NEWSLETTER ON EARLY DOCTOR WHO
30 January 2000
Edited by Bruce Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) &
Robert Franks (TelesnapGuy@csi.com)
Youíve probably worked out by now that this issue is a bit of a Fury from the Deep special!
Originally, we never intended to do a special as such, but with so much material suddenly available on the Fury recon (thanks mainly to Richard Bignells documentary), we thought it would be a good idea to try a special issue. If the idea catches on, we might try a few more special issues in the future (an issue on Marco Polo is a definite possibility).
Before we head off ... both of us are looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible at upcoming conventions. Bruce will be at Whovention 2000 in Sydney, while Robert will be at Gallifrey in Los Angeles. Please come up and say ďHi!Ē
Enjoy the issue,
Bruce and Robert
MASTER PLAN PRODUCTIONS (www.telesnaps.com)
The first recon to be completed by the new MPP team, Marco Polo, is progressing well. Work on the first half of the story has largely been completed, and the three team members (Michael Palmer, Robert Franks, and myself) are currently sorting out other features of the recon (such as the animated map).
As for the recon itself, the vast majority of images derive from the actual production of Marco Polo. Occasionally, we have had to resort to other DOCTOR WHO stories, as well as other TV shows and films, but with the wealth of material available from the serial itself, there are only a few occasions where non-authentic material has been used.
In addition, we can now confirm that there will definitely be NO colour photographs used in the reconstruction (for reasons which will probably be explored in a future Recon Ramblings column!). For those disappointed to hear this, there is some better news the colour photos will still be making an appearance in one form or another (they just wont be part of the actual reconstructed episodes).
Apart from Marco Polo, preliminary work has commenced on the second MPP recon, The Highlanders. Some discussions have also taken place on the third MPP release the first six episodes of The Daleks Master Plan.
LOOSE CANNON RECONSTRUCTIONS (www.recons.com)
The Celestial Toymaker and Galaxy 4 are now officially released and available through your local dub-sites. The next projects are still under discussion, however some of the possibilities are :
Mission to the Unknown / John Peel Interview
The Reign of Terror
SURVEY AND MAGAZINE
Just a quick note on a couple of things ...
Firstly, thanks to the 400+ people who responded to the 1999 Disused Yeti survey (which was distributed with issue #21). The results are currently being compiled, and should be distributed by the end of February.
Secondly, were still receiving a healthy number of orders for issue #1 of Nothing at the End of the Lane. As has been stated before, if youre thinking about obtaining a copy, but havenít yet done so, it might be a good idea to consider sending off that cheque or money order! Further details on distribution can be located here:
In the next issue of Disused Yeti, we hope to provide a quick run-down of some of the material we can expect to see in issue #2 of NATEOTL.
The 1999 Disused Yeti survey has provided us with a fascinating array of comments on the missing episodes, recons, audios, and magazine. However, it has also highlighted a couple of niggling problems that people have experienced. Examples include :
If you experience ANY problem similar to those described above, or another problem which youre uncertain how to resolve, please contact us immediately. If there is a shortcoming in something we do, we would like to rectify it as soon as possible.
THE MAKING OF FURY - PART II
Richard Bignell now continues his tale on the creation of the documentary, The Making of Fury from the Deep. In the previous issue, Richard mentioned how the idea of completing the documentary first came to him, as well as some of the preliminary research tasks required to gather material. With the idea of the documentary now gathering momentum, Richard continues the story ...
Things were coming together nicely, so in early March 1999, I e-mailed the JV team and told them about the proposed documentary. Much to my relief, they all loved the idea, so it was now full steam ahead! Michael Palmer suggested that I should aim for a production no more than twenty-five minutes, which would mean that the release could be kept on a single three-hour tape for the UK and Australia. Twenty-five minutes!!!! That would be more than enough, as by this stage, Iíd anticipated the total running length being something around the fifteen minute mark.
