15 Influential Episodes Of Television That Were Completely Lost To Time

Doctor Who and the moon landing have more in common than you think.
15 Influential Episodes Of Television That Were Completely Lost To Time

In the early days of television, networks considered their content disposable and ephemeral, like the employees at that company on Succession. To hold onto an episode of Doctor Who would be like printing and filing a tweet or recording a podcast onto vinyl. Of course, those things happen under the right circumstances. Well the tweet one at least. Probably. You know, for like presidents and stuff. For the public record? Okay, okay, never mind. The point is, these networks had no idea how influential their little talkies would become, and as a result, we lost a whole lot of cool stuff. Sesame Street? Gone! Well not all of it of course, but some. The Doctor regenerating for the first time? Gone! Who needs to see that? Elvis and Beatles’ landmark TV appearances? Gone! Who cares about those no name indie bands anyway?

…. Yeah you got us. We care that all this neato stuff is gone-o.

Doctor Who TELEPHONE 1111 use of for PUBLIC CRACKED.COM In the early days, the BBC kept nothing for posterity and routinely reused tape to save money. 97 episodes of Doctor Who were lost that way - including The Tenth Planet, notable for being the first episode where a Doctor regenerated.
The Shari Lewis Show ORACKED.COM The tapes of nearly every episode of the beloved precursor to Lamb Chop's lay-Along were used to record coverage of the 1964 Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Sesame Street CRACKED.COM They may still be somewhere in the archives, but it's believed that 60 episodes are gone for good -- including the debuts of two equally beloved characters: Linda and Slimey (Oscar's pet worm).
Jeopardy! CRACKED.COM Less than 30 episodes (out of nearly 3,000) survive from the original 1964-75 run, hosted by Art Fleming.
The on landing this Him CRACKED.COM One of the biggest reasons that moon landing conspiracy theories persist is that NASA conveniently lost the high-quality panorama footage of the mission. All that remains is the grainy footage you remember from Forest Gump.
Elvis' first appearance CRACKED.COM Louisiana Hayride was a wildly influential country music show out of Shreveport, Louisiana. Elvis made his television debut on the show in 1955, but only the audio survives.
The Beatles' last performance CRACKED.COM Like a careless stepdad recording a baseball game over YOUR first dance recital, the BBC taped over The Beatles' final televised performance on Top of the Pops.
At Last The 1948 Show CRACKED.COM This was essentially a precursor to Monty Python, featuring a pre-fame John Cleese and Graham Chapham. 10 of the 12 episodes have been recovered, but 2 remain elusive.
Dark Shadows CRACKED.COM Tim Burton's 2012 film is based on the original series from the 1960's and 70's. Of that first run, one episode has been lost: #1219. ABC tired to Frankenstein together a recreation using recovered audio, production stills, and footage from other episodes.
Binyah Binyah! CRACKED.COM Gullah Gullah Island's beloved polliwog got its own short-lived spinoff series, but Nickelodeon seems to have wiped all 6 episodes off the face of the planet.
The Tonight Show CRACKED.COM NBC recorded over most of Jack Paar's tenure, and 10 full seasons of Johnny Carson's. Carson, for his part, was cool with it: he suggested all his tapes be melted down and turned into guitar picks.
The Vampira Show CRACKED.COM Widely regarded as the first horror show on TV, the cult hit only ever aired in Los Angeles, and every live episode is completely lost to time.
The Ed Sullivan Show CRACKED.COM The first episode of what was then called The Toast of the Town is a particuarly huge loss, because it featured the first TV appearance of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
The DuMont Network CRACKED.COM DuMont aired almost 200 series during the 1940's and 50's. In the 70's thousands of episodes recorded on kinescope were unceremoniously dumped into the New York Harbor. That's where we put our sewage, not artifacts of television history!
Mary Kay And Johnny CRACKED.COM Every episode of the prototypical network sitcom was lost in DuMont's notorious river dump. Long before Ricky and Lucy, Mary Kay and Johnny were a real-life married couple who tackled such taboo topics as pregnancy and sleeping next to your spouse.
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