My 2016 fanedit of Face the Raven is again available and will be up on Fanedit.org shortly.
“We picked the mystery box…hop in”
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I put together a version of this in the past, but with a little more experience and a few new ideas, I’ve chosen to revisit it. Think of this one as the “Page One Edit”, named so because we get to find out just what “page one” and that whole deal with the leaf was all about before the episode ends, rather than wait for a filler pre-titles when you reach Rings of Akaten.
You might think I’m robbing Clara of any and all intrigue by tossing in her origin at the very end of this episode, but not only does her character have very little of that to begin with (as well as any sort of trait to go along with it), I thought it makes for a nice little subversion of the triumphant way the original cut ends, with The Doc having gained a new companion and the thrill of new adventure and mystery on the horizon. Here, he solves the mystery and is utterly perplexed by it. I think that serves as a better ending…don’t leave it with the feeling the Doctor WILL get to the bottom of things, point out very clearly that he CAN’T.
A mystery The Doctor can’t solve makes us worry, and makes us wonder. That is how you kick off a new series of adventures, that is what we call a jumping on point.
In addition to the new ending, I’ve gone in and added the prequel minisode from the series seven DVD as part of the pre-titles. While it’s a little too on-the-nose and doesn’t add much, I still think it’s a nice refresher course if you’re not too familiar with this stretch of the series or Clara.
A few scenes have been rearranged too. Clara accessing the wi-fi now comes before the helpless man’s ominous warning to the internet community, and I removed the whole talk about the Woman Twice Dead and The Doctor’s madness to better seaugeway into him receiving the phone call.
(To download, please register at Fanedit.org and PM “Zarius”)
Debuts for Doctors are, like regeneration, a bit dodgy, you never know what you’re going to end up with, but it’d better be good.
Deep Breath is good for the most part, and this by no means an attempt to reinvent the wheel, rather instead we take the wheel and add it to an altogether different motor.
Fanediting is very much like the broom analogy in the story, which, lucky for you I’ve kept in. After a while, is it the same film or show? Of course it is’nt, and that’s the point.
But with the way story arcs in television and film series, one can glue things together a tiny bit more confidant that it can mesh well, and create the illusion that some things stay very much the same.
So we come to this, a chance to launch Peter Capaldi’s Doctor a bit differently. An hour-long opening with Twelve mulling over whether or not he’s a good man, complete with a scene that really enforces whether or not he is as he dispatches Half-Face Man at the start of the story.
I figure if you’re going to relaunch Doctor Who to the casual crowd, you really should try things the way Russel T. Davies managed…we’ve seen the regeneration, we’ve seen previous Doctors work out their mission statement in their openers…let’s see Capaldi struggle with his mission statement right off the bat and not have him try to work out if he’s got Clara’s name right or if he can really complain about things now that he’s scottish. Let’s be like our rebel time lord and be rebellious…let us see him kick up a fuss, be proactive, and kick arse as soon as he see him.
Let’s stick him in the midst of a proper adventure. A typical Saturday Night out for him and his mates. Most of the story you’ve seen unfold in the original cut of Deep Breath is elaborated on within the restaurant confrontation with Half-Face Man, it’s almost as if Deep Breath could have just been a “day in the life” minisode before the main event.
And, appropriately enough, the privilege of facing off against Capaldi should lie with The Daleks.
Outside of The Power of the Daleks, no other Doctor’s debut story has opened with them facing him. Odd given their long history, but they’re mostly reserved for Doctor’s finales in the new stuff (except for Tennant), so I figured “what the heck?”
Changes in full
-Kicking things off in the edit right off the bat is the final third of Deep Breath, and the Doctor’s companions knee-deep in danger. It’s a typical Saturday night with the new Doctor introducing himself by pouring a glass and then debating life and death with The Half-Man. What serves as a decisive stand off becomes an enigmatic introduction to our favorite time lord.
-The titles kick in after Clara finds the TARDIS is missing from the courtyard
-First use of Into the Dalek footage kicks off after the titles, with the new Doctor answering the distress call and reaching the asteroid base where he learns of the Dalek being held prisoner. We cut before we see what he sees
-Resume Deep Breath footage here with Vastra assuring Clara The Doctor will return for her. We end the footage once they arrive in Glasgow, but cut before they talk about buying chips and coffee.
