29 November 1998

Edited by Bruce Robinson ( &
Robert Franks (





We could start off with some further indulgence about the 35th anniversary ... but instead, let’s talk about The Ice Warriors!

As many people are aware, the BBC Video of The Ice Warriors has just been released in the UK. It is evident that the “Doctor Who Restoration Team” have decided to pull out all stops in an attempt to present the most wide-ranging DOCTOR WHO video yet. In fact, we take a closer look at the release in a preview article below.

Of course, of particular interest to many people, is the format adopted for the reconstruction of the two missing episodes. It is obvious that the quality of the materials used for the reconstruction will be first-class. And perhaps more importantly, all fans will be able to experience the reconstruction at the same level of quality (something, alas, that is impossible to achieve with the fan-produced recons).

So our advice – purchase a copy of the video, and let us know what you think! We hope to publish a sample of the comments in the next issue.

Bruce and Robert


MARCO POLO [COI3 enhanced] (update by Bruce Robinson)

Recently, most of the work performed for Marco Polo has revolved around the “cataloguing” of the existing photographic material. As mentioned in the previous issue, a significant amount of new material is now available for the story. However, this also results in the time-consuming task of studying each photo individually, and determining the exact location in the story from which the photo derives.
THE CRUSADE [COI6] (update by Bruce Robinson)
Apart from securing an improved copy of the David Holman soundtrack, this release will also be delayed to allow for the possibility of other new material to be obtained. Once again, it is difficult to estimate a possible completion date for the reconstruction – however, further details will hopefully be available in the next issue!
THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN VOLUME 1 [COI8] (update by Bruce Robinson)
As most of the text captions have now been prepared for this story, I have started the process of collating the available photo-visual material. An exact completion date is still difficult to say, although I’d like to think that early 1999 is still achievable.
THE CELESTIAL TOYMAKER [JV7] (update by Michael Palmer)
This will be the first JV reconstruction of a story for which no telesnaps currently exist. However, we have still managed to accumulate approximately ninety rehearsal photos, many of which have never been published. Several of the photos depict actual scenes from the story, and thus have a similar feel to telesnaps. Of course, it will also be possible to obtain stills from the existing final episode.
Toymaker will be the first JV reconstruction to feature an audio not recorded by Graham Strong. Instead, the release will feature a good quality audio from a combination of the David Holman and Richard Landen recordings.
THE UNDERWATER MENACE [JV5] (update by Michael Palmer)
This release will be similar to other JV reconstructions, and in particular, close to the style used for The Wheel in Space (ie, with additional images and more picture changes per episode).
THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN [COI7] (update by Bruce Robinson)
By the time this issue is released, the Snowmen reconstruction should be close to completion. Although I was hoping to release the recon some time ago, the delay in obtaining a better quality soundtrack has enabled me to fine-tune a number of other elements (eg the font used for the text captions and closing credits).
THE ICE WARRIORS [JV6] (update by Michael Palmer)
This will possess the same style as the other JV releases, and should be seen as complementing the now available BBC release. As the latter only features an edited reconstruction, the JV release is for people who would rather see a complete reconstruction of the missing episodes. Similar to The Invasion, only the reconstructed episodes will be available – please obtain the BBC release for the existing episodes!
FURY FROM THE DEEP [JV8] (update by Michael Palmer)
This will be updated to include clearer telesnaps and the occasional publicity photo. Unfortunately with no existing episodes, we will be unable to include many extra photos, as was possible with The Wheel in Space. However, several photos are available to enhance the opening beach scenes.

Rick Brindell has recently completed another reconstruction in his Loose Cannon series – The Space Pirates. Further details on Rick’s reconstructions can be located on the following web-page :


Co-editor Robert provides us with his thoughts on the latest offering from BBC Video ...


