Dr Who Meets Mr Spaghetti Head is a decent enough story, and you can see why the Mofferator likes it so much but, although it has a lot of fans among Fans I`m not one of them. For me, City of Death could have been so much better if only they`d taken things seriously. I`m no great fan of this period in the show`s history as what others enjoy as wit and charm, irritates me as smugness and a lack of seriousness. A heretical point of view to some but there you go.
Nowadays we would call this sort of stuff getting the Tone all wrong [a bit like the complaints made against Pertwee`s House That Dripped Blood segment] and this edit seeks to minimise that “error”. If you love the story as it is then don`t waste your time downloading this version. If however you`re willing to take another, more serious/less comic look at it then please go ahead.
The original opening of Scaroth`s ship blowing up becomes a pre-credits sequence with the dialogue shunted up to avoid us having to see old Spaghetti Head too early. And did you spot the continuity error with Scaroth`s hands? He`s got spaghetti hands as well as a spaghetti head in his ship`s cockpit but when he takes his human mask off later on for the Countess, he elects to keep his human gloves on for some reason…! After the credits we get a truncated travelogue to establish Paris that gets us to the Louvre and straight into the story in under three minutes!
Familiarity with the original can sometimes interfere with the enjoyment of an alternate Edit as you notice straight away where footage has been inserted or deleted. So don`t go looking for the scene with Romana`s face as a clock as it`s been cut – not because it was a bad scene, on the contrary it was very good and spooky, but because it has zero bearing on the plot, something I remember being really disappointed about when viewing the episode on its original transmission. Big Finish should really do a story explaining what that was all about…
Those cafe scenes were a real pain in the arse to edit. For a start there`s all the to-ing and fro-ing between indoors and outdoors and why doesn`t the Count just collect the Doctor at the same time as the bracelet instead of having to make another trip to the cafe – and how could they be sure they would still be there anyway? It`s called padding and it`s typical of the problems you face editing pre-exisiting material, making this one of the hardest Edits to date.
There are numerous cuts and trims throughout this “serious” edit which has eliminated most of the silliness – what remains is only there because it was impossible to get rid of. In terms of the tone of the show, removing the bulk of the “humour” means that what`s left isn`t nearly as irritating. All that`s missing from some of these Adams/Williams episodes is a bloody laugh track!
Finally we come to the most contentious aspect of the entire production – Scaroth`s Mask! Well, where do we start with this one… the whole thing is so ridiculously implausible – how can he see out for a start! – that I was determined to come up with a better method of unmasking him than in the TX version. The only feasible “serious” approach was to have a cross fade between the Count`s head and Scaroth`s. Okay, so this means that the Counts head has to grow a little bit larger for no other reason than to make the effect work but that`s still how it should have been done!
Oh, and Cleese and Bron didn`t make it either.