–Cut to Danny Pink arriving for class. His drill sergeant routine with the boys has been cut
-Cut The Doctor and Clara talking about coffee and glasgow.
At the 26: 29 mark of the edit , you hear a door clicking just before Clara closes the door in the shot, this is not a miscue with the audio, that is actually The Doctor opening the TARDIS door, which becomes clear in the next shot. I was worried people would mistake that for an error, but rest assured it isn’t.
In it’s infancy, this edit was known as “The Moment Has Come” and was released on this blog back in 2015, but the purging of my previous MEGA account lost the product to the tearful rains of time, so I’ve now decided to revisit it with a snappier title and a few improvements to the editing.
The episode now begins with the very unveiling of the “Gallifrey Falls” painting, and the titles follow Matt saying “the day he killed them all”, we have a shortened version of the RTD era Doctor Who theme, and then back to the museum for most of the story.
I decided to hold back from the War Doctor’s introduction scene until the time came for him to meet The Moment and fetch the Fez, luckily, there’s a perfect moment to bridge from the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors meeting to that scene as soon as Ten says “so where did it go?” when inquiring about the Fez. Very lucky to have had that scene there.
The destruction of Gallifrey originally came about in my first edit as soon as Clara found the War Doctor had vanished from the chair. Here we get to see the War Doctor actually trigger the big red button that leads to the obliteration of the planet.
Most of the story is the same, I opted to also omit any scene with the painting of Elizabeth and Ten getting smashed in by the Zygons for reasons that become quite clear at the end. I was never really satisfied with how Whoflix ended his Tennant cut, and thought it needed a better closing shot than just his TARDIS materializing. So I spared the painting of Elizabeth and The Doctor from destruction so we can have a quick pan over to it one more time.
TWO SIDES TO THIS WALL
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Doctor Who is trademarked by the BBC.
Note: This takes place during “For Tonight We Might Die”, the opening episode of the DW spin-off CLASS, shortly after the character Ram has been dealt a personal blow by The Shadow-Kin.
Ram was unable to comprehend it at this moment in time.
He felt there there was this wall where he used to be. Of which there was two sides.
The physical one, and the mental one. Both fused together. Both sides couldn’t be climbed over.
The loss of so much this night had been overwhelming.
He looked around him, taking in the immense width of the room he was in. He hoped it would take one side of the wall, the one chained to his mind, off of dealing with the immense pain.
“So much” he whispered, hoping he wouldn’t be heard.
The Doctor caught what he said.
“So much pain?” The Doctor asked.
“So much…bigger” Ram said, raising his voice a little higher.
“Yes, you don’t know how many times I’ve tried to shorten the length. I once had Santa himself complain to me about it, all those children of the universe writing letters back saying their toys were never quite as accurate in relative dimensions as this”
“What, you know Santa?” Ram asked
“Doesn’t everybody?” the man replied.
“Yeah, but he’s…a story” Ram said
“Everything’s a story, a character, a play, I’ve never preferred the one-man shows though, imagine a whole room where there’s no speaking parts but you and an audience that you have to inject with all of your ego-massaging. The sound of your own voice will never be the sound of drums, I’ve tried telling an old friend that a few times. She never listens.”
“What happened…back there…in the halls, in the dark, it’s just…I can’t face it again” Ram said, his mind already racing back to the fragile final seconds of the life he’d lived before. A life with Rachel and an intact leg.
“What is it with you teenagers wanting to disconnect from the world, especially without realizing what you can do with it?” The Doctor asked, refusing to settle for the pessimism.
“We wanted to be happy, to challenge the world in ways that don’t…punish us you know? We wanted to scale the walls, not be pushed off a building” Ram said.
“Oh who are we fooling?” The Doctor countered, scanning the frightened teen with his sonic screwdriver, “The human race does nothing but climb, they ascend to the highest mountains, they plant the seeds for generations to grow taller. If someone comes and finds it so easy to cut you down, it doesn’t stop you inspiring others to push harder so it’s much more difficult to do so again. Don’t just climb over the wall, break through it. Do I have your promise of that?”
