It is always gratifying to hear from fans of the show, but even more so when the email contains the line - I have these reels of tape that may have missing shows on. Arrangements were quickly made for the tapes to be sent to our tape engineer and restorer, who spent a profitable weekend working on the 4 reels and the results were quie amazing. Not only is there a previously lost show, Series 3, Episode 20, but many of the other shows are improvements on those recordings that are known to exist and have been issued on CD.
It is all the more satisfying because they cover the third and fourth series, so are relatively early in terms of home recording. The hardware was large and expensive, as was the tape itself, and meant it was often used and re-used many times, leaving fragments of shows at best. These have been offered to the BBC, and whilst it is unlikely that the majority will replace those already released in the collectors sets, I hope the recovered show will make it as a bonus on a later set, and that Radio 7 can upgrade some of their broadcast copies. I am sure it is not only myself and the team here that are extending our thanks to Tom, but all fans of the show. Thanks, Tom.
In the meantime, the BBC is continuing to issue the series on CD, and the first four series are all now available, alongside 20 volumes of classic episodes and a best of range. You can order a selection of them using the links below, and a small percentage of your purchase comes back to us to help us maintain the website.
For those of you who are using this site to check about missing shows, I would like to point out that the episode guide is continually being upgraded so may not be accurate, however, if you feel you have a lost show, here are a few guidelines:
If you have a missing show as an mp3 file, then you can almost be certain I have already downloaded it. Thanks for the offers,but there is no need to contact me.
If you have a missing show on tape, reel, or wet string that you recorded off air, please drop me a line giving as much detail as possible - date, condition, speed (if applicable). This will enable me to judge how best to deal with it.
If you have a missing show on tape, reel, etc, that you have copied off of someone else, please see if the original is available. This will reduce the amount of restoration needed, and will speed up any work.
If you are not sure what your recording is, but you think it may be a missing show, please send me the full opening line and a full end credit cast list so that I can check to see what episode it is
Shows listed as missing are missing in broadcast quality. This does mean that recordings may still exist but are in a condition where restoration is necessary or they are too poor to do anything with. Whilst this may cause some confusion, I would rather listen to the same show several times and hit the jackpot by finding a better copy than have someone read that it exists and ditch their taped copy which is of much better quality. Basically, if in doubt, contact the society.
Hopefully we can locate some of the early shows as they are needed for the forthcoming collectors sets. Any shows that are sent to me will be forwarded directly to Ted Kendall for restoration and will be returned on the completion of the process.