Doctor Who - Documentary s09e03 Episode Script

The Making of Day of the Daleks Special Edition

DALEK: Eliminate all humans! Exterminate! Eliminate all humans! Exterminate! NARRATOR: The Day of the Daleks: Special Edition is the result of many hours of intensive work from a small group of talented individuals.
Working to a very tight budget, a variety of methods have been employed to bring the 22nd century to life.
In an attempt to be true to the spirit of the original episodes, new material has been shot using vintage 1970s film cameras.
Modern digital techniques have been used to sympathetically improve visual effects, to restore errors in the original programme making, and to create an impressive new soundscape.
I think it would be safe to say that all the producers on the Doctor Who DVD range have had a sort of pet story that they would have wanted to do the extras for.
And for me, it was "Day of the Daleks", which was the story that got me hooked on Doctor Who as a six-year-old in 1972.
It was, uh I thought it was terrific at the time.
It lived with me for many years.
So, when the opportunity came, and I heard that Dan Hall was commissioning extras for this one, well, I made sure that I got the gig.
Having been commissioned to do the extras for "Day of the Daleks", I decided to go down to Dropmore Park in Buckinghamshire, which was the original location for Auderly House, to shoot some background plates for the interviews.
I looked around, saw how fantastic the place looked, and decided that maybe there was an option for a Special Edition.
I don't think the idea of doing new effects was seriously in my mind until I went along to see Dropmore Park.
The problem you've got with "Day of the Daleks" and new effects was always going to be the three-Dalek army.
There are two ways of doing it, you either do CGI, which on the kind of budget we were likely to be talking about was not going to be very impressive, or you go for real, live-action Daleks.
Now, the fact that I discovered that John Kelly had bought himself an Arriflex 16mm film camera certainly helped me make my mind up.
The thought that maybe we could actually match the original footage from 1971, that was the thing.
That was what got me excited about the whole project, really.
Having secured a location and a film cameraman, all I needed now were Daleks and Ogrons.
I contacted an old friend, Toby Chamberlain, an expert Dalek builder, and who I recall back in the 1980s had made a superb Ogron costume.
So, I got in touch and asked him whether he wanted to be involved.
TOBY CHAMBERLAIN: I build Daleks for a living.
And it's an unfulfilled ambition of mine to have a Dalek on Doctor Who.
I've supplied Cybermen for Doctor Who and "Silver Nemesis" and also in the more recent series, but as yet I have to build Daleks for the real series.
So, this is the closest I've been, and it's been a real fun day, both building it and supplying it, and being inside it.
It's an opportunity I didn't really want to pass up on, so I suffered for my art today, although it was a bit too hot, but it was good fun.
I think we all enjoyed ourselves.
(INAUDIBLE) KEVAN LOOSELEY: We're filming some more footage for "Day of the Daleks".
I've been playing the part of a UNIT soldier, so I've been running around getting exterminated and zapped all day long.
Great fun.
Reliving me childhood.
Well, I'm an Ogron.
I know I don't look like it now, but I'm an Ogron.
(LAUGHS) I'm glad to be out of the skin now, by the way.
It's very, very hot in there.
It's been a day of ups and downs, we've been waiting for the weather to be bright.
When it's bright, I was waiting for it to go dull.
When it was dull, I was waiting for it to go sunny again.
So, um, you know, it's been a very, very good day, actually.
We've all had a good time here today as well.
(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY) This is the Arriflex BL, which is a camera that has been about for donkey's years.
I think it was introduced in the mid-'60s by Arriflex.
Um, it's a 16mm camera which could have sound if we so decided, but not today, it doesn't.
-Okay, ready? -Ready.
And action! Enter the building and exterminate all humans.
KELLY: And it is probably an old BBC camera.
The Arriflex BL was the biggest work horse of the BBC's film department between the mid-'60s and the early '80s.
And, um, it's almost certainly what they would have been using to shoot "Day of the Daleks".
It's been a very hard day, and with film being what it is, you don't quite know how it's going to turn out, but I'm very hopeful that it's going to look good.
And, um And with a bit of careful grading, it will hopefully fit in to the surrounding material nice and happily.
BROSTER: Well,John had no reason to fear.
The film was sent off for processing and returned looking immaculate.
Steve Roberts of BBC TVCentre oversaw the film's conversion to a digital format using the Spirit Telecine machine.
Of course, the techniques for transferring film are so much better than they were back in the '70s.
The film sequences in "Day of the Daleks" look grainy and washed out compared to the new material.
BBC colourist Jonathan Wood graded the film to match the original colour palette and then Peter Crocker over at SVS had to effectively degrade the new film, the opposite of his usual job of film and TVrestoration.
The next job was to add the new effects.
I was very keen that the new effects wouldn't look too anachronistic.
The danger is with doing new sort of digital effects on old TV, it just stands out too much, you know.
It just looks too obviously modern.
When we started doing this, and I decided that Michael Dinsdale of Farmergeddon would be the ideal candidate for doing the actual digital effects, the opticals, the ray guns, all that sort of stuff.
My brief to him was that we try and keep it looking like it could be made in 1971.
To be honest, some of the effects that we've actually put in there probably do look too good for the era.
