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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 May 30 2012, 01:26 AM   #1
Candlelight
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Currently working through the missing episode audios...

My only experience with them previously has been the two Tom Baker versions for both Troughton Dalek stories (and the odd episode I might've 'acquired' to listen to here and there).

But now I've managed to borrow most of the missing episode audios in their remastered form and am slowly working through them (this thread will take a while as I only get to hear maybe 1 or 2 a week, but it varies). So in order of listening...

THE POWER OF THE DALEKS (Anneke Wills version)
9/10

It's amazing how much more detail appears with a proper script. So many more images are fleshed out and its far more easier to understand from a visual (or lack of) perspective. My only gripe would be some of the scene directions are a bit unnecessary (like "Bragen exits", when it oh-so obvious that Bragen has just left the room).

THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS (Frazer Hines version)
5/10 (first 5) 10/10 (last 2)

I have to say I was a little disappointed by this. First I was impressed to hear episode one in it's full version (the Tom Baker version edited out the Tri-Colour bar scenes), but after that not even Frazer's excellent narration helped me keep my interest, and I ended up skipping episode four entirely. Then again I was never a fan of the middle episodes of this story; having the Daleks run around a house in the 1860s was hardly their proudest moment. That said, the final two episodes are some of the finest in the Troughton era.

FURY FROM THE DEEP (Frazer Hines version)
8/10

Excellent. Gripping storyline from start to finish. My only complaint would be from some of the original dialogue which came across as very B-Movie-esque and overly dramatic.

THE DALEKS MASTER PLAN
7/10

I've always considered this story to be a little bland whenever I read story descriptions, being filled with Nation cliches and silly run-around plots to extend the length of the story. But after hearing the episodes remastered my opinion changes quite a bit. It's a great story, a truly epic adventure. Unfortunately in the copies I was given my friend had relabelled episode 5 as episode 4, and thus I had two copies of Counter Plot - which already exists! I'll have to go back and hear The Traitors at a later date.

MARCO POLO
7/10 (so far)

Only 4 of the 7 episodes through but it's a great story, and a nice diversion from the monsters and aliens that populate the show these days. Nice to hear the Doctor being threatening for once (sounds like he was gonna rip the Tardis key from Marco or otherwise would rip his head off!)

More to come...
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Old June 17 2012, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Finished Marco Polo. Very good story, and definitely picked up towards the end. Have to say it's unlike any Dr Who story I've ever watched (or heard, obviously). It's a pity it's missing. I found episode 6 to be the strongest, with all the dominoes falling into place and Tegana and Ian squaring off at the end. (8/10)

The Massacre next.
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Old June 18 2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

THE MASSACRE
(5/10)

Had high hopes for this one but ultimately it felt like too much talking and not enough action. The lack of the "Doctor" hurt the story, although it's hard to imagine what impact he would have considering he wouldn't be changing history, and really it was only Steven's lack of knowledge of the time period that allowed him to participate.

That said, the final scene is excellent.
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Old June 22 2012, 01:24 AM   #4
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

THE HIGHLANDERS
(5/10)

Not a bad romp, but ultimately there's really not much going on in this story. They seem to spend ages running around avoiding then finding various parts of the British army, then the Doctor seems to go through an entire array of costumes (and accents) before the story ends. I guess it just highlights how historicals were often seen simply as humorous filler stories; under that notion it's good they finished up with them.

Galaxy 4 next.
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Old June 22 2012, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Candlelight wrote: View Post
THE HIGHLANDERS
(5/10)

Not a bad romp, but ultimately there's really not much going on in this story. They seem to spend ages running around avoiding then finding various parts of the British army, then the Doctor seems to go through an entire array of costumes (and accents) before the story ends. I guess it just highlights how historicals were often seen simply as humorous filler stories; under that notion it's good they finished up with them.

Galaxy 4 next.
If I recall, I liked the Galaxy 4 reconstruction, and isn't that the other story that had a FOUND episode lately?

The thing about The Highlanders missing is, that it's Jamie's introduction story,

The only other Historicals I've enjoyed are The Aztecs (One of my all time favorite Hartnell Stories) which is excellent and The Romans is pretty funny. So far, none of the other Historicals has grabbed me at all, I've seen reconstructions and/or surviving episodes of the rest (Marco Polo, The Reign of Terror, The Crusade, The Myth Makers, The Massacre, The Gun Fighters) and they fail to capture my attention like the SciFi ones do
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Old June 22 2012, 04:31 AM   #6
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

I found Marco Polo engaging but I agree with you about the others.

I've never seen The Aztecs but I keep hearing good things about it. Or The Gun Fighters, to which I hear bad things .
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Old June 22 2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Sindatur wrote: View Post
If I recall, I liked the Galaxy 4 reconstruction, and isn't that the other story that had a FOUND episode lately?
Yup, episode 3 from that story and episode 2 from The Underwater Menace, which I'll probably do after Galaxy 4.
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Old June 22 2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

I love the Historicals and definitely prefer them to the sci-fi stuff.

For me Marco Polo, Aztecs, The Crusade, The Massacre, The Myth Makers and The Romans are among the all time greats of Who - all in my top 25 stories. Reign Of Terror isn't up that standard but still decent, The Smugglers, Highlanders and Gunfighters are all fun romps if nothing much else.
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Old June 23 2012, 02:22 AM   #9
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Sindatur wrote: View Post
The thing about The Highlanders missing is, that it's Jamie's introduction story,
The very odd thing about The Highlanders is that it was the very first story to be wiped (NB: that means its transmission tapes were wiped, not that the film copies made for BBC Enterprises were destroyed. That didn't happen till the mid-1970s).
It was wiped in March 1967 within six weeks of its only UK transmission, whereas usually tapes weren't wiped until two years after transmission (when the option of a pre-cleared repeat ran out) - and in practice, every tape was kept until 1967 (including Dalek Masterplan 7, which Enterprises never transferred to film, but which was kept until August '67) as BBC Enterprises weren't happy with the original 'suppressed field' film copies and asked for the tapes to be kept until they'd developed a better technique of making replacements (the 'stored field' method).

