Feeds

back to article TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

More than 100 episodes of Dr Who, featuring William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, have been unearthed from archives in Ethiopia. As happened with so much TV heritage of the era, the cost of tape and the cost of storage meant an awful lot of program material has been lost forever, since it was always cheaper to record over the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge

Highly Salasie

Ay...

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Strange

Ethiopia didn't get television until 1973.

2
0

Re: Strange

Being Dr Who, that shouldn’t pose much of a problem …

24
0
Silver badge
Go

Re: Strange

You mean the regular Ethiopian people didnt get television until 1973. Those in charge always seem to get things that little bit earlier, no? ;)

Actually a quick look on Wikipedia shows that Ethipoian TV was established in 1964, so I doubt your figure of 1973 is accurate...

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: Strange

Obviously once played they fell into a wormhole....

0
0
Boffin

Re: Strange

I think it was meant as a Joke

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Strange

1973≈1964. Perhaps it was an Ethiopian calendar joke. The article didn't state which calendar the date range was taken from.

0
0
Bronze badge
Headmaster

since it was always cheaper to recover over the top of shows rather than store them.

Er, surely you meant "record over"?

7
0
Bronze badge

Nope, only folks wedding videos were used for re-recording.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

If the author can't be arsed to read his own article, why should the reader ?

3
2
Silver badge

Cool!

The older kitschy versions are much better than the over-produced modern versions.

IMO, of course :-)

Looking forward to seeing the lost episodes.

12
0
Silver badge

Re: Cool!

Apart from the 'hobbyist' production values of the early episodes, something that I always notice is that the body language and vocal delivery of the actors was notable 'stagey', probably because the actors had more experience of theatre productions than television. They were used to delivering a performance that had to satisfy the audience on the back row. Also, they probably had it in mind that it was 'only children's entertainment'.

Nowadays it's cool to be a guest actor on Doctor Who and the agents are making discrete phone calls to let the BBC know that their clients would be very interested.

7
0
Gav

Re: Cool!

This is true of all early TV productions. The actors all learnt their craft on stage and the the performance best for TV wasn't yet appreciated. Actors who'd done films were better equipped. But the best of them wouldn't wish to do cut-price children's TV productions, which is what Dr Who was. Consequently some of the acting, "stagey" or not, was pretty dire.

That's not going to stop me eagerly waiting to see some of these new finds.

1
2
Silver badge

As live

It's very easy to criticise 60's Doctor Who but the earliest episodes were recorded "as live" with a couple of recording breaks per episode (usually where there is a fade to black or a film insert).

You can't compare modern single camera drama shot on location with a series pretty much confined to a studio shot at the rate of an episode a week and with very little opportunity to do anything but the most rudimentary editing.

With multi-camera you have to know your positions, a vision mixer is effectively editing live. Everything looks stagey because everyone is trying to hit their marks so they don't obscure other actors and that at any given moment the right camera can see them.

+ for the first few years Who was stuck in one of the most antiquated studios Lime Grove had most of the time.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Cool! (@Gav)

So did I imagine seeing Hartnell in Brighton Rock, This Sporting Life, The Mouse that Roared, etc?

0
0
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Cool! (@Gav)

Has Hawking already been in a Doctor Who episode?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Cool!

"They were used to delivering a performance that had to satisfy the audience on the back row. "

for my children, this was sometimes the row hiding behind the settee.

(Obviously AC - can't reveal the identities!)

0
0

Holy... This rumour has been going around for months and I've been discounting it just as long... but since the BBC just announced a press conference I'm honestly flabbergasted.

2
0

The 90/100/106 episode rumour seems to be bunk. It started off in the summer as "90 missing episodes found" and even some big name fans were taken in by it, but the BBC (and those in a position to know and/or find out) always rubbished it. The story seems to be this: in the summer, someone in Africa (probably an old TV company, but a private collector has also been mentioned) sent a large package of old TV material to a company in the UK. The shows were to be remastered from old, obsolete formats into something that could be played with modern technology, something that the company specialised it. Somehow this news got picked up by the Dr.Who fraternity who made 2+2=106. So, almost certainly its a case of "move along, nothing to see here."

At any rate, if Ethiopia has got anything, they never bought the broadcast rights to the Troughton era, so all we'd have to recover at best would be a handful of Hartnells, but still better than nothing.

