INSIDE THIS ISSUE
|EVIL, FURY AND THE ICE WARRIORS|
|RECONSTRUCTIONS ... THE BRINK OF DISASTER?|
|MARCUS HEARN’S DISCOVERY OF THE TELESNAPS|
|RECONSTRUCTION UPDATES RETURN!|
|THE MEMORY CHEATS ... FROM SERGEANT ARNOLD’S SON!|
It is with a little relief that we’d like to welcome you to a new issue of the newsletter ... because recently, we were starting to wonder whether there would BE a new issue. By now, many of you have probably heard some details of a copyright case in the UK, and wondered how it would affect the reconstructions. Well, for a few days, we were asking ourselves the same questions. Would the reconstructions be finished for good? And would the newsletter have to change?
Fortunately, the answer to both these questions appears to be “no”. However, the facts of the case (which are discussed in more detail below), did make us rethink our whole strategy. One of the decisions we did reach was that the publicised distribution of the reconstruction videos will have to cease. Of course, this is a major blow to just about everyone. The reconstruction creators won’t be able to promote their products as much. And the average fan may find it more difficult to obtain copies of the tapes. In a strange twist of fate, the only people who will really benefit from this change of circumstances are the pirates themselves. Because we can no longer publicise the “free” nature of the videos as extensively as before, the pirates will be in a better position to dupe the uninitiated into thinking that these videos are only available via the payment of large sums of money.
If you find this whole situation perplexing, then don’t worry. We ourselves are still trying to work out the logic behind it ...
Take care, and enjoy the newsletter,
Bruce and Robert
To start on a lighter note, here’s a couple of small brainteasers. Why is The Crusade the first real Change of Identity reconstruction? And just what are the continuity errors referred to in The Faceless Ones update below?
THE CRUSADE [COI6] (update by Bruce Robinson)
The reconstruction is progressing smoothly, and should be complete shortly after the release of this issue. Similar to other non-telesnap stories with existing episodes, the reconstruction is a mixture of publicity photos, behind-the-scenes photos and screen grabs from the existing episode. Also, for the first time in a COI reconstruction, more creative techniques have been used to obtain greater variety out of the existing photo-visual material. Changes have also been made to the font used for the on-screen captions.THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN VOLUME 1 [COI8] (update by Bruce Robinson)
Yes, you read that correctly! The first six episodes of The Daleks’ Master Plan will constitute the eighth release in the COI series. The story is tentatively scheduled for completion in November later this year (the second volume is expected to be complete early in 1999). As no telesnaps currently exist from Master Plan, the reconstruction will combine existing photographs with screen grabs from the surviving episodes. Arrangements have also been made to “re-master” the David Holman recording of the story, thus allowing the best possible soundtrack to be made available.THE FACELESS ONES [JV3] (update by Michael Palmer)
The JV version of The Faceless Ones is now complete. The release follows the same style as The Evil of the Daleks. Some creative licence had to be used when reprising the video footage for the commencement of Episode 4. This was because the cliff-hanger to Episode 3 was refilmed. As a result, the audio for Episode 4 does not run in “synch” with the existing footage from Episode 3.THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN [COI7] (update by Bruce Robinson)
The telesnaps reveal an unusual “blooper” in the story – a person is still displayed in a room, even after it is indicated that they have actually left the scene! Furthermore, there is another interesting continuity error in the actual story as transmitted. This involves the events of Episode 4, and a subsequent scene in Episode 5. Obviously, no attempt was made to correct this for the reconstruction, as it was considered important to keep as true as possible to the transmitted story.
Most of the preliminary work has been completed on the story, and it is now simply a case of “fine-tuning” the reconstruction elements (for example, inserting the higher-quality telesnaps). The story should be complete in the very near future.THE WHEEL IN SPACE [JV4] (update by Michael Palmer)
Following the recent completion of The Faceless Ones, this will be the next story to be tackled. The Wheel in Space will be a JV-style update of the existing Richard Develyn reconstruction. The release will also feature video clips from Episodes 1 & 4.IN SUMMARY
The Crusade [COI6] — SeptemberIN OTHER NEWS
The Abominable Snowmen [COI7] — September
The Wheel in Space [JV4 enhanced] — October
The Daleks’ Master Plan Volume 1 [COI8] — November
Rick Brindell is pleased to announce that his next two reconstructions, The Myth Makers and The Tenth Planet:4, are near to completion. If you’d like to find out more, please send Rick an E-mail at <BRINDELLR@aol.com>, or visit the following web-page :
The preparations for the BBC release of The Ice Warriors are now close to completion. The package will consist of the existing episodes from the serial (1,4,5,6), as well as a “mini-reconstruction” of the two missing episodes.
