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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old June 24 2012, 07:00 PM   #16
diankra
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Candlelight wrote: View Post
I tried to write out all the videotape wipings in chronological order in my blog:

http://missingepisodes.blogspot.co.nz/p/timeline.html

It's not finished, not by a long shot.
At first glance, that matches Richard Molesworth's book.
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Old June 24 2012, 08:15 PM   #17
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Hmm. Just had a thought: presumably the tapes of Doctor Who were erased so that they could be taped over with new programs. Is there any way to determine what new programs were recorded onto those specific tapes, and whether the actual physical tapes themselves still survive? I'm thinking that at least some bits of the original data may still be there, like a palimpsest, and maybe there's a way that modern technology could digitally extract those fragments of information and reconstruct the original images, similarly to how the Reconstruction Team was able to discover fragments of color data on black-and-white copies of some of the episodes and use them to recreate the lost color information. But first they'd have to identify the actual physical reels of tape that used to have the Doctor Who episodes on them.
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Old June 24 2012, 10:28 PM   #18
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

diankra wrote: View Post
Candlelight wrote: View Post
I tried to write out all the videotape wipings in chronological order in my blog:

http://missingepisodes.blogspot.co.nz/p/timeline.html

It's not finished, not by a long shot.
At first glance, that matches Richard Molesworth's book.
I had it almost right, I used Wiped! to correct one error I made.
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Old June 24 2012, 10:55 PM   #19
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Hmm. Just had a thought: presumably the tapes of Doctor Who were erased so that they could be taped over with new programs. Is there any way to determine what new programs were recorded onto those specific tapes, and whether the actual physical tapes themselves still survive? I'm thinking that at least some bits of the original data may still be there, like a palimpsest, and maybe there's a way that modern technology could digitally extract those fragments of information and reconstruct the original images, similarly to how the Reconstruction Team was able to discover fragments of color data on black-and-white copies of some of the episodes and use them to recreate the lost color information. But first they'd have to identify the actual physical reels of tape that used to have the Doctor Who episodes on them.
I believe the only tape they know about is an edition of Blue Peter, but even if it were remotely possible the tape previously held Enemy Of The World 3, the one part of the story we have anyway!
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Old June 24 2012, 11:08 PM   #20
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Well, it would be nice if it could happen, because it may be the only way to recover all the missing episodes short of actually inventing time travel.
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Old July 1 2012, 10:28 PM   #21
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

My copy of Galaxy 4 has a scratch on it, so have to wait until I find another copy. So I decided to jump into a story that I never really considered to be any good based on the solitary surviving episode and the fact it sticks out like a sore thumb in the proverbial 'season of monsters'...

THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD
9/10

Boy was I wrong. This story was undeniably brilliant. First, I found out at the very beginning that it was written by David Whittaker, arguably my favourite author of the 1960s. I never knew! Next, there were so many awesome sequences in most episodes (the hovercraft chase, the helicopter exploding, the volcanic eruption, the underground colony - seriously, who didn't see that one coming!?). Salamander is a great megalomaniac, the solar satellites generating the natural disasters (though I can't recall if they explained it; are they super heating the earth causing the lava to expand and trigger a volcanic event??). My only gripe is the final episode is horribly rushed, and I would hazard a suggestion that a seventh episode might even help with the resolution. Astrid's reaction at the episode 5 cliffhanger about Salamander attacking Swann is questionable; after all she's been through why wouldn't he?? In my opinion, this was the best story of Season Five.

Might dip back into Hartnell territory next.
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Old July 2 2012, 04:14 AM   #22
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

read the novelization of the Enemy of the World many many moons ago and wanted to see it only to find out it no longer existed.

Then again as I found out with Tomb Of The Cybermen, the book added stuff that wasn't in the episodes so I might have been disappointed.
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Old July 2 2012, 05:35 AM   #23
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

The first few episodes made me feel this would be excellent as a tv serial but doesn't really work as an audio-only story.

Now after finishing it I think it works really well as it is, though would love to see it found.
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Old July 3 2012, 02:51 PM   #24
diankra
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Hmm. Just had a thought: presumably the tapes of Doctor Who were erased so that they could be taped over with new programs. Is there any way to determine what new programs were recorded onto those specific tapes, and whether the actual physical tapes themselves still survive? I'm thinking that at least some bits of the original data may still be there, like a palimpsest, and maybe there's a way that modern technology could digitally extract those fragments of information and reconstruct the original images, similarly to how the Reconstruction Team was able to discover fragments of color data on black-and-white copies of some of the episodes and use them to recreate the lost color information. But first they'd have to identify the actual physical reels of tape that used to have the Doctor Who episodes on them.

