I think the real reason most of fandom is down on L&M is that they recognise themselves in it far too clearly for it to be comfortable viewing. And if you don’t recognise Peter Kay as Ian Levine then you really are missing the point.
Personally, I like the story, even if it is a little too Doctor-Lite but as an examination of how much fun being a fan can be, and how easily the fun can get sucked out of it by those who take it way too seriously, it unabashedly works. And there’s even a bit of ELO in there too, so for me there’s not a lot to not like.
There’s a lot less music in this ep, apart from a bit of Elton John and Jeff Lynne, obv. But the biggest change is that Ursula stays dead and doesn’t live on as a face in a paving slab. Not only is the whole idea completely bonkers, the idea of her and Elton having “a bit of a love life”… well, we all know what that means. Apart from it not being much of a life for Ursula, I’ve always wondered how Elton would explain his pet paving slab to his landlady!
Here’s the editing process, stage by stage…
Cut #1 – remove the bulk of the comedy Scooby Doo chase with the Hoix.
Cut #2 – lose the Sycorax ship sequence, mainly to get rid of Elton’s “rudimentary pulley system” which is just nuts.
Cut #3 – remove the “throw forward” to the other characters in the story as they’re plot spoilers.
Cut #4 – remove the references to the Sycorax ship when Elton meets Ursula.
Add #1 – insert the deleted scene where the “fans” try to work out what to name themselves. This footage needed the contrast boosted to help match it to the surrounding broadcast footage either side, and the volume increased.
Cut #5 – remove Urusla’s “good kick” line as it’s a bit much.
Cut #6 – cut the Il Divo music and Elton’s reference to it
Cut #7 – get rid of the section of the scene where Elton has his shirt off to lose the voiceover. Mostly this was due to that portion of the scene having an echo of the Il Divo music on the dialogue track.
Cut #8 – get Ursula absorbed quicker than in the TX version by cutting the extraneous dialogue
Cut #9 – remove Ursula stating the bleedin’ obvious, that Elton is next. No shit Sherlock!
Cut #10 – shorten the chase sequence to remove the repeat shot of the Absorbaloff
Cut #11 – remove the Absorbalof’s line about “everlasting peace” to get to the Doctor’s arrival that bit quicker
Cut #12 – lose the Doctor trying to guess the Absorbaloff’s name.
Cut #13 – remove Ursula the paving slab! This involved duplicating the white screen to lead into the end of the cut clip and reducing the volume of the end of Mister Blue Sky.
Cut #14 – remove the end of Elton’s final monologue to give a more dramatic ending.
After that it was a case of adding the usual shortened end credits and Love & Monsters, fan edit #208, was complete!