The Most Exciting Doctor Who Rumor in Years

If you're an old-school Doctor Who fan, at least, then this new rumor is just beyond thrilling. Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool claims reliable sources (plural) tell him that a ton of missing Doctor Who stories have been found. Stories. Not episodes.

That could make the show's 50th anniversary very, very special indeed.

You've probably heard over and over how great Patrick Troughton's performance as the second Doctor is — it's a major inspiration for Matt Smith's incarnation, among other things. But most of Troughton's stories were destroyed during a period of temporary insanity at the BBC in the 1970s. Only one story from his first two seasons exists in full, and all the other Troughton stories we have are from his final season, when the show was running on fumes in all sorts of ways.

Now, Johnston claims, the BBC has turned up a ton of Doctor Who stories that were presumed lost forever. Apparently there was an "eccentric engineer" who worked for some broadcasters in Africa, and he had a love for science fiction and a habit of putting things away for safe keeping. Among the finds, Johnston says, is the complete "Evil of the Daleks," Troughton's second Dalek story from 1967. Along with tons of other stories.

The era of the first Doctor, William Hartnell, is way better represented in the archives than Troughton's is, and Johnston suggests that after this find, we might actually have "The Full Hartnell." Including possibly the complete tape of Hartnell's final episode, "The Tenth Planet" episode four.

Needless to say, this is astoundingly good news, and I really hope it turns out to be true. Fingers crossed! [Bleeding Cool]