The distribution information contained in some of the early issues of the newsletter is now out of date.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
|NEW SOUNDTRACK DISCOVERY|
|THE CELESTIAL TOYMAKER AUDIO|
|THE GREAT TELESNAP SEARCH|
|MISSING CLIP “DISCOVERED”!|
|THE NEXT WEEK CAPTIONS|
|THE MUTANTS STORY GUIDE|
Gosh, you’re probably all saying. It only seems like a few weeks ago that issue #7 was released. Well, you’re right! The last issue was delayed for almost a month – so to get the newsletter back on track with bi-monthly releases, issue #8 is being released as quickly as possible.
Here’s a useless piece of trivia – it’s just over a year since the first Change of Identity newsletter was released. And did you know that the first issue was only received by 6 people??? Fortunately, due to the support of many, many fans, that number has increased to almost 300. Just as significantly, it’s about a year since I released my first reconstruction, which was The Savages.
It’s about time that recognition be given to Robert Franks for the never-ending contribution he makes to this newsletter. So everyone, please say hello to Robert, the new co-editor! Take it away Robert ...
I distinctly remember having issue #2 of this newsletter forwarded to me. I also remember my first E-mail to Bruce – it was full of ‘that bit wasn’t quite right’ and ‘you should change that’. Bruce has put up with all of these ‘suggestions’ from the beginning. It’s even come down to the wire sometimes where we were verifying information the night before publishing (or as close to publication that a net-letter can get). I hope that you all find these little details interesting. A certain friend once told me that he loves knowing these details, but worries that others may find it all a bit boring. I have yet to be bored by anything I’ve discovered.
Enjoy the newsletter and take care,
Bruce & Robert
Due to the extensive update provided in the last issue, and the fact that only five weeks has passed since issue #7, there isn’t a lot of news to report. So here’s a brief update ...
(a) Bruce Robinson
The next two stories I intend completing are The Enemy of the World and the enhanced version of The Power of the Daleks. Originally, I was planning to have both stories out in October, but this now appears highly unlikely.(b) Michael Palmer
Michael has just recently released The Invasion episodes 1 & 4, as well as enhanced versions of The Reign of Terror and Mission to the Unknown. Michael’s next projects will be an enhancement of Richard Develyn’s The Underwater Menace, as well as a new story, The Celestial Toymaker.(c) Richard Develyn
Richard, with the assistance of Robert Franks and Michael Palmer, has just released The Power of the Daleks. Robert has also performed a re-edit of a number of Richard’s previous stories, mainly to insert the Australian censored clips (e.g. Fury from the Deep). Richard has completed his work on The Evil of the Daleks, which now just needs the addition of the credits. Richard has also commenced work on The Macra Terror which should be completed in early 1998.
In the previous issue of this newsletter, an interview
with Steve Roberts was published. Some people have made the inference that
as a result of the interview being published, Steve is the person responsible
for providing the missing episode clips for the reconstructions. However,
it should be clearly stated that this is NOT the case. At no time, has
Steve, or any other BBC employee, been approached to provide copies of
the clips. Their only involvement has been in providing details about certain
broadcasts. Please do not contact Steve or anyone at the BBC about
obtaining copies of the reconstructions or existing episodes.
Although suspected for quite sometime, it can now be pinned down that a three second clip used in The War Games :10 has been lifted from missing episode The Wheel in Space :1.
Not of any great significance, as it contains no shots of characters, it nonetheless shows that research into the series can bring to light these little known facts. In researching the voluminous tome, The Doctor Who Production Guide: Reference Journal, the authors unearthed many previously unknown details.
The three second clip is a shot of the actual Wheel itself
rotating in space. This clip exists with its original soundtrack, and is
used for part of the scene where Zoe is sent home by the Time Lords. Although
similar shots are available in the existing episodes of The Wheel in
Space, BBC documentation states this was lifted from the missing episode
1. Thanks to Dominic Jackson and Simon Wiles for bringing this to our attention.
Recently, yet another audio discovery of the missing episodes was made – the fan responsible was David Butler. At present, it is unclear what episodes David recorded, but here is a brief summary of the details currently known.
