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Rantings from the Padded Cell

By Jon Preddle

With all this hoohah about The Lion - or TEFKAM (that's The Episode Formally Known As Missing) - it occurred to me one day - when I was trying to extract the neighbour's cat from my washing basket - that The Lion was never actually missing. Well, it wasn't. Bruce Grenville knew precisely where it was and has done so since June 1998. And the owner of the film print prior to Bruce knew where it was when he possessed it, and so did the person that he got it from - and so on down the track. In fact, someone has known precisely where the film print was for every day of the past 24 years!

So, all this makes me wonder exactly when does a missing episode cease to be a missing episode? Is it missing until a Doctor Who fan sees it and confirms its existence? Or is it more a case of it isn't missing until it has been made public? By that I mean, should I find all four episodes of The Macra Terror (dream on!) but not tell anybody, as far as Doctor Who fandom is concerned it's missing, but it isn't, is it?! Not really.

So just how many so-called missing episodes are there? I am convinced that there are some episodes that are well and truly missing - they will never ever be recovered - but what of all the other TEFKAMs? Hmmm...

This item appeared in TSV 57 (July 1999).