Old Chains

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The Hartnell and Troughton Junkings

This is the original version of the Bicycling Chains. The new one is linked HERE

There are potentially dozens of different paths the film prints of the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton stories could have taken as they were bicycled from country to country over the years.

This table summarises a series of possible distribution paths taken by groups of consecutive stories, taking into account some of the available "film traffic" information – with a smattering of educated guesswork!

We have tried to keep each "chain" as simple as possible without resorting to the complicated exchange of different countries supplying different stories to different recipients; generally, the same grouping of consecutive stories would have been bicycled from the same provider to the same recipient, as opposed to stories being split up and sent to different recipients.

  • The groups have been placed in roughly the order by which the first country in each group was first sold and/or aired the series.
  • Within some of these "chains" there may have been an intermediary, such as a distribution agency or even the BBC itself, which received the films from Country A and was responsible for sending them on to Country B.
  • If a country was in the distribution network of Television International Enterprises Ltd, it is marked as such. (We have assumed that prints distributed by TIE were only ever bicycled to other countries within TIE's distribution circuit.)
  • Final fates of the films in each chain are also noted but only when the actual definite fate is proven.


SEASONS ONE -- TWO

Suppressed Field Telerecordings

Countries in Bicycling Group Group of Stories Proven Final Fate Notes
Australia

A---B---C---D---E---F---G

M---N---P

  • Most of these episodes were junked
Australia --- New Zealand H---J---K---L
  • H and J were both destroyed in 1971
Australia Q---R---S
  • Most of these prints were returned to the BBC in 1975
  • R episode one was junked, but salvaged in Australia
New Zealand --- Denmark A---B---C
Malta --- Cyprus --- Uganda --- Ghana A---B---C
  • Uganda may have already received a set (from Zambia?), so sent them to Ghana
Malta --- Cyprus --- Hong Kong D---E
Malta --- Cyprus F---G---H
  • Some films destroyed during civil war
  • Remaining films discovered in Cyprus, and returned to the BBC in 1984
Malta J---K---L
Canada A---B---C---D---E
Singapore --- Hong Kong

A---B---C

F---G---H---J---K---L

Singapore --- New Zealand --- Iran D
  • Episodes one and two only sent to Iran in 1967
  • Did not screen in Iran
Singapore --- New Zealand M---N---P
  • P was junked in 1974. The film print of part one was salvaged, and returned to the BBC in 1999
Singapore

E

Q---R---S

Aden --- Kenya

A---B---C---D---E---F---G---H---J---K---L

Trinidad & Tobago --- Jamaica --- Barbados A---B---C---D---E---F---G---H---J---K---L
  • Last use of the Suppressed Field Telerecordings of some of these serials?
Jamaica --- Barbados M
  • Last use of the Suppressed Field Telerecordings of this serial?
Barbados --- Jamaica N---P---Q---R---S
  • Last use of the Suppressed Field Telerecordings of these five stories?
Bermuda A---B---C---D---E
  • Last use of the Suppressed Field Telerecordings of these five stories?
Nigeria --- Rhodesia --- Zambia --- Uganda

A---B---C

F---G----H---J---K---L

Nigeria --- Rhodesia --- Zambia --- Uganda --- Ghana D---E
  • Cyprus sent its copies of D and E to Uganda after those serials had already been aired there, so presumably Uganda sent the unwanted "extra" prints to Ghana
Gibraltar

A---B---C---D---E---F---G---H---

J---K---L---M---N---P---Q---R---S

Stored Field Telerecordings (Dubbed)

  • In late 1966 / early 1967 the first of the "non-English" sales were made, so prints of serials without an English soundtrack were required for those markets. The BBC therefore created fresh sets of telerecordings of twelve season one and two serials with no dialogue track using the superior "Stored Field" method
Countries in Bicycling Group Group of Stories Proven Final Fate Notes
Tunisia

A---B---C---E---F---G---J

Morocco

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L

  • Possibly returned to the BBC before 1976 (to account for the set of Arabic prints held by the BBC at that time)
  • Arabic print of F part four (with Morocco TV label) junked, but was salvaged by collector
Saudi Arabia --- Jordan

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L

Libya --- Algeria

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L

Venezuela --- Chile

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L---N---Q---R

Mexico

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L---N---Q---R

  • The films were still held by the Televisa SA TV station in Mexico in 1984; presumably they are still there now!
Iran

A---B---C---E---F---G---J---K---L---N---Q---R

  • Dubbed into Farsi
  • D had also been sent by New Zealand in 1967 as Audition copy

Stored Field Telerecordings (English)

  • At the same time that the new "non-English" telerecordings were being made, the BBC took the opportunity to replace all of their old "Suppressed Field" telerecordings in English of the season one and two serials with newly struck "Stored Field" telerecordings. The following chains of countries would have been the likely recipients of those new superior prints
Countries in Bicycling Group Group of Stories Proven Final Fate Notes
Thailand A---B---C---D---E---F---G---H---J---K---L
  • Although Music/Effects Tracks would have been sent to enable dubbing into Thai, prints with the English soundtrack intact would also have been sent to enable simulcast in both languages
Nigeria --- Zambia M---N---P---R
Nigeria --- Zambia --- New Zealand Q
Nigeria --- Zambia --- New Zealand --- Nigeria S
  • Films discovered in Nigeria, and returned to the BBC in 1984
Mauritius --- Sierra Leone --- Ethiopia