David Butler’s recordings are reasonably clear – however, when compared to the audios recorded by Graham Strong and David Holman, it appears that only Butler’s Mission to the Unknown is an improvement over existing copies. However, Butler did not edit the episodes in the same manner as Holman. This means that many of his recordings have the continuity announcer and complete closing credits. Because David was very young at the time, he could not afford to keep buying tapes, so he made the decision to only retain episodes that would provide the best flavour of the stories. Hence his collection mainly consists of only the first and last episodes from any given story.
More details on exactly what stories David did record
and the type of equipment used, will appear in a future issue. In the meantime,
Mr Butler’s audios can be enjoyed on the reconstructions of Mission
to the Unknown and The Invasion :1.
In previous issues of this newsletter, a variety of information has been published about the John Cura telesnaps (a future issue will hopefully be a telesnap special). However, in summary, it is believed that John Cura created telesnaps for most DW stories up till The Mind Robber. Documentation for Cura’s services commence from ‘The Dead Planet’ (The Mutants episode 1), however, it is now thought that he may have even started from An Unearthly Child. Unfortunately though, many of the telesnaps are currently missing.
British fan and part-time DWM writer, Richard Bignell, has commenced an extensive search for the missing telesnaps. Richard’s “great telesnap hunt” involves writing letters to as many actors as possible who appeared in the telesnapped stories currently missing. Richard is concentrating his efforts on the following stories:
Marco PoloWith the assistance of “Spotlight” (a listing of all UK actors), Richard has managed to track down contact details for at least 40 to 45 actors who were involved in the stories above. Some of the more prominent actors include :
Mission to the Unknown
The Myth Makers
The Dalek Master Plan
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve
The Celestial Toymaker
Mark Eden (Marco Polo as Marco Polo)Of course, Richard is also contacting the “lesser” names, as they are just as likely to have used Cura’s services. In fact, probably more so, as the chances of them securing an acting role would have been less than the bigger names. This is actually one of the main reasons that Cura produced the telesnaps, so that the actors involved would have some evidence of their past performances.
Zienia Merton (Marco Polo as Ping-Cho)
Julian Glover (The Crusade as King Richard)
Jean Marsh (The Crusade as Joanna, also The Dalek Masterplan as Sara Kingdom)
Michael Gough (The Celestial Toymaker as the Toymaker)
Unfortunately, no Doctor Who telesnaps have been discovered as of writing. However, the search hasn’t been entirely fruitless. Richard has received a number of interesting responses, the most notable being :
Normal Mitchell (policeman in The Dalek Masterplan)
Mitchell was aware of Cura’s services, and in fact, obtained telesnaps for some of his non-Doctor Who roles – those roles being in the BBC productions The Brothers Karamazov and The Flying Swan (both circa 1965). Both these productions are currently missing from the BBC Archives.Barry Jackson (Garvey in Mission to the Unknown)
Jackson did avail himself of Cura’s services during 1959 and 1960, but from then onwards, started using the official studio stills.George Little (Haroun in The Crusade)
Little did use Cura’s services, but only started after The Crusade.Philip Voss (Acomat in Marco Polo)
Although Voss had no photos, he did have vivid memories of filming Marco Polo. In particular, Voss states “I recall emerging from my cave made of black drapes to a jungle made from one square foot of sand and two tuffs of grass!”Zienia Merton (Ping-Cho in Marco Polo)
Although Merton had no photos, she also has fond memories of her time on Doctor Who. In particular, she remembers the filming of ‘The Singing Sands’, where stagehands where throwing handfuls of sawdust across the studio floor! Merton also recalls William Hartnell telling her to say the word “f***” she should ever fluff a line, thus causing a retake to be made!A number of the actors (such as Roy Evans from Masterplan, and Jeremy Young from Mission to the Unknown) were also shocked to hear that the BBC destroyed so many episodes. Young, in particular, was unaware that Mission no longer existed.
Although the responses are still trickling in, the chances
of locating any telesnaps appears slimmer by the day. However, Richard
has certainly not given up – his next “project” is to track down the people
who worked on Planet of Giants. Documentation suggests that Cura
MAY have telesnapped all four episodes of this story. Therefore, the discovery
of any telesnaps from episodes 3 & 4 would be a significant find. On
the other hand, certain BBC documentation lists ‘World’s End’ (The Dalek
Invasion of Earth :1) as ‘The Urge to Live’ (the “missing” episode
4 of Planet of Giants). This may have led to the telesnaps being
incorrectly described as deriving from ‘The Urge to Live’ , when in fact
Cura really telesnapped ‘World’s End’. The investigation continues ...
