MISSING EPISODES CLIPS GUIDE
by Lee Rose
With thanks to Colin Cutler
Out of the Unknown
was a BBC TV series that was broadcast, primarily on the then-new channel
BBC2, between October 1965 and June 1971.
format was that of a science-fiction anthology series, similar in idea to
the preceding US series, The Twilight Zone, and featured teleplays
adapted from classic stories by authors Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham and J.
G. Ballard, amongst others. Other teleplays were original scripts
commissioned for the series, written by some popular names in television
such as Nigel Kneale (Quatermass, The Stone Tape), Terry
Nation (creator of the Daleks and Blake's 7) and Troy Kennedy
Martin (Z Cars, Edge of Darkness).
first two seasons were made and transmitted in black and white. Season 1
episodes were around an hour in length, while from season two the episodes
were cut down to approximately fifty minutes. Produced by Irene Shubik,
the main style was that of differing looks at our future through science
fiction concepts. The majority of stories were adapted from famous and
popular tales by science fiction writers of the times and earlier and
centred on humanity’s future. Season one was dominated by stories of space
travel, and visits to alien planets were common (in episodes like No
Place Like Earth, The Counterfeit Man and Sucker Bait, to name
but a few) and some stories of time travel. With season two, the emphasis
was still futuristic, but this time anchored in machinery and robotics,
and more were set on Earth. These are, of course, broad generalisations.
After a two year hiatus, Shubik had departed, and the move was made to
colour. Alan Bromly took over the reigns of producer, and made his own
mark on the series. In the third season, the type of stories remained
broadly the same, but most were now set on Earth, and the emphasis was
beginning to be placed on the psychological rather than the plain
futuristic (for example, Last Lonely Man and Get Off My Cloud).
Another two years passed before Bromly's changes were well and truly
established, with the series’ fourth season. All episodes were set on
Earth and almost always in a more contemporary setting. Most episodes
featured a strong psychological horror element in the plot and could
sometimes be controversial (for example, schoolgirl rape scenes in To
Lay a Ghost). Science fiction elements were minimal. To top it all
off, a new title sequence was created, accompanied by new theme music,
from a stock library.
fourth series of Out of the Unknown was the last, but the BBC's
quest to create some horror continued. They destroyed many of the film
prints and videotapes of the series, often leaving episodes totally
unrepresented in their film and videotape library...
Thirty out of the forty-nine episodes of Out of the Unknown are
missing from the BBC’s archives: a shocking 61% of episodes simply do not
The Missing Episodes
The Fox and the Forest
Andover and the Android
Frankenstein Mark II
The World in Silence
The Fastest Draw
Too Many Cooks
Something in the Cellar
The Naked Sun
The Little Black Bag
The Yellow Pill
Get Off My Cloud
Taste of Evil
The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow
The Last Witness
The Shattered Eye
a wonderful twist of fate, clips from some lost episodes have survived to
this day. Sequences from episodes may have been used in other shows of the
time, such as editions of Towards Tomorrow which have survived
while the episodes in question have gone. Film inserts discarded by the
BBC Graphics department have been kept in private collections, and many
other clips and a full episode exist as audio only (they were recorded
off-air onto open-reel audiotape recorders by fans before the age of home
VCRs). In fact, a number of recent audio finds have meant many missing
episodes are represented in at least some small way.
with similarly-representative clips from missing 60s episodes of Doctor
Who, other Out of the Unknown clips have been recovered from
the Australian Censors, who edited the prints the BBC supplied them before
transmission to remove any material they deemed unsuitable.
strangest partly-missing episode, however, is represented by extracts that
comprise a large chunk of the episode The Little Black Bag. Running
just over twenty-eight minutes, this represents approximately 57% of the
episode. This clip, featuring most of the last thirty minutes of the
episode, was discovered on it's original 2" videotape in January 1999. The
tape had been reused for a news program but had not been wiped previously.
This gives us a spectacular insight into the episode, and, if it existed
fully, it would surely rate as one of the best in the series.
should also be noted that scripts exist for every missing episode in BBC
Written Records. ‘Tele-snaps’ images (off-monitor photo’s, taken as the
episodes were transmitted, as a record for the show’s production office)
also exist for many episodes, providing an invaluable resource for fans of
the series and archive TV enthusiasts.
