William Hartnell as Doctor Who, the first actor to portray the role.  Many of the episodes in which he appeared may be on their way back to the BBC (and to the fans).

William Hartnell  as The Doctor, the first actor to portray the title role in the long running science fiction television series Doctor Who. Many of the episodes in which he appeared may be on their way back to the BBC (and to the fans).

News agency web sites have been buzzing with the news of old episodes of Doctor Who being found that had previously presumed lost forever.  Now it appears the rumors may be true.

Some new episodes of the popular BBC science fiction television series have been found in the archives of the Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency, and as the dust settles from the discovery it appears that 90 episodes are being recovered.  In fact, it is looking like everything that had been lost is now found again, according to Bleeding Cool, except “nine episodes of The Dalek Master Plan, plus Mission To The Unknown, two episodes of The Invasion, two episodes of The Ice Warriors, and two episodes of The Wheel In Space.

The BBC is only just now  reporting this morning that “a number of episodes have been found”, without identifying which ones or how many of them have been recovered, nor where they were recovered from.  The Mirror first broke the story, but that publication is known for sensational content of dubious credibility.  Now more reliable sources such as The Radio Times and BBC4 Radio have picked up the story, and there seems to be some truth to it.

According to the Radio Times, BBC Worldwide will put the two episodes up for sale on Wednesday morning, The episodes are believed to be from two different stories featuring the Second Doctor.  When asked whether there really was a a cache of 90+ lost Doctor Who episodes, a BBC spokeswoman told the Radio Times, “We can’t confirm because it’s not true, as far as I’m aware.”

What makes this interesting is that some months ago there had been a rumor of a large number of episodes found and being in the hands of one collector

What we’re watching is information bubbling through the system as we catch glimpses of it on its way through the offices of the BBC.  We also don’t know how much the BBC knows about what’s actually going on, how much they’re telling their own people about it, or how long they’ve known. This doesn’t allow us to confirm or deny the rumors, but if you’re puzzled by the BBC’s apparent denial of the discovery, don’t be.  Wait a few days, and it will all settle out.  But we have a good feeling about this one.

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