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MISSING EPISODES


 THE SEARCH FOR 
THE LOST EPISODES OF DOOMWATCH...
by Anthony Brown Scott Burditt. With help from doomwatch.org site contributors
Unfortunately, Doomwatch was produced just early enough to be a victim of the BBC archive purges in the early 1970’s. Many classic television episodes no longer reside in the broadcasters archives. They were either junked or the tapes were simply used again in order to reduce costs and storage space for the broadcasters. The BBC and ITV erased countless hours of its black and white output throughout the 70’s as they saw no further commercial use for such material with the advent of colour TV. Doomwatch however, was recorded in colour, but like many shows (Doctor Who) was still affected.In total 38 Doomwatch episodes were recorded and all but one aired between 1970 and 1972.
Producer Terence Dudley became so keen on his vision of the series that he clashed with Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, who left mid-way through season two, with Kit Pedler publicly attacking the third season on BBCtv. This perhaps contributed to the decision to end the series after its third run, with the season cut back by one episode leaving a completed script unproduced, while a completed episode, “Sex and Violence”, was pulled from the schedules and left unshown. Ironically, "Sex and Violence" is one of the few third season episodes that still exist, though it still remains unshown, despite being scheduled for transmission by UK Gold during the early 1990’s.
Five episodes are missing from season one, and nine from season three (season two is thankfully complete largely thanks to returns from Canadian broadcaster CBC).
From season one, the PAL 625 master tapes of "The Plastic Eaters", "Project Sahara", "Re-Entry Forbidden", "The Devil's Sweets", "The Red Sky", "The Battery People", "Waiting for a Knighthood", "Hair Trigger" and the unbroadcast "Sex and Violence" were preserved intact, along with the final season two episode "Public Enemy" with black-and-white overseas 16mm telerecordings of the whole of season two also retained.
From the third season, episodes "Waiting for a Knighthood", "Hair Trigger" and the aforementioned "Sex and Violence" were preserved on PAL 625 master tapes.
In addition, Canada's CBC purchased the first season episodes "Tomorrow The Rat" and "Train and De-Train" in 1971, along with the entirety of season two, and these NTSC 525 line recordings were returned to the BBC in the early 1980s. The CBC had screened all the episodes they had except "Train and De-Train", second season opener "You Killed Toby Wren" (which opens with a recap of the final scenes of the missing first season finale "Survival Code") and "Public Enemy".
Since then, rather astonishingly, no episodes of Doomwatch have been among the gems turned up by episode hunts, though there is reason to hope that more of season one may exist, as at least one of the crew was given a black and white film print of a favourite episode. Unfortunately, the episode writer Gerry Davis chose was "The Red Sky", which is intact in colour, but it suggests more prints were made, and that other production staff might still have them somewhere.
Even if you think you may have or know anybody that was taping the series and has duplicate episodes, we would still like to hear from you. We are hoping that much like Doctor Who, someone may have audio tapes of the transmitted episodes, where these don't exist in the BBC archive. We are also looking for help with reviews, story submissions and memories from those who watched the series and those that produced it. All submissions are welcome. If anyone knows about the overseas broadcast details of Doomwatch, we would love to hear from you! It is the 40th Anniversary next year and it would be a perfect time for people to search for and come forward with new missing material. So check if your having a house clearance, or next time you are rummaging around in your parents attics, for those old rusty film cans. Don’t throw them away! They are out there somewhere, maybe in a dark corner stuck in a garage or even a garden shed! This is a serious search, so please only contact us if you have found any film cans or audio recordings of Doomwatch.
This search doesn’t just end with Doomwatch episodes, there are many lost gems out there just waiting to be rediscovered. If you think you may have one of them, you can check them out on the database provided at www.lostshows.com

News of recent finds on classic TV shows can be found at www.wipednews.com andwww.kaleidoscope.org.uk

If you are looking for a site to discuss anything else you may have found, please visit www.missing-episodes.com and view their comprehensive forum.

WE WOULD KINDLY ASK VISITORS NOT TO TELEPHONE OR CONTACT UK OR FOREIGN TELEVISION STATIONS, AS THERE ARE ORGANISED AND OFFICIAL GROUPS THAT EXIST THAT ALREADY DO THIS. UNFORTUNATELY, CALLS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC CAN BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. WE ARE ASKING FOR A PRIVATE SEARCH FOR FILM CANS ONLY THAT RELATIVES, JUMBLE SALES OR CAR BOOT SALES MIGHT PROVIDE. THANK YOU.
Your contributions...
Zambia was the only country that purchased Season 3 of Doomwatch and the broadcaster there checked if anything was still held there in the 1980’s. The writer of FLOOD, Ian Curteis, has, (or had), kept all the paperwork regarding his episode and the only royalty payment he recieved for overseas sales came for a Zambian sale. So unless other countries did a pick-and-mix I'm pretty sure series three didn't have any other sale. Someone at the Zambian embassy asked the broadcaster on my behalf, and the reply was that nothing had been kept.
Gerry Davis had monochrome prints of Series 2... not sure where these came from but it's a shame he didn't have Series 3! My friend in the US has the tapes, so I'm sure it's true.
Information courtesy of The Black Nun @ www.mausoleumclubforum.org.uk  Added 23rd August 2009

DOOMWATCH IN AUSTRALIA


Discovering where DOOMWATCH was aired outside of the UK, is no easy task! We have previously covered as best we can, the transmissions in Canada and thanks to Jon Preddle at the excellent Doctor Who foreign transmission resource site BroaDWcast we can shed a bit more light on what the Australians were enjoying.