By this time, the script was virtually finished and I had selected and edited (using Cool Edit 96) the various comments that I wanted to use from the Michael Briant, Margot Hayhoe and Hugh David tapes. So I sat down with a stopwatch and timed all the dialogue. When I finished, I nearly fell of my seat the running time had come in at forty minutes! The structure of the piece was quite smooth, so I was somewhat loathed to cut things I e-mailed the JV guys again and explained the dilemma. Rather than cut the documentary, everyone agreed that it would be better to proceed with a longer release and simply use a 4-hour tape for the UK and Australia (the release would be over two tapes in the North America anyway, as NTSC tape lengths are shorter than equivalent PAL tapes).
Inevitably, the question of the 8mm colour studio footage taken at Ealing raised its head. Since Steve Roberts had obtained a low-quality copy of the footage whilst preparing The Missing Years video, we had been working together to track down the original. We had fairly quickly identified the owner as one Tony Cornell (as he had been named as such in an interview with Michealjohn Harris, published in The Frame #7). However, Cornell had retired from the BBC in the late 80s and, whilst several people remembered him fondly, no-one seemed to know his whereabouts. Several months of detective work followed before I managed to track him down to his home in Lincolnshire. I wrote to Tony (as later did Steve) and, after quite a number of weeks, he wrote back to us. He confessed that he probably did still have his films, but hed have to dig them out as they were still packed away from when he and his wife moved from London several years previous.
By early May, Tony Cornell had still not found his films, but he had managed to uncover a set of negatives hed taken at Ealing on the sets of The Tenth Planet, The Web of Fear and, you guessed it Fury from the Deep. This was a major find. I had location photos that I could use in the documentary, but virtually no studio stills. Tonyís collection of twenty-seven unpublished photographs featuring action on the Ealing sets were a godsend.
The next time we heard from Tony Cornell was on 4 June. Steve emailed me to say that hed just been sent the original b/w reel of 8mm footage from The Evil of the Daleks, the quality of which he described as a revelation! Unfortunately though, the Fury footage had not been found. Tony was gracious enough however to give me permission to use any copy that may exist on video, so at least I would be able to legitimately use the low-quality footage that did exist.
Meanwhile, Iíd been busy contacting other people who had worked on the story. John Abineri and Roy Spencer both obliged by sending me their comments, whilst others, such as set designer Peter Kindred and loony helicopter pilot, Mike Smith chose not to reply.
In late July, production was finally put together using the MediaStudio 2.5VE video program. The final files were rendered on the PC and then transferred to the master dubbing tapes. The production was finally at an end. Or so I thought ...
Several things then happened all at once. On a Wednesday evening, about a week after Id finished the documentary, I received a telephone call.
Hello, this is Peter Day ... said the voice on the end of the phone. Id written to Peter about three months earlier hed been the visual effects designer on Fury (as well as playing the seaweed monster). He had been away in France for an elongated holiday and had only just got back home. Apart from a few brief comments hed made in DWB many years ago, hed never spoken about his time on the programme.
Is it too late to contribute to your documentary? he asked. What do I tell him? I thought. Not only was he willing to talk about his time working on Fury, but I had considered doing another documentary at some point on the making of The Evil of the Daleks as I now had access to Cornells original behind-the-scenes footage. Peter Day had worked on that too. I thought quickly. No, I said, its not too late! I chatted with Peter for about fifteen minutes and he agreed to send me a tape by the weekend with some recollections, He also said that hed see if he still had his original effects designs for the seaweed monster (sadly, he didnít!)
At around the same time, Steve Cambden released his own self-published book entitled The Doctorís Affect, detailing his involvement with the production of DOCTOR WHO during his teen years (as assistant K9 operator). The book contained two sets of photographic plates, one of which showed two new photographs from Fury one depicting the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria playing in the foam on location, the other showing the weed creature in the Ealing studio.
Once again, I e-mailed Robert, Richard and Michael. I explained that Peter Day was sending in his comments and if possible, I would like to put a hold on the distribution of the tape for a week or two whilst I included his contribution. Thankfully, the JV team agreed. So whilst I waited for Peters tape to arrive, I wrote to Steve Cambden asking the source of the photographs hed used and if there was any possibility of my using them in the documentary. To be honest, I didnít expect Steve to agree. His book revealed the fact that he was working on another, for release in 2000 entitled The Doctors Effects featuring a host of interviews, design sketches and photographs relating to the shows visual effects. I thought that if he had any pictures, hed want to keep them to himself.
