The KTEH Doctor Who re-construction project

BBC Worldwide Americas, the current distributor of Doctor Who to PBS stations, currently distributes all of the complete BBC serials of Doctor Who.  The current library holdings in the US of the Tom Baker serials comprise of three different versions:

  1. Original BBC episodics
  2. Omnibus (movie) versions cut from the original serials
  3. Commercial broadcast length episodics

Unfortunately, during a clear-out of the library, a hodge-podge of the episodics were retained (along with the omnibus of each story.) The following is a list of affected episodes:

  • Brain of Morbius
  • Pyramids of Mars
  • The Pirate Planet
  • Stones Of Blood
  • Androids Of Tara
  • Power Of Kroll
  • City Of Death
  • Creature From The Pit
  • Nightmare Of Eden
  • Horns Of Nimon
  • Meglos
  • Full Circles
  • State Of Decay
  • Warrior’s Gate
  • Keeper Of Traken

Due to the cost of obtaining new distribution masters, BBC Worldwide Americas does not feel it worth the expense to replace the episodes themselves (as only a small amount of stations in the US show the series.)

In the summer of 1999, KTEH started to restore the commercial cut Doctor Who episodes that are currently in distribution in the United States.  This is a relatively simple process, that involves taking the head and tails off the episodic and editing in the body of the episode from the omnibus edition.  Sometimes this can be tricky, depending on where the first commercial break is put in and what the music cues are like.  Several minutes are recovered in each story during this process.   Currently, the following have been fixed:

  • Androids Of Tara (part 3 so far)
  • City Of Death (part 4 so far)
  • Horns Of Nimon (all 4 parts)
  • Meglos (all 4 parts)
  • Full Circles (all 4 parts)
  • State Of Decay (all 4 parts)
  • Warrior’s Gate (all 4 parts)
  • Keeper Of Traken (all 4 parts)

Now, another funny thing…

…about what the BBC Worldwide Americas library contains, is Resurrection of the Daleks, Episode Two.  Here’s information on the restoration of this episode:

Resurrection of the Daleks’ started life as a standard 4 part story, and was recorded, then compiled as 71 edits, as 4 episodes. These episodes were then re-cut to length, still as a 4-part story, and music and sound effects were added. Prior to transmission, the decision was taken to broadcast the story as 2 50-minute episodes, and so minor editing was required to cut parts 1 and 2 and parts 3 and 4 together as 73 edits for transmission. Not only do the transmitted versions still remain, but so does the 4 part version originally planned for transmission, which has been sold overseas and released on BBC video. In addition, the 71 edit of episodes 2 still remains, and has also been transmitted in America when the wrong tape was supplied by BBC Worldwide to the PBS networks.

From Steve Roberts archive holdings page

The “71 Edit” — or the original production edit contains approximately 2 minutes more footage.

In February of 2000, KTEH attempted it’s first “restoration” of this episode (which was subsequently shown as part of the “Evening of Doctor Who with Peter Davison.) This consisted of tacking on the open and closing sequences, along with the recap and cliffhanger. Unfortunately the 71-edit’s end contains an extra scene of Daleks approaching the Doctor, and audio had to be lifted to fill the gap.

After digging out a 16 year old copy of the original BBC telecast, it was decided that the best course of action would be to re-edit the episode to the 72-edit content that was supposed to have been in distribution all of these years. Unfortunately, the only complete audio of the end sequence is the 16 year old off air recording that was being used as a reference. Along with all of the mid-80’s consumer grade audio problems, the end credits also had an announcement about when to see part 2.

Following is a list of all of the elements used in re-constructing episode 2 of Resurrection of the Daleks:

  • Opening sequence to Tegan shouting “Look” from the 71-edit.
  • Dalek materializing through Dalek interior prior to the Doctor’s arrival on the Dalek ship (audio from feature version, video edited scene by scene from the 71-edit to replace deficient quality of KTEH’s library holding of the feature version.)
  • TARDIS materializes on Dalek ship to Stiles announcing his working for the Daleks (video fro 71 edit)
  • Doctor’s reaction to Stiles announcing his working for the daleks (video from the 71-edit, slowed down to 61% to fit the space required.)
  • TARDIS materializes on Dalek ship to Doctor’s reaction to Stiles announcing his working for the Daleks (audio from original BBC telecast)
  • End credits (video from 71-edit, audio from “The Awakening” part 2. The 71-edit has Daleks chanting into the theme.)
  • And, of course, the Lionheart logo (silent version) from the 71-edit– though not actually part of the original edit…

Resurrection of the Daleks, episode two – second re-edit, aired on Sunday, 2 July, 2000 at 11:25pm PDT, as part of KTEH’s regularly scheduled Doctor Who broadcast of the story.

At some point, a further reconstruction will be made, utilizing the soundtrack from the DVD release… (watch this space)

And yet more interesting things…

Series 22 of Doctor Who was conceived, written and originally transmitted as two to three 45 minute long episodes.  Unfortunately, because of the way stations all around the world schedule Doctor Who (in a 25 to 30 minute slot) these episodes were re-edited as 25 minute long episodes.  This created some of the most bizarre (non) cliff-hangers ever.  These were re-edited by KTEH in 2000, as 45 minute long episodes.  

This was by far the easiest to do (and a relief after Resurrection…)  The credits for each episode do a complete fade to black prior to the first scene, so attaching the episode two credits to episode three (for example) was a simple job.  The hardest part was joining the two episodes together (still an easy task.)

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.