As many readers of this newsletter will be aware, there are two people primarily responsible for the current pristine audio recordings of lost episodes. The first is Graham Strong, who has been a huge help not only in providing dubs of his own recordings, but also in convincing David Holman (the second person) to share his tapes with the rest of the world. David actually started recording episodes from ‘The Roof of the World’. Up until recently, only fair copies of some of David’s recordings were commonly available. The BBC, specifically Paul Vanezis, had borrowed David’s tapes to make DAT recordings for the BBC to archive.
David’s recordings are now in Graham Strong’s capable hands. Graham has been using his Phillips N4414 stereo recorder to dub David’s 7" tapes into copies that can be used for the restoration process (the original tapes were recorded at a 3.75” per second speed). Many other fans have had a hand in the restoration of these audios – both cleaning up the sound and repairing bad edits. What follows is a typical example to restore one of these stories. The Celestial Toymaker was awarded a higher priority due to the poor copies that had been previously available.
David’s audios, although remarkably clear, contain edits performed by David when originally recorded in the sixties. Most of these consist of the cropping of opening/closing themes, as David tried to record a continuous story. In an effort to restore these episodes to as close to their original form as possible, the following is an example of the restoration of The Celestial Toymaker. As episode 4 (‘The Final Test’) currently exists in the BBC Archives, the restoration work was required to patch episodes 1-3.
The following are a list of edits which exist in David’s original recording :
1) the reprise from The Ark is cut. (episode 1)Thankfully, episode 2 has a complete set of closing credits, and episode 3 has the whole opening theme. This meant that the editing of the conclusion for episodes 1 & 3 was a lot simpler. All the episodes ended with the same incidental music playing over a screen where that week’s riddle was displayed. That same music was then replayed after the reprises for the next episode. The incidental music and closing theme from episode 2 was used to replace the missing portions at the ends of episodes 1 & 3. This was an elementary task, although with episode 3, the audio had to be faded from one source to the other, as the cut was rather abrupt.
2) the link between episodes 1 & 2 has a very noticeable cut. Although the music seems to be cut perfectly, there is an audible jump (this would be at the end of episode 1 and the reprise of episode 2).
3) episode 3 cuts out rather abruptly.
There has also been some talk over episode 3’s reprise. Although episode 3 starts complete with the opening theme music, the reprise from episode 2 is slightly cut. There is a line of Steven’s dialogue which, although it sounds as if he starts to speak, the remainder of the line is cut. The general consensus has been that David would not have had the resources to do an edit of this nature back in the 60’s. The reprises of all the episodes were from 35mm film inserts, so they should be exactly the same as the previous episode. After some research, it is now believed that the film insert was shortened before broadcast.
Episode 2 also contains some distortion problems. US fan Brian Pearce has made extensive notes on these problems, and is looking into the possibility of replacing them with poorer audio fill. The distortion only lasts a few seconds, and is mainly the result of imperfections that exist on David’s original tapes. The distortion takes the form of the audio slowing down and slurring passages. The longest section occurs for about five seconds (as the first doll is electrocuted). The other problems concern minor portions of dialogue, particularly one exchange at the commencement of episode 3. Graham Strong has indicated that even though the distortion is part of David’s original tapes, it may be possible to repair the damage digitally.
The version of episode 4’s telerecording, available on the BBC Video “The Hartnell Years”, is noticeably of poor quality audio. Paul Vanezis points out that there is nothing actually wrong with the audio on the print returned from the ABC. Apparently when the viewing copy was made by Enterprises, they used the optically copied optical track which was rather poor. Therefore, a new print could be struck with acceptable audio.
