THE NEWSLETTER ON EARLY DOCTOR WHO
28 November 1999
by Bruce Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) &
Robert Franks (TelesnapGuy@csi.com)
From Bruce ... hello again! Apart from the usual features this issue, we also have a couple of major announcements to make. The BIG news concerns a new reconstruction venture which has been devised by the people behind the COI and JV reconstructions. Please continue reading on to find out more about Master Plan Productions, and in particular, some of the unique features that will be on offer for the first MPP release, Marco Polo. Oh, and if youre a fan of either the JV or COI recons in particular, theres no cause to be concerned please read on ...
Wed also like to thank all those people whove supported our magazine, Nothing at the End of the Lane. The response has been so encouraging so far (in terms of both sales and general feedback), that it now appears likely that an issue #2 will be produced. The next DY will hopefully contain more details about the second issue of NATEOTL, including a possible release date.
After an absence of two years, the annual newsletter survey finally returns! We had a terrific response to our last survey in 1997 (272 respondents in total), and considering the 200% plus increase in the mailing list since then, hopefully we can aim for a much higher target. I urge you all to fill in as much of the attached survey as you can even if you are only able to devote five minutes to the survey, this will prove invaluable in compiling the results. On a personal note, Im very much looking forward to seeing how much fandoms opinions have changed (if at all) on the subject of missing episodes!
Robert may want to add something now ...
Being so connected with the recons, I seldom get asked to contribute my own thoughts on the work being completed. However, this doesnt mean that I still cant be impressed by the work of my peers. Recently, I had the joy of watching The Making of Fury from the Deep. Although most of my friends can tell you that Fury is, without doubt, my favourite story, I was still so impressed with Richard Bignells production that I cant sing its praises high enough. The entire presentation was beautiful from beginning to end Richard effortlessly blends comments from a variety of production members into a coherent story. In fact, with such a collection of exuberant memories being featured, it was almost as if I had spent the afternoon talking with the contributors myself.
If anyone is a fan of sixties DOCTOR WHO, I think you owe it to yourself to sit down and watch this at least once. Or, you could watch it thirty times like me (one of the hazards of dubbing) and keep getting pulled back to 1968 over and over again. Its a bit like time travel for the mind ...
Bruce & Robert
RECONSTRUCTION UPDATES MAJOR NEWS!
As hinted in the editorial, the recon world is currently undergoing a radical make-over, with the merger of the former COI and JV reconstruction groups. Master Plan Productions will be a partnership between Bruce Robinson (COI), Michael Palmer (JV) and Robert Franks (JV). Richard Develyn (JV) will also be a major contributor for completion of the telesnap stories.
The most crucial aspect of the MPP recons is that TWO separate versions will be simultaneously created for each story a script version and a non-script version. Of course, the script version will be similar in style to the former COI recons (ie captions for both dialogue and narrative), while the non-script version is comparable to the JV releases (descriptive captions for unclear parts of the audio only). However, it should be stressed that apart from the obvious difference in captioning, both versions will be the SAME reconstruction. Fans should NOT feel as if they have to obtain both versions instead, the choice will simply be down to personal preference.
To commence with, MPP recons will only be working on stories yet to be reconstructed by the JV and COI teams so rest assured that The Daleks Master Plan is still on schedule as one of the first three stories! In a few years time however, we may consider returning to some of the previous COI / JV releases if we believe the time is right.
A more detailed summary of the MPP recons appears in a special Recon Ramblings column later in this issue. For now, heres the usual update of future releases, including the latest news from Loose Cannon:
MARCO POLO [MPP1] (update by Bruce Robinson)
The work currently undertaken on the COI version of this story will now be converted over to the MPP style. In addition, another new collection of photos has recently come to light, resulting in more than double the number of photos being available when compared to the original COI version. At the moment, the MPP team members are trying out various ideas for the first two episodes of the story hopefully if this is a success, then the other episodes can be completed relatively smoothly. Efforts are also underway to enhance the existing David Holman soundtrack.
Following Marco Polo, the next two MPP releases will be The Highlanders and The Daleks Master Plan volume 1 (episodes 1 to 6).
