dr who 24.4 dragonfire coversOur final McCoy edit features two reasons to celebrate. First, it sees the return of Intergalactic Arthur Daley and the best companion we never had, Tony Selby’s sublime Sabalom Glitz. Second, it sees the departure Bonnie bleedin’ Langford’s Mel, the female Adric.

Dragonfire was always my favourite out of those first four McCoy stories that make up Season 24 and I was well disappointed to discover that the DVD didn’t have the full-length version of Kane’s face melting as I was looking forward to putting that in the edit [sadface]. On the other side of the equation, something I was looking forward to getting rid of was the ridiculous “cliffhanger” ending to part one. If ever there was a scene you could point to as justification for the concept of Fan Editing, it’s that one. Only Dame Levine herself could possibly object to cutting it, but people like her aren’t the sort of fans who like fan edits anyway…

dragonfire dwm

As you might expect, we spend the bulk of the first two episodes with the Dr & Glitz instead of Ace & Mel, only cutting back to them when we have to. We hit the start of part three at about twenty-eight minutes in and the whole thing is over sixteen minutes later. As for Kane’s demise, well I did what I could in the absence of the full sequence, slowing it down slightly to give it just that bit more screen time. Mwahahaha! Oh, and don’t go looking for the teeny-tiny tinfoil princess – she didn’t make it either.

By this point in it’s history, Dr Who has finally become a kid’s show, an overlit live action comic strip that should have been screened midweek at half past four on Children’s BBC, unloved by those whose opinion mattered when it came to keeping it on air. To say that the show got cancelled because JNT got it wrong, which he unquestionably did, is too simplistic an analysis of the show’s decline and fall, something that had been going on ever since the Sixth Floor capitulated to Mrs Whitehouse over The Deadly Assassin. Having revisited all theĀ Cartmel Era stories for these fan edits, I still don’t like this way of doing things, I think it’s completely lacking in atmosphere and threat and tonally it’s far too light and nowhere near dark enough.


download dragonfire

Glitz and Mel DWM301


3 thoughts on “Dragonfire

  1. IMO, each serial of Season 24 had noticable flaws. “Time and the Rani”, of course, is just garbage (Ironically, I liked the spoon-playing scenes which you removed). “Paradise Towers” and “Delta and the Bannerman” had interesting ideas, but both were harmed by their presentation. Dragonfire is my favorite Season 24 serial, but had it’s own problems. Namely (in order of increasing annoyance), the literal cliffhanger, the mooks in episode 3 that come out of nowhere, but are given whole scenes until they die and the little girl who appears throughout the serial and registers as an ANT, but doesn’t contribute to the story in any real way. I don’t understand why she’s in the serial. Maybe her significance was explained in deleted scenes, and maybe said mooks from episode 3 had deleted scenes in episodes 1 and 2 that explained why they got so much screen-time.

    For your edit of Dragonfire, I know that you took care of the cliffhanger, but did you take care of the other two major issues?

  2. Brilliant! When this story was first broadcast I liked the visuals and colors, but it was so full of pointless (and downright silly) extraneous material that the plot got buried like a needle in a haystack. The Whoflix edit cleared away the hay and revealed the Doctor Who story underneath. My only disappointment was that it included the farewell scene at the end. That was not only one of the most ludicrous scenes in the history of the program — it was the worst farewell scene ever done. Mel leaves the Doctor to become Glitz’s partner… when they don’t even like each other? WTF? I would have just ended the story after Kane’s death. Granted that would mean Mel’s absence in the next episode would be unexplained, but assuming the Doctor took her home offscreen between Dragonfire and Remembrance would be an improvement over what we got!

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