The Next Doctor


Okay, confession time… that header is slightly misleading. Although there are now 200 fan edits of transmitted Doctor Who stories available to download from the site, Whoflix has actually completed 252 fan edits if you include those stories that have been edited more than once as well as all the other stuff we’ve done like The Sarah Jane Adventures, the orphan episodes and the two Peter Cushing movies. Not bad, eh!

And with this edit done, that leaves just under 90 episodes left to do, to cover everything up to Twice Upon A Time, and I’ve already got some ideas on how I’m going to tackle that one. Whether or not that will end up being the last of those that are left to do we’ll have to wait and see… I don’t usually tackle the edits in any particular order, I just do whichever one I’m inspired to do at the time. Which is why they pop up in the order they do.

NEXT DOCTOR TIME TEAM DWMWhen I set out on the fan editing odyssey that Whoflix has become, some eight years ago now, I never though that I would still be at it all these years later. I’ve done more edits than anyone else I know of, at least in terms of Doctor Who I have, and I hope that my work has inspired others to have a go for themselves, and that it will continue to do so!

There were two main reasons for choosing this edit for our 200th, the first being that it continues our mini run of Cyber stories. The second was the dreadful news of the casting of the 13th Doctor, so what better story to do for our bicentennial than this one, a story where the next Doctor is still a bloke!

Not only that, Whopix has a liking for pretty much all things Steampunk, and this is about as close as the New Series has got to it yet with the Cybs lair and the wondrous CyberKing. You can just imagine that, scaled down, as a steampunk version of a Cyberman. What a pity there hasn’t been more Steampunkery in Who, you’d think that sort of thing would be right up Madam Vastra’s street for a start…

david-morrissey-the-next-doctor.jpgBy the time this went out, we knew David Tennant was leaving the role, so it’s very naughty of RTD to tease us with a story title like the one we get here.

What a shame David Morrissey didn’t get the gig for real, I’d quite happily watch more of him and Rosita. As characters they are purposely written as believable alternate versions of the Doctor and Rose/Martha/Donna and I like to think that somewhere there’s a parallel whoniverse where David T really does regenerate into David M. And it wasn’t long after this went out that we found out that it wasn’t David Morrissey at all, but a certain Matt Smith who was the next Doctor…

DWM_Issue_403.jpgAs for our four main characters, all of them have a dark past. Jackson Lake has had his mind broken, his wife murdered and his son abducted. The Doctor is the last survivor [or so he thinks] of the Time War where he broke his promise to himself to be the Doctor. Rosita is an alternate Nancy from Oliver! but RTD hints that she’s a prostitute. Mercy Hartigan is a bitchy misandrist, and Anti-Fagin, but RTD hints that she has been raped or at least sexually assaulted. And all this on Xmas Day on BBC One!

Nearly ten minutes shorter than the tx version, the first cut is to the ridiculous scene where Morrissey and Tennant get dragged across the warehouse floor by the Cybershade. Okay, it’s a jokey, fun sequence but er, friction burns? Their arses would have been red hot, and probably red raw, by the time the original was over so here we get a much shorter version. They should have been standing really instead of sitting, sort of ski-ing along instead of doing a bum-burning bobsliegh! And how the hell did Rosita manage to get ahead of them to be able to cut the rope? That girl must run faster than Usain Bolt!

The other major cut is to the flashback of the other Doctors when Tennant activates the infostamp, the first one we got in the New Series. JNT had one a year back in the day so this was a real event in 2009, and our first sighting of the pre-Eccles Doctors.

Okay, I like a gratuitous flashback as much as the next fanboy, but the whole point of a fan edit is to do something different with the source material. Not only that, when the Cyberman inserts said infostamp into his chest unit later on, all we get are images of Dr Ten in his eye socket. If the infostamp contained info on all the Cybs’ encounters with the various Doctors, as the flashback suggests, then surely we should have seen them again there? So for consistency’s sake, we just get Tennant in the barn.

There’s also a strange bit that happens at the end of the first shot in the sequence. Just as the Hartnell clip is ending the background vanishes for a few frames before coming back. Weird, but comforting to know that even the BBC have editing errors!

There’s also a lot less music in this version to make the editing easier, with most of Murray Gold’s cues being kept back for the major action sequences in the story instead of being all over it. Apart from making the editing easier and quicker, I like this approach a lot better as it harks back to the style of the classic series and dear old Dudley Simpson…

DWM_Issue_404The climax of the story was one RTD is on record as saying he regretted, saying that Hartigan should have blown up the CyberKing when she zaps the Cybs once Ten has freed her mind from their influence. But at the time he couldn’t think of another way to stop the CyberKing falling to the ground than Ten using the Dalek vortex rifle thingy. It must have been really annoying to have come up with a better ending too late to put it into the production, so Whoflix took it upon himself to bring RTD’s vision to pass!

Creating a shot of the CyberKing exploding required a shot from somewhere in the episode that had a clean background behind it. Most of the shots it’s in have the city behind it but I managed to locate one that also had the balloon in it, one of the shots looking up at it from street level.

Creating the shot was a simple case of taking out the CyberKing to leave us the empty sky and the ballooon. That was step one. Step two was to fade from the shot with the CyberKing in it to the shot without it. Step three was to overlay some explodey-wodey FX and step four was to move up the sound effect of it vanishing from the original to sync with the new shot.

And so now the fan edit of the story ends as RTD intended! [Cue Jackson Lake style “Bravo, Sir!”]

One thought on “The Next Doctor

  1. I liked the edit. I think it’s reasonable to have only Tennant in the flashbacks, since these Cybs are from the alternate Earth, via Canary Wharf. At the time I first watched the original, I really didn’t like this one, but now I can enjoy it for the RTD tease it is.

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