Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

What's not currently on the box
Duncan
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Duncan »

Welll you would say that. The evidence shown from this and so many other Doctor Who threads on the internet is that some Doctor Who fans are pedantic beyond belief with no grounding in commercial or any other reality.

Meanwhile the season 19 set is terrific with some great new extras.

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stearn
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by stearn »

First off, I shall make it quite clear that I have little interest in Dr Who - Nu or classic, and was rather disappointed recently when I did watch the Web of Fear and Enemy of the World, both of which had been sitting in the shrink wrap since bought when recovered. 20 years ago when starved of archive releases, Who was the mainstay, now I have far greater choice and there are programmes I much prefer to watch.

There is undoubtedly a vocal percentage who do not like any change at all and are very pedantic, but I suspect that applies to Nu and well as classic Who. Many just enjoy the series and see Nu as an evolution of classic, whilst others can still enjoy it and see them as two distinct series with many of the same traits. To each their own.

I take issue with the idea that you HAVE to change something that exists in part that was aimed at one audience just to make it appeal to a different audience. The logic suggests that you will alienate a large proportion of the audience that will buy almost without thinking (and who probably have the spare cash) to pursue an audience that only *may* like it, and may not be quite so flush or unthinking about committing to buy. To me this just smacks of the worst of both worlds and not the commercial sense that is being claimed. Aiming for the broadest audience possible isn't the same as making the most commercially attractive package.

From memory (and it is a distant one now) the audio was quite good for The Macra Terror, but I've always been more a radio fan anyway.

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paul.austin
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by paul.austin »

to use an example, black and white repeats on a mainstream channel (not a niche nostalgia channel) weren't really viable even in 1999 when BBC2 tried to repeat Doctor Who. That's why 'The Mind of Evil' would have been excluded.

Brian F
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Brian F »

Yes, only Dad's Army can get away with a few B&W episodes now. Though they seem better transfers and vidfired this time round than I remember.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by brigham »

paul.austin wrote:to use an example, black and white repeats on a mainstream channel (not a niche nostalgia channel) weren't really viable even in 1999 when BBC2 tried to repeat Doctor Who. That's why 'The Mind of Evil' would have been excluded.
I think BBC2 is a bad example of a 'mainstream channel' here. It doesn't depend on mass appeal for its funding, and so ought to be the channel best suited to showing a black-and-white repeat.
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stearn
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by stearn »

But isn't using an example of airing B/W programmes on mainstream TV in the late 90s a little bit of a tangent when discussing a release of a 1960s programme where only the audio exists and new animated graphics have been added - which is where I thought the commercial viability bit came in - not least because two decades have passed and there has been a huge change in the media landscape.

In answer to this tangent, In 1999 you had VHS releases of Keys of Marinus and The Crusade/Space Museum, admittedly alongside later colour stories that year. Whilst they may not have got shown on a mainstream channel, they were considered viable as VHS releases back then as with Doctor Who there is a lot more commercial viability than many contemporary programmes with its hardcore fan base. Now we see obscure comedy and drama, much black and white, being released on DVD for a fraction of the cost, in real terms, of the VHS equivalents.

My understanding of The Macra Terror from the discussion here is that it has been animated but updated (liberties taken) to make it attractive to a current Nu Who audience, and your justification was that it has to be commercially viable. Whilst I'll agree any release does have to at least break even but preferably make a profit, I can't see how alienating the core audience for classic Who by buggering about with the production in the hope you will appeal to the current audience is anything but lining yourself up for a fall. It would be like imposing 60s/70s budgets and productions standards on current productions and hoping the current audience would stick with it (and the American's would buy it).

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mothy »

It's being released in both black and white and colour, as I understand it, much like Power of the Daleks was, the only difference being you had to get the Blu-ray to get a colour version of the latter, whereas apparently both are intended to be available on each format.
stearn wrote:My understanding of The Macra Terror from the discussion here is that it has been animated but updated (liberties taken) to make it attractive to a current Nu Who audience, and your justification was that it has to be commercially viable. Whilst I'll agree any release does have to at least break even but preferably make a profit, I can't see how alienating the core audience for classic Who by buggering about with the production in the hope you will appeal to the current audience is anything but lining yourself up for a fall. It would be like imposing 60s/70s budgets and productions standards on current productions and hoping the current audience would stick with it (and the American's would buy it).
I'd say that the discussion itself is largely speculative and I don't think that it would be so much a case of trying to "appeal to a New Who" audience, which is a pretty meaningless concept anyway when talking about animating a soundtrack from a 60s story, as trying to be a bit creative with their choices where possible, given that there are already only partial visual references for the story, so a certain amount of judgement or discretion has to be made in some cases. But given that it's basically illustrating a soundtrack, it's not as if it could go that far off from what's already there, and as there isn't a teleplay available where we could compare camera moves and cuts and the like, any recreation is always going to be a partial compromise.

