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Image of the Fendahl DVD
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B3



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night, an associate and I watched episodes 1 and 2 of Image of the Fendahl with and without commentary. I hadn't seen this story for a very long time and was startled by how good it is thus far. The writing is top-notch, the guest cast excellent, and Tom and Louise bring out the solcitude of their characters' relationship with great acuity. The lighting and direction are wonderful, and Dudley Simpson's incidental music is superb.

So far, an AI of 95% from a sample of 2 (100% for Louise Jameson's legs).

Edit:

Watched the last two episodes last night. Great stuff.

AI of 98% based on a random sample of less than two.
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Mistress Rani



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B3 wrote:
the guest cast excellent,
Must be something to do with the fact that a number of them in this story went on to be big names in Corrie and EastEnders. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B3 wrote:


So far, an AI of 95% from a sample of 2
ROFL Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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RobFilth



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Image Of the Fendahl" is one of the few decent Williams-era stories, mainly due to the fact that there was still a bit of a Hinchcliffe-vibe running through the programme.

Of course, that was all to change for the absolute worse by the next story...
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Pex



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobFilth wrote:
"Image Of the Fendahl" is one of the few decent Williams-era stories, mainly due to the fact that there was still a bit of a Hinchcliffe-vibe running through the programme.


Definitely yes. See also Horror of Fang Rock, they were part of the sunset glow of the Hinchcliffe era.
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Mike



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pex wrote:
RobFilth wrote:
"Image Of the Fendahl" is one of the few decent Williams-era stories, mainly due to the fact that there was still a bit of a Hinchcliffe-vibe running through the programme.


Definitely yes. See also Horror of Fang Rock, they were part of the sunset glow of the Hinchcliffe era.

Horror of Fang Rock is wonderful, it had me on the edge of my seat.
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Newheiser



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Pex wrote:
Definitely yes. See also Horror of Fang Rock, they were part of the sunset glow of the Hinchcliffe era.

Horror of Fang Rock is wonderful, it had me on the edge of my seat.


I was intrigued to find out that neither Tom Baker, nor Paddy Russell the director, rated the script of Horror of Fang Rock at all (Tom apparently called it rubbish and threw it out of the window!! Rolling Eyes ) and the whole production was very strenuous. I wonder if they realise how popular it became with fans despite all this?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newheiser wrote:
Mike wrote:
Pex wrote:
Definitely yes. See also Horror of Fang Rock, they were part of the sunset glow of the Hinchcliffe era.

Horror of Fang Rock is wonderful, it had me on the edge of my seat.


I was intrigued to find out that neither Tom Baker, nor Paddy Russell the director, rated the script of Horror of Fang Rock at all (Tom apparently called it rubbish and threw it out of the window!! Rolling Eyes ) and the whole production was very strenuous. I wonder if they realise how popular it became with fans despite all this?

Funnily enough, I remember not rating "Horror Of Fang Rock" tremendously upon broadcast as it was obvious that there were minimal sets and budgetary constraints on the story (with the Rutan just being a glowing plastic bag), however it is one of those stories which has improved enormously with age and has weathered the years astonishingly well. It's funny how it looks less aged and is now viewed more favourably than the larger budget story "Invisible Enemy" which had far more of an immediate "wow"-factor impact upon broadcast.

I think it is the tighter script and high quality of consistently good acting along with first class characterisation which makes "Horror Of Fang Rock" the classic it is.

Tom was in a bad mood throughout the whole story because it was filmed out of house in Birmingham(?), a move which Tom didn't like because it meant he couldn't slope off back to his local for a pint or ten - but his grumpiness certainly brings out the last best acting Tom was to give the programme before Williams allowed him to fart around for a further three years instead.
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Newheiser



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobFilth wrote:

Funnily enough, I remember not rating "Horror Of Fang Rock" tremendously upon broadcast as it was obvious that there were minimal sets and budgetary constraints on the story (with the Rutan just being a glowing plastic bag), however it is one of those stories which has improved enormously with age and has weathered the years astonishingly well. It's funny how it looks less aged and is now viewed more favourably than the larger budget story "Invisible Enemy" which had far more of an immediate "wow"-factor impact upon broadcast.