LOOSE CANNON RECONSTRUCTIONS (update by Rick Brindell)
The Celestial Toymaker has now been completed and is ready for distribution. Galaxy 4 has also been completed after months of intensive work, and is currently being prepared for distribution. This reconstruction also includes an intro by Peter Purves. Work has started on Mission to The Unknown this will be released together with the John Peel interview (however the release date is unknown). The Reign Of Terror is now in the early stages of preparation the release date for this recon is also unknown. For more details on the Loose Cannon recons, please visit the LC web page at <www.recons.com>.
1999 NEWSLETTER SURVEY
Accompanying this issue of the newsletter, should be a copy of the 1999 survey form. We urge you to complete as much of the survey as you can, and then send a copy of your responses back to us. As mentioned on the survey form, a web-page also exists which allows you to enter your responses interactively (however, bear in mind that we do require a valid e-mail address to be entered).
The deadline for responses is January 15, 2000. Since the next issue of the newsletter is due to be distributed around about this time, it is very unlikely that the results will appear with issue #22. However, the results should be distributed with the March 2000 issue (#23) of Disused Yeti.
THE LION AUCTION
After many months of uncertainty regarding how, when, or even if the print of The Lion would be auctioned off at all, the print has finally been sold by Bruce Grenville for the princely sum of US$850 (520 UKP, A$1300). But in a sudden and unexpected twist, the new owner has re-auctioned the print, obtaining US$3150 (1940 UKP, A$4850)!
The initial auction, through <www.turnersauctions.com>, was to have taken place on September 17, 1999, but was cancelled due to lack of interest. After it was announced that the auction would occur on Turners site some time in the first half of 1999, only five people had registered to bid on the film. Many people blamed this lack of interest in the fact that the BBC now had a copy of The Lion arguments doing the rounds at that stage were that if Grenville had not returned his print to the BBC, there would have been a much greater interest in it from other film collectors. News of the auctions cancellation did cause a bit of a fuss in many film collectors web sites. At <www.historyinacan.com>, a number of disgruntled bidders vented their anger at not being allowed the opportunity to bid on the film.
The only pieces of information to come from either Grenville or Turners Auctions after the failed auction, was that they were currently looking at alternative ways to sell the print. Very little was heard until mid-late October 1999, when news of the prints auction was re-announced. Bruce had again enlisted the help of Turners to sell off his treasured possession. This time the auction was allowed to continue, despite, once again, attracting very few bidders. As a result, The Lion, was sold for US$850 to another collector in New Zealand.
It is not known whether Bruce was happy with the result (although a US$850 return is not bad for an NZ$5 investment!). Not long after Grenville finally sold the print of The Lion, on the 4th of November, 1999, a 16mm film of the same episode unexpectedly turned up at on another internet auction site, <www.ebay.com>. This sparked off a fresh debate about whether it was the same print that Bruce Grenville discovered, or whether it was another print of the same episode. Of course, it would have been highly improbable if it was a different print to the one which Grenville had returned! The mystery was solved, however, when it was discovered that the seller of this print was from New Zealand, and was also the successful bidder from the Grenville auction.
The Lion auction II ran for seven days, and bidding was instantaneous and fierce. Within days, the price had risen to US$2025. Towards the last few moments of the auction, there appeared to be a frenzy of bidding, driving the price of the film higher and higher. The auction ended on November 14, 1999, with the final price of the film reaching a whopping US$3150! The print was won by a bidder from the UK by the name of David Goldstein.
It is not known if Bruce Grenville knew about this second auction and its result. But one thing is for sure DOCTOR WHO episodes on film are hot property ... even ones that have been returned to the BBC! All fandom can do now is hope that other film collectors who may possess DOCTOR WHO episodes now realise just how sought-after their prints can be.
THE MAKING OF FURY PART I
The recent JV release of Fury from the Deep featured a unique making of documentary at the conclusion of the tape. This documentary was put together by Richard Bignell, who apart from being a long-time supporter of the recon projects, is also a co-editor of Nothing at the End of the Lane. In the first of a two-part series, Richard considers how he first came about the idea of completing the Fury documentary, and discusses some of the initial research which had to be performed ...
As with most things in life, it started off as a very small idea.
