Is there more classic Who to come on the BBC iPlayer?
February 2, 2012 2:44 AM   Subscribe

So I've been watching 1970's Doctor Who on the BBC iPlayer. The Tom Baker section lists stories available on the iPlayer as 1,2,3,4,5,9,10,12,13,14 (this is nothing to do with any other story numbering). Is there a trick to getting the missing numbers (6,7,8,11), or did they just err? And does anyone know if there is more classic Who likely to be added in the future?
posted by jjderooy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some of the Missing Episodes?
posted by Blake at 4:03 AM on February 2, 2012

I've never used the BBC iPlayer, but I do know that all of the Tom Baker episodes are in the BBC's archives. None of them are missing.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that's a very annoying feature of the iPlayer. A lot of stuff there, but also a lot of stuff missing, and not just recent stuff that they may be reluctant to make available because they're still exploiting it otherwise.

I suspect it's because the usual suspects (Daily Fail, Murdoch press) made a big noise about the international iPlayer being cheaper than the TV licence through which British residents finance the BBC (the implication being: "You're subsidising Beeb access for bloody foreigners"). As a result, the iPlayer, wonderful as it is, has been severely handicapped, apperently on purpose.
posted by Skeptic at 4:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I must add that my comment apparently only applies to the Global iPlayer iPad app, not to the various local flavours of the iPlayer in the UK.
posted by Skeptic at 6:07 AM on February 2, 2012

I didn't know any old Doctor Who was on the iPlayer til I saw this question. When I went to look, it turns out that it's listed as "from other providers", and it is actually on MSN Video via BBC Worldwide.

I don't know if this will help you find any more episodes but I thought it might be worth mentioning. As far as I know iPlayer itself only shows things that were aired on the BBC in the last week, with the exception of some first run series where all episodes are available until the whole series is over.
posted by philipy at 6:14 AM on February 2, 2012

I suggesting using episode guides, like this Wikipedia entry to go by the titles of each story. In the Classic era of Doctor Who, stories would have an overarching title and early ones, mostly Hartnell and Troughton (1st & 2nd, respectively), each segment within the story arc had their own titles as well (look into the controversy surrounding the very first story ever, An Unearthly Child, being referred to as 100,000 BC by some folks). 4th Doctor episodes do have only one title per multipart story however.

Episode guides are also available through the BBC as well. There are also others who independently create guides with their own slant. Likely, though, the Wikipedia guide is the easiest to navigate and features no direct spoilers!

There are no missing Tom Baker episodes, however do read up on Shada ... it's the "lost" 4th Doctor story.
posted by kuppajava at 8:13 AM on February 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I should have been more specific in mentioning Global iPlayer (I am in Australia), and that the Global iPlayer has a *selection* of classic Who on it, not every existing episode, and hence this wasn't a question about the destroyed episodes.

Thanks to those Brits who were able to give me some local context in terms of how the Beeb is deciding to make classic material available or not.
posted by jjderooy at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2012

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