The reconstruction will have some similarities to the fan-produced videos, but will also feature a variety of subtle effects. These include flickering monitors, and snow effects for the external shots. The reconstruction will be introduced to the viewer as an announcement from World Computer Control. Due to a communications failure, the computer informs us that the next two episodes can only be displayed via still pictures and audio. The reconstructed section will then utilise suitable material, with accompanying narration, from the second and third episodes (the telesnaps have been scanned from the original albums held by the BBC’s Written Archives Centre). The section runs for approximately twenty minutes (for both of the episodes combined).
The package will also include a CD of the restored soundtracks of episodes 2 and 3, which have been sourced from Graham Strong’s recordings. DreamWatch editor Paul Simpson is also writing a booklet on the history of the Ice Warriors, for inclusion in the package.
The second video to be included in the package has the title The Missing Years. This documentary-style tape will include interviews with researchers and film collectors who have assisted in preserving DOCTOR WHO over the years. The tape will also include clips from many of the missing episodes, as well as a copy of the only surviving episode from The Underwater Menace (Episode 3). The linking material for this tape is presented by Frazer Hines and Debbie Watling. The entire second tape runs for approximately sixty minutes.
Only recently, the BBC’s Restoration Team have announced the acquisition of elusive film footage from the making of The Evil of the Daleks and Fury from the Deep. This footage, although not consisting of actual clips from the series, does show the recording of material in studio. The Evil reel contains footage of the destruction of the Dalek city, and the final battle in the Emperor’s throne room. The Fury material, which is in colour, consists of the weed creature’s attack on the control room. Even though the initial quality of the material was questionable, the Restoration Team have managed to include a couple of sequences in the documentary.
The Ice Warriors package is due for release in
November in the UK and Australia. The United States release will be delayed
until September 1999.
Recently, the people behind the reconstructions were faced with a dilemma. This situation came about as a result of a recent UK court case, where a fan was prosecuted for selling a number of DOCTOR WHO related videos. The man prosecuted, Stephen Bennett, could not really be described as a “big-time” pirate, but his advertisements in a local newspaper did attract the attention of the Federation Against Copyright Theft. FACT is an independent body set up to look into copyright violations, and to initiate follow-up action if necessary. The BBC and several other television corporations employ FACT to guard their intellectual property. Therefore, it should be stressed that the BBC themselves were not directly responsible for bringing the action.
Bennett was found to be selling video tapes for seven pounds each and audio tapes for four pounds each. This included material from UK Gold and BBC Video releases as well as the reconstructions. He was also in the possession of inlay sleeves and materials for packaging the tapes. Bennett appeared in the Crawley Magistrates Court on 6 July 1998 and pleaded guilty to the charges of selling and possessing copyrighted material. Bennett decided to take his chances with a guilty plea, as he had no desire to involve others in a Crown Court hearing. The magistrate gave Bennett a two-year conditional discharge, and ordered payment of £150 costs.
Shortly after the court proceedings, Bennett distributed a statement to the people behind the reconstructions. The facts of the court proceedings were confirmed, and extra details were provided as to the exact nature of the charges. Bennett was summoned to appear before the court to face a total of five charges under the Copyright Designs Patent Act 1988. These charges related to 129 separate infringements. Some press reports even indicated that Bennett was distributing missing episodes – however, this was most likely due to confusion with the reconstructions.
In the days immediately following the court proceedings, many rumours were circulating through fandom. In particular, some people were of the belief that the reconstructions would have to cease. To a certain extent, the distributors also feared increased scrutiny of their actions, so a decision was made to take down all the related web-pages. However, this caused even more confusion, as people were left wondering about the true state of affairs. Although it was later discovered that the distribution was not really in danger, it did cause the creators to re-consider the method by which their work is shared with the fans. To this end, a new web-site service is currently being devised.
