Rumors of recovered Doctor Who episodes apparently just a hoax

Last week, we all got our hopes up that the huge gaps in Doctor Who's history, with whole years of the show basically gone, might be filled in with the return of a bunch of missing episodes. And now, the inevitable has happened and reality has set in.

Bleeding Cool, which seemed so sure that it had multiple credible sources for the story about dozens of missing Doctor Who episodes being returned, is now backing off that story at light speed. In a nutshell, Rich Johnston now says that this was a hoax that was played not just on fans but also on the BBC itself — there's an "individual" up there who was negotiating in bad faith and "playing up his own eccentricities" to hide the fact that he had no proof that these episodes existed.

One source for the rumors seems to have been comments that former script editor Andrew Cartmel supposedly made at a convention, which Cartmel has now disavowed on Twitter. But Johnston still claims he had three different sources for the rumor, one of whom "really should know one way or another." And yet, the overall tone of Bleeding Cool's latest update is throwing cold water on this report — even as Johnston provides more tantalizing details about which episodes were purportedly returned.

Sigh. Should have known it was too good to be true.

Update: Rich Johnston has been tweeting that even though one prominent person believes this is a hoax, Bleeding Cool still isn't backing off its story:

@charliejane Bleeding Cool not backing off Doctor Who rumours at all, BTW. Just continuing to share differing perspectives.

— Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) June 18, 2013

[Bleeding Cool]