Long-lost Doctor Who episodes discovered

Two long-lost episodes of 'Doctor Who' from the 1960s have been discovered by a film collector

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The Doctor with his companions

Current Doctor Who star Matt Smith

Two long-lost episodes of 'Doctor Who' from the 1960s have been found.

Episode three of the William Hartnell adventure 'Galaxy Four' and episode two of Patrick Troughton's 'The Underwater Menace' - which were thought to have been lost forever - were discovered by film collector Terry Burnett, who purchased them from a village fete near Southampton in the early 80s.

But he was unaware the canisters contained missing material until a chance meeting with Radio Times' head of heritage Ralph Montagu.

'Doctor Who' writer-and-director Mark Gatiss - who hosted the British Film Institute's annual 'Missing Believed Wiped' event at the National Film Theatre in London on Sunday (11.12.11), where the footage was shown - said: "Christmas has come early for 'Doctor Who' fans everywhere.

"It's always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it's been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant.

"Add to that a proper bit of action from the legendary Chumblies (and the horrifying Rills) plus the utterly mesmeric Patrick Troughton on great form. Well, what more could we all ask for?"

None of the four episodes from 'Galaxy 4' were known to have survived, and more than 100 episodes of the BBC One sci-fi show from the 1960s are still missing after the tapes were wiped when the rights to repeat them expired because the material was no longer thought to be of interest to the TV audience.

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