The distribution information contained in some of the early issues of the newsletter is now out of date. Please consult the main reconstruction website for up-to-date information on obtaining copies of the reconstructions mentioned in the various issues of the newsletter.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
|INTERVIEW WITH GRAHAM STRONG|
|MORE ON THE AUDIOS|
|STORY GUIDES (FINALLY) COMMENCE|
|COMMENTS/REVIEWS ON FOUR RECONSTRUCTIONS|
Hello once again. Although there isn’t a lot of news to report (apart from the odd rumour or two!), this issue sees the introduction of a new section. And I’ll also mention another new column that I hope to get off the ground from the next issue ...
Firstly, the story guides are finally commencing! The series commences with an overview of what will be included in each guide (“Guide to the Guide”). Unfortunately, because of the inclusion of the overview, there is only sufficient space to include one guide itself – that of the Pilot Episode. However, future issues should see two to three stories covered per issue, depending on space availability.
Also, I should point out that if you receive the Word 6/snail mail version of the newsletter, the guides will be presented in a much more readable format (plain text can only go so far!). However, if you are unable to receive the Word version, note that my own proposed web-page will see HTML versions of all the guides (yes, the web-page is still going ahead!)
Secondly, I am interested in starting a new section called “Memory Cheats”. Basically, this is the chance for you “mature” fans :-) to tell the rest of us what you remember about the missing episodes. See the section towards the back of the newsletter for further details
And as usual, thank you again to all the people writing
in with support and encouragement for the reconstructions. Cheers!
So what's been happening in the world of reconstructions? Below is a brief summary of the work currently being undertaken by three of the participants.
(a) Bruce Robinson [‘A Change of Identity’]
Currently, I am working on the enhanced versions of The Savages and The Power of the Daleks. In fact, Savages is close to completion, and only requires some additional material before the final recording can occur. I have now decided to release the enhanced versions of Savages and Power at the same time – a release date of mid-June 1997 has been planned.
With Savages, it’s mainly a case of getting the reconstruction to look more like the Marco Polo style. In other words, larger text, descriptive passages in yellow, and reduced text on some of the screens. Video footage, telesnaps and the audio will also be significantly enhanced. The planned changes to Power are in a similar vein.
After Savages and Power, I am interested in starting on a few new stories. The first story planned is The Moonbase, possibly followed by The Abominable Snowmen and The Crusade. I have also been thinking about a possible improvement to Marco Polo – however, this won't take place for some time. Basically, the major enhancement will be the inclusion of more photographic material, as well as improving the quality of the existing shots.(b) Richard Develyn & Robert Franks
Richard, with the assistance of others (mainly Robert), has completed a large range of telesnap reconstructions from Seasons 4 and 5. This update is provided by Robert ...
The latest reconstructions from us include Smugglers and an enhanced version of The Moonbase. These should be available in PAL within the next week. Also very close to distribution, is Abominable Snowmen. We are hoping for a simultaneous PAL and NTSC release of that story. It should be noted that our reconstructions do NOT include the script as with the Change of Identity releases.
Also very soon, will be an enhanced version of The Highlanders, which will also be available in PAL. The Evil of the Daleks should be ready by June, and Richard is currently scanning The Macra Terror and The Savages for our treatment. The last few things to be worked on would be improvements to The Underwater Menace and Fury from the Deep to include the recently found clips. This will probably not take place until July/August 1997.(c) Michael Palmer
Michael has completed The Tenth Planet 4, Mission to the Unknown and The Reign of Terror 4 & 5
I am currently working on The Invasion and have completed episode 1 so far. Surprisingly, it only took about 5 weeks to complete. The episode has been done in a similar way to Reign, ie using stills from existing episodes, and location photos.
After The Invasion, I will be completely redoing Tenth Planet 4. I now have improved software that allows closer synching of the soundtrack to pictures. However, the enhanced version will still be in the same format as the original, i.e. telesnaps plus video footage.
