foot...). The two-inch machines that played these tapes had 4 video heads mounted on a drum, over which the videotape was spooled. This drum would spin at 15,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), giving exceptionally good picture quality..

These two-inch transmission tapes were compiled from many diverse sources. Material shot in the BBC’s own TV studios was generally recorded on the same two-inch format. Material shot on location was generally recorded on 16mm colour film. Model and effects shots were also recorded on film, although sometimes 35mm film (preferred for its superior quality and picture definition) was used from time to time, alongside the standard 16mm stock.

All of the film sources mentioned were then copied onto more two-inch tape, and all the various studio and location two-inch tapes were then taken into an edit suite. At the BBC, this is a darkened room filled with various monitors, mixers and video players. The two-inch tapes would be laced up onto a number of Quad machines, where the relevant scenes from the tapes were copied in script order onto yet another two-inch tape (this is a gross oversimplification, but it demonstrates how the programme was assembled). This two-inch tape would then be the first edited version of the programme, which is also known as the ‘71 edit’ at the BBC.

From ‘Castrovalva’ through to ‘The Five Doctors’, the format for ‘Doctor Who’ remained the two-inch tape. From ‘Warriors of the Deep’, the format switched to one-inch tape, which worked on the same spool-to spool principles as the format it replaced, but was about half the size of its predecessor. The machines that played these tapes only had a single video head mounted on a drum which span at 3,000 rpm, giving a picture quality that was slightly inferior to the two-inch format. This one-inch format was introduced to all TV programmes made on video by the BBC during this period in time, and would remain the medium that ‘Doctor Who’ would be made on for the rest of its BBC life, although 16-mm film would still be used for most location work. Until ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ that is, when film was abandoned for location shooting and one-inch videotape took over, giving the programme a more uniform -albeit video - appearance. Only the occasional model shot was now being completed on film for the programme, although this was transferred to video for editing.

Back to the ‘71 edit’. Although it was desirable for this first edit of a programme to be the version intended for transmission, in reality it seldom was. A transmission tape of ‘Doctor Who’ could be two or three generations down on the original material (although the quality of the picture stood up reasonably well during duplication). The first edited version of a story was known as a 71 edit. If this was not the version that was to be transmitted, another edit was completed; this was known as a 72 edit; and so on. A transmission tape of ‘Doctor Who’ could sometimes end up as a 74 edit. In a couple of instances, a 74 edit was completed before the decision was taken to actually transmit an earlier 73 edit version

Occasionally, both studio recording tapes and 71 edits / alternative versions of episodes have ended up in the BBC’s film and videotape library, although only a handful of these tapes from between ‘Castrovalva’ through to ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ remain (see inlay).

The most significantly preserved production from this era is the 1983 20th anniversary story ‘The Five Doctors’. Not only does the transmitted version remain at the BBC, but the longer 71 edit plus all studio recording tapes and film transfers still exist too. Why this should be is unclear, although perhaps the celebratory nature of the story is partly responsible - or perhaps it is because this was the last story to be made on two-inch? Either way, the preservation of this material enabled Paul Vanezis to approach BBC Worldwide with the project that became the ‘The Five Doctors - The Special Edition’ video in 1995.

Paul Vanezis currently works at BBC Pebble Mill, and in 1995 was a videotape editor, although he was in the process of becoming a director (on programmes such as ‘The Clothes Show’). As a videotape editor, he had worked with Kevin Davies on ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’ in 1993, and had looked initially at ‘The Five Doctors’ in terms of an editing exercise to re-introduce material into the programme to produce a new duplication master for BBC Worldwide. A previous editing exercise of his had resulted in the re-editing of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ part 2 to incorporate a brief scene cut from the transmitted episode, featuring Peri being captured by Daleks after they had exterminated the DJ. This scene was found at the end of the transmission one-inch tape of the episode, which had been viewed at Pebble Mill for ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’, and the resulting edit of this episode was placed in the BBC’s library.

Yet another of Paul’s projects was the remastering of ‘The Awakening’ part 1, after the master one-inch tape of the episode was found to be badly scratched in the late eighties. The episode was completely re-edited using material from the 16mm colour film of the location work (which still exists) and the repeat 50-minute compilation of the story from 1984, resulting in a completely new unscratched transmission master for this episode (which is also the version available from BBC Video).

