Despite some interesting revelations from writer Kevin Clarke on the DVD release, Silly Nemesis will never be a highly regarded story. As someone who completely disagrees with all that Cartmel Masterplan bollocks, I tend to steer clear of the McCoy era as, to me, it just isn`t Doctor Who. So I was quite surprised when it was suggested to me that I Fan Edit this story. Although I have no great affection for it, and some of the cuts are bleedin` obvious, I`d rather do things people would like to see and so I decided to tackle it.
My first idea was to mostly tell the story from the POV of Lady Paintfart and Richard as they are the two most interesting characters in the story, a sort of opposite of the Doctor and Ace. It helped that there was 20 mins worth of Extended and Deleted scenes on the DVD to choose from. Some of this cut stuff is more interesting than what we got…
The original file of the Silly Nemesis Fan Edit fell victim to the same virus-induced corruption that affected The Horny Nimon – from the compiled AVI file I export to DivX to reduce the file size for download. But when I went to check the file the bloody thing wouldn`t play in the DivX Player. And guess who had already deleted the AVI File… Again, the lesson is to always check before deleting anything! [And I’ve since learned that there’s a great little program called Recuva that you can download for just this sort of situation]
And so I had to redo the entire edit again from scratch, something that I wasn`t looking forward to but, like Nimon, I think the second go at it ended up being better than the first. Looking back over my notes, I can see that this second version is some 12 minutes shorter than the first time I tackled it. So let`s call this the 72 Edit.
Part One has quite a few sections from the Extended & Deleted scenes on the DVD for you to spot and we start with the mathematician scenes – much more intriguing opening than some camp old nazi shooting at a parrot. Similarly, letting us know that Lady P can`t even shoot a pigeon at close range doesn`t exactly make her the biggest threat the Dr has ever faced, does it… ok, so the symmetry is nice but it doesn`t advance the story.
Both versions of Part One came out at about 17 minutes but this 72 Edit loses the jazz gig altogether and when the Cybermen turn up I took the opportunity to reverse those flipped shots of McCoy – a pet hate of mine.
I couldn`t resist the additional FX on Lady Paintfart and Richard`s time travelling departure, but don`t look for them to land in a tearoom of deaf Satanists who don`t bat an eyelid at two Shakespearean “ghosts” materialising out of thin air!
On to Part Two and there was quite a lot of work to do on the gun battle between the nazis and the cybs to make it less wimpy so lots of much bigger sound effects for the guns and the explosions. Part Two ends at 27 minutes so that means there`s only 10 minutes of the TX version in this Fan Edit and again there`s some extended/deleted stuff in there for you to spot.
There`s quite a bit of cutting between the two versions TX and DVD Extended/Deleted – see if you can spot them all! There was a particularly tricky bit where I had to colour correct the DVD footage of Lady Paintfart`s speech about revealing the Doctor`s secret to match the TX footage that precedes it.
The DVD version appears to have the scene as shot on location, which was later colour-corrected for transmission. If you compare the two, the colour balance is not the same. The answer was a very long cross fade between the two.
Part Three loses Ace`s battle with the Cybermen from the 71 version and the climax of the story was the hardest part of the edit to do, involving no less than 6 audio layers for various music cues – it`s all a bit chaotic but it works. The final reworked section was Lady Paintfart`s death. I don`t want to spoil it too much for when you watch it but it`s a different – and, I think, better [and given her “secret” identity, appropriate] – method of dispatch.
The FE ends at about 32m which means P3 gets just 5m of footage included, which must be something of a record especially for a final episode. It`s quite shocking just how much padding there is in these episodes, be it Liz Two or skinheads or some yank bird in a limo. And looking back over my notes for the now-lost 71 Edit, it`s amazing how much more stuff you can lose and still have the story make sense!
That the FE comes out at just over half an hour shows you just how thin a story Kevin Clarke told but now it zips along without much of the nonsense that blighted the original. Another clunker that`s now far less painful to watch!