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Fan of Doctor Who searches for lost episodes of cult TV classic

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Liverpool man has even faced bullets on his global quest


Doctor Who fanatics are ecstatic over reports that more lost episodes of the cult classic are set to be released, the Daily Mirror is reporting.

Last year, a Liverpool man found nine Patrick Troughton episodes and returned them to the BBC. Known as the "Indiana Jones of Doctor Who," and "Raider of the Lost Archives," Philip Morris has made it his mission to track down episodes thought to have been lost forever.

Morris has searched the globe for the precious lost tales of the Time Lord. He has faced bullets in Nigeria and Syria searching for the lost episodes.

He would only hint to the Mirror he had found more episodes.

"A tricky one to answer. And fans will just want a yes or no, haven't you or have you. But it's complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient," he told the British tabloid.

"There are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation. An example would be during the last announcement, I was in a very hostile part of the world, and suddenly, I was everywhere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target.

"So we must plan these things carefully for the greater good of the project and the safety of the personnel involved. I was in Syria. I missed a shell attack by about 10 feet. How lucky was I? But there have been lots of tricky moments - bandits, armed militia - but that was the closest."

The Mirror says there are currently 97 missing Doctor Who episodes from the eras of Troughton and William Hartnell, of about 800 Doctor Who episodes in total. Morris and company have also turned up episodes of such other cult U.K. series as Dad's Army and The Avengers.

The devoted Doctor Who fan could have used the Tardis - the character's time machine - when kidnapped in 2006 while he was working for an oil company in Nigeria. Doctor Who archeology has been equally dangerous.

And not every search has a happy ending - some episodes have been beyond salvage.

"I did locate some black and white Jon Pertwee episodes that were mush - Ambassadors of Death Part 2, I think. Thankfully, nothing that was missing."

But the BBC - which owns the character - dismissed rumours of new discoveries.

"BBC Worldwide does not have any of the 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who and none are being restored for release," a spokesman said.

"We were delighted to be able to bring Doctor Who fans The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear last year, thanks to the fantastic efforts of Philip Morris and Television International Enterprises Archives.

"Naturally, we continue to hope that all of the missing episodes are out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered and returned for the ultimate benefit of the fans."

The new season of Doctor Who, starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, begins in August on Space in Canada.


GRAPHIC: BBC; William Hartnell played the first Doctor Who, from 1963-66. The Daily Mirror says 97 Doctor Who episodes from the eras of Hartnell and Patrick Troughton are missing.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2014-07-23). Fan of Doctor Who searches for lost episodes of cult TV classic. The Gazette p. B7.
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Fan of Doctor Who searches for lost episodes of cult TV classic | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Fan_of_Doctor_Who_searches_for_lost_episodes_of_cult_TV_classic | work=The Gazette | pages=B7 | date=2014-07-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 April 2020 }}</ref>
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