The Space Museum

Space Museum Radio Times

The Space Museum is one of those stories where the idea never quite lives up to the promise of the premise. It`s really rather dull with a bit of a duff soundtrack so with this Fan Edit I wanted to try and make it all a bit more exciting. This Edit has been sitting on the shelf since last year but came nowhere in the “most want to see” site poll that I ran a few months back. Since we`ve now uploaded all the ones folks wanted to see, I can upload what I like in the next three weeks to Xmas, when we take our usual break until the New Year.

Like several other Edits I`ve done, such as Death to the Daleks and The Silurians, here I`ve gone in for some soundtrack replacement. And this time around it`s the music of John Barry. I`ve always been a great fan of his soundtracks for the James Bond movies and most of the cues here come from Diamonds Are Forever. I know that`s not really contemporary with the year the show was made but they fit and that`s what counts. And there are also some cues in there from Thunderball which was released the same year as this went out, 1965, so there is some proper contemporary sixties music in there!

The music from both films really help to lift the atmosphere and make the whole thing that bit more dramatic, and this is a story that needs all the help it can get in that department! It`s really satisfying when you find music that just seems to fit perfectly and the cues used here are a really sympathetic match to the mid-sixties visuals. For this Edit, we had two video tracks and four audio tracks to allow for overlapping and crossfading between various cues.

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One thing you need to watch out for when doing this kind of thing is getting the levels right for new music as it`s very easy for it too end up too loud and drowning out the actors. I had to spend quite a bit of time trying to get the balance right between the music and the dialogue & action, especially if I was trying to cover up an original cue I couldn`t get rid of.

doctor who complete history 11There are a few places where I haven`t been able to replace the duff music of the original, such as the dialogue in the scene where they discover their future selves in the cabinets. So in those instances I`ve tried to find new cues that I can combine them with to minimise their presence. My favourite part of the whole Edit has to be the bit where they catch up with themselves, I completely redid the entire sequence, which was enormous fun to do and a huge improvement on the original I reckon. That and the action sequence about 34 minutes in with Ian fighting the guard, if you`re a Bond fan you`ll recognise the cue I used here!

There are a few other fixes in the Edit such as the initial arrival of the Tardis and the scene where Vicki and Ian put their hands through that funny looking gizmo, giving us the first hint of the real problem the travellers face. The object in question – whatever it is – was just a bit too transparent in the original so I`ve tried to make it look a bit more solid. I was able to do the same thing with the Tardis, which involved boosting the contrast of the original and using a shot of the Ship from The Dominators. I warped this new shot to match up with the original – which is clearly the large Shawcraft model – and help sell the illusion that the Ship is there and solid, in the original it`s all too “clear” that it`s transparent, which spoils the intended effect. When Hartnell steps in it was a simple case of reducing the opacity of the new layer so we could still see him through it. A much more convincing result.

We hit the end of part one at 21 minutes, which is almost half the entire running time of the Edit. It`s unusual to have so much material from a first episode in a finished Edit but it`s the best of the four by a mile. Which leaves about 27 minutes of material from the remaining three episodes, an average of ten apiece, which is the norm. And then it`s a race to the end with a cut down version of the original, which can only be described as a right load of old Moroks!

I`m really pleased with this one, it`s one of those stories that I think has been improved dramatically from the original, no pun intended. Although the ending might seem a little bit abrupt, that`s because I wanted to keep the tag from the original – involving a reference to the SpaceTime Visualiser – for the pre-credits sequence of the next story…

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4 thoughts on “The Space Museum

  1. Another clunker fashioned into something great. It seemed the half of the edit was the first episode. The thing I noticed in this one were your cues. They were very good. Some of them were timed so well to the action it was crazy. I think there’s one where Ian touches an intangible object that just syncs so perfectly. I did not like the original episode but this, this I liked and quite a bit.

    1. Episode One is the best of the four so yes, the majority of the Edit was always going to feature that one quite heavily. After that it all goes downhill but the key to dealing with this sort of thing is to try and keep the focus on the Doctor. And look how easy it is for Vicki to arm the Xeron rebels! Everything you need to tell the story is there, which isn’t a lot after part one!

      Adding in the music is one of the most satisfying parts of the whole process and yes, I do consciously try and time things to fit the onscreen action. I just love John Barry`s Bond stuff and if you liked the ones I used here just wait until you see Inferno!

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