Fox and the Forest
from BBC Graphics showreel on 16mm film
Andover and the Android
graphic inserts and end credits from BBC Graphics showreel
1. The renegade robot QT-1 has assembled the space station’s robots and is
asking them whether they should obey the instructions of “so-called
Donovan is gripped by two robots, shouting to his colleague, “Greg, this
is insurrection!”. Entering the room, Greg Powell ineffectually tries to
resume command, “QT-1, you’ll report to my office - get out! I’ll handle
these animated gadgets in my own fashion”. QT-1 coolly retorts that the
humans have misunderstood the nature of the new situation on the station…
QT-1 (preaching) passing along a line of kneeling robots, anointing their
heads (according to the script) with a can of oil!
QT-1 ordering the two earthman back to the ‘officers’ room’ and to take
their revolting food with them
Powell and Donovan decide to assemble a robot to prove to QT-1 they made
him - the new robot (QT-13) rises from the table, and asks for directions
to begin work…
Three linked audio extracts -
Claire Belmont talking with the household Robot ‘Tony’ - Claire is highly
suspicious of the machine ; her husband Larry has just left for America to
discuss a financial deal regarding the production of such robots, leaving
the prototype with Claire as a sort of unofficial ‘field experiment’.
A video clip of
just over a minute sourced from a 16mm film print and used in a show on
robotics. A sceptical Claire is introduced to the machine by her husband
1. Dr Gerard
Keppler using the metaphor of a clock running in reverse to explain the
rejuvenation process to Charles Denistoun.
Section of the rejuvenation process (SFX sound only)
Charles waking up after his operation and looking in a mirror - Dr Odile
Keppler by his bedside.
1. In the future, the technicians at Rex industries attempt to capture
Mark Blaine at the moment of his car crash on New Years Eve 1969 (crew are
gathered round a type of ‘scope’ looking at Blaine driving along the
motorway in his car) ; they cheer as the transfer is completed. Then
Blaine waking up
in his ‘new body’, attended by Dr Cole. -Blaine learns that he has been
projected into the future - he is incredulous and laughs.
At close of play - ‘The Reject’ - a disembodied spirit inhabiting a dying
Host body - catches up with Blaine. It realises why Blaine is so
significant - the reject’s body holds the mind of the other driver
involved in the 1969 car crash - he knows that a part of Blaine had willed
the crash to happen. The reject has come to claim for himself a ‘new
body’: in this case that of Blaine…(to the distress of Blaine’s girlfriend
Marie Thorne - one of the original technicians who brought Blaine into the
Other clips, content unknown.
A video clip of a
four seconds duration recovered from the Australian Censors.
1. After his first demonstration of mind reading with the factory’s
production manager, Ashe takes up Herbie’s suggestion of locking him in a
cleaner’s cupboard. Here the robot picks up one of the cleaners romantic
story magazines and begins to read, “I’ll never forget the day I told my
Scene cuts to Lanning’s room (head of the factory), where the sceptical
and anxious journalist Brooke is waiting to be reassured of the safety of
the new line of robots. Brooke is impatient…
A bemused Ashe returns to the assembled group, he bumbles an explanation,
Brooke leaves. Ashe tells them that the new robot has just read his mind.
Prof. Lanning decides they should all go see Herbie for themselves….
Herbie is confronted by Robo-Psychologist Susan Clavin, who has discovered
what the robot is up to; Herbie is then given an ‘impossible’ order, the
carrying through of which implies the possibility of a human being hurt.
Herbie suffers the robotic equivalent of a nervous breakdown - he crashes
through the door, down a corridor and topples down a stairway.
Two video clips
of around over a minute in total sourced from a 16mm film print and used
in a show on robotics. Herbie comes off the production line, and to Ashe's
utter horror can read minds. A very short extract from one of these clips,
of the two halves of Herbie's head being pushed together (see image,
above) can be seen in the opening title sequence of the American sit-com
Malcolm in the Middle.
Commandant Decker attempts to communicate with one of the planets humanoid
natives via a mentagraph - two linked headsets connected to a monitor
1 = 1.5
1. Population Officer Henry Beldon consults the central computer at
Westminister regarding his pregnant wife and unlicensed child - the
computer gives out a series of bizarre recommendations…
Other clips, content unknown.
