The Sontaran Experiment

I like the way all the stories in Tom`s first season dovetail into one another – very Hartnell! So with this Fan Edit, I wanted to bookend the action with the start and finish of the stories either side. That way Genesis of the Daleks can start without any reference to the previous adventures.

The coda to Ark In Space starts us off, with a slightly different version of the destruction of the shuttle to both versions on the DVD. Then it’s off into the transmat: the eagle-eared amongst you can listen out for a reverse of the sound effect used leaving Nerva when they appear on earth. I used this effect twice more for Sarah and Harry`s arrival, something that was missing in the TX version.

As well as being cut down, there`s a slight re-ordering of scenes at the start to minimise the amount of screen time given to both the Galsecs – with their dodgy Sath Effreekahn accents – and Styre`s machine, both pretty substandard elements of the production.

sontaran experiment dwm

There`s not very much incidental music in this story, it’s there when you don`t expect it and it’s not there when you do! For instance, there`s no music when Harry falls down the gully, which is exactly the sort of thing you`d expect Cuddly Dudley to score. So once again Heathcliffe Blair gets pressed into service to cover the joins and fill the sometimes inexplicable gaps.

The initial music track is “Cryogenic Sleepers”, which seemed rather appropriate! I decided, simply for stylistic reasons, only to use Ark music in this FE wherever possible. I think it provides a nice aural link between the two, and what is essentially a six-part story with a different location, like Seeds of Doom.

Adding in new music cues is always the most challenging and rewarding part of Fan Editing and I used lots of bits of different cues, cutting them together to suit the onscreen action. And there were a couple of places where they led perfectly into an existing TX cue, which is always satisfying! I think the result here is pretty effective and helps improve on the lack of atmosphere in the TX version. For those who have the CD, the music I used is tracks 1 to 5.

Speaking of sounds, when the Doctor rubs one of the spheres with his hanky, you can hear that it`s not metal so I patched that with a bit of wildtrack. When Styre`s machine captures Roth & Sarah, you don`t hear it approach so I`ve added that in to make sense of the scene – otherwise they`ve got bionic hearing!

By the time we get to the cliffhanger at 15 minutes, we`ve had 13 minutes of stuff from the TX Part One plus 2 minutes of Ark material. That`s standard for 4-part stories too. In the TX Part Two, Styre’s torture of Sarah was recut quite substantially. I cut it back to just the gloop crawling up her legs and included a reverse shot when the Doctor sonics the controls.

This sequence was a bit of a bugger as one of the problems with my editing software – Serif`s Movieplus 5 – is that, if you`ve got movement at the start of a scene you`ve cut, it often renders a two-frame glitch. In this short scene there were eight of the buggers! Now two frames may not sound like a lot, but it`s enough for your eye to be able to tell that something`s not right. So after the first rendering pass – my 71 Edit – I always watch the whole thing through again for things like this. When you cut out the glitch and re-time the footage to cover the two frame gap that’s left, it renders fine. Though why it couldn`t do that in the first place…

One other thing I wanted to correct was the scene where Styre shoots the Doctor. In the TX version he fires at him twice, but the first time he shoots it`s clearly a repeat of the same “shot” as when he killed Roth. So I`ve cut that out and just had him fire the once.

As for the actual shot that hits the Doctor, I`ve taken the opportunity to tidy that up too. In the TX version, Terry Walsh, doubling for the collar-bone-broken star, helpfully turns round so Styre can get a better shot at him! Here`s how I fixed it:

Starting at 18 minutes, 59 seconds and 7 frames, I counted 18 frames until TW starts to turn round. So I needed to find the frame before the shot of Styre`s gun firing – 19minutes, zero seconds and 17 frames – and count back 18 frames from there. That takes you back to 18 minutes, 59 seconds and 24 frames. With me so far?

doctor who complete history 06So now all I had to do was screen grab one frame at a time from both starting points – 18.59.7 and 18.59.24 – and combine the two so you get 18 frames` worth of Styre raising his gun to shoot the Doctor. Then all I had to do was move the soundtrack to sync it up with the new sequence. Simples!

Styre`s little chats with the Marshal are blatant padding so I`ve cut him back to just one of those. After that, apart from tightening up Styre`s ship exploding and tidying up the cross fades for the Doctor & co`s departure, it`s as per the TX version until the 3-minute Genesis intro, which comes in at 29 minutes. I`ve used track 6 from the Blair CD – “The Battlefield” – to help cover the join as it`s the one playing under the scene anyway.

In total there`s 27 minutes worth of material from both episodes with an additional 5 minutes from the other two stories at either end. Maybe I should rename it The Sontaran Sandwich!

download sontaran experiment

Sontaran Experiment - Nix View from DWM


2 thoughts on “The Sontaran Experiment

    • Bugger!
      Just checked and I did actually upload the file, but obv forgot to paste the updated link on the page.

      All sorted now!

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