Id been helping out the various reconstruction teams in small ways since I first logged on to the Internet in December 1996 supplying photos, offering advice and so on, but I soon started to wonder if there was a way that I could become more actively involved. With several groups producing the reconstructions, it seemed a pointless idea to duplicate the work that the others were already doing very capably. However, as Id always been interested in the production of the programme, I began to wonder if I could do something in that direction.
Aware that an updated version of Fury from the Deep was being considered by the JV team, it was on a cold February morning early in 1998, that I had the idea of producing a different style of opening for the reconstruction. Having discovered only a few months before, an unpublished set of newspaper photographs of the location filming of Fury, it was now possible to precisely determine the stretch of beach used to film the arrival of the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria in the rubber dinghy. So I had thoughts of producing a three minute introduction to the recon, of me on location, briefly relating the background to the story whilst utilising some of the photographs that Id discovered.
For a while, it remained just that an idea. But the thought wouldnt leave me entirely. Then it occurred to me that I had in my possession an audio tape that Michael E Briant had sent me of his memories of working as Production Assistant on the story. He told his previously unrelated tales with such liveliness and humour that I wondered whether it would be possible to make use of some of his comments as well.
Id always been a great fan of well made Making of documentaries and one afternoon, I rewatched a couple of superb examples that the BBC had transmitted over the previous few months. The first was In the Teeth of Jaws, celebrating Spielbergs 1975 masterpiece whilst the second, The Making of My Fair Lady Then & Now looked at not only the films production, but also the remarkable restoration work that had been put into saving the rapidly decaying footage.
Spurred on by what Id watched, I wondered if it would be possible to do the same thing with DOCTOR WHO, and produce an interesting documentary on the making of a single story to go with the reconstruction when it was released. I decided to find out!
At this stage, I deliberately didnt tell either Robert, Richard or Michael of my intentions as I wanted to ascertain whether it was going to be a practical possibility or not. The criteria for doing it was simple. It needed to be interesting and informative. But the starting point wasnt strong. True, I had Briants comments, the locations used were relatively near to my home and I had thirteen unused photographs. But I was planning to try and put together a documentary about a story for which only two minutes & fifteen seconds of footage existed, and for which no production file had survived at the BBC.
I started by gathering together all the material I could on the production of the story, which, wherever possible would need to cross-checked for accuracy. Andrew Pixley sent me a copy of his then unpublished DWM archive on the story, which allowed me to verify some of the details and he also provided me with a copy of Pembertons original 1966 radio play The Slide, on which the story was based.
I also decided that ideally, I needed further interviews with people who had worked on the production. Several months earlier, I had spotted Margot Hayhoes (Assistant Floor Manager on Fury) name on the closing credits of an EASTENDERS episode and I decided that it would be worth getting in contact to see if she had any memories that would be useful to the project. I wrote to Margot, care of the EASTENDERS production office and a couple of weeks later, I got a letter back from her saying that shed help if at all possible.
I conducted all the interviews for the documentary in the same way. A cassette tape was dispatched to the individual, usually containing a few comments that Id received from other people in the production (as a memory jogger), with a request for them to record as much as they like and not to worry that they might be rambling too much! Margot provided me with some wonderful recollections about her time on DOCTOR WHO and she also sent me another unpublished photograph together with a memo she had relating to her being the scream-double for Deborah Watling.
So, two important production personnel had spoken about their time working on Fury. Sadly however, the man in charge of the whole operation, director Hugh David, had died several years before. This was such a pity, as the one interview done with him, published in the DWM Summer Special 1986 showed that he had some wonderfully clear memories of the filming. Having conducted a number of face-to-face interviews myself over the years, I knew that it was common practice for the conversation to be committed to tape first so I wondered if there was any chance that the original interview tape still existed. The interview had been conducted and written by Patrick Mulkern, who had contributed many items to the magazine during the 1980s. The question was, where was he now? I asked around, but no-one seemed to know. A check on BTs Phone Disk CD-Rom showed that only three P Mulkerns were listed so I wrote to them all. Fortunately, Patrick was one of them and a day or so later, I received an e-mail from him, asking how he could help. When I told him what I was doing, he readily agreed to dig out his old cassette and send me a copy. It meant that I would be able to use comments from the director after all!
To be continued ...
NOTHING AT THE END OF THE LANE ... COMMENTS!
