Private collector reveals hoard of missing Doctor Who episodes
On Saturday the 12th of January 2013 I visit the house of a private collector in Kent. Several people had responded to my offer of £25,000 for information leading to the recovery of any missing Doctor Who episodes and pointed me in the direction of a certain gentleman who had experienced difficulties and issues with the BBC and a number of arrogant and aggressive Doctor Who fans in the past.
One person in particular was able to put me in touch with the collector directly. A telephone conversion took place on Friday the 11th of January 2013 between the collector and myself where we arrange to meet the next day.
The collector wished to remain anonymous for the time being. Even though he is already known to a number of Doctor Who fans, including a couple of individuals that he refers to as Bignell and the fat man, he is a man who values his privacy.
He is not on Twitter.
He is not on Facebook.
He is not active on any internet forums.
He is simply a man in his forties who was given a large number of epsiodes by his father in the seventies and wishes to keep them. He considers them to be his episodes and not the property of the BBC.
His father was an employee of the BBC in the sixties and seventies and was involved, in a very peripheral way, in the making of Doctor Who.
In his own words…
My father always gave me copies of the programmes that he worked on and I will never give them up. Not until the BBC do the right thing and apologies to me for the way they treated my father and gave him the sack in 1979. I have told the BBC that they can come to my house with their equipment and make copies of the episodes if they want to but only after they have made a public information broadcast containing a clear apology to my family.
I have already told everyone who has asked me that this is all I ever wanted. I do not want money for the episodes and I don’t even want a Dalek. I just want to keep what is rightfully the property of my family and for the truth to be told publicly.
That is all I want and all I have ever wanted.
I’m not going to be bullied by all those so called super fans who are nothing but lackeys for the BBC. One bloke told me he would do everything he could in his power to make sure I got sued. He said that he would use his considerable private wealth to pay for a lawsuit that would force me to hand over my collection to the BBC.
I told him to go to hell and I haven’t heard from him since. If he comes here again I’ll set the dogs on him.
Having been treated to a volley of foul and abusive language on Twitter recently I know exactly the kind of bullying he is talking about.
The collector has in his possession numerous copies of missing Doctor Who episodes on multiple formats. Over the years he has built his own Doctor Who archive on VHS which includes many complete stories that are currently listed as missing. He was gracious enough to allow me to watch episode one of The Macra Terror on VHS.
In his own words again…
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t transfered anything to DVD because DVD is just a massive con to get people to switch formats. There is nothing wrong with video. People always say that video tape will degrade but I’ve got archived copies of hundreds of television shows on perfectly good quality VHS tape that plays just as well today as it did when it was originally copied.
As I had suspected, the missing episodes are out there in the hands of private collectors and it didn’t take long for my offer to result in a very positive lead.
The next step is to find a way to give this collector the thing that he has wanted for decades so that the episodes can be enjoyed by the many other genuine Doctor Who fans who dearly want to see them.