“but first we join Doctor Who as he continues his search for The Key To Time…
The Doctor and Romana have found three of the six segments of the Key, and their search for the fourth leads to a case of mistaken identity as they encounter… The Androids of Tara”
Some stories in the KTT Season fare better than others in integrating the search for the segment with the main narrative. Tara is unusual in that they find the segment within the first five minutes, instead of spending all four episodes trying to track the bloody thing down.
The segments, and their properties, usually have very little effect on the KTT storylines, with perhaps the exception of the previous story, The Stones of Blood. So it’s nice to see Tara taking the only other version of the Quest plotline open to it – they’ve found it and lost it and need to get it back!
We lose the padding of the opening Tardis scenes and open with the Doctor and Romana exiting the Ship to get us straight into the story. A truncated montage allows Romana to find the segment a helluva lot quicker than in the TX version and I fixed the crossfade when the segment gets converted.
In order to cut the infamously risible Taran Wood Beast out of the edit some re-ordering of the scenes was required, as well as splitting up the long scenes where Midge Ure explains the plot to Tom Baker. And is it just me or does Peter Jeffrey look just a little bit like Dick Dastardly?
After all of that, we end up with twelve minutes of footage from part one in the final edit, which involved several complicated cuts. Part two on the other hand posed no problems whatsoever and nine minutes of that gets included. Part three provides even less, with only three minutes making the final cut, comprising just the end of the throne room scene and the scene between Lamia and Romana discussing the segement.
After that it’s all padding as Romana escapes and gets captured again so that gets cut out. And so the final seven minutes of the edit from part four comprise Grendel’s wedding plans, the attack by Reynart`s men on Castle Gracht and a truncated sword fight between the Doctor and Grendel. And all of that means we can tell the story in less than 35 minutes without losing a thing, making this the shortest of the six KTT edits.