The British TV Missing Episodes Index

  what are missing episodes?
For years little thought was given to what happened to the programmes after they had been broadcast , people either didn't care (thinking it culturally insignificant) or assumed it was all stored away somewhere should it ever be wanted again.

Unfortunately, this was not the case...

In the 1970's a considerable amount of our TV heritage was destroyed, B&W episodes (as well as some colour ) were junked , apparently to make room for more recent and, as they saw it, potentially more lucrative productions in the vaults.

Although unthinkable now, not least by the companies who make a considerable amount of money from the sale of videos and overseas rights, these episodes were destroyed as they could see no further use for them.

It was felt at the time that repeats of the black and white material would not be of sufficient interest to the general public, who were now used to full colour episodes, and that overseas sales of these episodes had met their full potential.

Opportunities for domestic repeats were also limited due to the artists contracts.

The videotapes were wiped, the film copies used as landfill or burned, hours upon hours of our favourite TV shows from Doctor Who to Dad's Army and Z-Cars were lost forever.

Or were they?

Often programs were transferred to film for sale overseas and it is this that gives us hope that one day the shows will live again, although foreign broadcasters were supposed to either return the prints to be destroyed or destroy them themselves once they had been shown, this often did not happen.

Films escaped on to the collector circuit or were filed away and forgotten in the vaults of TV stations worldwide.

Episodes have been recovered from both these sources many times throughout the years and hopefully will continue to be for many years to come.

This website lists the episodes for popular shows that have no known existing copies and hopes to spread the word about the plight of our TV archives so that any episodes still out there may be returned to safety as the BBC and other broadcasters are keen to fill the gaps in their archives


Can I Help?

You can help by spreading the word far and wide, even if you don't have any episodes you may know someone who does.

Episodes may exist in many forms, the ones most likely to be in the hands of the public are

16 & 35mm Film Recordings

Just like they used to show at the cinema on those big projectors, here are two examples of what to look out for.

1.A 16mm film can, this one as been to New Zealand as it bears an NZBC sticker

2.A close up of a Label from a BBC film reel


Reel to Reel and early video tapes

Though rare, video recorders were available to homes in the sixties and programmes may still exist on the reel to reel tapes.

If you think you may have something of interest do not hesitate to contact us. This site only lists a small fraction of all the archive material missing, so just because we don't mention it, don't assume it exists.

  an extract from "A Christmas Carol"
Bob Cratchit approached Scrooge and said:- "Please sir, I and some of the clerical staff were wondering if we could have another piece of coal for the fire, it is so very cold".

Scrooge replied angrily:- "Certainly not, coal costing what it does, use some more episodes of Z-Cars instead"

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