As a Doctor Who website, posting a news item relating to missing Doctor Who episodes is a particularly conflictive task. On one hand you want to hold off on posting news due to the possible reaction you might get from smaller circles of fandom, whereas on the other hand, it's surely our duty to report it - after all, news is news, right?
Some of our readers may remember a news item we posted a few years ago about the possibility that The Web Of Fear may have been found - note the words 'possibility' and 'may'. While we also added that our source was reliable in the past and had no reason to disbelieve them, this particular news item turned out to hit a dead end and despite the majority of our readers who were grateful for the reporting of the story, we did face a backlash from some smaller circles of fandom on online forums.
A couple of days ago, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool News, posted a news item relating to some of the rumours that have been doing the rounds for the past few months - rumours that, up until now, we have avoided reporting on.
The rumour is that a considerable number of lost Doctor Who episodes have been found by "an eccentric engineer who worked for broadcasters across Africa with a taste for science fiction and a habit of taking things for safe keeping".
DWO can confirm that we have been approached with news from several high-profile sources, some of which confirm these rumours and some that conflict with them and the actual figure of the number of episodes rumoured to have been found.
Whilst it would be easy to blurt out everything we have been told, we retain the caution from previous rumours and hoaxes, and will simply hold out for official confirmation - when and if it comes. What we will say is that *should* the rumours be true, despite the initial excitement at the possibility, it would be wise to sit back and let the BBC do what they need to do to secure these episodes *if* in fact they have been found.
We of course encourage debate and discussion which you can take part in on the dedicated DWO Forums Missing Episodes thread using the 'Discuss' button below.
[Sources: Bleeding Cool News; Doctor Who Online]