In an interview with Matthew Gudgin of BBC Radio Norfolk today, former Doctor Who companion Peter Purves expressed surprise at the early announcement of recovered missing episodes. Purves, who played Steven Taylor for a year from June 1965 until June 1966, had anticipated the announcement during Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on 23 November. Purves believes that a leak was the reason for the early revelation. He went on to state that he understood that a “huge tranche of these tins of films” had been found.
Peter Purves as Steven Taylor in The Time Meddler
Purves is unaware if any of his missing 29 episodes are among those recovered. He’s particularly keen to see the episodes as he didn’t watch most of them on transmission. As there were no home video recorders in the mid 1960s, and the BBC didn’t repeat Doctor Who, the original broadcast was the only viewing opportunity. In his forward to Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke’s book, Running Through Corridors, Purves wrote that he was usually out making personal appearances and the like when Doctor Who was being transmitted on early Saturday evening.
Until the recent recovery, the BBC Archives held only 15 episodes from Steven Taylor’s tenure as a companion. We can only hope for Peter Purves sake that at least some of the recovered episodes are his.
Steven, Dodo and the Doctor in The Celestial Toymaker
MISSING PETER PURVES EPISODES
Galaxy 4 – Episodes 1, 2 and 4
The Myth Makers – All four episodes
The Daleks’ Master Plan – Episodes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12
The Massacre – All four episodes
The Celestial Toymaker – Episodes 1, 2 and 3
The Savages – All four episodes
None of the regular cast of Doctor Who appeared in the single episode story, Mission to the Unknown. Episode three of Galaxy 4 was recovered in November 2011 and released on The Aztecs Special Edition DVD.
The Doctor and Steven enjoy a quiet ale in the lost episode The Massacre
©Vivien Fleming, 2013.