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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 17:55 GMT
BBC finds missing Dalek episode
A scene from The Day of Armageddon
A scene from The Day of Armageddon
A long-lost Dalek episode of Doctor Who has been returned to the BBC by an engineer who rescued the film from destruction in the early 1970s.

The episode of The Daleks' Master Plan, from 1965, was returned by Francis Watson - who worked at the BBC when episodes were thrown out to make space.

Steve Roberts from the BBC's restoration team said it was five years since an episode was last recovered.

"You always hope there will be more but this came out of the blue," he said.

Roberts says the episode, featuring William Hartnell as the Doctor, was the second from the Master Plan storyline - and titled Day Of Armageddon.

"It's a really good episode," he said. "The first sets the story but this second one is where the action starts."

A scene from The Day of Armageddon
A scene from The Day of Armageddon
"It has Katarina, a companion played by Adrienne Hill, who until now has only survived in short clips.

"One of the most important things is that it contains the story's alien delegates who we only had photos of before."

Doctor Who is the longest running science-fiction series in the world and has retained a huge following since the last full series ended in 1989.

In September 2003, it was voted the show people would most like to see back on TV in a Radio Times poll.

The episode is also significant because it shows the first Doctor in one of his major early confrontations with the Daleks.


The Daleks' Master Plan was described as "an all-round masterpiece" in A Voyage Through 25 Years of Doctor Who, published in 1988.

"The direction of Douglas Camfield combined with the scripting of Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner gelled in... a way that defied description," it said.

The Doctor Who website said the story had a "genuinely epic quality quite unmatched by anything else in this era, and perhaps in the entire history of Doctor Who".

The film of the Day Of Armageddon episode was found in very good quality.

Mr Roberts, whose team prepares episodes for DVD release, said the last episode discovered was The Lion - an episode from William Hartnell's The Crusades - in January 1999.

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