I don't understand the BBC. In the sixties and seventies they went about wiping their archive so that they could use the tapes again, depriving licence payers of some priceless shows, now presumed lost for ever in favour of The Queen's Speech and golf.
Then, in more enlightened times, they realised their mistake and scuttled all over the world trying to buy back missing episodes sold to less short-sighted broadcasting corporations, turning up old Dr Who episodes in Hong Kong and Nigeria and making out it was some sort of triumph for Auntie, which I suppose it was in terms of revenue from video and DVD releases.
Now, despite the digital revolution, despite the growth of 'on demand' broadcasting, despite the falling production costs of DVD's, despite having not one, not two, but four television channels at their disposal, they still sit impassively on the bulk of what's left of their archive, occasionally sneaking bits out here and there in bite sized nano seasons, usually cut up into unsatisfying chunks and interspersed with inane commentary from some halfwitted talking head.
When they occasionally do happen across the right thing, like broadcasting the brilliant 'Ghost Story For Christmas' series at Christmas, and even commissioning a couple of not bad new episodes, they then have second thoughts after a couple of years and stop showing the old episodes entirely, licensing a random one for an expensive DVD release and throwing the rest back into the dark.
So arseholes to the BBC, here's an IOT-TV 'Ghost Story For Christmas' presentation, 'Stigma' by Clive Exton, originally broadcast thirty four years ago on December 28th, 1977. A rare modern day story, I think it's one of the most chilling of all the tales - no M.R James, no period costume, no ghosts, just a baleful ancient horror, a bloody comeuppance and Peter Bowles.