#1 – Video Edit
This was probably one of the easiest stories I’ve edited yet, since I’d already worked on it twice before – once for the audio edit [scroll down for that version] and once for The Five Doctors. That meant I was already quite familiar with it and knew what cuts I wanted to make in addition to the usual Adric-lite approach, with the result that this edit was completed in a single day.
For this story I wanted Adric’s involvement to be as much of a surprise to the audience as it is to the Doctor and Romana, so that meant keeping him out of the edit until Aukon mentions him. After that it would be the usual case of cutting his contribution back to the bare minimum. Of course, we all know that this story started life as The Vampire Mutations and would have opened Season Fifteen instead of Horror of Fang Rock. Quite what that iteration of the story would have been like, with Leela instead of Romana, we can only guess at. Such a pity that internal BBC politics got it canned. And State of Decay is a crap title so, partly in homage to it’s Hinchcliffian origins this one gets retitled as the much more Who-y The Vampires of E-Space!
#2 – Audio Edit
The audio version of the story was completed first, several years before I finally got round to editing the story on video.
I`d had the idea for this type of Audio Fan Edit for a while and it was The Silurians that first put me onto it. The Beeb had released several stories as both narrated soundtracks and audiobooks but at the time there weren’t that many available in both formats, and fewer still where the narrator and reader were the same person. But both versions of The Silurians that you could buy on CD were done by Caroline John.
Having two different versions of the same thing seemed a bit daft to me, so why not combine the two? Have the best of both. Great idea but I had no way of knowing if it was practical, since I didn`t [and still don`t at the time of this post] own either version, I had no way of knowing if it would be possible to switch between versions. Then along came State of Decay, which I managed to find via one of the few remaining file-sharing sites still active on the Web. And since it was quite a short book with clean narration, apart from what I can only describe as the Jingle of Doom that they use to open and close each section, it seemed a good place to try out my theory and see if it actually worked.
The first thing to do was to rip the TX soundtrack from the DVD. I had already ripped the isolated music track for all four episodes – I thought this would come in handy for covering the joins when alternating between the two versions, and it did!
Next it was a case of finding just where you could join the narration once that dreadful jingle was out the way. The beginning and end of each episode were unusable because of this which was a bit frustrating at times as there was some nice stuff in there it would have been good to use. But none of the eps proved particularly difficult in the end, although the end of episode three had to stop quite a bit short of the actual end on the original in order to get a good cliffhanger. Come the resolution of that cliffhanger at the start of episode four, I included some of the episode three material I had to leave out. If you`re familiar with the TV version of the story you`ll soon spot where the changes are.
Tom`s narration from the Audiobook seemed a little bald on its own when listened to beside the Soundtrack material so I pressed various cues from the DVD`s isolated music tracks into service to help maintain the atmosphere. And a bit of aural continuity. They certainly help with both the atmosphere of the show and helping to cover the transition from narration to soundtrack and back again.
Each of the episodes is quite short – between 10 and 15 minutes long – but I`m really pleased with how well this experiment has turned out and would quite like to do some more of these. Thing is, I don`t quite know what you call a project like this – it`s a Fan Edit of the combined TV Soundtrack and Audiobook so what do you call that?
The AudioGo release of this Target Novelisation is long overdue but, until then, this Fan Edit version will fit quite comfortably on one CD, with a total running time of about fifty minutes, leaving a bit of room for some of your favourite cues from Paddy Kingsland`s score.