I think it is the tighter script and high quality of consistently good acting along with first class characterisation which makes "Horror Of Fang Rock" the classic it is.


Apparently, though, both Baker and Russell thought the script was quite obviously cobbled together at the last minute (which Terrance Dicks has admitted too) because Dicks had written a script about vampires which the BBC then told them to cancel. That was later turned into State of Decay. According to Russell, the vampires script was in her opinion rather better than the eventual Horror of Fang Rock script. It's interesting, then, that Horror of Fang Rock actually comes over as a reasonably good show, some would say a classic, despite the lack of faith the star and the director had in it.

RobFilth wrote:
Tom was in a bad mood throughout the whole story because it was filmed out of house in Birmingham(?)


That's right, it was made at Pebble Mill, which wasn't ideal for a complex production like Doctor Who. But they actually did a good job and I would suggest that nobody watching would know it wasn't made at the same studios they always used.

RobFilth wrote:
his grumpiness certainly brings out the last best acting Tom was to give the programme


Yes, it was a grumpy atmosphere. Tom didn't get on with the director or Louise Jameson at the time. But I agree, Tom's performance is good and you don't get the sense he is sending the show up like he did later on, despite apparently not liking this particular script.
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RobFilth



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newheiser wrote:
RobFilth wrote:
Tom was in a bad mood throughout the whole story because it was filmed out of house in Birmingham(?)


That's right, it was made at Pebble Mill, which wasn't ideal for a complex production like Doctor Who. But they actually did a good job and I would suggest that nobody watching would know it wasn't made at the same studios they always used.

I'm not so sure about that, the exterior lighthouse/on the Fang Rock scenes look very effective and more like an outside location shoot(possibly due to being shot on film as well?)

That was something rarely(if ever) achieved in the London BBC studios.

In some ways the Pebble Mill Studios did a better job, although I'm guessing they were less roomy than the BBC studios because of "Horror Of Fang Rocks" other smaller and reduced number of sets?
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Pex



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was the 'write a story that only needs 6 sets' imperative that makes Fang Rock so effective - it was that very limitation that gave it its superb claustrophobic feel.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobFilth wrote:

I'm not so sure about that, the exterior lighthouse/on the Fang Rock scenes look very effective and more like an outside location shoot(possibly due to being shot on film as well?)

That was something rarely(if ever) achieved in the London BBC studios.

In some ways the Pebble Mill Studios did a better job, although I'm guessing they were less roomy than the BBC studios because of "Horror Of Fang Rocks" other smaller and reduced number of sets?


This is where I learned of the difficulties:

http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/4v.html

Ultimately, it was decided to record the serial at Pebble Mill in Birmingham, marking the first time in Doctor Who history that studio taping had taken place outside London. However, this move aroused concern in several members of the crew: Doctor Who would be by far the most ambitious drama production ever staged at Pebble Mill, and would even require the installation of new equipment.
Despite the misgivings about Pebble Mill's ability to handle Doctor Who, Russell and her team quickly discovered that the studio's lack of pedigree was a blessing in disguise. The Pebble Mill staff were keen to attract even more productions away from London, and consequently made an exceptional effort to be as helpful and efficient as possible -- even stealing cameras from an adjacent studio to ensure that one sequence was recorded the way Russell wanted.
The first studio block took place on May 25th and 26th, covering episodes one and two, respectively. This was followed by a three-day session from June 7th to 9th. The first day dealt with part three, while the final installment was recorded across the remainder of the block. June 9th was also used for various special effects sequences, as well as the point-of-view shots of the lamp room in part two. Unfortunately, the inadequacies of Pebble Mill became particularly obvious during the final day of recording. Colour Separation Overlay had only rarely been used at Pebble Mill in the past but was employed liberally throughout Horror Of Fang Rock. Consequently, there were numerous delays in completing these shots, causing many tempers to fray on set.
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