Otherwise known as The Horny Nimon, Dr Who`s 1979 xmas panto.
This is a somewhat unusual – and unique – edit for reasons which we will get to later. But to begin at the beginning, as I think I`ve mentioned before now, I`m no great fan of the Graham Williams Era of Doctor Who. Not because I don`t like the stories as such, just the way they`re told. But when it comes to Fan Editing though, that means they are some of the most satisfying to do – the chance to take out as much of the silliness as you can and try and play the story straight makes for some of the most enjoyable Edits I`ve done to date. Having already done Davros, Scaroth and Erato, Soldeed was next on my list. And now that he`s out of the way, the only one I`ve got left to do from Season 17 is Nightmare of Eden.
I adopted the same approach here as for Genesis of the Daleks – starting at the last episode and working my way forward. I knew pretty much what stuff I wanted to cut, having watched the story right through for a – rather large as it turns out – Blooper Hunt prior to commencing editing, with much more than just a split pair of trousers to spot…
The cast aren’t exactly the best ensemble ever and as a result there’s a lot of cutting to be done to remove the more annoying aspects of their “performances”. To work our way through them one by one, let`s start with Wet Seth and Chicken Tikka.
She gets really irritating with her bigging up Seth all the time – I`d have told her to STFU before part one was over if it was me! David Brierly`s K9 voice just isn`t a patch on John Leeson so he gets the Adric treatment in this one. Soldeed may be a wonderfully camp villain but given his performance, we can only be thankful that Graham Crowden turned down the role of the Doctor and didn`t take over from Jon Pertwee. [I wonder if he mentioned it to Tom during rehearsals?] Another clear candidate for the chop was all that nonsense in the Tardis.
Having worked backwards to the point where the Doctor arrives on Skonnos, I then went back to the front of the story and worked my way through the material in order to get him there as quickly as possible. I would have cut back the opening scene with the pilots even more if I could but I was only able to make a couple of trims to it.
Apart from one scene from part three that I had to bring forward to plug a gap the rest of the video edit was pretty easy. The Doctor`s escape from Soldeed was probably the most time consuming scene to cut down. I would have cut it back further but again the audio didn’t work when I tried that so I settled for just losing the the naff “public speaking” scene with the Skonnons.
And speaking of audio, that was the most challenging part of the whole edit, and required a bit of ingenuity on more than one occasion to smooth over the joins. There`s only one additional music cue from Heathcliffe Blair over the sequence where the Anethans put the Hymetusite into the reactor, which felt a little empty and lacking in atmosphere without one. I`ll leave it for you to spot which track it is! The edit was completed over two days, which is about average now for these things though not the quickest I`ve ever knocked one out. In total I reckon it took me about ten hours.
The main problem with the story for me is how long it takes the Doctor to get to Skonnos and get involved in the action, with shades of the Saward school of Dr Who scripting from author Anthony Read.
I`ve been able to fix that but was unable to do anything with the story`s other main problem – the fact that Read seems to think that Romana is the star of the show and not the Doctor. Their roles should really be reversed in the story as she gets far too much screen time compared to Tom.
It seems rather odd that the Doctor should play what is in effect the role of companion to his companion. It`s also a good example of why a female Doctor is such a non-starter, particularly when played by Lalla Ward, whose “acting” I find irritating in the extreme. She`s not exactly a graduate of the Matthew Waterhouse Academy of Utter Unnaturalism but she couldn`t play a real person if she tried. Like K9 I tried to cut down her screen time as much as I could, with the main casualty being her scenes with dear old Sezom [aka Edward Waterfield].
DivX files for these edits come out at around 400MB as opposed to the 9GB or so of the AVI File. Much easier for uploading. But this time round, for the first time, something went wrong with DivX. Don`t ask me what or why but when I went to play back the file… it wouldn`t. At all. I got an error message saying the file format was unsupported. WTF? And guess who, not anticipating a problem after nearly two dozen hitch-free Fan Edits, had deleted the AVI File? By which I mean permanently deleted since my PC always likes to inform me that it`s too big for the recycle bin? Yeah, you got it…
And so having edited the story once, I then had to go back and edit it all again. What a complete pain in the arse! Second time around it only took me three hours to do and in the end it was a bit of a blessing in disguise. There were a couple of fixes that I was able to find better solutions for and where the 71 Edit was 46m 03s, the 72 Edit came out 44m 48s. But the moral of the story, fellow Fan Editors, is never delete the AVI file until you`ve checked it`s successfully exported to DivX! [and you can download a program called Recuva to help retrieve the file!]