Doctor Who - Documentary s05e08 Episode Script

Beneath the Ice

Before working on this, I knew nothing about Doctor Who.
So, getting on board with this was quite a big, big task.
I didn't know anything about Patrick Troughton, William Hartnell.
I'd never really sat down and watched any of the older ones, so it's been a real learning curve, learning all the history of the early part of the show.
I've been a Doctor Who fan for many, many years now, and that kind of led to me starting to work on the DVD range and making documentaries.
We made lots of different documentaries about lots of different things.
I was a big fan of what Cosgrove Hall did with The Invasion, and thought that that's an amazing job, to be able to take missing Doctor Who and bring it back to life is really cool.
And as luck would have it, I work in the same building as some very talented boys in the animation team at Curious.
And we kind of got together and said, "Wouldn't it be great if we animated some missing Doctor Who?" So we started doing some test material quite a while ago.
And we started off, I think, with Hartnell first.
And we did a test piece with him.
And they were very different designs to the sort of thing we've ended up with now.
CHATTERTON: We looked at doing it in 3D.
We used photo reference and projected that onto a 3D model, to see if we could animate it that way.
We also did a stylised 3D root.
But we always went back to 2D.
When we got the commission to do "The Ice Warriors", the first thing I felt was I was really excited that we were going to be doing Doctor Who and I was going to be working on it.
CHAPMAN: I think it was the single geekiest moment of my adult life.
I think it was amazing.
You know, because it actually feels like you're then a proper part of the Doctor Who story, you know, you're recreating something.
Then fear set in, when we started to look at the amount of work that would be required, which we kind of knew going into it, but as soon as you start to pick away at exactly how detailed this is going to be, then the prickle on the back of your neck, the hairs go up, and you realise that there's a mountain of work to do.
CHAPMAN: I think what I wanted to do with it from the start was to make sure it was the truest possible reconstruction of missing Doctor Who.
Now, we get lots of opportunities to kind of make mad films and films that show off all the mad things that we can do but actually, the challenge with this one was to limit ourselves by what would have been possible in the late '60s, what Derek Martinus, the director, would have done on set at the BBC, what the cameras were capable of, what the editing, you know, the live vision mixing, what that would have been capable of.
And whilst the tendency normally might be to go, "Cut, cut, cut.
Action, action, action.
" Actually, we wanted to really slow it down and for it to feel like '60s Who.
She must answer some questions first.
Why are they so interested in our engines? In a lot of ways, we were lucky with "The Ice Warriors", in that there's a lot of reference material that exists.
The picture might be lost, but obviously we've got the sound.
But we have the shooting scripts, which gives us a great amount of information of what the camera was looking at and when we cut to the next camera.
And we also have tele-snaps, which a lot of the missing episodes don't have.
So, we had quite a good backbone of information that we could use to build up the episode.
Myself, I sketched all the characters and produced all the artwork for the puppets that we animated.
Designing Troughton was a huge task, but a good one.
Troughton's face was very expressive and I wanted to get that into the design.
So I sketched a lot for reference from the surviving episodes, other episodes out of the series of Doctor Who.
So once the character's been designed, we have to prepare that for animation, which means that we chop it up into sections.
So each part of the arm, the hand, the fingers, becomes a separate component that has to be rigged like a skeleton, so that, you know, if you move the arm, the hand moves with it.
So it becomes quite a complex, puppeteer-type character within the computer.
When we go into a close-up of the characters, we try to put a lot of acting into the eyes.
Small little darts, um, just keep the character alive.
Well, I'll try and help you.
But I do think you might try trusting human beings instead of computers.
I trust no one, Doctor.
Not any more.
Also, we've taken it from 2D flat artwork and with a clever rig, we can push that so far, where it removes all the features and the hair so you've got a little bit of 3D movement in there.
But it would be months before anyone else could pick up the knowledge that Penley acquired here.
There just isn't time.
That's the pertinent issue.
So at the same time the character design was going on, we were working on the sets as well, for the backgrounds.
