[quote="Marshchild, post:10, topic:177044"]
I remember when I was growing up, I used to devour the Target novelizations of the various Doctor Who stories, and with many of them would think, "Wow, I can't wait to see the TV version of this one!" I mean, the BBC still had copies of all of them, didn't they? Didn't they? Um, no, actually - as it turned out, they didn't. Upon making this devastating discovery, I consoled myself with the thought that they'd probably only destroyed a few forgettable stories that no-one really cared about anymore. I mean, they wouldn't have wiped episodes from any of the really cool ones - the ones with the Daleks and Cybermen in them - would they? Would they? Wrong again! Excuse me, I just need to go outside for a moment, and ahem... "vent".
If there was anything - anything! - that made me wish video recorders had been invented about twenty years before they actually had been, it was that discovery; it depresses me to this day to think about it.
What is very fortunate is that there were two fans of Doctor Who, one in England, and one in Canada, who enjoyed the show so much that they hooked up reel-to-reel tape recorders to their televisions and recorded the audio soundtracks to EVERY missing episode. Further, the BBC, for archive purposes, took photos of the tv screen every 6 to 10 seconds during each episode to preserve at least some kind of record of these shows. Several enterprising people have paired up the soundtracks (which were officially released on CD with linking narration to explain bits that are not understandable without visual references) with the "telesnaps" and other archived photos to create reconstructions of the missing episodes. It's certainly not a replacement for the destroyed serials, but it does give fans a way to fill in the gaps and enjoy the missing pieces!
Here's a link to a reconstruction of the very first missing episode, the classic 7-part "Marco Polo". This was the fourth episode of the series ever, following "An Unearthly Child", "The Daleks", and "Edge of Destruction", and featuring the First Doctor, William Hartnell.
This is just the first part of episode 1. To find the other parts, click on the poster's name to see his other posts.
(By the way, the narrator is William Russel, the actor who played Ian, one of the First Doctor's original companions!)