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Doctor Who - Travels with The First Doctor

MusicEd921

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So, this one has been somewhat in the works in secret since December. @bionicbob and @LastSurvivor have been gracious enough to watch some of these and give me some critiques and pointers, so now I'm ready to share what I've completed.....so far!

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The First Doctor has always intrigued me. I mean, it all started with him. His stories have commonly been described as a little hard to get through between some of the pacing issues, lack of music and cheap looking sets. Well, I can't do anything about the cheap looking sets (nor would I ever want to), but the pacing and music.....well this is what we do here!

So, with complete respect to the property and knowing that I'm not the first to ever dive into this, I have begun work on the First Doctor stories. At this point, I've only completed the first 3 stories, but what I have set out to do is to bring each story under 1 hour, unless it's a longer story and then it will be expanded to a 2 parter.

Here is what stories are completed:
Episode 1: An Unearthly Child
Episodes 2 and 3: The Daleks
Episode 4: Edge of Destruction

The music additions are era appropriate. In this case, Lost in Space. Edge of Destruction is where I got a little experimental and predominantly used music from Forbidden Planet since this is a story about the TARDIS as the somewhat enemy.

I plan to continue, but I did not want to put myself on a timeline, so I figured I'd just share what I have and leave you with the idea that there WILL be more when I can devote time to it. Right now, work has begun on a secret project that will be getting an announcement very soon.

An IFDB post will happen as soon as I gather my artwork.

Any interested travelers, I hope you will take a chance and check these out and find that you'll enjoy this new way of viewing the Doctor on his early adventures.
 

wilhelm scream

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Have you ever watched any of the Whoflix Doctor Who edits?
 

Dwight Fry

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I must say I quite enjoy the slow pacing of part 1 of An Unearthly Child. It makes our entry to that new world of the Doctor more mysterious and keeps us wondering. It almost belongs in The Twilight Zone. But after that part one - yep, the pacing could be better. Cool to see some love for the First Doctor!
 

MusicEd921

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Have you ever watched any of the Whoflix Doctor Who edits?
I sure have! They are a bit of a mixed bag with quality. There are some that have blatant plot holes because he cut too much and some of the music choices are questionable. It's a valiant effort, but it's not as polished as I'm hoping mine appear. I also walked away from his stuff because some of his posts got VERY sexist about the 13th Doctor and I just felt like his true colors overshadowed some of the enjoyment I was getting from his work.

I must say I quite enjoy the slow pacing of part 1 of An Unearthly Child. It makes our entry to that new world of the Doctor more mysterious and keeps us wondering. It almost belongs in The Twilight Zone. But after that part one - yep, the pacing could be better. Cool to see some love for the First Doctor!

For sure! My aim is not to make this the same pacing as NuWho, but just to help usher us along and more to the point. An Unearthly Child is cut from 85 minutes to 53 minutes, so it's just a lot of filler and plot points that end up having no pay off that I cut out.
 

MusicEd921

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Just for clarification.....the first 3 stories are done and uploaded with artwork, so if anyone wants to take a trip to visit some cavemen, or hang with the Thals and Daleks or just explore the ins and outs of the TARDIS before it explodes into oblivion, well you know what to do!
 

MusicEd921

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One more clarification…..this will be an ongoing thing. I have plans (and files ready to go) to work on ALL First Doctor stories. I just won’t be churning them out back to back. In the coming months, I hope to work on both The Keys of Marinus and The Aztecs. I’ll update my original post to reflect this.
 
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HoikDini

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I've only watched The Edge of Destruction so far, because I have a soft spot for this messy, shoehorned story.

For the most part, I think the added incidental music was appropriate and supplements the stock music well, although there were spots where quieter dialogue becomes harder to understand in the mix, since the source audio isn't great to begin with.

The edits are well done, maintaining the pacing of the story while still managing to tighten it a bit. Video quality is probably as good as can be expected given it's a 720 upscale of 1960s television. I didn't notice any artifacts.

That said, I'm not in full agreement with the cuts made. I guess I'm a fan of unhinged, overdramatic Susan too much that I miss some continuity.

This one is still a slow burn, even after editing down.

I have a great appreciation for what @MusicEd921 is attempting here, and I will be watching more of these.
 

MusicEd921

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Thank you for the review!

I'm looking at the stories as their progression from adventure to adventure and Susan losing her mind in this story was fine, except that it didn't make sense. Uncut, the story plays like they are all under some sort of mind control by some unseen entity, but then we find out that that was never the case. So, if she wasn't under any mind control, why was she acting insane? Of course we find out what the deal is, but the story was messy in its presentation of what was happening.

In all honesty, Edge of Destruction is not a very good story. The idea was there, but the execution is poor. I did my best to try and bring the basic idea to the forefront and eliminate what didn't work or had no payoff.
 

HoikDini

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This is my review of the edits 1-3, covering An Unearthly Child and The Daleks.

The very first episode is largely untouched, only a small amount of redundant dialogue and exposition from The Doctor, canonical but not serving the plot in a major way has been excised. I was surprised that the Ian and Barbara conversation about Susan wasn't trimmed further, since she doesn't turn out such a wunderkind that the pilot paints her to be.

Quite a lot of the Tribe of Gum adventure has been cut and shuffled to make for a much, much quicker resolution. But while the original plot isn't that gripping, this edit puts a lot of focus on the Za vs Kal leadership struggle, leaving little time for The Doctor and companions to have their morality quandries that made up the real meat of the original story. Still, for someone just wanting to get a sense of 'old' Who, it's probably enough. In terms of the edit, a couple of cuts were pretty noticeable, but the as-edited plot holds together pretty well.

The Daleks in two parts fares much better, keeping intact the core of the plot. The most notable removal being, early in the story, a short sideplot where Susan is frightened when she thinks she's been touched by someone in the jungle, but no one believes her. All that's left is a stray line the Doctor delivers at the food machine without context. Even cut to less than two hours The Daleks will still feel long, I think. The story twists and cliffhangers are pretty contrived and obvious. Considering just about an episode's worth of material is gone, it still seems like a light touch up.

All in all, these are pretty good so far. I didn't dwell so much on either of these to pick out the music additions, so I would call that a triumph as well.

Looking forward to the next installment, whenever that may be. Cheers!
 
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