Just in case you want to collect my two recent DW edits on one disc, here’s a special double feature cover
When certain events in history happen, people always reflect on where they were at the time.
For me, I recall exactly where I was when Let’s Kill Hitler went out…it had been my parent’s silver wedding anniversary, we had a grand old tea at a swank little inn and many family members came back to the family homestead for a few drinks and a bit of chatter. I had to watch the episode in my bedroom along with my cousin and little brother. At one point, an uncle joined in.
This, for many, is where not only series six went wrong, but you got the distinct feeling DW’s days as the “cool” thing to watch were numbered in the years to come.
It took a year for it to sink in, but this was it. The first post-hiatus episode following the gripping “A Good Man Goes to War” and what did we get? A flipping River Song rom-com disguised as an origin story. If anyone watching the show had a pre-existing distaste for Alex Kingston’s performance, their tempers were not quelled by this.
And yet, I quite like it.
For all the ham, the comedy, the “clever lie” bit which deconstructs the temporal grace of the TARDIS, and the gimmicky misleading title which doesn’t involve the tantalizing time travel conundrum of what to do with Adolf if you met him, it’s a very energetic script, it does offer some insights into what the Silence are, and the Tesselecta is a great concept, albiet more for the time travel modus operandi than ripping off the Numbskulls in the Beano.
I may enjoy a lot of this episode, but make no mistake, this is where series six died a gurning death over the course of 45 minutes and the Moffat era was never regarded in quite the same light again.
You can enjoy something, but you must always be aware of it’s faults so you can understand the side who trash it and not callously dismiss them in the name of the 10/10 club mentality that think the whole series is sunshine and rainbows. You see this all the time in certain Whovian podcasts on Youtube and reaction channels, save for maybe two (Zaredit personally recommends Blindwave and Seskasays for some proper analysis)
Ah, but there wouldn’t be an edit if there wasn’t something to cut now would it? And there was a lot to go, making this, the second of my World War II themed edits, to run at a considerably shorter run time, this one clocking in at 35 minutes.
The episode begins with the way it should have, with Hitler at the front and center of the action. If you’re going to mishandle the furher, at least make it seem like he’s important…set up a bit of a mystery as to what the Tesselecta want with him, and give the Doctor a massively impactful entrance with the TARDIS crashing through…then have the titles come as Hitler, sodding Hitler, thanks our intrepid travelers for saving his life. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNNNNNN.
Gone too is the creation of the crop circle summons and the introduction of Mels in the stolen car, and the flashbacks to her childhood with Amy and Rory. All you need to know from the moment Mels is released from prison is that she’s a friend of the family, she set Amy and Rory up together, and she’s trouble.
Afterwards, one of the last things to go was the ultimate in time-wasting filler, where Matt Smith does a little bit of self-sabotaging and diminishes the enigmatic performance of his Doctor by indulging in a childish tantrum about guilt and yelling out fish fingers and custard a gazillion times to really emphasize to the whole audience that Doctor Who serves the children’s whims above the adults or the family.
And that’s your lot. Episode ends on the Doctor handing River her diary and the Doctor/Song ‘ship era is well and truly set to sail in a few filler’s time. Hello Benjamin.
“We picked the mystery box…hop in”
(To download, please join FE.Org and PM Zarius)
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.
This edit mergers the first episode of Doctor Who’s tenth series with three other episodes from that particular series, removing all the pretentious teasing of what’s inside The Vault that goes ultimately nowhere and has an obvious reveal handed to us within minutes of the episode
Extremis is the first part of the Monk trilogy, which really isn’t that much to write home about, other than virtually any scene that includes Michelle Gomez. It is that scenery chewing that compels me also to use the last few precious minutes of “The Lie Of the Land”, the conclusion to the trilogy, as a coda to this episode, replacing the original ending with The Doctor trying to wipe Bill’s mind of her adventure.
I’ve also decided to insert Bill and her friends finding a new house to live in from the episode “Knock, Knock”. This particular plot point doesn’t actually go anywhere in this edit, it’s just a nice little set up that gives us more of a slice of life with Bill, plus I like the atmosphere of Bill with mates more than putting up with her step-mum.
This episode could do with a nice spring clean.
There really isn’t a hell of a lot of point to the sexism deflection that this episode pads itself out with. Within the context of current history, I suppose there’s some fleeting relevancy, but Doctor Who ought to be timeless, and it’s characters should not be dragged down into political soap boxing, however subtle or unsubtle. This is what has killed the show for many a true fan, and as much as I still love the show, it does make me cringe a little too. It’s like attending a council meeting with your parents on a Sunday, reminding you of the real world awaiting you in the week ahead. What happened to weekend/holiday escapism?
So no, as I found out, the sexism need not exist at all, as you’ll find here…pretty minimal edit all the same, nothing too radical, just keeping it tightly focused on the adventure and not the agenda.
-Pre-titles are now the aborted regeneration sequence from “The Doctor Falls”
-Ben and Polly cut. On top of their “Nu Who” versions contributing little to the story , I never was a fan of the weird aspect ratio fidgeting.
-“I am younger” exchange removed
– References to Twelve as a nurse removed, also the exchange about the brandy and guitar are omitted as well as the sexist remarks about Polly
-Classic Doctor no longer says “sunglasses? Indoors?”, I found the initial reaction when he sees them better than anything spoken afterwards and it informs the audience of how he feels anyway
-We cut to Twelve putting the sonic shades on after Bill says she used to travel with him
-Bill and Twelve’s heated exchange edited out, as is Classic Doctor’s “smacked bottom” response.
-Cut Bill’s initial reveal as a member of Testimony. I hold it back a bit longer just for more of a shock reveal.
-First Doctor’s regeneration to Patrick Troughton cut in an attempt to, for one, avoid the aspect ratio fidgeting, and “fix” the continuity error of the Doctor collapsing before he opens the TARDIS door to let Ben and Polly back in.
Shortened Capaldi’s exit speech considerably. Decides to regenerate after he realizes the universe will get it all wrong without him.
Also, I chose to omit Jodie getting booted out of the TARDIS, partially because I intend to open my fanedit of her first episode with a reprise of the final scene of this episode, and when that happens, THEN you’ll see our feisty female cope with free-falling.
So long Moffat, off you go to give Dracula some bite…just don’t give him a cavity.
(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.
A 45-minute trim of the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special The Snowmen.
Christmas is coming, and if the Great Intelligence has his way, so is eternal winter. Sentient and savage snow is descending, eager to consume us all, can The Doctor, the Paternoster Gang, and nanny Clara save a family from the merciless lady of the lake?
No comedic banter between 11 and Strax in either of their two big scenes together
– No One Word Test Scene
– The Doctor and Clara’s first meeting shortened (no “two words”, no drawn out scene with the memory worm)
– Clara does not visit the cloud on the first try
– As with my “Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith” edit, the End Credits have been removed (they go by quite fast and look very blurry) and I use the shortened Tennant end theme for the outro.