Once again, we’d like to warn all readers against purchasing
the reconstructions from dealers who are obviously out to make a profit.
If you aware of the activities of any such person, then please contact
the editors of this newsletter. Your identity, and any information that
you provide, will be treated as confidential.
Marcus Hearn, along with Stephen James Walker, is recognised as one of the discoverers of the John Cura telesnaps. In a future issue, Stephen will provide us with details on his involvement in the discovery. However, in this issue, Marcus now provides us with a closer look at events from his perspective ...
The whole saga commenced in the spring of 1993, when I started working for Marvel Comics. Right from the beginning, I was determined to use the official status of Doctor Who Magazine as a way of furthering research into the programme’s origins. I cannot recall what first led me to the BBC’s Written Archives Centre – I think it may have been a suggestion from the magazine’s archivist, Andrew Pixley. The Written Archives Centre (WAC) resembles a large cottage, and is situated outside Reading (approximately twenty minutes west of London). It forms a satellite establishment to the BBC’s impressive and imposing monitoring service, which is nearby.
The WAC is open only to BBC employees and a select few studying for doctorates and the like. As licensees, we were eventually granted permission to use the facility (for the usual hefty daily charge). As such research was considered to be “my thing”, DWM editor Gary Russell allowed me to visit the WAC. What I found was one of the most exciting, yet sedate, places that I’d ever been to. I remember being immediately impressed upon scanning the names in the visitors’ book inside the front door. The list included former OUT OF THE UNKNOWN producer/story editor Irene Shubik, who had visited the WAC just days before me, presumably to research one of her previous productions.
I first visited the WAC in the late summer of 1993. Armed with a notepad and a pencil (all that one is actually allowed to take into the reading rooms), I compiled notes on DOCTOR WHO’s creation that superceded or corrected nearly everything I had previously read about the programme’s inception (these findings were published in DWM Issues 207, 208 and 209, so I won’t go into details here). The way things work at the WAC is that production files and other associated documentation are requested in advance from the “librarians”, either prior to your visit, or as soon as you arrive. It saves time (and therefore money) if you have the material waiting for you in advance.
It was during either my second or third visit (in late August or September 1993), that I said to my librarian something like, “Look, every time I come here, I request files for stories and episodes that you have no records on. This wastes time for you, and means that I have to hang around while you come up with an alternative for me. Could you not just show me the records of files you have on DOCTOR WHO?” He agreed and, eventually, showed me an alphabetical computer printout of the files held. I flicked to DOCTOR WHO – there was a lengthy list of episode files and, right at the foot of the page in tiny type, a listing that began “Finance ... General ... General B”. The very last listing on the page indicated that there were two files of “Telesnaps: Series Z-UU”. I was astonished.
Trying to stay calm, I asked the assistant if these files actually existed – the assistant said he would check. The assistant emerged a few minutes later with what looked like a children’s scrapbooks, bound together with brown tape. “What are these?” he asked me, regarding the heavy books with some curiosity. I carefully opened the pages and gazed upon images no-one had seen for nearly thirty years – and images that weren’t even supposed to exist. “These are possibly the only existing visual record of wiped episodes of DOCTOR WHO,” I told him. He left me alone, and I continued to turn each page, savouring the tiny pasted down images from The Smugglers, The Tenth Planet, The Underwater Menace, The Faceless Ones, The Evil of the Daleks, Fury From the Deep ...
At lunch-time, I was evicted from the WAC. I walked back to the monitoring service building, found a pay-phone and excitedly called Gary Russell at the office in London. I told him about the images from The Tenth Planet:4, told him what the Chameleons looked like, and described the final episode of The Evil of the Daleks. We both agreed that we had to do everything possible to obtain the images – the magazine was by far the best way of ensuring that as many people as possible were able to see the images.
That afternoon, I immediately entered into negotiations with the lady that runs the WAC. One of the elderly assistants had charmingly suggested that the chemist’s at the end of the road may be able to copy the pictures for us. This of course, wasn’t really practical, but it was nevertheless impressed on me that no materials from the Centre would ever stray far from BBC hands. Over the following week, we came to an arrangement whereby the pages of the scrapbooks were photographed, and the negatives and stills were delivered to Marvel Comics, at Marvel’s expense. It was money well spent. Of course, we did not require every page that was photographed, as some contained images from DOCTOR WHO episodes that already existed. Unfortunately, because we had no direct influence on the way the pictures were taken, we were unable to undertake any basic restoration on the stills (ugly glue smears sadly obscure some of the pictures). However, the chance to share the material was exciting enough.
