NEWSLETTER ON EARLY DOCTOR WHO
23 July 2000
Edited by Bruce Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) &
Robert Franks (TelesnapGuy@csi.com)
Yes, yes, we know ... this issue has been a LONG time coming!
As many regular readers will be aware, we’ve generally tried to release an issue every couple of months. However, it’s painfully obvious that more than two months have passed since the last issue. In fact, how does six months sound – issue #22 was released way back in January! Well OK, there were the survey results released in March – these can be considered an issue of sorts. However, the fact remains that what you see before you, is only the second regular issue of the year.
Both your editors have been caught up with a multitude of “real life” hassles over the past few months, the details of which aren’t worth going into now (mainly because it isn’t all that exciting!). However, the net effect of this is that it’s severely restricted the amount of time available for leisure activities ... which, let’s face it, is exactly what all this stuff is about. While working on the recons, etc is generally a lot of fun, the emphasis should be on the word “fun”. It’s not much fun when you spend the majority of your working week in front of a PC, and then feel as if you must spend most of the weekend in a similar state.
The unfortunate news is that things mightn’t greatly improve in the near future – releases of Disused Yeti may become even more irregular. In fact, the same can be said for just about everything we’re involved with. We apologise to those who like to hear nice precise deadlines regarding recons, magazines, etc, but we’re afraid this is out of the question at the moment. While we have no intentions of giving up on any of our projects, it’s a simple case of things being complete when they’re complete. Rest assured that no-one is throwing in the towel quite yet!
Enjoy the issue,
Bruce and Robert
Obviously, due to the lengthy amount of time between issues, a fair bit has happened since last time. Therefore, here are some slightly longer than usual updates on each recon group ...
MASTER PLAN PRODUCTIONS (www.telesnaps.com)
Steady progress continues to be made on the first MPP story, Marco Polo. A “first draft” version now exists of all episodes, and in fact, preview copies of three of the episodes have been viewed by others. However, the next stage of the process, fine-tuning all the existing elements, could be quite a time-consuming process, as the MPP team experiment with a number of different approaches.
In a move aimed at speeding up the production process for MPP, the full-script version will now be discontinued. Previously, it has been reported that the MPP recons will be created in two versions – one with full dialogue and descriptive captions, and the other with descriptive captions only. However, due to the lengthy amount of time required to create captions in the new video editing software, it has now been decided to continue MPP with just the “descriptive caption only” version (or “non-script” as it’s often referred to).
In particular, the software used to create the MPP version of Marco is not conducive to including large quantities of text captions. With the extra amount of time required to create the full-script version, it was decided that the effort was not warranted. However, it should be pointed out that the remaining MPP version will not simply resemble a JV story in terms of captioning. The recon will feature quite a number of descriptive captions extracted directly from the camera script. The creators are attempting to reach a compromise between the “bare bones” approach of the JV recons against the “full” captioning approach of the COI recons. Refer to the “Recon Ramblings” column for a further discussion on the use of text captions in the recons.
In other news, Richard Bignell has recently managed to interview both Mark Eden (Marco Polo) and Zienia Merton (Ping-Cho) for the Marco documentary which will accompany the recon. Efforts are also underway to interview other cast members from Marco.
LOOSE CANNON RECONSTRUCTIONS (www.recons.com)
The Mission to the Unknown reconstruction is close to completion. In the same way that the Galaxy 4 recon used original set photos of the Rill centre and planet surface to provide the background for the composite photos, Mission features previously unseen original photos of the ship interior, distress rocket and the Kembel jungle. There are however a few other surprises along the way. A video introduction is provided by the star of Mission, Edward de Souza (Marc Cory). The reconstruction is followed by a unique event – Edward de Souza, Jeremy Young and Barry Jackson (the spaceship crew members) are reunited after 35 years to watch the reconstruction and chat to camera afterwards about Mission to the Unknown, DOCTOR WHO and many other topics.
Work is also progressing well on The Reign of Terror and this recon should be completed soon. A major revamp of the work on this production has caused a delay but hopefully this will be compensated for by the improved picture quality. This production includes a newly restored audio track for clarity, as well as many previously unpublished set photos.
The next reconstruction in the pipeline is The Crusade episodes 2 & 4, which should also be available within the next couple of months. It is anticipated that the telesnap quality will be the clearest to date in a Loose Cannon recon.
Stay tuned to the Loose Cannon web page (URL above) for regular updates.
(RICK BRINDELL, DEREK HANDLEY AND DEAN ROSE)
ONE THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS!!!
Sometime in March (not long after the 1999 survey results were released), the Disused Yeti mailing list clocked up its 1000th subscriber! Apart from a handful of postal recipients, all of the subscribers receive the newsletter in one of its e-mail formats (plain text, Word 6, HTML or the notification only list).
