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And Cut It... Now

By Keith Topping (with a bit of help from Paul Cornell and Martin Day)

During the course of any book's construction, as it takes shape through various drafts and redrafts, some material is bound to be lost: dropped through lack of space, because ideas change or, simply, because it wasn't good enough and has been replaced by better material. Below are some of the cuts that took place in The Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide (Virgin, 1995) and the reasons for their removal. Unless otherwise noted, items were removed for reasons of space.

An Unearthly Child
Fluffs: Susan's grief and her attack on the cavemen are hysterical.
[Removed as bad acting isn't, necessarily, a goof]
The Daleks
The Bottom Line: It's a shame, though, that the male Thals are such sexist gits, and the women simpering airheads: They're supposed to be a civilised race.
The Edge of Destruction
Roots: The scissors attack is derived from Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder.
[Deleted because it wasn't!]
The Keys of Marinus
Technobabble: 'Darrius has found a way of accelerating nature's tempo of destruction.'
[Cut as this isn't really technobabble]
The Aztecs
Roots: Aztec culture as described by Cortes in 1523.
[Removed along with other 'non-fiction' Roots. We put several back, but this one got missed]
Planet of Giants
Dialogue Disasters: 'What's goin' on 'ere then?'
The Bottom Line: Originally this was a 4-part story reduced to 3 after filming. This is noticeable during episode 3 where there are gaps in the plot (the crew are hurrying back to the TARDIS, then Ian and Barbara are arguing because she has decided stopping the murderers is more important).
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Fashion Victims: Jenny with her condom-like balaclava looks like Jennifer Saunders.
Goofs: The word 'vetoed' is plastered across virtually everything in London, including a poster of an elephant, but who vetoed what?
[Removed as it's fairly obvious who vetoed what]
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Sometimes you amaze me, Doctor', 'Only sometimes dear boy?'
The Romans
Roots: I, Claudius, Asterix the Gaul, Carry on Cleo
[Cut as their influence doesn't bear close examination. Carry on Cleo wasn't released until after The Romans]
The Crusade
Roots: King Richard (Coeur de Lion) and the third crusade to the Holy Lands.
[See The Aztecs re 'non-fiction' roots]
The Space Museum
The Bottom Line: Ian gets a good fight scene with two Moroks, while the Xerons, with their funny eyebrows, are subject to token cultural development.
The Chase
Roots: The Mary Celeste
[Removed by mistake!]
The Bottom Line: Hywel Bennett makes one of his first TV appearances (as an Aridian).
The Daleks' Master Plan
Future History: Bret Vyon joined the SSS in 3990 and gained first rank in 3995.
The Massacre
Double Entendre: 'You'd be surprised by what I've got in my wardrobe.'
[Removed because this isn't a Double Entendre]
The War Machines
Roots: The Forbin Project
[Removed because Martin Wiggins thought we meant the film version - as opposed to the book - which wasn't released until 1969, and nobody checked with me]
Ian Stuart Black's work on ITC film series like Danger Man and The Saint is evident in the high action content.
The Faceless Ones
Dialogue Triumphs: 'I don't know what you two have planned for me, but I must remind you of the long arm of the British law.' 'I don't think that'll reach where you're going.'
The Evil of the Daleks
Roots: Time travel via static electricity and mirrors? It's H.G. Wells again.
The Tomb of the Cybermen
The Bottom Line: The Doctor opens the tombs, provides the codes to get further, and then releases the hatch to the caverns below. Without his help the story wouldn't have happened. But we'll accept that he wants to see the extent of the conspiracy.
The Ice Warriors
Roots: The music is indebted to Star Trek.
[Cut because Star Trek wasn't be broadcast in the UK for another two years - but I still think Dudley Simpson had heard the Star Trek theme and was influenced by it; possibly on an import LP?]
The Enemy of the World
The Bottom Line: Dull and under-budget which is bad news for a globe-trotting story which can't afford a cell.
The Web of Fear
Roots: Harold Chorley of London Television is a parody of Alan Whicker.
[Removed because it's non-fictional, see The Aztecs]
The Wheel in Space
Goofs: Jamie's use of the word 'larrup' (meaning to spank) is anachronistic, dating from the 19th century.
[We are informed the O.E.D is wrong and it's actually 17th century]
The Dominators
Dialogue Disasters: 'Destroy! Destroy! Total destruction!'
The Bottom Line: Brian Cant (the voice of the Trumpton trilogy) makes a brief appearance as a Dulcian.
The Invasion
Goofs: The recap to the cliffhanger in episode 3, appears to be on a completely different set.
[Dropped because this happens frequently - The Keys of Marinus episode 3 is another example]
The Space Pirates
Technobabble: Electromagnetic waves are always at right angles to the direction of propagation.
[Dropped because, believe it or not, this is scientifically accurate]
The War Games
The Bottom Line: If you can manage to stay awake until the last couple of episodes, 'The War Games' delivers.
[God knows why this was cut, because it's true]
Spearhead from Space
Goofs: 3000cc (5.25 pints) seems to be a bit large as the capacity for the size of the energy units
[Dropped because we weren't sure if this was a Goof or not]
(Nick Cooper: A 3000cc sphere would have a diameter of over 17.894cm. The figure is too low given that the spheres clearly have a diameter of over 30cm)
Untelevised Adventures: The second Doctor may have helped UNIT stop another Earth invasion some time after 'The Invasion'. (The Brigadier recognises the police box, despite not having seen it in either 'The Web of Fear' or 'The Invasion' and says that there have been two attempted alien invasions since UNIT was formed)