For future reconstructions, I was considering The Celestial Toymaker. Any pictures, information etc. will be gratefully accepted (please write first if you think you can help).
Currently 110 episodes are missing from Doctor Who. Well, missing from video that is. Fortunately, due to the efforts of two fans, all these episodes do exist in high-quality audio format. Following this article, is an interview with Graham Strong, one of the gentlemen responsible for recording the audios in the sixties. However, first a brief overview of the audios themselves...
For many years, the only audios in circulation were those recorded by Graham Strong (and the official BBC releases are based on Graham’s recordings). Graham recorded most episodes of Doctor Who from the very first episode - however, he only commenced the high quality recordings from Dalek Master Plan episode 8. Therefore, this meant that many of the preceding episodes either did not exist at all (e.g. The Crusade) or existed in poor quality (e.g. Marco Polo).
In late 1995, a further discovery of audio recordings were made. These had been recorded by David Holman, who had held the tapes for many years without realising their true worth. David’s collection basically covered the gaps from Graham’s. In particular, all the episodes pre Master Plan 8 were discovered in excellent condition. And Graham, who is remastering David’s audios, is happy to announce that the new Feast of Steven episode DOES contain the Hartnell ‘Merry Xmas’ line!
Graham has also processed and re-recorded all his original recordings. This means that the new remastered copies are clearer than the originals. However, some of the tapes have slight recording problems. For instance, the last five minutes of Fury From the Deep 4 suffers from a background humming noise. The Massacre 4 also has a sound problem right at the end of the episode – the sound volume fluctuates considerably.
A few of Graham’s audios are also missing some material, for example, Tenth Planet 4 ran out just before the episode completed. However, in a lucky break, this was almost exactly at the point where the existing video regeneration scene commences!
Graham has struck one interesting problem in “remastering” David Holman’s audios. When originally recorded, David did not include any opening titles/credits as part of his audios, except at the beginning and end of each reel (a reel consists of 4 to 6 episodes). Therefore, Graham has had to make an “educated guess” as to where an episode ends, and another episode commences. In most cases, it is possible to pick up the joins based on a slight change in recording levels – however, even this strategy doesn’t always work!
Some of David’s recordings are also suffering from a few technical problems, for instance, background noise. However, Graham, with the help of Steven Cranford, has found a way to digitally remove this noise by computer. Steven is also attempting to record as many audios as possible on to CD – this will bring the audio to a near broadcast quality. Unfortunately, due to time and cost involved, the process of conversion is slow.
Apart from Graham and David, there are also a couple of
audios recorded by an Australian fan. These consist of the missing Season
6 episodes – The Invasion (episodes 1 & 4) and The Space
As a continuation of the above article, here is an interview recently conducted with Graham Strong.
(1) When did you first become interested in Doctor Who? In particular, what attracted you to the show?
I guess it was the advertising by the BBC shown before the series. I seem to remember my mother saying “Why don't you watch this new programme – you might like it!” It was also memorable because of the President Kennedy assassination around that time, and episodes 1 & 2 shown together on the second week. I was 14 at the time and still at school, but old enough to remember some things.(2) When did you first consider the idea of recording Doctor Who episodes on to audio tape?
I had an old second-hand reel-to-reel tape recorder around this time, and was recording anything I could get my microphone to. I started Doctor Who recordings from the first episode.(3) How did you first go about the process of making the recordings? Was this a costly process at the time?
Obviously, still being at school meant that spare cash was limited. I hung the microphone over the side of the TV, with a pot of some sort standing on the cable to hold it in place. Luckily the microphone was a cheap “crystal” type which did not pick up the mains hum from the TV.
Unfortunately, I did not have many reels, so the old recordings got wiped and the reels re-used. My first recorder only had one speed of 3.75 inches per second, but I later found a way of obtaining 2.5"/sec by changing some pulleys around. This gave a 50% increase on tape time.
My next machine had two speeds 3.75 and 1.875"/sec. As the slower speed was recommended for speech recordings, I used it. I was able to get my 100+ episodes on 4 reels on a 4 track machine.