The first issue of our magazine, Nothing at the End of the Lane, has been selling strongly with the promise of more publicity to come, there is a good chance that the entire print run of issue #1 will sell out. Even better still, weve received some very positive feedback on the magazine apart from personal E-mails received, regular readers of rec.arts.drwho may have noticed some encouraging words of support posted to the newsgroup.
Wed like to thank all those people who have taken the time to put down their thoughts on the magazine. Heres a collection of the comments that weve received so far ...
A million thanks for issue 1 and
many congratulations for an absorbing read that has kept me
occupied between onerous work commitments all week! Superb paper
quality and reproduction, but above all, some fascinating
articles, all authoritatively researched and lucidly written. The
only problem is that such well-informed enthusiasm is so
thoroughly contagious. I shall now be off around London looking
for locations, spending even more hours on the web, and tracking
down copies of every camera script I can lay my eyes on! Bravo!!!!!
I must say the magazine has turned
out extremely well. I had already seen some of the articles,
including Andrew Pixleys wonderful piece about the scripts,
but there was plenty of fascinating reading in the ones that were
new to me. I particularly enjoyed Richards piece on
tracking down locations and Bruces summary of the history
of audio recordings. The whole magazine is superbly presented,
and I very much hope that you and your co-editors do go ahead
with at least one more issue, if not many more!
(STEPHEN JAMES WALKER)
Ive made significant
progress into Nothing at the End of the Lane, and was
sufficiently impressed to pass it around the technical writing
team at work as a more interesting book to read than the one Ive
just finished writing! I particularly liked the Pictures
arent moving and Richard Bignell articles. The
lengthy one about the camera scripts was, well, a little lengthy
(but still interesting). I also think the magazine would have
been capped off with an interview with a sixties director, if you
could have got a hold of one. Great effort ... roll on issue #2!
Just a quick word to say I
got the mag yesterday and having read a good deal of it already,
I can say what an excellent effort it is at last, a proper
publication on this interesting aspect of DOCTOR WHO. I was
immediately impressed by the quality of the mag far better
than any fanzine Ive seen. Youve managed to cram in
as much as possible into the 60 odd pages.
I just wanted to let you
know how impressed I am with the quality of the magazine. Its
really exceeded my expectations, perhaps because I havent
seen as many fanzines in the last few years because of the
prohibitive cost (for poverty stricken people like me) of sending
for them overseas (this is possibly a hint to try to keep costs
down!). Aesthetically, it looks very professional, with a
readable format, nice tiny typescript (which I prefer as it
allows for more content per page), and even good photo
reproduction (you have to realise that I have stacks of wonderful
80s zines such as Shada, Skaro and Cloister Bell,
which one wouldnt generally buy for the pictures). The
scholarly tone of the writing is welcome, with footnotes nicely
complementing the text. Though I firmly believe that fandom can
and should allow for a more academic approach to writing, I was
also pleased that the writing is by no means dry instead
it is extremely readable, fascinating and even humorous at times.
Anyway, thanks again for a superb magazine. So good was it that I
felt compelled to tell several non-fan friends about it (they
stared at me as if I were insane), and I shall certainly
recommend it to other fans.
This is brilliant! I was
riveted by Andrew Pixleys script piece it must be a
great feeling after wading through reams of boring literature to
find little gems of dialogue or directions (or even Terrance
Dicks internal BBC phone number!). More please!
Ive finally had the
chance to start looking through my copy of Nothing at the End
of the Lane. All I can say is fabulous! ... and
indeed excellent!. Thanks for your hard work, and
that of everyone else involved. One of the great things for me
about all the reconstruction projects is that that they make it
very clear just how much the black and white era of DOCTOR WHO is
appreciated. And I used to think I was the only one!
(VIN DE SILVA)
Just a note to say a very, very
big THANK YOU for Nothing At The End Of The Lane. The
magazine itself is quite beautifully presented, wonderfully laid
out and illustrated. The written matter inside it is also of a
very high calibre I cant recall when I last enjoyed
reading an entire publication so much. I am sure that it will be
extremely successful. Most of all the fact that this
magazine was produced by three people who had never met and who
live in three completely different continents is a true
reflection of the love and enthusiasm that we all share for this
super show, and what people can really achieve when they work
NATEOTL is 64 pages jam-packed
with information, memories and just plain cool stuff. Clearly a
labour of love, it came as a wonderful reminder of why I love
fandom just as I was getting exasperated with it all again.