BUT just suppose the rumour is true, could the BBC have kept it quite for all these months? Ostensibly yes. The two episodes found in 2011 were "found" in the summer but this was a well kept secret until "Missing Believed Wiped" at the British Film Institute in December. Even the programme said they would be showing "1960s BBC Science Fiction" with no mention as to what it was. No one had a clue until much closer to the event. And when "Tomb of the Cybermen" was found in 1991, the BBC put out a cover story that it was simply four episodes of an already existing story. The secret was apparently kept hidden for at least a few weeks; all other missing episode "finds" have been quite quickly reported.

But there is always the caveat that the Radio Times seems sure that something has been found, even though they can't deny the story from the BBC itself! I don't know if you remember in late 1993 when it was reported widely that over a dozen episodes from Scandinavian countries had been found and were being rush released onto video? It turned out to be a hoax, but the interesting thing here is that the rumour was never confirmed or denied by the BBC (much like the current situation) and that it started within the corporation.

If it is an episode find, I think it'll be a couple - and not the massive hoard reported breathlessly in the press.

If you want to know more about the archival situation with regard to Dr.Who (and the cornucopia of existing formats and clips), have a look at http://www.paullee.com/drwho

7
1

Dear Honorable Freind

GREETINGS!

Allow my to introduce myself, I am Wami Abdul, the only son of great Mr ABDUL, esteemed program manager of ETV. I have sad news my friend, my father Mr ABDUL is now deceased and I am now I contact with his collegues from ETV who are to eliminate the purchases of my father to store new series of Ethiopia’s got Talent. I pleed very much with them to save OLD EPISODES OF DC WHO but they say tape is expensive and I must pay €50,000 US Dollar to have them. I contact BBC for assist and they will pay owner ONE MILLION POUND DOLLARS but I am poor man with little money to raise to buy these precious tapes having only 10,000. I contact you my friend with proposition that for just your investment of 40,000 I will offer to return NIN HUNDRED THOUSAND EURO from BBC. This is approved and guaranteed under Mr Lord Reith, the head of BBC himself.

We must contact soon to ensure safety of time space adventures

Wami ABDUL

94
2
Gav

Geography Lesson

You're only around 2 thousand miles out. Kind of like making a Irish joke about the Russians.

Meh, Nigeria, Ethopia. It's all Africans, isn't it?

1
33
Bronze badge

Re: Geography Lesson

Actually, most Nigerian scams seem to originate scams from anywhere but Nigeria these days.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Geography Lesson

Who mentioned Nigeria?

10
0
Silver badge

Is the person downvoting anyone talking any sense on this topic Ian Levine?

If something has been found it's probably a stash of old BBC shows of which Doctor Who may have a couple of film cans in there.

1
1
Gav

Re: Geography Lesson

Who mentioned email scams? The connection to Dr Who and Ethiopia does seem elusive, doesn't it?

0
4
Silver badge

Re: Geography Lesson

Not when part of the discussion is if this is another rumour / hoax. Hoax > Email Scam.

0
0

Re: Geography Lesson

I contacted Mr Abdul to pass on my bank details and he informs me that he moved from Ethiopia to Nigeria several years ago.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Geography Lesson

"Who mentioned Nigeria?"

Implicitly, it was the person that did the (admittedly funny) parody of a 419- i.e. Nigerian- scam. Even if it *was* transposed to Ethiopia, that's not the country the phenomenon is commonly associated with.

1
3
Silver badge

The Radio Times is no longer owned by the BBC

It was sold off in 2011. It's an independent publication now, likely no more connected than El Reg for this sort of story. They're likely doing the same as everybody — reporting that a tabloid reported than someone not connected to the BBC heard that the discovery had been made.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Geography Lesson

> Who mentioned Nigeria?

Exactly!

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

@ Nightfox

"Dear Honorable Freind

GREETINGS!"

Now that's just genius.

0
0
Angel

Re: Geography Lesson

@Gav

I don't mean to gloat, but...

HA!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24467337

;-)

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

..or the BBC could just be playing their cards close to their chest for now and wait to announce it either during the 50th anniversary celebrations or when they are ready to release it as part of a premium box set of classic episodes.

3
0
Silver badge

So, how many still missing ?

100(ish) just found, but many of those would have been ones that were not 'lost' and so not so spectactular a find.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So, how many still missing ?

There are 99 of them.

There *were* 100, but one of them turned out to be the early-1990s Children in Need atrocity^w special "Dimensions in Time".