DY, in one form or another, has been produced for nearly four years now. The newsletter started off as a simple update for the Change of Identity reconstructions, but has now expanded into something much broader. Incredibly, the first issue of the newsletter, distributed on 24 August 1996, was initially received by only six people! And just to prove it, here are the six original recipients from issue #1 – Simon Hunt, Harold Achatz, Chris Moore, Nick McCarthy, Brian Pearce, and Heath Mackay. With the exception of Nick, all of the group remain on the mailing list today.
With a slightly expanded format for issue #3, the number of people on the mailing list increased to about 40-50 people. However, the biggest “jump” in the mailing list’s history occurred after the release of the 1997 survey – eighty new subscribers joined the mailing list within a two month period. With the exponential-like growth of people joining the Internet, new subscribers are received on a regular basis – approximately eight to ten requests are received per week from people wishing to join.
Another interesting statistic about the newsletter concerns the countries represented on the mailing list. Not surprisingly, there are healthy numbers from the five major countries involved in DOCTOR WHO fandom – UK (445), USA (367), Australia (186), Canada (29) and New Zealand (20). However, we also have representatives from Italy (3), the Republic of Ireland (2), Sweden (1), the Netherlands (1), Japan (1), Germany (1) and Singapore (1). Of course, if there are people reading this in a country not mentioned above, then please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
So what of the future for DY? As hinted in the editorial above, our main goal at the moment is to just find the time to keep producing them! Of course, the continued positive response we receive from the newsletter can only help to encourage us to keep going. So thank you again for all your supportive messages over the years. Even though we may be distributing the newsletter to over a thousand people now, it’s amazing the effect that a single encouraging e-mail can still have!
NOTHING AT THE END OF THE LANE
Just a very quick update on our magazine ... basically to say that issue #2 is still definitely going ahead! Due to the workload problems mentioned in the editorial, no further work has taken place on issue #2. However, it is the intention of both your DY editors to start seriously looking at issue #2 once the
Marco Polo recon is out of the way. Originally, it was planned to have the second issue available later in the year, although this is looking extremely doubtful at this stage.
Copies of issue #1 remain, however the stocks are starting to run a little dry. Don’t forget to visit the following web-page if you’re interested in ordering a copy:
Issue #1 has already received favourable reviews in other DOCTOR WHO publications (such as the DWAS magazine Celestial Toyroom, and the New Zealand fanzine Time-Space Visualiser). Extremely positive feedback has also been received from most readers. Since there is NO chance of a reprint once issue #1 has sold out, you are strongly advised to order as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.
A CHAT WITH ANNEKE WILLS
DY has previously featured articles on the “Programme Preservation Society” (PPS). Below, one of the co-founders of the PPS, David May, tells us about the video interviews that the club compiles – the first such video features Anneke Wills, who played Polly in DOCTOR WHO ...
The “Programme Preservation Society” was formed by myself and three colleagues in September 1998 with the aim of promoting and preserving classic television and radio shows, as well as bringing together fans and collectors. The club has its own quarterly magazine, Radio-Telly-Scope and also publishes quarterly membership lists. This allows members to get in touch with other members who share the same interests.
Twenty months on, we have had over one hundred people join our ranks – although based in England we welcome overseas members and have ones from as far afield as the US, Canada, Australia and Norway.
We do not want the club to just be a tape-swapping circle though. We have already run prize competitions and we are looking at other activities including launching a club library from which members will be able to hire rare shows we have purchased from television archives.
We are also producing our own interview tapes with various people associated with cult television or radio shows. The first interview was recorded in June 1999 with the DOCTOR WHO actress Anneke Wills. The releases are similar in style to the Mythmakers interviews, although we are not constrained to 50-minute running times. Our interview with Anneke runs to 100 minutes and covers not only her DOCTOR WHO career but also her time on other shows such as STRANGE REPORT, THE STRANGE WORLD OF GURNEY SLADE, THE AVENGERS and THE SAINT. In fact, Anneke kindly commented at the time that it was the best-researched interview that she had ever been the subject of!
The tape is only available to members of the PPS, so you will need to join if you are interested in obtaining it. Joining details can be found on the club website:
During the interview, I asked Anneke about missing episodes and the reconstructions. As I showed her some of Bruce Robinson’s The Power of the Daleks recon, it is only fair that I repay my debt to Bruce by allowing him to run a transcript of the relevant portion of the Anneke Wills interview ...
DM: A lot of your episodes were destroyed by the BBC – how did you feel about that when you found out?
AW: In their wisdom, I know, I mean it’s a shame isn’t it? It’s just a terrible shame. You can’t blame them, although we like to <laughs>, we can’t really blame them because they didn’t know at that time that it was going to have such a history years later, or they wouldn’t have done it. But it’s just like ... <snaps fingers> ... damn! You know.
DM: But a few have survived ... so what was it like seeing them again after so many years?