I couldnt have been more wrong. The next day, Steve Cambden telephoned me saying that hed be delighted to help with the project. I asked if they were the only two photos he had from Fury. The answer was No! He had managed to accumulate a collection of forty-one photos from both the location and Ealing shoots! He promised hed send me the photographs out as soon as he could.
Then on 27 August, another lucky break! Steve Roberts e-mailed to say that Tony Cornell had finally managed to locate his original Fury footage! Not only was the footage clearer than the previous video version, it was also more colourful and the frame edges were intact (the earlier copy had cut some of the picture around the edge). So by delaying the release for a few weeks, I was able to include Peter Days comments, use more exclusive photos and utilise a pristine copy of the behind-the-scenes footage!
By this time, I had upgraded my version of MediaStudio from 2.5VE to 5.2. The problem was, it had the effect of completely screwing up all the text captions that I had produced, so they had to be remade from scratch. I also needed to concentrate on improving and equalising the soundtrack, where possible, so several evenings work went into the audio side of the production.
The master tapes were then redubbed and copies were also made for all the contributors to the documentary. Ive had some truly lovely comments back from the likes of Michael Briant, John Abineri, Margot Hayhoe, Tony Cornell and Margaret John, which really has made the project all worthwhile (see below for a sample of the comments).
Since completing the documentary, I have had one regret, however. On Saturday 30 November, BBC2 showed the first part of a new series called THE RIVER, detailing the history of the River Thames. One of the opening shots was taken from a helicopter as it circled around the Red Sands Sea Fort. Now that would have been a lovely sequence to use in both the documentary and the reconstruction!
THE MAKING OF FURY - VIEWER FEEDBACK
As mentioned above, Richard Bignell was fortunate to obtain the assistance of many people who worked on the production of Fury. Below is a sample of the feedback received from the production personnel, as well as comments from other viewers:
I can see that you have put in an amazing amount of research, and have
spent endless hours of sifting through all the snippets of existing material to produce
your epic. Well done a labour of love if there ever was one!
(TONY CORNELL Ealing Design Department)
Your documentary was so enjoyable it was wonderful to see the
footage of Hugh David who I worked with on several other serials. I got an e-mail from
Michael Briant saying how much he had enjoyed the documentary as well, and now we can keep
in touch by the magic of e-mail.
(MARGOT HAYHOE Assistant Floor Manager)
This is just to tell you how much I enjoyed your documentary on the
making of the Fury from the Deep. It is an excellent production, and you made
very creative use of the very few moving images available. It was so clever of you to find
the excerpts from DANGER MAN, along with the shots of the forts and nice shots of the
Margate hotel, which I presume you shot yourself. Listening to Margot Hayhoe, with whom I
worked so often back in the Threshold House days, was a real trip down memory lane. It was
also wonderful to hear Peter Day, John Abineri, Roy Spencer and Margaret John (the latter
I worked with frequently when directing). What a lot of fun we all had working in
television in those days. I suspect the time pressures were less and it was still possible
to have an original idea and to do something for the first time well, the first
time in DOCTOR WHO anyway. Hugh was a delightful man, a fine director and a very nice
person I remember him with great affection and he would have loved to have seen
your excellent documentary about his production. You did him proud. Many congratulations
on a splendid production and many thanks for giving me such an enjoyable time watching it.
(MICHAEL BRIANT Production Assistant)
Ive just enjoyed myself watching the whole thing. Terrific stuff!!
Its so good and interesting. Thanks so much.
(JOHN ABINERI Van Lutyens)
Can I take the opportunity of congratulating you on your excellent Making
of The Fury from the Deep. It sits alongside More than 30 Years in the TARDIS
as the best documentary made on the series even more laudable considering that it
is a fan production. Well done!
I was really bowled over by the superb quality of your documentary. A
really amazing achievement, which would put many professional productions to shame.
Congratulations on a great piece of work!
(STEPHEN JAMES WALKER)
I am really impressed with how thorough you have been. Coming from a
research background myself, I can appreciate the quantity of work that has
gone into this production. Until recently, I lived in Ramsgate and have always been aware
that Fury was filmed at Botany Bay, but you have excelled yourself with the
accuracy and depth of your research.