As 'stored field' came in at the start of 1967, that explains why Enterprise didn't stop Highlanders being wiped. But it's a bit odd that the producer let it be wiped 20 months early, ruling out any chance of a BBC1 repeat, given that it was the first story for the new companion...
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Old June 23 2012, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

They didn't really repeat shows in those days. Evil of the Daleks was the only repeated show of the sixties I think. Plus companions were coming and going a lot in those days and they weren't considered very important as can be seen by the pretty feeble exits they were getting.
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Old June 23 2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

diankra wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
The thing about The Highlanders missing is, that it's Jamie's introduction story,
The very odd thing about The Highlanders is that it was the very first story to be wiped (NB: that means its transmission tapes were wiped, not that the film copies made for BBC Enterprises were destroyed. That didn't happen till the mid-1970s).
It was wiped in March 1967 within six weeks of its only UK transmission, whereas usually tapes weren't wiped until two years after transmission (when the option of a pre-cleared repeat ran out) - and in practice, every tape was kept until 1967 (including Dalek Masterplan 7, which Enterprises never transferred to film, but which was kept until August '67) as BBC Enterprises weren't happy with the original 'suppressed field' film copies and asked for the tapes to be kept until they'd developed a better technique of making replacements (the 'stored field' method).

As 'stored field' came in at the start of 1967, that explains why Enterprise didn't stop Highlanders being wiped. But it's a bit odd that the producer let it be wiped 20 months early, ruling out any chance of a BBC1 repeat, given that it was the first story for the new companion...
They didn't like historicals. Besides, Enterprises had already taken the required 16mm negative transfer so as far as they were concerned the videotape could be reused. It was clearly considered unimportant to warrant keeping it for a repeat (as 16mm wasn't suitable).
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Old June 23 2012, 01:15 PM   #12
diankra
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

VDCNI wrote: View Post
They didn't really repeat shows in those days. Evil of the Daleks was the only repeated show of the sixties I think. Plus companions were coming and going a lot in those days and they weren't considered very important as can be seen by the pretty feeble exits they were getting.
Nevertheless, the usual practice was to hold the tapes until the repeat option ran out two years after first tx. You see, wipe dates for the rest of that season were...
Smugglers: pre-1970, probably 1969.
Tenth Planet: 20th October 1969
Power of the Daleks: pre 1070, probably 1969, definitely after clips were used in various documentaries in 68.
Highlanders: 9th March 1967.
Underwater Menace: 21st July 1969
Moonbase: 21st July 1969
Macra Terror: March 1974
Faceless Ones: 21st July 1969
Evil of the Daleks: August 1968, apart from part 7, 22nd September 1969.

In other words, they were all wiped after more than two years, and just as BBC1 switched from black and white to colour, apart from Evil (which was mostly wiped right after the single repeat allowed under the original contract), Macra Terror (which hung around so long that it's just possible Enterprises had already destroyed their film copies before the tapes were wiped)... and Highlanders, which went with indecent haste.
The only other story to go so quickly was Invasion of the Dinosaurs, which was authorised for wiping (though eps 2 to 6 survived) within six months, before Enterprises had even sold it abroad, and a few bits of season six (late '69, again suggesting that the key point was that BBC1 had gone over to colour).

It's just a little odd. One of those many mysteries surrounding the missing episodes.
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Old June 23 2012, 09:06 PM   #13
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

The key word for wipings is 'random'. The daleks master plan was wiped in the 1960s but mission to the unknown survived until 1974. Go figure.
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Old June 24 2012, 01:17 AM   #14
diankra
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

Candlelight wrote: View Post
The key word for wipings is 'random'. The daleks master plan was wiped in the 1960s but mission to the unknown survived until 1974. Go figure.
Yep. This thread led me to work through the wiping dates given in Richard Molesworth's excellent (but now outdated, in that you need to read his DWM pieces to see what he's turned up since) and actually scribbled it all down by date.

It does generally make sense, if you assume that some episodes got wiped later because they got missed first time round (which is supported by cases of episodes getting authorised for wiping in one year, and then again a bit later when someone notices that they haven't been wiped).

A general picture is:
Mid 1967: Seasons one to three (Hartnell is no longer the Doctor, most of them are more than two years old, and Enterprises have made new stored field copies). Strays get wiped over the next two years (the strays have generally survived because both drama and Enterprise have to Ok a wiping, and sometimes a form has got missed/got lost).

Autumn 1969: Seasons four to six (Troughton is no longer the Doctor, there's no plans to repeat black and white Who before the new colour version starts in January, Enterprises have their copies). Strays also get wiped as it's noticed that they've survived.

After 1969: Odd surviving tapes go bit by bit: An Unearthly Child ep 1 (both versions), Mission to the Unknown, War Machines, Macra Terror, Fury from the Deep, Invasion and War Games. Macra Terror seem to have survived as long as it did because the Wipe-Ok form had the wrong tape numbers on it.

But there are atill some oddities: some episodes are listed for retention after they've been wiped, some are wiped just after being listed for retention (Evil of the Daleks), and Highlanders goes astonishingly early (as if the normal retention paperwork just got missed).
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Old June 24 2012, 10:20 AM   #15
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Re: Currently working through the missing episode audios...

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.
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