Doctor Who: missing episode hunter stokes fans' hopes over new discoveries

Man dubbed the 'Indiana Jones of Doctor Who' indicates another project is underway

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The Independent Culture

Doctor Who fans could be in for a treat as Philip Morris, the recovery expert who retrieved nine lost episodes of the beloved series last year, has hinted at a special discovery.

Called the ‘Indiana Jones of Doctor Who’ by his fans, Mr Morris was asked point-blank as to whether or not he had found any new episodes during a Facebook question and answer session.

"A tricky one to answer," he wrote, before replying without a direct yes or no, but without a directly disappointing answer, either: "It’s complex, all I can say is the wind is blowing the right way – be patient.

"I don’t wish to jeopardise the on-going project in any way. And I feel the fans of lost TV will be very happy with the outcome."

Mr Morris was responsible for the recovery of nine missing Doctor Who episodes last year from Nigeria, all from the fifth season starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, and all of which were assumed to have been destroyed. It was the biggest find in decades, taking the total missing episodes down to 97.

 

Two of the classic stories that had been found, The Enemy of the World (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968), had not been seen for 45 years and were made available for download through iTunes.

Mr Morris, the executive director of Television International Enterprise Archives, travels across the globe in order to track down copies of BBC TV shows that are believed to have been lost or destroyed.

His other fan-name, the 'Raider of the Lost Archives,' lends itself aptly to the kind of trouble his tracking skills can land him in. Speaking about the last time his discovery was revealed, Mr Morris said: "During the last announcement, I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywhere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target."

Mr Morris explained how close he had once come to being in the line of fire, writing: "I was in Syria. I missed a shell attack by about 10 feet. How lucky was I? But there have been lots of tricky moments – bandits, armed militia – but that was the closest."

While the BBC has made no indication that any new lost episodes are making their way to the restoration room, the broadcaster did have to apologise for the recent leaking of the new Doctor Who scripts and footage, blaming the incident on a "damaging mistake".

Despite a rough cut of the first episode of series eight appearing online, the new series will air on TV from 23 August, starring Peter Capaldi as twelfth Time Lord.

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