After the trials and tribulations of The Chase, I decided to tackle something a bit simpler for my next Fan Edit. And what could be easier than The Awakening, a two-part story that`s often dismissed as a cut-price version of The Daemons. To its credit it does attempt a bit of atmosphere, something almost every JNT shows could have done with. And it`s got Dennis “Fendahl” Lill as Sir George, who is clearly as mad as a box of frogs but Lill underplays him just enough to stay the right side of believable, where a lesser actor would have gone OTT.
The story itself is pretty thin stuff, with the Doctor arriving at the end of a re-enactment of a War Game which is meant to generate enough psychic energy to re-animate Malcolm The Malus. Malky is a big scary face that somehow has been hidden in the church wall, which makes no sense whatsoever when you think about it. Still, it`s a memorable image as it breaks improbably out of the wall. Something else that`s nonsense is the face itself, which is so immobile that it`s no wonder they obscured it with smoke. And that`s the biggest problem with the story. No confrontation with the villain.
The way these things usually work is that the Doctor convinces the lackey that his alien master is only using him whereupon the lackey turns on said alien master and helps kybosh the whole plan. But, unlike Azal, Big Malky never says a word, which is where the script really missed a trick. As his power grew he could have been cross faded into an actor made up to look the same. How scary might that have been, to see this giant evil face come to life and start talking in it`s best Christopher Lee voice? See, if only Malky had talked, the story could have been so much better. And as for his Evil Plan, that gets scuppered by the Doctor simply flicking a switch in the Tardis to jam the signal and before you know it, hey presto, it`s exploding church time – now where have we seen that before…?
We start in the Tardis for the simple reason that Sir George tells the Doctor everything he already told Jane in their earlier scenes together, so we don`t need to see any of that. We get our first bit of deleted footage when Turlough goes after Tegan. I decided to use this instead of the original as I never bought the sequence where the half-blind bloke nicks Tegan`s bag, talk about contrived! Again, we let as much happen offstage as we can, so Tegan and Turlough turn up at the church without the need for us to see what`s been happening to them, which is nothing that advances the story…
A pretty straight forward cut-down this one, but Fanboys can listen out for the “woozy Tardis Landing” sound effect as the Tardis arrives in the church. In the TX version it`s a bit weak with just that piddly little electronic burble so I`ve beefed it up a bit. And I`ve never understood why the JNT Tardis simply goes ping when they`ve arrived somewhere– it`s a time machine , not a bloody microwave!