The distribution information contained in some of the early issues of the newsletter is now out of date. Please consult the main reconstruction website for up-to-date information on obtaining copies of the reconstructions mentioned in the various issues of the newsletter.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
|MISSING CLIPS DISCOVERED (INTERVIEW WITH ELLEN PARRY)!!|
|THE POWER OF THE DALEKS COMPLETE!!|
|GALAXY 4 SCREEN GRABS!!|
Welcome to issue three! Of course, the major news to report this issue is the discovery of the Hartnell/Troughton clips right here in Australia. Below, you will find a brief interview with Ellen Parry, one of the people involved in the find. In other news, a series of screen grabs have been taken from the longer clip that exists from Galaxy 4 – these are now on display at a WWW site. And finally, contributions have been received! In particular, there’s an article by Michael Palmer on his efforts to reconstruct missing Doctor Who stories.
On a personal note, the reconstruction of The Power of the Daleks has now been completed. Overall, I think it is a significant improvement on The Savages, but I’d be interested to know what you all think!
I’d also like to welcome all those people who are receiving this for the first time. Just to fill you in, this is a newsletter which looks at the missing episodes of Doctor Who (there are 110 of them!). In particular, it concentrates on the reconstruction of the missing episodes. My own project – “A Change of Identity” – has so far churned out The Savages and The Power of the Daleks. The next story to be tackled is the Season 1 classic Marco Polo. More stories are also in the planning stage – read on for further details.
And finally, could I ask you all to please return the small survey accompanying this newsletter. It will only take a couple of minutes to fill in (honest!), and the information will be of vital use for future issues.
By now, most of you have probably heard about the missing clips discovered in the Australian Archives. When the Hartnell/Troughton stories were originally screened in Australia, small clips were removed for censorship reasons. And now they have been discovered – almost thirty years later! As for the clips themselves, there’s quite a mixed bag – The Smugglers, The Underwater Menace and Fury From the Deep all have a number of reasonable length clips. The highlight of the collection is undoubtedly a 54 second clip from Fury.
The most recent issue of Data Extract (#124) has an extensive article on the find, including a list of all the clips discovered. But if anyone has yet to see this list, I can E-mail you a copy.
The two people credited with the discovery are Damian Shanahan and Ellen Parry. Damian is based in Sydney, while Ellen is currently doing a Masters thesis at Griffith University in Brisbane. Here, is an E-mail interview I conducted with Ellen :
(1) How did you first become involved in the discovery?
Damian had learned of the possibility of the existence of missing footage in the Archives from Dallas Jones [ed : former Australian Doctor Who Fan Club President]. He was very excited about it, and rang to tell me. The catch was having a good excuse to be let in. Because I’m studying SF fans, this was in my area. I was happy to be involved – it sounded like it was going to be a great adventure.(2) Briefly, what was the procedure involved in accessing the clips?
Complicated. My supervisor gave me the name of a contact he had in the Office of Film and Literature Classification. I contacted her, and she advised me to contact the Australian Archives. I rang the Archives, and was informed that there was no possibility of that office holding any Dr Who footage. When Damian and I first went to the archives, we received the same response. But as we had some file numbers from Dallas, we insisted on pursuing the matter, and eventually found a paper trail which looked promising. We were allowed to access material which had been censored more than 30 years ago, but unfortunately, only paper records of the cuts remained. The actual clips had been destroyed at some stage.
We had to apply to the OFLC for permission to access the material which had been censored less than 30 years ago. This is where being a PhD student came in handy ... After a small delay, owing to the fact that the OFLC was snowed under, permission for access was granted. I forwarded the relevant paper work to the Archives, and they were happy to let Damian go through the paper files. On the basis of what he found there, he requested a viewing copy of the clips be made, and we went to view it the Friday after the con
[ed : Whovention III in Sydney - 4-7 October 1996].(3) There is a rumour going around in fan circles that the whole of The Dalek Master Plan may exist in the Censorship Board archives. Is there any substance to this rumour?