AW: Well, two things go on. On the one hand, it’s awful to see yourself again so beautiful and young, <laughs> you know, but on the other hand, fascinating, absolutely fascinating to see. It jogs the memory of the things that we were doing and the people that we worked with and the fun that we had. It’s always the fun that you remember.
DM: We also had a look at those clips that the Australians deemed too frightening to show ...
AW: Right. I mean, on the one hand, ridiculously unfrightening when you consider what we’re used to, but on the other hand, when you hear all these blood-curdling screams, yes, it was, it was ... it was terrifying. You know, everybody says you watched it from behind the sofa and obviously there’s a reason for that, so yes, it was.
DM: Well, some episodes have turned up, do you think the others are out there waiting to be found?
AW: I hope so, I hope so. Maybe what’s happened is that they’ve got shoved into somebody’s boxes and then they’ve gone away and someone else will come along and find them and say “what’s this then? Ohh, look!” I’m still hoping that they’ll turn up.
DM: And to make up for the absence of some of these episodes, the fans have tried to reconstruct them using the soundtracks and various stills. We just had a look at some of an effort to reconstruct The Power Of The Daleks, so were you impressed with that at all?
AW: Yes, I was because although I’ve seen the regeneration scene where it goes from Bill to Pat, I’d never seen what led up to it and what came afterwards. It’s very well done actually, the way they manage to keep the images and have the little captions underneath, so you get an idea. Of course I’d love to see The Highlanders or The Smugglers, because they have the visuals for The Smugglers don’t they? [Before anyone gets too excited, I presume that Anneke is referring to the colour home movie footage! – DM]
Addendum : Dave and his PPS colleagues have recently finished the second release of their video interview series, featuring the stalwart British actor Michael Sheard. Refer to the PPS web-page mentioned above for further details.
DOES THE BBC REALLY CARE?
Throughout the history of the newsletter, DY has generally limited itself to factual material only. Although we do feature some opinionated material, most notably, the recon reviews, we have never published a full length article where the writer expresses their personal feelings on a particular issue. However, this is about to change ...
Below, Paul Scoones gives a frank account of his experiences in being involved in the rediscovery of The Lion. In particular, Paul poses the question – are the Beeb really committed to the return of missing DOCTOR WHO episodes? Incidentally, while we may consider publishing similar articles to this in the future, bear in mind that your DY editors may or may not agree with all the viewpoints being put forward.
Call me naive, but until last year, I thought the BBC actually cared about the recovery of the missing episodes. It wasn’t an unfounded belief – articles in Doctor Who Magazine and the BBC’s own The Missing Years documentary perpetuated this belief.
Now I know better. Incredible though it might sound to some fans, I believe that the BBC doesn’t care too much at all. Oh yes, they’re happy to get the episodes back all right; it’s a money-spinner for them with video sales, but I have good reason to believe that they’re not at all interested in the people who actually do the hard work of tracking down and returning the episodes. I must qualify this to exclude Steve Roberts and the rest of the “Restoration Team”. I should also point out that the BBC is a large and multi-divisional organisation. When I talk about the BBC here, I’m really talking about BBC Resources (responsible for handling the recovery and restoration of films – amongst many other activities) and BBC Worldwide (responsible for producing the home videos).
I speak from personal experience as a key figure at the centre of the most recent DOCTOR WHO episode recovery. My friend Neil Lambess and myself confirmed the existence of The Lion. I was solely responsible for negotiating the loan of the print from its then-owner, Bruce Grenville, and I also handled the logistics of arranging and funding the despatch of the film print to the BBC. The experience – exciting and unique though it was – left a bitter taste in my mouth that still lingers well over a year later.
The cost of sending the film print to the UK by express courier cost just under NZ$200. I paid for this having been informed by Steve Roberts that I would be promptly reimbursed in full. In fact it was more than six months later that BBC Resources finally paid me, and only after I had repeatedly faxed and emailed various people within this department of the BBC who were apparently responsible for authorising the refund. My emails and faxes either went unanswered or at best, were met with curt replies that the payment was being “looked into”.
Steve Roberts directed me at the outset to submit my bill to a specific person within a division whose responsibility it was to arrange the payment. When nothing happened, Steve chased the payment on my behalf, and gave me the other contacts to write to about my overdue payment. Steve found the lengthy delay almost as frustrating as I did, and later told me that he wished he’d paid me out of his own pocket and then chased the payment himself.
Eventually, what appears to have swung it for me was an email I sent requesting that the accumulated six months’ interest on my VISA bill for the courier cost be paid to me in addition to the original sum. I faxed them a copy of my VISA bill, and payment (sans interest, alas), was swiftly arranged.
The only explanation I ever received for the extreme tardiness of the BBC was that no budget is set aside for episode recovery, and therefore the money to pay me had to be reallocated from somewhere – but hold up one minute! What’s wrong with this explanation? By the time I was paid, the episode had been released on video in a lavishly presented package. Surely the money to fund this video had to come from somewhere. Surely my sending the film print should have counted as part of its production costs?
