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2002 Missing Episodes Survey


Here they are - the results of the 2002 Missing Episodes Survey.  Survey questions were posted on both the Doctor Who Gateway and the Outpost Gallifrey Forum (Thanks to Shaun Lyon for his enthusiasm and cooperation) for three weeks between June 28 and July 12, 2002.  A total of 87 respondents provided opinions on a variety of topics related to the missing episodes saga.  Thanks to all who contributed by participating, including David Howe, Graham Howard, Shannon Patrick Sullivan, Julian Knott, Dallas Jones, Dominique Boies, Dominic Jackson, Paul Cornell, David McIntee, Ash Stewart, Ryan K. Johnson, Bob Furnell, Steve Hill, Torger Kielland, Jamie Baverstock, Chris Cuthbert, Dave Dixey, Brad Phipps, Jeffrey Ellis, Duncan Hurwood and many, many more.

1)   As of 2002, there are 109 missing Doctor Who episodes.  How many episodes do you think still exist, whether they be in foreign TV archives, private film collections, or dusty attic boxes?

a)  None (0) - 7
b)  Some (1-10) - 45
c)  Many (11-50) - 30
d)  Most (51-100) - 3
e)  All or nearly all (101-109) - 2
f)  Do not know and do not care - 0

Answering this question obviously requires pure guesswork and speculation, however it is interesting to see the majority of respondents (45 of 87 or 51%) answering positively yet conservatively, choosing "Some (1-10)," with "Many (11-50)" a distant second.  Considering the time which has passed since the original junkings, fandom would indeed be fortunate to enjoy 1-10 full episode recoveries.

2)   The last full episode recovery came in 1999 (The Lion in New Zealand).  How long will we wait until the next full episode find?

a)  1-2 years - 31
b)  3-5 years - 26
c)  5-10 years - 21
d)  Forever! - 6

Again, a question demanding educated guesswork, yet again we see the majority of respondents (31 or 37%) choosing the logical answer considering the passage of time, and assuming that whatever episodes may still exist will probably be recovered soon or not at all.

3)   From where will the next full episode recovery originate?

a)  Foreign TV archives - 30
b)  Film collector aware of the film's value - 7
c)  Film collector unaware of the film's value - 34
d)  a dusty attic, cleaned-out garage, or storage-shed - 11

The results from this question seem to indicate a shift in belief for many fans since the mid-90's.  Not only has fandom obviously disengaged from believing that 'missing episode clubs' & greedy fans/collectors are dealing material through a type of black market, but two recent finds in New Zealand (The Lion in '99 & censor clips in '02) seem to have convinced fans (34 or 41%) that film collectors unaware of what they possess are more likely to hold missing Doctor Who material than foreign TV archives, which did come in at a close second (30 or 37%).

4)  Which three stories would you most like to see recovered in full?

1) Power of the Daleks - 46
2) The Daleks' Master Plan - 32
3) Marco Polo - 31
4) The Evil of the Daleks - 27
5) The Web of Fear - 24
6) Fury From the Deep - 22
7) The Myth Makers - 8 / The Tenth Planet - 8
8) The Massacre - 7
9) The Enemy of the World - 6
10) The Celestial Toymaker - 4 /  The Crusade - 4 / The Underwater Menace - 4
11) The Abominable Snowmen - 3 / The Faceless Ones - 3 / The Macra Terror - 3 / The Savages - 3
12) Mission to the Unknown - 2 / The Moonbase - 2
13) Galaxy Four - 1 / The Highlanders - 1 / The Ice Warriors - 1 / The Invasion - 1 / The Reign of Terror - 1 / The Smugglers - 1 / The Space Pirates - 1 / The Wheel in Space - 1

A question for those who enjoy fantasizing a bit!  It is interesting to note that the top four answers balance equally missing Patrick Troughton/William Hartnell episodes, and unsurprisingly 'established classics' are the most desired of future returns.  Is it surprising that The Web of Fear did not rank higher than 5th place, considering the heightened interest in this story as a result of the NZ censor clips find only months ago?  Perhaps.  Is it also surprising to see The Enemy of the World receive more votes than generally well regarded adventures such as The Abominable Snowmen or The Crusade? Historical stories also fared very well, with both The Myth Makers and The Massacre topping Troughton monster-era adventures such as The Macra Terror & The Moonbase.  Interest in the Troughton-era continues to be high as Power of the Daleks easily tops The Daleks' Master Plan, and interest in the first Doctor Who historical Marco Polo remains high as well, sustained perhaps thanks to the recent Loose Canon release of a fan reconstruction in color.