Overall, the cuts are minor, but the work involved in repairing them can take several hours and numerous attempts. In the end hopefully all this will pay off and everyone can enjoy these episodes as close to the original broadcast as possible. For further details on the distortion problems with episode 2, have a look at Brian Pearce’s full article, which can be located at the following website:
Most fans are probably aware of the “Next Episode” captions that appear at the end of the individually titled Hartnell episodes. In other words, up to and including ‘The OK Corral’ (The Gunfighters :4), which has a “Next Episode: Dr Who and the Savages” caption. Despite what the BBC releases may indicate, these captions do exist at the conclusion of all episodes pre-Savages. For the commercial releases, the BBC have removed the “Next Episode” caption from the final episode, presumably in the belief that it will confuse the general viewer. However, in the case of ‘The Final Test’ (The Celestial Toymaker :4), which was released as part of “The Hartnell Years”, the film print returned to the Archives was actually missing the “Next Episode” caption.
What is not so well known, is that the tradition of “Next Episode” captions continued from The Savages onwards. The Savages marked the point in the series where the individual Hartnell episode titles were replaced by the more well-known practice of calling the entire story by one name. Of course, the captions were not “Next Episode” captions, instead they were “Next Week” captions. For obvious reasons, the “Next Week” captions were only displayed at the conclusion of the final episode for a story.
For an example of what these ‘Next Week’ captions look
like, have a close look at the telesnaps for The Smugglers (as published
in DWM). On the very last telesnap (not including the closing credits),
a “Next Week : The Tenth Planet” caption is visible. However, note that
the ‘Next Week’ captions were generally displayed after the closing credits.
with The Moonbase :4 (as featured on the “Cybermen – The Early Years” tape), the ‘Next Week’ caption for The Macra Terror can be seen at the conclusion of the credits.
It is interesting to note that just about every story from The Savages to The Space Pirates originally had “Next Week” captions at the conclusion of the final episode. However, the episode as broadcast, did not always carry these captions. Many stories had the “Next Week” captions replaced by a trailer for the following story. These trailers generally consisted of location film footage shot for the next story. For example, the Fury From the Deep trailer for the conclusion of The Web of Fear consists of the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria walking around on the beach. In the case of many stories, location filming was all that was available for the simple reason that the studio recording had yet to be made. During Season 4, most stories were shot only a week before screening, which meant the cast could watch the previous week’s episode being broadcast just before they commenced the studio recording!
Only two of the existing film prints have the “Next Week”
captions intact, and that is The Moonbase :4 and The Mind Robber
:5. Understandably, the BBC removed these captions for the commercial releases.
In a future issue, further details will be provided on the trailers that
regularly appeared in place of the “Next Week” captions.
This issue sees the publication of another story guide, that of The Mutants. As always, if you’re after a more detailed description of what these guides contain, please refer to issue #6 of this newsletter.
Episode TX TI DU VA CP AA The Dead Planet 21 Dec 63 17.16 24'22" 6.9 67 59 The Survivors 28 Dec 63 17.16 24'27" 6.4 78 58 The Escape 04 Jan 64 17.15 25'10" 8.9 45 63 The Ambush 11 Jan 64 17.15 24'37" 9.9 29 62 The Expedition 18 Jan 64 17.15 24'31" 9.9 27 63 The Ordeal 25 Jan 64 17.15 26'14" 10.4 29 63 The Rescue 01 Feb 64 17.18 22'24" 10.4 25 65
(Note – durations for the first three episodes were calculated from the Start and Finish times on the Programme-as-Broadcast documentation. No “official” duration exists for these episodes.)
Total Duration (approx) = 171'45"
Average Viewing Audience = 8.97 million
Average Chart Position = 42.86
Repeat Screenings –(b) VIDEO FOOTAGE
- nil on BBC1, although the story has been screened on UK Gold and BSB.
Status – all 7 episodes currently exist as 16mm black/white telerecordings. The entire story was about to be junked by Enterprises in 1978, when Ian Levine appeared in time to save it. The episodes recovered included the negatives, as well as the B/W telerecordings.
Clips – n/a
(c) AUDIO RECORDINGS
- in 1987, Enterprises ordered new prints of the Doctor Who episodes, including The Mutants (a.k.a The Daleks). When they came to duplicate ‘The Rescue’ (episode 7), it was discovered that the negative was actually a “sound neg”. This meant that the only copy available was a damaged viewing print. This copy was cleaned, and an optical negative was made from the cleaned print. Paul Vanezis has since made a D3 transfer from BBC Enterprises’ only video copy, although this is missing the “Next Episode” caption.