Back to ‘The Five Doctors: The Special Edition’ project. Before the video could be edited, all the material from the original two-inch studio tapes was transferred onto the new BBC format - D3. This is another video system which is a cassette format (and is about twice the size of a domestic VHS tape). D3 is a fully digital system, which enables material to be copied onto it without any loss in picture quality whatsoever, and also allows any number of duplicate (or ‘clone’) copies to made without any similar loss of quality. The D3 ‘Five Doctors’ studio tapes were placed in the BBC film and videotape library upon completion of the project, along with D3 copies of both the 71 edit and the video version of the programme. For the video version, Paul oversaw the re-editing of material from the original studio recordings, new video effects added from long term contributor to the programme Dave Chapman, and new music re-scored in stereo from original story composer Peter Howell.

About the same time as this story was being re-edited for video, the BBC film and videotape library was undertaking a programme of transferring all of its collection of two-inch tapes (of all of its programmes - not only ‘Doctor Who’) onto the D3 format. The two-inch tape collection - covering over 20-years of the BBC’s entire output - needed to be quickly transferred to another format, primarily as the number of machines capable of actually playing the tapes has been diminishing year-by-year since the format was abandoned as a transmission medium in the early eighties. Currently, there are only about half-a-dozen or so of these two-inch machines left at the BBC.

The new D3 replacements for the two-inch tapes have lost none of the picture quality of the originals from which they had been copied, as well as taking up significantly less storage space. All stories from ‘Castrovalva’ to ‘The Five Doctors’ now exist as D3 dubs from the original Quad tapes. In addition, the few studio recordings from this period have also been transferred to D3, along with the ‘The Five Doctors’ material transferred onto this format for the video release. Although most of the two-inch tapes have been ‘deleted’ from the BBC’s library, they have not been destroyed.

Partly as a reaction against the material ‘lost’ in the past, the BBC and the NFTVA have come to an arrangement whereby the National Film and Videotape Archive have agreed to provide a home for all of the BBC’s unwanted two-inch tapes. So should the new D3 copy of any particular episode develop any fault, then there is always the option of going back to the two-inch tape (although this shouldn’t happen, as the BBC made at least 2 copies of every single programme). Nearly all the original two-inch tapes of the early Davison episodes have now been passed to the NFTVA.

This programme of transferring Quad material to the D3 format is now drawing to a close, with the majority of two-inch material now existing as D3 recordings. Now the BBC are beginning a programme to transfer their vast archive of one-inch tapes, probably to the D3 format, although the newer Digital Betacam format may be preferred. Which will cover all the ‘Doctor Who’ material from ‘Warriors of the Deep’ through to ‘Survival’. Very soon, the vast majority of the BBC’s videotape archive will be on the current D3 format.

Season 21 was the first major usage of the one-inch format on ‘Doctor Who’, and also saw the first experimentation with episodes other than the standard 25-minute format (‘The Five Doctors’ excepted). ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ started life as a standard 4 part story, and was recorded, then compiled as 71 edits, as 4 episodes. These episodes were then re-cut to length, still as a 4-part story, and music and sound effects were added. Prior to transmission, the decision was taken to broadcast the story as 2 50-minute episodes, and so minor editing was required to cut parts 1 and 2 and parts 3 and 4 together as 73 edits for transmission. Not only do the transmitted versions still remain, but so does the 4 part version originally planned for transmission, which has been sold overseas and released on BBC video. In addition, the 71 edit of episodes 2 still remains, and has also been transmitted in America when the wrong tape was supplied by BBC Worldwide to the PBS networks.

In 1985, season 22 heralded the introduction of the short lived 45-minute episode format, although these episodes were re-edited after transmission to produced 25-minute versions for sale overseas. In the case of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’, it was this version that was repeated on BBC2 in 1993. The 18-month postponement that the programme suffered after this season serves to underline the end of an era for ‘Doctor Who’. As already mentioned, the recording of location material switched from film to videotape for season 23. More importantly, a subtle change of policy - either in the ‘Doctor Who’ Production Office, or at the Film and Videotape Library itself - saw the upswing in the amount of material that would be kept from each story.

