Evil Mugabe hoards lost Doctor Who tapes
LONG-lost Doctor Who episodes thought to be hidden away in Zimbabwe may never be recovered because despot Robert Mugabe hates the UK.
BBC investigators believe the troubled nation holds some of the early episodes of the cult series which are still missing.
But tyrant President Mugabe has banned the Beeb (BBC) from setting foot in his country. And diplomatic relations are also extremely tense — meaning researchers are unable to get into the nation’s TV vaults.
The BBC destroyed early episodes of the sci-fi series in the late Sixties and Seventies to make room in its film library for new programmes.
But Zimbabwe is understood to have bought the first season of the show when it was still a British colony known as Rhodesia. It starred William Hartnell and ran from 1963 to 1964. The Beeb suspects the historic series, together with later episodes not held anywhere else in the world, may still be locked away.
Despite years of searching, the broadcaster is missing 108 of 752 episodes of the television classic.
Over the decades some previously lost episodes have been uncovered by archivists in places as far flung as Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Others have been unearthed from early home-made tapes.
Collector Gordon Hendry discovered the second and third episodes of the first series selling for 8 pounds each at a car boot sale in 1983. Another four episodes featuring Hartnell, the first actor to play the Time Lord, were recently retrieved from Nigeria.
That led to corporation chiefs setting up a new task force to scour the rest of Africa for missing episodes.
But they have been unable to get permission to visit Zimbabwe — where Mugabe still blames former colonial ruler Britain for its economic chaos.
Last year the leader even called the British Government "thieving neo-colonialists".
A BBC source said: "We have looked all over the world for missing Doctor Who episodes but there are still some broadcasters we have not spoken to. Zimbabwe could prove a problem as there is so much red tape.
"There is a fear that we may never get our hands on the footage and that would be a real shame for fans."
Archivists are trying to find the missing episodes to release them on DVD.
The most sought-after lost show is episode four of the last William Hartnell serial The Tenth Planet, which was broadcast in October 1966. It ends with Hartnell regenerating into the second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton.
You know what would be helpful? Some sort of time machine that could travel back and save the tapes! If only I could think of something like that
Also, on a random note, I, ecctv, am no way involved with creating a fashion community and I am not trying to contact you to help moderate it. Just in case someone, claiming to be me, had said I wanted to. Sorry, bub.