Saturday, 8 December 2012

DVD Update: 2013 updates and expectations

With the first quarter of 2013 announced, speculation continues over which stories will be released over the course of the rest of the year in the lead-up to Doctor Who's Fiftieth Anniversary in November.

The currently confirmed stories include the final two complete adventures Terror of the Zygons (June) and the as-yet unscheduled The Mind of Evil. Also confirmed is a special edition release of Inferno - producer Dan Hall reported in September that four special editions were on the way, and with The Visitation recently revealed this completes those initial commissions (the others being February's The Ark in Space and March's The Aztecs). At least one additional (currently unnamed) special edition has now been commissioned, though whether this would be released next year has yet to be confirmed.

With regard to animations, though there have been no formal announcements post January's The Reign of Terror, Hall had explained that stories with a maximum of two episodes missing were being considered as commercially viable: stories meeting this criteria are The Crusade, The Tenth Planet, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase and The Ice Warriors. Of those, sound designer Brian Hodgson indicated in June that he'd recorded a commentary for The Moonbase (and possibly The Underwater Menace), and Frazer Hines told the audience at the Dimensions convention that he'd recorded a documentary for The Ice Warriors alongside Sonny Caldinez - the latter story also had a trailer passed by the BBFC on 5th December, suggesting this adventure might well be out sometime next year.

The Ark in Space (SE)

The BBFC have classified extras for The Ark in Space special edition, currently scheduled for the 18th February; as well as a brand new "Making Of", the release will also include the Omnibus version of the story, originally edited for a repeat broadcast on 20th August 1975.
Movie Version:
    01:09:48:01 DOCTOR WHO - THE ARK IN SPACE
DVD Extras:
    00:29:51:23 A NEW FRONTIER - MAKING THE ARK IN SPACE
    00:07:04:00 THE ARK IN SPACE - PHOTO GALLERY
    00:01:03:17 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE A)
    00:00:22:22 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE B)
    00:00:18:12 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE C)
    00:00:16:03 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE D)
    00:00:16:21 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE E)
    00:00:07:11 (THE ARK IN SPACE - CGI SEQUENCE F)
Audio Commentaries

The Aztecs (SE)

The BBFC have classified extras for The Aztecs special edition, currently scheduled for the 11th March. As previously reported, this release contains the recovered Galaxy 4 episode Air Lock, and the extras reveal that reconstructions of the missing episodes (originally planned for The Time Meddler) will also be presented on this release. In addition, a 1969 episode of archaeology series Chronicle has been included which looks into the history of Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest.
Value Added Material:
    00:28:08:06 DOCTOR WHO - GALAXY 4 
    00:24:19:14 DOCTOR WHO - AIR LOCK 
    00:12:10:01 THE EXPLODING PLANET 
Special Edition - Added Material:
    00:49:49:14 CHRONICLE - "THE REALMS OF GOLD" 
    00:07:20:06 IT'S A SQUARE WORLD 
    00:04:31:07 (A WHOLE SCENE GOING) 
    00:22:33:15 DR. FOREVER! - THE CELESTIAL TOYROOM
A fresh set of production information text has been written for the episodes by Matthew Kilburn.

Terror of the Zygons

Slated for June next year, extras for the DVD release were classified by the BBFC back in July; one of the items passed was a "director's cut" of episode one, of which more detail is now known. Originally filmed but then cut due to grading issues, the opening scene with the Doctor, Sarah and Harry arriving in Scotland by TARDIS was discovered amongst the collection of the story's film editor Ian McKendrick, consisting of partial colour, partial black and white footage and soundtrack. The clip, lasting around a minute and a half, has had the monochrome sections colourised for the DVD by Stuart Humphryes (aka Babelcolour), who also worked on the colourisation of episode one of The Mind of Evil. The finished scene, which also includes its incidental music as composed by Geoffrey Burgon (featured on the CD soundtrack of Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom released in 2000), has been incorporated back into episode one and viewers will be able to select which version of the episode they wish to watch.

As Restoration Team member Steve Roberts puts it:
It's an AWFULLY good scene. And of course one that hasn't been seen before - a couple of minutes of brand-new Tom, Lis and Ian action from one of the most highly regarded stories in the show's history!

Meanwhile, since original classification a couple of new developments have been announced for the two-disc release. Firstly, a contemporary interview conducted by the south coast regional BBC news programme South Today was recently rediscovered, and fortunately there has been time to include the three minute item on the DVD.

Steve Roberts also reported that the late inclusion of the above has meant that it should be possible to include a 35 second clip from Disney Time, presented by Tom Baker in character as the Doctor, onto the DVD as an Easter Egg (previously to be included on a different release).

The Visitation

Confirmation of the commissioning of this story came via the latest edition of Vortex Magazine from audio producers Big Finish. In an interview with Fifth Doctor Peter Davison the actor mentioned filming the documentary, joking over titling the story The Re-Visitation:
That was one of the lines, actually, that we gave poor Mark [Strickson, Turlough] who wasn’t in The Visitation, but who was acting as a kind of host and asking us questions. One of the lines they gave him at the end was, "I hope you enjoyed revisiting The Visitation". We went down to various locations, Janet [Fielding, Tegan], Sarah [Sutton, Nyssa] and myself, and the house where we filmed, the manor house, and we went to Black Park, which is where we did the filming for the woods – Black Park being the BBC’s standard location for country filming.
The documentary is produced by a newcomer to the DVD range, Russell Minton.

Clarifying some of the restoration work on the episodes themselves, Steve Roberts explained that the picture quality of this release had already been greatly improved for the original 2004 release:
Coupled with the fact that a lot of the location filming was underexposed anyway, people aren't going to see anything like the sort of improvement they would have seen from a new neg transfer versus the original eighties print transfer. However, the MPEG noise-pumping problems that plagued the earlier release shouldn't be a problem, especially as the two-disc format will enable us to allocate a much better bitrate to the episodes.
Nicholas Pegg confirmed that there will be a fresh set of production information text to accompany the episodes, too.

(with thanks to jamstubell, Ray Le Otter, Stuart Humphryes, Steve Roberts)