From season 23 onward, it was not unusual for early edits of the episodes , plus studio and location recordings to find themselves on the library shelves alongside the transmitted episodes themselves. Prior to this, studio tapes and early edits were usually routinely wiped just after an episodes transmission (although, as discussed, some slipped through the net to survive to this day). One notable exception to this ‘quick wipe’ policy was the 1985 story ‘The Two Doctors’, which retained all of its location and studio recordings - along with 71 edits of its three episodes - for many years afterwards, only to have all the tapes wiped in 1990 (apart from the 71 edit of part 1).

Ironically, it would be the last ever story to be made by the BBC - ‘Ghost Light’ - which would suffer the most from loss of material out of all the stories made during the last 4 seasons of the programmes life. All but a single studio recording was wiped in 1990, and this tape only survived until 1992.

After ‘Ghost Light’, there was no more ‘Doctor Who’. This didn’t stop BBC edit suites from being booked from time to time for ‘Doctor Who’ projects. 1991 saw the release on video of ‘The Curse of Fenric’, which contained nearly 7 minutes of material that was extra to the transmitted version of the story. Rather than release the 71 edits of the 4 episodes with extra sound and music effects, producer John Nathan-Turner and director Nick Mallet re-edited from the transmitted episodes, the 71 edits and the original recording tapes (which still existed at this point in time), whilst original composer Mark Ayres re-scored the music completely.

After the success of ‘Fenric’, BBC video issued ‘Silver Nemesis’, although only JNT was involved in this project. Again, material was re-edited from the transmitted episodes, 71 edits and original recordings. The main difference was that no new sound or music was added, with the result that some of the original music cues sit uncomfortably in the re-structured episodes. The subject of this tape can not pass without mention of the American TV (New Jersey Network) documentary following the production of this story, which was also issued on this tape. Made in the 525-line NTSC format, it was converted to 625-line PAL by the BBC, before two small edits was made (to remove a clip from the story ‘Earthshock’ and footage of Malcolm Clarke working on music for 'Resurrection of the Daleks' at the insistence of the writer, Eric Saward), and the programme was cleared for release.

Although Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy have yet to record ‘Years’ tapes (and will probably never get the opportunity to do so), Colin Baker has. The master tape of this video is held by BBC Worldwide, although it is not clear whether they also hold any of the recorded material of Colin himself presenting the links for the tape.

1992 saw the BBC2 documentary ‘Resistance is Useless’, whilst 1993 gave us the BBC1 Kevin Davies documentary ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’. ‘Resistance is Useless’ has a whole host of edited and work-in-progress tapes logged against it, whilst ‘Thirty Years...’ has a 71 edit and location/studio recordings remaining. The latter project also offered the opportunity for private collectors to be invited to contribute items that the BBC itself no longer held. Many items were offered, including video material of the final day’s studio recording on ‘The Caves of Androzani’, featuring many shots of Colin Baker and Peter Davsion recording the historic regeneration scene. Unfortunately, much of the more interesting material recovered in this way had to be left to one side for the broadcast version of the programme, although much finally made it into the eventual video release.

1993 also nearly saw the aborted anniversary story ‘The Dark Dimension’. Due to be made entirely on location on a film format known as ‘Super 16’, no location recording was ever done, contrary to claims made by other individuals in other publications.

Finally for 1993, the BBC repeated all 6 episodes of the Jon Pertwee adventure ‘Planet of the Daleks’. To introduce each episodes, 6 5-minute mini-documentaries were made. These too reside at the BBC, along with some - if not all - of the original recording spools. At sometime around this point, the BBC decided to merge both the Film and Videotape Library with the Enterprises/Worldwide library. Although in the long term this will secure the preservation of the video masters of releases such as ‘Shada’, ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’ and the ‘Years’ tapes, this area has not been fully catalogued, and discovering what still remains of these projects is a little difficult.

Although the BBC has had a commitment to keep all transmitted programmes since the mid seventies, it is under no obligation to keep any other material. Fortunately, in the case of ‘Doctor Who’ the involvement of individuals such as John Nathan-Turner, Kevin Davies, Paul Vanezis and Ralph Montague will hopefully ensure that no material - of any description - gets wiped by the BBC.