Look at the earliest issue of
almost any long-lived fanzine and youll observe that the
quality is markedly inferior to those that follow. If this trend
is followed in Nothing at the End of the Lane, then future
issues will be simply awesome because this debut issue is about
as close to perfect as Ive ever seen. The layout,
presentation and standard of writing are all exemplary
this magazine deserves to be shelved right next to the very best
reference books ever produced about the series.
[Note Pauls comments are an extract from a longer review which will appear in the next issue of TSV. For further details on this acclaimed New Zealand fanzine, write to Paul at <email@example.com>.]
For further details on issue #1 of Nothing at the End of the Lane (including info on how to order), please visit the following web-page:
Note that local distribution is now available for New Zealand fans please consult the above site for further details.
RECON RAMBLINGS THE NEW MASTER PLAN
Assuming this is not the first section of the newsletter youre reading, you may have already noticed something about the new Master Plan Productions recon venture. The Reconstruction Updates section provided a quick overview of whats in stall for the MPP releases, however, since we imagine that many people will be keen to hear more, what follows is a more detailed summary of the MPP plan, and some of the innovations we can expect to see.
Although the idea of a COI/JV merger is nothing new (in fact, the first discussions took place over two years ago), it was decided by those involved with the two recon groups to have a fresh look at the whole situation. In particular, it was realised that it was pointless to duplicate effort by producing two separate versions of the same story. However, on the other hand, it was also accepted that strong supports exists for both the full script version and the descriptive text only version, therefore it wasnt really possible to decide on one definitive format which would appeal to everyone.
With these thoughts in mind, the basis for the MPP recons developed. A plan of attack was devised by the primary group members, which stressed the major requirement of producing two versions which will still essentially be the same reconstruction. In other words, each recon will contain the same video material, same introductory and concluding segments, same audio, and same photographic material. In fact, the text captions will also be fairly similar however it will not simply be a case of removing all the dialogue in the scripted version to create the non-scripted version. Care will be taken to ensure that the captions in the non-script version fulfil the same role as that of the JV recons. In other words, captions will only be used to explain unclear parts of the story which cannot be understood from the audio and pictures alone.
Another question that people may have about the new venture concerns the various team-members and how the work will be distributed amongst them. The three primary team members for all releases will be Michael Palmer, Robert Franks, and myself. All three of us will be involved in the gathering of suitable material for the story. I will then prepare a preliminary reconstruction using the Media Studio software (however, Microsoft Powerpoint, the software that Ive used previously for the COI recons, will still be used for preparing text captions, picture scripting and design purposes). Michael will then receive a copy of the preliminary file, and enhance the recon in whatever way necessary, before outputting the file on to video tape. While this occurs, Robert will be preparing the extras for the recon, such as the credit files, as well as assisting in the preparation of photo-visual material.
Of course, efforts will always be made to enhance whatever audio exists for the particular story. For example, Michael has recently been working on the David Holman version of Marco Polo, and has succeeded in creating a soundtrack which is far superior to that which was used for the original COI recon.
For telesnap stories, Richard Develyn will be joining us on the production team. As many fans are aware, Richard was first responsible for creating a large series of telesnap reconstructions from Seasons 4 & 5. Therefore, whenever the MPP team is working on a telesnap recon, Richards previous recon will be used as a template for the new version. For stories yet to be covered by Richard (eg The Macra Terror), he will instead provide us with detailed notes of suggested telesnap scripting. Apart from the four production team-members mentioned above, various other people will still be assisting in specific parts of the recon. For instance, Derek Handley will still play an important role in gathering photographic material. Other people will also help out with proof-reading the text captions, and enhancing the audios. And following the success of the Fury from the Deep documentary completed by Richard Bignell, we also hope that future releases will feature similar productions by Richard.