1. After his wife mysteriously collapses into a coma, Bio-Chemist Harry
Gerwyn receives a call from the mysterious Mr Foster- asking him to come
and visit him at his home address.
Other clips, content unknown.
Off My Cloud
1. The Daleks invade a boy’s bedroom in his nightmare - he fires back at
Parnell materialising in Craswell’s dreamworld (“How do you do, Marsham
Craswell I presume..?” ) - Craswell in hospital bed moaning at the mental
intrusion. Scene follows on with Parnell remarking on Craswell’s
dreamworld appearance (“The last time I saw you, you were as white as a
bed sheet”) ; attempting to ‘write’ Parnell in as part of the fantasy,
Craswell asks “You are an Earthman..?”
Parnell conjures up a Police Phone Booth (the TARDIS Police Box) - he
phones his friend the Sergeant to come and help with a “disturbance of the
peace” - outside, Craswell screams his battle cries as he prepares to
fight against a hoard of alien creatures.
Parnell conjures up a group of Daleks from his childhood nightmare -
Craswell is relunctant to admit anything which counters his own ‘reality’,
and denies seeing them, “Daleks? I see no Daleks…”. Parnell replies, “Oh,
don’t be such a sop Craswell, you’re not the only one with imagination.”
Something in the Cellar
1. Monty showing his housekeeper Bettina the computer set-up
Fred attempts to tamper with the Computer’s ‘D-circuit’ - the computer
retaliates: a sudden electronic flash and the screwdriver Fred is using
pierces his wrist: he screams in pain.
Monty realises the mind of his dead mother inhabits the computer - he
hears his mothers voice coming through : he attempts to run from the
cellar and gets as far as the bedroom upstairs, but the hypnotic call of
‘Come Back..’ from the Cellar induces him to return. He ends up in a
foetal position on floor beside computer, his mother’s voice crooning
‘Just the two of us, for ever, and ever, and ever…”
A lengthy seven minute audio clip, content unknown.
1. The shift to a ‘Parallel Universe’: Colin Travers emerging from the lab
explosion to find himself at the foot of a stairway in a Gentlemens Club -
he is met by a Hall
Porter. "You all right Mr Trafford, you fell down the stairs sir -
no bones broken I hope..”
1. On the planet Solaria, Earth detective Baley interviews the head of
Solarian Security - Hannis Gruer - on a monitor screen - the latter drinks
from a glass of water and collapses; Baley calls for assistance from
Gruer’s household robots. Later, he calls up the Solarian medical advisor
Doctor Thool, and asks how Gruer is progressing.
In Baley’s Solarian apartment, Baley receives a radio transmission from
the Earth under-Secretary Minnim (who assigned Baley to the case) calling
for his return on to Earth. Baley is adamant that he wants to pursue his
investigation, and orders a robot to switch of the transmission. His robot
partner - R. Daneel Olivaw - warns him: “You cannot defy the
content of the three other clips is unknown.
Little Black Bag
1. Three clips
from the early part of the episode, content unknown.
One audio clip linking into recovered video footage.
Final audio clip featuring parts of the conclusion missing from recovered
Twenty-eight and half minutes of video footage
which represents most of the latter half of the play, with various short
segments in-between and the conclusion missing, plus reconstructed opening
and closing titles -
Angie and disgraced Dr Roger Full who found a bag from the future and
saved his own life with it, set up a Cosmetic Surgery Clinic to cash in on
the incredible medical instruments in the bag. They perform amazing feats
of cosmetic medical science much to the disbelief of registered doctors.
Journalist Edna Flannery visits the clinic about a back ache and while
examining her finds a problem in her lung and performs surgery, removing
it from the unknowing Edna. After this, Full grows troubled by the clinic
and feels the bag has the potential to save thousands of suffering people,
while Angie wishes to keep the spoils for themselves. Full arranges to
give up the bag for a full medical test run much to Angies distress. In a
moment of anger she uses an instrument from the bag to stab Full... In the
future, the murder is detected and the order is given by the computer.
"Kill that bag!"
A complete recording of this episode exists, but it is marred by
extraneous noise (possibly the sound of hoovering!)
A video clip of thirty-three seconds duration recovered from the
An audio recording exists of the complete episode.