Having completed the two orphan episodes of The Faceless Ones, it was straight on to the last two remaining Pat Troughton orphan episodes, 3 and 6 of Zoe’s debut story. It’s not entirely dissimilar to Revenge of the Cybermen, and with both stories set on similar space stations you can’t help but wonder if Gerry Davis simply went back to his old idea and reworked it [much like Terry Nation did multiple times] instead of coming up with something new. For all its flaws at least Revenge doesn’t outstay its welcome, unlike this, which plods along for ages before it finally gets going.
On the plus side there’s Wendy Padbury’s arse in that jumpsuit…
There’s something about short form Classic Who that’s actually quite appealing, and these orphan episode edits confirm that consuming the show in these smaller chunks works just as well as the binge fest of a compilation edit. Okay, so nothing much actually happens in this episode, but all the stuff that remains in the edit is material you would have to include in a movie edit anyway. Smaller, bite-size episodes worked well enough for The Infinite Quest, for example, and they work here too.
Pat is back from his week’s holiday but spends the entire ep sat up in bed recovering from the bump on the head that saw him left out of episode 2. As with The Seeds of Death, the show is incredibly dull without his Doctor around, as he’s by far the most interesting character on screen. So, although Pat was no doubt relieved at not having many lines to learn his first week back, for those of us in the audience we really do miss him running about.
There’s about ten minutes worth of material that we don’t really need, and almost all of it is people standing around talking at each other about space jargon that we don’t really give a monkey’s about. The Cybermats attack on the bloke from Mind Your Language gets cut back and the final scene where the two blokes from the Wheel get controlled by the Cybs, the scene immortalised in Adrian Salmon’s Time team illo, gets tightened up as well.
All in all, twenty-three cuts were made to this episode, bringing it in at a much more watchable 14m 54s.
As you would expect, there’s more material left in the fan edit of episode six than there was in episode three. The last and first episodes of any given fan edit usually contain more material than those between as it takes longer to set up and conclude the story than it does to run around padding out the space in between. In this case, yes episode six is longer than episode three, but not by much! Since the end of this episode leads into the repeat of The Evil of the Daleks, a transition which we’d already covered in a previous edit, for this one I did things the old fashioned way and started the edit for this episode at the beginning and worked my way forward.
The first cut is to lose the scene on the Wheel that comes mid-way through zapping the meteorite shower. It’s a classic cutaway scene, padding meant to up the tension, which it doesn’t. So we lose it. The next cuts were to tighten up Jarvis Bennett’s demise, something that must have delighted the bloke who played him as he got a full week’s wages for saying just two lines!
The first major cut is to the padding of the Cybercontroller running through the cast list looking for someone it recognises. In order to keep the action in sequence, I had to move up the scene where Jamie & Zoe overhear the Cybercontroller saying it recognises Pat to the place in the timeline where the cut scene was located. When it came to the shorter closing scene with Leo & Tanya, I inserted a shot of the rocket from episode 3 just after Tanya says that’s where Zoe has gone, an expected shot to establish a change in location that’s curiously absent from the original.
As for the lead-in to the repeat of Evil, the only change was that I used the better quality footage from episode two of that story instead of the much darker copy that gets used in Wheel six. A total of nineteen cuts brings this episode in at 16m and 26s.
Finally, unlike episode three the end credits here turned out to be too long for the new end credits music. In order to make them fit, the actors’ credits are the usual rolling captions, but those for the production staff who made the cut are static. And having this last Troughton orphan episode lead into The Evil of the Daleks is somewhat appropriate as all I have left to do now, orphan episodes-wise, is the three surviving episodes of The Dalek Masterplan!