I only thought about doing a Fan Edit of The Rescue, a pretty insignificant story plot-wise, when I started to notice how few video edits I had left to do for the Hartnell Era. I had recently completed The Sensorites and The Keys of Marinus and that made me realise just how few of Bill`s stories there were left to do. I`d already edited all the complete Troughton stories so I decided that, before 2013 was out, I would edit the other five complete stories from Bill`s first two years. And what better one to start with than a simple little two-parter!
As usual, I decided to keep the focus of the Edit on the Doctor, so that we meet Bennett and Vicki when the heroes do. Part of the reason for that is that it`s a little too obvious, a little too early on that Bennett is Koquillion. The other reason was that I think it`s more fun for the viewer to be the Unseen Companion, discovering the story in tandem with the Doctor, rather than being privy to information he doesn`t have. That can work in certain dramatic situations, the classic example being when the Doctor is walking into danger and we know it but he doesn`t. But for this story I felt the less we knew the better.
The first thing to do was to fix the arrival of the Tardis, a pretty ropey cross fade on the original. This involved matching up three screengrabs – one with the Tardis with the lamp lit up, one without the lamp lit up, and one without the Tardis at all. Then it was a case of fading between them in time with the materialisation sound effect. I went through the same process to create the ship`s departure at the end of the story too.
Part one loses its cliffhanger as all we need is for Barbara to shoot Sandy and for the Doctor & Ian to turn up afterwards. I added in three laser beams to the TX footage: one for the gun that Barbara fires to kill Sandy as the original is a bit wimpy and two for that jewelled club thingy, one for when Koquillion causes the rockfall and the other for when he grapples with the Doctor at the end.
The final thing to do was to add in some new music, and this time it`s Paddy Kingsland`s music get used here, mostly from Meglos but there are also cues from The Visitation and Full Circle in there too. It took me quite a while to find a story of his where the cues worked with the existing “music” of Tristram Carey. I say “music” because really it`s that dreadful myoo-zeek kong-krette bollocks that Director Chris Barry rather annoyingly re-uses from the first Dalek story. It`s so atonal that it was difficult to find something that would work either with it, or to mask it, as it was almost impossible to remove. The new music really makes this edit and helps to up the atmosphere in what is otherwise a rather flat and empty show – but it`s a lot more watchable now!
It’s been interesting to view each of these different stories as I’ve been editing them, and note the changes, even though they haven’t been edited in transmission order. For a long time, Vicki was always more Vauxhall Conference than Premier League when it came to comparing companions but now I reckon she’s got more going for her than just the fact that she isn’t the hysteria monkey that Susan was. Susan was even more irritating at times than Victoria. In both those cases we got good performances from adequate actors but those kinds of characters just don’t work, like Tegan, who was just a miserable cow. If you’re not enjoying it luv, then stop yer whingeing, bugger off and stop spoiling it for the rest of us!
Vicki is something different and yes, it’s a much neglected fact that Maureen O`Brien had to do for the role of companion what Pat had to do later for the role of the Doctor himself – be the first new one. Vicki is engaging where Susan was irritating, but the most significant thing about her time in the show is the effect she has on the Doctor. With Vicki’s arrival the family dynamic changes, with “grand-daughter” Vicki being a co-conspirator with “Grandad” Doctor in high jinks that don’t necessarily involve the “Mum & Dad” of Ian & Babs. And it works. It works so much better than the original family did. At last.
Susan is gone! Hooray! Hello Vicki, come on in!