Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by StCoop, Sep 18, 2017.
Oh, sweet shit! That GB post from Levine is just downright hilarious!
I've lost track of how many, last comments ever, he's made at this point but it's good of him to demonstrate how derranged he is in black and white. Doing one good thing in your life decades ago does not indebt the BBC to you for all time.
I see the Steelbook edition has sold out online already; which kind of helps answer the question of whether there was any point in doing this.
What is the whole Ian Levine controversy about? What's his deal? Is there really a cool animated Shada coming soon?
I read the novel. I suspect the production values in my head were much better than any version I'll see on TV.
In short: In 2013, Levine put together his own re-creation of Shada, combining the existing live-action footage with animation he paid for out of his own pocket. He also got all the surviving cast (minus Tom Baker, who he couldn't afford - Paul Jones voiced his role) to return and record dialogue for the animated segments. (So, in short, exactly what the BBC's doing right now except without Tom.) Having returned missing episodes to the BBC in the past, he was expecting them to graciously accept his 'gift' and put it out on DVD as part of the 50th Anniversary festitivies.
The reply, from the BBC, Douglas Adams' estate and Tom Baker himself: "We didn't commission this, you didn't ask our permission or seek legal clearance, you had no RIGHT to do this in the first place, and now you expect us to not only release it to the public but pay you for having made it? Sod off, ya bleedin' git!!"
And then it got leaked out on the Internet anyway, just in time for the 50th Anniversary. You can probably still find it out there, if you look hard enough.
So, given that background, you can imagine how Levine is feeling right now about the coming release.
I'm reminded of those Star Trek fans who often come up to us novelists and say, "I've been working for years to write this complete Star Trek novel, and I'd like to know how I can get Pocket Books to publish it." It's hard for us to break the news to them that it just doesn't work that way -- that the authors are pre-selected by the editors and the proposals have to be approved and contracted before they actually get written -- and that they've basically done all that work for nothing. Usually, though, they at least understand that when we break it to them. It's only the most irrational few who'd act betrayed and continue to assume they were entitled to get their work professionally published.
Levine feels betrayed that his version wasn't at least used as a springboard for the newer one, or that he wasn't asked consultation, given that he actually has a LOT of material relevant to Shada, including sketches and actual story drafts from Adams himself. I don't know what to think, other than plainly state that Levine has consistently been irrational in his reactions, best evidenced by his outburst for the new Doctor casting.
Really, just tone it down, dude. Its a fucking TV show!
It's not merely "a fucking TV show" to Levine. That and Northern Soul give meaning to his life. I was also going to say DC Comics, as he has one of the world's most complete collections of DC Comics, but the New 52 pissed him off and I don't believe he's touched a DC book since Flashpoint.
The bizarre thing is Ian is not some random basement dweller but a successful songwriter/composer/producer/manager who has to be fully aware of the legal realities of what he does.
Reading his original comments on GB about his SHADA, he specifically states that he never intended for RT or anyone from BBC to interfere with his vision of Shada, fearing it'd compromise his efforts. And that if they weren't gonna take the project at face value, he'd find "other ways" of releasing it. Kind of adds to my suspicion that indeed, he allowed Shada to be released rather than it leaked. But to see him upset is kind of disingenuous.
Still, I'm glad he made it. I'm glad I saw it. I loved his version, as flawed as it may be (simply one episode too long). I don't think this newer, official version will be that much better overall, although I do hope they'll have a new score (which seems likely) and having Tom Baker involved does it the money edge (in that, I'll be buying it for that reason alone).
Ah, well. We'll see.
IIRC, Levine's hope was that BBC Worldwide would take his "Shada" and get Tom Baker to rerecord his lines in place of the actor Levine hired. I think that's the only change he was willing to make. Or, more accurately, willing to allow the BBC to make.
The thing that amused me, in a sardonic way, was Levine's outrage at the BBC, specifically someone at Worldwide or 2|Entertain (Don Hall, maybe?), because he didn't tell Levine not to animate "Shada" on his own dime, which he took as tacit approval of and interest in what he was doing. The thing is, they had no responsibility to Levine, and if they were ever interested in what he was doing they would have locked it down in writing, with contracts, first, not with silence. The only person who set Levine up for disappointment was himself.
He felt entitled after having discovered those episodes years back and all that work and effort he took on the DVD's (a lot of those extras do have sources towards him), and he felt his version would've been better off without their involvement. But say BBCWW gave the go-ahead... what about Douglas Adams' estate?
In truth, he should've, basically, been a lot nicer and more diplomatic in his approaches. From what I understand, he didn't change the Keff McAwful score for either two reasons: He couldn't, because it was embedded in the OST, or he didn't want to out of purist reasons (those scenes were officially released in 1992 with Keff's score, after all).
In any case... its weird. I mean, this is the guy who compared Naeme's performance as Skagra to Lawrence Oliver. I get that he loves his project, and it makes sense that he would... but surely he knew the BBC wouldn't take it for definitive?
Interestingly, he did offer it for free, which makes his comments about money recently EVEN MORE disingenuous.
Everything about Ian Levine is disingenuous. I'm at the point where I just roll my eyes, laugh at him, and then resume ignoring his existence.
I just everyone else would, too (at least ignore him).
Has anyone seen a cast list for the serial? I'm curious who they brought in to record Professor Chronotis's lines, and whether they'll try to do a soundalike or just have the new actor dub over Denis Cary's existing footage. Gerald Campion, who played Wilkin, has also passed away but I think all of his scenes were recorded.
I also presume that John Leeson will dub over all of David Brierly's lines as K-9.
Wow! Sounds like doing things as a fan's project is how it has to remain, unless you negotiate with the BBC First before investing in it heavily.
I don't think Leeson was approached for this version of Shada. Its rumored a Brierly sound-alike will complete the lines. Personally, I always thought Leeson doing all the scenes as K9 made the most sense.
And I doubt they'd dub the existing actor playing Chronotis. Would seem a trifle direspectful, especially since his character doesn't have a lot of scenes unfilmed, really - in fact, I only recall one or two of them.
Well here's the ultimate question... will it be any better?
Than the 1992 version? Sure. For one, it will be a fucking complete version.
That said, even having Tom Baker and a different score, I'm not sure if it will be better than Levine's version. We'll simply have to wait on that. But, at least the Doctor will played, by the Doctor.
It's automatically better than Ian Levine's version because it's not fucking Ian Levine.
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