Perhaps the most widely distributed recordings of Dr Poo are a run of 44 continuous episodes that were taped off-air by an unknown 2JJJ listener. His/her cassette, which survived in great condition, captured 90 minutes worth of mono material - from the ninth episode of the Dubbo French Revolution right up to the introduction of Dr Wee on Galah-Free - with the occasional comment from Doug Mulray at the end of episodes.
This tape (or a copy of it) ultimately found its way into the hands of Bruce Robinson, a Dr Who fan with many contacts around the world. His English friend Alan Hayes then digitised the recordings, restoring the opening and closing titles to their full lengths.
Shortly this website was launched in 2008, Dr Poo fan Phil Coy got in touch to share his memories of the series - and mentioned that he used to regularly record the episodes off-air himself. He knew that he had had three cassettes of recordings, some of which had been lent to family over the years, and he was quickly successful in locating two of them - a C60 and a C90 that between them captured 109 episodes from 1980 (including all of the 44 episodes from Collection #1).
His recordings, which varied in quality from good quality stereo to nearly inaudible mono, began with Universal Administration, followed by a short break - where he had taken a family holiday in July 1980, allowing us to date the episodes that followed - and continued right up the Dr Wee story, several episodes beyond the point where the first collection had cut off. Most episodes included some banter from Doug Mulray at the end.
His third cassette (still missing) contained the end of Dr Wee and the start of the next storyline, Dr Poo's African Adventure, during which the series was pulled from the air - Phil vividly remembers that the series ended mid-story in January 1981.
In 2009 Andrew Hodson - who, like the writers of this site, was too young to have listened to Dr Poo at the time - quizzed his local sci-fi dealers about bootleg copies of further Dr Poo episodes, and miraculously found a shop-owner who had once stocked (and quietly copied for himself) a 3-CD collection of Dr Poo recordings, called "the complete collection".
Disc 1 contained a digitised version of Knee's Ahoy! (taken from the vinyl LP) and 11 episodes from the very beginning of the radio serial; Disc 2 continued with episodes 12-31; and Disc 3 contained two (seemingly professionally-produced) omnibus episodes: a 30-minute compilation of the Dubbo French Revolution and a 20-minute compilation of Dr Poo's African Adventure and The Time Tap. The recordings were in immaculate condition, all in top-quality stereo, and the first 31 episodes even included verbal introductions (known as idents) and the odd bit of studio noise in-between episodes.
Quite what the omnibuses were prepared for is anyone's guess - perhaps Triple J did some repeats during the 80s/90s, or perhaps further LPs had been planned? This set must have been distributed fairly widely, and sounds to us like it was copied directly from the ABC master tapes.
Funnily enough, after Andrew obtained copies of the other 2 collections, he shared them with the shopkeeper... and shortly afterwards, the website listing changed to a six CD collection!
In 2010 Warren contacted us with his own off-air recordings. These covered episodes 134 - 172 (Nov 1979 to Feb 1980), including a break in the series where Dr Poo turned into The Khan Ages, and 311 - 416 (25 Aug 1980 to 19 Jan 2011), many in better quality than Phil or Alan's tapes, and with precise broadcast dates written onto the tapes. Warren had also recorded numerous trailers and introductions that no-one else had caught. A magnificent collection!
Wayne Sole and his friend Jeff, who had both been huge Poo fans back in the day, got in touch in early 2011 to reveal that they had their own off-air recordings of Cackronalds through to the African Adventure. Their recordings cut short the closing theme and bunch the episodes together quite tightly, but everything is there! Their tapes acted as an invaluable double-check for the other collections - we have been able to verify (against up to 4 concurrent sources) that nothing is missing!
Not an off-air collection this time, but a selection of representative Dr Poo episodes retained by the ABC, which is now held in the NAA archive. It included a verbal introduction by Lance Curtis, suggesting that the tape was recorded and compiled to send to other radio stations, or as an audition reel. Phil gained access the NAA in 2010 and was able to make transcripts of these recordings during a day-long visit, allowing us an insight into episodes 13, 18, 30, 60, 62, 63, 121, 134, 172, 175, 228, 229, 244, 255 and 273.
We are aware that the NAA also hold several other reels of Poo material, including all the recordings that Andrew had found on CD-R (the first 31 episodes, and the 2 x 30min compilations); Dr Poo's Christmas Messages; episodes 81-85; episodes 411-430; and The Khan Ages episodes 3-7.