NEWSLETTER ON THE MISSING EPISODES OF DOCTOR WHO
1996 SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY
Edited by Bruce Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A short survey was distributed with issue #3 of the newsletter. Thanks to all those who responded to the survey, and in particular, those who provided comments (because of space restrictions, some editing has occurred).
A total of 45 people responded to the survey.
QUESTION 1 : DO YOU WISH TO RECEIVE FUTURE ISSUES OF THIS NEWSLETTER?
Yes – 45No – 0Well, there’s not much that can be said ... except thank you again for the interest!
QUESTION 2 : ARE YOU ABLE TO RECEIVE THE NEWSLETTER IN MICROSOFT WORD 6 FORMAT?
Yes – 27No – 16n/a – 2Quite a few people who are able to receive MS Word 6 documents commented that they’d rather not. Interesting ...
QUESTION 3 : WHAT FORMAT WOULD YOU PREFER TO RECEIVE THE NEWSLETTER IN?
(a) Plain text – 26Regardless of the results, I was always intending to produce a Word 6 version of the newsletter. The reason – to cater for the increasing number of non-Email people. Unfortunately, plain text doesn’t look all that wonderful when sending out paper copies ...
(b) Word 6 – 7
(c) Traditional newsletter – 2
(d) Other – 0
Either (a) or (b) – 7
Either (a) or (c) – 3
For those who selected Word 6, your E-mail addresses have now been included in a separate mailing list. From issue 4 onwards (ie this one!), you should receive the newsletter in Word 6 format. For the rest of you, I will continue sending the newsletter in plain text. This will also include the people who said they didn’t mind whether they received the newsletter in plain text or Word 6. However, if at any time you wish to receive the Word 6 version, please write.
(Robert Franks) Plain text as an E-mail message is quickest. I wouldn’t rule out Word 6 docs, until I see if it helps with reading. Having different size fonts and bold characters might help make it more readable.
(Marko Laine) Somebody once said that the only formats that count on the net (for distributing zines) are HTML and plain text. A little harsh, but I tend to agree. Plain text only, please.
QUESTION 4 : WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF EXPANDING THE NEWSLETTER TO LOOK AT MISSING EPISODES GENERALLY?
Good Idea – 44Not so Good – 1Errr ... thank you to the one person who actually said it wasn’t a good idea! I now realise the question was worth asking ...
But in any case, I was always keen to include more information on the missing episodes, as it is a topic not really covered by other fanzines and newsletters. Although the newsletter will still concentrate on the reconstructions, more general features will be included, such as interviews with people involved in the world of missing episodes, and general news/rumours.
From next issue, I hope to start a season-by-season guide on the first six seasons, listing exactly what exists from each story. See the newsletter for more details ...
(Heath Mackay) Excellent idea – I am very willing to look at any missing episode!!!
(Anthony Martin) It may promote the search for missing material, so it must be a good thing.
(Robert Franks) I think this idea is great, but I really think you should still concentrate on the TRs [ed : Telesnap Reconstructions]. Have a review section for all the TRs, not just the ones you have completed.
(Craig Fuqua) I’d like to learn more about the myths and facts about the existence of missing eps.
(George Rainey) In favour, and perhaps other UK shows if any episodes/clips turn up.
(Mark Logan) I think that would be distracting. There are good web sites to follow that activity already.
QUESTION 5 : WHICH “CHANGE OF IDENTITY” RECONSTRUCTIONS HAVE YOU SEEN SO FAR?
The Savages – 20Quite a few people commented that were planning to see either of the reconstructions very shortly. In fact, I know for certain that the total for Power is much higher than 7.
The Power of the Daleks – 7
There was also a fair bit of confusion as to whether people had seen Power. Some people said they had seen it, but judging from their comments, it was clear they hadn't seen the “Change of Identity” version. For example, one person stated that they had just seen episode 1 at Visions. This is incorrect as Savages was the only CI reconstruction screened at the con. Obviously, these responses were not included when compiling the above figures.
See the newsletter for further details on the different reconstructions floating around.
QUESTION 6 : HAVE YOU SEEN ANY OF MICHAEL PALMER'S RECONSTRUCTED EPISODES? IF SO, WHICH ONES?