- ‘The Ambush’ (episode 4) was transmitted from 35mm film which combined videotaped material.
- released on BBC Video as The Daleks (2 volumes). The release was uncut, apart from the deletion of the cliffhanger and “Next Episode” caption at the end of episode 7 (i.e. leading into ‘The Edge of Destruction’). Released in 1989 by BBC Video (BBCV 4242); US release 1995 (CBS/Fox Video 8253).
n/a(e) PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
Telesnaps – PasB (Programme-as-Broadcast) documentation indicates that John Cura created telesnaps for all episodes, bar ‘The Ambush’ and ‘The Expedition’. Christopher Barry possesses contact sheets for the episodes he directed (i.e. episodes 1,2,4,5 only) – Barry believes that co-director, Richard Martin, was offered the telesnaps for the remaining episodes.
Behind-the-Scenes Shots – unknown
Publicity Shots –(f) AUSTRALIAN CENSOR CUTS
- 22 Nov 63 – photocall at Lime Grove D – the Doctor’s party meeting the Daleks.
- 29 Nov 63 – photocall at Lime Grove D – Susan and the Thals outside the TARDIS.
- 6 Dec 63 – photocall at Lime Grove D – the regular cast in the TARDIS console room.
- 23 Dec 63 – photocall at Shepherds Bush Market – Daleks on patrol.
(g) OTHER NOTES
Episode DR FT RA CUTS The Dead Planet 05 May 64 915 A none The Survivors 05 May 64 917 A none The Escape 05 May 64 945 A none The Ambush 05 May 64 841 A none The Expedition 05 May 64 920 A none The Ordeal 05 May 64 985 A none The Rescue 05 May 64 841 A none
* Working Titles – ‘The Survivors’ (whole story), ‘The Caves of Terror’ (episode 6), ‘The Execution’ (episode 7). The story was originally known as The Mutants, but due to the Jon Pertwee story of the same name, the story is now commonly referred to as The Daleks.
* all filming occurred at Lime Grove Studio D (from 15 Nov 63 to 10 Jan 64), with film inserts at Ealing (28 Oct to 1 Nov 63, 26 Nov 63, 02 Dec 63).
* when originally recorded on 15 Nov 63, the first episode (‘The Dead Planet’) was found to be unsuitable for broadcast due to the soundtrack picking up interference from the assistant director’s headphones. The episode was re-recorded on 06 Dec 63, which forced the production of all subsequent episodes (i.e. from episode 4 onwards) to be delayed a week.
* the standard procedure during the 1960s was to refilm the cliffhanger sequence at the start of the next episode. However, an exception to this was the cliffhanger at the end of ‘The Dead Planet’ (episode 1). The footage of Barbara’s attack by the “unknown creature” was reused at the start of ‘The Survivors’ (episode 2). Interestingly the reprise used was from the original recording, ie the recording which had the sound problem mentioned above.
* novelisation by David Whitaker. Original title – ‘Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with The Daleks’. First published in 1964 by Frederick Muller Ltd (issued with a photographic cover). Reissued in 1965 by Armada Paperbacks with a cover painting by Peter Archer. It also formed three of the books reissued by Universal-Tandem (later W.H. Allen) in May 1973, retitled ‘Doctor Who and The Daleks’ with a cover by Chris Achilleos. In subsequent reprints, W.H. Allen numbered this book #16. The current release, again retitled ‘Doctor Who – The Daleks’, was released in 1992 by Virgin Publishing with a cover by Alister Pearson. This was the first ever Doctor Who novelisation. Whitaker actually novelised the story with an entirely new opening sequence. This introduced the characters of Ian and Barbara in a totally different way to that presented in 100,000 BC.
* In 1989, Titan Books released a script adaptation of the story, titled ‘Doctor Who – The Daleks’, with a cover by Tony Clark. A new edition was issued in 1994 with a painting by Alister Pearson.
This was a wonderful job. I was expecting telesnaps – do they even exist for this story? [ed : telesnaps were taken for this story by John Cura, but do not currently exist] So, I was doubly impressed at how well chosen the photos were. I’ve watched episodes 1-6 so far, and have found the story surprisingly easy to follow. The actual video footage at the start of part 1 was however very poor on my tape. The rest was great, with the pictures and audio being very clear.
