Mark and I appreciate all the commentary and interest regarding the Macra Terror 3 film can interview and photographs.
We understand that there are questions about the film can, particularly over the label and our own motivations. We would like to address them here.
Some have questioned why the label looks new. The answer is that both previous owners, known personally to Mark and I, stored the can in a way that ensured that it didn’t age while in their hands. The previous owner kept it in storage for the duration, while the current owner stores the can in a cabinet out of direct sunlight.
Indeed, as an example of the conditions the previous owner stores items, we attach a photo of a Target book from 1974 which forms part of their personal collection. As you can see, it has been stored in excellent condition over the intervening 44 years and looks brand new. The film can was stored under the same conditions.
As mentioned before the current owner of the film can, and the immediate previous owner, are both known to Mark and I. These relationships go back at least 20 years. Both are sober, intelligent people who don’t engage in wild flights of fantasy. If they say the film can and the information taped to it are legitimate, then we believe them.
Unlike the ‘burger van’ hoax or the ‘Barrett’ Shibaden tape supposedly containing TP4 and other innumerable hoaxes, Mark and I have been upfront about who we are and have provided photos to support what we believe to be true. We agree it would be preferable the can had the usual BBC or ABC sticker(s), but we believe that the can itself, based on the logo used and advice we have received about the logo, itself dates back to the 1970s. Part of the reason we went public with the film can was to facilitate discussion about the belief many have that duplicate prints circulated around Australia.
Aside from the film can and its label, there have been attacks on our credibility. Phil Morris claimed to have contacted the ABC who he alleges said the can was a ‘fake’. We have contacted Morris via Twitter offering the can to representatives of the ABC for examination but so far he has chosen not to respond, as he is entitled to do.
We stand by our credibility. We have been involved in fandom since the late 1980 and 1990’s. Within fandom, through our podcast, we are public figures, not faceless keyboard warriors trolling fellow fans. It’s well-known that Rob played a hand in returning the Power of the Daleks clips from Australia in the mid-1990s. Once he had the information, he contacted the BBC, in the shape of Steve Roberts, to allow the speedy return of the clips to their proper place at the BBC. This is all documented on what remains of the Restoration Team’s website. His intent then, and now, was purely to assist in the recovery, and deepen the understanding, of the fate of missing Doctor Who episodes.
We would have not proceeded with the interview and published images of the can if we felt it was a forgery and furthermore we certainly did not do this as a ’clickbait’ exercise, but only to share our findings with Doctor Who fandom. Our podcast has finished-it’s a pretty strange way to drum up more listeners when there are no more episodes being made!
Again, we appreciate all the considered comments that have been made since the interview and photos were made available. We certainly understand the well-argued skepticism some have voiced. But, we stand by the information as presented and hope it provides the beginnings of a clearer understanding of how prints were handled and moved around Australia.
Rob and Mark