The publication of the telesnaps in DWM commenced with The Tenth Planet:4, and continued on with Fury From the Deep. Before too long, we found a presentation format that worked. I wrote the accompanying “narration” working from the audio recordings (and occasionally the camera scripts, when the sound quality was too poor). This work was completed as a labour of love, and was usually written in my spare time, at home, at no charge to Marvel. As regular readers of DWM will be aware, the telesnaps still appear in the magazine, although my regular association with the title, and its current publisher Panini, has long since ceased.
As for the telesnaps themselves, they were taken by a freelance photographer called John Cura, who worked from his home in Battersea (south west London). The director Morris Barry once told me that he remembered visiting Cura at home, and watched him take pictures at regular intervals using a camera on a tripod in front of his television screen. Where there are pictures missing from the WAC collection (for instance, for The Enemy of the World:4, the scrapbook page is blank), it can only be assumed that Cura was ill or away from home. I have heard stories that Cura actually worked from monitors at the BBC (probably Television Centre), but this would contradict Morris Barry’s story and the fact that Cura didn’t seem to be on staff.
I am fortunate enough to own an original set of telesnaps, from the The Moonbase:4. The pictures were delivered in small manilla envelopes that bore an advertisement for Cura’s services on the front. The advert read “Tele-snaps are reproduced in the leading national newspapers, magazines, periodicals and technical publications of every description.” This was followed by Cura’s address and telephone numbers. The advert concluded with the following proud statement – “Over 250,000 tele-snaps have been photographed.” (This would have been the situation in 1966).
In regards to the actual format of the telesnaps, I believe it is a bit misleading to refer to Cura’s pictures as “contact sheets”. While they resemble contact sheets due to their thumbnail size, the tiny photos he issued are actually the “finished product”. Although the telesnaps are very small at 24mm by 18mm each, the quality of my Moonbase photos is actually high as the images appear extremely sharp at the reduced size. Enlargements could be specially ordered (DWB printed some from The Macra Terror once). However, these really did illustrate the technical limitations of taking off-screen stills from 405-line black and white broadcasts.
I am uncertain when Cura stopped taking the telesnaps, and more specifically, when he stopped working on DOCTOR WHO (I believe it to be the early seventies). I discovered no telesnaps prior to The Gunfighters or post The Mind Robber. I certainly find it hard to believe that Cura stopped at The Mind Robber, as there was no logical reason why he should have stopped. There was still a demand from the cast and crew who had yet to experience the benefit of home video replay systems. I know for a fact that Cura was taking DOCTOR WHO telesnaps as early as 1964. During later research, I discovered the BBC’s receipts for their purchase of telesnaps from Marco Polo. Unfortunately, I only ever found two scrapbooks, and these were the ones that covered the serials from The Gunfighters to The Mind Robber. I would have dearly loved to have found “Scrapbook Number 1”, if only for the chance to look at Marco Polo. This is not to say that the scrapbook doesn’t exist at all, except that it doesn’t appear to be in the BBC’s hands.
The telesnap discovery is perhaps my fondest memory of my time at Marvel, and I remain grateful to Gary Russell for sharing my enthusiasm.
The Space Museum – The Final Phase
Scene — As the travellers leave Xeros, they are unaware that an old enemy is monitoring them. The Daleks are planning to follow them ...The Chase – The Planet of Decision
Caption — ‘Next Episode THE EXECUTIONERS’ appears over the Dalek communications panel. The picture fades to black and the end credits commence scrolling.
Notes — There is a 35mm reprise of this scene in The Executioners.
Scene — After saying good-bye to Ian and Barbara, the Doctor and Vicki sadly return to the TARDIS. After the TARDIS dematerialises from Mechanus, a space background is displayed. The TARDIS is seen winding back and forward into the distance ...The Time Meddler – Checkmate
Caption — ‘Next Episode THE WATCHER’ appears over the star-scape. The caption fades into the credit scroll, followed shortly by the star-scape fading to black.
