A film canister containing a previously missing episode of Doctor Who, "The Evil of the Daleks: Ep 2".

The appropriately dubbed Doctor Who Missing Episodes are a collection of 97 episodes of the British sci-fi television series that were wiped by the BBC between 1963 and 1974 (as old reels would often be wiped for new material instead of buying expensive new reels), and thus have not been seen since their original airing.

In addition to the completely lost episodes during the First and Second Doctor's runs, there are some episodes from the Third Doctor's run that no longer exist in their original color format, although they do exist in black-and-white versions, and have subsequently been restored to full colour.

After the BBC came to their senses in 1974, they decided to start searching for the episodes that they had lost by attempting to gain the co-operation of private collectors and probing the television stations that they had loaned tapes to (tapes that had, as of then, not yet been returned). Through these methods the BBC has managed to recover 50 episodes over the years (most recently in October 2013), including nine full missing serials.


A picture taken on set of the lost episode "Marco Polo"

A total of 26 serials still remain incomplete, 10 of which are completely missing from the BBC archives. Still publicity photographs, scenes cut for censorship reasons, on-set footage and audio recordings for some of the remaining lost episodes still survive and were released by the BBC in a 2004 DVD boxset which once sparked rumors of a special-edition release in the summer of 2014.[1]

Of the 91 missing episodes, only one is confirmed to have no chance of recovery. This would be episode 7 of "The Daleks' Master Plan", a Christmas special which only aired once. Because the episode had no relevance to the plot, there were no film copies made. As a result,
Collage offair 304 thedaleksmasterplan

Screenshots from "The Feast of Steven"

it was never offered to overseas broadcasters like all other episodes. It was destroyed for good in the second round of wiping on August 17th, 1967.

It is widely rumoured that following the October 2013 reveal of missing episodes (announcement below), more are to come in coming months, potentially restoring the majority of missing episodes.

UPDATE 10 Oct '13: Rumours have been abundant over the past few days, regarding reports that two previously lost episodes had been found (supposedly taken from the rumoured haul of 100+ episodes allegedly found in Zambia earlier this year). Well, today the BBC have confirmed the exact details of the find: NINE episodes have been rediscovered - the remaining five "The Enemy of the World" episodes (ie. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6), and four of the five missing "The Web of Fear" episodes (ie. 2, 4, 5 and 6) - all of which have since been made available for digital purchase on iTunes!!!

The episodes were originally rediscovered by TV archive recovery expert Phillip Morris, at a local TV station in Nigeria, and there have even been hints from the BBC that there may be more to come (further perpetuating the rumour of the Zambian episode haul).

UPDATE March 28, 2015: Could this be false hope? Earlier this year, a Reddit user claimed that his friend's grandfather had Episodes 1-4 of "Marco Polo" on VHS tapes in an old barn on his property, along with other already found episodes. After a few days, the tapes were allegedly delivered to the BBC, however, it should be noted that they have not made a announcement on this subject as of yet.

UPDATE October 17, 2016: The BBC recently announced that an animated version of the serial "The Power of the Daleks" is in the making. Which you could buy and download on the BBC Store website. Only available to citizens of the UK till the 14th of November.

List of Missing Episodes

Doctor Season Story No. Serial Lost Episodes Tally
First Doctor 1 004 "Marco Polo" All 7 episodes 7
008 "The Reign of Terror" Episodes 4 & 5 (of 6 total) 2
2 014 "The Crusade" Episodes 2 & 4 (of 4 total) 2
3 018 "Galaxy 4" Episodes 1, 2 & 4 (of 4 total) 3
019 "Mission to the Unknown" Entire episode 1
020 "The Myth Makers" All 4 episodes 4
021 "The Daleks' Master Plan"

Episodes 1, 3, 4, 6-9, 11 & 12 (of 12 total), with episode 7 known to be lost for good

022 "The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve" All 4 episodes 4
024 "The Celestial Toymaker" Episodes 1, 2 & 3 (of 4 total) 3
026 "The Savages" All 4 episodes 4
4 028 "The Smugglers" All 4 episodes 4
029 "The Tenth Planet" Episode 4 (of 4 total) 1
First Doctor Totals 12 serials 44 episodes
Second Doctor 4 030 "The Power of the Daleks" All 6 episodes 6
031 "The Highlanders" All 4 episodes 4
032 "The Underwater Menace" Episodes 1 & 4 (of 4 total) 2
033 "The Moonbase" Episodes 1 & 3 (of 4 total) 2
034 "The Macra Terror" All 4 episodes 4
035 "The Faceless Ones" Episodes 2, 4-6 (of 6 total) 4
036 "The Evil of the Daleks" Episodes 1, 3-7 (of 7 total) 6
5 038 "The Abominable Snowmen" Episodes 1, 3-6 (of 6 total) 5
039 "The Ice Warriors" Episodes 2 & 3 (of 6 total) 2
040 "The Enemy of the World" ALL FOUND OCT 10th 2013 0
041 "The Web of Fear" Episode 3 (of 6 total) ALL BUT EP 3 FOUND OCT 10th 2013 1
042 "Fury from the Deep" All 6 episodes 6
043 "The Wheel in Space" Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 5 (of 6 total) 4
6 046 "The Invasion" Episodes 1 & 4 (of 8 total) 2
049 "The Space Pirates" Episodes 1, 3-6 (of 6 total) 3
Second Doctor Totals 14 serials 52 episodes
Totals 26 serials 97 episodes


  1. Wikipedia page on the 2004 DVD boxset Lost in Time. Retrieved 22 May '13.

External Links

The Destruction Of Time, A deeper look into the lost episodes.