Videotape Holdings

From ‘Castrovalva’ to ‘The Five Doctors’, all episodes transmitted on 625-line two-inch videotape, and kept as D3 dubs from these tapes. From ‘Warriors of the Deep’ onwards, the format switched to 625-line one-inch videotape. All episodes 25 minutes in duration, with the exception of ‘The Five Doctors’ (90 minutes), ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ (2 x 50 minutes) and Season 22 (all episodes 45 minutes)


Studio / Location Recordings

The following studio and location recording tapes still exist (in some instances, a programme may have several spools listed that are identical copies - or dubs - of the same material):

Time Flight: A single two-inch 90-minute studio recording tape exists (mainly material from parts 2 & 3)

Snakedance: A single 40-minute gallery recording /studio tape exists (mainly material from parts 1 & 2)

The Five Doctors: 6 x 90 minute 2 - inch studio recording tapes exist (all studio material) plus film transfers and effects tapes exist - dubbed onto D3

The Awakening: All 16mm film material shot on location remains

Vengeance on Varos: A single one-inch 90-minute studio recording tape exists (mainly material from part 2)

The Trial of a Time Lord: The following one-inch studio and location recordings exist for these particular episodes:

one - 5 insert spools

two - 2 studio recording spools

three - 1 studio recording spool

five - 5 insert spools

nine - 11 studio recording spools

ten - 3 studio recording spools

eleven - 12 studio recording and insert spools

twelve - 1 insert spool

thirteen - 1 studio recording spool

fourteen - 1 studio recording spool


Time and the Rani: The following 1 - inch studio and location recordings exist for these particular episodes:

one - 38 studio/location recording and insert spools

three - 23 studio/location recording and insert spools


Paradise Towers: The following 1 - inch studio recordings exist for these particular episodes:

one - 14 studio recording and insert spools

three - 18 studio recording and insert spools

four - 4 studio recording and insert spools


Delta and the Bannermen: The following 1 - inch location recordings exist for these particular episodes:

one - 47 location recording and insert spools

three - 16 location recording and insert spools


Dragonfire: The following 1 - inch studio recordings exist for this particular episode:

three - 11 studio recording and insert spools


Remembrance of the Daleks: The following 1 - inch studio and location recordings exist for these particular episodes:

one - 4 studio/location recording and insert spools, plus single tape with pre-credit sequence

two - 4 studio/location recording and insert spools

three - 14 studio/location recording and insert spools

four - 3 studio/location recording and insert spools


The Happiness Patrol: The following 1 - inch studio recordings exist for this particular episode:

one - 13 studio recording and insert spools


Battlefield: A single transfer tape (featuring mainly visual effects being overlaid onto studio and location footage) exists


The Curse of Fenric: A single location tape (of underwater footage) exists


Longer Episodes - 71 Edits

All recorded material (from either studio or location sessions) would be edited together during post-production to produce the actual episodes themselves. Although not generally the system used overall in the BBC, the method that seems to have been prevalent with ‘Doctor Who’ - certainly in the JNT era - was that of slotting all recorded scenes together without much attention being given to the actual running time of the programme (although this is a gross overgeneralisation).

These first versions of a given programme were then known as ‘71 Edits’, and were generally never intended to be the versions eventually broadcast, as they usually overran to some degree (again, this is an oversimplification, although you would probably have to go back to the Colin Baker era - or further - to find an example of a transmitted 71 edit). Notes were then taken, and a further edit was then undertaken to get the programme to length. These next versions of the programme were then referred to as ‘72 edits’, and once approved by the Producer, would be submitted for syphering and the addition of music and special effects.

Occasionally, a further edit was requested, and the transmitted episodes would then be the ‘73 edit’ - an example of this would be ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ part 2, which was initially edited as a 71 edit, then edited to length for transmission as a 72 edit. Shortly before transmission, the end of the story (the word ‘Blackpool’) was edited, leaving the transmission version as a 73 edit.

Another example is ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’, which was initially edited into 4 episodes (71 edits), which were then cut to length (72 edits). When the decision was taken to broadcast the story as 2 x 50 minute episodes, the versions that came out of the editing suite for transmission were 73 edits.

For episode 14 of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’, the production team were struggling to bring the episode in at 25 minutes. A 71 and 72 edit were constructed, both longer than the required time. The 73 edit was the version the team were happy with, but it too overran. A shorter version - the 74 edit - was attempted, before the team elected to return to the 73 edit for transmission, and were given permission for the episode to overrun its allocated timeslot.


