A quite incredible read, Richard Molesworth leaves the reader better understanding just why so much Doctor Who was lost in the 1970s, but equally importantly how the surviving material was recovered, in some cases almost miraculously.
Fans of the show will thoroughly enjoy this book. Dense and thorough, I recommend a gentle skim read to get the broad picture before delving into the rich and rigorous research. It is almost heartbreaking to read of stories now missing being preserved intact for great lengths of time, leaving one to almost believe (as with sporting replays) that maybe if you hope really hard the outcome will change.
The greatest encouragement is that the author used his final paragraph to express a hope that in time he would need to write a further edition. At the time of publication, he wrote: "The final truth is simply this. There are 106 episodes of Doctor Who that are missing." Only eight months after those words were published, nine episodes were recovered from a TV Relay station in Jos, Nigeria.
My hope is that in future years, I will have the chance to read a sequel to this book, entitled 'SAVED! How the missing episodes of Doctor Who were lost and found.'
Partway through reading this excellent book and already I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to better understand the hows and whys behind the fact that 106 episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are sadly no longer in existence. This book leaves no stone unturned in examining the policies and practises of the BBC at the time and is the most comprehensive account of it's type. The author guides you through in great detail how the programme was made (fascinating in itself) and what then happened to all of the original tapes and their copies. This book helps to bring alive the old B&W stories from the 60s and finally gives the best account of the fate of each and every episode. It does get quite technical in places with regard to some of the different recording processes employed but I was still able to follow what was going on. Overall, 100% recommended and a great addition to a serious Who fan's collection.
Any Doctor Who fan that really wants to know what happened should read this rather than spread rumors. The BBC knows more than any entity what they have lost by not saving more television shows for syndication.
What is also apparent is that missing episodes may only reappear from now on with luck and diligence. I think that most of what can be done from a central location like BBC has been done. Widely dispersed fans in the field with some knowledge of film archiving, and a related real world job that gives them access, would have the most chance. It's legwork, not internet traffic at this point.
Just received this paperback 576 page book this morning. It is an excellent publication, dealing with episodes, history of episodes, where the missing episodes have turned up, and the prognosis of more being found. In short, it is an excellent publication, the latest updated version, and one which all Dr Who fans,( particularly those of the first 7 Doctors), should read. Anyone with an interest in the history of the missing episodes, and or just for reference should add this to their bookshelf. The price is a steal!
Wiped! Richard Molesworth's research and dedication in writing this, is excellent. He covers every aspect from when the original video masters where wiped to the end of the junking and then onto the recoveries. It can read as depressing sometimes, especially as a Doctor Who fan, when he goes into great detail of the total destruction at Villiers House of film prints. But even before this was published, there were rumours of episode finds. And indeed two nearly complete Patrick Troughton stories have been returned and released. And it looks like there is more great finds to come. And so I am now looking forward to the third impression and update, when the story of these finds can be told.
No Doctoor who fan, or lover of archive telly should be without it. Detailing the loss of the classic episodes, the Who, the How and the why, and perhaps the hope. Not always pleasant reading, but gives the facts, not the fiction