It seems that November 1998 is a great time to be a DOCTOR WHO fan. On offer from the BBC are a variety of special releases – amongst them, The Ice Warriors Boxed Set is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated DOCTOR WHO releases ever. Apart from releasing a partially-complete Troughton serial, the boxed set features almost every clip from a missing episode that exists in the archives. Of course, the other major aspect of the release is that it represents the BBC’s first attempt to emulate the fan-produced reconstructions. Whilst the fan-produced reconstructions all possess their unique styles, the BBC version of The Ice Warriors Two and Three comes across as an approach which is both striking and bold.

Before we take a closer look at the boxed set, let’s first consider how the project evolved. The initial proposal put forward was to produce a special release featuring the 1977 documentary, Whose Doctor Who (this would also incorporate many of the clips held by the archive). On 29 May 1997, the project was approved, but as a 150-minute release featuring the four existing episodes of The Ice Warriors, in addition to a linking segment for the missing episodes. The clips compilation was still planned for the release, but the exact format had yet to be determined.

The basic idea for the clips special was to include as many clips as possible that were held by the archives. With the recent return of the Australian censors clips, there was certainly an ample amount of material that could be included. However, there were also several other famous (or infamous) clips not officially held by the BBC. The most prominent of these was the six minute extract from Galaxy 4. Fans Jan Vincent-Rudzki and Stephen Payne had been given these two 16mm extracts after helping with the preparation of Whose Doctor Who. Shortly after, the story was one of the last to be junked by Enterprises – therefore these pieces of film are all that currently survive from the story. Jan and Stephen were only too happy to allow nearly a quarter of an episode to be returned to the BBC.

Jan was also in the possession of a short reel of film that had been shot off a television set during the original broadcasts of the episodes (most likely in Australia). Although video copies of this material had been floating around fandom, the Restoration Team were able to arrange with Jan to borrow the film. Along with a new transfer, speed correction and sound restoration (the original film was silent), the quality was considered good enough for a few sequences to be included in the special.

Another late addition has been the subject of much fan speculation in the past. It had long been known that behind-the-scenes footage existed from The Evil of the Daleks and Fury from the Deep. In mid-1998, while production on the special was progressing, this footage was the subject of a heated debate on the Internet discussion group “rec.arts.drwho”. During the height of the arguments, an anonymous package, which contained a video copy of the footage, arrived at the BBC addressed to Steve Roberts. Again, the quality was poor, but the team was determined to use portions of the footage in the special.

As mentioned above, almost all of the clips held by the archives have been included. These hit the viewer at a fast and furious pace, with linking segments provided by Debbie Watling and Frazer Hines. Due to Debbie’s tendency to overact at times, her presentation sometimes comes across with an almost “William Shatner-like” performance. At best, this is humorous, but at other times, it fails completely.

A more impressive feature of the tape are the interviews with film collectors and fans. Many of these people have been instrumental in returning some of the episodes which exist today, therefore, it is only fair that they be awarded a share of the limelight. Sue Malden provides a very brief, but apt, description of the episode junkings, and how many of the episodes have been returned. In particular, keep an eye out for a crafty cut when Sue is describing the destruction of episodes – this leads neatly to a clip from The Highlanders depicting the rebels about to be hanged! And watch out for the man behind Number One With a Bullet.

The whole production is very clever and up-beat. The use of different colours to light the background is, in itself, interesting. If anything, the special is too short – it only seems to be running a few minutes before Frazer is introducing the bonus episode, The Underwater Menace:3. Overall though, I’d have to say that this special is the best offering from BBC Video since The Tomb of the Cybermen.

While Steve Roberts and Paul Vanezis had been busy preparing the clips presentation, Ralph Montagu, another member of the Restoration Team, worked on the reconstruction of Ice Warriors Two and Three. While there are similarities to the fan-produced reconstructions, such as the accurate reconstruction of the title sequences, there are many new and interesting touches. Most of these keep in mind the fact that the viewer is watching a static picture only. Hence, assistance is provided in the form of subliminal picture movements, the purpose of which is to keep the viewer’s eyes interested. Outside scenes have snow blurring across the picture, and the photos are set against slowly moving background images that change subtly by scene. This is another method used to convey a shift in action.

