Warriors of the Deep

Otherwise known as Warriors on the Cheap or Judy Pepperdine`s Wonderful World of Wardrobe Malfunctions!

Doctor Who Big Finish Warriors Deep

Okay so maybe I`m being a bit harsh on poor old Judy but it has to be said that the cossies in this story are a bit rubbish. Which is yet one more reason why you should never have brightly lit sets on a show like this – shadows can not only contribute hugely to atmospherics, they can also cover a multitude of sins, including the Myrka – but more of that later…

doctor who complete history 09Warriors is an easy target for mockery for obvious reasons but in its defence it’s simply one of those stories where none of the individual elements came together. Not one of them. Still, the whole point of Fan Editing is to try and improve things as best you can and with this one I think this is as good as it`s gonna get…

This story is Johnny Byrne`s weakest script for the show by a long way. It always strikes me as an inferior version of Stingray – and I mean that in every respect. Icthar and Sauvix, or Pixar and Cervix as I prefer to call them, should really have teamed up with the Aquaphibians – now that really would have been a story worth watching! Please could someone make the puppets and film this for YouTube please? Thanks.

But here in the real world the answer is to try and keep the focus on the Doctor, which is why we end up using only three and a half minutes of the first episode. Yes that`s right, just three and a half. No padding, no Sentinel Six, no Seabase spies and certainly no shoddy reveal of the Silurians.

And speaking of Silurians, the 1980s costumes for both them and the Sea Devils are sadly inferior to the 1970s originals. You would have thought that a decade or so on, they would have come up with something better but no. And whose bright idea was it to give the Seabase crew`s uniforms a triangular pocket on the back? With a zip! WTF? Nice one,  Judy…

One of the things I do when going through the footage is to do a Blooper Hunt at the same time. There are loads of the buggers in this story, but possibly the most infamous one is the wobbly set at the part one cliffhanger. I`ve cut that and fixed a couple of shots in this scene where you can see the top of the set. [check the Bloopers on Whopix for more!]

There`s an awful lot of music in this story and it would have been hell to try and edit without the isolated music track. Most of the cues are quite long so that meant a fair bit of ingenuity in getting from one to the other. This was the most challenging part of the edit as a discordant music cue can give the game away just as much as a bad jump cut.

warriors deep dwm

Nine and a half minutes in, after Vorshak`s line about Turlough telling the truth we get our first glimpse of the Silurian ship approaching the base. I`ve changed the order of the material slightly and used some additional footage from part one; it now rises from the hollow crater, approaches the base and get spotted on the screen. Which is why you should never delete any footage until the edit is locked!

Part Two comes off better than its predecessor in the Included Footage stakes with 13m and Part Three has 11m. This is the part of the show that contains the infamous Ingrid Pitt Kung Fu Attack on the Myrka so before you ask yes, Doctor Solow dies off screen in this version!

The final episode has 17m worth of footage included and it`s here that the Silurians finally enter the story. I deliberately kept them back as long as I could. Having finished the 71 Edit, it was time to go back and put in some additional music cues in places where I felt there should have been one and make one additional fix…

JNT said that he thought they would have got away with the Myrka if the base had been flooded in red emergency lighting, like you get on a submarine. Unlike most of his ideas, I thought this one might actually work so I decided to put it to the test.

This meant I had to find a point where I could plunge the base into red emergency lighting and a point where the lighting would return to normal. Having done that, the next question was how to achieve the effect. Before I even started I knew where the biggest obstacle to making it work would come from; the Bridge set is lit far too brightly and whose bright idea was it to have all in off-white anyway? By contrast the corridors aren`t too bad as they at least have some shadow in them.

warriors of the deep covers

First, I tried simply colourising the footage with no other effects. That didn`t work as the footage looked just that – colourised with large areas of white still showing through the filter.

The answer I came up with was to adjust the channel mix to flood the scene with a green hue then colourise it. Since all the white in the scene had been turned green, the flood red colour looked much more effective when it was applied. If you want to try it yourself adjust one of the channels down to minus 40% then colourise with a red flood fill with RGB settings of 170, 10 and 10 – the equivalent of the Hash Code #AAOAOA.

The effect works better in some scenes than in others so the final thing to do was to go through the edit and adjust brightness and contrast where necessary. Some shots, especially toward the end, are in really dark shadow but there wasn`t much I could do about that. Overall, I think it`s still preferable to the far too brightly lit alternative. And it helps cover up a lot of those boom microphones in shot and the numerous Silurian Wardrobe malfunctions.

And if you`re wondering why Fan Edit Friday seems to have moved, it hasn`t – there will be another File for you to download in two days` time. I just liked the sound of Warriors Wednesday!




11 thoughts on “Warriors of the Deep

  1. Excellent comments on this episode!
    I recently watched through all of the Fifth Doctor’s adventures (first time seeing all of them) and found this to be the worst one. To be fair, I kind of don’t like any Silurian story though.

    Anyway, after watching through all these shows I found the lighting to be the factor that most detracted from the show’s quality. Granted, one tends to want a look of cheapness to classic Who. All the same, a little shadow on the Mara could have produced a truly threatening villain, free of the distraction that the crummy puppet caused me.

  2. Oh – and I love what you’re doing. I’ve only just discovered your website today while at work, so I haven’t had a chance to watch any yet. I am very excited to though! This is exactly what I wanted when I finished watching the new shows and ventured back to the classics.

    1. Why thank you Mickey! If you look at the List Page you can see all the ones I`ve done so far, but be warned – they are not all there to download. The files are stored on Rapidshare and after 30 days without being donwloaded they get deleted. So, as I say on the List Page, use the Contact Page to request a particular story if its not there and I will happily upload it again.

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Dr Who Fan Editing and be careful the boss doesn`t catch you – you`ve got a lot of catching up to do!

    1. Well I don`t know about that – it was JNT`s idea after all but I will gladly accept the genius accolade for the execution of it! The whole “submarine red” thing is a bit strange at first but after a while you do get used to it. When we got to the Missile Run at the end, where they finally lowered the lights to where they should have been from the start, it made things really dark; so dark that I thought it might be unwatchable but luckily it still works!

      The main reason for doing these Fan Edits is to improve things and come up with a faster paced version of the story in line with the New Series. I always try to produce the version of the story that I most want to see and it`s hugely satisfying to know that you`ve produced a version of an unloved clunker that people not only prefer they actually want to watch.

      For instance, Timelash had about 50 downloads and The Twin Dilemma – Officially The Worst Doctor Who Story Ever – is my second most popular edit – the current [and much better] version is currently sitting at 60 downloads and the original version had 192 before the demise of Megaupload. Maybe I can do the same for this poor unloved clunker too!

      Maybe that should be my tag line – Whoflix: making the unwatchable watchable!

  3. I liked this one. The red light was a nice touch. It really added some atmosphere that the original version was lacking.

    1. Yeah, and by “lacking” I take it you mean as in “the complete absence of”! When they lower the lights for the Missile Run? That`s how they should have been throughout the story!

      You can do any given Shakespeare lots of different ways, and a lot of these unloved Classic Who stories might have a much better reputation if they had only been produced differently. Too often the deficiencies of a story`s production can obscure the script, although this one isn`t particularly good I grant you. Just think how different this would have been if Hinchliffe & Holmes or Letts & Dicks had been in charge!

  4. The cuts were great. I think the emergency lighting was a good idea, but it looked pink on my screen. 😦 I wish I had the facilities to do fanedits myself — I’d make it black and white a la Whoflix’ Happiness Patrol edit.

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