Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Doctor Who: The Space Museum & The Chase

Before moving on to the stories themselves, let’s go ahead and get the ugliness out of the way, because there’s no point in dancing around the septic tank with a bouquet of flowers. For perhaps the first time on DVD, a Doctor Who story is being presented in an edited form, and it’s got nothing to do with anything other than copyright issues. The edit occurs in the first episode of “The Chase.” The Doctor (William Hartnell) has acquired a device called the Time Space Visualizer, and as its name suggests, it’s basically a TV that can tune into any event in time and space. First the TARDIS crew checks out Abraham Lincoln, then Queen Elizabeth chatting up William Shakespeare, and finally they watch the Beatles perform “Ticket to Ride.” Or rather they used to, because the Beatles segment has been edited completely from this disc. This isn’t the first time the Fab Four have caused problems for the Who DVD range, but the last time, in “Remembrance of the Daleks,” it was only their sounds that had to be edited out, or replaced as it were. No such luck here – two minutes of story is just plain gone.

Now admittedly, if you’ve never seen the episode before, it’s highly unlikely that you’d even notice something was missing. But for those of us who have seen it? The pain! “The Chase” isn’t all that great of a story to begin with, and now it’s got one less item to add to the list of positives. For years, I’ve always thought of this story as “the one with the Beatles.” Now it’ll be known as “the one that they edited.” It’s hardly an important scene, and it doesn’t affect the story, but it was rather charming and had a couple nice lines of dialogue, particularly when Vicki (Maureen O’Brien), the girl from the future says, “They’re marvelous, but I didn’t know they played classical music.” To add insult to injury, as I understand it, it’s entirely possible this could’ve been avoided altogether if certain fans hadn’t gotten into a tizz when this disc was announced and made a stink that pretty much amounted to “Are they going to cut the Beatles scene?” According to a post Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team made some time ago on a message board, if they’d simply kept their mouths shut, it probably would’ve slipped through the cracks and nobody would’ve been any the wiser. Sometimes it actually pays to keep quiet. On to the stories…

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.