Although Doctor Who fans will never recover from the BBC’s long-ago mass purging of episodes from its archives (an attempt to make more room for quality shows like Cor Blimey She’s A Saucy One! and ‘Ere’s A Real Boot To The Knickers, Wot?), the recent discovery of two episodes thought forever lost is certainly a nice surprise. Both “Air Lock,” the third chapter of the William Hartnell-starring “Galaxy 4” serial and the second episode from the Patrick Troughton-era “The Underwater Menace” storyline have been turned over by Terry Burnett, a film collector who purchased them back in the early ’80s, was only recently made aware that they were likely the only surviving copies, and who has now given them back to the BBC, who's promised to be more careful with them this time.
As Radio Times explains, “neither is likely to feature high on fan wish lists” nor are they in especially pristine condition, but as fans will tell you, any find after all these years is a fairly big deal—and of course, each episode has its own special significance to Whovians, with “Air Lock” featuring the introduction (and rare in-action shots) of The Rills, and “The Underwater Menace” being the earliest surviving episode to feature the second Doctor. The episodes were screened over the weekend by the British Film Institute and are expected to be released commercially sometime next year. For now, you can check out clips here and here. [via Digital Spy]