Classic Who on BBC America

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by OmahaStar, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not possible. The two Yeti/Great Intelligence serials are almost completely lost; "The Abominable Snowmen" and "The Web of Fear" were both 6 episodes long and each has only one surviving episode (episode 2 of the former and episode 1 of the latter).


    Which is interesting, since "The Aztecs" is only 100 minutes long, which, given modern ratios of content to commercial time, would take up maybe two and a quarter hours. I gather that the serial will be preceded with a documentary overview of the Hartnell era.
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I'm taping it, but when I looked in on it, it looked like a talking heads documentary was constantly intercutting the episode. If that's true, that sounds annoying, like it would totally destroy being "into" the episode...
     
  3. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    What is this? No monsters, and no UST or flirting from the Doctor, I'm not even sure anyone has ran down a corridor, this isn't Doctor Who!

    EDIT I may have to retract my flirting comment, didn't think ol' Billy had it in him
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  4. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Good old KTEH. I manned the phones for them once.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, the documentary came first, lasting about 35-40 minutes, and then there was a Moffat intro, and then "The Aztecs" with no interruptions except commercials.
     
  6. jbny67

    jbny67 Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I still have my VHS tapes of Unearthly Child, The Dominators, The War Games and a few others that I taped off of the New Jersey Network during the 80's.

    No, they ran a documentary encapsulating the Hartnell era then The Aztecs. The episode is interrupted only by commercials.

    They are showing it without the cliffhanger episode endings though.
     
  7. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well the number of commercials would make FX blush, but the episode is fun...
     
  8. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Out of interest, where did they place the commercials? Just between episodes, or within episodes? And if the later, how many ad breaks? You see, the early Hartnell episodes were deliberately made with a fade to black 10 to 15 minutes in, so that foreign stations had an ad break ready fitted if they needed one (and a reel swap break if the episodes were supplied on two reels of film).
     
  9. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Within... seems like every two or three scenes.
     
  10. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    They've edited out the cliffhangers, airing it as a single story instead of four episodes. I'm curious why they didn't grab the cleaned up version from the DVDs. The broadcast version if awfully faded and washed out. It's very much like the "before" version of the feature that's on the dvd, showing before and after clean-up.

    That said, I'm still thrilled to see any classic Who being broadcast.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "The Aztecs" is one of the best early ones, and it's interesting to see again. It's got some good drama and humor and delves into some interesting ideas. And I gather from the DW Wiki that its portrayal of the Aztecs was pretty well-researched, though there's still a certain cultural condescension -- and the pronunciations of Aztec names are all very wrong. Of course one has to be able to look past the crude video, stagey production values, and stilted performances, but that's just the nature of '60s BBC-TV.

    It's particularly impressive to see how strong a character Barbara could be, how commanding and intelligent. We didn't see another female lead like that on the show for years after she left. The ones that followed -- Vicki, Dodo, Polly, Victoria -- were all pretty much just cute young damsels in distress who screamed a lot. The next one after that, Zoe, was a genius who could be quite resourceful, but still young and vulnerable. We didn't really get another female companion on a par with Barbara until the Third Doctor's era and after.
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't remember Casino Royale having a black and white intro so it was kind of surreal seeing it after The Aztecs as if the black and white had overpowered the channel. :)
     
  13. Saga

    Saga Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    i really wish every Sunday was Classic Doctor Who night on BBC America.
     
  14. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah, I remember reading somewhere that the reason we rarely see the DVD versions being broadcast is because it's a tricky rights issue. The team which does the remastering provides fresh digital copies of every episode to the archive, but these digital copies are owned by a particular arm of the coporation, and are not licenced for public broadcast. So if they did broadcast them, they'd have to negotiate an extra fee for the use of them. It's cheaper to use the already existing broadcast copies, as they are owned lock-and-stock by the BBC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  15. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Earlier in the thread (Or maybe in another thread?), someone said The Aztecs was being shown flubs and all. That sounds like they stuck in out-takes, but, I didn't notice anything different? Did I miss something, or misunderstand the earlier comment?
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The way the episodes were shot back then wasn't too different from live TV, and they didn't have the luxury to go back and reshoot everything that went wrong. So there were errors that made it into the final episodes -- actors (usually Hartnell) flubbing lines, the camera shaking as it bumped into something, that sort of thing. (I noticed a bit early on where the actor playing Tlotoxl flubbed a line -- he said "No more talk against us that the gods were against us," and I assume the first "against us" wasn't supposed to be there.)

    Also, the surviving film prints from which the episode was reconstructed (since the original tapes were erased) have a couple of breaks in them, so there are some little bits missing -- like a point where Ixta says the Doctor wanted to see "my [film jumps] work," where the original line must've been "my father's work."
     
  17. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    There aren't any outtakes to put in: in those days, the series was shot as live, so if someone made a slip they either covered it and carried on (even turning Hartnell's slip-ups over Chesterton's name into an ongoing character quirk), or stopped, went back to the last planned recording break (ie, fade to black, or a roll back and mix for a materialisation) and did the entire sequence again. Often the tape would actually be wound back and the new take recorded over the original; if not, it would be physically edited out and discarded before broadcast.

    You can see how it works on the pilot episode, where the entire recording session does survive: a continuous take of the opening 15-odd minutes, then the first take of the console room scenes, an abandoned second take (about 15 seconds long at most, which goes wrong as Jacqueline Hill trips while coming through the TARDIS doors), and another full take of the console room sequence.

    EDIT: Christopher, SNAP!
     
  18. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Thanks Guys, yea, I thought I knew all that, but, the comment threw me
     
  19. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There were a few slips of the tongue... like flashbacks to old Dark Shadows lol.
     
  20. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    :bolian: I always used to enjoy seeing the phone panel folks who dressed up during the pledge drives. They were great, an episode a day Monday-Friday, and a full story on Saturday Nights on a different rotation, and showed all the Doctors. KVIE only played one or two episodes a weekend, and I'm not sure they ever did any Doctors aside from T. Baker.

    I enjoyed the Retrospective, it was great seeing Ian and Steven involved, and they are a couple Companions whose opportunity for an appearance are narrowing. In fact, William Russel was quite slow and deliberate in his speech, it's possible his opportunity for much of a meaningful appearance has already passed.