Then there’s the whole debacle of the UK video cover blurb which inaccurately describes the episode’s recovery and rather offensively omits any mention of either Neil or myself. I’m on the end credits of the video itself as the last name of six on a list of “Thanks to” people which doesn’t include Neil Lambess. It’s every fan’s dream to find a missing episode. Neil did just that. He was the man who investigated and made contact with Bruce in the first place, and as such had an undisputedly more important role than my own. For the BBC to so rudely ignore his contribution was heartbreaking for him. That really stung.
A credit wouldn’t cost BBC Worldwide anything out of their budget, but engenders goodwill as well as potentially giving fans an added incentive to seek out audios and videos and return them to the BBC.
The one positive outcome was that Steve Roberts (whose participation in the whole affair was never less than 100% supportive and sympathetic of our feelings) hastily arranged for a last-minute change to be made to the Australasian video release. The offending paragraph was amended to include our names and the part we played in the recovery of the film print. Go Steve! Of his commitment to the recovery of missing episodes and his support for those who seek them, there can be no doubt in my mind.
There’s more. We all know the haste with which The Lion was brought out on video by the BBC. It may surprise you to learn that not once was either myself or Neil asked whether there was any possibility that we had any leads on the two other lost episodes of The Crusade. We found one – was it not unreasonable to assume that we might be able to uncover the others? The find did provoke a flurry of investigations around New Zealand, all of which ultimately proved fruitless, but the BBC weren’t to know this. They never even bothered to ask.
The only thanks myself and Neil ever received was from Steve Roberts. Steve also sent us copies of the video. No-one from BBC Video or any other department ever made contact. I still tell people at work about my part in the recovery and they’re amazed that I don’t even have a thank you letter from the BBC that I can show them.
Whoever was in charge of producing the video, that Neil, Bruce and myself made possible, never contacted us, never wrote a letter of thanks. Steve Roberts was the engineer who restored the film print. His thanks, although appreciated, do not carry the same weight as someone actually in charge of the video division. Again, by no means a costly move, but one which would have engendered a lot of goodwill.
This all might seem to some of you like sour grapes. After all, I got to return a missing episode of DOCTOR WHO to the BBC – what greater buzz is there than that for a DOCTOR WHO fan? Well, returning an episode AND being acknowledged by the BBC for it would have been a much bigger thrill.
I haven’t even touched on the treatment the film’s owner, Bruce Grenville, received from the BBC, which initially threatened to take legal action over his ownership of the film print. Incredibly, this was the official policy line as laid down by the BBC’s press office. If there is anyone out there in possession of missing episodes, its no wonder they haven’t come out of the woodwork if this is the sort of reception they could expect to receive!
BBC Worldwide perpetuate the impression that they conduct searches for the episodes in the Missing Years documentary made in 1998. The documentary itself serves in part as a call to viewers to help seek out the missing material, and implies that any finds will be gratefully welcomed. Only a couple of months after Missing Years came out, Neil and I found an episode, enabling us to respond to the documentary’s call for missing films. We were met with a surprising lack of courtesy and gratitude from the very department who produced the documentary in the first place.
I’m still all for hunting out missing episodes and returning them to the BBC because that way we’ll all get to enjoy them on video. All I’m saying is this – don’t expect anything in the way of gratitude from Auntie Beeb!
[Editors’ note : Do you agree with Paul’s strong feelings about the BBC? Or do you think the BBC are doing all they possibly can in regards to missing episodes? Either way, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts – a sample of the feedback will be published next issue.]
RECON RAMBLINGS – THE FULL SCRIPT
As described in the “Recon Updates” section, the full-script version of the MPP recons will now be discontinued. Since the text captions have played an integral role in the development of the recons, Bruce Robinson takes a look at why the captions were first included, and how their use in the recons has altered over the years ...
Similar to most long-term projects, the reconstructions have evolved through various stages over the years. This can be attributed to a number of factors – improving technology, better quality source material, and changing viewer perception (including the creators’ own perception of the material). Nowadays, it’s easy to dismiss earlier efforts as being irrelevant and unimportant, however, it’s crucial to bear in mind the following points :
(1) The target audience of the recons was very, very small in the early days. Currently, a distribution network exists to make the videos available to as many fans as possible, however this definitely wasn’t the case three or four years ago. The only chance of obtaining the videos back then was through the “fan chain”. This often resulted in very poor quality copies down the line, especially if PAL/NTSC conversions were involved.
(2) Good-quality source material was very difficult to obtain. Fans really are spoilt these days in terms of “crystal clear” quality soundtracks, high definition telesnap scans, and copious amounts of reference material, such as camera scripts and the recollections of long-time fans (something which is often overlooked in terms of source material). This was definitely not the case a few years ago. The source material was simply what the creator had in his possession at the time.
