Early `Dr Who' episodes saved from extermination

RARE EARLY episodes of the cult television series Dr Who, not seen in public since they were broadcast in 1964, are to be shown next month.

The presentation of four surviving episodes of a six-part story, "The Reign of Terror", will take place at the National Film Theatre in London.

The story starred William Hartnell, the first doctor, and was originally broadcast in August and September 1964. But the tapes, like many others of the period, were wiped by the BBC and appeals have been made in recent years for anyone with copies to come forward.

The episodes of "The Reign of Terror" were rediscovered during the 1980s but have been seen only at a Dr Who convention and through counterfeit copies.

One episode was returned to the BBC by a private collector in 1982, and three years later that same episode and three others were sent back by a television company in Cyprus. Episode four, "The Tyrant of France", and five, "A Bargain of Necessity", are among 100 or so Dr Who shows still missing.

Roger Clark, an organiser of The Wolves of Fenric, a Dr Who fan club which began in Wolverhampton, said next month's viewing was very important for the enthusiasts. "If nothing else, it keeps the programme in the public eye," he said. "Also there's missing episodes that are still to be recovered and the more people that find out a specific story is missing, the more of a chance it might be recovered."

The story was the eighth in the Dr Who series which began nine months earlier in November 1963. In it, the Doctor and his granddaughter and assistant Susan, played by Carole Ann Ford, travel back in the Tardis to the time of Robespierre's reign of terror at the height of the French Revolution, instead of back to 1963 as the Doctor had intended.

Mr Clark, 30, a writer and broadcaster, said "The Reign of Terror" came from a period when Dr Who had an educational element. Historical adventures alternated with the science fiction which is now more closely associated with the series.

"In the early days, it did do a lot of purely historic adventures which were very, very accurate." The first history series involved the Doctor in the time of Marco Polo's explorations. Teachers recommended the series to their pupils, Mr Clark said. "A lot of people think these historicals are not going to be as good as the science fiction, whereas the reverse is true. The BBC is known for its costume drama so any historical production from the BBC looks good straight off."

Veronica Taylor, the television officer for the National Film Theatre, said: "We do try to show any Dr Whos that turn up because there's always a lot of excitement about them. There's a big audience out there for Dr Who. Obviously the early episodes were very creaky and low-tech in terms of special effects, but in terms of imagination it was always good."

The showing is scheduled for 14 July, Bastille Day, as appropriate to the subject matter.

The BBC has issued many Dr Who episodes on video, but only where the complete set is in existence. However, the sound exists on all the programmes and in August it is due to release a CD and cassette of the original soundtrack of a story called "The Massacre of St Bartho-lomew's Eve".

The very first 13 episodes of Dr Who survive, but the next seven are missing. The programmes are then again extant until the missing two from "The Reign of Terror".

Although the television series ended 10 years ago, a BBC spokesman said there was still huge demand. It publishes two books a month and a video of the old series every other month. And earlier this year, a missing episode from 1965, called "Crusade", was bought at a New Zealand film fair for $5. It and another episode, "The Space Museum", has just been released on video.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching jobs in the Swaffham area

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...

Year 1 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Primary General Cover Teachers needed

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week