With the momentous missing episodes recovery news of last week The Doctor Who Mind Robber can now celebrate the return of nine episodes. The six part The Enemy of the World is now complete with the recovery of episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. Episode 3 was already in the care of the BBC and was released on the triple DVD set Lost in Time. The Web of Fear, also six episodes long, is now only missing episode 3. Episode 1 had previously been released on Lost in Time and episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6 have been recovered.
In no particular order we now reflect on 5 Reasons to Celebrate the Return of Enemy and Web.
Professor Travis is confronted by Yeti in The Web of Fear
5. THERE ARE NOW ONLY 97 MISSING EPISODES
Since the recovery of Airlock (episode three of Galaxy 4) and episode two of The Underwater Menace there have been 106 missing Doctor Who episodes. The return of the aforementioned episodes in December 2011 were the first recoveries since episode two of The Daleks’ Master Plan (Day of Armageddon) in January 2004. With only three episodes returned in the 21st Century prior to 2013, the haul of nine recently recovered episodes brings to a dozen the episodes found this century.
For the first time the number of missing episodes is in double figures. How long will it be until there are less than 97 missing episodes?
4. COLONEL LETHBRIDGE-STEWART IS INTRODUCED
Although Nicholas Courtney appeared as Bret Vyon in The Daleks’ Master Plan, it is in The Web of Fear that his iconic character of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart made its Doctor Who debut. The Doctor Who Mind Robber has waxed lyrical about the promoted Brigadier here and here. Unfortunately, however, it is the very episode in which Lethbridge- Stewart appears for the first time that is missing from The Web of Fear. Episode three is yet to be recovered however it has been very ably reconstructed by the BBC and has been released with the serial’s other five episodes on iTunes.
The then-Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced to Doctor Who in The Web of Fear
3. THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD IS THE FIRST COMPLETE SERIAL RECOVERED SINCE 1992
For the first time since the recovery of all four episodes of The Tomb of the Cybermen in 1992 a complete serial, The Enemy of the World, has been returned to the BBC Archives. Long-term fans still recount stories of the joy experienced when Tomb resurfaced in Hong Kong. There’s little doubt that the recent finds will become part of the mythology of Doctor Who.
The Cybermen emerge from their icy tombs in this iconic image from The Tomb of the Cybermen
2. THE YETI
The Yeti have obtained mythical status in the world of Doctor Who despite having appeared in only two serials, The Abominable Snowmen and the Web of Fear. Until the recovery of four of Web’s six episodes only one was held in the BBC Archives. A single episode is all that remains of The Abominable Snowmen. With a reconstruction of the missing third episode of Web and the release of all six episodes on iTunes, fans can experience one of the greatest monsters in 1960s Doctor Who for the first time in 45 years. Now Jon Pertwee’s oft quoted phrase “Yeti on the Loo” may begin to make sense to current era Doctor Who fans.
The Yeti invade the London Underground in The Web of Fear
1. DOCTOR WHO’S FIRST HELICOPTER AND HOVERCRAFT SCENES
Synonymous with the tenure of the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, chase scenes were unheard of during the first two incarnations of the Doctor. Except, of course, for The Enemy of the World. It is in episode one of this story that the first helicopter is seen, together with a hovercraft. A helicopter subsequently made an appearance in the still lost Fury From the Deep, the companion Victoria’s last story. The Enemy of the World was incidentally the first time that the legendary Barry Letts worked on Doctor Who. Letts was the producer of Who during the Third Doctor’s tenure.
The first hovercraft to appear in Doctor Who was in The Enemy of the World
MARY PEACH IS ASTRID
Mary Peach as Astrid in The Enemy of the World
SALAMANDER SWEPT INTO THE VORTEX
The Doctor’s evil doppelgänger, Salamander. is swept out into the vortex soon after his face-to-face confrontation with the Doctor in The Enemy of the World
DEBORAH AND JACK WATLING APPEARING TOGETHER
The father and daughter team of Jack and Deborah Watling first appeared together on screen in The Abominable Snowmen. Watling Snr reprised his role of Travers in The Web of Fear
TINA PARKER IS ANNE TRAVERS
Tina Parker played the role of Anne Travers, the daughter of Professor Travers in The Web of Fear. She almost reprised her role in The Invasion
©Vivien Fleming, 2013.