After months of online rumors and speculation, it appears that at least some episodes of classic Doctor Who long thought to have been consigned to the dustbin of pre-home-video history will soon be available to fans at last.
According to Radio Times — once an official arm of the official British broadcaster — two “lost” episodes from the 1960s Patrick Troughton era will be available for sale later this week from digital storefronts such as iTunes. No episode details have been confirmed, and the BBC has yet to officially weigh in, but don’t be surprised if these turn out to be the installments rediscovered in 2011: part three of “Galaxy 4” and part two of “The Underwater Menace” (even though the former actually starred Troughton’s precedessor, William Hartnell — it’s just that we’ve known these episodes have been coming for a while.)
The publication speaks of other episodes being found — though it’s unclear whether this is the long-rumored African cache of more than 90 episodes, and no one in a position to confirm is willing to do so … at least not yet. Wouldn’t it be amazing to restore much of the show’s legacy just as its 50th anniversary is being celebrated?
We’ll stay on top of the latest reports and bring you more as they develop. (Oct. 6)
UPDATE: The Wednesday release seems unlikely, as a reported BBC press conference on the subject has been postponed. (Oct. 7)
UPDATE #2: BBC News is now reporting that some recovered material exists and that the BBC will have more information at a press screening later this week. Bleeding Cool says Troughton co-stars Deborah Watling and Frazier Hines will be involved in the launch event. (Oct. 8)
A number of early episodes of Doctor Who, which were believed to have been permanently lost, have been returned to the BBC.
UPDATE #3: The BBC held its press conference today, and apparently the details are secret until after midnight. But this site claims knowledge from the inevitable leaks. (Oct. 10)