The incomplete Patrick Troughton story 'The Ice Warriors' is due for release by BBC Video in November 1998. The Restoration Team have been asked to oversee production of this special box-set.
NEW! Episode 2 & 3 CD covers, designed by Jonathan V. Way! Extremely high-quality cover designs to fit a standard CD jewel case, this front and back cover set is in authentic BBC style, complete with cover notes and credits. The only 'Ice Warriors' CD cover approved by the Restoration Team and the perfect replacement for the plastic envelope supplied in the boxset!
Click here to download the zip file containing both covers. (475Kb)
[Last Update: 7 August 1998]
The goalposts keep moving somewhat, but at present it is our intention to produce a two tape set consisting of:-
Preliminary work took place at Television Centre on 7 March '98, with the transfer of the films required. The four episodes of 'The Ice Warriors' and the single episode of 'The Underwater Menace' were wetgate transferred to Digital Betacam videotape. Quality was excellent throughout, although there is a large trapezoidal distortion on episode five of 'The Ice Warriors', which causes verticals to appear to lean to one side. It was not possible to remove this without severely cropping the picture area, so it has had to stay. We did however correct several other geometry errors, particularly in the title sequences and episode title slides.
We also transferred 35mm films of the original title sequence tests from August 1963, which included experiments adding video howl-round to people's faces, with very scary results. The faces appeared to grow horns and turn into demons and skulls - it's no wonder Verity Lambert vetoed the idea! Some of the footage had a musical soundtrack, with the music being used to modulate parts of the picture, with the feedback effect being used over this. The 1967 Troughton tests were transferred as well, which included unused fonts and Troughton's face disappearing in a whirlpool effect. A test card recorded at the front of this reel showed that it was made using 625-line equipment - presumably the designer decided to utilise the higher quality offered by this system when it came to replacing the original Hartnell sequence. The 35mm insert film for the first episode of 'The Daleks Master Plan', featuring Brian Cant as Kert Gantry was also transferred. This sequence only exists mute in the library, but we intend to match it to the excellent off-air soundtracks that we have on DAT. A new 35mm synchronous magnetic sound master will then be returned to the library for future use.
We were very pleased to play host to DWAS founder Jan Vincent-Rudzki during the day, who brought with him a very important tin of 16mm film which we also wet-gate transferred. This tin contained around five and a half minutes of the first episode of the missing William Hartnell story 'Galaxy 4'. The film was the remainder of a six minute section duplicated for use in the 'Lively Arts' documentary 'Whose Doctor Who' in 1977. Approximately thirty seconds of this film was used in the finished programme, leaving two off-cuts. These were given to Jan and fellow DWAS member Stephen Payne as a thankyou for their help as advisers on the show. Within a few weeks the rest of 'Galaxy 4' was junked, leaving these pieces of film as the only known clips. We are very grateful to both Jan and Steve for allowing us to copy their film for inclusion in this release.
Jan was also kind enough to lend us his 8mm film copy of the well-known '8mm off-screen' footage. This comprises several minutes of brief excerpts from various episodes, many missing, that were filmed off the TV screen by an Australian fan using a Standard-8 film camera. A brand-new telecine transfer has been done and, considering its source, the clarity is amazing. We intend to use at least some sections in the documentary, especially the 'Tenth Planet':4 / 'Power of the Daleks':1 section which features the regeneration of Hartnell into Troughton.
The script for the linking section covering the two missing episodes has now been finalised. Approximately twelve minutes of original programme audio will be used, consisting of thirty extracts. This will be padded out to approximately fifteen minutes by the time titles and the twenty-six narration voice-overs are added. Subject to work commitments, we are expecting the presentation and voiceovers to be handled by Debbie Watling and/or Frazer Hines. Restoration of the off-air soundtracks and preparation of the linking section is being carried out by Mark Ayres - at this point we are still moving forward under the assumption that a CD of the two missing episodes will be included, but this still has to be confirmed. Mark has now completed the audio work on the linking section, although the narration is spoken by him as a guide to the the pacing of the final version when it is recorded by the Debbie and Frazer in August. This guide narration has been laid onto a separate audio track so that it can be easily overdubbed with the artistes voices and then mixed down to provide the completed linking audio.