When I set out on the recon path with The Savages (mid 1996), I was obviously restricted to the material which I had in my possession. I’d only been connected to the Internet for about six months or so, and hadn’t really made contact with other fans on the Net who may have been able to help with my project. Luckily (and I really did consider myself fortunate here), I already had a soundtrack of Savages. Any fan who possesses an audio from over five years ago, will be well aware that the quality of these older recordings was average at best. Although the original recording made many years ago may have been reasonable, multiple copies “down the line” resulted in an indecipherable, and often incomplete, audio.
Quite simply, the story could often not be followed from the soundtrack alone. In the early days of listening to audios, it was often mandatory to have a copy of a detailed synopsis next to you to provide some understanding of the story – however, even having a detailed synopsis was often a luxury. In many cases, fans were restricted to a Target novelisation (and even this could be an inaccurate source depending on the story). It has already been reported before in this newsletter about my very first reconstruction – a text-only version of Marco Polo created on a Commodore 64. Including a “full script” on the screen wasn’t so much a personal preference – it was an absolutely essential addition if one was to have any hope of following a soundtrack which was frequently diabolical in quality! When it came around to producing a “proper” reconstruction a few years later (ie Savages), since the soundtrack was still sub-standard in quality, I naturally decided to continue with the idea of including “full script” captions. In fact, one could almost argue that adding the photographic material was now the innovation with the recons, and not the full script!
At this point, it’s perhaps worth elaborating on what is meant by “full script” captions. The term “full script” is regularly used these days, but for a newcomer to the recons, it may be slightly misleading. Technically speaking, it’s not really a “full script” as such – taken literally, the term suggests a verbatim translation of the camera script to screen. Instead, it’s more of a combination of descriptive captions AND dialogue timed to appear “in synch” with the audio. At any one time in the story, there will generally be a caption of some sort on the screen.
To confuse matters even more, the alternative style these days (ie descriptive captions only), is often referred to as the “non-script” style. This also isn’t strictly accurate as there are definitely SOME captions in the recon – perhaps the term “semi script” may have been more appropriate!
Terminology aside, the idea of including “full script” captions in Savages was something that I felt almost obliged to do. The soundtrack simply wasn’t up to a standard where the story could be easily followed – although the Savages soundtrack was significantly better than the original Marco Polo one, it was still poor compared to today’s standards. On a more personal note, I had also enjoyed reading the DWB “photonovels” which had appeared a few years previous to the commencement of Savages. These photonovels consisted of the telesnaps along with a transcript of the episode. I very much saw the recons as being an extension of this photonovel concept – in other words, similar to what had featured in DWB, but with the audio added on top.
Therefore, before I had even completed Savages, I already had two good reasons for wanting to include a full script – (1) to provide understanding of a poor soundtrack quality, and (2) to achieve an effect similar to a DWB photonovel. However, as the years have progressed, we’ve obviously managed to obtain better quality soundtracks. Thus, the initial requirement of the full script captions to explain the story, was not as crucial later on. However, even the best quality soundtracks often contained slightly poorer moments, so the full script captions still came in handy then.
Later on, when I became aware of other recon efforts, I realised that the text captions were quite a unique feature. Up till that point, no other recon had featured ANY kind of text caption. As a result, the Change of Identity reconstructions developed an instantly recognisable “signature”. At a later stage, other recon groups did start to utilise text captions to explain unclear parts of the soundtrack.
However, let’s make one thing very clear – as I continued producing the recons over the years, it gradually occurred to me that the full script wasn’t simply included just to provide clarification of the soundtrack. Nowadays, critics of the full script often say something like “well I can understand the story from the soundtrack alone, so why do I need these intrusive captions down the bottom?!”. If the sole reason for including the captions was to “decipher” the soundtrack, then I totally agree that the full script captions would be a waste of time. However, in my opinion, the full script captions served more than just this simple purpose, such as ...
(1) ENHANCING POOR QUALITY VISUAL MATERIAL
Visual material used in a recon can often be variable in quality. While a photo may look reasonably clear on a PC monitor, a creator interested in providing video copies to others has to bear in mind that people may be watching the recon three, four, five, or even twenty copies down the line. Multi-generational video copying has a much more detrimental effect on picture quality than on sound quality. On top of this, if a PAL to NTSC conversion was involved (or vice versa), this would cause a further deterioration to the picture quality.
Therefore, from a creator’s point-of-view, it may not cause a problem to use a certain photo in the recon, however, if the viewer can’t make out the detail of the image on screen, then the effort required to obtain the image has been in vain. Although captions also deteriorate down the line, they still provide more assistance to the viewer for poor quality copies then having no captions at all.
(2) TO PROVIDE MOVEMENT
A recon is obviously limited due to the fact that the bulk of the visual material consists of still images only. Even to the most ardent DOCTOR WHO fan, watching 150 minutes worth of still images requires some fairly intense concentration. The captions are an attempt to provide more movement throughout the recon, and thus keep the eye more interested in what’s happening on screen. I concede that the captions by themselves may not be very exciting – however, the simple act of them moving from one caption to the next just provides an extra “hook” to keep the viewer’s attention.