"Christ, every time you think you've burned the last copy of that piece of s**t, another one turns up", said Who archivist Phil York-Hunt as he set fire to the tape.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: So, how many still missing ?

A lot of the "not lost" ones are edited to hell and back thanks to syndication (stations would cut film to fit adverts and drop the ends on the floor). Finding another archive helps piece together the originals.

The same phenomenon was noticed with Star Trek TOS. Entire scenes were found to have been chopped out to make eps fit into advertising schedules (syndicated series are passed from station to station) and restoring them from the canonical archives (which someone at paramount had the sense to preserve) during the 1980-90s made things make a lot more sense.

0
0

106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

Been watching this rumour with amusement for the last 6 months, and there's been a lot of conflicting reports. Like the "large cache of old films cargo" story seems to have been debunked a few months back. The fact that 106 stories are missing, and (allegedly) 106 have been found tells us that if there is a grain of truth to the rumour, that grain is well hidden and the rest is just wish-list. Because we will never find 106. Part 7 of The Dalek Master Plan - "The Feast of Steven" (actually the original first Doctor Who "Christmas Special") - was never recorded onto film and never sold abroad. So the number of 106 doesn't originate from someone in the know but from fan speculation. As I suspect is "where" it comes from and "who" has found it.

It's quite possible something has been found, but the BBC has kept quiet for various reasons. The main reason being that if you're negotiating to buy old Doctor Who film, you don't want other Collectors getting wind and offering a price you can't match. The BBC may be a big corporation, but it has a budget like anyone else, it's pockets aren't bottomless. There are Doctor Who fans out there who would love to get their hands on cans of film containing stories that no-one else has (or is likely to) see, and some of them could easily outbid Auntie.

Then of course there's this rumour: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-06/doctor-who-newly-discovered-missing-episodes-to-be-released-for-sale-this-week

Who knows? (lol). Personally, you can keep your old scratchy Hartnell. I'll be over the moon if only Troughton's "Web of Fear" or "Evil of the Daleks" is rediscovered.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

The main reason being that if you're negotiating to buy old Doctor Who film, you don't want other Collectors getting wind and offering a price you can't match.

I think it's a different matter if you have the copyright which the BBC does.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

For example I would put a large bid in just so I could burn them live on youtube

1
2
Bod

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

"Because we will never find 106. Part 7 of The Dalek Master Plan - "The Feast of Steven" (actually the original first Doctor Who "Christmas Special") - was never recorded onto film and never sold abroad"

Thank god for that!

Dalek Master Plan is better with just that whole episode represented by a "Scene Missing" card.

Though the embarising 4th wall christmas greeting from Bill to the camera would make a funny dvd easter egg.

0
0

burn on Youtube?

You philistine!

Will it Blend, though...

That said, I just need to add one story from season 1 and 2 from season 2 to have all existing First Doctor in my collection, so yeah, I'm a fan. (Hope to fill those holes before the anniversary)

I have both Torchwood and Doctor Who stored in subfolders on the same drive. Is that bad?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

"For example I would put a large bid in just so I could burn them live on youtube"

I strongly suspect that would result in a mob of enranged Who fans burning *you* live on YouTube... :-O

0
1

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

Re copyright. This has already been addressed before in "The Lion's Tale":

http://doctorwho.org.nz/archive/tsv57/lion.html

You're only infringing copyright if you copy the film or attempt to show it for profit. Purchasing the film acetate itself is not a problem.

In fact technically (since it should have been returned to the BBC back in the 60s) the film is stolen property and anyone who sells or buys it is committing a crime, although (see above) practically the BBC would never do this, otherwise nobody would ever offer any old 60s TV programmes up for sale ever again for fear they would have to blow most of their profit on a defense lawyer.

0
0
Gold badge
Flame

Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

"For example I would put a large bid in just so I could burn them live on youtube"

I strongly suspect that would result in a mob of enranged Who fans burning *you* live on YouTube... :-O

Burned to death in a giant wicker Dalek...

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

"featuring William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton"

A veritable treasure trove no less

0
0
Gimp

Get ready!

Warning: Serious binge watching ahead!

Must. Replenish. Snacks. Now.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Get ready!

"snacks"?

Shirley you mean Guinness?

0
2

Re: Get ready!

Wait, Guinness isn't a snack?

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: Get ready!

Of course not. Guinness is breakfast, lunch and dinner.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.