Missing episodes: a hypothetical question

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by diankra, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd go for this, but for animated I'd prefer CGI based on the existing telesnaps. Although it would be too expensive at the moment, affordable photorealistic CGI isn't that far off, and having a guaranteed audience would make it pretty much risk free...
     
  2. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't need photorealistic cgi, they can use flash animation for all I care and they don't have to do everything at once, completing two or three serials (depending on how many episodes are missing) per year would be enough.
     
  3. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Over time, the cost of animation will go down. Eventually, I'm sure all missing episodes will be animated. It might not be for another 10 years. But, someday it will happen as the costs continue to plunge.

    Mr Awe
     
  4. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Put it this way - animation is costly and time consuming. Cheaper animation looks, er, cheap.

    CGI will continue to get cheaper, especially when used with motion capture. Take the copious amounts of telesnaps, map them into 3D, use motion capture suits to insert the actors and you are there. The very next best thing to finding the episodes, and within a few years, affordable.

    If they wanted to, they could probably finish the Baker Shada now...
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  5. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    That's sort of why the question came to mind: in view of Underwater Menace 3, the general reaction to getting part 2 back was 'It's great they found something, but why couldn't it been from something else?' But everyone who's seen it says it's much better than part three... which is pretty much what people who saw it all back in 67 were saying all along.
    So, the rest of Toymaker might be better than part four, and maybe even make four seem a bit better in context (bright happy atmosphere in part one darkening as it goes on), though I personally doubt it.
    And of course, Toymaker was regarded as a classic... when it was all missing. That's sort of why having something from every story appeals to me: finding one episode can destroy a story's reputation (Toymaker), or boost it even higher (Evil of the Daleks).
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're drawing a nonexistent distinction. CGI is animation. Indeed, all 2D animation is done on computers these days. And 3D animation is even harder to do well than 2D. Cheap 3D CGI looks horrible. You really need a feature-film budget and schedule and the resources and talent of Pixar or Weta or James Cameron to do it convincingly. It's not even remotely as simple as "scan it and there you are." If you think motion capture automatically looks good, you should try watching Polar Express sometime.

    It's very, very hard to get computers to depict anything that isn't impossibly, mathematically smooth and perfect. Imparting realistic texture, weight, and motion to a 3D CG construct, and doing it well enough to avoid the creep factor of the uncanny valley, is immensely difficult and requires a great deal of hard work from very talented artists. Even the most sophisticated performance-capture technology we have today still requires the frame-by-frame mediation of skilled animators to compensate for the computers' limitations and add in the details and subtleties that make a CG construct look as believable as possible.

    Besides, I think it would be wrong to try to make an episode reconstruction so realistic that it could be mistaken for the real thing. It should be clear that it isn't the real thing, that it's an approximation of something that was lost. It should look like animation.
     
  7. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that either attempted reproduction of the original or a replacement animation is probably a matter of personal preference.

    Who would prefer which ? With Christopher and my preferences it's one all !

    PS - I should point out that I wasn't suggesting the episodes be released in 3D, just that the telesnaps would need to be mapped onto a 3D model to enable the characters to interact with the 'set', but the resulting image would be captured in 2D.
     
  8. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Indeed. The Invasion recreations are fine, but they don't show what Troughton was actually doing with his face, and when missing episodes have turned up he's often been pulling expressions you didn't expect from the soundtrack, or pulling off some unexpected bit of business. Similarly, the recovered Galaxy 4 episode includes lots of cranes shots and other directorial touches that nobody would have thought to put into a reconstruction (unless, perhaps, they're detailed in the director's camera scripts).
    The reconstruction shouldn't pretend to be the originals, just enjoyable substitutes.
     
  9. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I saw The Invasion, I'm glad they animated the missing parts but seriously, the animation looks like crap. I would prefer a South Park look if it meant more episodes in a short amount of time, that sort of animation is done incredibly fast and I'd be very surprised if it's not much cheaper than what we saw on The Invasion.

    I think it's a mistake to try and recreate the original look as closely as possible, it doesn't matter how hard they try, it will always look animated, so embrace the animation part, go for an interesting but affordable style and get the episodes out.
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I enjoyed seeing The Invasion with the animation as it was. I agree with the sentiment that it shouldn't be a reconstruction. The quality of animation was good enough for me. And, it made all the difference for being able to watch the story in its entirety. I'm looking forward to the same with Reign of Terror.

    If we keep the quality level constant at Reign of Terror levels, the price for the quality will decline over time. At some point, the price should be low enough to make it profitable, unless there's just no market for mostly/completely animated stories.

    Mr Awe
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks like I'm in the minority then...
     
  12. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And before you know it - Holodeck versions!

    I do think in the case of such animations they don't need to be in much of a rush. Indeed, the longer it's left the cheaper and better it should be.

    But none of us, or the talent involved in the originals are getting any younger.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I doubt that, because most of it was never shot at all, so there's no audio to base it on. And at least three of the original cast members (Denis Carey, Gerald Campion, and David Brierly) are dead, while the rest no doubt have much older-sounding voices, so even if you did reassemble them to act it out, it wouldn't quite match.

    Anyway, we've already got the Flash-animated Paul McGann version of Shada.
     
  14. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, Ian Levine has already produced an animated completion of "Shada," with John Leeson doing K9 and one Steven O'Donnell recording the few Denis Carey lines in the animated sequences. (I can't find any information about Gerald Campion's part.) Additionally, impressionist Paul Jones replaces Tom Baker, who was unwilling to participate. Otherwise, I think the major cast was intact. But Levine, who was making the animation largely for his own private entertainment (he does a fair bit of this sort of thing), made no effort to get the legal clearances that would be necessary for the formal release of such a project, and the forthcoming Legacy Box DVD set will include only the only VHS version of "Shada," with linking narration by Tom Baker. Whether this is because the Adams estate wanted too much money, because range producer Dan Hall doesn't believe "Shada" ought to be completed via animation, or because everyone has a grudge against Ian Levine, remains controversial.
     
  15. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As he was only on location and the study set, all of Gerald's scenes (and the Policeman's) were recorded in 1979.

    Christopher Neame recorded his lines from LA.

    Some of their voices have changed a little, but since 90% of Skagra and his ship's voices weren't recorded it just means the for 10% they sound younger, rather than the rest sounds older. Indeed the one scene recorded that did feature Shirley Dixon as the voice of the ship was her last scene, and the Doctor had clearly been tinkering with the programming and personality by then anyway.

    I don't think Daniel, Victoria or Lalla sound any different.

    It works.

    Had it been done for more stringent purposes, you could perhaps redub the 70s footage of the deceased actors (with K9 thats rather easy) But Ian Levine was very defiant on keeping as much of the original as possible. Well all of it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  16. gastrof

    gastrof Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is Levine's version of Shada available ANYWHERE?
     
  17. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No. A few people have seen it at private screenings and the like, but no commercial release is planned or seems likely, and Levine is adamant that it not circulate unofficially. Given time I suppose it might leak in spite of him, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
     
  18. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The reverse seems, also, to be the case...
     

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