Way back in the olden times- before iPads and hoverboards and whatever gadgets we have, things were a lot simpler.
Some of you younger folk out there may not believe me when I say this- but there was a time that TV was not even HD- not even 3-D. In fact, it was not even in colour!
Can you imagine such a crazy thing?
And back then, TV shows were, for the most part, filmed live or as live and recording kept on huge rolls of film. Now, storing those roles of film proved to be an expensive and space consuming task, so somewhere along the line, someone had the bright idea of just destroying what they didn’t ‘need’ any more.
And one of the shows that was hurt by this short sighted act was my old favourite Doctor Who.
Nearly all of the episodes with the first two Doctors no longer exist.
Because, unbelievably, audio recording of every Doctor Who story are still available.
How, you may ask? Well, it’s all thanks to folks like us- Geeks.
Because in those dark days before Tivo and VCRs, there was no way of re-watching your favourite show, so some fans resorted to taping the audio track straight from their TV.
And I am here to salute those people as the behemoths of the Geek world that they are.
Because without them, I would not be able to enjoy the splendour of things like Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes volume 2, which has just been released by Audio Go.
It contains the audio recordings of four William Hartnell Who adventures, including the seminal Dalek’s Masterplan.
Ingeniously, each of the adventures is presented as is, with no editing, and with a narration provided by Peter Purvis, the actor who played the Doctor’s companion Steven in these stories.
There is also an extra disc which features an audio documentary detailing the endeavours of the BBC restoration team and the people who made these audio recordings, as well as the dedicated band of fans who travel the world and track down missing episodes of Who.
Now, I’m not saying that they are all great writing. Some parts of the Dalek’s Masterplan are a bit ropey and some of the acting is plan woeful.
But what these recording are is important.
Important because they represent some of the earliest episodes of the world’s longest running sci-fi show. Important as an historical document. And important because they demonstrate- and I know you’ll all forgive me for this- the powers we each have as fans.
They demonstrate (here it comes!) the forces of Geek.