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Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old July 6 2013, 05:59 PM   #1
Emperor-Tiberius
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Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

I stumbled across this article earlier today:

http://www.shadowlocked.com/20110316...last-week.html

And was wondering - whatever happened to that project? Did Sylvester McCoy really film extra material for that piece, or was it all an April Fools' joke? Furthermore, if they DID film, why haven't there been news of any kind since then about it?

As a relatively new fan of Doctor Who, "news" of this kind are intriguingly entertaining.

Well?
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 6 2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
And was wondering - whatever happened to that project? Did Sylvester McCoy really film extra material for that piece, or was it all an April Fools' joke? Furthermore, if they DID film, why haven't there been news of any kind since then about it?
It was a private project for Levine alone.

That's also not unique. He has commissioned other private Doctor Who projects, like animated adaptations of the lost Season 23 scripts (including ones that were never written!) and The Eight Doctors (which Levine believes was actually going to be filmed).
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Old July 6 2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Yes Ian can't release his Doctored version without BBC go ahead, but also won't allow Downtime to be released without his additions.
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Old July 6 2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
And was wondering - whatever happened to that project? Did Sylvester McCoy really film extra material for that piece, or was it all an April Fools' joke? Furthermore, if they DID film, why haven't there been news of any kind since then about it?
It was a private project for Levine alone.

That's also not unique. He has commissioned other private Doctor Who projects, like animated adaptations of the lost Season 23 scripts (including ones that were never written!) and The Eight Doctors (which Levine believes was actually going to be filmed).
Private projects? Does he intend on releasing them on any form, then? If not, then... what the heck? Why go through all that trouble?

As for the unused Season 23 scripts... Didn't most of them get to be novelized, and consequently released as audio dramas by Big Finish? I presume he's doing animation using those recordings as basis, correct?

Also, I read the Eight Doctors, and nothing about it strikes me as remotely episode or film-like. Its one of the rare Dicks novels that do read like novels, oddly enough.
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 6 2013, 11:39 PM   #5
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Private projects? Does he intend on releasing them on any form, then? If not, then... what the heck? Why go through all that trouble?

As for the unused Season 23 scripts... Didn't most of them get to be novelized, and consequently released as audio dramas by Big Finish? I presume he's doing animation using those recordings as basis, correct?

Also, I read the Eight Doctors, and nothing about it strikes me as remotely episode or film-like. Its one of the rare Dicks novels that do read like novels, oddly enough.
Eight Doctors its posssible to imagine that for the briefest of moments they (BBC Video) might have considered some sort of video speical having the 8th Doctor viewing old memories or even being inserted into old clips - Forest Gump was fresh in peoples minds back then - but it really would only have been for the briefest of moments before being ruled out. But Ian happened to hear it at the time, it seems. Despite no one else hearing it!

But if you stretch your imagination... it could have happened. But no relation to the final book.

Why go to all the trouble? So they exist. For him if no one else. He'd love to be able to share them, but won't due to copyright reasons. Never mind what other people do and release themselves, its a line he won't cross.

Only three of the missing season 23 as HE recognises it were recorded by Big Finish. Wally K. Daley wanted too much money for the Ultimate Evil (which was novelised). Yellow Fever and Gallifrey Big Finish would have wanted something solid like a script. Ian has had stories written from his memory of what he read at the time.

Apart from season 27, he has no interest in the slightest in other 200+ stories Big Finish have produced, including other rejected scripts

But yes he did use the Big Finish audio for Nightmare Fair, Mission To Magnus, Thin Ice, Crime Of The Century, Animal & Earth Aid.

He can't enjoy Doctor Who as a audio product. He needs sound and pictures.
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Old July 7 2013, 01:06 AM   #6
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

I think audio dramas are a natural fit for Doctor Who, considering how many of the missing episodes survive only through audio. Of course, I am for the animation of the missing episodes, since they were also intended to be seen as well as be heard... But even so, what Big Finish do is rather remarkable on its own, and in no way is of lesser quality by any means to many, many episodes - in fact, I'd say a lot of them, especially from the Eighth's range are better than a lot of the televised Doctor Who. And I am perfectly contend with the Lost Series actually being audio dramas as is, because they at least got made with the many of the principal actors.

And really, a Forrest Gump, Star Trek TOS-DS9-like creative editing would've been way too impossible to do, even as late as the late '90's. Hell, even the new show didn't attempt it, and it had a much higher budget, until this last season, quite extensively so with The Name of the Doctor. I doubt that very highly, but whatever - question that remains is, does he have any of the principal actors working in there?

From your post, of which I am grateful for, it looks to me as if Levine wants to gain profit from the ventures, because while he's handling copyrighted material, he could still distribute it for no cost, and with proof of whoever wishes to obtain the given re-edited product to have purchased an official copy beforehand. That way, he can serve the fandom and BBC-2|entertain. Otherwise, if he REALLY wanted to distribute his stuff legally, why not inform BBC-2|entertain beforehand, and secure a deal that would make everyone happy?

Anyway... so, to re-iterate: He's re-edited Downtime with newly filmed Sylvester McCoy-as-the-Doctor footage, completed Shada (yeah, I checked that story), inexplicably done-or-will-do some of Colin Baker's audio dramas from Big Finish into animated episodes, and made an animated special based on Terrance Dicks' The Eight Doctors.

Hm... Sounds to me, with all that resource, he should've cut a deal with the BBC to head the animation of the completely-missing serials of Doctor Who, particularly Marco Polo and The Power of the Daleks... But from what I've read, he's burned many bridges, hasn't he?
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 7 2013, 05:50 AM   #7
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Private projects? Does he intend on releasing them on any form, then? If not, then... what the heck? Why go through all that trouble?
Because he has the money to afford it. And because he can.