There was a bit of a problem with the sound for a few moments in one or two of the latter episodes. However, putting the text at the bottom was a great idea, as was describing the action during the ‘quiet’ bits. I also loved the maps you included during Polo’s narration. The story itself was certainly epic in feel – I knew nothing about it so I was coming to it fresh. And I guess I have you to thank for that!
I was eagerly looking forward to watching this Patrick Troughton classic, and was not disappointed! The quality of the reconstruction itself is excellent, and the story itself very entertaining. The Abominable Snowmen is most remembered for the debut of the Yeti, yet the story also features terrific location work, many scenes effectively imbued with the moody atmosphere of the Tibetan monastery, and a chilling, convincing villain in the form of the “possessed” High Lama Padmasambhava. Troughton is in top form, and the story sustains its drama throughout.
The reconstruction itself is smooth and unobtrusive, easily allowing the viewer to imagine what it must have been like, back in 1967, to experience the Yeti for the very first time. Thanks in part to what I have seen via the wonderful reconstructions such as The Web of Fear, Fury From the Deep, and now The Abominable Snowmen, I believe season five (1967/68) was truly a “classic” period in Doctor Who.
The story is badly hit by the loss of episode three, in which all the major action takes place. Having said this, it also has, in my opinion, the dumbest characterisation of the Cybermen – and in only their second story. Why oh why do they have to go around using sarcasm and one-liners when they’re supposed to be an emotionless super-race – it is hard to understand and it demeans them.
The scene in episode two where the Doctor notes that “There are some corners of the universe that have bred the most terrible things... They must be fought” is the first strong and explicit piece of second Doctor characterisation. Hartnell, if he had still been going by this time, might have left it to Ben and Polly to do more along the lines of their solvent attack. Instead, Troughton takes the forthright, attacking stance that the Cybermen must be defeated. This is the first real flowering of the Troughton interventionist characteristic, and although it doesn’t reach the McCoy-like subtleties of The Evil of the Daleks, it is still a welcome development.
The Moonbase lends itself far less to the COI style of reconstruction than do Power and Savages (forgetting Marco Polo as a non-telesnap story). It’s simply that, whilst Power is full of delightful subtleties and brilliant use of an established race of monsters which come out well when you have the script to explain them fully, The Moonbase has very few subtleties. It could easily have been any other race of monsters instead of the Cybermen – they seem just to be there to bump up the viewing figures. One of the weaker stories of Season 4.
You mentioned in issue #7 about how there is documentary evidence that Cura was taking telesnaps at around the time of ‘An Unearthly Child’. There is perhaps more proof of this – in the first chapter of ‘The Sixties’, David Howe mentions the BBC Suspense play ‘Man on a Bicycle’ (starring Carole Ann Ford, tx 18 Mar 63). It won’t surprise you to know that the programme no longer exists (in fact nothing at all exists from any of the 48 Suspense plays) – but there are telesnaps from it (a couple of which are published in ‘The DWB Interview File’, p19).
So Cura was taking telesnaps at this time – and if telesnaps exist from The Mutants (strictly correct titling here!) and Marco Polo was telesnapped, perhaps 100,000 BC was as well?
What are some of the most vivid memories fans have the sixties stories? Malcolm Morris puts forward his two cents worth ...
My name is Malcolm Morris and I was born on 12th August 1957. I was therefore six when I watched the very first episode of Doctor Who. Do I remember it? Yes I do! I remember looking forward to it, and I remember it being delayed due to Kennedy’s assassination – I also remember it being repeated the following week in case anyone had missed it (you don’t hear this mentioned too often – am I the only one who watched it?). However I have no memory at all of the following three episodes and until a few years ago, was convinced that The Daleks was the first story.
Talking of Daleks... were these first stories really scary? Well the sight of a sink plunger menacing Barbara at the end of the first episode of The Daleks gave me nightmares for a week! Only when a Dalek was revealed in all its full glory did the dreams go away. The scariest Dalek story I remember was the ‘Haunted House’ episode from The Chase. It seems hard to believe now, but I really did hide behind the sofa when first watching this episode (I also remember having no knowledge of who Dracula and Frankenstein were – children really were more innocent in those days!)