The documentary was a splendid piece of work and in many respects was
technically indistinguishable from a professional production. This is the sort of thing
that would be useful as an appendix to ALL tapes of ALL stories.
What can I say ... it was a real treat. Even without the colour footage,
the quality and range of the interviewees combined with the location photos made for
fabulous viewing. With the colour footage and with clips from The Slide as
well, I find myself kneeling towards you and chanting We are not worthy!
RECON RAMBLINGS - STORY SELECTION
The 1999 Disused Yeti survey has already provided a wealth of feedback in regards to what you like, and dont like, about various projects were involved with. Of course, the reconstructions was one of the areas (in fact, the most popular area) in which respondents provided a huge variety of useful and interesting comments. Amongst all the comments were also many queries, as well as a few criticisms (fortunately, most were of a constructive nature). In fact, with all the queries and criticisms to respond to, we have enough potential Recon Ramblings material for the next dozen issues!
This issue, we thought wed take a closer look at the area of story selection what makes the reconstruction creators decide which stories to complete? (and implicit in this, is what order to complete the recons). A few respondents to the survey were slightly critical of the story choices made by the MPP (Master Plan Productions) team-members. It was felt that MPP should be mainly concentrating on stories yet to be reconstructed (eg The Daleks Master Plan), instead of starting with a couple of stories already completed (ie Marco Polo and The Highlanders).
Well, first of all, we agree it would be nice to have every missing DOCTOR WHO story available in some reconstructed format. Like most other fans, we also look forward to the day where the complete run of Hartnell & Troughton stories can be viewed, with recons being available to fill in the gaps.
However, it should be remembered that the MPP recons involve quite a major change in the way reconstructions are produced. The team-members are entering into unexplored territory, especially when it comes to the issue of swapping large quantities of material back and forth all over the globe. Also, one of the team-members (Bruce Robinson) has to come to grips with using software which he has never previously used before (simple as Media Studio may be, time is still required to become reasonably proficient in it). And, of course, there are an assortment of minor production issues that the MPP team-members may not entirely agree upon amongst themselves. Therefore, more time is required to discuss these issues, and in fact, seeing the end product may be the only true indicator of whether something has worked or not.
Because of the uncertainty involved with the MPP project, the team-members felt it would make more sense to start the project with a story that was relatively familiar in terms of creating a recon. Marco Polo was, of course, completed by Bruce Robinson (under the Change of Identity banner) almost three years ago. Although much of the recon will be changing for the MPP version, there is still a significant amount of material that can be taken from the old version. For instance, all the text captions exist, and some thought has already gone into the picture scripting process, ie deciding what photos to use where. Basically, the MPP team-members felt more comfortable in addressing a story where a good proportion of the work was already completed. As a result, more time could be devoted to tackling those trickier issues.
Now consider if we had began with Master Plan. All of a sudden, wed be required to start everything completely from scratch.
Another deciding factor in story selection is the amount of time needed to collect available material and restore it. In the past weve talked about acquiring more photos or better audios, but in many cases, this is only the beginning. After the material is gathered, it must be sorted and decisions made about what can be used as is, and what needs to be restored. Deciding which stories to do next also has a lot to do with projecting when any new material might be available and ready for use.
One last thing to keep in mind is variety. While creating these recons we work very closely with the material (some of us might start visualising Resnos death scene in our sleep). We need a break away from stories that are too similar, or too long. Marco Polo was chosen as a recon that we were familiar with and could improve greatly. As for the choice of Highlanders, we wanted the second story to be something of a breather between the 7-episode historical and the Dalek epic (there will probably be another short story inserted between the two Master Plan tapes for this reason).
Overall the selection of certain stories is definitely not an arbitrary one. A lot of thought and planning go into devising a schedule that all the team members are happy with. We also hope the fans appreciate the updated recons as much as the new ones.
(BRUCE ROBINSON & ROBERT FRANKS)
[For obvious reasons, weve altered the order slightly for this issue ...]
