Patrick Troughton
Missing episodes of Doctor Who, starring Patrick Troughton, were discovered in a cupboard in Nigeria.

Never-before-seen Doctor Who episodes have turned up in a storeroom in Nigeria more than 40 years after they went missing.

The nine episodes, which included most of the classic story The Web of Fear featuring Patrick Troughton in the eponymous lead role, were found at a TV station by Philip Morris, director of a company called Television International Enterprises Archive.

He unearthed the programmes by looking up the records of overseas shipments of tapes made by the BBC. A complete version of the six-part story The Enemy of the World was also part of the impressive haul.

"I am described as the Indiana Jones of the film world," Morris said.

"The tapes had been left gathering dust in a storeroom at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words, Doctor Who. When I read the story code I realised I'd found something pretty special."

The Enemy Of The World (1967) and The Web Of Fear (1968), which both starred Troughton as the second Doctor, have now been remastered by BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm.

Many programmes from the 1960s and 1970s were lost when the BBC had a clear-out in an effort to save space.

There are still 27 Doctor Who stories which have not been recovered and a total of 97 episodes still unaccounted for.

"It's thrilling," said Mark Gatiss, an actor and writer for the 21st Century incarnation of Doctor Who.

"Every single avenue seemed to have been exhausted, every now and then something turns up - but to have two virtually complete stories out of the blue is absolutely incredible."

The rediscovered programmes will be available on iTunes and will later come out on DVD.