Its Official! Lost Dr Who Episodes
The Enemy of the World & The Web of Fear
By Paul Bowler
The 50th Anniversary celebrations for Doctor Who just got even better, with the news today that 9 missing episodes of Doctor Who have been discovered by archivist Philip Morris, executive director of TIEA (Television International Enterprises Archive). These two classic Doctor Who stories were discovered by Philip Morris at a TV station in Nigeria. All the episodes are from the Second Doctor’s era and come from two stories – The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear.
The Enemy of the World first aired on BBC One in December, 1967. Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 were missing from the BBC archives, but have now been found which means that a complete version of this classic six-part story now exists. Enemy of the World offers Patrick Troughton the opportunity to really flex his acting muscles with his dual role as the Doctor and his tyrannous doppelganger Salamander. After arriving in Australia in the future, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria find that the world is on the verge of being taken over by Salamander – a scientist who has discovered a form of storing and using solar energy to aid the world while advancing his ambition to become its absolute ruler. Discovering that he is Salamander’s double, the Doctor decides to impersonate the dictator in waiting and ruin his plans so he can save Jamie and Victoria, but even in defeat, Salamander isn’t prepared to give up that easily.
This fifth season story by David Whitaker was directed by Barry Letts and features a fantastic dual performance by Patrick Troughton, as the Doctor and the villainous Salamander. Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines have plenty to do as Jamie and Victoria, although they are separated from the Doctor for a good part of this story, but the final scenes where Salamander tries to commandeer the TARDIS and gets sucked out through the doors into the time vortex at least provides an exciting finale for this adventure.
Episodes 2 – 6 of The Web of Fear which were also feared lost forever, now episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 have been found. Although episode 3 remains missing, a reconstruction using stills and the soundtrack has been used to recreate the missing part. The Web of Fear (1968) opens after Salamander’s demise as the TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming trapped in a giant web in deep space. The TARDIS then materialises in the London Underground, which has also been overrun by huge pulsating webs controlled by the Great Intelligence and its robotic Yeti. The Doctor and his companions meet up with Professor Travers (Jack Watling), who they first met forty years ago in the Himalayas. They learn that Travers brought one of the Yeti back with him, and after accidentally reactivating it, he gave the Great Intelligence the opportunity it needed to try and invade Earth again. As the webs begin to fill the underground tunnels the Doctor joins forces with the Army, led by Captain Knight (Ralph Watson), and then later Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), to fight the Yeti. The Great Intelligence draws the Doctor to its lair, determined to take possession of his body, but the Doctor is saved by his companions and the Intelligences is sent screaming back into the void from whence it came.
The Yeti make a triumphant return in Mervyn Haisman’s and Henry Lincoln’s direct sequel to The Abominable Snowmen. Directed by Douglas Camfireld, The Web of Fear is blessed with incredibly realistic sets designed by David Myerscough-Jones. Patrick Troughton is superb in this story as the Doctor, this is also a great story for Jamie and Victoria, and Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines are excellent. Although the plot may be little more than a whodunit, with almost everyone under suspicion as the Great Intelligence’s duplicitous servant, this is one of the most exciting stories of Season Five – memorable also for Nicholas Courtney’s first appearance as the Doctor’s long time friend Lethbridge-Stewart. Nicholas Courtney had previously appeared as Space Security Service Agent Bret Vyon in The Dalek Master Plan (1965) with William Hartnell.
All of these episodes have been remastered using the VidFire process, and have been made available to download exclusively from iTunes right away! The Enemy of the World will be released on DVD on 22 November, and The Web of Fear will be available on DVD early 2014.
Here are the links to iTunes for Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, as well as the official BBC news report! What a great day this is for fans of Doctor Who, its going to be amazing to enjoy these classic adventures again!
And here are a selection of clips, trailers, and interviews!