And so the triumphant 2005 return run of Doctor Who draws to a close with The Big Finale – Bye Bye Eccles, Hello Tennant and shitloads of Daleks! Yaass, our first proper fanboy finale!
This was the first of the two part stories that proved to be impossible to make into a compilation edit, with the credits on the scenes after the titles of the second ep effectively putting paid to that idea. I wasn’t keen on the idea of simply doing cut down versions of the two transmitted episodes, which only really left me one option. And so this is the first New Series edit to be split into four parts, just like they used to do back in the day for poor old Colin’s first season. Instead of 2×45, this is 4×25, or as close as I could get to it. After over one hundred and fifty compilation edits, helping the Classic Series to resemble the New, it’s probably about time that we did things the other way round for once and have the New Series resemble the show as it used to be.
And funnily enough, it actually works and it’ll be interesting to see what Whoflixers make of the duration change. After the regeneration the edit carries on with the first half of The Pudsey Cutaway. The second half is a bit strange as the sound doesn’t seem properly balanced and the lighting changes completely, which jars a bit and makes the whole thing rather uneven. Putting it at the start of The Christmas Invasion just didn’t work, whereas putting it right after Eccles’ departure did. I’ve always liked the idea of carrying on after the regeneration – I did the same thing with the transition from Jon to Tom – and it helps emphasise the shock of the transition for Rose.
It wasn’t too difficult to locate a half-way point where we could split each of the episodes, and in the end they all came out at about the right length. Part One, the first half of Bad Wolf, had a caption card for the episode number added to the start and that was it. Part Two, the second half of Bad Wolf, had captions for the episode number, as well as Producer and Director captions added, matched to the TX originals. I also relocated the flashback to The Long Game to here, just after the Doctor realises where he is, with a bit of added echo for good measure.
Part Three, the first half of The Parting of the Ways, was straightforward, with just an episode number caption added. Part Four has the Pudsey Cutaway after Tennant’s first line – “Barcelona!” – with some additional music and sound effects to help match it to the transmitted episode. This is also where I made the one and only cut to the eps, to remove the Doctor’s “coward” moment and leave it much more ambiguous as to whether or not he would have pressed the plunger.
Knowing what we know now about The War Doctor I think it’s much more interesting if the TARDIS turns up and interrupts him. Not only that, even allowing for survivor’s guilt, I just couldn’t see the Doctor allowing the human race to be turned into Daleks, that really would be a fate worse than death. Of course, at the time RTD was giving us a rerun of what supposedly happened at the conclusion of the Time War, but I think having the Doctor interrupted again, only this time by Rose instead of his future selves, is better.