Carol Hills : For many people around the world, this sound means one thing. The doctor has arrived. Doctor Who. Starting this week you can see some long lost episodes of the BBC Sci-fi series. The search for the missing reels, took a tv archivist all the way to Africa's most populaces country. What he found there is the talk of Doctor Who fans around the world. Here in our news room not everyone knows the Doctor, but luckily we have intern Elizabeth Gilles to help fill us in.
Elizabeth Gilles: Here's what happened. The archivist Phillip Morris, was rummaging around a store room of a old TV studio in Nigeria.
Phillip Morris: You [inaudible 00:40] on the shelf? We're checking a number now, seeing a piece of masking tape. It said Doctor Who on it, and I thought oh that's interesting. Pulled the cans down, I read the story codes, and realized they were missing from the BBC archive.
Gilles: There were episodes no had seen in about 46 years. In the 60's and 70's BBC distributed episodes of their dramas to many countries, including Nigeria. Those reels were duplicates. Later on the BBC destroyed the original reels. The trouble was the show was getting more popular, and it's still winning new fans. Doctor Who is now gaining ground in the United States, with it's most recent run which features the ninth actor to play the time traveling hero. The tenth actor has already been cast. Some American's may be surprised at the look of this episode from 1967.
Doctor Who: Here we go, that should work.
Man: What's it do?
Doctor: Oh nothing.
Man: Oh no.
Doctor: Well nothing yet, but it will do once we start moving again.
Gilles: Few people today have seen the early episodes of Doctor Who.
David Donohoe: A lot of them were lost.
Gilles: Much more of them were found in N igeria. Says David Donahugh, a fan here in Boston. But he's incouraged by what he was found.
Donohoe: Oh I want to hope that this kindles an ongoing search, because how many more of these episodes are on some tape or some reel just even just unlabled in a relay station somewhere in the world?
Gilles: For lucky fans, archivist like Phillip Morris are on the job. For the world, I'm Elizabeth Gilles