As such, I don't think it helps or is relevant to start talking about New Who because I'm sure it's nothing to do with that, nor do I believe there's any intention of trying to make it like that in any meaningful way. Not really possible anyway, given the material they're working with. So that side of things is almost certainly a total red herring. It's possible that the animated version might suggest a more lavish production than the original might have done, but if so that's more taking advanatges of the medium than chasing after a particular audience. And even then that might still be overstating it because Power kept very closely to the designs, for both sets and costumes, and actors' appearances, of the original, so it's likely that this will too.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

"POTD" had a number of changes to it including set designs.

With "The Macra Terror" ( a favourite of mine from original screening) there are Telesnaps and the original camera scripts, any judgement and discretion should be down to a good knowledge of production methods of the time.

Stearn is right about seemingly aiming them at nu-who fans, if the frame from "Wheel In Space" is anything to go by, a shot of The Doctor and Jamie coming out of the TARDIS, with a view of the control room through the doors.

I would expect accuracy for any TV programme done in this way, not just "Who".
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Private Frazer
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Private Frazer »

(unrelated thought)
The most frightening enemy of The Doctor, for me, was the original Cyberman. Seemingly human, yet machine the particularly slow unnatural intonation in their voice (especially Roy Skelton's) made them very sinister. After seeing them in The Tenth Planet on its original broadcast I couldn't sleep! Maybe this influences me in still believing that, despite all their subsequent modifications, the first Cybermen were the scariest. It also makes me think about whether Doctor Who's enemies, despite an apparent need over the years to bring up to date, would be more recognisably effective if they just stayed the same.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

stearn wrote:My understanding of The Macra Terror from the discussion here is that it has been animated but updated (liberties taken) to make it attractive to a current Nu Who audience, and your justification was that it has to be commercially viable. Whilst I'll agree any release does have to at least break even but preferably make a profit, I can't see how alienating the core audience for classic Who by buggering about with the production in the hope you will appeal to the current audience is anything but lining yourself up for a fall. It would be like imposing 60s/70s budgets and productions standards on current productions and hoping the current audience would stick with it (and the American's would buy it).
Yes, this whole line of reasoning on the part of BBWW does seem a bit shakey. I would have thought that the people buying original series DVDs are overwhelmingly those who were fans before 2005, with only a minority of those who were introduced to the series from that point onwards being interested in them. Conversely, it seems that most of the long-term fans I know aren't interested in the new series releases.

So where does that leave something like an animated Macra Terror? More to the point, how viable does it have to be to cover the cost of animation? If it has to sell as well as most old-series DVDs, then the market is primarily long-term fans, not those of the new series. If it has to sell better than that, do it have to match the sale of the new series DVDs, assuming that they do in fact sell better overall? Even so, it seems pointless, as it'll be already established by now whether new series fans are interested in the older stories, and it seems unlikely that - if they're not interested in them - an animated version of is going to be less uninteresting to them.

Not for the first time, one has to question the "logic" of the BBC's commercial arm.
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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Mothy wrote:But given that it's basically illustrating a soundtrack, it's not as if it could go that far off from what's already there, and as there isn't a teleplay available where we could compare camera moves and cuts and the like, any recreation is always going to be a partial compromise.
Really? I thought that there were post-production transcripts of most if not all episodes/stories. God knows, there were photocopies of most of them in circulation BITD.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

As you and Stearn said...in a nutshell.

I don't have any nu-who DVD's.

ALL the scripts of missing episodes survive, and were released on the "Lost Episodes" CD boxsets, I have them all.
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Mothy
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mothy »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:
Mothy wrote:But given that it's basically illustrating a soundtrack, it's not as if it could go that far off from what's already there, and as there isn't a teleplay available where we could compare camera moves and cuts and the like, any recreation is always going to be a partial compromise.
Really? I thought that there were post-production transcripts of most if not all episodes/stories. God knows, there were photocopies of most of them in circulation BITD.
That's not the same thing as telling you how well or pacily or slowly something was directed though, or how effectively or otherwise cameras captured a camera angle for every shot. Douglas Camfield's direction is very different from Mervyn Pinfield's for example, but it would be difficult to get the full sense of that just from reading a transcript.
Mark wrote:"POTD" had a number of changes to it including set designs.
Maybe, but most of them seem at least recognisable enough from the telesnaps and other photos available, such as Lesterson's lab and Hensell's office, the Doctor's Polly's and Ben's room etc. There was clearly some effort expended to try and make them resemble tham anyway.