(3) TO ASSIST IN VISUAL CUES
Although a creator may attempt to make a recon more understandable by providing images of the characters as they speak, this is one technique which could have an adverse effect if overdone. To take this further, imagine a conversation between two characters where ten lines of dialogue go back and forward between the characters. In this case, it would be very disconcerting to have images appear on screen in rapid succession. Even if the images were slightly altered between each picture change, the problem still exists in that too many images are displayed in too short a time. A recon should match the pace and style of a story – quick picture changes are useful for action scenes, but they work poorly for lengthy dialogue-driven scenes.
Including the dialogue captions can help alleviate this problem. The viewer can still obtain an idea as to who is speaking without the need to be continually swapping back and forward between images. Personally, I’ve often thought that the most useful part of the dialogue captions was simply the first word which stated who was speaking. This immediately allows the viewer to associate a line of dialogue with a character. In an audio-only reconstruction, every time a line of dialogue is spoken, a brief amount of time is needed to determine the character who is now speaking. Although in many cases this only takes a split-second to work out (especially if a major character is speaking), it can often result in some dialogue being missed due to concentrating on deducing the character speaking. The purpose of the recon should ALWAYS be to let the original story tell itself, whilst keeping in mind the limitations of not being able to include moving images.
To varying degrees, the reasons above are not so relevant nowadays with the higher quality material available. For instance, with the soundtrack being much clearer, it’s a very simple task to determine which characters are speaking. In Marco Polo, there are essentially only seven main characters throughout the story. Each character has a very distinctive tone of voice, so even a viewer unfamiliar with the soundtrack should have little difficulties determining the characters which are speaking at any one time. With the extra workload required to create the full script captions for MPP, it was decided that any additional benefit in including the full script captions was not warranted.
While dropping the full script captions from MPP is disappointing in one respect, it’s also a logical step forward in the progression of the recons. I realise that some people may be disappointed with this decision, however I’m almost certain that once you start experiencing the MPP style, you will almost have forgotten what the “full script” captions really were. In fact, you may come across this article in three years time, and wonder what all the fuss was about ...
SEASON 2 SERIAL 8
Episode TX TI DU VA CP AA The Executioners 22 May 65 17.41 2525 10.0 14 57 The Death of Time 29 May 65 17.41 23’32” 9.5 12 56 Flight through Eternity 05 Jun 65 17.47 25’23” 9.0 12 55 Journey into Terror 12 Jun 65 17.41 2349 9.5 8 54 The Death of Doctor Who 19 Jun 65 17.41 2327 9.0 11 56 The Planet of Decision 26 Jun 65 17.40 2629 9.5 7 57
Total Duration = 14805 (approx)
Average Viewing Audience = 9.4
Average Chart Position = 11
Repeat Screenings nil on BBC1, although the story has been repeated on UK Gold.
Countries Sold To Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Chile (Spanish), Costa Rica (Spanish), Dominican Republic (Spanish), Ethiopia, Gibraltar, Iran, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, United States, Venezuela
(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Status The entire serial was originally junked prior to 1978, however 16mm telerecordings of all six episodes were discovered in a vault at BBC Enterprises circa 1978.
Clips n/a (although refer to note below)
The story was released on BBC Video (BBCV 5006) in 1993 as part of The Daleks Limited Edition Box Set (BBCV 5005) along with Remembrance of the Daleks. Both videos were packaged separately inside a tin. A North American version, also released in 1993, was available in a two tape box labeled only as The Daleks Limited Edition Boxed Set (CBS/Fox 4795). The UK cover for The Chase was painted by Andrew Skilleter – the North American version featured only the Dalek artwork by Alister Pearson from the tin.
Clips from The Chase, mainly from the final episode, were recorded as part of the silent 8mm cine footage (believed to have been recorded by an Australian fan).
(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
(e) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps All episodes currently missing. However, the PasB (Programme-as-Broadcast) documentation indicates that John Cura did provide his services for all six episodes.
Behind-the-Scenes Shots unknown
14 Apr 65 – photocall at Ealing Studios, Stage 3 (Verity Lambert with the Daleks and Mechanoids)
07 May 65 – photocall at Riverside, Studio One (regular cast and Mire Beast)
21 May 65 – photocall at Riverside, Studio One (the Doctor with the Daleks, Dracula and Frankenstein)
04 Jun 65 – photocall at Riverside, Studio One (regular cast in the cell on Mechanus)
Production Photos —
05 May 65 – Albert Embankment, Kensington Gardens, Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, White City Underground Station (photos of Ian and Barbara’s return to London). [Editors’ note : These photos were all taken during a single day’s shoot around London and were meant to represent Ian and Barbara’s jubilant return to modern-day Earth. The images were used during the final scenes of the serial.]
