14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Destruction of Time, 1 Dec. 2010
"Wiped!" is an absolutely fascinating but saddening and often frustrating read, as it documents the wholesale destruction of the BBC's original Dr Who video recordings of all of the TV episodes that were made between 1963 and 1969.
The first half of the book dispationately details the dates that the BBC engineering department cleared their original tapes for wiping and reuse and it also lists foreign TV transmissions dates and (where known) the ultimate fate of the film print copies that were sold to overseas TV stations around the world; whether that fate would be to be returned to the BBC to become the only surviving copy of the episode in the TV archives, or to be destroyed, shredded and disposed of in a foreign landfill site.
The chapters covering 1978 onwards are more uplifting as the BBC began to formulate a proper archive of old TV shows and it describes the efforts of fans and BBC employees to try and track down the missing shows with some degree of success, as film copies began to filter back to the BBC from some overseas broadcasters and some private film collectors.
This really is the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject and Richard Molesworth has really done his research and he goes into great detail covering the sucesses, failures, hoaxes and the ongoing work to try and locate copies of the 108 episodes that remain absent from the BBC film and TV library.