Um, we were lucky that we had some really good reference photos, and I think we had plans for some of them as well, so what we decided to do was build them as 3D models in a computer that we could use to move a virtual camera around.
The advantage of using the 3D set is that we can position the camera however we want.
We can get whichever angle that we need for the background.
It doesn't restrict us in that we're having to pre-draw something and then obviously you're stuck with that image.
You can just pick exactly what you want to draw, or which angle you want, rather, and render out that image and draw it quickly.
It gives us a lot more creative freedom.
Accuracy was always going to be the big thing and that was always the big challenge.
And Some of that, you can be very educated about, because you can look at the tele-snap and say, "Okay, Clent was over there, the Doctor was over there.
"They probably moved, but at least we know they were there at that point.
" That's great.
Other times, it ends up being very educated guesswork.
And there's a lot of scenes where there is just like a bump on the soundtrack or a "grrr!" or a groan or a yelp from Victoria and you go, "Now, what's happening here, then?" VICTORIA: (STAMMERING) I'm looking! (ICE WARRIOR HISSING) - (CLATTERING) - Oh! And you kind of end up thinking, "Well, Varga must have knocked over "a table when he walks forward and that's clattered.
" Okay, so let's go with that.
You have to be quite logical.
(STAMMERING) I'm looking! (ICE WARRIOR HISSING) - (CLATTERING) - Oh! You have a description in the script, for example, "Penley walks down a corridor and hides in a cupboard.
" And you've got the audio, which is quite a long, drawn-out silence with some shuffles and a few noises and no dialogue.
(ICE WARRIOR HISSING) We're trying to piece together, like a detective, what is actually happening in that shot.
And those kinds of shots have been really, really difficult and we've had to keep working back into them and figure out who's standing where and where do they move to, and where is the camera.
So, they've proved quite challenging, to work out those kinds of things.
(ICE WARRIOR HISSING) So, in the script, they talk about the Ice Warriors being quite moveable and that they can pick things up and when Varga knocks out Clent, he's supposed to pick up the powerpack and swing it like a ball and chain.
(LAUGHS) And they must have written that, and then when Derek Martinus came to film it, he was lumbered with these huge costumes, which just weren't flexible in any way.
So we would come to bits like that in the script, where it says, "He hits him with a ball and chain," and we would think, "No, no.
" There's no way that they could have done that in studio with those costumes.
Bernard Bresslaw would have tripped over and banged his head somewhere.
So, you use a bit of educated guesswork to conclude he's holding the powerpack, he has to hold things like this in his costume, so the only way for him to hit Clent is to hit him and clatter him over the head with the powerpack.
So there was lots of detective work like that going on.
We have not edited down the sound at all, so any fluff that the actors made is still in there.
And we've animated that.
You know, so when Arden fluffs his line, trips over his line, then we've animated that as well.
This reactor pile could be exclo exploded or, or deactivated.
The whole area will be contaminated! So I'm sorry to Arden, he'd probably quite like it if we did cut it out.
But we had to keep it in.
I think the team has grown to love Doctor Who over the period we've been working on this.
We've all come to this with different levels of interest, from zero to whatever.
CHAPMAN: This show has driven me slightly mad.
I do know each scene, each shot, like the back of my hand.
You're constantly thinking about the animation, you see people in the street and you think, "Ah, that's a great shot.
I could use that movement, that pose.
" And obviously, you're working with the Ice Warriors.
It's great, great fun, working on baddies like they are.
It has been a bit of a labour of love.
When I put my mind to something, I want it to be good.
- Is there any sign of a spacecraft? - Yes.
There is? Where? Well, at the back of the cave, there's what looks like a metal door in the ice.
What I'd love is if, while people are watching the animation, is after five minutes, however long, that they've forgotten that they're watching animation, that they just feel like they're watching Doctor Who and they're into the story and they're into the flow of it.
And then I think we've done a good job.
If they're not distracted by what we're doing, then we've done something right.
When I watch it, I genuinely feel like I've watched the story.
And that's the best thing we could ever hope to achieve.