…otherwise known as Dr Who and the Cosmic Prawn!
The Invisible Enemy novelisation may have had one of the best Target covers ever but the TV show it was based on has one of the worst monsters in the series` history. And that`s saying something. Dr Who And The Cosmic Prawn will forever be known for both its rather naff monster and as the story that introduced us to everybody`s favourite metal mutt.
It`s one of those stories that nobody seems to be taking entirely seriously – imagine how much better it would have been had Hinchcliffe been in charge of it; I doubt there would have been any implausible looking handguns and there would have been a straight performance from dear old Frederick Jaeger. His Professor Marius is a sort of male Amelia Rumford but its light years away from his far superior turn as Sorenson in Planet of Evil just a couple of years earlier. Mind you, it`s still better than Tryst…
But it`s always going to be the Cosmic Prawn which gives this story its notoriety. Second only to Erato in sheer awfulness and only slightly ahead of the Myrka, it`s one of those “WTF were they thinking of?” moments where imagination seriously outstripped all practicality. And the other nonsensical thing about the story, all that cloning bollocks, was the main inspiration behind this Fan Edit. Or should I say, editing it out was the inspiration.
One, it makes no sense and two, it`s all padding from start to finish. All that needs to happen is for Marius to get infected and pick up the Nucleus when it pops out the tear duct. So here that`s what happens!
There are a few other differences from the TX version to look out for; I used the arrival of the shuttle crew on Titan as a pre-credits sequence and I`ve added in an extra scene of the virus cloud attacking the Tardis. This was inserted to make more sense of the second explosion on the console and to cover the cut mid section of the scene. It`s not a repeat though, it`s a completely original shot made by combining two shots with a clever bit of Chromakey on my part.
When it came to the Tardis` landing, there`s some bloke stood outside the viewing window which means he`s outside on the surface of Titan. Now I don`t know about you but when I saw it I was thinking “who the fekk is that?”. It can only really be Lowe but he never comments on seeing the Tardis arrive so to save any confusion I`ve masked him out; the Tardis now arrives without an audience!
I did think seriously about including some of the DVD`s new CGI FX shots but I felt that not all of them were an improvement on the originals, especially the early stuff in part one with the shuttle and the Tardis – it looks like CG which it`s not meant to! And I wasn`t too keen on the new “lightning” effect they used for Contact Being Made either as I felt it obscured too much of the face. But I did like the new effect for the guns and boy was I glad they`d fixed the infamous scene where K9 blasts a section of wall that`s clearly been pre-cut.
But in the end, for various technical reasons I decided to stick with the TX version although I would have liked to have used the CG in places. For some reason it wouldn`t rip properly from the DVD but then I was working from the original release disc with the authoring error so maybe that had something to do with it…
There`s another completely new shot of the virus cloud attacking the Bi-Al Foundation and a new sequence for when the virus talks to the Doctor. I also did my own version of the initial glow seen around the Doctor when the virus cloud attacks the console. It`s just the simple addition of a glow effect but it does the job better than the original and still looks pretty good in lieu of the CG.
I`m really pleased with the end result and not just for the fixes to the original elements in the production. Yes those took a fair bit of work but it was the music, as always, that proved the biggest challenge so it was really satisfying when I finally got the cues to work. And the end was a real doozy to edit – they were clearly in a hurry in the studio to finish for the infamous ten o`clock deadline as there`s some poorly realised stuff in there and some frankly bizarre shot choices to try and work round. No wonder Derrick Goodwin never directed for Who again!