Ralph Montagu is supervising the graphic design requirements for the linking section. At this point we anticipate a variation on the format used by the fan telesnap reconstructors - basically a telesnap on-screen, with text narration appearing below in sync with the audio. BBC Written Archives loaned the original pages of John Cura telesnaps for episodes two and three, which have been captured full-frame onto Digital Betacam videotape using a camera with a macro lens on an Oxberry animation stand. Although there is a certain amount of surface damage (dust, glue from when they were mounted onto the pages etc), the quality of the images is astounding. The line structure of the 405-line TV picture can clearly be seen, despite the prints being extremely small thumbnails. The stills will be processed through Paintbox to remove dirt and other imperfections.
All clips have now been split apart and put onto a single compilation tape ready for the sound work that needs to be carried out. Because there is a physical offset between the sound and picture tracks on 16mm film, any cut-edited clips (such as the Australian censored footage) lose over half a second of audio at the beginning and extend by the same amount after the end. This sound will be re-laid from the off-air soundtracks to ensure that the correct audio is available for the entire clip. As a consequence, the clips of the Daleks burning down the forest from episode two of 'The Dalek Master Plan' will include the music as originally transmitted. When this sequence was used for 'Thirty Years in the TARDIS', the soundtrack used the clean effects track originally used during the studio recording, before addition of the music.
A copy of the compilation tape is now with Mark Ayres, who will soon be matching up the relevant portions from DAT copies of the off-air recordings.
Update: 9 July 1998
The audio CD of episodes two and three is definitely going to be released as part of the box set - this has been confirmed by the marketing department at BBC Worldwide.
Mark Ayres has delivered the completed soundtrack restoration on DAT - this will be synced up and relaid onto the Digital Betacam compilation tape to match the pictures. Mark discovered certain anomalies during the restoration, particularly with respect to the 'Power of the Daleks' clips from the Australian 'C for Computer' programme. He found that most of the soundtrack was incorrect and has replaced it with the correct sound from off-air recordings.
Over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of July, Paul Vanezis and myself carried out interviews with some of the key players in the recovery of missing episodes. On Saturday afternoon we interviewed David Stead, who bought 'The Wheel in Space':3 for fifteen pounds after placing an advert in his local paper! David was interviewed in the tranquil surroundings of the lake at Black Park, which incidentally was the location used in 'Full Circle'. The following morning we interviewed Jan Vincent-Rudzki, who described how the 'Galaxy 4':1 clip came into his possession and how he had twice tried to give it back to the BBC but was told they were only interested in complete stories! On Sunday evening, we paid a visit to Ian Levine, the man directly and indirectly responsible for the rescue and return of many stories. He told us how he had been visiting the film vaults at BBC Enterprises when he came across the twenty-eight master copies of the first Dalek story (seven episodes each of master print and master negative in both English and Arabic) bound up in camera tape for immediate destruction! If he had been a day later, that story would not be here for us to enjoy today...
Damian Shanahan, the Australian researcher responsible for discovering the censored clips from many missing episodes two years ago (which incidentally was the catalyst for this special release), sent us his own interview - conducted on a beach in Sydney! Fans of 'Home and Away' might just recognise the location... Next week we hope to interview the BBC's first Archive Selector, Sue Malden, who was directly responsible for putting an end to the Doctor Who junkings and without whose efforts the surviving history of the programme would be much poorer. On Sunday July 12th we will be visiting Oxford to interview Gordon Hendry, the man who almost unbelievably found 'The Evil of the Daleks':2 and 'The Faceless Ones':3 at a car boot sale and bought them for the princely sum of eight pounds each!
In the next couple of weeks, we will be going into an off-line AVID non-linear editing suite to put together the rough structure of the documentary. Frazer Hines and Debbie Watling will be joining us in a film vault at Windmill Road at the beginning of August, where we will record presentation links for the documentary, along with audio links for the episode two and three bridging section. After that, we go back to AVID for another day to put the complete programme together, followed by a few hours in a videotape conform and a sound dubbing suite to perfect the soundtrack. Delivery to BBC Video is scheduled for August 12th, and it will be immediately sent off to the BBFC for certification.
