"Doctor Who" fans must be overjoyed to learn that nine episodes of the sci-fi series which were thought to be lost have been recovered. The episodes from the fifth season featuring Patrick Troughton as the title character were found at a small TV facility in Jos, Nigeria.
The episodes, including the six-parter "The Enemy of the World" and "The Web of Fear", were first aired in 1967. Philip Morris, executive director at Television International Enterprise Archive, who specialises in tracking down missing TV and cinema archive material was the one who found the tapes.
The nine episodes of "Doctor Who" found in Nigeria were among the 106 lost 1960s episodes of the show. Previously, in 1992, all four episodes of "The Tomb of the Cybermen" were recovered from a network in Hong Kong.
BBC Worldwide has now made the nine recovered episodes available for purchase on Apple's iTunes store since midnight on Thursday. The two series are also available for pre-order on DVD.
Mark Gatiss, who has written several episodes of the "Doctor Who" revival, has expressed his excitement to be able to see "The Web of Fear" episodes again. "As long as I have been a Doctor Who fan there has been one story I hoped and prayed and begged I would one day see again," he said at a BBC press launch unveiling the recovered episodes on Thursday, October 10.
"This is such a gift in this anniversary year," said Gatiss of the discovery, which comes just around the 50th anniversary of the show. "It is amazing timing, exciting. Anything is a bonus and the rest is gravy." The "Sherlock" co-creator and actor additionally told the Telegraph, "To have two virtually complete Troughton six-parters now is like Christmas times a million."