My latest machine (bought October 1974) is still with me, although it had to be modified to play the 1.875"/sec. recordings. So the latest machine now has three speeds – 1.875, 3.75 and 7.5"/secs. Only recently have I included a variable speed control which varies from about 1.5 to 4.25"/secs. So if anyone out there has some odd speed recordings let me know – I can play them!(4) As the early Doctor Who seasons were screened, did your approach to the recordings change in any way? If so, how?
I was interested in electronics at the time (and through most of my school life), and understood the benefits of recording a signal direct. The only problem to overcome was that TV’s in those days had what is referred to as a “live chassis”. This meant that the main metal case on which the components are built are connected directly to one of the mains cable.
In order for the recording to work properly, several “tests” had to be performed. Firstly, I had to ensure that the neutral wire from the mains plug was connected to the TV chassis. Next, I had to very carefully connect up the tape recorder ... and BANG I blew a fuse in the fuse-box! Next attempt was to remove the earth wire from the tape recorder – I had hoped that it would work with the neutral as a replacement. “Close eyes and switch on – hey, it seems to be all right this time!”(5) Do you still have most of your original recordings today?
I planned to keep my recordings to listen to at some future date – so I kept all the ones I wanted to, from 1st January 1966 until I grew tired of the series. I liked William Hartnell best and found the “water” stories from the Patrick Troughton era dull. Don’t get me wrong – I am as keen as anyone now to hear them all again. In fact, my ambition is to collect as many of the videos/audios available. The current plan is up to and including Jon Pertwee, with all the other Doctors to follow when and if space and tapes permit!(6) In general terms, what eras of Doctor Who did you manage to record? Were you able to record all episodes, or do you have the odd gap in your collection?
My recordings for library purposes started in earnest from the Dalek Master Plan episode 8 right through to The Dominators. Exceptions to this were on Master Plan episode 11 (I can’t remember why I missed it, maybe I was not at home that day – only very expensive recorders had timers then so you had to be home for them to work!), The Celestial Toymaker (thought it was a silly story, but now I am very intrigued to see/hear it again), and The Gunfighters (this somehow didn’t relate to me as science fiction and the true Doctor Who).
I preferred the space and planets in the stories. I think at that time, I realized I had over 100 episodes and when was I ever going to listen to them all? (nearly 48 hours – 2 days non-stop!!). So a stop was called.(7) Briefly, could you describe how you have helped the BBC in making these recordings available to the general public.
I originally approached the BBC about my audio recordings after learning of the destruction of some stories. The interest at that time was only videos, so “sorry not interested”.
It then came up in conversation several years later that someone else was interested in Doctor Who (could there be more than one in the world – i.e. me?), and he had a recording of The Keys of Marinus (taken from satellite in the early days of the square aerial). How possible was it for me to get a copy, I think? Well after some arranging we met up – I must give my friend Stephen Cranford a mention here, as he persuaded me to release my tapes to the fans.
The BBC were given the tapes to borrow and maybe use them at some stage in the future, for example, if a foreign language video was available for re-dubbing. So Steve arranged for my tapes to be delivered to the BBC, and we were given a courtesy sight of the studios. I was quite excited about this (doesn’t take much to please me!).(8) Thank you Graham for your time!
Can I just say here that I am really grateful for all the devoted “dubbing centres” around the world, there is no way I could have managed that task on my own. Thanks to everyone involved for all the copying, and for voicing Doctor Who around the globe.
The following details are a brief overview of the story guides to appear in the newsletter. Each guide commences with the Season Number, Serial Number, Story Code, and Official Serial Title. The guides are then divided into eight sections :
The number of episodes for the serial is displayed. Each episode is then listed separately, with the following details :
Name of Episode
TX - date on which episode was originally screened
TI - time at which episode was originally screened (in 24 hour time)
DU - duration of the episode in minutes and seconds FROM THE ORIGINAL BROADCAST
VA - viewing audience in millions
CP - chart position of the episode for the week (where available)
AA - audience appreciation figures (where available)
Overall details for the story are then displayed – total duration, average viewing audience, and average chart position. Please be aware that these are NOT official figures, and should only be referred to as a guide.
