The Earthshock Fan Edit was first done in 2009 and it`s strange looking back at something you did two years ago. You look at some of the editing choices you made then and think “well, I wouldn`t do that now”. So I decided to make some tweaks and extra cuts to what I now regard as 71 Edits.
Additionally, this is now the third version of the story as I`ve gone back and added in the CG FX from the DVD, which are a vast improvement on the original. That in itself necessitated a few extra trims to the episodes which I now reckon are the final version of the story.
Peter Davison`s first season always struck me as being Hartnell By Numbers, what with there being three companions in the TARDIS when you only really need one [Rose] or two [Amy & Rory] max. So for this Fan Edit, I`ve taken that Hartnell-esqueness [?] to the next level and given each episode of this FE it`s own individual title, the only story I`ve done that for. Apart from anything else, I`ve always thought “Earthshock” was a terrible title…
So I put all the cave sequences together and called this one “The Caves of Death”. The main thing I wanted to do throughout this FE was to get rid of Adric as much as possible before he`s got rid of! So the first shot we see of the Dr is in the caves with Nyssa & Tegan and Adric`s contribution is kept to an absolute minimum. There`s none of that “I wanna go back to E-Space” bollocks. Blatant padding or pseudo-soap opera, it was always gonna be the first thing to be cut. [Was I the only one at the time saying “Yeah, go on Doctor, take him back! PLEASE!”]
Looking back at Episode One, I realised that I could do a much better job with it and so have made quite a few cuts – mostly trims and losing some of the bridging scenes that, while they may add to the tension and atmosphere, don`t advance the plot any. As a result of tightening up the episode further, and making some other changes which I`ll detail later, it now runs 25m 01s instead, which means I`ve lost about 4 minutes from that 71 Edit. Just shows you what a difference two years makes! I`ve also taken the opportunity to make a few improvements…
When doing a Fan Edit, you should always watch it through when you think you`ve finished editing it. Not just to make sure you`re happy with it but to see if there are any glitches that you may have missed. Looking at this episode I spotted a couple of dodgy sound edits that needed tidying up. One thing that Fan Edit Fans hate is being able to spot a dodgy edit. The whole idea of the process is that you can`t tell that something has been cut out.
Next, at about 4 minutes in there`s a glaring example of Blind Guard Syndrome – a glaring blooper that I will have to add to the list on Whopix! As the troopers advance through the tunnels the androids cross behind them and the bloke bringing up the rear looks back – how he manages to miss their dirty great shadow on the cave wall is beyond me. So I used a screen grab to mask the shadow so he doesn`t look like a complete divvy!
At about 10 minutes, after the Doctor says ”primitive Tegan, very primitive!” I spotted three frames left from a cut scene that I missed. These have now been removed. Things like that are annoying, but it was two years ago and I`m much more adept at this FE lark now than I was back then! The climax of the TX Part One now comes at about 15 minutes in and one minute later Adric appears in the for the first time. Well, I kept him out of it as long as I could…
As a result of all the extra cuts I made I needed to utilise the isolated soundtrack from the DVD to cover the joins. They are an absolute godsend for this kind of work. If only we had them on the New Series discs too…
Inspiration for doing new things with a Fan Edit can strike in all sorts of ways. As I was watching the closing sequence I suddenly realised that I could do something special with the flashback sequence! If you compare it to the TX version, the first thing you`ll notice is that I`ve redone the clips from scratch [including the TARDIS one], making them a much more intense red than the pale colour on the originals, so it looks much more dramatic now. It also means they are more of a match for the initial shot of the Fifth Doctor that the Cybermen see. The Hartnell clip is the same one from The Tenth Planet but for Troughton I`ve used one from Tomb of the Cybermen instead. Why?
Well, in the TX version they mention the Tomb adventure but then they show a clip from Wheel In Space instead, since Tomb hadn’t been returned to the archive at the time this was made. But of course Tomb is out on DVD now so I suddenly realised that I could use a clip from the actual story they`re referring to!
Finding a useable clip was quite tricky. The implication in the sequence seems to be that all the flashback clips are from the Cybermen`s POV. In Tomb there`s very little interaction between the Second Doctor and the Cyber Controller. In the end there was only really one clip I could use so that`s the one I went with.
What else could I call this one except “Return of the Cybermen”!
With this episode I noticed a music cue that cut off a bit too quickly, giving the game away that a scene had been cut. I also felt it was a little too long at 27m 59s. There were still scenes in there that I felt we could lose so what`s bee uploaded now is probably more of a 72 Edit and better for losing that 4m 21s.
We hit the cliffhanger of the TX part two at about five minutes into this edit and end with the cliffhanger to the TX part three, so that means there`s about 18 minutes of the original episode in this edit. Again, I`ve cut Adric out as much as possible!
The third and final part of this Fan Edit is called “Ship of Doom”, which seems appropriately Hartnell-y for what takes place. Again I`ve cut down Adric`s contribution as much as possible!
Like part two, revisiting this again I felt it could be even tighter so I`ve managed to lose about five minutes. Some of these cuts are whole scenes, others are simply dialogue trims which I`m sure you`ll spot.
Again to help with the Hartnell-iness of the edit, the TX part four ends at 18m. I`m sure you can guess what occupies the last 5m – that`s right, the opening of Time-flight! It seems appropriate given that it ties up the remaining loose ends [getting everyone back to their own time] and shows how quickly they forget Adric and move on. And it`s footage that I would have chopped from a Time-flight Fan Edit anyway!