Episode No Edit Time Notes

The Five Doctors 71 97.35 (Not the Special Edition version)

Resurrection of the Daleks 1 72 N/K (4-part version)

Resurrection of the Daleks 2 71 26.58 (4-part version)

Resurrection of the Daleks 2 72 N/K (4-part version)

Resurrection of the Daleks 3 72 N/K (4-part version)

Resurrection of the Daleks 4 72 N/K (4-part version)

The Two Doctors 1 71 47.38

Revelation of the Daleks 1 71 N/K

Revelation of the Daleks 2 N/A N/K (‘Restored’ version - extra scene)

The Trial of a Time Lord 1 71 N/K

The Trial of a Time Lord 2 71 N/K

The Trial of a Time Lord 3 71 N/K

The Trial of a Time Lord 4 71 N/K

The Trial of a Time Lord 5 71 N/K

The Trial of a Time Lord 6 71 25.50

The Trial of a Time Lord 7 71 25.22, 72 28.00

The Trial of a Time Lord 9 71 29.30, 72 24.45

The Trial of a Time Lord 10 71 24.47

The Trial of a Time Lord 11 71 23.55 (Shorter than transmitted version)

The Trial of a Time Lord 12 71 25.47

The Trial of a Time Lord 13 71 26.27

The Trial of a Time Lord 14 71 30.33, 72 30.21

74 27.06 (73 Edit is transmitted version)


Time and the Rani 1 71 27.00

Time and the Rani 2 71 27.00

Time and the Rani 3 71 28.00

Time and the Rani 4 71 20.00 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

Paradise Towers 1 71 24.38 (Without end credits)

Paradise Towers 2 71 24.12

Paradise Towers 3 71 N/K

Paradise Towers 4 71 26.30

Delta and the Bannermen 1 71 32.28

Delta and the Bannermen 2 71 27.07, 72 24.33

Delta and the Bannermen 3 71 24.38

Dragonfire 1 71 24.00 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

Dragonfire 2 71 26.00

Dragonfire 3 71 26.09

Remembrance of the Daleks 1 71 26.09

Remembrance of the Daleks 2 71 26.30

Remembrance of the Daleks 3 71 28.46

Remembrance of the Daleks 4 71 26.56

The Happiness Patrol 1 71 34.00

72 24.49 (Without end credits)

The Happiness Patrol 2 71 29.36

The Happiness Patrol 3 71 29.36

72 N/K

Silver Nemesis 1 71 31.00 (Not the BBC video version)

Silver Nemesis 2 71 30.00 (ditto)

Silver Nemesis 3 71 N/K (ditto), 72 27.00 (ditto)

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 1 71 27.00

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 2 71 23.05 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 3 71 28.50

Battlefield 1 71 N/K

Battlefield 2 71 N/K

Battlefield 3 71 7.00 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

Battlefield 4 71 26.30

The Curse of Fenric 1 71 28.00 (Not the BBC video version)

The Curse of Fenric 2 71 26.00 (ditto)

The Curse of Fenric 3 71 25.51 (ditto)

The Curse of Fenric 4 71 N/K (ditto)

Survival 1 71 2.00 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

Survival 2 71 25.15

Survival 3 71 5.00 (Listed duration - probably wrong)

All the above are unsyphered versions of the episodes, and as such have un-mixed sound, no sound effects and no music.


‘Alternative’ Versions

In addition to the early edits of some episodes, the BBC also holds the following versions of certain stories:

‘Earthshock’ - The 2 x 50 minute version of this story transmitted in the 1982 ‘Doctor Who and the Monsters’ repeat season on BBC1 still exists

‘The Five Doctors’ - The original 90-minute version was edited into 4 x 25 minute episodes for overseas sales, and this version was also repeated on BBC1 in 1984. This version still resides in the archives. In 1995, BBC Worldwide released ‘The Five Doctors - The Special Edition’ (with extra scenes and new special effects) on video. This 101 minute version exists both at BBC Worldwide and at the Windmill Road archive.

‘The Awakening’ - This also exists as the 50-minute compilation version repeated in 1984.

‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ - This story started life as 4 x 25 minute episodes (all 72 edits), and was hurriedly re-edited as a 2 x 50 minute story prior to transmission in 1984 due to the Winter Olympics. This 4-part version was the version shown overseas and released on BBC video, and still exists.

‘Attack of the Cybermen’, ‘Vengeance on Varos’, ‘Mark of the Rani’, ‘The Two Doctors’, ‘Timelash’ & ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ - Season 22 was recorded as 13 x 45 minute episodes, but was sold overseas as 26 x 25 minute episodes. These 25 minute episode versions are held only at BBC Worldwide’s archive, apart from ‘Revelation’, which exists in the BBC archive due to it’s repeat on BBC2 in 1993.

‘Silver Nemesis’ - The BBC video version of the extended episodes 1 - 3 exist only at the BBC Worldwide archive.

‘The Curse of Fenric’ - The BBC video version of the extended episodes 1 - 4 exist only at the BBC Worldwide archive. Both this video and the "Silver Nemesis" release were re-edited from both early edits and the transmitted versions, meaning the versions available on video are not the same as the 71 edit versions of the same episodes.

Additionally, the video release of 'Ghostlight' appears to have had new end credit sequences inserted, correcting an error with the transmitted versions of the first two episodes, where Katharine Schlesinger's first name was misspelled as 'Katherine'. It seems likely that these changes were made to the original transmission tapes after they were broadcast.



During this period in the programme’s history, many outtakes and behind the scenes reports have been screened. From behind the scenes, ‘Breakfast Time’ reported on ‘Time and the Rani’, whilst ‘But First This..’ reported on ‘Delta and the Bannermen’, and ‘Take Two’ featured ‘The Curse of Fenric’. All of these programmes exist.

America’s New Jersey Network made it’s own documentary - ‘The Making of Doctor Who’ - featuring interviews and location reports from ‘Silver Nemesis’. This NTSC programme was released in the UK on BBC Video, and BBC Worldwide keep a copy of this programme on one-inch 625-line video (converted from 525-line).

Nearly 5 minutes of studio material from ‘Battlefield’ are retained on the BBC’s own internal safety training video (this being on a video-disc format). This shows the infamous Sophie-in-the-tank sequence, and provides a sobering lesson in how not to do things in a TV studio.

(Although not residing in the BBC’s archive, the French network TF1’s own documentary - ‘Temps X’ - contains material recorded during the studio recordings of ‘Mindwarp’).

Outtakes have been a popular item on many BBC programmes, and ‘Doctor Who’ is no exception. The following stories have embarrassing moments saved for posterity:

‘The Five Doctors’ ‘The Late, Late Breakfast Show’ (overexcited Dalek)

‘The Awakening’ ‘The Late, Late Breakfast Show’ (destructive horse)

‘Delta and the Bannermen’ ‘The Noel Edmonds Roadshow’ (various)

‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ ‘Aunties Bloomers’ (problem door)

‘Silver Nemesis’ ‘The Noel Edmonds Roadshow’ (tripped by a bush)

A ‘spoof’ documentary revolving around the making of ‘Delta and the Bannermen’ was made by the production team, and features mainly the high number of outtakes recorded from this story, along with some humorous ‘pop video’ type material. A VHS is known to exist, and all material probably remains on the location tapes.


Paul McGann

The Paul McGann TV movie was not made by the BBC, although it was funded by BBC Worldwide. The BBC have the edited transmitted version / video release version in their own archive, plus the longer unedited version as shown in America. In addition, there is also an intermediate edit which, although minus the gun battle, still has the full operating table scene. This is the version premiered to the media - and a small group of fans - at BAFTA, prior to the video release and UK transmission. The BBC were also provided with an alternative opening sequence (the first 5 minutes) which was minus any on-screen captions (the credits during and after the title sequence) which could have been used for transmission if they had chosen.



1992’s ‘Resistance is Useless’ drew it’s material from the BBC’s own archive material, and exists in both its transmitted format, and also as a longer ‘work-in-progress’ edit (minus the ‘anorak’ inserts). The only material from this era of note used in the transmitted documentary is a clip of ‘Time and the Rani’, featuring a Tetrap attacking Mel; this clip originating from the unsyphered version of the 71 edit.