Regarding the stories to be completed, both the COI and JV teams will be ceasing work on their current projects, and will be devoting all their future efforts towards the MPP recons. Marco Polo will be the first story to be completed in the new format, followed by The Highlanders and The Daleks Master Plan volume 1 (episodes 1 to 6). Other stories which were in the process of being worked upon by the COI / JV teams (eg The Crusade) will be appearing shortly after. For now, our plans are to work on stories yet to be reconstructed by the COI and JV teams, but we do intend giving the other stories already completed the MPP treatment one day ...
All of us involved with the Master Plan Productions are confident that the new recon venture will be a success. We believe that the new series of recons will provide the best of both worlds, while still allowing the production team-members to be concentrating on the areas best suited to their talents. We hope you will support the new endeavour by obtaining Marco Polo (in whatever format!) when the video becomes available.
SEASON 2 STORY 7
Episode TX TI DU VA CP AA The Space Museum 24 Apr 65 17.41 2338 10.5 16 61 The Dimensions of Time 01 May 65 17.55 2200 9.2 23 53 The Search 08 May 65 18.00 2333 8.5 22 56 The Final Phase 15 May 65 17.43 2215 8.5 27 49
Total Duration = 9126 (approx)
Average Viewing Audience = 9.2
Average Chart Position = 22
Repeat Screenings nil on BBC1, although the story has been repeated on BSB and UK Gold.
Countries Sold To Australia, Caribbean, Chile (Spanish), Costa Rica (Spanish), Dominican Republic (Spanish), Ethiopia, Iran, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Zambia
(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Status Episode three (The Search) was retained by the BBC Film and Videotape Library as a 16mm telerecording, and was held when inventoried in 1978. Later that same year, 16mm telerecordings of all four episodes were discovered in a vault at BBC Enterprises.
The story was released on BBC Video (BBCV 6888) in 1999 as part of The Crusade and the Space Museum Box Set (BBCV 6805). The episodes were uncut and restored. Both serials were featured on one tape.
(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
(e) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps currently missing. Although there is no mention of John Curas services on the PasB (Programme-as-Broadcast) documentation, it is probable that Cura did take telesnaps of all four episodes.
Behind-the-Scenes Shots unknown
26 Mar 65 photocall at Riverside, Studio One (TARDIS crew in crusading outfits)
23 Apr 65 photocall at Television Centre, Studio Four (the Doctor and Ian in the preparation room)
(f) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Episode DR FT RA CUTS The Space Museum 22 Mar 66 897 G no cuts The Dimensions of Time 22 Mar 66 834 G no cuts The Search 22 Mar 66 890 G no cuts The Final Phase 22 Mar 66 843 G no cuts
(g) OTHER NOTES
Working titles The
Four Dimensions of Time (episode 1), Zone Seven
Studio recordings for all four
episodes were made at Television Centre, Studio Four
between 02 Apr 1965 and 23 Apr 1965. Film inserts (for
model shots, and Vicki dropping the glass in episode 1) were made at Ealing on 11 Mar 1965.
Novelised by Glyn Jones, Doctor Who The Space Museum, was first published by W.H. Allen in 1987 as both a hardback and paperback. The Target edition was numbered 117 in the range. David McAllister provided the cover artwork.
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
THE MOONBASE [JV6] & THE TENTH PLANET 4 [enhanced]
What joy it is to come back from holiday in Corfu to be greeted with a new reconstruction. Excuse me whilst I catch up with sleep first its now 7.30am and Ive been awake for 23 1/2 hours!
Five hours later ... yawn, thats better. Now, lets get that tape in the machine ...
To start with a little history. The Moonbase was originally a Richard Develyn recon (although there is a COI version as well) and was created before the Joint Venture project began. I watched this original version recently and found it too dark and the sound too mushy to watch properly which was exactly why the JV project was started, to provide clearer telesnaps & audio. This aim has been achieved with The Moonbase, which has been transformed into a more watchable experience. But let us deal with each item on the tape in order.
First up is the standard JV preamble, which this time includes a copy of the original Radio Times preview and clips from an interview with Gerry Davis mixed with footage from the four Cybermen stories he was involved with. This is a nice introduction to the tape, especially as I have never seen any interviews with Gerry before.
Now onto the main feature. The Moonbase is the story of the Cybermens attempt to control Earths weather by capturing the Gravitron, a device that can control the Earths weather from the Moon. It could also be said to be four episodes of mucking around on the Moon without getting anywhere (but I wouldnt say that honest!). Despite this, I have always enjoyed the story. Morris Barry is a sadly underrated sixties WHO director.