Slightly belated addition... I suspect there wouldn't be any way to recover such data, as the tapes weren't just recorded over: they'd be put through a bulk eraser, and then have a new testcard/tone track recorded onto them, as a precaution against the sort of leak through from old recordings you're hoping for (certainly, that was standard practice at my university TV station during the 1980s, which was using ex-BBC surplus equipment dating back to the 60s and had adopted the same routines).
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Old July 3 2012, 03:48 PM   #25
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

^Yes, but my thinking is that such a procedure might not have been total, and that the kinds of digital technology we have today might be able to extract information that would've seemed to be completely erased by the standards of 1970s/80s analog technology.

After all, the Reconstruction Team was able to extract that color information from black-and-white copies of the originals. The copying equipment wasn't designed or set up to transfer any color information to the copies at all, yet somehow a trace of such information was transferred over anyway, which is amazing to me. And people working with modern computers were able to extract those fragments of information, interpolate what was missing, and combine it with the existing monochrome information and photo reference to reconstruct what had been lost. So if such hidden information could be found in a copy that wasn't supposed to contain any of it at all, then who knows what leftover bits might linger on the originals, despite the best efforts of '70s technology to eradicate them? It might just seem to be random specks of noise, but a powerful enough computer might be able to divine a residual pattern. And maybe at least a partial reconstruction could be achieved by using the existing stills and clips as reference to help interpolate the missing image information. (For instance, if you know that the pattern of magnetic traces on frame X corresponds to such-and-such a frame capture of the Doctor in a particular pose, then understanding the pattern beneath those traces could let you deduce that the traces in a subsequent frame correspond to the Doctor having moved a foot to the left. And so on.)

So no, it's not a sure thing -- in fact, it's a heck of a reach. But most anyone would've thought it was impossible to reconstruct the color information from those Third Doctor episodes, yet it was done. So at least it would be worth looking into this, trying to track down the original tapes and seeing if there was a way to extract useful information from them. No harm in trying, right?
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Old July 3 2012, 03:51 PM   #26
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, it would be nice if it could happen, because it may be the only way to recover all the missing episodes short of actually inventing time travel.
Or FTL. Get out in front of the television signal wave front. It would be horrifically degraded, but perhaps multiple ships, operating in concert, at different points on the wavefront sphere...
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Old July 3 2012, 04:06 PM   #27
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Or FTL. Get out in front of the television signal wave front. It would be horrifically degraded, but perhaps multiple ships, operating in concert, at different points on the wavefront sphere...
At any distance greater than about a light-year, it would be so degraded as to be almost indistinguishable from background noise (contrary to the myths about I Love Lucy still being viewable from 60 light-years away). The technology necessary to reconstruct the signal out of that noise would be essentially equivalent to that needed to reconstruct it from the original erased tapes. So just finding the original tapes themselves strikes me as an easier first step.

There's also the possibility of contacting aliens and discovering that they've been monitoring Earth from hidden satellites for decades and have recorded all our broadcasts...
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Old July 3 2012, 07:38 PM   #28
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Or FTL. Get out in front of the television signal wave front. It would be horrifically degraded, but perhaps multiple ships, operating in concert, at different points on the wavefront sphere...
At any distance greater than about a light-year, it would be so degraded as to be almost indistinguishable from background noise (contrary to the myths about I Love Lucy still being viewable from 60 light-years away). The technology necessary to reconstruct the signal out of that noise would be essentially equivalent to that needed to reconstruct it from the original erased tapes. So just finding the original tapes themselves strikes me as an easier first step.

There's also the possibility of contacting aliens and discovering that they've been monitoring Earth from hidden satellites for decades and have recorded all our broadcasts...
I'm still holding onto the hope that for a 50th Anniversary Gift, the Doctor will leave behind a case containing all the missing episodes, which he has collected up prior to destruction for us over the years (This may even be why some of them went missing in the first place, because he grabbed the copies to rpesent us for the 50th)

That, or yea, someone needs to invent a Time machine so we can pop back ourselves and save copies from destruction.
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Old July 3 2012, 10:37 PM   #29
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

I'd say the best hope right now lies in either:
- Lies in the hands of film collectors who don't realise they have a missing episode
- Lies in a vault that a tv station has forgotten about or not catelogued (such as Sierra Leone)
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Old July 3 2012, 10:46 PM   #30
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

^Sure, that would be the best hope, of course, and I'd love it if there were some vault that turned out to have every remaining lost episode. I'm just thinking that maybe there's a last-ditch option to be investigated when all else fails, and I'm wondering if anyone involved in Doctor Who restoration has given any thought to tracking down the actual physical tapes and determining if there's a way to extract erased data from them.
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