He made a longer cut of "Dimensions in Time." He padded "Pudsey Cutaway" out to something like half an hour so it's more like a regeneration sequence in the JNT era. (I seem to recall in his DWO interview, he said it was more like "a proper story" that way.)

He thinks Big Finish is nothing more than glorified fan fiction, but his efforts are nothing like that since he's trying to restore things that were lost, even though his "Gallifrey" is as original a piece of Doctor Who fiction as anything Big Finish has done. (I don't believe that "Gallifrey" got much beyond the idea stage back in the day.)

Sometimes he works with the original actors. Sometimes he has to commission a soundalike because someone like Colin Baker won't work with him. And then there's the incident where he wanted to get Nick Courtney to record lines for one of his private projects while Courtney was in the hospital and dying.

It's easy to mock Levine for these projects -- I certainly have -- but I won't fault the man for having dreams.
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Old July 7 2013, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Because he has the money to afford it. And because he can.
Great! But why can't he share it?

He made a longer cut of "Dimensions in Time." He padded "Pudsey Cutaway" out to something like half an hour so it's more like a regeneration sequence in the JNT era. (I seem to recall in his DWO interview, he said it was more like "a proper story" that way.)
How did he do that? Did he add 15 minutes of David Tennant around? And a longer cut of DIT? Thats interesting...

He thinks Big Finish is nothing more than glorified fan fiction, but his efforts are nothing like that since he's trying to restore things that were lost, even though his "Gallifrey" is as original a piece of Doctor Who fiction as anything Big Finish has done. (I don't believe that "Gallifrey" got much beyond the idea stage back in the day.)
What he's been doing qualifies far more as fan-fiction than BF. And they still ask permission to do the stories they do.

Sometimes he works with the original actors. Sometimes he has to commission a soundalike because someone like Colin Baker won't work with him. And then there's the incident where he wanted to get Nick Courtney to record lines for one of his private projects while Courtney was in the hospital and dying.
I know he used a sound-alike to record Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor lines in Shada, so it must be true.

It's easy to mock Levine for these projects -- I certainly have -- but I won't fault the man for having dreams.
Far from it. However, it makes no sense to keep these projects to himself, especially if the intend is to share those experiences. Some of us can't go to his home in England, you see...
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 7 2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

He doesn't want to publicly release material based on BBC-owned properties without their approval, and the BBC aren't going to be bothered with the costs of properly licensing stuff that only appeals to a niche within a niche. He isn't making these things primarily because he wants to "share the experience;" he's making them because he wants them to exist and he has the money, just as other well-off people blow cash on private amusements.
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Old July 7 2013, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
How did he do that? Did he add 15 minutes of David Tennant around?
Flashbacks to the previous regenerations. AKA a clipshow.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Because he has the money to afford it. And because he can.

Sometimes he works with the original actors. Sometimes he has to commission a soundalike because someone like Colin Baker won't work with him. And then there's the incident where he wanted to get Nick Courtney to record lines for one of his private projects while Courtney was in the hospital and dying.

It's easy to mock Levine for these projects -- I certainly have -- but I won't fault the man for having dreams.
He genuinely feels he needs too. And in all honesty, it shouldnt have taken 30+ years for someone to get the remaining Shada cast together to record the missing dialogue.

With Nick, its more accurate to say he considered it, rather than approached him on his death bed, and even that's only because Nick really did want to do it, just never got the chance.

He got an amazing cast together for his projects - William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, Frazer Hines, Katy Manning, John Levene, John Leeson, Lalla Ward, Janet Fielding, Nicola Bryant, Sophie Aldred, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Miles, Julian Glover amonst others.

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
He doesn't want to publicly release material based on BBC-owned properties without their approval,.
And that's just it, he won't do it without approval, because he's convinced himself eventually the BBC will see sense and release (at least some of) his versions. But if he's bootlegged them himself they won't touch it.

He did offer them his five figure Shada for free, but they still couldn't accept it.
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Old July 7 2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

A few months ago he released a 45 minute clips reel of his various projects on YT, including scenes from Shada, Downtime (including some of the new footage with McCoy) and Gallifrey. The quality of these ranged from perfectly decent - Shada - to jaw-droppingly terrible - poor old Sylv looked like he didn't know what was going on and was plainly reading from cue cards while the Gallifrey clip featured a scene which could be described at best charitably as having less than progressive opinions on depicting characters of different races. Needless to say, after 24 hours the laughter got too much for Ian and he removed the reel.

His version of Mission to the Unknown is still around on YT and, while not of releasable quality, is certainly a credible amateur effort. The last time I looked you could also still see his re-edit of In a Fix with Sontarans on DM, which again isn't half bad in the context of being a bit of a pointless exercise to begin with.
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Old July 20 2013, 08:54 AM   #12
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

I believe I have found that vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUS9c8Ovs6c
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 20 2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

And I have to say, I don't know if anyone has seen this vid by now, but the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy "animations" are rather awful - complete with the most un-Colin Baker impersonation I've ever heard. That said, Mission to the Unknown looks pretty good, as does Shada - the latter of which badly needs Tom Baker, though.
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old July 21 2013, 04:55 AM   #14
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Good grief, no wonder the BBC doesn't want to release his stuff.

Okay, Shada might have been half-decent but the rest... less said about it the better.
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Old July 21 2013, 06:43 AM   #15
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Re: Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

I can't decide what's worse-- the ones where the photos don't talk... or the ones where they do.

The confrontation between the Brig and the Master in Yellow Fever is hilarious.

Levine seems obsessed with pompous Time Lord politics.
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