Holy crap. The rumor that a startling 90 episodes of lost Doctor Who material had been recovered seemed too good to be true. So we weren't entirely surprised when it was shot down. But now, the world's biggest expert on missing episodes is saying it's true after all. Could our dreams be real?
A bit of background here. Ian Levine is the reason we have many of the earliest Doctor Who stories intact, years after the BBC destroyed a lot of their old recordings. He personally rescued the tapes of "The Daleks" from being incinerated. And he was one of the loudest voices denouncing the "90 missing Doctor Who episodes recovered" rumor as a hoax. But now, he's just taken to Twitter, claiming he's seen proof and it's all true.
These recovered episodes, according to Bleeding Cool, include everything that was missing, except "nine episodes of The Dalek Master Plan, plus Mission To The Unknown, two episodes of The Invasion, two episodes of The Ice Warriors, and two episodes of The Wheel In Space."
Here's what Ian Levine just tweeted:
Ohh I knew I'd have to come back and answer this. The 3 tons proof is from 2011.But he's been back TEN TIMES since then and found more stuff— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 19, 2013
Final word for tonight. If someone confided in me I would never be discussing this. But they lied + I found the proof so under no obligation— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 19, 2013
@Timelord81r Right now I'm holding on to the proof + not leaking it publicly. But I assure you I have proof of 3 tons of film cans arriving— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 19, 2013
@Timelord81r Just three serials is a bad joke.There are literally three tons of film cans and that's just from 2011. I have the actual proof— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 19, 2013
I have just seen "three tons" of evidence that tells me it's all true. Saying no more. Apart from I now believe it again.— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 18, 2013
@keefybabe I've just been given proof that backs up the entire story,from 2011. So yes I now really believe he has found 90 missing episodes— Ian Levine (@IanLevine) June 18, 2013
I guess the question is whether A) Ian Levine's Twitter might have been hacked, and B) he's actually seen the episodes in question. Or just the film cans. In any case, he now says he's been "given proof" that the mysterious person in question found tons of film cans in 2011 and has been back since, finding more stuff. So, ummm... maybe time to put away some of those grains of salt again?
Update: Bleeding Cool has some more details on the three tons of film that Levine is apparently talking about.
Update #2: Levine has tweeted that the "proof" he's seen is indeed the shipping manifest included in the Bleeding Cool article. Which, to be fair, isn't actually proof of anything — it's just a shipping manifest that says there were three tons of "old films," with no proof as to their contents. So a grain of salt is definitely still massively indicated.
[Thanks Mark Abernathy!]