In the 60's and 70's the BBC threw away many early film recordings of their Television output. In the process the BBC lost 106 episodes of the TV series Doctor Who in an effort to clean house and make space. These episodes were from the earliest part of the series, in which actor William Hartnell played the first Doctor, and Patrick Troughton played the second. It was thought that the film was destroyed and the episodes were permanently lost.
But now those films have been found -in Ethiopia! The original tapes had been sold to the the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency after being aired just once. Now the BBC is negotiating the return of those episodes, and hopes they may be back in the UK in time for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was no market for home video. In fact, the concept did not exist. Even more, few TV programmers could envision a time in which decades-old TV shows would be used to fill hundreds of round-the-clock TV channels. But to legions of Doctor Who fans, the return of the missing episodes is an exciting chapter in the history of the science fiction series. Here's a list of the missing episodes.