Now Cybermen were a different thing altogether – everyone in the playground agreed that they were the scariest thing around. I get very disheartened when I read that people feel that the recent rediscovery of the The Tomb of the Cybermen has devalued its classic status .... the story is exactly as I remember it and it is every bit as good today as it was when first broadcast. To worry about whether the walls were made of silver paper or not is missing the whole point ... the air of menace exuded by the Cybermen is incredible, and to this day the scene where the Cyber Controller emerges from his tomb brings a shiver to my spine. Incidentally, I remember seeing a still from Tomb in a newspaper before it was first shown, and thinking that the Cyber Controller was merely a standard Cyberman with half finished make-up!
I have lots more fragment of memories from the ‘black and white era’, such as the Cyberman being hidden in a hospital bed in The Moonbase, a Chumbley circulating around the TARDIS in Galaxy 4, Ian and Barbara being attacked by a vegetation covered statue in The Keys of Marinus, the four travellers finding their future selves as exhibits in The Space Museum, Ice Warriors hissing etc. etc. But the most important thing I remember was that all my friends watched and enjoyed the series. The first Doctor was not a dark and mysterious character – that was invented later (fans of the NA version of the 7th Doctor please take note). He was a friendly and kind old man, and even though we didn’t know where he came from, we didn’t really care too much!
Like most of my generation I stopped watching Doctor Who during Jon Pertwee’s era. The Doctor as a member of the establishment, based on Earth with military backup held little interest to those of us who had followed the series from the beginning. I only really picked the series up again when at University (the reason that the 4th Doctor is often accused of employing ‘undergraduate humour’ is that all the original fans of the series were undergraduates at the time – the series was simply refinding its first audience).
Here’s a very quick trivia question! Not including the
telemovie and other spin-off shows (such as Dimensions in Time),
name as many Doctor Who episodes that you can where the opening titles
are longer than the closing credits (hint – there aren’t too many of them!).
Answers in the next issue, but no prizes unfortunately!
This issue looks at a few upcoming conventions around the world.
Firstly, there’s an Australian Doctor Who convention.
‘Timestorm’ is to be held in Melbourne later this year from 22 to 24 November.
The major guest is Sophie Aldred. For further details, send an E-mail to
Richard Nolan at email@example.com.
The following weekend will see the biggest Dr Who convention stateside. Visions ’97 continues a fine tradition hostings such guests as Peter Davison, Louise Jameson, Frazer Hines, Chris Barrie and many others. The convention takes place in Chicago, Illinois 28 to 30 November. Details can be found at their web site:
February in the States brings us Gallifrey One, which is turning out to be quite a Reconstruction-lovers convention. Many of the TR’s will be screened and they even have Colin Baker, Steve Cole, Gary Russell, David Howe and a multitude of others. Join us 13 to 15 February in Los Angeles for a great time. Information can be found at:
And, of course, there’s CSO (Convention of the Sunshine CapitOl) which will be held in Brisbane Australia from 24 to 26 April 1998. Guests include Caroline John, Geoffrey Beevers and Keff McCulloch. Visit the following web-page for further details :
Ever wanted to know the ratings for Nightmare of Eden part three? Or what the BBC’s duration listing is for The Macra Terror episode 2? How about a full cast list for Time and the Rani? Well, Brett O’Callaghan has put all of these facts into “WHOinfo”, a database program designed for Windows95. The latest version can be downloaded from:
Last, but not least, Dominic Jackson has recently set up a missing episodes/reconstruction web-site. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks fantastic! In fact Dominic has put together one of the most informative pieces on early/missing Dr Who, “The Dr Who Video and Audio FAQ”. Check out the page at:
Thanks to the following people who have helped out with
this issue: Keith Armstrong, Richard Bignell, Ian Edmond, David Howe, Dominic
Jackson, Malcolm Morris and Andrew Pixley. For the Celestial Toymaker
audio article, thanks to Brian Pearce, David Holman, Graham Strong, Richard
Develyn, Stephen Cranford and Paul Vanezis.
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!
Issues 1 to 7 are still available (#1-3 in plain text only, #4 - 7 in plain text or MS Word 6). Alternatively, the back-issues can be obtained in HTML format – either E-mail Robert, or visit the following web site:
Please send all comment/suggestions/questions to :
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com