Notes — There is no reprise of this scene in The Watcher. The video release is one of the rare cases where BBC Video have kept the “Next Episode” caption intact.
Scene — After the TARDIS has faded from the beach, the closing title music commences, and a star-scape is displayed. Over this star-scape, the faces of Steven, Vicki and the Doctor individually appear.
Caption — This is the first episode to feature no “Next Episode” caption. The credits commence scrolling over the shot of the Doctor’s face.
Notes — There is no reprise of this scene in Four Hundred Dawns.
Episode TX TI DU VA CP AA A Land of Fear 08 Aug 64 17.15 24’24” 6.9 37 58 Guests of Madame Guillotine 15 Aug 64 17.15 24’04” 6.9 35 54 A Change of Identity 22 Aug 64 17.30 25’23” 6.9 34 55 The Tyrant of France 29 Aug 64 17.15 24’46” 6.4 36 53 A Bargain of Necessity 05 Sep 64 17.31 23’51” 6.9 39 53 Prisoners of Conciergerie 12 Sept 64 17.30 25’04” 6.4 38 55
(Note — duration for A Change of Identity was calculated from the Start and Finish times on the Programme-as-Broadcast documentation. No “official” duration exists for this episode.)(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
Total Duration = 147’32” (approx)
Average Viewing Audience = 6.7 million
Average Chart Position = 36.5
Repeat Screenings — nil
Countries Sold To — Australia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Rhodesia, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad, Uganda, Zambia
Status — All six episodes were originally destroyed at an unknown time between 1972 and 1977. Episodes 1,2,3 and 6 currently exist on 16mm monochrome film. Episodes 4 & 5 are currently missing.
Clips — silent 8mm home-recorded footage exists for the following scenes :
The Tyrant of Francei) The Doctor in Robespierre’s office (0:02)A Bargain of Necessity
ii) Ian in Jules’ house (0:03)
iii) Ian in Jules’ house, the following morning (0:01)
iv) Susan in the physician’s surgery (0:01)
v) another shot of Susan in the physician’s surgery (0:02)
vi) Barbara trying to open the surgery door (0:01)i) The Doctor talking to Barbara in her cell (0:04)[due to the variable nature of the material, all durations are approximate]
ii) Barbara commenting on the Doctor’s disguise (0:03)
iii) Ian talking in the surgery (0:01)
iv) The Doctor talking (0:01)
v) The Doctor talking again (0:01)
vi) Ian and Barbara in Jules’ house (0:01)
Notes —(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
- Prisoners of Conciergerie (episode 6) was returned by a private collector in May 1982. Episodes 1,2,3 and 6 were recovered from a TV station in Cyprus in Oct 1984. In the case of episode 6, the copy already held by the BBC was superior to the Cyprus print.
- The Archives also retain copies of episodes 3 & 6 as PAL D3 prints remastered from the original film prints.
- The existing episodes have never been released on BBC Video. However, at one stage, the BBC were planning a release of The Reign of Terror, with the linking segments provided by Carole Ann Ford. These segments were recorded and are held by BBC Worldwide.
The most commonly known recordings of episodes 4 & 5 are those made by David Holman and James Russell.(d) RECONSTRUCTIONS
Michael Palmer has completed a video reconstruction of episodes 4 & 5, primarily using screen grabs from the existing episodes. The original reconstruction was completed in February 1997, with an enhanced version produced in August 1997.(e) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps — currently missing. PasB (Programme-as-Broadcast) documentation does not provide any mention of John Cura’s services for the serial, but it is probable that telesnaps were taken for all six episodes.(f) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
Behind-the-Scenes Shots — unknown
Publicity Shots —
- 10 Jul 64 – photocall at Studio G, Lime Grove (regulars in the courtyard)
- 24 Jul 64 – photocall at Studio G, Lime Grove (road to guillotine, tailor’s shop, prison, Renan’s house)
Episode DR FT RA CUTS A Land of Fear 27 Apr 65 914 G none Guests of Madame Guillotine 27 Apr 65 911 G none A Change of Identity 27 Apr 65 960 G none The Tyrant of France 27 Apr 65 936 G none A Bargain of Necessity 27 Apr 65 905 G cut A Prisoners of Conciergerie 27 Apr 65 950 G none
Cut A : “cuts 3ft. At 19 mins, delete shots of Dr Who picking up a bottle and following Gaoler to cell whilst bottle is visible as weapon-threat” [verbatim description of the cut as recorded by the Censorship Board].(g) OTHER NOTES
I have always felt rather “anti” the telesnap reconstructions, as in principal, they seemed a little pointless. Once, many years ago, I had the opportunity to witness The Power of the Daleks Episode One completed in this format (and God, was it hell to watch). So until I actually sat down to watch one (Marco Polo), I hadn’t given the hard work completed by the reconstruction creators much thought. But then I watched Polo. And asked for more.