SEASON 5 SERIAL 6
Episode TX TI DU VA CP AA Episode 1 16 Mar 68 17.15 2454 8.2 46 55 Episode 2 23 Mar 68 17.16 2308 7.9 40 55 Episode 3 30 Mar 68 17.16 2029 7.7 47 56 Episode 4 06 Apr 68 17.15 2417 6.6 62 56 Episode 5 13 Apr 68 17.16 2340 5.9 73 56 Episode 6 20 Apr 68 17.15 2424 6.9 42 57
(Note durations for the first and fifth episodes were calculated from the start and finish times on the Programme-as-Broadcast documentation. No official duration exists for these episodes.)
Total Duration = 14052 (approx)
Average Viewing Audience = 6.1
Average Chart Position = 52
Repeat Screenings nil
Countries Sold To Australia, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Singapore
(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Status all episodes currently missing. During the latter half of 1974, the story was withdrawn from sale and the original videotapes wiped. The telerecordings were presumably destroyed sometime after this.
(a) Episode 1 the TARDIS spinning down to land at sea (0:19). [clip held on telerecording of The War Games:10]
(b) Episode 2 Mr Oak and Mr Quill menacing Mrs Harris in her bedroom (0:54). [censor clip]
(c) Episode 4 the Doctor and Jamie see the weed creature inside the impeller shaft (0:03). [censor clip]
(d) Episode 4 the Doctor and Jamie escaping up the impeller shaft (0:14). [censor clip]
(e) Episode 4 in the shaft, Van Lutyens is sucked under the foam (0:14). [censor clip]
(f) Episode 5 Robson knocking out the guard outside his room (0:17). [censor clip]
(g) Episode 5 Robsons weed-covered hands operating the helicopter controls (0:03). [censor clip]
(h) Episode 5 further shots of Robsons weed-covered hands as the Doctor tries to talk him into returning (0:11). [censor clip]
The censor clips refer to clips recovered from telerecording cuts of the Australian Film Censorship Board. The BBC hold a Digital Betacam recording of these clips.
[For more information on the censor clips, please consult our interview with Damian Shanahan in issue five of this newsletter : http://www.telesnaps.com/dy/is5.htm]
(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
The best known recording for the serial is the one recorded by Graham Strong. Other known recordings were completed by James Russell, Richard Landen, David Holman and David Butler (the latter recording only episodes 1 and 6). An Australian recording (of unknown origin) also exists.
The audio was released as part of the BBC Radio Collection in October 1993. The soundtrack was provided by James Russell with narration by Tom Baker the release was produced by Eric Saward.
Graham Strongs audio for the second half of episode 4 is affected by a slight hum. This was probably caused by a loose connection during the original recording.
A reconstruction by Richard Develyn, David Clarke and Stephen Cranford was originally available from March 1996.
A revised version of the previous reconstruction was produced by the JV team (Richard Develyn, Michael Palmer and Robert Franks) in September 1999. This was accompanied by a documentary by Richard Bignell.
(e) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps Telesnaps for all six episodes were discovered in 1993 at the BBC Written Archives Centre. These were published in Doctor Who Magazine #208-210 and Doctor Who Classic Comics #15-17.
8 colour photos taken on location at Kingsgate by writer Victor Pemberton.
41 b/w photos taken variously by Peter Day, Rhys Jones and Len Hutton, the Visual Effects team on Fury. These were taken on location and at Ealing Film Studios.
2 b/w photos taken by Assistant Floor Manager Margot Hayhoe, on location.
27 b/w photos taken at Ealing by Tony Cornell, the Resident Designer at the Film Studios.
13 b/w photos taken by Associated Kent Newspapers on location.
2 b/w photos taken by the Broadstairs & St.Peterís Mail on location.
05 Feb 68 - photocall at Palm Bay, Cliftonville (TARDIS crew on the beach)
(f) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Episode DR FT RA CUTS Episode 1 22 Jan 69 938 G no cuts Episode 2 22 Jan 69 870 G cut A Episode 3 22 Jan 69 767 G no cuts Episode 4 22 Jan 69 911 G cuts B, C Episode 5 22 Jan 69 887 G cuts D, E Episode 6 22 Jan 69 916 G no cuts
Cut A : From 10 mins. Allow Mr Oak and Mr Quill to enter Mrs Harriss flat and tinker with the gas plant then delete entirely the sequence in which they enter her bed room and approach her with staring eyes and open mouths, breathing out toxic fumes that cause her collapse.
