If you’re a fan of classic Doctor Who, you’ll know that the tragic truth of the First and Second Doctor’s eras is that so many of their episodes are lost to us, due to the short-sighted BBC practice in the 1960s of wiping their master-tapes. As things stand, 97 episodes are currently unavailable, though some do show up overseas or in the care of private collectors now and then.
What we have instead, is the full audio recordings of all of 97 installments, and in an attempt to resurrect these stories lost in time, the BBC has created animated reconstructions of a small handful of episodes, based on the soundtracks, shooting scripts and surviving bits and pieces. In the past, we’ve seen whole stories reconstructed – including Patrick Troughton’s debut tale “The Power of the Daleks” – as well as single lost episodes that are part of a serial.
Now, the BBC’s teasing a brand new animated reconstruction coming next month. The British Film Institute will be screening some recently-discovered classics from British TV history on December 15th and the event is a must for Who fans, as a short animated presentation based off the missing first part of 1968’s “The Wheel in Space” will be premiered. As you may know, the six-part story features Troughton’s Doctor battling the Cybermen when they attack the titular wheel-like space station.
The last time any lost episodes were recovered was back in 2013, when nine complete installments were found just in time for the show’s 50th anniversary. Since then, fans have remained optimistic that more would reappear eventually, with rumors suggesting that they’ve already been uncovered.
If you’re a BFI member, tickets will become available for December’s Missing Believed Wiped evening on November 6th. For the general public, they release on November 13th. For those not able to attend, we can only hope that the BBC will continue with their animated reconstruction of Doctor Who “The Wheel in Space” and release the completed story on Blu-Ray the following year.