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Arthur opens his archive!

Saturday 25th July 2009

Well I've just got back half an hour ago from the first showing of Devious for years. Not since we put the clips together for the War Games DVD a year ago have we watched any. And in celebration of the release we gave ourselves a deadline to get the existing footage together and watch it. This meant refining the edit, adding credits, adding music guides, adding some new effects adding sounds etc until the whole thing could be watched in an evening - all of this David achieved magnificently. Thanks David.


Well we watched it. And we had some new people in the small audience (a dozen or so of our friends) who had never seen it. We even had a special guest (Amanda Evans who played Brogar came along - and we hadn't seen her in 14 years!!). We wanted to see what they all thought. They'd all seen the War Games DVD and in unison afterwards they said they now understood the War Games scene with Jon Pertwee. The scenes with Peter Tuddenham and Hugh Lloyd were also shown in their uncut versions (they are twice as long as the War Games versions as they included plot points not relevant to WG).They also saw the full edited versions of the episodes and immediately saw where the montage used in the War Games clip came from. They also saw how we had to change it slightly to fit the War Games release - ie they saw the clips in their original context - i.e. people weren't always running away from amorphous blobs!

Still, as you may have read elsewhere on the site - we were constrained in what we could put onto the War Games release and also of necessity we couldn't make too many changes to the footage bar perhaps overcook a few effects here and there by way of compensation. As the DWM review this month rightly says, it had moved on from it's state in the early nineties not always to everyone's taste but then each version of the JP edit that we have done has been different - it's a question of balance to get the scene right - we have had a few goes over the years and one day we'll get the perfect version.

Of course Devious is not real Doctor Who - it is something for a group of friends to see - it always has been - and this wider audience now of the War Games segment (due to the need for the DW archive to have the Pertwee scene) has meant we've come under the microscope. We're just a fan thing - and tonight in showing it to friends as we periodically do we gave ourselves a boost in gauging their reactions. Not enough to give us any false hope that it'll be seen somewhere like the Spielberg Raiders of the Lost Ark tribute film recently given a nod of approval and an airing in a real cinema - but enough of a nod for us to get it finished for the sake of having something that is complete. A story of a Doctor extracted from his timestream in mid-regeneration being offered the chance to be "the real Doctor" and then losing it again and being forced to continue the regeneration into Jon Pertwee. And defeat a load of daleks in the process. As you do.

Or does he? We don't really know now even after watching it again!

Still - we've had new offers of help for some of our effects and I guess when the edits have been further trimmed and locked down we'll be able to be more precise on what effects need doing and receive some more offers of help. Indeed David surprised us all tonight with the Glass Galleon scene. On the War Games release you briefly see a ship firing on the TARDIS. Not a cut-out TARDIS as someone has suggested - it is actually our own one shot against a cso background and then superimposed on the seascape with the galleon. In Devious this never happened - well not quite like that! We had used that clip for ages to help tell the story which is why it was in the DVD montage but in reality the ship was to fade to transparent as it is made of glass. It is the funeral ship of a great princess and in a tradition like the Viking traditions in Zetand and Norway etc the ship was to burn as a farewell. This sight is so amazing people sneak illicitly to the beaches to watch. The Doctor arrives there in his TARDIS to watch and meets up with his future companions who are somewhat miffed he has blown their cover and landed them in a trap. Meanwhile the galleon fades away amid showers of sparks and rainbow light effects, and tonight David you managed to convey that across for the first time for us all and it was great to watch.

Now we can't share all of that with you on the website as we don't show clips of course but we will attempt to put up some screen grabs at some point or something or other when we get a copy!

However what I (Ashley) wanted to make you aware of on the website tonight is the fact that Arthur has handed us a whole new set of images; from black and white photos to colour slides and images all from various parts of our filming over the years. It's great to see more images of us back in the 1990s when we were young. Those of you that have been following us over the years may enjoy seeing these photos - the new viewers amongst you will detect from the shots that the website is really a mechanism to document the process behind the filming and the people involved more than anything else. It's the story of a group of friends who wanted to make a film. So we chose Doctor Who 'cause we liked that best. And so we built some sets and got on with it. And then 18 years passed and we realised we hadn't finished it. Still, in the meantime we all went off and had lives.

Here's the first of Arthur's new / old pictures...


Arthur, Tony, David, Lynette and Anthony circa 1991/2

The original of this pic is 1.7MB and very sharp so I hope you'll forgive this web-ready version. Look how relaxed we are. What do you think we are saying.... perhaps "do you know - eighteen years from now some of what we film will be on DVD" .... "blimey - what's a DVD???"

the first part of the image archive discovery is here