In news that seems too good to be coincidental, nine episodes of 'Doctor Who' previously thought lost have been recovered. And just in time for the show's fiftieth anniversary celebrations, too!
The nine episodes are from very early in the show's long run. 'Doctor Who' used to spread its stories out across several episodes, and these nine episodes make up two stories: 1967's "The Enemy of the World" and 1968's "The Web of Fear." (Not all of "The Web of Fear" has been found -- part 3 is still missing.)
Both episodes feature the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton.
These aren't just any episodes of the series, either -- "The Web of Fear" marks the first appearance of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, a recurring character so important that his death was a plot point almost fifty years later in series 6's "The Wedding of River Song." "The Web of Fear" also features the Great Intelligence, a recurring villain in this year's series 7.
The episodes were found, strangely enough, in Nigeria. Here's the BBC's press release: "Recovered missing episodes of Doctor Who, the world’s longest running sci-fi drama are being revealed and available to view and own for the first time in over 40 years. Ten Doctor Who episodes were discovered through the tracking records of shipments made by the BBC to Africa that contained tapes for transmission. A restoration team has re-mastered each episode from the original black and white 1960s film and subsequently gone through a frame by frame restoration to the fantastic quality that audiences expect from Doctor Who."
And here's the best part -- you can watch these recovered episodes right now via iTunes for a price of $9.99 per story. If iTunes isn't your bag, you'll have to wait just a bit for the DVDs -- "The Enemy of the World" will be released on November 25 (just a few days after the 50th anniversary special) while "The Web of Fear" hits shelves on February 24, 2014.