And once again, fortune vomits on my Phantom-theme eiderdown. In the space of a week I lose my job, and then get shang-haied into being a door-to-door-charity-collector with about as much notice as it takes you to read that sentence!
But, think I, there is a lighter side. A volcanic eruption of rumors bursts out - some cunning bastard found a casche of BBC material in Africa, three tonnes of film including Z Cars, Morcombe and Wise, Hereward the Wake, Out of the Unknown and... 90 missing episodes of Doctor Who.
To put that in perspective, the only Doctor Who stories still incomplete would be The Dalek Masterplan and The Wheel in Space. EVERYTHING ELSE WOULD BE BACK.
Now, of course, any sane individual would go "um, isn't this a bit too good to be true?" and yes, many including myself did. But, hell, it's not like that scenario is impossible. Unlikely, yes, but finding Tomb of the Cybermen under a Hong Kong supermarket is also unlikey and that happened, dammit. And what kind of loonbag would lie about that? If I wanted to hoax someone, I'd say something a tad more reasonable - claim to have an episode or two of Fury from the Deep. As soon I'd say "I've got the whole story", people would be very suspicious. Saying "I have all bar fourteen episodes of missing Doctor Who" is, in the words of that noted intellectual playright Dario Fo, fucking deranged.
Now, Ian Levine - possibly one of the worst human beings not in either Australian media or a well-known war criminal - debunked the idea, then said he'd been given cast iron proof that it was true. At worst, AT WORST, we might not have got 90 missing episodes but 80 plus some we already had. And not only is Ian Levine of all people admitting he's wrong, but there was evidence that Moffat and pals were keeping this quiet so as to provide a big reveal for the 50th Anniversary.
(And Moff's promise that DW will dominate television this year is slightly less convincing than Kevin Rudd's political hands-off stance. Indeed, it hasn't had ANY publicity for the last month, which is poor by any standards, let alone the anniversary year. A shitload of missing eps to be unleashed at a key moment is, we must all agree, EXACTLY the kind of whacked out madness Moff would unleash.)
Alas, the proof of it all - a crate of three tonnes of stuff out of Africa - has been officially denied to be anything, with some bloke making it absolutely clear every last episode of Doctor Who sent to the subcontinent was sent back with the specific intention of being utterly destroyed and we're all no-fist wussy little spineless dogs for believing otherwise.
So. Yeah. Bummer.
Now, I know we're technically no worse off than we are last week - with every missing episode being kept on audio if not telesnap form, meaning there is not a single story that cannot be at least listened to - but come on! We were actually told, right or wrong, that we were getting everything back! No one has ever promised that before! This isn't "oh, gosh, we're not going to see another Enemy of the World", this is "you know every episode you ever wanted to see? WELL, FUCK YOU!!"
(In the interests of absolute journalistic integrity, there are still rumors that someone's found Marco Polo, Enemy of the World and Web of Fear in their entirety which is nice, yes, but maybe I wanted to see the Mythmakers, the Highlanders and Maggie Harris walking into the fucking sea!)
However, I am still of the opinion that an animated episode is better than none at all - and quite possibly better. The Invasion is right at the bottom of eps I want found, because we've got the next best thing. And now, some kind folk are doing the same to The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors and, oh yes, The Tenth Planet...
Maestro! Play on!