Finally, brief details are provided on repeat screenings.(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Three separate sections are displayed :
Status – the current status of the episodes, ie whether existing or missing.(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
Clips – if episodes are missing, a description of the clips that exist.
Notes – any other notes of interest relating to the video footage.
Details of audio recordings made of the episodes. This section is only relevant for the missing episodes. However, it should be noted that Graham Strong and David Holman made recordings of virtually every episode from the 1960s - so “n/a” should not be read as “never recorded”!(d) RECONSTRUCTIONS
Details of fan reconstructions. This section is only relevant for the missing episodes.(e) SCRIPT
Obviously transmission scripts exist for all episodes, but these are not taken into account as they are not commonly available.
If a Titan Script Book exists, the name of the Titan script is displayed. However, if no Titan Script Book exists, mention is also made of transcriptions completed by fans, which are available for public access at web sites. Please be aware that these transcriptions are not official, and the details have been provided for completeness only.(f) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
A brief description of the photographic material that exists from the serial :
Telesnaps – official telesnaps taken by John Cura(g) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Behind the Scenes Shots – shots taken by cast and crew during rehearsals or the final production
Publicity Shots – shots taken as a result of a photocall session.
Details of cuts made by the Film Censorship Board of Australia. The following abbreviations are used :
DR – Date of Review
FT– total feet of film reviewed
RA – rating allocated to episode (“G” = general, “A” = adult)
If cuts are made, details of the censored material is listed.
This information has been extracted from Data Extract – newsletter of the Doctor Who Club of Australia.(h) OTHER NOTES
Any other notes of interest relating to the serial.
And finally, for those people receiving the newsletter in plain text format, the guards are best viewed using a non-scalable font (e.g. Courier). However, as mentioned above, the guides will be re-published on my upcoming web-page in HTML.
Note – this episode was first screened on 26/08/91 (BBC 2) to mark the closure of the Lime Grove studios (The Lime Grove Story)
Repeat Screenings – nil(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Status – exists as a 16mm black/white telerecording.
Clips – n/a
(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
- recovered in 1977/78 by Sue Malden and Ian Levine - it was returned from BBC Enterprises after being discovered in a wrongly labelled film can. Two separate film reels were discovered. Although the reels are identical for the opening scenes, they differ for the first TARDIS interior scene (see below)
- released on BBC Video as part of The Hartnell Years (1991).
- three separate versions exist of the TARDIS scenes. Version 1 was screened as part of the The Lime Grove Story (programme marking the closure of the Lime Grove studios). Version 2 is not commercially available, and consists of a small clip of 5 to 6 seconds. Version 3 can be found on the Hartnell Years tape. See notes below for further details on the different versions.
nil(f) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps – nil (however, there is documentation indicating that John Cura was taking telesnaps from the pilot episode).(g) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Behind the Scenes Shots – nil
Publicity Shots – Photocall on 20-09-1963. The regular cast posed for publicity stills on mock-up ‘sets’ representing the School and Junkyard.
Never offered for Australian purchase(h) OTHER NOTES
Three separate versions exist of the initial TARDIS scene (i.e. when Ian and Barbara first force their way into the ship). Version 1’s scene features the closing TARDIS doors making an enormous racket (which affects William Hartnell’s performance). Version 2 proceeds no further than Barbara forcing her way into the TARDIS. One reason this scene ended prematurely was that the sound effects of Jacqueline Hill entering the TARDIS were not properly cued.
A “fake” set of police box doors were positioned a short distance from the TARDIS console room set. This allowed Barbara to pass through from the junkyard into the police box without the need for an edit (i.e. so that the scene appeared continuous).
