TME > Audio > Stories Guide > Television Soundtracks
During the 1990s, BBC Video began to seriously review their Doctor Who archive, and employed a number of people who have gradually become known as Doctor Who's Restoration Team. Responsible for the re-colourised Jon Pertwee serials and The Five Doctors Special Edition, Steve Roberts, Paul Vanezis and Ralph Montagu were asked in mid-1997 to produce a two-and-a-half-hour package centred around the incomplete Troughton classic, The Ice Warriors. To accompany the 15 minute video reconstruction of the missing episodes, a 50 minute CD was included in the set, containing the complete, unedited soundtracks to episodes 2 and 3. The experiment was repeated the following year, when episode 1 of The Crusade miraculously returned from New Zealand and prompted another box set release, again with a double-episode CD. Both discs were prepared by Mark Ayres, who has often spoken about the difficulty in re-mastering for quality. "It's a very specialised field - it's not just a question of passing it through a mixing desk and putting some equalisation on it . . ."
The sleeve-notes for the Crusade CD explained the complications with using fan's off-air recordings. "In the days before domestic video recorders, those who wanted a permanent record of their favourite programme would tape-record the soundtracks from their television sets. In the 1960s, television transmission was 405-line VHF, which was notoriously prone to interference. Low voltage solid state circuitry had not yet impacted on TV design and most sets were run direct from the AC mains (rather than step-down transformers and DC converters which were introduced later). This meant that 50Hz of poorly filtered mains power was often present at the loudspeaker in the form of a hum. Direct-patching into the live circuitry was dangerous, so the favoured method of recording was to affix a microphone to the TV set's speaker aperture. Placement was critical since if the 50Hz hum was not picked up acoustically, it could find its way onto the recording electro-magnetically, and if the microphone was placed too far off centre, too much background noise (room tone) was picked up, resulting in an 'open boxiness' to the sound."
Some of these problems were not applicable to The Ice Warriors episodes, as their soundtrack had been recorded by Graham Strong, who managed to link his tape machine directly to the out-put of his television - resulting in a crystal clear audio spoiled only by the 30-year-wear of the tape. These recordings even include several seconds of the closing and opening theme, meaning that cliff-hangers and reprises can be easily located. Those made by Richard Landen and David Holman, however, suffer from the distortions mentioned above as well as some complications made by the speed at which the episodes were recorded (all three fans recorded at low speed for economic reasons), and the carefully edited audios lack all reprises and closing/opening title themes. As the sleeve-notes continue: "Re-mastering is a juggling act between enhancing the soundtrack (which also increases the noise) and removing the noise (which may cause much of the soundtrack to be erased)", and the Crusade CD suffered from poor quality in Ayres' effort to keep the audio as 'complete' as possible. Furthermore, the length of each reprise was incorrectly guessed at, and the duration of the opening and closing titles are inaccurate.
The format proved popular, and it seemed likely that future releases of incomplete stories would be supplemented by re-mastered off-air soundtracks. However, BBC Worldwide felt that the CDs were alienating for non-fans, and decided that a CD of The Tenth Planet 4 would not be included in their Cyberman Tin for Christmas 2000. The Restoration Team were able to ensure that a full reconstruction of that episode appeared on the video alongside the film prints of episodes 1 to 3, but the Reign of Terror vHS release two years later (another story for which a CD of the two missing episodes would have been extremely welcome) was bridged only by short on-screen introductions by Carole Ann Ford (recorded some ten years earlier by John Nathan-Turner), with the entire soundtrack released on a completely separate double-CD in February 2006.
The practise was briefly revived, however, when the surviving episodes of The Crusade and The Moonbase were released on DVD (as part of the 3-DVD set Lost in Time) in 2004. The DVD format allowed the Restoration Team to once again include the soundtracks to the missing episodes, which played on a static screen that showed a photograph from the episode, and were included in the 'Play All' function - allowing a full experience of the stories!
The Ice Warriors: TWO and THREE
Warriors: TWO and THREE
Off-air recordings by Graham Strong
Digitally re-mastered by Mark Ayres
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive on Earth in the far future to find that the planet is in the
grip of a second ice age. Scientific outposts are scattered across the globe, fighting desperately against
advancing glaciers that threaten to send the world back into prehistory. When a huge armoured figure
is discovered buried in the ice, a force more deadly than the ice floes is unleashed - Varga, a Martian
Warrior, whose craft crash-landed centuries ago. Reviving his crew, he aims to conquer Earth in the
name of Mars. With power at the outpost sinking to dangerously low levels, it falls to the Doctor to try
to save humanity - not only from the warmongering Ice Warriors, but from the barely checked power
of the relentless glaciers...
The Crusade: The Knight of Jaffa and The Warlords
Crusade: The Knight Of Jaffa and The Warlords
Off-air recordings by Richard Landen and David Holman
Digitally re-mastered by Mark
It's 12th Century Palestine and King Richard the Lionheart is embroiled in a Holy War against
the Saracen ruler, Saladin. After Barbara is abducted in a Saracen ambush, the Doctor, Ian and Vicki
make their way to the King's Palace. At first, the King will not help with her rescue, but he relents
and lets Ian attempt it, equipping him for the task with a knighthood. Meanwhile, the King's secret
plans to make peace with Saladin are discovered and all hell breaks loose. The Earl of Leicester
suspects the Doctor's influence in the King's new-found desire for peace. It is time the Doctor