First night review

Doctor Who: Lost episodes Enemy Of The World and Web of Fear discovered

5.00

The episodes have been found in pristine condition in Nigeria

Doctor Who fans will raise a Sonic Screwdriver to archivist Phillip Morris, the Indiana Jones of film, whose ceaseless search for lost episodes uncovered two classic stories languishing in Nigeria, made available for download at midnight on Thursday via iTunes.

Click here to see a gallery of images from the lost episodes

Viewers might wish the BBC had shipped more of its programming to Africa during the period in which it systematically wiped the jewels in its crown, given the magnificently-preserved condition of the two episodes, which have not been seen for some 45 years.

Morris found The Enemy of the World (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968), both starring Patrick Troughton as the second doctor, gathering dust at a television relay station in Nigeria, after tracking records of BBC overseas shipments.

But this mysterious Saviour of Sci-Fi declined to appear at a Soho screening of the episodes, sending a message from an unnamed distant land which read: “I cannot be with you as the search is endless. My work must continue.”

The six-part Enemy of The World, now complete with the discovery of five lost episodes, bursts with the energy of the Swinging Sixties.

Matt Smith’s latter-day giddy enthusiasm is reflected in Troughton’s playful splashing in the sea when the Tardis lands at sun-kissed Australian beach (actually Littlehampton in Sussex).

The Doctor and his kilted assistants, Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling), are soon menaced by a sinister vehicle which floats across the sand. “It’s like a sea monster,” ventures Victoria. “No, it’s a Hovercraft,” the Doctor corrects her.

The fast-paced episode features much gun-play and a daring rescue by helicopter, piloted by plucky agent Astrid.

The Doctor, it emerges, bears a close resemblance to Salamander, a ruthless scientist/politician who claims to have solved global famine by redirecting the sun’s rays but is actually trying to take over the planet.

However, Troughton’s Doctor, sporting a skew-whiff bow-tie and Harry Hill wing collar, would really rather return to the beach than get involved in any saving-the-world heroics, before circumstances force his hand.

There’s a charm to this alien-free story, often lacking in the rebooted series, with its conscious delivery of “blockbuster” episodes to feed a global audience.

Mark Gatiss, a writer for the revived Doctor Who, said had “hoped and prayed” that missing episodes of the six-part Web Of Fear would one day turn up.

It is actually more a case of Doctor Where? as Troughton is nowhere to be seen in episode two, screened to the media.

The Yeti are running amok on the Underground. The Doctor is missing, presumed dead, after soldiers blast the tunnel and the claustrophobic atmosphere builds during the subterranean storyline.

“If only the Doctor would turn up,” bemoans Yeti-expert Professor Travers in a brave episode which proceeds without its title character – a decision forced on the writers when Troughton negotiated an extra week’s holiday for playing the dual role of Salamander in the earlier story.

The characters trapped underground include a newspaper journalist, accused of working for the “gutter press”, who has a reputation for “sensationalism” and “distorting the truth”. The episode aired months before Rupert Murdoch broke into Fleet Street by acquiring the News of the World and The Sun.

Morris, who recovered a total of nine episodes, can’t rest on these welcome additions to the Doctor Who canon – there are 97 more still unaccounted for.

The first four Doctor Who episodes from 1963 will be screened on BBC4 as part of the show's 50th anniversary celebrations next month.

Asked whether viewers might also see the recovered episodes, without having to pay Apple £1.89 per episode or £9.99 to download the complete stories, BBC Worldwide said licence-fee payers had already enjoyed a chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s.

It is the type of commercial deal, with the proceeds being ploughed back into licence fee funds, which the BBC will increasingly pursue under its Director General, Tony Hall.

So with reports of a further cache of Doctor Who episodes locked away in Ethiopia, it’s time for the archive Indiana Jones to spring into action once again.

Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map