"Doomwatch played on ABC in 1972. However, there is no evidence the first season was screened. The first listing is for the second season episode You Killed Toby Wren on the 6th of June (the Adelaide TV Week described this as the “premiere”).

Doomwatch was never aired in New Zealand. The reason for this is - at least as far as I have been able to determine - was that at the time it would have been made available (by 1973), the NZBC was preparing to switch to colour, and with so many episodes available only in b/w, they passed on it. Sure, they could have taken just the colour eps, but it seems they didn't want to go down that track.

While researching for BroaDWcast, I did make note of other BBC programmes that other countries aired, and I must say I can't recall ever seeing Doomwatch listed... Mind you, The Goodies was everywhere, even Korea!"


With thanks to Jon Preddle at BroaDWcast Also, thanks to George Rainey from Australia for the Doomwatch tv listing from the Australian TV Guide The Gympie Times. Doomwatch is listed in 1972 which would have been a B&W 16mm print. Interesting, that it appears to be on at 9.20pm reflecting the same time as the UK showings and also the name is split DOOM WATCH.

80's DOOMWATCH PITCH
A titbit for your episode hunt: way back in May ’87, issue No.124 of Doctor Who Magazine (announcing Sylvester McCoy as the new Doctor; that’s how long ago we’re talking!) ran a Richard Marson interview with Gerry Davis. An interesting read which touches slightly on the series’ inception, the final paragraph is quite intriguing from an archive standpoint. Gerry says: “I’m hoping to interest Stateside producers in an Eighties version of 'Doomwatch'. I have a few tapes and they went crazy about them, so you never know what might happen with that. I think that would be very exciting, as a lot of the stuff we were doing all those years ago is as relevant as it ever was…” What episodes Davis had or who he showed them to remains a mystery, though I’d hazard a guess that they’d be most likely to be copies of the more visceral ones like "Plastic Eaters" or "Red Sky". Equally, who knows where they are: he had a London home and one in the US with Alison Bingeman. Maybe his estate may have an idea about this?
Information courtesy of Tony Darbyshire Added 30th August 2009

DOOMWATCH IN JAMAICA



DOOMWATCH: NEW TV SERIES
When DOOMWATCH first went on air in Britain a few years ago, the terms "technological hazard" and environmental pollution" were little known. It can justly be claimed that the series, now showing on JBC Television, Tuesdays at 8.15p.m., has helped to draw attention to the ecological hazards that threaten the human race.
DOOMWATCH is entertaining and informative. The stories are very human. The team is headed by Dr. Quist, played by John Paul. Simon Oates is Dr. John Ridge and Joby Blanshard plays Dr. Colin Bradley. Barnara Mason, secretary to the Doomwatch team, is played by Vivien Sherrard, who has appeared on television in the "Armchair Theatre" series. John Barron, whose television work includes three series of "Softly Softly", "All Gas and Gaiters", Department S and "The Saint" makes appearances from time to time as the Government Minister responsible for Doomwatch.


The above news clipping is from the Jamaican 'Gleaner', (16th June 1974 page 53). The article mentions Vivien Sherrard & John Barron but nothing of Robert Powell which would seem to suggest that Season 2 and possibly Season 3 episodes aired as part of the Jamaican run.
With thanks to Alan Barnes Added 7/11/2011

It's interesting to note that Jamaica didn't switch to colour until 1975 (the NTSC system) so they must of been given B/W copies of DOOMWATCH...
With thanks to Jon Preddle at BroaDWcast


DOOMWATCH IN SINGAPORE

Listings for Season 2 transmissions appear as follows:

8th October 1972 You Killed Toby Wren 9.55 p.m.
10th October 1972 Invasion at 9.55 p.m.
24th October 1972 at The Islanders 10.05 p.m. - 10.55 p.m
Tuesday 31st October 1972 No Room for Error 9.50 - 10.40 p.m.
7th November 1972 By the Pricking of my Thumbs 10.25 - 11.15 p.m.
14th November 1972 The Iron Doctor 10.20 - 11.15 p.m.
Tuesday 21st November 1972 Flight into Yesterday 9.25 - 10.15 p.m.
Tuesday 29th November 1972 The Web of Fear Times?????
Tuesday 12th December 1972 The Human Time Bomb Times????
Tuesday 19th December 1972 The Inquest 9.25 - 10.20 p.m.
Tuesday 26th December 1972 The Logicians Times ????
5th December 1972 In the Dark 9.25 - 10.20 p.m.
2nd January 1973 Public Enemy 9.25 - 10.15 p.m.

