Doctor Who Blog

50 Glorious Years: Episode 30 - 1992

1992 continued Doctor Who fans’ frustrations about the state of the tv series going forward - it was becoming more and more apparent that the show might never come back, at least in the form of new episodes (older ones were being broadcast on BBC2 in the UK as well as a retrospective documentary program, Resistance is Useless). The BBC kept saying that they were looking into independent production, but few believed it by this point. And with the 30th Anniversary soon approaching, the frustration mounted that there would be no new Doctor Who to celebrate the anniversary with. Some fans were so frustrated that they started making their own Doctor Who stories for video - the “Doctor Who-all-but-in-name-only” series The Stranger  (which starred Colin Baker in the title role and Nicola Bryant as “Miss Brown”) had started in 1991 and continued in 1992, gaining more popularity with the lack of actual Doctor Who television episodes.

But something happened early in 1992 which was unquestionably the highlight of the year. When things seemed to be getting bleaker and bleaker for fans, a nice present was provided with the shock return of all four episodes of The Tomb of the Cybermen from Hong Kong in January. There had been missing episode finds before and just as large - in fact, the missing episode find prior to this was of the same amount - four episodes of The Ice Warriors found in 1988. But while the previous episode finds had always been celebrated, nothing had been celebrated quite like this. Part of this was to do with the fact that the story was one of the “Holy Grail” stories that fans most wanted to see recovered. Part of this was because it was a complete Patrick Troughton adventure, to add to the paltry total of complete 2nd Doctor Adventures in the archives (which had been just 5 stories up to that point). Part of this was because it was the now the first and only complete story from Season 5. But most of all, I think this missing episode recovery was celebrated more than any other since then because of the timing of when it happened - it gave Doctor Who fans a spark of joy which most had not felt since the show had ceased production. This was the first time missing episodes had been found at a time when they weren’t making new Doctor Who. That, along with all of the other factors, meant that The Tomb of the Cybermen single-handedly made 1992 a glorious year for Doctor Who.

Now imagine how the celebration might be like if they were to find a whole bunch more…..

1 Comment...

Growing up in the U.K., watching the repeated episodes was my main introduction to the show. I probably watched the last of Sylvester McCoy’s episodes in 1989 on BBC One, but I don’t remember actually doing so (being 5) do remember watching the repeated episodes on BBC Two though, which was my introduction to the previous doctors. It was possibly this that helped develop my love for the show - I’m sure the BBC would have only shown a handful of episodes/stories but I was able to familiarize myself with more than i had done before. I remember enjoying the Jon Pertwee era, and perhaps for many years, the third doctor was one of my doctors.
It’s strange to think now that anyone in their 20s/30s grew up without Doctor Who on a regular basis. However the BBC should be commended for their work in 1992 airing old episodes for I believe that hadn’t I had the opportunity to meet the doctors and his foes, perhaps I wouldn’t be the fan that I am now, and I’m glad I’ve had the chance to follow the doctor as an adult.

Posted by Rachel  on  08/18  at  04:58 AM

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