Although if you have some issues with the POTD animation, then you've answered your own question anyway - it'll likely be as close or as far as that was.
With "The Macra Terror" ( a favourite of mine from original screening) there are Telesnaps and the original camera scripts, any judgement and discretion should be down to a good knowledge of production methods of the time.
"A good knowledge of production methods of the time" is not going to guarantee a perfect reproduction of an episode, any more than giving the same story to a different director at the time would have guaranteed it looking and flowing in exactly the same way. So if even different people at the time wouldn't have done everything the same way, I'm not sure how someone else decades later, with scripts and some telesnaps for reference but hardly any of the live action available beyond a few brief clips, could be expected to exactly reproduce everything with a hundred per cent accuracy.

And the telesnaps amount to about 70 frames out of what would have been over 70,000 per episode. They give visual information, but only to an extent.
Stearn is right about seemingly aiming them at nu-who fans, if the frame from "Wheel In Space" is anything to go by, a shot of The Doctor and Jamie coming out of the TARDIS, with a view of the control room through the doors.
Not something that was invented for New Who - the 'More Than 30 Years In The Tardis' documentary in 1993 did that.

Although more to the point, the Wheel in Space is from a 10 minute animation of part of the first episode rather than something that's intended to lead to an animation of the whole story, according to Charles Norton anyway, who has said elsewhere that it was just made specially for a BFI show - it may turn up as a special feature later on a DVD or Blu-ray but that's all. So that's more or less irrelevant to any talk about a full story Macra Terror animation anyway - different purposes.

I doubt whether a full story animation would include something like that - Power didn't, and that features the TARDIS rather more than Macra Terror does, where it only appears in one scene anyway, and the main focus of that is Medok meeting the regulars. Even if it did - though I wouldn't be in favour of that - it would only be visible for a second or two at most, so that'd hardly be a significant selling point to someone who only liked New Who. Buy this 100 minute animation of an over 50 year old story because you catch a brief glimpse of the control room when the TARDIS doors are open in one scene? I doubt it.

Repeating myself though it is, this is a 1960s soundtrack, with 1960s actors giving 1960s performances of a 1960s script with 1960s music, sound effects and acoustics. Someone who doesn't like Old Who and is only interested in the newer version is never going to be interested in that, and if the only meaningfully New Who element that could be done that one can think of is the example given, then it means almost nothing. It'll be aimed at fans of Old Who in much the same way that, say, the DVD of The Krotons was. It's only people who are interested in Old Who who are likely to pay it any attention, irrespective of whether or not they like any later versions.
I would expect accuracy for any TV programme done in this way, not just "Who".
So would I but the means of assessing that are inevitably limited. Moreover, while pretty much all, or nearly all, Old Who fans are going to be purist to some extent with something like this, if they're interested at all, there's scope for levels of that to vary. In the case of both this and the Power of the Daleks one, these are stories without any known surviving episodes, so there's less of a requirement to be consistent to any that are already there. If they wanted to use some artistic licence in the circumstances - and a degree of it is probably unavoidable at some stages anyway - I'd judge it based on the results.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

I wouldn't suggest 100% accuracy, all of the animations going back to "The Invasion" featured mistakes in them, but now we are getting blatant changes.

Aside from the one from "WIS" I mentioned, a frame of "The Macra Terror" shows a shot of the City/Complex complete with a rocket in the distance, non of this was seen in the episode.

Scripts do give an excellent idea of what a programme looked like, all the camera directions are there, and it's easy to visualise shots from them.

There are occasions when a bit of 'business' might be added late in the day, in "The Macra Terror" Ep 1, I seem to remember after The Doctor had been through the rough and tumble machine and Polly started giving compliments, The Doctor thought she was talking to him, but then she walked past him as she was actually talking to Jamie, slightly different in the script.

Nor was The Doctor with a soft drink bottle and straw, a couple of scenes later, talking to Medok, there is actually a telesnap showing him with the bottle, and you can even hear him sucking on the straw on the soundtrack, but I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by brigham »

So much is missing from this story, it would be a shame to miss out any of the few clues we actually have.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

It was a very creepy story, but the team still managed to inject a lot of fun into it with some lovely touches.