The JV team have improved the recon no end. The telesnaps are much, much clearer than previous efforts and the sound is crystal clear and seems to have been remastered for the existing episodes 2 & 4. Episode 4 also seems to be a crisper version and is a welcome sight after the fuzzy version on my Troughton Years tape!
After 90 minutes of mucking about on the moon, its time to go mucking around in the Antarctic. The Tenth Planet episode 4 (the main attraction on this part of the tape) has had a facelift, but due to the BBCs decision to release this story in 2000, a full reconstruction has been truncated to just provide the highlights of episodes 1-3. I have to say I was slightly disappointed with this flash through the story but it is the right way to do things without incurring the wrath of the BBC. A short piece from the late Michael Craze introduces the story.
After the précis comes episode 4 itself when I started watching the recon, it seemed to have had no changes made to it since the last update by Michael Palmer. However, after watching the episode, it is obvious that the telesnaps are now much clearer than before, making the dead Cyberman shot towards the end all the more gruesome. Instead of a complete reworking, Michael has created a pseudo-JV episode that is a more than adequate substitution for a full-blown JV version.
The main style of this recon is to use clips from the previous 3 episodes to make a more animated episode than the usual slideshow as with the majority of stories. I have to say it is a little difficult to get into this style, and I am reminded of the old film dub game from Whose Line is it Anyway?! After a while though, you become used to it, and can use some imagination to smooth the jumps in footage.
Overall, this is a fun packed tape with many major improvements over the original recons, but there is slight disappointment at not receiving a full Tenth Planet. However a bonus item is included the 1976 BBC Schools Radio production of Exploration Earth The Time Machine. This is an unusual item, and using an imaginative idea, Michael Palmer has produced a recreation as opposed to a reconstruction. As this story never actually appeared on TV, he has used images from various Tom Baker stories (mainly Pyramids of Mars) together with other images of the Earth as it was millions of years ago (taken I assume from a documentary of some sort, unless he knows something we dont!).
Having never heard this story before it is a nice addition to the tape, but dont imagine it to be anything other than an educational programme. By the way Michael, what is that toothpaste tube arrangement the Doctor and Sarah travel around in?
To sum up, get this tape to update your old Moonbase recon, use Tenth Planet as a prelude to the BBC release and use Exploration Earth to educate and entertain! Personally any tape that contains my favourite stock music (Space Adventure by Martin Slavin the standard Cybermen theme throughout the sixties) is worth getting!
[Editors note : Tenth Planet:4 is NOT available as part of the Moonbase release in America instead, it can be obtained separately. Please consult <www.telesnaps.com> for further details.]
LETTERS AND OPINIONS
From issue #20 ... When you hear about rush releases, the new Crusade/Space Museum video immediately comes to mind. While it is admirable that the BBC wanted to release the recently recovered episode (The Lion) as soon as possible, one could argue that if they had waited a couple more months, they could have also included a reconstruction of the missing episodes, similar to what appeared for The Ice Warriors.
These comments are rather unfair, I feel! There were no telesnaps available for those episodes at the time and when they were uncovered it was far too late as the video was already at the BBFC for certification. As for the audio not being complete, Im sure that this was because they werent on the original recordings. Even with the script, its difficult to know if this was what really happened or not. The telesnaps may have provided some clarification, but again these were not available at the time.
THE MEMORY CHEATS
Theres no Memory Cheats column for this issue, however the column should return in issue #22. Remember, if there are any fans out there who have first-hand knowledge of the sixties era (or even part of it) as originally broadcast, then please do consider sending us your thoughts!
Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Martyn Alner, Richard Bignell, Rick Brindell, Dominic Jackson, Nick Manganas, Michael Palmer, and all the people who sent in comments on Nothing at the End of the Lane.
The DOCTOR WHO reconstructions are fan-produced endeavours completed without the consent of BBC Worldwide, BBC Television, or any holders of the DOCTOR WHO licence. No infringement on any such copyright holder is intended nor are the tapes produced for any sort of monetary compensation. Tapes are distributed through the worldwide DOCTOR WHO fan network. Support the BBC releases!
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