A small wrist communicator recreated from the original story brilliantly links the whole reconstruction. In story terms, this has seemingly been lost in a terrain strewn with snow. The communicator explains that for the next fifteen minutes, only still pictures and audio are available.

The four remaining episodes of the story have been cleaned and remastered – in fact, the whole tape represents an honour to the story it presents. The release may also prove that the BBC are able to market a product that will appeal to both the fans and the general public alike.

Rounding off the package is a CD containing the complete audios for the two missing episodes. Also included is a brief booklet on the history of the Ice Warriors. Although these two additions may only interest the fans, they are presented in such an attractive and unified package that it may appeal to general viewers as well.

The Restoration Team will have a struggle on their hands to top this release. However, I for one, am looking forward to seeing them try.


It is not uncommon for DOCTOR WHO fans to bemoan the fact that 110 episodes of the programme’s black and white era are currently missing. But when DOCTOR WHO is compared to other contemporary programmes, do we really have cause for complaint? Dominic Jackson examines this question in further detail ...


Many people are aware that the BBC Film and Videotape library does not hold copies of every episode of DOCTOR WHO transmitted. The reasons behind this have already been discussed in previous issues of the newsletter and in several articles both in print and on the Internet. Those not familiar with the reasons are directed to Richard Molesworth’s articles on DOCTOR WHO archive holdings. Originally printed in Doctor Who Magazine, they are reproduced on the following web site:

Unfortunately the various processes that resulted in the loss of broadcast DOCTOR WHO material also lead to the destruction of many other contemporary BBC programmes. For instance, out of the thirteen episodes that made up the second season of ADAM ADAMANT LIVES! (a notional BBC answer to the huge success of ITV’s THE AVENGERS), only two survive to this day. One of these (A Sinister Sort of Service) was found in the same BBC Enterprises cupboard that yielded the four surviving episodes of The Ice Warriors.

Other contemporary BBC programmes suffer even worse. UNITED was a popular 1965-67 soap opera about a football team, script edited for a period by Cybermen co-creator Gerry Davis. A total of 147 episodes were made – nothing at all survives today. THE NEWCOMERS and COMPACT were other popular sixties soaps running from 1962-65 and 1965-69 respectively. Again, very little survives – two episodes of the former (out of 375) and seven of the latter (from a total of 430).

The Pertwee era of DOCTOR WHO was for a long time almost unique in the role of honour of BBC programmes – every episode made since 1970 existed (albeit in a variety of strange formats). Not so lucky is the final season of DOOMWATCH (a BBC drama with distinct SF overtones that ran for three seasons between 1970 and 1972). The third season is roughly contemporary with season nine of DOCTOR WHO, but out of eleven episodes (plus one untransmitted) only three survive. Strangely, one of these is the controversial episode Sex and Violence which was completed but removed from the schedules prior to being broadcast. It is possible that the tape was the subject of a preservation order if the production team felt it could be broadcast at a later date. However, the episode is still to be transmitted in the UK (it was not shown during UK Gold reruns of the series in 1995, although it has been screened in other countries such as Australia).

It would be unfair to say that the BBC was the only British television company to show scant regard for its archive of past programmes. Many ITV companies, even those that only broadcast for a comparatively short space of time, had purging phases. Companies such as Thames and Yorkshire Television, who both began broadcasting in July 1968, no longer hold copies of many of their early programmes. A bad sign for an ITV company’s archive is loss of franchise – Thames was formed from the enforced merger of two predecessor companies, ABC television and Associated Rediffusion (though AR dropped the “Associated” tag in the mid sixties). Stories have been told of how, on the day of the merger, the ABC archives were placed in rubbish bags outside their headquarters in London. Material not collected by passers-by was subsequently taken to a landfill site. In comparison to such wanton destruction, the activities of the BBC seem somehow insignificant! Fortunately, some of the ABC archive was saved (every Honor Blackman episode of THE AVENGERS exists, for instance) and passed into the hands of a French company, Canal Plus. The Rediffusion archive became the property of Palan Entertainment.