Update: 18 July 1998
As mentioned above, we interviewed Gordon Hendry last Sunday. He was a very nice bloke and told us all about how he had noticed the two tins of 'Doctor Who' films at a car boot sale in 1983. He wasn't really Doctor Who fan at the time, he only bought them because one of the tins said 'Daleks' on it and he remembered liking them as a child. The old chap who was selling them wanted twelve pounds each, but Gordon beat him down to eight!
The soundtracks that Mark has been restoring for us have now been synced up to the pictures and the result is a huge improvement over the previous sound. I was particularly thrilled to finally hear the correct soundtrack to the Kert Gantry sequence from the beginning of 'The Daleks Master Plan', a film which I rediscovered in 1992.
The title of the documentary has been officially confirmed as 'Doctor Who - The Missing Years'. Paul and myself were going to use 'The Reconstruction of Time', but the marketing people at BBC Video overruled us...
Paul has put together a really nice little title sequence, using coloured elements taken from the original Hartnell and Troughton title sequence test films. The result is a bizarre cross between sixties Doctor Who and early Jon Pertwee!
Our first AVID edit is confirmed and is taking place on Sunday 26th July at BBC Pebble Mill. Sue Malden is currently on leave, but we still hope to be interviewing her before we film with Frazer and Debbie.
Update: 23 July 1998
It's a hot, humid day in London and I've just been stood in room inside Television Centre, surrounded by snow. I was visiting the News Rostrum area, where Ralph Montagu was filming sequences for the linking material for episodes two and three. Inside the room was a large motion-controlled video camera automatically performing pre-programmed moves over a rotating table covered in fake snow. In the middle of the snow was a small metallic box with two knobs and a video screen - a 90's mock-up of one of the videophones used in 'The Ice Warriors'. Closer inspection revealed that it was made of MDF, but it actually did contain a real LCD TV screen, being fed with captions from a Betacam SP recorder sat on the floor. The idea is that the reconstructed episode links will be introduced by using this device to explain the change from a real episode to a telesnap reconstruction. As the title graphics for episode 'Two & Three' fade down, the camera tracks in from a distance onto the videophone laying in the snow. As the camera gets nearer, the screen begins to fizzle with static and a broken signal, until suddenly a text message appears. It is from the World Communications Centre and warns that due to technical problems, only audio and still picture data will be transmitted for the next fifteen minutes. The screen then clears and the reconstruction begins. A similar shot at the end gives a message that all the problems have now been resolved and the camera pulls back as the shadows lengthen over the snow and the closing credits begin...
The sequence was recorded onto Betacam SP videotape, then we took it and treated electronically to turn it monochrome and give it a film-like 25 frames per second movement characteristic, rather than the very clinical look of video.
We also had a meeting earlier in the day with our Executive Producer, Steve Cole, and Jason May, who has been doing a phenomenal job in ensuring that all the clips, music, photos etc that we want to use are all cleared by the artistes, writers, copyright holders and agents responsible for them. All seems to be going well so far, which is good because we are now only about three weeks away from our delivery deadline of August 12th! Steve showed us the cover for the video, which is really nice and described the box that the whole thing comes in, which sounds very posh indeed. As well as the videotapes and the CD, the box will also contain a booklet about the history of 'The Ice Warriors' which is being written by 'Dreamwatch' editor Paul Simpson.
Update: 29 July 1998
The edit on Sunday went really well, barring a couple of minor technical problems, although we had to overrun into Monday by four hours due to the complexity of editing some of the sequences. The editing was carried out in AVID at AVR-3 quality, which means that although the sound is 16-bit broadcast quality and can be mixed down in the AVID, the pictures are effectively fairly low quality JPEG images. At the end of the day, we produced a Digital Betacam copy of the programme with fully mixed sound, but only guide pictures. The edit list generated by the AVID is then used to automatically replace the pictures from the original tapes at a later VT edit, which is happening tomorrow. As it stands, we have all the basic packages that make up 'The Missing Years', with the exception of the presentation links from Frazer and Debbie and an interview with Sue Malden, all of which will be shot at Windmill Road next week. We then go to an on-line edit to compile the completed programme on Wednesday, August 5th. We will also make up the two tape masters ready for duplication.
