One of the main inspirations behind doing these Fan Edits is the desire to see a particular scene brought to life, just as it is in your mind`s eye. With Mindwarp, I always wanted to see the end of the final episode lead into the opening Trial sequence, something that would probably have happened had the story been part of an “ordinary” season. Another impetus to doing this particular FE was a one-day convention being held nearby by a local fan group near where I lived, a day with Nabil Shaban. The original idea was to do a sort of live commentary which in the end didn`t happen. But they still screened the edit – in a special widescreen version I did, which I gave to Nabil afterwards – and everyone who was there said they loved it. And so, several years later, I had another go at it for Whoflix!
Great though it is to see Nabil back as Sil, it’s not so great to have Brian Blessed doing his Voltan mk2 impression and shouting instead of acting. In many ways, that bloody Flash Gordon film ruined him as an actor, as all people wanted him to do was that stupid bloody shouty thing. Blessed is a bit bonkers as a person but he’s a bloody good actor, shame he turned into a caricature of himself. And as for King Yrcanos taking Perpugilliam of The Brown for his bride, that’s something I thought we’d never see – a companion exit that’s even more unlikely than Leela marrying Andred!!!
Unlike its predecessor, The Mysterious Planet, this story doesn`t have as much intrusion from the Trial sequences, hence the episodes are a bit longer. The main thing I wanted to edit out was all that “nasty doctor” bollocks that we got again. Saward may have thought it was dramatic, but the rest of us know that it`s not who the character is. We don’t want the Doctor to be a mysoginistic psychopath, we want him to be the hero we all fell in love with and messing around with that does no-one any good. Editing around all that meant that the story comes out at three episodes instead of four but I really do think it`s the better for it. And I do love that cliffhanger ending to episode three where the Doctor, on his way to rescue Peri, gets dragged into the Tardis and whisked away to a strange station in space for what must be one of the best cliffhanger endings ever, and it wasn’t even one they used in the show!
So now – if you`re feeling particularly brave! – you can watch my 4-part version of The Mysterious Planet, then my 3-part version of Mindwarp, then all 14 episodes of The Trial of a Timelord and see those first two stories from both points of view…
The original ending to Part Three of this edit included the scene where Kiv wakes up in Peri’s body and Sil laments that he wishes Crozier could have found a more attractive one. At the time I put the edit together back in 2011, I felt it was the right thing to do to include the scene as the alternative, Peri becoming a Warrior Queen set up high by that warmongering fool Yrcanos, was the least believable thing about The Trial of A Time Lord! However, two things led me to revisit the ending of the edit of Part Three and revisit my decision to include that scene in the fan edit. The first was Zycron’s feedback [which can be found in the comments section of this post] and the second was the Big Finish audio The Widow’s Assassin.
Without getting too Spoiler-y in case you haven’t listened to it yet, the audio, which sees Sixie finally go back to rescue/revisit Peri, makes it clear that a mental transfer did indeed take place. So if you take the view, as I do, that the Big Finish audio adventures are secondary texts that are as canonical as The Night of the Doctor implies they are, then the scene should theoretically stay. However, having given it some thought I decided that the better option was to keep the initial scene where Crozier talks about transferring Kiv’s mind, but to cut the next scene where he wakes up in her body. That way we still get the “truth” of what happened, and the edit gets what is, on balance, a better ending than the one I put together five years ago!