It's a a great shame the team broke up with the very next story.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

It annoys me when people attempt to inject Nu Who into these Classic Stories. Gareth Roberts' novelisation of 'Shada' was very much like that. I never finished it, and do not intend to.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

It's not helped by the uniform branding, the blu-ray sets don't look right for a start.
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paul.austin
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by paul.austin »

I hate Jamie because he robs the Troughton era of variety - only ONE story is without the presence of the daft Scot. Would've been nice to have more 2nd Doctor stories with no Jamie.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by drmih »

We all know there is only ONE story without him - I think you've been looking at too many TABLOID news pages! At the time he was quite popular as he brought the 'tough man' element to a non-physical Doctor. Variety aside (one screaming woman replaced by another), he was in about 20 stories compared to 15 ish for Jo Grant and SJS, 20 ish for Tegan, Ian and Barbara, and although typically half the length, not on the same scale as the new companions.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

Frazer Hines was brilliant as Jamie ( one the best companions) and massively popular with the girls, he and Patrick Troughton had great chemistry together.

Both were invited on "The Simon Dee Show", Frazer wanted to do it but Patrick wasn't so keen sadly.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by drmih »

I wonder what people made of the Mission to the Unknown recreation that the University of Central Lancashire made? For those who haven't seen it, it is on the official Dr Who youtube channel - they actually broadcast it at the same date and time that it actually went out (albeit 54 years later) but it's still available. I thought it was a pretty impressive attempt, with the exception of the alien leaders around the table - I'm hoping that some audio wizard can use the original soundtrack to replace the embarrassing ecky-thump dialogue as it was so jarring that it pulled you out of the story.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by brigham »

Thanks for the link.
I'm impressed. I need to find a way to watch this on 405.
I have to agree about the space delegate. It's easier to forget that aliens wouldn't be speaking English if they don't look and sound like Brian Glover.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

Watched it Wednesday night, certainly well done, spotted the model set ( suppose they couldn't afford a full size set just for one scene).

Thought the acting of the leads was good, the accents did come through occasionally , it is a little odd when we are used to RP on old programmes ( noticed the same on the "Planet Of Fire" prequel on that stories' DVD).

It's good to know they are still teaching how to make 'Proper' TV.
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paul.austin
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by paul.austin »

Patrick (and Fraser) undid Wendy Padbury's skirt and pushed Deborah Watling into ice-cold sea foam.

He was a sexist creep who delighted in humiliating young women who were only a couple of years past their schooldays.

His own daughter Joanna never spoke to him for the rest of his life after the horrible way he tried to ruin her mother in the divorce

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Billy Smart
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Billy Smart »

paul.austin wrote:Patrick (and Fraser) undid Wendy Padbury's skirt and pushed Deborah Watling into ice-cold sea foam.

He was a sexist creep who delighted in humiliating young women who were only a couple of years past their schooldays.

His own daughter Joanna never spoke to him for the rest of his life after the horrible way he tried to ruin her mother in the divorce
Well, that's silenced everyone. What on earth brought that on?

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by paul.austin »

his son's book talks about Pat's daughter Joanna blanking Patrick and never speaking to him again.

Neither un-doing Wendy Padbury's skirt while she was napping during rehearsals or pushing Deb Watling into sea foam during "Fury from the Deep" is acceptable or excusable by "boys will be boys" or the "Just Joking" defence.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Brian F »

I would think what is acceptable depends on the relationship existing between the people involved when the incident happens.

Neither of those were when they had just met and by then they should have known each other well enough to understand what they could do. Fury was Debbie's last story so by then she would have known them both well. I'm not sure when Wendy's mini kilt event happened but doesn't she tell the story too and I can't remember her (or Frazer) telling it in a way that made sound as if she thought badly of it.

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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by Mark »

It's nonsense, the messing with the foam scene was in the script, but the 'boys' pushed her in as part of the fun and it was kept in the episode.

Wendy Padbury tells the story of the mini skirt ending with her bumping into the Vicar, they all adored PT, and were the best of friends, Deborah Watling told me that herself.
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Re: Doctor Who Classic Series and DVDs

Post by paul.austin »

Mike Troughton talks about his sister blanking their father and Pat's attempts to reconcile. Although I can understand why Joanna never forgave him. Patrick Troughton did try to ruin Margaret, after all.

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