In a turn of events that only seems possible due to some kind of glitch in the laws of time and space, nine previously misplaced episodes of classic Doctor Who were discovered in Nigeria. Of all places.
These nine episodes, which date back to the 1960s, were part of a group of 106 that were thought to be lost forever. They went missing in the days before conserving and preserving episodes of television was commonplace. Of course, no one could predict that Doctor Who would become the world wide phenomenon it is today. The tapes were recovered at a television station in Nigeria by archivist Phillip Morris.
The uncovered episodes are part of two serials starring the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, that are called "The Web of Fear" and "The Enemy of the World." Both previously unreleased serials have already been made available for download via iTunes with the missing episodes added in. "The Web of Fear" is still missing one yet to be recovered segment, but that missing episode was reconstructed with photos and surviving audio. This is a huge turn of events for Whovians the world over since these episodes haven't been seen since they were first broadcast almost 50 years ago. Doctor Who has a long and fluid history of classic villains and plotlines that still carry weight in the series' current incarnation, so the discovery of these lost episodes is delightful news for fans and creators alike.
Fans of the British sci-fi series were recently sent into a frenzy when reports suggested TV bosses were planning to bring together all of the remaining actors who previously played the doctor for an anniversary episode with current star Matt Smith.
However, when a follower on Twitter.com asked sixth Doctor Who Baker if the story is true, he replied, "(I) wish I could (say it was true) but alas... I am not aware of any 50th (anniversary) stories nor have I been approached."
Current plans to mark the show's 50th anniversary celebrations this year (13) include a series of tributes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London throughout 2013.
A number of the show's former stars will give talks at the institute's headquarters and chat with fans at monthly question-and-answer sessions.
Doctor Who has previously been played by actors including David Tennant, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison.
The actor who played the first doctor, William Hartnell, died in 1975, and Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee have also passed away.
The British actress lost her battle with cancer back in April (11) at the age of 63, and her life will now be celebrated in a new autobiography by publisher Aurum Press, which is set to hit U.K. stores on 7 November (11).
The tome contains a foreword by Sladen's former co-star David Tennant and was created "with the support and participation of Elisabeth's family", according to BBC News.
The actress played Sarah Jane Smith - the sidekick of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's time travelling doctors - during the 1970s and returned to reprise her role in 2006, during which Tennant starred as The Doctor.
The actress, who played the sidekick of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's time-travelling doctors for a decade, passed away at the age of 63 following a battle with cancer.
She had starred in her own series for the broadcaster's children's channel CBBC since 2007, and rumours suggested the show would carry on without the beloved actress.
However executives have chosen to end the programme as a mark of respect.
A statement from the BBC says, "Contrary to press reports today we can confirm that no new episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures will be filmed following the tragic death of actress Elisabeth Sladen in April, 2011.
"As a tribute to Elisabeth, the six episodes that were recorded with her last year will be broadcast on CBBC at a date to be confirmed."
Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith, the sidekick of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's time travelling doctors, for a decade.
She first appeared on the cult sci-fi show in 1973 and returned in 2006 for a four-year stint on the programme.
Her character landed Sladen a spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The actress lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday (19Apr11).
A statement from Sarah Jane Adventures creator and Doctor Who writer Russell T. Davies reads, "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."
The actress, who played Sarah Jane Smith, the sidekick of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's time-travelling doctors for a decade, passed away at the age of 63 following a battle with cancer.
Fry has paid his respects to the star, writing on Twitter.com, "What terribly sad news about Elisabeth Sladen - her Sarah Jane was part of my childhood. Deepest sympathy to her family."
And Barrowman, who co-starred with Sladen when she returned to the show in 2006, 'Tweets', "Elisabeth Sladen Matriarch of Dr Who - I loved my time on the Tardis with her. I am proud to have worked with such an icon of the sci fi world. Your Dr Who family are very sad and will miss you and your beautiful smile. (Doctor Who writer) RTD (Russell T. Davies) called me this morning when I woke up. She lived in my flat in Cardiff when she was filming SJA (spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures).
"She was a delight. Can't tell you how sad I am. I wanted to let you know I got the news as a lot of you were concerned. I'm off to chill, I hope you understand."
The Scottish actor has played the Time Lord in the cult BBC series since 2005, taking over from acclaimed star Christopher Ecclestone.
And his five-year run, which ends in 2010 when newcomer Matt Smith takes over, is the viewers' favourite - he won almost 26 per cent of votes from readers of Doctor Who magazine.
Tennant says, "I am so proud of this."
Other actors to have played the famous character include Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee. There have been 11 incarnations of the Doctor, including Smith, since the show first aired in 1963.