(f) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Episode DR FT RA CUTS The Executioners 11 May 66 962 G no cuts The Death of Time 11 May 66 894 G cut A,B,C,D Flight through Eternity 11 May 66 958 G no cuts Journey into Terror 11 May 66 903 G no cuts The Death of Doctor Who 11 May 66 890 G no cuts The Planet of Decision 11 May 66 1001 G no cuts
Cut A : At 6 mins, delete underlined words in 'What do they feed on? They are flesh-eaters. They eat human? Yes.'”
Cut B : At 7 mins, delete shot of girl seized around throat by trench or tail of monster.”
Cut C : At 13 mins, delete shot of Darleks [sic] blasting the Indians.”
Cut D : At 17 mins, delete close-up of monster.”
[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 Pursuers (entire serial)
Studio recordings for all six episodes were made at Riverside, Studio One between 30 Apr 1965 and 04 Jun 1965. Filming for the serial began on 09 Apr 1965 at Camber Sands, East Sussex. Further filming took place at Ealing Film Studios.
Novelised by John Peel, Doctor Who The Chase, was first published by W.H. Allen in 1989. Numbered 140 in the Doctor Who Library”, the cover artwork was provided by Alister Pearson.
LETTERS AND OPINIONS
It seems that our Fury from the Deep special last issue has prompted quite a few people to put fingers to keyboard ...
It was most exciting to “see” Fury again (as a result of the recent JV recon). I have vivid memories of the foam and tendrils thrashing about (I guess from Episode 6), of Maggie Harris taking a walk into the waves, and her becoming ill in her room. I seem to recall the now famous walk into the water being longer than is suggested on the recon, but as the audio is an accurate record, my memory has obviously cheated. Watching Fury in Australia, I was denied the excised bits of Mr Oak and Mr Quill being horrid to her. How ironic that it takes a 1999 recon video to allow me to see for the first time a surviving clip of a lost 1968 story.
Looking at it now, Fury isn’t in my top ten. I regard it as a good story well above the average. I find that the scary atmosphere starts to wane by episode 5 when the action moves outside. Perhaps the story is two episodes too long for it to be an outright classic – the plot is a little thin to sustain the terror for its entire length I think.
In not showing too much of the threat but suggesting it by other means, notably Dudley Simpson’s eerie score, director Hugh David leaves the viewers to scare the pants off themselves by imagining what MIGHT be down there, in the darkness, in the pipeline, waiting ...
The recon was fortunate in that the recovered censored clips were available just in time. I felt that a little more explanation of the visual action could have been given. What was there was excellent and helpful, but a couple of scenes may have done well with a little more explanation.
David Butler just did not do justice to Fury from the Deep in the article you published in the last Yeti. My recollections are fortunately vivid as the story was actually a very “adult/serious” DOCTOR WHO – and a very terrifying one at that. Even my mother sat glued to the screen each early afternoon as the ABC screened DOCTOR WHO repeats in “movie” format, as per its excellent school holiday traditional treat. I was of course too young to know these were repeats – but not too young to be totally captivated as were most of the kids of my neighbourhood who would all meet on the nature-strip after the end of the day’s episode and play mock Cyber-Yeti-Unit battles. All incredibly cool at the time!
A couple of weeks after Fury finished, a letter from two girls was read out on JUNIOR POINTS OF VIEW. They had written a complete new DOCTOR WHO story in which Jamie realises that he is in love with Victoria and the Doctor takes him back to Earth so that they can be together again!
Another “Memory Cheats” from this story ... at the back of The Radio Times, a couple of weeks before each new DOCTOR WHO story, they used to offer plot synopses of upcoming stories for deaf people. Before Fury, they offered one for The Colony of Devils. I waited a long time in expectation that a story called Colony of Devils would eventually turn up!