Cut B : Cut 19ft. At 9 mins, reduce scene in which Van Lutyens is attacked by weeds in the bottom of the shaft and his screams.
Cut C : At 15 mins, delete the shot of body on the floor surrounded by the pulsating mass.
Cut D : Cut 19ft. From 11-12 mins, delete close shot of Robsons hand covered with seaweed growth.
Cut E : From 16-17 mins. Reduce emphasis on Robsonís seaweedy hands.
[The above descriptions are reprinted verbatim from records of the Australian Film Censorship Board acknowledgements to Data Extract, the newsletter of the Doctor Who Club of Australia.]
(g) OTHER NOTES
Working title The Colony of Devils
This serial is based on Victor Pembertonís 1966 radio play, The Slide, which involved an intelligent mud.
Studio recordings for episodes 1-5 were made at Lime Grove, Studio D. Episode 6 was recorded in Television Centre, Studio One. All studio recordings took place between 24 Feb 1968 and 29 Mar 1968. Filming for the serial began on 04 Feb 1968 at Palm Bay, Cliftonville and Red Sands Sea Fort. Further filming took place at the Denham Aerodrome and in Ealing Film Studios.
Several sequences at Ealing on the 5th and 6th of March 1968 were recorded on 8mm colour film by Tony Cornell. These show the preparation for and the weed creatures attack.
Novelised by Victor Pemberton, Doctor Who Fury from the Deep, was first published by W.H. Allen in 1986 as both a hardback and paperback. The Target edition was numbered 110 in the range. David McAllister provided the cover artwork.
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
FURY FROM THE DEEP [JV7]
Since acquiring the excellent The Web of Fear, the JV versions have become my personal favourites. As a result, the latest release from the team, Fury from the Deep, is one reconstruction I have been looking forward to for a very long time.
As usual, to ease us gently back to the 1960s, we are treated to an interview with one of the shows stars (Debbie Watling). This is followed by the story synopsis from the Radio Times, as well as the previous weeks trailer of Fury. The story hasnt even started yet, but Im hooked! Its small touches like this that, for me, put JV ahead of the rest.
Throughout, the sound is crisp and the pictures clear, with a healthy mix of publicity shots and enhanced telesnaps. But its within the first couple of minutes of episode 1, that we get a hint of things to come. While the Doctor examines the gas pipe on the beach, his stethoscope suddenly appears around his neck. Since receiving Michael Palmer's unique reconstruction of the missing episodes of The Tenth Planet and The Invasion, I have always thought that future releases would benefit from some form of animation in key scenes. I was delighted to see that the use of a similar technique throughout Fury has proved me right. From a working TV monitor, to the foam thrashing about in a tank at the climax of episode 4 (how did they do that?), these specially created moments are carefully slotted in to enhance the story.
However, it doesnt end there. Before the credits roll, the final scene of each episode moves, either by stock footage, or camera zooms and slides. This compliments the new animation technique beautifully.
This story, as we all know, has benefited by the recent findings of censored clips, and the added joy of watching Fury was wondering at what point in the story would they appear. When they finally do arrive, the impact isn't diluted Ė far from it, it was satisfying to see them in context at long last.
The crowning glory of this release though, has to be the final confrontation scene between the sea creature and our heroes in the control centre. Combined with snappy editing and clever use of amateur film footage, the JV team has created a climax to the story that must be very close to the originally transmitted version.
So what didnt I like? Well, the answer is nothing, but there were a few things I would like to have seen a cross hair view from the assassins gun superimposed on each of the TARDIS crew, followed by a blackout as they were shot in episode 1; some stock helicopter footage to liven up a couple of very dull scenes in episode 5; extra close-ups and zooms in key moments, as seen in The Ice Warriors BBC release. These are small requests and ones that I probably would not have thought of if the reconstruction hadnt treated us to such video wizardry throughout.
I wouldnt be surprised that in the future, this release will be seen as turning point in the series, as similar techniques are adopted to keep up with technical advances and our increased expectations. Heres to the next phase, and I for one cannot wait.
THE MAKING OF FURY FROM THE DEEP
Its always very hard to know where to start when reviewing something that has been created solely for love, and also for a, by definition, limited fan market.
