Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

The Doctor: In Recovery

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Imagine the consternation among fans I if it were discovered that Paramount Pictures no longer had copies of a quarter or more of the 79 Star Trek episodes. and that those episodes would never be seen again. Well, that's the situation in which Doctor Who fandom discovered itself in 1979, when the BBC announced that its archives were short of some 130 half-hour episodes, including complete stories, all from the black-and-white years of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton (STARLOG #89), the first two actors to play the role. Then, more bad news, as it was announced that material was even missing from the Jon Pertwee era, previously supposed to be complete in color.

With the Doctor's adventures gaining new financial worth because of American interest, a massive search has begun, worldwide, to recover the missing Who material. As with many BBC productions, Doctor Who has long been sold to former British possessions all over the globe, and the Beeb has requested broadcasters in those countries to search their film and tape vaults for any Who material.

The call has even gone out to Who fans. The BBC isn't interested in keeping any Who tapes that might be found—they merely want to borrow and copy them, and then return them, with thanks.

But how did this situation occur in the first place? According to Roger Brunskill of BBC Enterprises. "When reliable videotape recording was first introduced to BBC Television, the great attraction was that one could record, view instantly, and wipe for re-use. In the early days of tape, recordings were routinely wiped 48 hours after transmission, unless the program office paid for retention. Early two-inch tapes were very expensive, and videotapes that had been cut and spliced for editing, as opposed to electronically edited, only lasted two years anyway. The splicing tape simply dried out." Undoubtedly, a good deal of early Doctor Who was sacrificed to expediency and economics.

"The sales explosion of recent years, and the need to keep the series forever was unforeseen in those days," Brunskill continues. "BBC Enterprises had film copies for foreign sale, but even those were periodically destroyed when the rights expired." The black-and-white film currently in the archives is a result of the foreign sales program. It is believed that the missing Pertwee material was destroyed either in error or because of damage to the tapes.

This Doctor Who recovery program has seen a good deal of success. The number of missing episodes has been reduced to 120, thanks to fans and broadcasters in lands such as Cyprus and Nigeria. to name two. (That figure does not include color episodes, for which black-and-white copies are available.)

American fans may be able to aid the search. Doctor Who has been broadcast in Canada since at least the early '70s, and there was a brief syndication of the early Pertwee stories in the U.S. around the same time. The possible existence of at least a half-inch color recording of one of the incomplete Pertwee adventures ("The Daemons") has been reported. Others may also be in circulation. As noted, the BBC would like to borrow and copy these tapes, then return them. If you have information about missing Who tapes, contact: Doctor Who production office, BBC-TV, TV Centre, Wood Lane, London WI2, England.

The Missing Episodes

(An up-to-date list of all Doctor Who episodes missing from the BBC Archives):

Caption: Well, those lost Doctor Who episodes aren't in there—as the late Patrick Troughton discovers.

SF Directory

Assembled by LIA PELOSI

Please note: Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement of any club or publication by STARLOG. And STARLOG is not responsible for information or spelling errors in these listings or changes in membership fees and privileges. Always write first to any organization, including a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to confirm, membership/sub rates and the club or publication's continued existence.

Attention: Not listed here? It is not our oversight. You haven't sent information to us. Please write to SF Directory, STARLOG. 475 Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10016. Provide all pertinent info on club/publication type, sanctioning, mailing address, yearly dues or subscription rates and membership kit. To facilitate inclusion, please provide info in the style that follows, typed double-space. These will be listed free at STARLOG's discretion.



Since 1987, the official American fan club/information network for fans of British actor Colin Baker.

Sanctioning: Colin Baker

Address: The Baker Connection

P.O. Box 8363

Stanford, CA 94309

Yearly dues: $10 (US & Canada), $12 (US funds for overseas airmail) for four newsletters (approx. one year). Make checks/money orders payable to: The Baker Connection.

Membership includes: Newsletter, the CB Hotline, which is published on a timely "need to know" basis, whenever news becomes available concerning upcoming TV, theater or convention appearances. An 8.5- x 11" bookfold format; length varies but averages eight pages; most issues include current photos.


Sanctioning: BBC

Address: Friends of the Doctor

P.O. Box 17655

Portland, OR 97217

(503) 236-8710

Yearly dues: None

Membership includes: Irregularly published

newsletter, Chronic Hysteresis, purchased by the

issue or by subscription. Write for details.



Sanctioning: David Banks

Address: Official David Banks Fan Club

P.O. Box 61774

Vancouver, WA 98666-1774

Yearly dues: $3

Membership includes: Subscription to quarterly

newsletter Cyber:ine, photo of David Banks out

of Cyberleader costume. biography of David Banks

and member contests.


Sanctioning: None

Address: Lost Colony Tardis

c/o Robert C. Allen

914 Third Street

Spencer. NC 28159

(704) 633-3144

For more information write or call: Kim Benson, Durham Sidrat, 1315 Morreene Road, K5, Durham, NC 27705 (919) 383-3155.


Doctor Who/Blake's 7/British SF fan club Sanctioning: None

Address: Milwaukee Time Lords

c/o Ed Hochman

2400 E. Bradford Apt. 606 Milwaukee, WI 53211

Yearly dues: S9 initial, $6 renewal, out-of-town subscriptions also $6 (add $1 for foreign subscriptions).

Membership includes: A membership card, club constitution, eight 32-36 page issues of newsletter The Relative Times. Each issue contains news, articles, humor, artwork and serialized fiction stories about Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and other British science fiction (and occasionally Star Trek). Fanzine Qui to Time currently in press. Write for more info.


Address: The Tangi Tardis Travelers c/o Jeanne Voorhees

1201 S. Holly Street

Hammond, LA 70403

Yearly dues: $10 (Adults), $7 (Students). Membership includes: Monthly meetings which consist of socializing, activities, games and. watching genre videos. Club activities also includes field trips, attending conventions and club-sponsored events. Emphasis on Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Trek: TNG, Blake's 7 and all SF in general.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: O'Neill, Patrick Daniel (number 163 (February 1991)). The Doctor: In Recovery. Starlog p. 34.
  • MLA 7th ed.: O'Neill, Patrick Daniel. "The Doctor: In Recovery." Starlog [add city] number 163 (February 1991), 34. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: O'Neill, Patrick Daniel. "The Doctor: In Recovery." Starlog, edition, sec., number 163 (February 1991)
  • Turabian: O'Neill, Patrick Daniel. "The Doctor: In Recovery." Starlog, number 163 (February 1991), section, 34 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Doctor: In Recovery | url= | work=Starlog | pages=34 | date=number 163 (February 1991) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Doctor: In Recovery | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>