With thanks to Alan Barnes Added 17/11/2011


DOOMWATCH CURRENT ARCHIVE STATUS

KEY 
625 Line VT is the Standard British PAL System. All tapes exist in Colour and are the BBC originals. Recording Numbers VTC/6HT means videotape colour 625 lines high band transmission. VT numbers, and refer to the recording rather than the spool number which goes with the tape, even when re-recorded. There could be a several (or lots) of spool numbers associated with the VT number. The numbers were just whatever came next. Thanks to Bernie for this information. 525 Line VT is the American Standard System. All tapes exist in Colour due to overseas sale returns from Canada. However, the original 2" videotape UK PAL master tapes have been lost. B/W Film Recordings are telerecordings from the original videotapes and are 16mm. 

ED/D means it was a "safety dub of the first edit". In other words, it's a second copy of the broadcast tape, made - presumably -  in case the master tape is damaged during broadcast. In the case of Friday's Child, it can be taken that prior to broadcast, the original broadcast master tape was found to be unuseable, so they broadcast from the safety dub.  In most cases the safety dub is destroyed if the master is retained, but here, the master was wiped/destroyed, as was the dub.
With thanks to Jon Preddle at BroaDWcast


Season 1
Episode Title
Date of Transmission in UK
Archive Status
Original VT Rec. No.
1. The Plastic Eaters
09/02/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/55040/ED
2. Friday's Child
16/02/1970
Missing 
VTC/6HT/56829/ED/D
3. Burial at Sea
23/02/1970
Missing
VTC/6HT/55667
4. Tomorrow, The Rat
02/03/1970
525 Line VT
VTC/6HT/55618
5. Project Sahara
09/03/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/56995
6. Re-entry Forbidden
16/03/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/57207/ED
7. The Devil's Sweets
23/03/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/57040/ED
8. The Red Sky
06/04/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/57380B
9. Spectre at the Feast
13/04/1970
Missing
VTC/6HT/57940/ED
10. Train and De-Train
20/04/1970
525 Line VT
VTC/6HT/57793
11. The Battery People
27/04/1970
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/57685
12. Hear no Evil
04/05/1970
Missing
VTC/6HT/58388
13. Survival Code
11/05/1970
Missing
VTC/6HT/58428


Season 2
Episode Title
Date of Transmission in UK
Archive Status
Original VT Rec. No.
1. You Killed Toby Wren
14.12.70
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62604
2. Invasion
21.12.70
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62035/ED
3. The Islanders
04.01.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62849
4. No Room For Error
11.01.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/61940/ED
5. By The Pricking Of My Thumbs
18.01.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62929/ED
6. The Iron Doctor
25.01.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62462/ED
7. Flight Into Yesterday
01.02.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/64442/ED
8. The Web Of Fear
08.02.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/62030/ED
9. In The Dark
15.02.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/64522
10. The Human Time Bomb
22.02.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/61859/ED
11. The Inquest
01.03.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/63195
12. The Logicians
15.03.71
525 Line VT + B/W F/R
VTC/6HT/61551
13. Public Enemy
22.03.71
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/64183


Season 3
Episode Title
Date of Transmission in UK
Archive Status
Original VT Rec. No.
1. Fire And Brimstone
05/06/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/76772
2. High Mountain
12/06/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/78624
3. Say Knife,Fat Man
19/06/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/77543/ED
4. Waiting for a Knighthood
26/06/1972
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/79244/ED
5. Without The Bomb
03/07/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/78446/ED
6. Hair Trigger
10/07/1972
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/77370/ED
7. Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow
17/07/1972
Missing

VTC/6HT/78941
8. Enquiry
24/07/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/78773/ED
9. Flood
31/07/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/77977
10. Cause Of Death
07/08/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/79082/ED
11. The Killer Dolphins
14/08/1972
Missing
VTC/6HT/76928
Sex and Violence
Never Shown, originally scheduled as episode 5
625 Line VT
VTC/6HT/77752
The Devil's Demolition

Not produced

3 comments:

  1. In regard to which episodes of Doomwatch Gerry Davis had with him when he was living in Los Angeles around 1984-85 I can tell you he had 9 episodes on PAL VHS and did not have the means to view them as he did only have NTSC equipment at the time. As a young twenty something Doctor Who Fan at the time I had a PAL VHS set up as well as a very good friend who knew Gerry Davis and new I could make NTSC Camera copies.

    So I was allowed to borrow Gerry's PAL VHS tapes and make him copies and I was allowed to keep a copy for myself.

    The 9 episodes were the "The Plasic Eaters", "Re-entry Prohibited", "The Devils Sweets", "The Red Sky" and "The Battery People".

    These were very good quality PAL colour copies.

    The black and white episodes were "The Iron Doctor", "Flight into Yesterday", The Web of Fear" and "The Logicians".

    These were also high quality 16mm telercordings and were in very good condition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fascinating information Robert. Please email me at
      (remove the spaces)
      s n h b u k @gmail.com

      Delete
  2. I noticed that season 2 survives as B/W telerecordings and NTSC colour tapes.this means in the future the chroma from the NTSC will be combined with the B/W versions with vidFIRE added to the studio scenes.

    ReplyDelete