Doctor Who - Documentary s03e07 Episode Script

WOTAN Assembly

NARRATOR: 16th July, 1966, London, perhaps even the BBC was swinging.
England was gearing up to host, and hopefully win, the Football World Cup as the final episode ofThe War Machines was broadcast from enormous spools of video tape.
While many tapes were reused within months, incredibly, these episodes survived within the BBC Engineering department until sometime after March 1974 when finally they were junked.
Fortunately, this wasn't the end of the story.
Let's take a look at howThe War Machines came to be pieced back together.
By the end of 1977, fans were becoming aware of the gaps in Doctor Who's history and some began their own hunt for missing episodes.
And along came a guy in Australia called David Gee, and he turned out to have a missing Doctor Who episode, which was part 2 of The War Machines.
NARRATOR: The BBC made a copy of this print, which, whilst scratched, was complete and unedited.
I had heard this little whisper about Nigeria and I got on the phone to Nigerian TV and I found this woman called Victoria Easio-Coley.
After months of an exhaustive search, we found the entire War Machines and we found the entire Time Meddler in these little relay stations.
And the place where those film cans turned up was little more than a hut in the outback, I was told by her.
NARRATOR: These prints from 1967 were of higher quality than the Australian print of part 2, but suffered from a number of cuts.
Some due to mechanical damage, but mostly due to strict censorship of material considered to be too disturbing for children.
These cuts were made in New Zealand, when the episodes were first shown there.
The film prints were subsequently sent on to other broadcasters and finally ended up in Nigeria in the early 1970s.
By the mid 1980s, the story once again existed in the BBC archives, but only in an edited form.
However, more discoveries were to come to light.
Firstly, Doctor Who fan Graham Strong unearthed audio recordings of early 1960s stories that he'd made during the original transmission, including The War Machines.
Then in 1966, diligent research by Australian fans led to sections of film which had been censored and removed from numerous episodes.
Some short film extracts were also found to have survived at the BBC all along, as part of an edition of Blue Peter.
This is what it looks like when the first War Machine walks through the streets of London.
NARRATOR: Better still, the actual film inserts themselves had also been kept in the Blue Peter film can.
Finally, another short section from episode 3 found its way into the hands of a film collector, having being kept as a souvenir by a member of the original production team.
The big question is, do all these parts collected from disparate sources across the globe allow a complete version of the story to be reassembled? The first task is to find out how much actually is missing.
The only complete copy is Graham Strong's off-air audio recording.
Because 1960s domestic tape recorders didn't keep a constant speed, we need to use a computer to adjust the audio to match the original.
We can then compare this to the film prints of each episode to build up an idea of what's missing.
Part 1 is complete and unedited, so the fun really begins with part 2.
Although the copy of the Australian print is complete and has more visible picture, it suffers badly from scratches and overall has poorer definition than the cut version from Nigeria.
For that reason, the Nigerian episode is used as a base, with missing sections cleaned up and patched in from the Australian print where needed.
The first missing shot is of a rag being soaked in chloroform.
The tramp's death scene is also missing.
This cut removes the testing of the War Machine's killing ability.
For episodes 3 and 4, things are slightly more difficult.
The audio for missing sections exists from the home recording, but in places, there is no video to accompany it.
This means that a little creativity sometimes needs to be used.
The beginning of episode 3 is missing about 21 seconds, although this can be replaced from part 2.
In this scene, a section of dialogue has been cut.
Inserting a shot of WOTAN allows us to bridge the gap and reinstate the dialogue from the audio recording.
ON TAPE: have been programmed to destroy any form of human life that opposes them.
Machines have been programmed to destroy any form of human life that opposes them.
NARRATOR: Nearly 18 seconds is missing here.
Most of the material is amongst the Australian censor clips, but frustratingly, 11 frames are missing in the middle of a busy shot.
A handy cutaway of a War Machine helps to hide the join.
Faster! All human beings who break down will be eliminated.
NARRATOR: Two sections of the warehouse battle are missing from the Nigerian print.
The second of these, lasting 37 seconds, can be replaced directly from the censor clips.
The first cut lasts for 56 seconds and presents more of a challenge as there's no genuine footage to match the sound.
Various shots have to be plundered from wherever possible.
Other parts of the story, film inserts, the Blue Peter preview, then tinkered with electronically and covered with smoke to help fill the gaps! Luckily, the last missing shot of Major Green No one must escape.
matches perfectly with his line repeated five seconds later, when the Nigerian print resumes.
Part 4 is missing nine seconds, which happily survives in Blue Peter.
It's ironic that a shot deemed unsuitable for viewing in New Zealand exists because of a British programme made exclusively for kids.
Near the end of the story, over seven seconds is cut from Polly's return to Brett's office.
Another shot of WOTAN, run backwards, allows the full sound to be heard.
I allowed a prisoner to escape.
WOTAN will consider your case later.
If found guilty, you will be destroyed.
NARRATOR: Two small film breaks have to be repaired by creating an extra 15 frames.
A computer guesses what the missing pictures should look like and the results are then tweaked by hand to bridge the gaps smoothly.
Now the episodes are back to their full original lengths.
All that remains is the usual work of restoration.
Dirt in the pictures is painted out.
Unstable film that weaves up and down is stabilised.
Wobbles in the pictures are fixed.
The title cards are sharpened up.
And also the actors and the crews' credits.
An unusual problem is indirectly due to censor cuts.
Some frames of film have been damaged by chemicals in the material used to join the sections of film together.
Some pictures can be repaired by simple retouching.
But others are so damaged that they must be replaced entirely by computer, based on the surrounding images.
Hiss, clicks and pops are removed from the soundtrack were called in.
The Ministry of Defence have just made the following announcement.
NARRATOR: The end result may be something of a patchwork, but thanks to the people who tracked down the various pieces and the team putting them together for this DVD, a programme which was entirely missing is now complete once more.
WOTAN: Doctor Who is required.