Tenth Planet :4 – 17Overall, a fairly positive response. If you haven’t had the chance, I strongly suggest you view Tenth Planet :4.
Mission to Unknown – 13
QUESTION 7 : HAVE YOU SEEN ANY OF RICHARD DEVELYN’S RECONSTRUCTED EPISODES? IF SO, HOW MANY?
All – 9Basically, the responses were limited to those stories that have actually been released (as a few people commented). For instance, a few stories are near to completion (e.g. The Power of the Daleks), but have yet to be released.
Most – 3
Some – 8
One/Two – 7
None – 17
Not Sure – 1
These results indicate that Richard’s reconstructions are quite well-known. Even a few of the people who hadn’t seen any, commented that they would like to. See the newsletter for further details on obtaining the reconstructions.
QUESTION 8 : WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF INTEGRATING THE SCRIPT AS PART OF THE RECONSTRUCTION?
General positive comment – 18Just as I expected, this question provided the most diverse responses. I’m pleased to say that most people appear to like having the script incorporated in one form or another. For those of you who don’t, I hope I can convince you otherwise! I’m quite firm on the idea, and there is little chance of it being changed.
So-so support – 5
Negative – 2
No comment or n/a – 20
A few people mentioned the idea of producing two versions of the videos, ie the current version, and another with full screen telesnaps and no script. This will never happen because (a) I don’t have the time to do two versions, and (b) in the case of the telesnap episodes, reconstructions without the script already exist courtesy of Messrs Develyn and Franks.
(Mark Corben) The script idea I think has set a new standard in recons, I for one find that it makes the story a lot more easier to follow.
(Andrew Cloninger) An idea might be (if possible) to do two versions – one with the full size telesnaps, and the other with the slightly smaller telesnaps and the script, as in Savages.
(Trevor Gensch) Vital. Sometimes the audio track can be a bit unclear. The Power of the Daleks Part 1 is a prime example of having something to read while there are long stretches of no noise e.g. just after the Doctor regenerated.
(Barry Coker) The stage directions are particularly useful; dialogue is needed to time the stage directions so that the scene makes sense.
(Heath Mackay) The actual script part isn’t as important, but the narrative is. This bit is really invaluable if you actually want to follow the story as you’d be lost without it in some places.
(Anthony Martin) A great idea. I cannot understand why ANYONE thinks it is a bad idea.
(Robert Franks) At first I hated the idea of using the scripts. On further reflection I realised this may help tremendously when doing certain episodes (The Web of Fear :6, Master Plan :12, for instance). I still think the entire script is rather distracting (I would rather have more time to ‘imagine’ the scene in my head than to read all the lines). I do think the stage directions help tremendously.
(Craig Fuqua) From what I’ve seen of Savages, I like the stage directions a lot. I think the dialogue is unnecessary as the audio is very good. Also, it is easier to spot mistakes in the dialogue. Perhaps use dialogue only where it is unclear.
(Chris Moore) I like it. It makes it easier to assign dialogue to the incidental characters in the absence of the cues you get from real time video motion/action. Also some linking narrative passages would be necessary. Anyhow, so text is unavoidable. You’ve managed to make it very clear, so I don’t find it annoying or distracting.
(George Rainey) I don’t like scripts/text written on the screen. The idea of a reconstruction is to make it as though it actually replaces the lost episode itself. This is what made the UK (Ice Warriors) episodes outstanding.
(Gareth Blinkhorn) In moments where the action is visual and the sound is poor I think it is a great idea as with Richard’s some times you were left going "UH?"
(Dominic Jackson) Not too keen on it. You should be able to tell what the dialogue is from the audio track. For those amongst us who only have 14" TV sets it means the telesnaps are too small to really see, and it distracts attention from them. Better to have the telesnaps full screen with perhaps just the odd stage direction.
(Barry Delve) I think that the script should not be on screen, but there should be a text description of the action when there are long silences.