So, I ended up with Evil. Frankly, it was like watching a brand new DOCTOR WHO story (or at least, a recovered one, a la Tomb). Oh yes, I knew the story to some extent, but on seeing this version, it succeeded in adding subtle nuances to the story – characters were brought back to life, and it reinforced my view that David Whitaker did write terribly good Dalek dialogue.
On the actual reconstruction side, the sheer intelligence that has gone into selecting particular images for particular scenes is amazing. The patience and understanding that the team must have when one considers the limited quantity of material, is awe-inspiring. Never did I become bored with specific images – in fact, there were lots of little things I liked. This included the recap from Episode 1 being given a telesnap “edge” at the start of Episode 2, the tiny clip of the Dalek city in Episode 7, etc. Of course, the reconstruction does show up some of the flaws with the original material as well. It is overlong. It is unsatisfying at the end – what does happen to Theodore Maxtible exactly? And what is the point of Arthur Terrall?
But overall, seeing Evil in this form has achieved something I would never have imagined possible. For years, next to the original transmitted stories, I have always maintained that the Target novelisations are the most important aspect of Who. The Evil of the Daleks being available in this format, with clarity of image and sound, and inventiveness borne out of a fandom who should, by rights, be bored, cynical and exhausted by now, has altered that opinion. This series of reconstructions IS the new Number Two. Thanks Guys.
After the stunning success that was the JV version of The Web of Fear, there was probably little doubt in anyone’s mind, certainly not in my own, that we could expect something special this time. After almost three hours of jaw-dropping quality, my best hopes were realised. My unabashed fandom of the JVs was not unfounded.
For those of you who have yet to see Evil, the reconstruction has the same scanning quality as the first JV reconstruction (“Scanning? Those pics were scanned? My God!”). Furthermore, Evil also has a few improvements to the subtitles. In Web, the captions were on the edge of the screen and quite a dark blue colour (and as some people may have noticed, dark blue and orange tend to get confused with each other – I know my copy of Web can’t make its mind up which one it is). In Evil though, the captions have been moved in from the edge of the screen, and the background colour is now a slightly brighter shade of blue.
Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, despite a few little faults (such as a noticeable jump during the recon end credits!), I’m a big fan of the Evil reconstruction. I wish the JV team the best of luck for their later releases. I await these with the usual over-anticipation.
I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to all involved in the superb missing episode reconstructions. The stories, like in any other show, have their ups and downs, but the enthusiasm of the teams making these stories available again, to enjoy and discuss, knows no bounds. I look forward to a continuing and fruitful future for the DOCTOR WHO reconstructions.
I’d been thinking recently how this avenue of fandom has been so simple and enjoyable, like when I first started watching DOCTOR WHO fifteen years ago. This was a time when fans could enjoy the new episodes without any talk about series cancellations, pro/anti-production team politics, TV ratings, film negotiations – basically, without having to nervously wait for news of DOCTOR WHO’s future. Is the current situation too good to be true? I hope not.
Thanks for the latest issue. The info on the Chronicles was very useful – I’ve been out of the DWAS for years, so it’s nice to hear of such publications.
I would just like to make a small amendment to the cliff-hanger information presented for Invasion (The Web Planet:6). The correct ending for the original version is –
“Vrestin steps back from the communicator and looks up. The camera then pans up and zooms on to the large moon in the sky. The “Next Episode” caption is then superimposed over the moon and the credits roll as the picture fades to black.”
The version for The Space Museum fades to black as the camera begins to pan to the moon. This version was the original held by the BBC before a better and complete print of the final episode was returned.