Not really. There is a remote possibility, of course, but because Master Plan wasn’t classified, it was most probably returned to the BBC.(4) Is there any chance of finding more material from Doctor Who?
There’s always a chance. But because the Archives won’t search for anything without having the appropriate file numbers, the problem is to acquire the appropriate file numbers ...(5) What is the current situation regarding the return of the clips to the BBC?
As I understand it, the OFLC, which is the official owner of the clips (even though they’re stored in the Archives), has thus far refused to repatriate them. I don’t know whether this has anything to do with the 30 year Freedom of Information law.(6) What are your views on the competing claim made by Rod Scott (a Melbourne fan) to the discovery of the clips?
Well to start with, we were a bit miffed, because we knew that we had got there first. The Archives officer told us that the only other application to access censored television material in the last several years had been from the Channel 9 programme on sex – the one that Kerry Packer had pulled the plug on. In fact, the officer has since told us that he had been contacted by Rod after we had accessed the files, and it was only because he had been involved in putting together the material for us that he had been able to answer any of Rod’s questions. As I said before, when we first showed up to the Archives, the officer was convinced that we were on a wild goose chase, because he *knew* that no Doctor Who footage was held there. He also told us that he mentioned to Rod that after years of silence on Dr Who, his was the second enquiry in a few months. So Rod’s claim for credit for the discovery is based upon having contacted the Beeb before we did, giving them information gathered as a result of our research, and without having confirmed the exact nature of the footage involved (he hadn’t seen any of it). Because of our earlier experience with the Hartnell clips being destroyed, we weren’t prepared to ring the BBC until we had seen the footage for ourselves.
The Archives has since confirmed to the BBC that Damian and I were the first to access the material, and, as far as it is able, the Beeb, through the person dealing with us, is happy to grant us unofficial recognition for the find. It seems that there have been several other counter claims for the credit, including at least one from America.(7) And thank you Ellen for your time!
The Power of the Daleks has now been completed – huge thanks to everyone who assisted in its making! In particular, I would like to thank Chris Moore (who transcribed episodes 2,4 and 6), Harold Achatz and Brian Pearce. Thanks also to Heath Mackay for general help in identifying clips.
So what sort of improvements have been made to Power? Firstly, video footage is significantly larger than that which appeared in The Savages. And yes, I am aware that the clips aren’t precisely synchronized with the soundtrack. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to achieve with my approach to the reconstructions. Hopefully, I have them almost right!
Incidentally, I was able to include *ALL* of the video footage that exists from Power. This includes the silent 8mm footage from episodes 1 and 2, the Dalek production line sequence from episode 4, the ‘Daleks conquer and destroy’ chant from episode 5, and the exploding Daleks from episode 6.
Secondly, I’ve changed the font used for the on-screen captions. It’s also been enlarged from 28 pitch to 32 pitch. Tell me if you think it looks clearer!
One person mentioned to me that he thought the text captions in The Savages were a bit too fast. This is something I haven’t really heard a lot about – I just presumed it was at the right speed for everybody. What do other people think? Was there too much text on some of the screens? In any case, I’ve made a conscious effort in Power to reduce the amount of text.
While on the subject of text, Michael Palmer wanted to know how many generations the video copies could go through before the text became unreadable. Once again, this isn’t something I can really answer. Can anyone else help? Also, those of you in the USA – I'd be interested to know how well the tape converted into NTSC. Were the telesnaps, soundtrack and text still clear?
I had a slight problem during the recording stages of Power. This is worth mentioning simply for sheer weirdness! After the first recording, I noticed bursts of static in certain parts of the recording. This interference was mainly positioned at the start and end of episodes.
Of course, I was mildly peeved by this situation. It certainly had nothing to do with the soundtrack, or any items of hardware I was using. The problem was eventually narrowed down to one particular cable. Because this offending cable was not insulated, it was picking up static electricity from the carpet whenever someone walked into the room. Now considering that Power features static electricity as part of the story, the irony was not lost on me!!!!!
Suffice to say, I re-recorded the story, resulting in no more bursts of static. But at least it gave me an important lesson in audio copying. As an aside, this is the probably the same reason why some people reported audio problems with The Savages reconstruction. I’ll definitely be buying a *PROPER* insulated cable before starting Marco Polo ...
It goes without saying that I would *LOVE* to hear your feedback on Power. Hopefully, next issue I can print a batch of comments – so even if you just send in one line, this might be enough for publication!
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Power, then please write to the E-mail/postal address listed below. And yes, it is available for anyone who requests it! Unfortunately, for those of you in the States, I cannot provide NTSC copies (however, I suggest you contact Robert Franks – write to him for further details).
There are three ways to obtain the reconstructions :
(a) send me $10, plus $3 postage if you require the tape returned via the post.Just a quick warning for those of you overseas, please write to me first before sending any money.
(b) send a blank tape, with $3 to cover the extras ($2 for the colour video cover, and $1 for the case – of course you can ignore these if you wish). Also add another $3 for return postage.
(c) write to me about arranging a swap.
As stated in previous issues, the above charges cover
the cost of distribution only. I assure you I am NOT making a profit!
Following my request last issue for reviews of The Savages, I have had a reasonable amount of feedback (including an actual review!). Here is a sample of the comments :
The Savages belongs to a group of stories that are sadly unrepresented in the archives by any episodes at all. Indeed, like The Smugglers two stories later, it has collectively been forgotten since it contains no monsters or memorable links to the programme’s past. I would almost go as far to say that The Savages is regarded as a poor story today, a bizarre assumption since few have actually seen it.
Consequently when a hoard of telesnaps were discovered in 1993, and the possibility of “recreating” a story arose, many will have looked to reconstruct Fury from the Deep and The Evil of the Daleks. Which is why The Savages, the first in a hopefully long line of such reconstructions, is such a delight.
Of course it is helped by a crystal clear soundtrack courtesy of forward thinking early fans, and on-screen narration and near-perfect timing. Before this project, I had only viewed one such telesnap reconstruction, and found that to be a disappointment. However, it is the text narrative that helps this production and actually manages to create some of the atmosphere of the original story.
It’s not the greatest Doctor Who story in the world, and perhaps overlong at four episodes, but the vocal performances of Hartnell and Frederick Jaeger have always made this story an audio delight, and the telesnaps only enhance this. Of particular note are the location scenes, which convey a suitably eerie atmosphere brought across well by this version. Sadly no actual footage exists from this story unlike, say, The Celestial Toymaker, where the existing episode will no doubt beef up the reconstruction of that story. But off-screen cine-film clips of very short length do exist, and these have been suitably inserted into the production at the correct moments to add interest to the proceedings. Also of note here are the episode cliffhangers. These have been very well reconstructed, the carefully timed final frame crashing into computer formed closing titles. This is particularly effective at the end of part 1.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised how well the story came across, its reconstruction sustaining interest throughout and giving a valuable insight into a long forgotten story. Even so, I am sure the best is yet to come from the “Change of Identity” project.
I just wanted to let you know that I got a copy of The Savages you produced through a friend here in the States and I was very impressed with your work. I really enjoyed it and I felt it was important for you to know, how much I and many others appreciate your devotion to providing fans with the excellent reconstructions of material that would never have been seen without you.
The clearer pictures and excellent audio as well as your captions provide a real flavor of how the story was originally produced by the BBC. Thank you.
I have your version of Savages, and I found it rather impressive. I’m not sure how much I like the running script (or perhaps the change in format for the Super-8 material) but they are really a matter of taste.
Just seen your reconstruction of The Savages. Good job.
1) Some of the stage direction captions disappeared so fast that I could only read half of them.
2) The home movie clips was helpful, but it would have been better if they were full screen.
Thanks again to everyone who sent in comments! Hopefully, I can publish even more responses for Power.
Since the last issue of this newsletter, not a lot has changed in regard to Marco Polo. A couple more photos have trickled in, but basically, it looks as if I already have most of the existing photographic material. But once again, I emphasise that if anyone believes they have material, please write!
Some progress has been made in regard to the map scenes. Last issue, I mentioned an idea to reconstruct the diary entry scenes that appear in the story. Since it appears that no photographs exist of the actual maps used, I have decided to create my own. I intend to find a general text on Marco Polo’s travels, as this should definitely contain maps of the era. If anyone has any further ideas, then I’d love to hear them!
The actual reconstruction will commence in a few weeks’ time. Taking into account that I can usually produce an episode a week, this means that the whole story should be complete some time early February 1997.
It's interesting to note that with the recent discovery
of clips, there are now only four stories that don’t have any video footage
at all – Marco Polo, Mission to the Unknown, The Myth
Makers and The Savages. Brief 8mm footage does exist for the
latter two stories, so I guess that makes Marco Polo unique, in
that it is the only feature-length Doctor Who story not to have *ANYTHING*
at all. Not even telesnaps! However, some material was cut from the story
for its Australian broadcast. However, I have been informed by Ellen Parry
that the chance of it being found is rather remote ...
In previous issues, I hinted to the fact that there are other groups of fans producing reconstructions. Now, I can provide a little more detail on these two other fans/groups.
The first group is definitely worth a mention, mainly due to the large number of stories they have produced (all from Seasons 4 and 5). This group is led by Richard Develyn in the UK, with assistance from others, such as Robert Franks (in the USA). I believe that Robert is responsible for the impressive credits - I've had a few people comment to me that they were amazed by the titles to The Ice Warriors (I know you guys are listening – do you want to say anything else?).
The other is Michael Palmer, who has already completed The Tenth Planet :4 and Mission to the Unknown. TP4, in particular, has attracted a lot of comment – many fans were impressed by the way that Michael was able to integrate the existing footage from the first three episodes into the fourth. But instead of me telling you all about Michael’s work, I’ll ask the gentleman himself to do the talking ...
This is to explain, in brief terms, how I go about reconstructing the missing episodes. My name in Michael Palmer from the UK, most of you reading this will hopefully have seen my first two reconstructions – The Tenth Planet :4 and Mission to the Unknown.
Firstly the equipment: I use a Pentium 133 running Windows 95 with 16Mb of memory. I have a hand scanner for photos, but the main piece of equipment needed is a video capture card, that can read in video and write the finished episode back to video, I use one called F60 (the most important thing is that it works with ‘MJPEG’, not ‘MPEG’). You also need a lot of disk space – the completed episodes of TP4 and Mission each ended up at 550M bytes, and that is not including the video and pictures used to produce them. I have a total of 3G bytes. TP4 took about 2G bytes in total.
That is all I am going to say technically before you all fall asleep. If you want any more technical details, then you can email me.
Tenth Planet 4 is an exception to the ones I intend to do – I plan to work on ones that have no telesnaps for, and no one else is doing. Therefore, I won’t be doing Marco Polo.
The first thing I do is listen to the audio and read the script, if a script is available. I then hunt for pictures from any episode in the story, and scan them or download them. I next video capture the existing episodes and clips (if any), and extract sections or stills I might need. If there is something else I need, I then look for other programmes that might have suitable pictures in them. The close-ups of Cory (for Mission to the Unknown), for instance, came from a 60s horror movie he was in.
I then read-in the audio at a low quality, as I record the actual sound from a tape to the video at the end. To aid this, you may have noticed a couple of ## appear just before the titles. This is my signal to start the tape recorder playing.
I now start reconstructing by using a program called “Video Studio”. This allows me to work with video clips as if they were strips of 35mm film. I can cut them, reverse them, lighten/ darken them etc. as needed, to single frame accuracy.
I now work my way through the audio, listening to a few seconds, and then putting a picture, clip or SFX to it. This method ensures I change pictures as soon as the actor completes a line.
In Tenth Planet, I tried to link every action to a clip from episode 1, 2 or 3. Some clips were reversed or darkened to match the 8mm clips. With TP4, all events had already occurred during the earlier episodes. The main missing bits were inside the Cybermen ship (which was partly on the 8mm clips) and the destruction of Mondas (which was done by lightening and darkening plus mixing two different shots together). If you look carefully, you will see that all the telesnaps are there (except for ones of the 8mm clips). I cut quickly from them so that it did not slow the pace.
With Mission, I first experimented with having the actors talk by using clips from other programmes they were in, but it did not work that well. Hence, I went to stills for the actors, except for action bits.
To sum up, I basically work by fast inter-cutting, so that any bad synching with the sound or bad pictures is not there long enough to be spotted by people are just watching it to enjoy the story. The pictures of aliens/monsters are genuine, but may have come from press photos, such as the ones from Mission to the Unknown.
The titles are easy to produce with the “Video Studio” program – they can go on top of a video clip or a still with no problems.
When I have finished, I copy the reconstruction back to tape, also recording the sound from the tape recorder. My VCR has audio dubbing, so I can do just the sound again if I don’t get my finger off of the pause button in time!
Future plans – I am currently working on The Reign of Terror 4 and 5, which will be all stills from existing episodes, as well as other stills. The clips that exist in the 8mm footage are too short to use without damaging the flow of the story. However, I intend to take some stills from them.
If anyone has any pictures, then I would be interested. One person I need is Ronald Pickup, who played the physician. Any pictures would do – they don’t need to be from Reign.
After Reign, what I will work on next will depend on what I can find from other missing episodes.
Thank you Michael.
Once again, I must emphasise that while I am attempting to reconstruct stories that haven’t been done before, this won’t prevent me from doing a story that people are especially after. For example, some people have already requested reconstructions of The Web of Fear and Fury From the Deep. I am seriously considering doing reconstructions of these stories, despite the fact that reconstructions have already been attempted for both.
Besides, most of the telesnap stories have now been completed,
and I certainly don’t want to limit myself to just doing the remaining
non-telesnap stories (as Michael himself intends doing). I’m having so
Some of you will already be aware of the discovery of screen grabs from Galaxy 4. Note that ‘telesnaps’ isn’t an entirely correct description, as these are *NOT* official John Cura telesnaps. Instead, they are a series of screen grabs (24 in fact) from the longer version of the clip that exists from Galaxy 4.
The ‘official’ situation regarding Galaxy 4 is that the BBC holds a 30 second clip from episode 1. However, a well-known UK fan has a copy of a longer version of this clip (length probably about 4-5 minutes). With the screen grabs being released, I guess this raises the question – is there some hope that the rest of us 'common fans' will actually see the clip shortly?
The screen grabs are on display at the following web site :
Thanks to Heath Mackay for this info.
One of the newer readers of this newsletter, George Rainey, has suggested that a worldwide missing episodes club be created. At the very least, George suggests that it might be easier for an organisation – as opposed to an individual – to obtain access to television archives. George mentioned a similar group in England ‘STARS’, that is devoted to the recovery of missing television material (not just Doctor Who).
I have considered the idea myself, but am not sure if
the interest is there. Once again, I am relying on the comments of others
to determine whether this idea is feasible.
As to the future of “Change of Identity”, I have now decided to work in batches of three stories at a time. The first batch – The Savages, The Power of the Daleks and Marco Polo – will hopefully be complete in a couple of months. So what of the next batch?
A couple of people has already sent me suggestions on how to approach the remaining episodes. Based on these comments, and my own views, I’ve formulated the following criteria to help assist in the selection of stories to reconstruct :
(i) all from different seasons,If the interest is there in a particular story, it will certainly be considered.
(ii) at least one historical,
(iii) at least one non-telesnap story,
(iv) preferrably, hasn’t been done before. However, see my comments above.