The BBC must also be credited with the most active stance towards rediscovering lost material. About the worst offender in ITV circles for archive purges is the now-defunct giant ATV (Associated TeleVision) – they were required to reinvent themselves as Central Independent Television in 1981 at the behest of the UK regulating body for commercial television. The remains of the ATV archive remained with the original parent company of ATV – after a series of take-overs this became the property of Polygram Television. However, Polygram do not appear to overly interested in the contents of this archive. ATV programmes perceived as “popular” occasionally find their way onto sell-through video in the UK, but otherwise, Polygram seem content to ignore the many treasures that they still hold copies of. Only recently have they begun the task of remastering the many 2” quad tapes that they do hold onto a more modern format. However, it seems unlikely that any significant missing material will eventuate.

The best British television company (out of the “big five” ITV companies that make the vast majority of ITV networked programmes) in terms of preservation is Granada. Almost every CORONATION STREET made since this hugely popular soap started in late 1960 still exists (it seems there are at most twenty episodes from 1961 missing). Almost all of Granada’s post-1972 output exists as well.

Therefore, next time you watch a reconstruction video and lament the loss of DOCTOR WHO episodes, just pause for thought. There is much of DOCTOR WHO that is lost for good, but much still survives (indeed, from the period it represents, the number of surviving episodes is remarkably good). Be thankful for this, and for the fact that small groups of people do still make inquiries to try to locate further missing material. Yes, the loss of 110 episodes is sad, but it could easily be so much worse.



In the previous issue, a mention was made of a DOCTOR WHO-related CD prepared by UK fan Julian Knott. Since the content of the CD is very much within the realm of this newsletter, Julian has provided us with further details on how the CD was prepared ...


In 1987, while I was running the DWAS Reference Department, I produced a cassette called Space Adventures. This consisted of music that had been used in the Hartnell and Troughton eras of DOCTOR WHO. The original release included twenty-one tracks in all, including material used in 100,000BC, The Moonbase and The Web of Fear. During the sixties, it was very common for the show to use music that had not been specially composed, and this would be sourced from various “stock music” libraries. More often than not, this was probably seen as an easy way of saving money, but some directors, notably Morris Barry and Douglas Camfield, seemed to prefer working in this manner.

To assemble the tracks for the cassette, we first consulted the BBC’s in-house paperwork. This provided details of each music cue that had ever been used on the show. Following this, we then contacted the libraries concerned to ascertain whether they could provide a copy of the material. Most of the tracks we were after had not been in regular usage since the sixties – therefore, our requests were often met with disappointing answers. Some tracks had been lost, while others were simply deemed to be obsolete.

Thankfully, a lot of material was available, although, upon investigation, it was often found to be in appalling condition. Some tapes had become so fragile that they were continually snapping during transfer. With a looming deadline, we had copies of about thirty tracks to choose from. This number was trimmed down by discarding (a) a couple of tracks that weren’t very interesting, (b) a couple of others whose use in the show could not be verified (this was 1987 remember – we didn’t have crystal-clear audio copies of the missing episodes, or the video reconstructions!), and (c) a couple of tracks which didn’t really fit in with the tone of the other material (namely, Youngbeat and Spotlight Sequins No.1).

A couple of years after the release of the cassette, I was approached by Silva Screen records, who were interested in releasing Space Adventures on CD. They already had several licensed DOCTOR WHO titles in their catalogue. I had no inclination to produce a CD version, and it was obvious that Silva had the resources to do a good job, so I agreed to lend them the master tapes. The market for DOCTOR WHO merchandise soon evaporated as the series ended its run. Silva Screen moved on to more lucrative projects, leaving the Space Adventures CD, and several other DOCTOR WHO-related releases, in limbo.

Several years later, I retrieved the master tapes from Silva Screen. Interest in the show’s black and white years had been rekindled by the reconstruction tapes. Certainly my own enthusiasm for the show had been boosted, and this provided me with more determination to release Space Adventures on CD.

