The Twin Dilemma

Doctor Who Big Finish Twin Dilemma

Poor old Colin Baker – a potentially great Doctor sabotaged by a combination of circumstances and individuals who had neither his, nor the show`s best interests at heart. His performance in Twin is fantastic and as an actor, he gets to do some great scenes. Shame it`s all stuff that simply doesn`t fit the character of the Doctor.

complete-history-18Otherwise known as Sixie And The Slug, this is one hell of a clunker and possibly the second worst first story for a new Doctor, after the awful Time And The Rani.

But on the plus side it’s got Maurice Denham in it and some cracking makeup for the Jacondans. Personally, I always wanted to see them alongside the Argolin, I think they would have looked great together. To be fair to Colin, he gives a great performance in a terrible story and Pirates of the Caribbean fans will spot that Hugo Lang is a much thinner and younger descendant of Joshamee Gibbs…

Amongst John Nathan-Turner`s more bizarre decisions was placing Colin`s first story at the end of Season 21. Not only did that rob the show of the resultant publicity that comes from the build-up to a new Doctor, but putting it at the end of the run seems to fly in the face of budgetary logic – season end, no money left = cheap story. Not the best way to introduce a new Doctor. Great shame and sadly, a taste of things to come.

twin dilemma dwm

Back in 2009 when I first did this Fan Edit, I wanted to achieve two things: first, reduce the amount of screen time the twins have to an absolute minimum. That’s another bizarre decision – okay they`re twins, but they don`t have to be identical or played by actual twins, John! Second, to edit out all the nasty/cowardly/shouty/unstable bits that they had Colin do. Don`t get me wrong, great performance luv. It`s just in the wrong show. This first version came out at just under 50 minutes and it was one of the earliest Fan Edits I ever did. In fact I think it was #3. And, looking back at it recently, it showed.

twin dilemma covers

In a way the loss of MegaUpload is a blessing in disguise. If it weren’t for the site going down the tubes I wouldn’t have had to re-upload all my stuff to Rapidshare which in turn means I wouldn’t have had the notion of re-watching some of my early work. Of course the danger is that you will see things you want to change – the old “I wouldn`t do it like that now” routine. As I watched it again, this story was full of moments like that. I`ve learned a lot since doing the first edit of this story three years ago and I wasn’t all that impressed with it when I saw it again. I knew I could do a much better job now and so I decided to go right back to the beginning and start all over again, using the original 2009 edit as a guide track.

The first major difference in the new version is that I`ve included a reprise of the regeneration from the previous story. It`s slightly different from the TX version and I won’t spoil it for you here but I think you’ll like what I’ve done with it. It`s now a great start to a New Doctor that makes you look forward to what comes next, something that sadly cannot be said about the original! To give you an idea of the work involved, and it how it all cut together, here`s a screengrab of the editing of this sequence –

I always thought it strange that Colin`s era started without the same sort of recap that Peter`s did so it`s here now. It also makes a bit more sense of Colin`s first TARDIS scene with Peri, which now comes straight after the credits. In the 2009 version the initial scene with Azmael arriving on the Freighter came first but with the regeneration at the top of the show now that no longer worked.

The other big difference is that I`ve used a lot more additional sound cues to help cover the joins between scenes. That was one of the major problems with the 2009 version, you could tell where a scene had been cut out as there was no music cue covering it.

Twin Dilemma by Adrian Salmon DWM390Twin is one of the few JNT stories with no Isolated Music Track on the DVD so for this updated version I`ve used cues from the next story Attack of the Cidermen, mainly because they`re by the same composer, Malcolm Clarke.

This was the first FE where I used the now familiar version of the Theme Music. I was really proud of it at the time as it`s a mix of the Howell & Derbyshire mk2 versions, meaning the former had to be pitch-shifted down to fit. I really liked it and I think this combination of the two works much better than the original Howell version.

Comparing the two versions, I`m as pleased with this one as I am embarrassed by the old one. It just goes to show what an additional three years of experience can do. Okay so it was one of the earliest FE`s I did but can I please just ask, if you`re one of the 192 people who downloaded the old version, can you please bin it and download this lovely new version instead? Apart from anything else, it`s a full ten minutes shorter!




6 thoughts on “The Twin Dilemma

  1. I think I saw that version of Five’s regeneration somewhere before, possibly on your old sight. Must say, it’s much more dramatic without all those companions circling the drain around his head.

    1. You may be right about that, I think it might well have been on the old site. But it wasn’t part of the 2009 version and it seemed a bit daft to have it sat on my hard drive doing nothing, although I suppose it will make another appearance when I finally get round to doing Androzani!

    1. I deleted it from my HD and wouldn’t watch it again even if I still had it!
      Be interesting to hear what you think of the differences between the two though…

  2. OMG — you fixed it.
    This story was IMHO the absolute worst to date and was painful to watch. The first time it was broadcast I was tempted to throw things at my television. JNT’s and Saward’s preposterous decision to make the Doctor unsympathetic ruined my favorite show, and the classic series never really recovered from this travesty. Given the weakness of the source material I didn’t think it was fixable — but you did it. Your fan edit makes the Doctor act like the Doctor again, with most of the pointless rudeness and all the verbal abuse gone. Your version is the one I’ll keep to share with my kids. After watching this I literally threw my videotape of the original in the recycling bin.
    The only thing I would have done differently is use the theme music from season 23 for all of the Colin stories to differentiate them from the Davison era.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I think it’s probably the story that’s most improved by being edited. As for the S23 music, well that was never going to happen as I hate it! I much prefer to use my own mix, the pitch-shifted Derbyshire/Howell combo version.

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