(Jean Curley) I *really* like it. It definitely helps the viewer follow the audio track, especially during periods where there are limited vocals, or where the vocals are partially obscured by the effects. I also like the narrative added in, explaining that they've just moved to another location, etc. It makes the video more accessible to people who are watching it for the first time, or who have limited knowledge of the episode, instead of assuming that everyone knows explicitly what’s going on in every scene, or making the viewer watch the story repeatedly just to figure out what’s going on.
QUESTION 9 : ANY OTHER GENERAL COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER OR RECONSTRUCTIONS?
(Damian Shanahan) I think you’re doing a great job. You obviously take a lot of time and put in a lot of research to your work. This is truly inspirational. Keep up the good work.
(Andrew Cloninger) I don’t know how much of a stickler you are concerning the preciseness of the transcription, but I did notice a few missing "um - uh, well" etc, and considering this is Hartnell, they’re terribly important ... ;)
(Barry Coker) The Gunfighters cliffhanger and opening titles have been copied so many times by the time the tape reaches the fan consumer, the picture looks seriously screwed. [ed : this refers to the Savages introduction] Aside from that, it’s great.
(Nick McCarthy) I think the newsletter is a very good read and I feel that covering missing stories generally would increase the depth and also expand the readership. It is heartening to know that fans are still so devoted to the program (take note Fox!). In regard to the reconstructions, I think they are exceptionally well produced, considering they are put together by a fan for non-profit. (They could teach the BBC a thing or two about care and attention!). I think small things like the subtle fade in/outs and the rolling computer credits are impressive. Also, the incorporation of surviving video footage helps one to get a feel for the story. It certainly sounds like things have been improved further with The Power of The Daleks.
(Heath Mackay) Are you able to colourise the remaining Pertwee episodes on computer???
(Anthony Martin) The covers (even though in colour) are a bit basic (sorry). For such an other wise high quality product, the covers are very un-shelf friendly. They look too grainy and not well laid out. They should have a BIG Change of Identity logo, for instance... I won’t go on, but they do need improvement. [ed : point noted – more effort will be put into the covers for future releases]
(Harry Achatz) The more the better – I for one would like to see The Celestial Toymaker, but there are not too many stills for that one.
(Simon Hunt) Both are going great guns, but I fear that more material will desperately be needed for the forthcoming Marco Polo.
(Chris Moore) Very happy with the scope and quality of both. Thanx for the good work. The latest newsletter is very good (I liked the interview with Ellen Parry, and Michael Palmer’s account of his reconstructions – they sound great). Really looking forward to Marco Polo.
(George Rainey) As for the scripts, a nice idea would be to produce A4 size photocopies (include the price for the photocopying as part of the video tape price), and include a copy with the video.
(Dominic Jackson) Both are good ideas reasonably well executed. I think your work is doing a decent service to Who fandom.
(Paul Johnson) A UK outlet would be good. [ed : see distribution details in the newsletter]
(Mark Logan) I am new to the reconstruction world. I am a little confused regarding your connection to other projects, like the group of which Robert Franks is a part. [ed : see the newsletter for clarification]
(Ben Pascoe) You’re doing fandom a great service ... keep up the good work.
(Trevor Lee) Perhaps a FAQ for newcomers, listing what the process involves, what’s been produced, where to get them, that kind of thing.... [ed : this will be considered for the web page]
(Justin Donaldson) When you write about someone could you put their e-mail address if available. [ed : will do, provided the person doesn’t mind!]
(Barry Delve) I think that The Web of Fear, and The Ice Warriors work very well as reconstructions, because they are presented “without the frills”. I found “Mission to the Unknown” very hard to watch, as it tried to do too much. I also think that at the moment, only those stories with a complete set of telesnaps should be reconstructed. I would like to see The Smugglers (using the cine film?), or The Evil of the Daleks. [ed : apart from the recent Australian discovery, the only footage that exists from The Smugglers is some colour location footage recorded by the owner of the farm being used as the location].
QUESTION 10 : ARE THERE ANY OTHER PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN RECEIVING THIS NEWSLETTER? PLEASE SUPPLY E-MAIL OR POSTAL ADDRESSES.
Thank you to those who supplied addresses. Messages have already been sent to the E-mail people. One of these days, I might get to the snail mail people ...