The Androids of Tara

Doctor Who Big Finish Androids Tara

“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.

androids of tara covers

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.

androids tara dwm



4 thoughts on “The Androids of Tara

  1. Most of these are done so well there’s not much to say besides that I enjoyed it a lot and it’s an obvious improvement on the original/if I have minor differences in what I would have included it doesn’t seem worth shitting on the proverbial doorstep of someone who’s mainly providing something enjoyable that takes effort for free. Huh, that seems like it was going to preface a complaint … whoops. This one in particular benefited from the edit––maybe the best in the season in these versions, which nobody seems to say is the case for the transmitted versions.

    • I would always encourage anyone who thinks there’s something that I’ve cut that they would have kept in, or the other way round, to do an edit of their own.

  2. My eldest volunteered some thoughts (no prompting from me): “The fan editor is a really good editor” (I think she was reflecting on all the KTT stories so far, not just this one.) My youngest added “There’s nothing that needed to be added, the story was just fine.” (Of course they haven’t seen the original, although I own them of course.) I asked the eldest “Do you mean the new title sequence is a good edit, or the whole story?” “Oh, both” she said. I explained how the new title sequence is a mash-up of several, and they were both very impressed; they hadn’t known that it wasn’t the televised titles. So, there you go, it’s a hit with the tweens. I had forgotten there were three Mary Tamms running around at one point in the story. I must admit I don’t think they really got much mileage out of that old trope of “main character looks like royalty”. The story could have worked without that.

    • Sorry, by “they didn’t get much mileage” I meant the writer/producer (not my kids). I think they could have written a similar story which didn’t require that trope. There were three scenes which had some payoff from the royalty trope, a near disassembly, a sudden head smashing, and an almost wedding, and none of those could really be done without the trope. Still, I guess making Romana look like a princess was a bit of fun, and perhaps a bit of foreshadowing. I doubt a better fan edit could be made with the material given.

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