1993’s ‘Thirty Years in the TARDIS’, however, featured many new items in addition to material drawn exclusively from private collections, whilst 1994’s ‘More than Thirty Years in the TARDIS’ included even more footage, including:

‘Battlefield’ part 3 untransmitted scene (ex-BBC F&VTL)

‘The Caves of Androzani’ part 4 studio material (ex-private collection)

‘Planet of Fire’ part 4 studio material (ex-private collection)

‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ part 4 untransmitted scene (ex-BBC F&VTL)

‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ part 3 untransmitted scene (ex-BBC F&VTL)

‘Battlefield’ part 2 studio material (ex-BBC)

In addition the transmitted version of the programme exists in full, along with much of the specially recorded material that was only utilised in the video release. The video release master is held by BBC Worldwide, along with a slightly longer version that had to be trimmed just prior to release due to copyright difficulties.


Private Collections

Many fans and film collectors have built up their own archive of material that the BBC has either junked or wiped. Most of these collectors are only too happy to assist with projects that may need access to their material - in most cases, the material just would not exist at all if the collectors in question had not made a home for it. Material that is known to exist is as follows:

Castrovalva U-Matic black & white copies of studio material - 60 minutes

Kinda U-Matic copies of 71 edits of episodes 1,2 &3 with timecode in-vision

Time Flight VHS material with timecode in-vision of studio recordings

Arc of Infinity VHS material with timecode in-vision of studio recordings, U-Matic

copy of 71 edit of episode 4 with timecode in-vision.

Mawdryn Undead 16mm colour film of location rushes

The Five Doctors U-Matic video dub of film rushes

Frontios VHS copies of 71 edits of episodes 1,2,3,& 4 with timecode in-vision

Resurrection of the Daleks Mute 16mm film of model effects

Planet of Fire VHS material with timecode in-vision of studio recordings

The Caves of Androzani 70 minutes of Hi Band U-MATIC studio iso-camera material, showing, amongst other scenes, the regeneration sequence. Also, the 16mm film of all the location material exists in private hands.

The Twin Dilemma Mute 16mm film trims

Vengeance on Varos U-Matic copies of 71 edits of episodes 1 & 2 with timecode in-vision

Mark of the Rani U-Matic copies of 71 edits of episodes 1 & 2 with timecode in-vision

Time and the Rani one-inch tape of computer-generated TARDIS-in space material from the pre-credit sequence.

Delta and the Bannermen Mute 16mm film of model effects

Dragonfire Mute 16mm film of model effects

Battlefield VHS material with timecode in vision of studio recordings

Ghost Light VHS material of studio recordings, VHS copies of 71 edits of episodes 1 & 2 with timecode in-vision

Survival A 16mm film transfer of some location recorded material (60 mins)

‘The McGann Film’ Various VHS copies of unsyphered, unfinished and work-in-progress versions of the film are known to exist.


Clean Titles

The opening and closing credits of all episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ have traditionally been produced on 35mm film. For the Peter Davison’s first season, the title sequence designed by Sid Sutton for season 18 was altered slightly to incorporate the incoming Doctor’s face. These opening and closing sequences still exist ‘clean’ (no on-screen captions, such as cast lists or story titles) on 35mm colour film, with as many as half a dozen copies remaining, When Colin Baker took over the role in ‘The Twin Dilemma’ , the sequence was altered again, this time with a more noticeable colour filter added. Again this version’s opening and closing credits exists as 35mm film prints. For season 23, a new version of the theme music was used for the programme, and clean opening and closing sequences exist on 35mm film with this version of the music on. When Sylvester McCoy took over the TARDIS pilot’s licence, yet another set of titles was created. For the first time, the programme’s titles were computer generated, and recorded on one-inch videotape rather than film. These clean opening and closing sequences still remain, on this format.

With unreserved thanks to: Mark Ayres, Kevin Davies, David Holman, Ian Levine, Ian McLachlan, Andrew Pixley, Steve Roberts, Mervyn Robinson, Damian Shanahan, David Stead, Graham Strong, Paul Vanezis, Jan Vincent-Rudzki and Stephen James Walker.

Additional thanks to Dominic Jackson and Steven Manfred.

Text Copyright Richard Molesworth 1998