10 Most Sought After Doctor Who Missing Episodes

The episodes fans across the world would give anything to see one more time.

Doctor Who William Hartnell TARDIS Susan Ian Barbara

With the final appearance of the show’s first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, fast approaching, and the 60th anniversary spectacular along with the return of former showrunner Russell T Davies on the horizon, the curious story of Doctor Who’s history and early years of the program are once again set to be hot topics.

With 97 out of the first 253 episodes of the show - broadcast between 1963 and 1969 - currently missing from the BBC’s archive, there exists a huge void in the collections of Doctor Who fanatics across the world, with many resorting to unofficial photo reconstructions to capture the essence of these lost serials.

Featuring the first two on-screen doctors, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, several of these lost episodes contain the introduction of key characters, villains and plot points in the show, including devices like the Sonic Screwdriver and some of the Doctor's most famous foes.

With the rumour mill still rife that more episode discoveries are on the horizon - with the most recent recovery of missing episodes almost ten years ago in 2013 - here is a selection of some of the most wanted pieces of lost media in television history.

10. The Web Of Fear Episode 3

Doctor Who William Hartnell TARDIS Susan Ian Barbara
BBC Studios

Back in late 2013, Christmas came early for Doctor Who fans thanks to the efforts of television archivist Philip Morris. Just in time for the show's 50th anniversary in November, the BBC announced that 9 lost episodes of Doctor Who had been recovered in Nigeria. This haul of episodes turned out to be the largest set of missing episodes to be recovered in over 30 years.

This set of episodes included two stories, 1967’s The Enemy Of The World and 1968’s The Web Of Fear. Upon their discovery, Morris found all 6 episodes of each story, but by the time the episodes were returned to the BBC, episode 3 of The Web Of Fear was one again missing. Morris believes it to have been snapped up by a private collector, leaving the Web of Fear as an almost complete story, with the third episode once again lost from the BBC’s archive.

Plot wise, that third offering is also the most crucial in the serial, as it features the introduction of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, who would go on to appear in 109 episodes of Doctor Who alongside all but one of the classic Doctors.

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