All filming at Lime Grove Studio D (27/09/63), with film inserts at Ealing (20/08/63, 31/08/63, 19/09/63)
Thanks to all those people who have been sending in comments on the reconstructions (unfortunately, space restrictions prevent all comments from being published). In particular, cheers to Brett O'Callaghan for the reviews he submitted to the rec.arts.drwho newsgroup. Abridged versions of Brett's reviews are included below.
Brilliant. The text is clear and easy to follow. I particularly like the different colours for dialogue and action. I have no problem with the pictures being smaller in the screen. When I was producing my own reconstructions, I tried to make the snaps as large as possible and tried to keep the captions down to a minimum. This was fine when the telesnaps and sound were easy to follow, but if you weren’t concentrating or intimately familiar with the story, you drifted off ...
Having the script on screen seems to be a great solution to maintaining the interest when the pictures aren’t quite up to it. By the way, just going from episode one, at least 50% of the pictures used are ones I haven't seen before. My compliments for assembling such an archive. I think the tape is worth it just for this alone!
I was initially dubious when I heard that colour pictures would be used, but I think you are right ... it does add another dimension to the experience and (shock horror) you start using your IMAGINATION to fill in the missing bits. Just thinking ... The Celestial Toymaker is a story that I am not very familiar with but with all those colour stills that exist ... are you taking nominations for the next project? :)
Firstly, the audio quality amazed me, apart from a few very brief moments where apparently a couple of lines only exist in low quality audio. The photos are of variable quality, but they are used imaginatively and every little bit helps in trying to visualise the overall production.
The “Caption Issue” – Although I can’t judge how well this works on the other reconstructions Bruce has done (this is the first reconstruction I’ve ever seen), I can say that it works very well in this story. There is a considerable amount of action happening that you need to know that isn’t obvious from the soundtrack – the stage directions really aid in understanding the story. The continually changing nature of the captions gives the viewer something to look at, rather than just staring at a still.
I was sceptical about this reconstruction business before I’d ever viewed one, but this reconstruction was effective enough to make me eager to see other lost story reconstructions. Huge chunks of the show that I've never seen are now potentially available to me, and I am “a bit” happy about that. ;-)
The reconstruction by Michael Palmer of episode 4 is fairly bizarre – he’s used scenes from the existing episodes, stills and other footage as opposed to the usual “stills and audio” method. The non-lip-sync nature of the reconstruction was quite disconcerting for me at first, but like Marco Polo, I got used to it fairly quickly and started enjoying (or not) the story. Given the incredible amount of time it must have taken I personally doubt it was worth it – a simple telesnap reconstruction would have sufficed for me, but hey, I’m not going to complain!
The audio was a bit murky, but still listenable with a bit of effort, I think I was spoiled by the superb quality of the Marco Polo audio. Still, it’s a good and inventive reconstruction that makes the story accessible to those interested in it. A good thing!
Michael has used grabs from the existing episode and (I think) telesnaps, along with the audio, which is fine apart from the first few minutes of episode 4, to reconstruct episodes 4 & 5. Very easy to watch – the viewer obtains a real idea of what is going on enough to enjoy the performances. This, I think should be the aim of all reconstructions. I could have used captions explaining what was going on in a couple of scenes, but you can definitely work out what's going without them.
I watched Harold A’s The Nightmare Begins last weekend and thought it was pretty enjoyable, particularly the shots of the Daleks in their control center. I’m hoping he’ll reduce or eliminate the eye-blinking as it’s too comedic. The images should be larger, too.
I’ve just watched Harold's Master Plan 1 - it’s very good. My only two moans is that the animation is slightly spooky (watch Katarina’s eyes when they close – they close *just* that little too much!) and the audio track. But what the hell, the David Holman audios will be with us soon.
I recently obtained the Nightmare Begins reconstruction and found it to be truly excellent. Apart from the inevitable bad quality that is bound to exist on a fan-produced video that’s come half way around the world, I could well believe that some of it was from the actual episode – a good sign of a good reconstruction.