DOCTOR WHO fans have been spoilt over the years with the sheer number of excellent quality videos and books which delve deeply into the history of the show. One of the key aspects of putting together any project is to know what to leave out, and this is, I think, the greatest failing of the documentary looking at the making of Fury from the Deep.
Its 50 minutes long, but Richard Bignell has managed to cram into that time just about everything known about the story. Its like watching a video version of one of Andrew Pixleys Doctor Who Magazine Archives. And this is also its problem facts and figures about recording dates and times are fine on paper where you can skim past them but know theyre there if ever you wanted to refer back, but on video theyre just dull. Viewers cant remember them as they are reeled off, and, in the final balance, what is the purpose of including them at all. This complaint goes right through the video the technical detail is accurate, but does it need to be there?
Another area that I disliked was the use of video captions and spinning/moving photographs. I felt that this just looked amateurish and compared badly with the rest of the tape. The culprits come during the sequences on The Slide, Victor Pembertons 1966 radio play which bears uncanny similarities to Fury from the Deep and The Pescatons, Pembertons 1976 record drama which, again, treads some of the same ideas.
My final gripe is that the storys author Victor Pemberton does not appear. Now this may be because he didnt want to Id be very surprised if Richard had not approached him but the lack of his comments is fairly apparent, and is a shame.
Anyone who has read down this far, will probably have got the idea that I hated this Making-of documentary. Let me put you straight. Despite all the things Ive mentioned so far, it is engrossing and entertaining, as well as being informative and extremely imaginatively put together and edited. Its certainly the best video documentary relating to DOCTOR WHO that I have seen, treating its subject with respect and making sure that all the facts are right along the way.
As mentioned, Fury from the Deep has its origins back in 1964 when Pemberton submitted the idea to the DOCTOR WHO office, and also to BBC Radio. DOCTOR WHO turned it down, but Peter Bryant in BBC Radio liked it and commissioned a six-part radio drama called The Slide. The Making-of tape spends quite a bit of time on The Slide, featuring lengthy extracts and detailing just how similar it is to Fury from the Deep.
We then follow the development of the scripts for Fury from the Deep and highlight some of the changes made for transmission. The use of footage of the location Thames Estuary platforms taken from a DANGER MAN episode is inspired and, given that there is a helicopter in that episode as well, really gives the idea of what the location footage in Fury from the Deep might have been like. There are also many brilliant and new photographs illustrating different aspects of the story, from the model TARDIS used on location to Peter Day getting into costume as the eerie Weed Creature. Not to mention the 8mm studio film footage from Ealing which gives us a glimpse in colour of the aforementioned Creature, but also the foam machine, Troughton, and many other aspects of the production ... and the Australian censor footage which shows key moments from the story ... and footage of the locations as they are now ... and the fact that Victorias scream at the end was not by Deborah Watling at all, but by ... well youll have to get the tape for that one. (I do find it very amusing though that Watlings reputation as a great screamer was, at least in this story, built on miming to someone elses screams.)
Not convinced yet? Well what about audio reminiscences and anecdotes from Director Hugh David, Production Assistant Michael Briant, Assistant Floor Manager Margot Hayhoe, Effects designer Peter Day, and actors John Abineri and Roy Spencer?
This is a very well thought out and edited documentary looking at the making of a single story. Yes it has faults, but some of these are down to personal preference, and some are because I perhaps would like the documentary to be of a standard to see a commercial release or transmission. Whichever, Richard is to be applauded for this neat idea and slick execution a reconstructed documentary on the making of a story which you can also watch and enjoy in reconstructed form.
Just one final question at the end of the documentary, it is said that the final image of Victoria is her standing alone on the beach as the camera zoomed away. And this effect is achieved with a very neat little effect. However in the reconstruction of Fury from the Deep, the image of the end is not of Victoria on her own, and does not work half as well as Richards. Has the reconstruction got it wrong ... I think we should be told.