When we compiled the original cassette, the technology available to us was extremely limited. Compiling the master tape for the cassette meant literally splicing together all the various tapes from the different libraries, and hoping that we could minimise any jarring discrepancies in volume and tone by careful sequencing! Eleven years later, the advances in digital technology have made the equipment and techniques required to create a CD version more accessible, and certainly more affordable.

For the CD version of Space Adventures, we have been able to dramatically enhance the sound quality. All the tracks have been digitally remastered, reducing tape hiss where possible, and fully exploiting the wide dynamic range of the original recordings. Several tracks have been sourced from better-quality tapes, which we weren’t able to use when the cassette was originally compiled.

We’ve also added six DOCTOR WHO tracks to the original lineup, including new material from The Space Museum, Terror of the Autons, and The Tenth Planet. As a special bonus, we’ve also added the title theme for the 1958 BBC serial, Quatermass and the Pit.

The CD is now complete, and contains almost an hour of music, including all the tracks on the original cassette. The CD is available by mail order, and from a couple of selected dealers (convention dealer Bruce Campbell and London’s The Cinema Store). For ordering details, and full track list, visit the Space Adventures web pages at :

Alternatively, E-mail me at <JulianK@Dial.Pipex.Com>.

Please support the CD. If it’s a success, then I hope to release Space Adventures II early next year.


Postscript — It’s been a few weeks since the CD was released. I’ve now heard from lots of people who have heard the CD and are very pleased with the end result. More importantly, there’s been plenty of encouragement to release further material. On the negative side, I discovered that one of the tracks, Youngbeat, wasn’t the one used in the show. Instead, it appeared on the CD through a combination of inaccurate BBC documentation and an assumption that I’d checked its authenticity when I considered it for the cassette version (sorry folks!). I’ve started work on a second release, but things have changed a lot since 1987. The libraries seem more motivated by money now, and are generally less co-operative. With a bit of luck though, we’ll have enough material for a second release in a few months’ time.


This column originally started with the idea of covering the Hartnell serials with individual episode titles only. With this issue taking us up to The Gunfighters, this goal has now been achieved. Therefore, this will be the final appearance of the column ... unless, of course, we receive enough mail from people wanting it to continue!

The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s EveBell of Doom

Scene — Dodo introduces herself to the Doctor and Steven, causing the latter to believe that she may be descended from Anne Chaplet. The Doctor agrees and welcomes Dorothea aboard – however this is sternly corrected to “Dodo” by the young woman in question.

Caption — The shot of the Doctor and Dodo fades to a slide of 16th-century Paris, over which the “Next Episode THE STEEL SKY” appears, before fading to black.

Notes — There is no reprise of this scene in The Steel Sky.

The Ark The Bomb
Scene — Dodo and Steven are concerned by the Doctor’s sudden disappearance. Although Dodo considers that the Refusians may be responsible, the Doctor grimly announces that they may be under some form of attack.

Caption — “Next Episode THE CELESTIAL TOYROOM” appears over the central column of the TARDIS. After the caption fades, the credit scroll begins.

Notes — The image never fades to black – the entire credit sequence is superimposed over the central column. The final scene was re-enacted for The Celestial Toyroom.

The Celestial Toymaker The Final Test
Scene — Dodo offers Cyril’s sweets to the Doctor to celebrate. “A last present from the Toymaker,” the Doctor remarks as he places a sweet into his mouth. The Doctor immediately cries out in agony ...

Caption — The “Next Episode A HOLIDAY FOR THE DOCTOR” appears over the sweets scattered across the floor. The image fades to black shortly after the credit scroll commences.

Notes — There is no reprise of this scene in the next episode. The 16mm print held by the BBC has the next episode caption deleted.

The Gunfighters The OK Corral
Scene — The TARDIS has arrived at a new location, which the Doctor heralds as being in an age of peace and prosperity. As the travellers depart the TARDIS, they fail to notice that on the scanner, a primitive-looking man has appeared ...

Caption — “Next Episode DR. WHO AND THE SAVAGES” appears over the image on the scanner. The scene fades to black and the credit scroll and closing music commence.

