Wednesday 30 January 2013


Death in Paradise
2x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Doctor Who
1x39 A Change of Identity
1x40 The Tyrant of France

Being parts three and four of six-parter The Reign of Terror, released on DVD this week. Two of the serial's middle episodes, The Tyrant of France and A Bargain of Necessity (which I'll be watching tomorrow), no longer exist in the archives, so for the DVD have been animated to fan-made recordings of the full soundtrack. I'm all for the idea of animating missing episodes of Doctor Who -- the chances of many (or any) more being recovered are remote, so why not plug the gap in this way? It's only a shame it's so expensive and can't be done for all 106 lost episodes.

That said, I wouldn't want to see any more done in this style. You don't have to slavishly emulate the static wide shots used in '60s Doctor Who -- indeed, one may well argue you explicitly shouldn't -- but this seems to have been edited by a child with ADHD who has no concept of the purpose of specific shots. It jumps around between close-ups, extreme close-ups, high-angles, and more, sometimes at lightning speed, most of the time to little or no effect. It's a real shame, because the actual art and underlying animation is good enough, but the choice of camera angles and the whip-fast way they're cut between not only jars with the '60s soundtrack and style of the remaining four episodes, it's also plain amateurish in and of itself.

Recently they rejected Ian Levine's animated reconstruction of Shada. I'm not entirely sure why (I don't know if it was made public), but one mooted reason was the animation wasn't professional enough. Well, the screenshots you can see from a quick Googling look alright, but that's not motion. Either the full thing must be really dreadful quality, or I'm not sure the commissioners at 2entertain have much taste...

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Episode 4 (of 4)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

John Bishop's Only Joking
1x03 Episode 3

DVD Extras

Audio commentary on Doctor Who: A Bargain of Necessity

Or The Reign of Terror part five. This is one of two episodes in the serial missing from the archive which has been animated for the DVD (more here), but the animation wasn't complete when the commentaries were recorded, so they had to come up with something different. For this episode, fan/journalist/comedian Toby Hadoke interviews missing episode hunters Philip Morris and Paul Vanezis for 25 minutes.