Ian Levine's "Downtime" re-shoots -- Whatever happened?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Emperor-Tiberius, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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  2. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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).
     
  3. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes Ian can't release his Doctored version without BBC go ahead, but also won't allow Downtime to be released without his additions.
     
  4. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  5. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    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?
     
  7. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Great! But why can't he share it?

    How did he do that? Did he add 15 minutes of David Tennant around? And a longer cut of DIT? Thats interesting...

    What he's been doing qualifies far more as fan-fiction than BF. And they still ask permission to do the stories they do.

    I know he used a sound-alike to record Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor lines in Shada, so it must be true.

    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...
     
  9. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Flashbacks to the previous regenerations. AKA a clipshow.

    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.

    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.
     
  11. Atticus

    Atticus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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  13. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  14. StalwartUK

    StalwartUK Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  15. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Can you imagine the Colin Baker ones released? It'd be an insult to Loose Cannon for NOT releasing their stuff, and they've actually done an incredible job at restoring the shit out of the missing episodes for YEARS, and not gotten paid for it. Levine has some nerve that he hopes some of these warrant an official release.

    I thought Mission to the Unknown was OK, myself - and that one at least is out on YT, thankfully!

    But yeah, Shada should've been released, and I'd argue Downtime, too - if not for the Sladen-Courtney appearences in it.... But honestly, Shada needs Tom Baker, old or not. The guy who's impersonating him is not bad, but he barely registers as the Tom Baker of the '70's.

    My favorite is the one where Peri is nearly out of proportion, and when she doesn't speak, she has that ridiculous "duh!" expression on her. Brilliant!

    That said, I think the talking photos is quite worse. At least the other ones can be excused as Loose Cannon fakes, or something.

    I so agree.

    Yeah, thats something I also noticed.

    A couple of these could've been great audio dramas, though... The Sylvester McCoy ones, obviously.
     
  17. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Downtime is already out there, though, right? Just in Doctorless form. Based on McCoy's appearance in this version, we're better off that way.
     
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, yes, it's on video. And there's a Missing Adventure novelization (which has an epilogue with the third Doctor -- he meets Victoria by chance and they have a conversation, only she has no idea who she's talking to).

    If Levine had any sense, he (since he holds the video rights to Downtime) should have found a way to release it on DVD in its natural form five or six years ago in the wake of "School Reunion" and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Downtime, cheaply made as it was, has some good marketing hooks.

    But he wants it to be "proper" Doctor Who. In this case, I don't know why he bothers.
     
  19. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :wtf:

    What...what... is the Master trying to do to the Doctor at 21.29??
     
  20. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Don't you just WANT to buy that "serial" in order to find out?

    LOL.
     

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