Our 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…
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 the 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.