Remembrance of the Daleks is a rather special story, in more ways than one. First, it’s a nostalgia-fest that could so easily have been an exercise in fanwankery but thankfully isn’t and second, it’s the only other post-Androzani story, alongside Fenric, that’s remotely worth watching. Back in the day it was a relief to finally have a couple of stories that looked and felt like “proper” Who.
So for this Fan Edit of the first season 25 story, and the one I always regard as the real Twenty-Fifth Anniversary story, I wanted to do something a bit different. Sometimes, going into these things, you have a rough idea of what you want to get rid of but with this, I couldn’t really think of anything. And so I went into the Edit prepared for this to be probably my first Extended Edition [which, if nothing else, might keep Dame Levine happy!].
One other thing I wanted to do was to do the Edit in Black and White. One, because we were going back to 1963, when it all started, and two, the whole point of Fan Editing is to things differently. Another thing I wanted to do differently was to change the opening. I was never terribly keen on that audio mishmash of contemporary ’63 voice clips and so, since this is the Golden Jubilee instead of the Silver one I did what they should have done back in ’88 and used a clip of Bill Hartnell from “An Unearthly Child” instead. And no, it’s not the “wanderers in the fourth dimension” one, it’s another one. If you want to know which one I used you’ll have to download the Edit to find out, but when you hear it, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s the obvious choice. I also hope it’s a “punch the air “ moment” for you too – it certainly is for me!
After the “Yes!” of the pre-credits intro it’s straight into the stuff from Part One. We lose the initial intro with Pamela Salem walking towards the van and the kids walking into the school, as the former has the episode caption over it and the latter goes on just a bit too long. So now the Doctor and Ace turn up straight away and we’re off and running!
The first fix comes when the van arrives at Totters Lane. We all know that they mis-spelled the name on the gate, but now “Forman” has become “Foreman” once again! It was a tricky fix, requiring me to create an “E” from the “F” on the gate and then shunt the “I.M.FOR” part along so I could fit in the missing letter and ensure the mask matched up with the original shot. The opportunity to fix a glaring error like that in such an important story like this was one I couldn’t ignore.
Of course, the knock on effect of fixing it was that I then had to find a way to cover the soldiers turning up without seeing the gates again! The answer, which it took me a while to work out, was to re-arrange the footage so that the Doctor’s line “predictable response” was in reaction to the soldiers arriving instead of Gilmour. I also had to take out Alison’s line about Blue One being “here in a minute” as we can now hear them arriving as she speaks to Mike, even if we don’t see them!
Once we get to Coal Hill School and leave Totters Lane behind, we get our first new footage, Rachel and Alison talking about the Doctor, re-instated from the footage deleted from the TX version. The full scene from the DVD has no typing in the background, meaning it was dubbed on in post-production. So rather than have the typing suddenly stop a la Empty Child I had to collate all the clean bits of typing in the background of the TX version, make that into a loop and put it in underneath the “new” bit. That scene leads into another new section, with the van the Doctor and Ace are in turning up at the school.
We cross from Part One to Part Two at about 21m when Ace legs it up the stairs and gets clobbered by the Headmaster. It’s always a job to know at which point to cross over from one ep to the other, and it’s usually complicated by the incidental music being slightly different on both versions. Luckily, this time round there were no such problems but thinking about incidental music did give me an idea, something else I wondered that they didn’t do back in ’88…
if we’re celebrating 25 years of Doctor Who by going back to where it all started [in the days before DVD, and when VHS was in its infancy] then let’s pack in a few more references than they managed in the original. We all know how they had to use non-authentic versions of the jukebox tracks so I decided that it was time that Three Guitars Mood Two by “John Smith and The Common Men” made a re-appearance in the show. And so, when the Doctor visits the cafe, that’s what’s on in the background!
I love the conceit that this takes place in the same universe as Quatermass, or at least a version of Quatermass. Pity John Steed and Mrs Peel couldn’t get a mention as well… There are plenty of other things in this Edit for you to look out for that have been added, re-instated or changed: I wasn’t able to include all the cut sections I would have liked to but this edit is different enough from the TX version to make it well worth a watch. One of the last things I did for the 71 Edit was the end titles, which, although still the usual cut-down version, now scroll like the Hartnell credits but with the McCoy font – a final tip of the hat to where it all began…