There's not a lot of space left, so this will be kept
I think 'The Moonbore' (sorry, BASE) will be a little easier than Marco Polo – and The Abominable Snowmen sounds a good story to try too. But it’d be a shame if A Change of Identity didn’t turn its hand to stories such as The Massacre and The Celestial Toymaker before too long.
I note in Damian Shanahan’s interview (issue #6) he says the following in response to question 6: “... the BBC are happy that Dominators in now complete, and that War Machines is nearly complete (apart from 45 seconds cut by NZ Censors).”
This is odd, because research undertaken by Graham Howard into NZBC’s archives and censorship records clearly show that NZ censors would outrightly reject a story, and not bother with editing specifications to remove ‘sensitive’ material to make it acceptable. The footage durations as received by NZBC on 23/9/68 for The War Machines are listed in these records as: Ep1 (24.00), Ep2 (22.43), Ep3 (21.44) and Ep4 (22.53). As you can see by comparing the ‘official’ durations in the First Doctor Handbook, this means that all bar episode one had already been severely cut (by the ABC?) when we got them.
Now, for a brief introduction to a new column that I am interested in starting. What do you remember the most about the missing episodes of Doctor Who? Obviously, there are only a limited number of fans out there who can actually contribute to this column!
But what we’re after are your thoughts on some of the
things you remember about the missing episodes. What stories do you remember
in particular? What monsters? What scenes? If you’re interested in sharing
your thoughts with the rest of the world, then please write in.
Last issue, it was mentioned that the third part of the
telesnap info would be published in this issue. However, for various reasons,
it has not been possible to include these details in this issue. Hopefully,
For those of you who live locally (i.e. Brisbane, Queensland), don’t forget about the Brisbane Doctor Who Fan Club. Check out the club home-page at :
The Club produces a regular fanzine Mistfall. In fact, issue #21 (due for release at the June meeting) will be having a closer look at the missing episodes! There will be an article on the reconstructions, as well as a closer examination of the censored clips discovery. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of this issue, please contact me.
Simon Hunt is currently preparing a fanzine on the various eras of Doctor Who. His first issue will concentrate on the Hartnell and Troughton eras. In particular, Si is after reviews, short stories, and articles. If you are interested, please write to Si at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Paul Johnson's web-site for further details on the reconstructions. In particular, Paul has an archive of all Change of Identity newsletters in HTML format. The URL for the web-page is :
Paul is also interested in putting together a petition to bring back Doctor Who. If you would like to help, visit the site above, changing the “index” to “Campaign” (or just follow the links from the main page).
Jeremy Bement is interested in starting a Who related project of his own. Jeremy’s idea involves creating a series of fan-published ‘books’ based on the unmade Doctor Who stories. Since Jeremy is an artist, he is planning for his publications to contain some interior artwork, as well as a colour cover. Jeremy is also hoping to include some factual information on the story itself.
At the moment, Jeremy is interested in determining what sort of interest there is in this sort of project. Therefore, if any of this sounds interesting, please send Jeremy an E-mail at email@example.com. Alternatively, if you do not have E-mail access, please send me a note, and I will arrange for the message to be passed on to Jeremy.
Graham Strong is interested in tracking down people who
have in their possession the old Sony video tapes (7 inch diameter with
1/2 inch tapes). Graham points out that the original Sony recorder was
released in 1967, and cost nearly £400 (a whole year’s salary back
then!). If you have any of these old tapes and wish to have them converted,
Graham is able to help. Please write to me if you are interested in taking
advantage of Graham’s assistance.
For general help with issue, thanks to Graham Strong, Robert Franks, and Michael Palmer.
Thanks to the following people who provided assistance
with the story guides – Keith Armstrong, Robert Franks, Brian Pearce, Dominic
Jackson, Steve Phillips and Graham Strong.
Doctor Who is copyright the BBC and worldwide affiliates. “A Change of Identity” is a completely non-profit venture. No attempt is made to supersede existing copyright. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the editor. Some editing of contributions has been made.