Five years ago Doctor Who fandom gave a collective scream of ecstasy. Already stoked by the 50th anniversary celebrations, the wonderful news broke that archive television hunter Philip Morris had successfully recovered nine missing episodes from The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. Many a fan turned up to work exhausted (or consequently failed to!) as they rushed to download the releases from iTunes as soon as they were released at midnight, and overall there was much rejoicing.
Ladies and gentlemen … this is not the blog I had originally intended to write. Originally, this was entitled “Five years on … the wait continues”. It was due to be a rather prosaic acceptance five years after the return of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear that the so-called ‘omnirumour‘ – the promise that a large number of missing episodes of Doctor Who had been recovered – was a busted flush.
That, as I say, was what I had intended to write …
Doctor Who fans are hugely fortunate. Thanks to the intervention of Ian Levine, the series first three serials were rescued hours before they would have been lost forever. While fans can get caught up in The Beginning DVD boxset, a jarring note hits the viewer as The Edge of Destruction fades to a close, and viewers are forced to the horrified realisation that we cannot see what happens next.
My sabbatical from blogging has lasted rather longer than the initial month I had forecast! To that end, I am going to get back into reviews – and so I am turning to those Doctor Who serials that did not get an honorable mention in my countdown – my favourite topic, the infamous missing episodes of Doctor Who! And I kick off with a story I’d held off buying in audio form for many months, not least when rumours began circulating that the serial was set for release on DVD – The Wheel in Space.
It’s nearly five years since Bleeding Cool published the internet-breaking article suggesting that a mass return of currently missing Doctor Who episodes was about to happen. Since then we have not had the promised omnirumour dreadnaught, even if we have enjoyed the wonderful return of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, and the rather excellent Power of the Daleks animation. Five years on, I think it’s safe to say many fans have rather lost hope and patience. So I asked myself the question: “What could we have to look forward to in 2018?”
Hello readers! I hope you have enjoyed a restful Christmas, and that 2018 is off to the start you hoped for.
As followers of my Twitter account have already seen, 2018 began with bigger news for me than even the return of more missing episodes – my wife and I have had a lovely baby boy, who has already watched (well … been present for!) his first episode of Doctor Who!
Even before our son’s birth, I had already decided that I was going to begin 2018 by taking a break from social media for a month. I reflected that I was spending a ridiculous amount of time checking for news updates and seeing who was responding to my posts, rather than enjoying actual life.
I had no desire to spend the first few precious weeks of our son’s life on a tiny screen rather than enjoying this tiny person, and so I resolved that as soon as we’d announced the happy news on Facebook to family and friends, I would uninstall Facebook and Twitter from my phone, and take a short sabbatical from social media.
What does this mean for you dear readers? Well, there is still more Doctor Who content to come! I’m hoping to write some fresh reflections on missing episodes; write a review of the Shada animation; and many more ideas besides! But I plan to enjoy January with my new family, and return refreshed in February!
As a final bonus – the last couple of times I took myself away from social media, there usually followed some sort of news about Doctor Who missing episodes. As I’m vanishing for a month, odds are I’ll come back to discover they’ve found The Daleks’ Master Plan!
I look forward to catching up with everyone on my return – Monday 12th February. Happy new year!
This last week has been a very strange one. For the first time in three years I did not write a blog piece, having just finished my countdown of classic Doctor Who with my review of The Tomb of the Cybermen. It occured to me that with 2017 coming to an end, it was a natural point to reflect on three years of talking about Doctor Who.