This issue features a rather unusual column. The contributor is Tim Woolgar, son of the late Jack Woolgar, who played Sergeant Arnold in The Web of Fear. Tim recalls some of the interesting memories he has of his father’s involvement in DOCTOR WHO ...
At the time, it was great to obtain an acting role in DOCTOR WHO ... because that was what my father did. He was an actor, and work was work. My elder brothers and I thought it was “groovy” to be in the best Saturday programme there was. However, we were not too excited.
As a character actor, Dad was in many of the great series of the sixties and seventies (THE SWEENEY, THE SAINT, THE AVENGERS, RANDALL & HOPKIRK DECEASED, THE LIKELY LADS, etc). Dad was always telling stories about his appearances in these shows. However, I can recall Dad’s tales from DOCTOR WHO more than any of those from the other shows. This might have been because he was in the whole serial, and wasn’t “bumped off” in a single episode. Or perhaps it was due to the fact that some of the props arrived home for us to play with. I’m not too certain as I was only seven years old at the time.
The two things that I most remember from The Web of Fear are the death mask and the Yeti homing device.
The mask has sadly been lost due to several house-moves, and in any case, would have probably perished by now. This was a rubber mask taken from a plaster cast of Dad’s face. The mask was created by Dad (a) having a straw inserted up each nostril; (b) closing his eyes; and (c) being immersed in Plaster of Paris. Several of these masks were made, and test scenes were shot for the final episode where Sergeant Arnold is “graunched”. I never did find out whether the word “graunched” was a Dad-ism, whether it was part of the script, or whether it was just a 1967 “thing”. However, it was always referred to as graunching.
One of the masks was stretched over a human skull, placed on a body and generally made to look like Sergeant Arnold. At the graunching moment, the dummy was placed in the chair. Acid was then poured over the rubber mask, which caused it melt away, revealing the bone beneath. The special effect was shot and viewed, but the powers-that-be deemed that the effect was too frightening for children, and ordered another visual effect be prepared. I seem to remember that the toned-down effect was broadcast with a lot of flashing lights, and many negative rapid cuts. It was a shame that the original was never used – I could have coped with dissolving skin. On the plus side, it did mean one of the masks found their way home. The mask was a bit creepy as it had hair stuck to it, as well as a moustache. However, we were delighted to put on Dad’s face (Hannibal Lector who?) and scare most people witless.
The second item I still have and cherish. In The Web of Fear, when a Yeti was sent to obtain someone, the Yeti would home in on a bleeping four-inch high figurine. Dad actually brought home one of the dummy homing devices (ie without the electronic gadgetry). It has sat in all my bedrooms ever since. Unfortunately, it has now begun to perish slightly from being in the sun during in its early days (I only hope it doesn’t become too graunched!). It will always serve as a reminder of the time my father played the leader of the Yetis.
[Shortly after this article has written, Tim was able
to relive his memories of The Web of Fear by watching the JV reconstruction.
Tim recalls “it’s funny how familiar the story was, even though I saw the
original when I was only seven years old. The mystery of “graunching” has
finally been solved – the Doctor refers to it in Episode 1.”]
– the following request is from David Herrick, maintainer of the “Behind-the-Sofa” script page :
As many of you are aware, the BTS page contains transcripts of the missing episodes. These transcripts are based on the existing audio material, with assistance from Target novelisations, telesnaps and, increasingly, camera scripts. Most of the missing episodes have now been transcribed, with the remainder currently being worked upon. Once the missing episodes have been completed, we intend to re-edit all the transcripts, as they do contain some inaccuracies. We now feel able to correct most of these mistakes as better source material is now available (eg better quality audios). At the same time, it is our intention to standardise the format of the scripts. To this end, we would be interested to hear your thoughts on the most suitable format. Those of you who regularly visit the page will probably have noticed the proposed new style, but if you haven't, then please visit the page and let us know what you think. I am also considering setting up a mailing list so that I can let people know when a new script is posted. If you would be interested in this service, further details are available on the web page. The URL for the page is :
Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Matt
Dale, Marcus Hearn, Dominic Jackson, Francis Moloney, Michael Palmer, Steve
Phillips, Steve Roberts, Gary Russell and Tim Woolgar.
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
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