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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
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.

    Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    9 best steam generator irons

    9 best steam generator irons

    To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
    England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
    ‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

    ‘We knew he was something special’

    Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York