I don't think even a Silent Running budget could have achieved some of those effects.
So, you know, we have achieved good things on a very small budget, largely to do with the fact that Michael was just so talented and so clever with his modelling and his CG and everything.
It looks really I think it looks really impressive.
(RAY GUNS FIRING) BROSTER: Apart from Michael Dinsdale's effects, Aaron Climas has made an important contribution.
A couple of shots needed an experienced rotoscoper to match new effects with old shots.
Particularly, we see here Aaron has done a fine job of matching the movement of the new screen.
Plus the CSO fixes on the Dalek are done by him, too.
I shall lead the expedition! This time, there must be no mistake.
The enemies of the Daleks will be destroyed! The idea of replacing the Dalek voices was an interesting one.
The originals are not particularly good.
I don't think Paul Bernard, the director, really knew what a Dalek sounded like.
The appearance of the Doctor has changed before.
I remember at the time, as a kid because I did, funnily enough, since I've ended up doing the Dalek voices for Doctor Who, I did have a preoccupation with the voices.
They always scared me.
And I remember thinking when I first heard them in "Day of the Daleks", "This is not right!" You know, and of course, since then, you know, since meeting other Doctor Who fans, everyone goes, "Oh, the Dalek voices in 'Day of the Daleks' were terrible.
" And they mostly are.
Which is an awful thing to say, I feel sorry for those two actors who did them.
There has been a drop in recent production figures.
-That can be explained.
-Explanations are irrelevant.
(OLD AND NEW VOICES BLENDING) Production targetsmust be maintained.
We will reach the targets on the next work period.
For the next work period, target figures will be increased by 10%.
So, there was a suggestion that we try to replace them.
The problem with this story is that all we have is the final mono mix.
We don't have the dialogue separately, we don't have the Dalek voices, the original Dalek voices separately.
We don't have the music separately.
So, if you're going to put new Daleks on, you've got to take the old Daleks off.
Of course, when you take the old Daleks off, any music that's under them, sound effects that's under them, other people talking that's under them, that all comes off as well.
So, the first job was a tricky one, lifting bits of sound and even tape noise from elsewhere in the story, so that I could take the Daleks out, so that it would sound as if they'd never been there, and we were left with just a clean track, it was very tricky.
But eventually, apart from a couple of points where they trod on other people's lines, they did come out pretty clean.
I was very pleased with it.
DALEK: What is your report? We have a fix on the time transfer device.
It is operating again in the 20th century time zone.
And it must be them.
(VOICES BLENDING) You have obtained the space-time coordinates? CONTROLLER: We're trying now.
The trace is much stronger this time.
-There is -You must not fail! AYRES: I've known Nick Briggs for years.
We go back a very long way.
We first met working on Keith Barnfather's Myth Makers series, where I was doing the sound on all of the early ones and wrote the music for it.
And Nick was the interviewer.
And of course, we were all great Doctor Who fans, which was why we were doing that.
Nick was not just a Doctor Who fan, he was a complete Dalek nut.
And he still is.
And of course, he is now voice of the Daleks on the new series and quite rightly so, because he loves it and he's very good at it.
So, of course, if we were going to do this, we'd get him in to do the Dalek voices on this.
What I wanted and I think what Steve Broster, the producer of this, wanted was very classic-sounding Daleks.
We didn't want new-series Daleks to have suddenly appeared in a classic Doctor Who episode.
Exterminate them! The way we solved that was to ask Nick to pitch it down slightly.
To be not quite as, as quite deranged as the new Daleks can be.
Um, so pitch it down slightly, a bit more measured in his delivery.
But one of the main things I've done is rather than using a new digital ring modulator, which is what Nick does now, I've used a classic analogue ring modulator, one that was made actually in the early '80s, which was the kind of thing being used to create the Dalek voices during the 1980s and is very close to the kind of thing they were using right back, back in the '60s.
But I've also used a bit of distortion on the voice, which gives it a real edge to it.
All enemies of the Daleks must be destroyed! Exterminate them! Exterminate them! Exterminate them! Exterminate them! (MIXING WITH DISTORTED VERSION) Exterminate them! Exterminate them! So, I think it sounds It's obviously Nick doing the Daleks, it sounds modern, it sounds a bit up-to-date.
But it also has that sort of classic analogue sound to it.
It's a little bit less predictable, I think, than a contemporary digital effect.
Um, and I'm quite pleased with the way it sounds.
The visitors will be re-captured and returned here for mind analysis.
Mark Ayres' contribution's enormous, you know.
His work's just terrific, you know.
And obviously he's very sympathetic to the original materials, and the new sounds he's created, the new atmospheres on the future Earth, that sort of thing, are absolutely just top-notch, brilliant, really brings the thing to life.
There are lots of little changes Some changes the purists will probably hate, but I gave myself carte-blanche to basically change anything I felt needed changing.
You know, the original's still on the DVD.
You can still watch "Day of the Daleks" as it was transmitted in 1 972.
But our version, you know, I've taken away any little actor fluffs, a few little camera movements that were slightly off, I've tried to basically just nip and tuck where possible and just make the thing just that little bit more polished.
That's the idea.
Whether we've achieved it, well, I'll let you judge.