Notes — There is no reprise of this scene in The Savages.


K : The Dalek Invasion of Earth

6 episodes
World’s End 21 Nov 64 17.40 23’42” 11.4 12 63
The Daleks 28 Nov 64 17.40 24’19” 12.4 10 59
Day of Reckoning 05 Dec 64 17.40 26’50” 11.9 10 59
The End of Tomorrow  12 Dec 64 17.40 23’23” 11.9 11 59
The Waking Ally 19 Dec 64 17.40 24’29” 11.4 18 58
Flashpoint 26 Dec 64 17.55 25’34” 12.4 12 60
(No “official” durations exist for episodes 1, 4, 5 and 6 – the durations above are calculated from the start and finish times of the episode’s broadcast.)

Total Duration = 148’17” (approx)
Average Viewing Audience = 11.9
Average Chart Position = 12.2

Repeat Screenings — nil on BBC1, although the story has been repeated on BSB and UK Gold.

Countries Sold To — Abu Dhabi (Arabic), Algeria, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Jordan (Arabic), Kenya, Libya (Arabic), Morocco (Arabic), Nigeria, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia (Arabic), Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, USA, Venezuela, Zambia

Status — The Waking Ally was always held by the Film Library as a 35mm print. The remaining episodes were originally destroyed at an unknown time between 1972 and 1977. The complete serial now exists on 16mm monochrome film (negative film prints were recovered from BBC Enterprises in 1977/78), along with the 35mm print of The Waking Ally.

Clips — n/a

Notes —

Telesnaps — currently missing. PasB (Programme-as-Broadcast) documentation does not provide any indication of John Cura’s services for this story, however it is probable that telesnaps were taken for all six episodes.

Behind-the-Scenes Shots — unknown

Publicity Shots —

World’s End 09 Sep 65 900 A cut A
The Daleks 09 Sep 65 922 A none
Day of Reckoning 09 Sep 65 1017 A none
The End of Tomorrow 09 Sep 65 888 A cut B
The Waking Ally 09 Sep 65 929 A cut C
Flashpoint 09 Sep 65 955 A none
cut A : “Cuts ... 4ft. At 13 mins – delete dagger sticking out of man’s body.” [refers to the dead man discovered by Ian]

cut B : “Cuts ... 17ft. At 23 mins – delete monster wherever appearing from here to end of episode (2 mins).” [refers to the Slyther creature]

cut C : “Cuts ... 3ft. At start delete shot of slyther.”

(g) OTHER NOTES ERRATA : in the previous issue, it was stated that an Arabic dubbed clip from Planet of Giants appeared on the Hartnell Years release. This was incorrect – the Arabic clip used on the BBC release actually derived from The Brink of Disaster. However, an Arabic clip from Planet of Giants was used for an American documentary entitled Once Upon a Time Lord.


According to many fans, the historical serials of the Hartnell era are the most missed of all the missing episodes. Some scattered pictures, along with the audio recordings (and maybe a few seconds of video footage), are the only glimpse we may ever have of stories such as The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve and The Myth Makers. Because there is such little material to start with, it may seem quite impossible to recreate the grandeur of Troy in a realistic way. However, it is what Rick Brindell has managed to achieve in this imaginative reconstruction of the four episodes of The Myth Makers.

Apparently, there were only eight pictures available from the serial. Because of this, Rick has found it necessary to look in other productions (both DOCTOR WHO and non-DOCTOR WHO sources were used) in order to obtain the material. Rick’s main goal was to make the characters look as if they really did belong in The Myth Makers, and I believe that he has at least accomplished that much. Rick has tried as much as possible to use images of the original cast from other programmes. For instance, all pictures of Frances White (Cassandra) were actually screen grabs from I, Claudius where she plays Julia. Pictures of Francis de Wolff (Agamemnon) are either from The Keys of Marinus or from Carry on Cleo, in which the actor wore the IDENTICAL costume. In some cases, it was not possible to locate suitable picture of the original actors. When this occured, Rick has attempted to find look-alikes or matching costumes.