Yesterday we had the first chance to see Ralph's telesnap sequence running in sync with the audio track and it looked fantastic. He has approached the problem from a different way to the fan telesnap reconstructions, which tend to feature fairly static telesnaps which are on-screen for a reasonably long time. What Ralph has done is to cut the sequence together as though he was editing a moving programme - so whenever someone speaks, that person is on-screen. Coupled with the extremely high-quality soundtrack, this technique has meant that we had no need to run a continuous text script on-screen at the same time. He has also been able to utilise dynamic moves over some of the pictures. Because the number of original episode two and three telesnaps is rather limited, a lot of shots have been grabbed from the other episodes and then manipulated in Paintbox to remove backgrounds or add things like snow to the picture.
Unfortunately, contractual problems have forced us to drop our original idea of using Frazer Hines to narrate the links between each scene in the reconstruction. His place has been taken at very short notice by David Harley, who some of you might know for his excellent portrayal of the infamous Mervyn Robinson in the cult convention favourite 'A Day in the Life of a Doctor Who Fan'. Thankfully, Dave will not be narrating in the style of that unfortunate resident of 'Gallifrey Towers, Doctor Who Land', which I'm sure will be a relief to many people! We're indebted to Dave for agreeing to step in at such short notice.
This afternoon, David Howe and myself were able to spend some time talking to Michealjohn Harris, the retired BBC Visual Effects boss, whose credits include many Doctor Who stories. He told us a cringeworthy tale which is well worth repeating here... Apparently, in his desk drawer at work, he used to have a roll of original 35mm film sequences from 'The Evil of the Daleks'. Whenever he got a bit of food stuck in his teeth, he used to tear a couple of frames off to use as a toothpick! That must be one of the saddest way for Doctor Who material to have been destroyed... Mind you, at least Michealjohn still has all his own teeth!
Update: 30 July 1998
The videotape sections were 'conformed' this afternoon, which means that all the low-quality AVID pictures were automatically replaced by the high-quality video from the source tapes.
Dave Harley recorded his voiceovers in a dubbing theatre at BBC Pebble Mill tonight under Paul's supervision, with the sound dubbing work being carried out by Ben Peissel, the Dubbing Mixer responsible for the superb sound work on 'The Five Doctors - Special Edition'. I haven't heard the result myself yet, but I'm told that it is absolutely first-class. If all has gone to plan, Ralph should have finished the visual sequences today, so we'll see the finished product at the final edit next Wednesday!
Update: 31 July 1998
Arrived at work this morning to find Ralph's finished tape of the episode two and three links waiting for me - not finished until a quarter to midnight yesterday! The completed version is even better than I expected. Not only has he used dynamic moves over some of the pictures in order to keep the viewer interested, he's even gone as far as to add flickering TV monitors, and swirling snow to some of the outside scenes! He's also framed the extreme edges of the screen with slowly moving, gently coloured patterns, which change depending on the location of the scene - a sort of subliminal way of reminding the viewer where the scene is set. The patterns are based on designs found in the original sets, such as the interiors of the computer room and the Warrior's spaceship, and also on the 'ice' design that has been used on the videocover and presentation box. I can't wait until Wednesday to see the final result when it is synced up with the completed soundtrack for the first time!
Update: 4 August 1998
Paul, Richard Molesworth and myself arrived bright and early at the BBC's archive centre at Windmill Road, Brentford yesterday morning, to prepare for the shoot with Debbie Watling and Frazer Hines. Because we were shooting in a real film vault, we had a complete camera, lighting and sound crew with us, who did a magnificent job.
Whilst the crew were preparing the first setup, Paul and Richard shot an interview with Sue Malden, who was appointed as the first BBC Archive Selector in 1978. She discussed the reasons behind the junkings and the steps she had taken to begin recovering the material. One really interesting thing that she said was that when she got the job she set herself an exercise to find out about one particular programme - how many episodes were made, how many were left, where they had been sold etc. Purely by chance, 'Doctor Who' was the show she chose to look at...
Debbie arrived early at about 10:00 and set about learning her lines in the canteen! The shoot started at midday, with Paul filming a link from Debbie, just as Frazer arrived. Paul had decided to shoot a large number of setups, all within the old static racking in the film vaults. This racking is gradually being replaced by large moveable racks which take up much less space for a given amount of storage. Unfortunately the new racks are not very photogenic, so we were lucky that some of the static racks were still there, full of shiny cans of film and interesting possibilities for lighting and camera angles!