5)   Which would you rather see?

a)  A complete story recovered (ie: The Evil of the Daleks) - 57
or...b)  A selection of recovered missing episodes from various stories (ie:  Power of the Daleks 1, Marco Polo 7, Evil of the Daleks 5, The Web of Fear 3, etc.) - 30

Again, a question for those who enjoy fantasizing, although the majority (57 or 66%) clearly would prefer to see a full story recovered than a selection of various missing episodes.  Perhaps a better question might have asked which is more likely?

6)   Have you viewed the recently recovered New Zealand censor clips online at the BBC Doctor Who website?

a)  No - 31
b)  Yes, I viewed them once - 31
c)  Yes, I viewed them a few times - 22
d)  Yes, I have viewed them repeatedly and cannot get enough! - 3

Was this an unfair question, considering the recently recovered NZ censor clips have only been available online since mid-June?  Perhaps, as an equal number of respondents (31 or 36%) were just as likely to have seen them as to have not, although it is encouraging to see that many (22 or 25%) have viewed the clips repeatedly.  A number of responses did indicate dissatisfaction with RealPlayer as an online viewing tool.

7)   Have you viewed the missing episode PhotoNovels at the BBC Doctor Who website?

a)  No - 29
b)  Yes, I viewed them once but haven't visited since - 13
c)  Yes, I occasionally view them - 41
d)  Yes, I have been a dedicated viewer - 4

8)  Do you collect any of the various fan-produced missing episode video reconstructions?

a)  No, I have never seen them - 40
b)  No, I've seen one or a few but do not collect them - 14
c)  Yes, I have a collection but have stopped adding new titles - 9
d)  Yes, I continue to collect and add new titles - 23

9)  Do you collect any of the missing stories released on CD by BBC Audio?

a)  No, I have never purchased one - 25
b)  No, I've purchased one or a few but do not collect them - 27
c) Yes, I collect them - 35

 

Additional Comments

Re:  Future recoveries

It wouldn't surprise me if a good 25-30 are still out there somewhere. they were sent all over the world and record keeping wasn't very good at the time, I bet many were slipped out the backdoor when they were supposed to be 'destroyed or returned' - Rob Penn

Doctor Who, but The Avengers, Adam Adamant Lives and the countless others, too - Kyle Borcz

I'd like to think we'll at least be able to reduce the number down to double figures, I doubt it'll get past 90. I'd like it to, but the number of episodes that have turned up in the last decade, compared with the decade before, don't seem to indicate this - Ash Stewart

A gut feeling is maybe 5 or 6. Some episodes have an impossibly small chance of survival like the later Troughton stories, sad though it may be - Dominic Jackson

Re: The New Zealand censor clips

I will be looking forward to seeing them larger than postage-stamp size as a DVD extra at some point! - David McIntee

I have viewed them only once, because to view them repeatedly would only be torturing myself over stories I can't possibly watch in their entirety! - Jessie Loflin

Re: Fan Video Reconstructions

The standard of Reconstructions continues to improve with each release. This year's Loose Cannon Marco Polo recon was so good as to make me wonder whether if the episodes were to be recovered, they would be an anticlimax - Steve Hatcher

Re: BBC Audio missing stories

These are marvellous, and perhaps I don't wish to see full stories back in part because these releases do such a good job of filling the gaps! They certainly give a younger fan like me the chance of really visualising the episodes as they were transmitted - Christopher Fare

In Closing...

Thanks again to the many fans who took the time to participate in this survey, and thanks to Shaun Lyon and the readers of the Outpost Gallifrey Forum for their help.  Thanks to those who provided additional comments as well as survey answers, your efforts were appreciated and I apologize for not being able to post all of them here.  It is encouraging to see that interest in the missing episodes is still high and still largely positive;  as fan Christopher Fare indicated, "Missing episode finds do have a habit of occurring just when we're about to give up hope, after all!