oh when will Fury be found, (IAN
TAYLOR) REQUESTS Soon to be available via TSV Books, a side-line publishing wing of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club
(www.tetrap.com/drwho/nzdwfc/), is a revised edition of
Timelink – An Exploration Of Doctor Who Continuity by Jon Preddle. This unauthorised volume covers various aspects of DOCTOR WHO continuity, such as the controversial UNIT dates, Dalek and Cyberman history, the
Doctor’s age, and Gallifreyan history. A complete DOCTOR WHO timeline is also included. The book uses as its study material only the broadcast television adventures from 1963 to 1989, plus K9 and Company and the 1996 TV movie. The novels, comic strips, Shada and audio adventures are not included. The first edition has already sold out. The second printing is expected to be available in mid-June 2000. The new edition will contain some updated material, incorporating the information contained in the
Timelink Errata web-page. Jon is now taking pre-orders – pricing details and ordering information can be obtained from the
Timelink web-page www.geocities.com/jpreddle/timelink.html
or by e-mailing Jon at email@example.com. Although Timelink is not exclusively related to the sixties era as such, the DY editors are always on the look-out for well-researched DOCTOR WHO reference books. Having seen the book myself, I (Bruce) can heartily recommend
Timelink to anyone interested in the subject of DOCTOR WHO continuity! ~~~~~~~~~~ Audio recordist David Butler has recently set up his own web-site. David describes the site as follows: “The website has only been in existence for a few weeks but I am intending to expand it. It contains (no surprise) some
DOCTOR WHO pages. At present there is a page on DOCTOR WHO locations, a report on a local group reunion in May and a page about
Mission to the Unknown including a mention of the new Loose Cannon reconstruction. I am intending to add a reviews page containing independent reviews of DOCTOR WHO merchandise (CDs, books, videos) and I would welcome submissions from anyone wishing to send me material. Reviews should be kept fairly short (max 200 words) and be suitable for publishing (ie, no offensive language). I would prefer to limit this page to reviews of official merchandise, not reconstructions. Similarly, if anyone wishes to send photos for the locations page with a small amount of accompanying text, these will also be gratefully received. The website address is
and the e-mail address is David@dbutler22.freeserve.co.uk.” ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Rick Brindell, Derek Handley, Dominic Jackson, David May, Michael Palmer, Jon Preddle, Dean Rose and Paul Scoones. BORING STUFF 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! All material published in this newsletter is copyright the Disused
Yeti newsletter. Please do not reprint any of the contents in another publication
(whether electronic or print) without obtaining the prior permission from the editors. The newsletter is available in three formats plain text, Word 6,
and HTML. In addition, there is also an announcement mailing list which simply announces
the release of a new issue, and provides details on how the issue can be downloaded.
Please send an E-mail to Bruce if you wish to be added to any of these lists (or
wish to have your details altered or removed). The
back-issues (in text, Word and HTML format) can be located at the following web-site: http://www.telesnaps.com/
It’s sorely missed since it went to ground.
It’s such a classic, it makes my heart bleed,
To think someone has got the malevolent seaweed.
Such acting, such plot, such a claustrophobic theme,
It’s all enough to make Victoria scream.
If it’s gone forever, I shall surely weep,
Because it’s my favourite, is Fury from the Deep.
Soon to be available via TSV Books, a side-line publishing wing of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club (www.tetrap.com/drwho/nzdwfc/), is a revised edition of Timelink – An Exploration Of Doctor Who Continuity by Jon Preddle. This unauthorised volume covers various aspects of DOCTOR WHO continuity, such as the controversial UNIT dates, Dalek and Cyberman history, the Doctor’s age, and Gallifreyan history. A complete DOCTOR WHO timeline is also included. The book uses as its study material only the broadcast television adventures from 1963 to 1989, plus K9 and Company and the 1996 TV movie. The novels, comic strips, Shada and audio adventures are not included.
The first edition has already sold out. The second printing is expected to be available in mid-June 2000. The new edition will contain some updated material, incorporating the information contained in the Timelink Errata web-page.
Jon is now taking pre-orders – pricing details and ordering information can be obtained from the Timelink web-page www.geocities.com/jpreddle/timelink.html or by e-mailing Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Timelink is not exclusively related to the sixties era as such, the DY editors are always on the look-out for well-researched DOCTOR WHO reference books. Having seen the book myself, I (Bruce) can heartily recommend Timelink to anyone interested in the subject of DOCTOR WHO continuity!
Audio recordist David Butler has recently set up his own web-site. David describes the site as follows:
“The website has only been in existence for a few weeks but I am intending to expand it. It contains (no surprise) some DOCTOR WHO pages. At present there is a page on DOCTOR WHO locations, a report on a local group reunion in May and a page about Mission to the Unknown including a mention of the new Loose Cannon reconstruction. I am intending to add a reviews page containing independent reviews of DOCTOR WHO merchandise (CDs, books, videos) and I would welcome submissions from anyone wishing to send me material. Reviews should be kept fairly short (max 200 words) and be suitable for publishing (ie, no offensive language). I would prefer to limit this page to reviews of official merchandise, not reconstructions. Similarly, if anyone wishes to send photos for the locations page with a small amount of accompanying text, these will also be gratefully received. The website address is http://www.dbutler22.freeserve.co.uk and the e-mail address is David@dbutler22.freeserve.co.uk.”
Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Rick Brindell, Derek Handley, Dominic Jackson, David May, Michael Palmer, Jon Preddle, Dean Rose and Paul Scoones.
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!
All material published in this newsletter is copyright the Disused Yeti newsletter. Please do not reprint any of the contents in another publication (whether electronic or print) without obtaining the prior permission from the editors.
The newsletter is available in three formats plain text, Word 6, and HTML. In addition, there is also an announcement mailing list which simply announces the release of a new issue, and provides details on how the issue can be downloaded. Please send an E-mail to Bruce if you wish to be added to any of these lists (or wish to have your details altered or removed). The back-issues (in text, Word and HTML format) can be located at the following web-site: