The distribution information contained in some of the early issues of the newsletter is now out of date.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
|INTERVIEW WITH DAMIAN SHANAHAN|
|SEASON ONE COMPLETE|
|MORE TELESNAP INFO|
|UNDERWATER MENACE 4 CLIP DISCOVERED|
|THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS|
Hello, and thank you again for the interest in the newsletter. The “official” readership count now stands at 135. A rough country-by-country breakdown is : Australia , USA , UK , New Zealand, others and unknown . Whilst most of the recipients are receiving CI via E-mail, there is an increasing number of snail mail people ...
The “script issue” is still proving to be a contentious one. Just briefly, my own Change of Identity reconstructions feature on-screen captions to display the appropriate narrative and dialogue (as opposed to other reconstructions, where no captions are used). Keeping in mind that I don’t wish to “flog a dead horse”, there’s something further I would like to mention ...
A majority of people who view the reconstructions appear to like the text captions ... with one or two reservations (e.g. Savages was too small to read – which is fair enough). However, I occasionally receive an E-mail message where the correspondent mentions that they enjoy the reconstructions, apart from the on-screen script. These viewers feel that the purpose of a reconstruction is to make the reconstructed episode exactly like the original.
While I respect these views, at no stage have I ever wanted to make an exact replica of the missing episodes. In fact, I consider it an insult to the creators of DW to suggest that I can create something to rival their productions (Marco Polo is a good example). This is another reason why I’m not all that concerned with, for example, having “authentic” credits (i.e. letter-perfect with the originals), or producing video covers where the labels all line up precisely. :-)
The main reason that a “recreation” is out of the question, is that it simply isn”t possible. Sixty-odd telesnaps, plus a handful of other stills and rehearsal shots, just isn’t sufficient to adequately recreate 25 minutes of television. And obviously, the problem is compounded even further for the non-telesnap stories.
So the scripts will definitely be staying! While I don’t intend to produce a long list of reasons, I do appreciate the messages received from people who are not very familiar with the Hartnell/Troughton stories. These viewers mention that they find the text captions a big help when it comes to understanding the story.
On the other hand, I also understand the views of people who want to be able to “imagine” scenes in their mind, without the assistance of on-screen captions. However, I still don’t think this is a problem. As they say “a picture is worth a 1000 words”– no matter how much text is included, it still leaves plenty of room for imagination.
Of course, these are just all my opinions - feel free
to write in with your own :-).
February 1997 has seen the release of two further reconstructions - both from Season 1. In fact, Marco Polo and The Reign of Terror are the only two stories from Season 1 where episodes do not exist at all (Marco Polo) or in part (Reign). However, with the reconstructions now released, the completion of Season 1 can be announced!
Marco Polo is the third Change of Identity production (i.e. one of mine!). Distribution is currently in progress – in fact, most overseas distributors should have copies by now. Please send me a note if you are interested in finding out more about the distributors.
The main question received on Marco Polo is – how has the reconstruction been completed with such a lack of material? The answer – with great difficulty! Many scenes from the story are not represented at all by photographic material – this means the only choice is to have lots of close-ups of the major characters. Hopefully, this problem is not too obvious ...
An effort was made to only include photos that actually exist from Marco Polo in the final production. The temptation was there to include additional material (i.e. from other Hartnell stories), but it was considered preferrable to remain with “authentic” material. Actually, there are two exceptions to this in Marco Polo. The first is a TARDIS scene from Keys of Marinus. The second ... let’s just say that it has something to do with a bamboo forest ...
In total, about 130 photos were gathered for the story. Unfortunately, about a week after the story was completed, a photo was received of the Grand Vizier forcing the Doctor to kowtow (in episode 6). If you've already seen the reconstruction, you may have realised that this was one of those scenes where very little existed. Oh well, it can always be added to the enhanced version ... :-)
And finally, please keep sending those comments in! If there’s any way you think Marco Polo could have been improved (no matter how trivial), please send an E-mail/letter to the newsletter address.
The other reconstruction from Season 1 – The Reign of Terror – was completed by Michael Palmer. Reign differs slightly from Michael’s previous efforts (Tenth Planet 4 and Mission to the Unknown), in that Michael has primarily used stills, as opposed to video footage, in the reconstructions of episodes 4 and 5. The stills mainly consist of screen grabs from the existing episodes, as well as a few grabs from the brief 8mm footage that exists. Michael now intends to start work on The Invasion episode 1.
If you're interested in receiving either the Marco
Polo or Reign of Terror videos, please write. In fact, this
is also a good time to mention another important subject ...
Please remember that the reconstructions are non-profit
projects. They are completed by fans who don’t expect to receive any gratuity
for their efforts. Because the videos are available for the cost of distribution
only, there is no need to purchase these tapes from video profiteers.
Why bother when the tapes are available for the cost of distribution only?
An additional clip from The Underwater Menace was discovered by Damian Shanahan on November 8 1996. This clip was discovered in the Australian Archives, where Damian unearthed all the other censored clips. The clip itself is approximately three seconds in duration, and features the drowning of Professor Zaroff towards the end of episode 4. The BBC have been notified of the discovery.
Damian also notes that while the search for missing material continues, the chances of finding cut material from Marco Polo, Reign of Terror and Mission to the Unknown grow more remote by the day ...
In more positive news, the BBC intend to shortly release
the War Machines video. With the addition of the recently discovered
footage, the story is now lacking approximately 45 seconds (cut by New
Zealand censors). The restoration work is being performed by Steve Roberts
of the BBC, and Paul Vanezis.
Three reconstructions were screened at “Gallifrey 97” (a Doctor Who convention recently held in Los Angeles). Since the guests were Michael Craze and Anneke Wills, the reconstructions were centred around the era of Ben and Polly. The stories selected were The Tenth Planet 4 (the Michael Palmer version), The Power of the Daleks (my version), and The Underwater Menace (Richard Develyn/Robert Franks version). Apparently, Anneke Wills has a fondness for the latter story, especially Polly’s comment of “you’re not turning me into a fish!”.
Thanks to the organisers of the con, in particular, Shaun Lyon. The reconstructions received a positive write-up in the con programme book, and according to Shaun, they went down “very well”.
Talking about conventions, there’s more details in the
section below ...
In Issue #3, an interview was featured with Ellen Parry, who was partly responsible for the discovery of the Australian censored clips. This issue, we turn our attention to Damian Shanahan, who has worked tirelessly to track down the material. I recently conducted the following E-mail interview with Damian. Once again, it should be pointed out that Dallas Jones is a former President of the Doctor Who Club of Australia. Dallas might be a household name in Australia, but I don't know about the rest of the world ... :-)
(1) How did you first learn of the possibility of missing clips in the Australian archives?
I had viewed the recently found 8mm footage at Dallas Jones’ place. We got to talking about the plight of the missing episodes and whether or not more episodes may turn up (considering the absence of any major discoveries since Tomb was recovered in 1991).(2) What was your immediate reaction? Were you hopeful that missing clips could be discovered, or did you think that this was just another “dead end”?
I had recently bought David Howe’s First Doctor Handbook and was impressed with the amount of detailed research the British fans had done for this publication. I discussed with Dallas whether or not Australian fans had done anything similar, and he indicated that access had always been a problem. He spoke to me of the research he conducted in 1984 regarding the censorship of Dr Who in Australia.
“Did they keep the footage they cut?” I asked, and he replied that he didn’t know. I was determined to find out. I came across the page for the Censorship Board repository in the Australian Archives web site and after scouting around, came across folder series numbers and so on. The material in one of the folders, which seemed the most promising, was less than thirty years old. I then read about granting of special access. As the material was hardly of a sensitive nature, I knew I could get access to request the material without too much trouble.
I anticipated a potential problem, though. In dealing with a government department, I would not be taken seriously when requesting material about what is regarded to be a children’s science-fiction series. Therefore, I contacted Ellen Parry who I knew was doing Science Fiction fandom as part of her PhD thesis. I asked her to write a letter so we could access the material together and it would then appear to be for academic research.
Indeed it has long been a goal of mine to do thorough research into the screening of the Dr Who series in this country and the role of the Censorship Board has always been key to that. The documentation I’ve found has been vast. I’ve spent almost 7 months of trips into the Australian Archives accessing material from the ABC and Censors in an attempt to piece together everything I can find. I hope to collate and summarise everything held on the topic with the purpose of publication in the future.
When did this occur? April 1996 and onward.
I was not particularly hopeful that anything would actually be held. However, I was willing to put in the time and effort to look, so that if footage was held I would not give up until I found it. Or at least until I found evidence of what actually happens to footage once it is censored. I was also keeping an eye out for destruction schedules!(3) In her interview, Ellen gave us a short run-down of the procedures involved in accessing the clips. From your point of view, how much work was actually involved in tracking down the clips?
Developing a rapport with the AA has been crucial. It is traditional for government departments to be dismissive of public requests to conduct searches – it is much easier to say nothing is held. Simply writing letters really doesn’t do much at all. Apparently a fan in Melbourne has been writing letters for ages but got nowhere!(4) Do you have any further news on whether the BBC intends to release these clips shortly?
The only reason the material was found, was because (a) I knew where to look (from the Internet AA website) and (b) I could personally request checklists of material held. The checklists are held in Sydney and contain the exact details of the whereabouts of the footage – i.e. in which box! These checklist details are not easily available outside Sydney and are not on the Internet.
Even after I told the AA that the checklist indicated this footage was held, they were still skeptical. However, because Ellen and I had presented ourselves as academics we were taken seriously enough – the AA staff would inspect the particular box to see if footage was actually in it. Even then, it may have been footage of something else. Therefore, I still did not announce it to fandom or the BBC until I had viewed it and could therefore be certain.
Coming across a folder series which states that clippings from censored material has been kept, is NOT proof that Dr Who cuts were retained. Many other series were cut in the same period as Dr Who and yet their footage was destroyed! The AA didn’t know they had the material – they rely on the agencies (e.g. Censorship Board) to keep their own records of what is held. Therefore, attempts to write to the AA to ask if they held Dr Who were useless. They (the AA) don’t know exactly what they hold – it’s not their job to!
The Censorship Board really didn’t know either. This was all catalogued many, many years ago, and they will not go to the trouble a Dr Who fan would to track something down in their own records. Particularly when their records had already been archived to a different part of the city! It was only after the Villawood office of the AA had spliced together the footage I requested and had heard the words Dr Who (none were fans), that they could say material was held there. But even then, because they were unfamiliar with Dr Who, there was still a reasonable chance that it was not Dr Who at all! I could only announce it after I had seen it.
They had intended to use the material from Fury from the Deep and The Macra Terror on the end of the The War Machines release, but this idea has been shelved.(5) Are you still involved in any search for missing Doctor Who material (that you can tell us about!)?
Yes. Because I have been spending a lot of time (i.e. a weekly basis, over several months) developing a healthy rapport with archivists at the Australian Archives and with the Film Conservator of the Villawood storehouse of the AA, I have made contacts with the Document Archives at the ABC and with their Film Archives as well.
I have now gained access to material never before seen by anyone in fandom and I have made a search inside the vaults at the ABC. I spend two full days almost every week going through file checklists at the AA and ABC Archives conducting the most thorough search possible into early Dr Who material. If there is anything in the AA or the ABC Archives, I intend to find it!(6) What are your thoughts on the missing material itself? Do you feel it is a sufficient return for all the work you've put in?
Yes I do. The BBC are happy that The Dominators in now complete, and that The War Machines is nearly complete (apart from 45 seconds cut by NZ Censors). Many of the clips are too brief to be of great interest, but the Fury from the Deep clips are wonderful. Even if no clips had been found, the wealth of material in documents will make interesting reading for Australian Fans, and this is proving to be very rewarding. It will take a long time to collate though!(7) And thank you Damian for your time!
Last issue, details were provided of the Doctor Who telesnaps currently residing at the BBC’s Written Archives Centre (WAC). This issue, there will be a closer examination of the actual telesnaps themselves, in particular, the format of the telesnaps. Next issue, will see the conclusion (continuation?) of the telesnap info with a closer look at the DW material held by the WAC.
For the telesnaps, it is believed that John Cura was taking traditional photographs with a 35mm film camera straight off a television screen. However, all that survives nowadays are the contact sheets. For those unfamiliar with photography, contact sheets are made by laying film negatives over a piece of photographic paper, compressing the two under glass to ensure good contact between the negatives and the paper, and exposing them to light. This is performed so that photographers can create a quick sample of the contents of a roll of film, without having to make full prints of each and every frame. An individual telesnap on a contact print is usually no larger than a thumb nail.
From the contact prints, a client can then select which images should be made into full-sized prints. In contrast, a traditional print is made by projecting the image of a negative onto light-sensitive paper. This way, the image can be enlarged to virtually any size, and greater care can be taken to bring out the more subtle aspects.
Unfortunately, the telesnaps as published in DWM aren’t representative of the quality of the originals. The main problem concerns the manner in which the telesnaps are published. Marvel arranged for negatives to be obtained from the original contact sheets (the size of each negative is believed to be 4 x 5 inches). However, the publishing house that did the Fury From the Deep photos scanned each photo in separately, and did not pay attention to whether the brightness and contrast etc. varied between the pictures.
Therefore, this explains why the telesnaps published in DWB are superior to those published in DWM. The DWM ones have had a few more problems in the preparation stage.
As to how the actual telesnaps are stored, each episode in the BBC’s Written Archives Centre consists of the contacts glued onto a single sheet of foolscap paper. At the top of each sheet is a typed heading, which states the story name and episode number. Glued on the back of some of the sheets, are various cuttings from the Radio Times, cast lists, covers etc. The missing episode 4 of Enemy of the World has a sheet inserted with its typed heading, but obviously no telesnaps.
More will be provided on the WAC next issue ...
Recently, Harold Achatz (an Australian fan) completed a reconstruction of The Nightmare Begins – episode 1 of The Daleks Master Plan. The most striking features of Harry’s reconstruction are (a) the 3D animated Daleks, and (b) the animation of the stills to make the characters “talk”.
Here are Harry’s thoughts on Nightmare Begins ...
The Nightmare Begins took ages – I wanted to do an episode that no one has done before, and added to that, a Dalek story! I also wanted the actors in the photos to talk, and the Daleks to actually move. Both turned out to be very difficult to achieve. With the Daleks, I chose a design closest possible to the TV versions, and then reshaded and reshaped parts of the model so I could make the Daleks move.
With the actors, I only had a few photos of the actors from the episode. With those and my animation programs, I learnt to adjust the face to make them “talk”. In other words, to drag out “life” from one still.
The actual reconstruction was achieved by recording the audio into Video Studio (a PC / video software tool). I then edited the Hartnell title sequence straight on to video. If any video footage exists, I place them in the right spots in the episode. Now comes the hardest part – trying to find photos, and then using a paint program to change them if necessary.
If the photos involve actors, I use an animation program called Goo to make the actors speak their lines. When I am satisfied with the clip, I save it as an AVI file. This can then be edited straight into the Video Studio software. A few seconds of video like this can take most of a day to get right.
The Daleks are all 3D models, apart from the video footage which actually exists from the episode. I animate the Daleks frame-by-frame, that is, by creating stills on a red screen background. After I have enough stills, I find a backdrop scene. I usually have to use a paint program to remove any object in the background. I then edit in the background scene into Video Studio, and overlay the Daleks frame-by-frame over the still.
All this is just part of it! Some scenes are overlayed three times to achieve what I want. In total, the episode took three months to make and 185mb of hard disk space.
I feel that the reconstructions do help in improving the enjoyment of the audio. I also hope my non-telesnap reconstruction goes down well with the fans. If someone feels they can do better, I hope my reconstruction gives them some ideas, so they can try it themselves. As computers improve and new programs for video come about, it will be interesting to see what can be done in the future.
As reported last issue, the next Change of Identity reconstructions will actually be enhancements of the first two stories - The Savages and The Power of the Daleks. Thanks to all those people who have been sending in comments – even minor things like spelling mistakes are appreciated.
The improved versions should hopefully be completed and available by the time of the next newsletter (ie.. in about 6 to 8 weeks’ time). For those of you who already have copies of the existing reconstructions, arrangements will be made if you wish to obtain copies of the improved versions.
Also reported last issue, was a description of the next
three stories to be reconstructed. It can now be confirmed that the next
batch of stories will be The Moonbase, The Abominable Snowmen
and The Crusade. The Moonbase will be the next story to be
reconstructed, however, it hasn’t been exactly decided as to order of completion
for Snowmen and Crusade. Quite a few people have been asking
for The Evil of the Daleks, but after completing Marco Polo,
the seven-part stories aren’t exactly on the agenda for the immediate future
Following are comments and reviews on Savages and Power. Next issue will see some Marco Polo reviews/comments. I am also hoping to publish comments on other reconstructions, e.g. Dalek Master Plan 1 and Richard Develyn’s Ice Warriors.
The pictures and the sound are the best I’ve heard on a TR, except for the The Underwater Menace audio (however, the Savages pictures were a bit clearer). I must, however, disagree with those who have written in praise of the scripting. I find it very distracting and I feel that it detracts from my enjoyment of the story. I feel that if the episode is supposed to be a recreation, then it should be as close as possible to what one would see if one could actually view the real episode.
Again, I liked the Savages, but not for the script. Also, a main point that I would like to make is that the 8mm clips should actually be included in the story proper, rather than simply being put on the side. A lot of fans, myself included, probably don’t know exactly where a scene comes from, and seeing it in its proper context helps a lot when viewing the clips later out of context. Overall, I did enjoy The Savages ... too bad the BBC can’t do something like this.
I’ve always liked Season 3. When I want a break from the complexity of 90’s Who, I often turn to such favourites as Celestial Toymaker, The Ark, The Gunfighters, etc. for pure, unadulterated fun. The Savages was, however, a story for which I hadn’t been able to get an audio copy, so this video reconstruction is delightfully “new”.
Unlike other reconstruction projects, it seems that CI takes account of those unfamiliar with the story, what with an introduction, on-screen narration, and dialogue. This I appreciated greatly – some other reconstructions had left me confused. The inclusion of the script (although occasionally the captions are too brief) really keeps your attention to the story, and should definitely be retained on future releases.
The clips were somewhat disconcertingly small, and of course, not exactly synchronised, but I’m reluctant to criticize technological shortcomings when so much effort is still evident in the rest of the video. Sheer entertainment.
THE POWER OF THE DALEKS
The stills were, on the whole, well-used, but I’d have preferred to see a few more non-telesnap stills included. The video footage was well integrated ... I was glad to see that every snippet was put back in (including the “Dalek production line” clip).
Presentation is generally of a high standard. I very much like the intros, with a “teaser” line of dialogue (well chosen in both Power and Savages) and incidental music from the story. The “next episode” bit was also a clever idea, although I don’t think the disco version of the theme sounded right at the end of Power (but that’s a matter of taste!)
The style is better than The Savages – particularly with regard to the relative sizes of the telesnaps and the text. The compromise in Power is MUCH better than The Savages and I didn’t have to sit two feet away from the screen to watch the tape! In summary, I hoped you’d get better with more practice, and you have.
I received a copy of your Power of the Daleks - I have to say, I’m very impressed! Last October, I saw the off-screen cine clips for the first time at PanoptiCon 96. I was delighted when I heard that you had included them in your reconstruction (for completism reasons, if nothing else) but I did wonder how effective they would be, considering their brevity. Seeing them in their right place in the story and in context I now realise that they fit in wonderfully and indeed, the clips were the highlight (for me) of the whole production. I became fascinated every time the pictures turned blue indicating another video clip!
The script, I thought, worked wonderfully. It was clear and understandable and helped enormously during the non-dialogue sections. It also helped to keep my attention fixed on what was happening. An excellent job all round – well done!
After watching Savages, it was difficult to believe this one would be better. Well, it was! Even though the story is quite a basic run-around, and somewhat overlong, we were kept watching by alternating between reading the script and admiring the telesnaps. The clips, thankfully larger, were also a treat : but isn’t there any way at all that they could be slowed down to the correct rate? We don’t want to seem ungrateful, because the video is great, but if the clips were synchronised with the sound (perhaps for the updated version), it’d be brilliant.
In any case, the story itself was well presented. We think it’s good you did a less well known story first, to get people used to the CI format. If we’d seen this first, we’d have turned our preconceptions into criticisms. Marco Polo next, hmm? We’ll be looking forward to seeing how CI handles non-telesnap stories.
The mailbox is a little fuller this issue ...
I just received your newsletter and it is great! I love the fact that there are people out there who actually care about Dr. Who! Also, I’m anxiously awaiting your next issue, and the eventual episodes guide you plan to do. (BRYAN GRUSZKA)
Latest issue was very interesting – the telesnaps feature was very good and something I’d been curious about for a while (I’d always wanted to know exactly what stories telesnaps were known to exist from). Similarly the focus on Richard Develyn’s work was most interesting. (DOMINIC JACKSON)
My suggestion for a forthcoming TR? I’d choose The Smugglers. This is a superb story, full of excellent characters and one that is sadly underrated. The audio is clear and understandable without pictures, so I long to see what you do with it! (RICHARD BIGNELL)
A question : in CI Issue #3, you said that Marco Polo and Mission to the Unknown were the only stories to have no televisual material. If so, what, if anything, exists from The Massacre? (PHIL AND BEN PASCOE)
[You are right in stating that no televisual material exists from The Massacre. My mistake!]
[referring to the old Power of the Daleks reconstruction]
Yes, it was created by Richard Landen, one-time editor of Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly.
The fact that he used a caption camera which could pan and zoom on the
images makes this still one of the better reconstructions. (STEVE ROBERTS)
Last issue it was mentioned that very little progress
had been made on the Change of Identity web-page. Well ... things
haven’t changed all that much. However, now that Marco Polo has
been completed, more time can be devoted to the web-page. Hopefully, the
next newsletter should announce the URL for the Change of Identity
Unfortunately, the season-by-season guide will not commence
this issue. The task of gathering information has proven to be more time-consuming
than originally thought. However, I hope to commence the Season Guide next
issue with the first four stories of Season 1 (ie An Unearthly Child,
Daleks, Edge of Destruction and Marco Polo). Apologies
for the delay.
Kevin Guhl is after Target novelisations of the Hartnell and Troughton era (as well as a couple of the "missing Season 23" Colin Baker stories). If you think you can help, contact Kevin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BTS (Behind-The-Sofa) Script Page is finally up-and-running, after a long absence due to technical problems. The new co-ordinator of the page, Richard Tinsley (rt4986@Bristol.ac.uk) would like all people who currently have scripts in their possession, to forward them to the BTS page.
This one’s mainly for the Australian fans, but overseas people may also be interested. CSO – Convention of the Sunshine CapitOl is planned for Brisbane from 24 to 26 April. Guests include Caroline John, Geoffrey Beevers (the Master in Keeper of Traken), and Keff McCullough. Please write if you’re interested in further details about the con (including available merchandise). With your support, there is a greater chance of future conventions taking place, and who knows what guests we may be able to invite next time. In particular, there will be items on the agenda about the missing episodes / reconstructions. Stay tuned for more details! The NEW convention homepage is :
(IMPORTANT NOTE : this page may not be up-and-running
as of the date of this newsletter)
Thanks to the following people who provided assistance
in the compilation of this issue – Robert Franks, Damian Shanahan, Brian
Pearce, Harold Achatz, Richard Bignell, Neil Hogan (and Data Extract),
and of course, all the people who sent in reviews and comments.
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.
Please send all comments/suggestions/questions to :