Lost Doctor Who episodes become iTunes best-sellers

Both stories star Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor. Image: BBC

Both stories star Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor. Image: BBC

Long-lost Doctor Who episodes have soared to the top of the iTunes charts just hours after being released by the BBC’s commercial arm.

At midnight BBC Worldwide released The Enemy of the World (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968), both starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor and companions Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria).

The original copies of both stories were junked by the BBC and the stories have long thought to be lost.

The copies released today were recovered in Nigeria, Africa by Phillip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive.

The find includes Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 of The Enemy of the World (episode 3 already existed in the BBC archive) and episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 of The Web of Fear.

Eepisode three has reconstructed for release using a selection of the 37 images that were available from the episode along with the original audio. 

The Web of Fear introduces Nicholas Courtney for the first time as Colonel – later Brigadier – Lethbridge-Stewart. The actor and character would return many times over the years, appearing alongside the Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy Doctors.

Phillip Morris said, “The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words ‘Doctor Who’. When I read the story code I realised I’d found something pretty special.”

Fiona Eastwood, Director of Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide added: “We are thrilled with the recent discovery of The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World and we’re very happy to be launching re-mastered versions of these treasured episodes to fans as we celebrate the 50th year of Doctor Who.”