It is fitting I think to mark the first anniversary of the speculation made fact – when at midnight (or before the embargo in the case of one northern newspaper) the news fans were waiting for was confirmed: nine previously missing episodes of Doctor Who had been recovered, restored and (best of all) released. If one were of an unkind disposition, one would say the finding of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear made for an even better 50th anniversary gift than The Day of the Doctor – I perhaps would not go that far, but I would venture that it was undoubtedly a wonderful anniversary gift to the fans.
I am sure many fans remember the breathtaking moment when the BBC ran with this story. Speculation had been rife, but BBC confirmation that several episodes had been found and would be revealed sent this into overdrive. Like many of those fans, I spent a very long time on Twitter endlessly refreshing and wondering what had been found.
One embargo breaking news item confirmed the good news – The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear had been found. Now … if I’m honest, the first one didn’t catch my imagination at all – I had previously taken no interest in the serial whatsoever. But I still pre-ordered the DVD – simply because I wanted to go through the same experience my dad did when he bought The Tomb of the Cybermen back in 1992.
I’m so very glad I did. Until that point my Troughton collection was rather on small side – partly because (like everyone) there aren’t many serials to go around, but mostly because I hadn’t yet been persuaded of the charms of his era. Rather like with The Claws of Axos, I ran the risk of misjudging an era by a small sample! Watching the sheer genius of Patrick Troughton portraying the Doctor and Salamander changed all of that – I think most fans went through the similar experience of discovering Enemy to be a hitherto unexpected hidden gem.
So hip hip hurrah for 10th October 2013! And here’s hoping that many more hidden gems remain to be found …