A---B---C---D---E---F---G---H

J---K---L---M---N---P---Q---R

Mauritius --- Sierra Leone S
Nigeria N


SEASONS THREE -- FOUR -- FIVE -- SIX

  • All the serials from these four seasons were telerecorded using the superior "Stored Field" method
Countries in Bicycling Group Group of Stories Proven Final Fate Notes
Australia T---T/A---U---V---W---X---Y---Z---AA---BB---

CC---DD---EE---FF---GG---HH---JJ---KK---LL---

MM---NN---OO---PP---QQ---RR---SS---

TT---UU---VV---WW---XX---YY---ZZ

  • Most of the films were returned to the BBC in 1975 or 1976; those that weren't returned were junked in 1976 (see note [2] below)
  • Y episode four was retained in error by the ABC, and returned to the BBC in 1984
  • BB episode two and KK episode one were salvaged after junking in Australia
  • Episode three of T and episode two of GG were junked shortly after their return from Australia, but salvaged in early 1980s, and subsequently returned to the BBC in 2011
  • TT was retained by the BBC
  • T/A and V did not screen
  • XX, YY and ZZ may have been sent by the BBC to Zambia in 1976 (see note [3] below)
Barbados T---U---W---X---Y---Z---AA---BB---CC
  • see note [1] below
Zambia --- Sierra Leone T---U---W---X---Y---AA---BB---CC
  • see note [1] below
Zambia --- Sierra Leone --- Singapore Z
  • see note [1] below
  • Singapore's prints of Z may have been supplied directly from the BBC (perhaps being the prints not supplied to New Zealand?)
New Zealand --- Singapore T---U---W---X---Y---AA---CC---DD---EE
New Zealand --- Singapore --- Nigeria BB
  • Discovered in Nigeria, and returned to the BBC in 1984
New Zealand FF---GG---HH---JJ---KK---LL

MM---NN---OO---PP---QQ---RR---SS

  • KK returned to the BBC in 1970 (Is the existing print of part 1 from this return?)
  • Others destroyed or junked by the end of 1974
  • BBC may have forwarded some or all of the NZ prints of KK to Zambia in 1970
Uganda --- Singapore --- Hong Kong --- Zambia FF---GG---HH---JJ---KK
  • Did Zambia receive a damaged print of episode 3 from Hong Kong, and received a replacement via New Zealand? Is the damaged print of part 3 the one later recovered in 1987? Is the print of part one held by the BBC also from Zambia? Or is it the one returned from New Zealand?
Singapore --- Hong Kong MM
  • MM discovered in Hong Kong, and returned to the BBC in 1992
Hong Kong --- Singapore LL---OO---RR
  • see note [2] below
  • Were the films of OO and empty can for RR the ones found at the BBC in 1988?
Hong Kong --- Singapore --- Nigeria NN---PP---QQ---SS
  • PP and QQ (but not ep 3) discovered in Nigeria, and returned to the BBC in 2013
  • One of the film cans for QQ has markings on it which record that the film prints were examined by the RTS in Singapore on 6 May 1970
Hong Kong --- Singapore --- Gibraltar UU---VV
  • see note [2] below
Hong Kong --- Singapore --- Gibraltar --- Nigeria TT---WW
  • These two possibly sent from Gibraltar to BBC first, then sent to Nigeria years later
Hong Kong --- Singapore --- Gibraltar --- Zambia XX---YY---ZZ
  • These three possibly sent from Gibraltar to BBC first, then sent to Zambia years later (see note [3] below)
Gibraltar --- Zambia NN---OO---PP---QQ
Gibraltar RR---SS
  • see note [2] below


General Summary

WILLIAM HARTNELL STORIES

Keeping the bicycling routes as simple as possible, if we assume that country X generally always supplied country Y with its prints, then:

  • Australia – always had its own prints, and returned all but a few to the BBC in 1975
  • Zambia and Sierra Leone likely shared prints; of note, Nigeria acquired The War Machines from Singapore in 1973, which suggests perhaps the other African countries Zambia and Sierra Leone no longer still had their prints by then
  • The New Zealand censors classified these episodes between May and July 1968, which was before or during the broadcasts in Barbados and Zambia, so New Zealand's prints cannot have been sourced from either of those countries
  • It's a matter of recorded fact that New Zealand sent its prints to Singapore in 1972; since New Zealand did not have The Gunfighters, Singapore's prints of that must have been supplied from elsewhere (from Sierra Leone perhaps?)


PATRICK TROUGHTON STORIES

Keeping the bicycling routes as simple as possible, if we assume that country X generally always supplied country Y with its prints, even after an interim period of several years, then:

  • Australia – always had its own prints, and returned all but a few to the BBC in 1975
  • New Zealand – always had its own prints, and destroyed most of them by 1974
  • Hong Kong and Singapore always shared prints; the majority of these prints may have ended up in Africa


Notes

  • [1] - There is a window of only three to four months between the airdates in Barbados and Zambia, but Zambia could well have received its prints before Barbados, but scheduled the serials to screen much later; therefore we have not factored in that Barbados may have sent its prints to Zambia, although it could have done!
  • [2] – It's possible that some of the stray Patrick Troughton episodes kept by the BBC and those recovered from UK film collectors were all from the same sources: Australia, Singapore and Gibraltar
  • [3] – It's possible that Australia and Gibraltar had returned all retained prints to the BBC by 1975; these three stories were then sent to Zambia in 1976 - what was despatched to ZTV may well have been a miss-matched batch of film prints from both countries, including some of the ex-ABC films with censor cuts