We managed to find six episodes of 'Marco Polo' during the shoot, but unfortunately they turned out to be a 1974 foreign series in colour, not the missing Hartnell story! Frazer kept pulling out cans of film and insisting that they were from 'The Highlanders' - if only!
The shoot lasted about four hours, with Debbie and Frazer being very patient between takes as the camera and lights were moved to new setups - a new one for just about every different link.
I'm just about to head up the motorway to Birmingham, as we are editing at Pebble Mill tomorrow. If all goes well, we should be able to deliver the completed programme to BBC Video on Thursday morning, although we will hang on to the masters for a while, just in case we need to make any changes...
Update: 7 August 1998
Well, it's all over at last! Wednesday's edit went extremely well, enabling us to put together the masters for both tapes in the set in under eleven hours. Being so close to the project, it has been difficult to view it objectively, so we were grateful for the presence of Andrew Stocker, who was able to reassure us that we had indeed done a good job! It was great to finally hear the finished soundtrack to the episode two and three links finally matched up to the picture, and I can assure you that Dave Harley has done a great job of the narration!
We managed to put together a nice sequence of the first regeneration from the end of 'The Tenth Planet', running into the beginning of 'The Power of the Daleks'. For this we utilised off-air audios, 8mm off-screen footage and the regeneration clip used in 'Blue Peter'. We used a copy of the 8mm off-screen footage that had been synced up with off-air audio by a fan as a guide, which made things a whole lot easier for us. Mal Tanner, if you're reading this - thanks a lot! You made our job a lot easier and I hope you like the credit we've given you on the tape!
And now for a little announcement. Those of you who regularly read the internet newsgroup 'rec.arts.drwho' (and if not, why not?) may remember a discussion a few weeks ago about the existence of 8mm film footage shot on the floors of Ealing Studios during the effects shoots for 'The Evil of the Daleks' and 'Fury from the Deep'. The only known copy resided with Jan Vincent-Rudzki, who had been loaned the film to transfer to tape some fifteen years ago. Jan didn't feel that he could let us have a copy to use in the documentary, as he didn't believe that it was his right to give us permission - a view which I totally respect. This produced some heated discussion on the newsgroups, in the middle of which a VHS tape of the footage unexpectedly landed on my desk at work! It was sent anonymously, with the simple message "Thanks for all your hard work - I hope this will be useful". I've no idea where it came from, but to whoever sent it - THANKYOU!
The quality is fairly lousy - it appears to be a VHS dub of a transfer done by pointing a very smeary old video camera at a projected image - but we've made it acceptable by enormous amounts of picture-processing and by zooming out and putting the image in a box on the screen. All together there is about fourteen minutes worth, showing how the effects were put together. The 'Evil' material is the longest and is in black and white. It shows the filming of the destruction of the Dalek city and the fighting in the Emperor's throne room, which culminates in huge explosions as the opposing Dalek forces fight around the Emperor. The 'Fury' footage is shorter, but it is in colour. It shows the weed creature attacking the control room, bursting through the doors in a mass of foam. It was in an effort to try to trace the original film that I spoke to ex-BBC effects supremos Michealjohn Harris and Peter Day last week - the latter revealing that he was inside the weed creature costume. I've also had a letter published in 'Ariel', the BBC staff magazine, appealing for any clues to the whereabouts of the film, but so far I've had no luck.
We have been able to use a small amount in 'The Missing Years' - a short sequence of the weed creature bursting in, and a longer sequence (about a minute) from 'Evil' in which we've tried to recreate the atmosphere of the final Dalek battle. We cut together a sequence which starts with Daleks approaching the throne room, then shows them circling the Emperor as he starts to be hit by gunfire. More and more damage is inflicted on the Emperor, culminating two huge explosions as Daleks are destroyed in front of him and his panels are blown apart, revealing flickering explosions inside his casing. We then cut to the city exploding and finally to a lone Dalek trundling along and being blasted into the air. All of this has been synced to extracts of the original off-air soundtrack, complete with the Doctor's "The final end" line.
We hope you enjoy it!
Steve Roberts, 7 August 1998
Footnote, September 1999: Since the release of the boxset in the UK, research by Richard Bignell and Steve Roberts has resulted in the original 8mm studio films being located. They have been loaned to the BBC and brand-new tape copies have been made. It is hoped that this footage will see the light of day on a future video release.