Ram nodded. He didn’t really buy the speech given to him, he just wanted the procedure over with so he could walk out of this strange blue box and back into the uninviting world. It may not be the world he desired, but he had to see where he now stood in it, and make up his mind later whether he should stand his ground there.
Rachel would have wanted that much for him at least.
“Careful now” said The Doctor as he grafted the artificial leg to the gaping hole that was once connected to Ram’s original one, now severed from his body by the nefarious Shadow-Kin.
Ram felt a nerve-wrenching jolt as the leg snapped into place, but he held in the urge to yell, for his soul had deafened heaven and hell enough for one evening.
And something about this place felt calm, soothing. The elderly man working on him had done much to keep him and a band of other misfit sorts from further hall this cold and unkindly night.
As he walked back out of the blue box, he sat down and took in what the old man had to say. That there were tears in time and space, that Coal Hill Academy would serve as a beacon for all manner of alien terrors, things that would ensure things would never resemble a normal quality of life for any of them.
He said time had looked upon all of them, and then it would not forget.
And then he stopped.
And he stared.
He stared intently at something on the wall, a mural with names listed on them. Two names stood out to The Doctor.
He was immersed, interested, but distant.
Ram could sense something. Something all too familiar.
He couldn’t tell how, he just knew, instinctively.
Part of him felt he should have sensed it earlier when he looked the old man straight in the eyes, for they were well-worn eyes, eyes that had seen billions of years of physical taxation and emotional heartache. His fancy speeches were all he could do to camouflage years of loss, years of struggle, internally and outwardly.
He should have seen it.
The Doctor was facing a wall. Of which there were two sides to it. Physical and mental.
And he couldn’t breach either one of them.
Exciting times ahead for DW fans. Power of the Daleks may be getting an officially sanctioned animated adaptation, CLASS’s premiere is but a month away, and then there’s only a few weeks until the Christmas special. Before you know it, we’ll be well on our way to the moment we’ve all been prepared for, Moffat’s departure
But cast your minds back to 2013 when we were all prepared for another sudden departure, as Matt Smith boweed out of the TARDIS and made room for our current holder of the house…or box, or whatever.
Yes, from the vault of edits passed, I bring you my long overdue edit of Time of the Doctor.
I first dabbled with an edit of this not long after it’s 2013 transmission and with this version I made adjustments and improvements to the elements I changed. We don’t get any nudity/holographic clothes here, a lot of that was very easy to smooth over with the aid of the television soundtrack. Also gone is the whole of Clara’s interactions with her family as well as Eleven’s long-winded speech and phantom Amy. Here, The Doctor regenerates at the belltower and comes up the TARDIS steps as Capaldi.
A well prepared moment for us all.
When I first tackled this edit in December of 2015, I had the interesting notion of cutting out Clara’s ‘final’ farewell to The Doctor, but in doing so, it left the story feeling slightly under-length. Not that there’s a problem with “shortening” Doctor Who episodes if you feel it makes for tighter pacing (or allow it to sync up with well with the length of traditional “classic” Who stories) , but I thought, for this second go-around, I would try to bump up the length so it was closer to that of a modern series episode.
How to achieve this without compromising my earlier ideas? Look to none other than the very next episode, “Heaven Sent”
Inspired by a discussion I had with Whoflix (who had recently completed his own edit of Face the Raven, an edit which sadly no longer exists on his archives), I felt compelled to try and make the episode feel more like a two-parter, leading directly into Hell Bent without dragging out The Doctor’s struggle inside the confession dial too much…and the easiest solution was to simply use the last act of the episode focusing on The Doctor experiencing the loop time and again, which neatly condenses the events of Heaven Sent into a very manageable ten minutes and gets us to Gallifrey in no time at all
Also changed is the pre-credits, gone is Rigsy’s phone call to the TARDIS, and The Doctor telling Rigsy there’s no easy way to tell someone they’re going to die being where we hit the titles. Not much else of FTR has been changed other than that.