The person in charge of the TV archive Kaleidoscope mentioned that some episodes of Doctor Who, which are considered ‘missing,’ are actually known to exist but are held in private collections.
Out of the 253 episodes from the show’s first six years, 97 are still lost in their original form. This happened because the BBC had a policy of discarding archive programming between 1967 and 1978.
As a result, there are many incomplete or completely missing adventures of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) and the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton).
In an interview with RadioTimes.com, Chris Perry, the CEO of TV archive Kaleidoscope, expressed optimism about finding more lost episodes of Doctor Who in the future.
He mentioned that they are aware of the existence of missing Doctor Who episodes, but currently, the owners are not willing to return them.
Every year, they manage to discover 50-70 lost programs, including well-known titles and internationally recognized shows, as well as lesser-known but valuable examples of regional television content.
Perry highlighted the recent success of Kaleidoscope in finding missing episodes of the 1980s show Fraggle Rock by Jim Henson. This achievement demonstrates the organization’s ongoing efforts to recover and restore lost archive TV.
In the past, various versions of Fraggle Rock aired in different countries, and it was thought that all episodes of the British version, which included unique live-action parts not shown elsewhere, were erased in the 1990s.
However, Kaleidoscope managed to recover all the British versions of Fraggle Rock. Half of these episodes are now preserved in their archive, while the other half are safely stored at the BFI National Archive.
Kaleidoscope was established in 1987 and has been collaborating with the BFI on the Missing Believed Wiped initiative since 1995. Their mission is to find, restore, and return lost British television shows to the archives.
During the BFI’s annual Missing Believed Wiped event at BFI Southbank on 5th August, several exciting discoveries will be showcased. This includes newly-colourised Doctor Who clips, rediscovered footage from Fraggle Rock, an unheard interview with Jeremy Brett (the star of ITV’s Sherlock Holmes series), and the unaired pilot for Up the Toga, a US version of the Frankie Howerd sitcom Up Pompeii!, which was thought to be lost for many years.
Source: Radio Times