In addition to this careful selection of photographic material, Rick has produced material himself for certain scenes. Video-recorded footage of the Trojan Horse prop was actually shot for the production by the owner of the original prop – this proved to be a wonderful addition to the recon.

It was not always possible for Rick to locate suitable material for certain key scenes. Therefore, in addition to the usual running captions, Rick has also added “whole screen captions” which explain the story in more detail. All the surviving clips are also included in this reconstruction, including the elusive one featuring the Doctor that was for a long time, unidentified. It was terrific to see the clip with matching audio for the first time. As excellent as it may be, the reconstruction is not totally flawless though. I believe that there could have been more use of captions to explain which character is talking at a certain time.

In summary, The Myth Makers is one of the best reconstructions I have seen. It does provide a real idea as to what the lost serial would have been like. The story itself is to be placed side-by-side with other Hartnell epics such as Marco Polo and The Aztecs.



I thought some reader of the newsletter may know the answer to these sound-related questions ...

First, are there any complete recordings of the original TARDIS sound effects? (The travel sound effects from the An Unearthly Child episode are much more extensive than those featured on the 30th anniversary CD.)

Second, I know that the original theme was generated electronically, so presumably, it would be possible to re-create the theme exactly if you knew, in enough detail, how the generator was set up and used. (I would hazard a guess, based on the snippets I’ve heard, that the generator was either an analogue computer of some kind, or an analogue synthesiser). Does this information exist anywhere?


MARK AYRES responds :

The complete original TARDIS sound is in the DOCTOR WHO Effects Archive at the BBC (which I am currently cataloguing for them!) but is not available commercially. Watch this space!

Regarding the creation of the original theme, I could tell you exactly how it was done, but it would take ages! (It also took weeks to do in 1963.) But for now, here’s the edited version.

In 1963 no suitable computers existed and there were no synthesisers as we know them today. Electronic music was created mainly through a process of tape manipulation (analogue sampling, if you want a modern analogy). Sound sources were either “real life” (recordings of real sounds, leading to what was termed “Musique Concrete”) or created electronically by various means.

As there were no synthesisers, ingenious lengths were gone to in order to generate the sounds. For the DOCTOR WHO theme, Delia Derbyshire used test equipment – a bank of twelve test-tone oscillators, a white noise generator and so on. She generated each pitch using the oscillators and, manually using the volume control, created the “envelope” (attack and decay) of each note. Each note was individually recorded to 1/4” tape and cut to length with a razor blade. Then all the individual notes were stuck together (so the opening “der-um-de-dum” is four bits of tape). She did this for each line in the piece. There are two bass parts, two melody parts, a couple of “swoops” parts, and at least three “noise” parts. A lot of work, but a unique result.


Continuing on in the same vein as Dominic Jackson’s missing TV shows article above, David May now provides us with the following request :

The Programme Preservation Society has been set up to protect our heritage of broadcast entertainment, from radio and television. The PPS aims to put fans and collectors in touch with each other, in order to form a network which will collectively possess a huge library of shows. Hopefully, the fans will never again be deprived of the chance to see their favourite programmes just because the official bodies lose faith in them.

Our future goals are to create a club library (consisting of tapes of old and rare shows purchased directly from the archives) which will allow members to hire and view the tapes. Also, the PPS intends calling for the creation of a (British) National Television Archive where classic television shows can be viewed for a small charge.

The more members we have, the better PPS can work. If you would like to watch shows such as Out Of The Unknown, which has not enjoyed a repeat run or a video release, then perhaps PPS is the club for you. For more details, view the PPS website at :

PPS – because the show must go on!


Thanks to the following for help with this issue : Mark Ayres, Dominique Boies, Dominic Jackson, Julian Knott, Michael Palmer, Andrew Pixley and Steve Roberts. Oh, and Memory Cheats will return next issue!


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 Change of Identity Productions. Please do not reprint any of the contents in another publication (whether electronic or print) without obtaining the prior permission from the editors.

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