The combination I eventually came up with was The Crusade, The Moonbase, and The Abominable Snowmen (not necessarily in that order).
The Crusade was selected mainly because most people have no idea what the story is about – however it is reportedly a classic. Furthermore, the soundtrack is one of the more difficult to come by, as it is one of those stories which simply did not exist for some time. Obviously, it falls into the Marco Polo category of having no telesnaps, but at least it does have the benefit of an existing episode (ep 3 - The Wheel of Fortune).
Although considered to be one of the ‘tackier’ sixties stories, The Moonbase was selected for reasons totally unconnected with the story itself. After doing two ‘long’ stories (i.e. Power and Marco Polo), I felt like doing something quick. The Moonbase is ideal as only two episodes are needed to reconstruct the story.
Finally, Snowmen was chosen as it is one of only two Season 5 stories that has yet to be reconstructed (The Enemy of the World is the other). It’s also a pretty good story too!
This is by no means set in concrete, but I’m quite happy
with the above selection. At the very least, it covers a good range of
styles in sixties Who.
A bit of a mixed bag this time :
Trevor Gensch (another Brisbane fan) is starting a general telefantasy zine entitled Plasma Flow. If you would like to help, E-mail Trevor at email@example.com. Also, check out Trevor's web page at :
(b) Simon Hunt (based in the UK) is currently planning a fanzine provisionally titled WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DOCTOR WHO. It will focus on the lives of the sixties Doctor Who companions after they have left the Doctor behind.
It will include original short stories for each companion set after they have left the TARDIS; artwork to accompany each of the above (especially needed!); and reviews of sixties stories. If you think you can help, write to Simon at :
Note that Simon is unable to return any work.
(c) Ellen Parry is currently involved in PhD studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, where she hopes to prepare a thesis on science-fiction fans. In particular, Ellen is interested in fan responses to the discovery of the missing clips. If you would like to help, write to Ellen at :
776 Cavendish Road
Holland Park QLD 4121
(d) Finally, a request of my own. I’m after the following Classic Comics to complete my telesnap collection : #15, #22, and any ones with The Ice Warriors or The Web of Fear.
Remember, if you would like to include a request, it’s
only an E-mail away!
Thanks to Michael Palmer, Simon Hunt and Ellen Parry for their contributions to this issue. If you believe that you have something that might be worth publishing in future issues, then please write! In particular, I’m interested in any ‘news-y’ items.
Thanks to Robert Franks for some terrific feedback regarding issue #2. Unfortunately, this issue had already been prepared, and it was too late to include the info. But definitely next issue!
Thanks for Neil Hogan for placing an advert in the most recent issue of Data Extract. If you are not a number of the Australian Doctor Who Club, then I strongly suggest you join. Write to the club at : GPO Box 2870, Sydney NSW 2001, or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Neil is also selling a large range of Doctor Who merchandise – write to him for further details.
Thanks also to the Brisbane Doctor Who Fan Club for screening
Savages at one of their meetings. I was pleasantly surprised by the
When this newsletter commenced, it was basically just an extended E-mail message to a few people. But now, with the steadily increasing interest, its starting to become more of a general newsletter on the missing episodes. While it’s never going to get to the stage of an actual fanzine, I do have a couple of ideas for making the newsletter more ‘presentable’. The most obvious is to produce the newsletter in Microsoft Word 6 – a question has been included on the survey for this reason. Any further ideas are also appreciated.
But enough of me. I hope you all get the chance to see Power. All I ask is that you send in your comments (whether good, bad or indifferent). As for the project generally, one way of looking at it is ten episodes down, one hundred to go!
Don’t forget the survey ...
I’ve just heard from Robert Franks that The Savages
is to be screened at Visions 96 (a huge convention held every year in the
USA)! Huge thanks to those who arranged this!!!!
Doctor Who is copyright the BBC and worldwide affiliates. “A Change of Identity” is a completely non-profit venture. No attempt is made to supersede existing copyright. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the editor. Some editing of contributions has been made.
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