(DAVID J. HOWE)
Richard Bignell now responds to a couple of points mentioned above:
Pemberton was indeed contacted at a very early stage of the documentarys production, but, as with Peter Kindred and Mike Smith, he never responded to the letters that I sent him. Pemberton is known to be somewhat protective of his work, so when word reached me from a very reliable source that he had contacted the BBC about the fact that transcripts of the Fury episodes were freely available on the Internet, I decided that perhaps it would be prudent not to contact him again about the reconstruction and the documentary. I informed the people behind the relevant web site, who immediately responded by taking the Fury scripts off-line for a number of weeks. Sometimes in fandom, it pays to be a little cautious!
The similar sequences in the reconstruction and the documentary were worked on, entirely independently by Michael Palmer and myself and we just happened to use different photographs to achieve the same effect. Michael chose to use one of the telesnaps from the final sequence, whereas I made use of one of the storys promotional photographs of Troughton, Watling and Hines standing in front of the pipeline.
Interestingly, this sequence took around five hours to produce, as the Doctor, Jamie and the pipeline all had to be photographically painted out of the picture, leaving Victoria all alone. This was then keyed into a still of the TARDIS monitor (from The Mind Robber, if I remember correctly). The finished photograph was something of a masterpiece (even if I do say so myself!) which then ended up being reproduced so small on screen that you couldnít see all the hard work that had gone into it! Ah well!
LETTERS AND OPINIONS
The news on The Lion auctions in issue #21 was welcome as Ive been a bit out of the picture regarding progress on this. It fits however with a rather cryptic call I received at work a month or two back from a TSV reader wanting to use my Lions Tale article as a link for an auction he was arranging on Ebay. I was preoccupied with other more pressing matters at the time and thought nothing more of it until now.
I was bemused by the closing comment of the article in issue #21 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. because if Bruce Grenville HAD been made aware how valuable his film print was when Neil Lambess and I first discovered it in his possession, Im am almost certain that the film would never have found its way back to the BBC. If there are other missing episodes out there, then they may well now go up for auction on the Internet, but I very much doubt that the BBC will be able to buy them given that they took six months to scrape together the reimbursement for my costs in sending them The Lion in the first place.
THE MEMORY CHEATS FURY
This issue, we ask two long-term fans to share their thoughts on Fury from the Deep ...
Id better say at the outset that Im not that fond of Fury from the Deep. Itís nowhere near as bad as some of the turkeys that came later, but it is not one of my favourite DOCTOR WHO stories.
My basic gripe with it, is that I have a deep dislike of science fiction where people are taken over by aliens. Ive always regarded it as a cop-out by writers who couldnt be bothered to come up with a decent story. A lot of SF in the 1950s and 60s (eg, the three QUATERMASS stories, A FOR ANDROMEDA) all followed this pattern. There are several DOCTOR WHO stories I dislike for the same reason.
Fury from the Deep has the same basic plot as every other SF story that Victor Pemberton has ever written (ie, malevolent sea creature that can be destroyed by sound waves). But its not truly awful it does have some redeeming features. Not the least of these being the departure of Victoria from the series. I always found Victoria a very annoying character, nearly as irritating as Susan (but thats another story).
Its always amazed me that it takes the Doctor so long to work out how to destroy the weed creature. Its obvious from the beginning of episode two that the thing doesnt like Victorias screams (I wasnít that fond of them myself) but it takes nearly five more episodes before the Doctor realises the answer.
Sadly, I have very few memories of this story, as it came at a time when my mother was ill in hospital, and Saturday afternoons were spent visiting her. Because the hospital was some distance from home, I missed quite a few DOCTOR WHO episodes at the time, including episodes 1, 3 and 5 of Fury. As a result, the story did not make a great impact on me. I remember it as yet another DOCTOR WHO story with lots and lots of foam (previously used in The Web of Fear). I had seen how the foam was produced some months previously on TOMORROWíS WORLD. The only other memory I have is the very sad ending when Victoria decided to stay on Earth her leaving seemed very sudden and therefore all the more poignant. There was a final shot of her waving from the beach as the camera panned away from her and into the sky, as if viewed from the departing TARDIS. Other than that, alas, I remember very little other than lots of screaming, lots of noise and all that foam!
Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Rick Brindell, David Butler, David Howe, Dominic Jackson, John King, and Lee Moone. And a special thank you to Richard Bignell we couldnt have done this issue without you, Richard!
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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