BBC wants culprit in Doctor Who leak revealed

Actress Jodie Whittaker is the first female in the lead role of Doctor Who.
Actress Jodie Whittaker is the first female in the lead role of Doctor Who.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES • Who did it?

The BBC is upset that footage from the 11th season of its television science-fiction series Doctor Who - slated to air only months from now - was leaked online last week.

It has now asked a court in California to issue an order to Tapatalk, a mobile community platform, to reveal the culprit's name.

According to Hollywood Reporter, fans are eagerly anticipating the new season, which has been refreshed with the casting of a female - Jodie Whittaker - in the lead role of a time traveller in the 54-year-old show.

Last week, footage featuring her scenes was posted online, sparking off consternation from fans.

One upset fan posted online: "If you're sharing and spreading whatever leaked, you're not better than the person who decided to record it and ruin everyone's patient waiting."

But some fans are also unhappy with what the BBC has done to the show.

Of the 840 episodes of Doctor Who which had been broadcast since Nov 23, 1963, only 743 still exist.

In the 1970s, according to the entertainment portal Techly, some episodes were erased by the broadcaster.

It was not a slip-up by an employee who pressed the delete button by mistake. The reason then was that colour television had debuted and the BBC thought that there would be zero interest to watch episodes of Doctor Who that had been shot in black and white.

On who may be able to help restore the gap, BBC archivist Paul Vanezis said in a Radio Free Skaro podcast: "There is no question there are missing Doctor Whos with private collectors.

"I know some of them and, at some point, they may be interested in handing over their films."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'BBC wants culprit in Doctor Who leak revealed'. Print Edition | Subscribe