[Dropped when a reference in Terror of the Zygons was found which indicates UNIT existed before the Brigadier joined it - this one caused much debate]
Doctor Who and the Silurians
The Bottom Line: Everyone's a bit of a fascist in this story. The Doctor notes 'as an associate of UNIT I have the authority to do precisely as I please.' Dr Lawrence is a complete bastard!
The Ambassadors of Death
Dialogue Disasters: 'Quick, shut the door before the radiation gets out!'
[Dropped because it, sort of, makes sense]
(Nick Cooper: John Molyneux reckons no one actually says it!)
Technobabble: 'Epsilon co-ordinates are something the Doctor normally works out in his head.'
Colony in Space
Double Entendre: 'Don't worry, Jim'll fix it!'
The Daemons
Continuity: Alistair Fergus mentions previous excavations of '1793 when Sir Percival Flint's miners ran back to Cornwall' and 'the famous Cambridge University fiasco in 1939.'
Day of the Daleks
Continuity: At Styles' house, the Doctor is seen pigging himself on Gorgonzola cheese and 'a most good-humoured wine. A little sardonic perhaps, but not cynical!'
The Curse of Peladon
Goofs: There's only one bed in the Ice Warriors' quarters (good for them).
[The last bit was removed, as we were a bit nervous over Clause 28]
The Mutants
Double Entendre: 'Stinking rotten hole!'
[Removed at Virgin's insistence]
The Three Doctors
UNIT's Shoot-to-Kill Policy?
[Suggested that the UNIT version of the yellow card would be worded 'Halt! Hands, tentacles, or other miscellaneous appendages up!']
The Green Death
Party Politics
[References to the 'Let's Be Nice to Aliens' Party which won a surprise bi-election victory in 1971 were dropped by committee because they were crap]
The Time Warrior
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor has met the Sontarans before.
[Cut when everybody remembered The Two Doctors - however, there is still a suggestion that Troughton may have met the Sontarans as he knows of them in The Two Doctors as well]
Genesis of the Daleks
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Either you are lying or Davros is wrong', 'We are not lying', 'And Davros is never wrong. About anything!'
The Bottom Line: The cast includes future TV stars Tom Georgeson (Between the Lines) and Guy Siner ('Allo 'Allo).
Terror of the Zygons
Roots: M.R. James ('there are ancient mysteries here. Evil spirits haunt Tulloch Moor').
[Cut - too unspecific]
Pyramids of Mars
Roots: The possessed Scarman echoes Renfield in Dracula.
[Removed because it stretched a point somewhat]
The Brain of Morbius
Roots: Solon's castle sets inspired by Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi.
The Seeds of Doom
Double Entendre: 'I camped out in the Chilterns waiting for it to appear.'
[Cut - not a Double Entendre]
The Hand of Fear
Location: the Nunton complex was built on the site of the Nuton power station (see 'The Claws of Axos') after a Windscale/Sellafield-type name change.
The Deadly Assassin
The Bottom Line: Derided by fans in 1976 (yet it achieved the series best ever viewing figures) 'The Deadly Assassin' is a fierce, powerful piece of TV. Doctor Who grows up and gets radical.
The Face of Evil
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Killing me isn't going to help you. And it's not going to do me much good either.'
The Robots of Death
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Uvanov, you remind me very strongly of a lady called Marie Antoinette. There's a robot revolution going on and you say we've got no problems?'
Horror of Fang Rock
Roots: The Goodies episode 'The Lighthousemen'.
[Removed because it was a very tenuous reference]
Image of the Fendahl
Roots: Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is an oft-quoted reference due to its inclusion in the novel. There is no reference to this on-screen however.
[Cut, as it's an anti-Root!]
Fluffs: 'Physics is fact. Hard facts.'
[Not a Fluff, it seems]
The Androids of Tara
Continuity: Tara may be named after the estate in Gone With the Wind, or, alternatively, the character played by that really bad actress in The Avengers.
[God knows why this was dropped?]
Destiny of the Daleks
Fashion Victims: A reference to the Movellans still being known as 'the Disco Robots' by some fans.
The Creature from the Pit
Roots: The music echoes Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.
[cut because it's scraping the bottom of the barrel]
The Bottom Line: The space station interior is tacky, and the Krargs are the worst-ever Doctor Who monster, bar none.
[Cut for space reasons, though not through lack of accuracy]
Full Circle
Technobabble: Thanks to Christopher Bidmead, we have some proper science. Among the amino acids found in the spiders are leucine, isoleucine and methionine, and the Doctor compares the karyotypes of the Alzarians. The Doctor offers a crash course in cytogenetics, and Romana suggests gel electrophoresis as a way of ascertaining the rate of evolutionary change.
[All good stuff but not Technobabble]
Warriors' Gate
Fluffs: Lalla Ward's bizarre attempts to freak out Rorvik's crew in episode two.
[Cut because, again, bad acting isn't a Goof]
Dialogue Triumphs: 'My dad used to say that 'if' was the most powerful word in the English language.'
Dialogue Triumphs: 'How many fathers do the Not-We have?', 'One, usually,' 'That is very sad!' and about ten others
[Removed, and replaced by Paul Cornell's statement 'basically every single line']
The Visitation
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Call yourself a Time-Lord? A broken clock keeps better time that you! At least it's right twice a day which is more than you ever are!'
Black Orchid
Dialogue Triumphs: The line that sums up the Davison era: 'Why does my curiosity always get the better of me?'
Fluffs: Leee John's delivery is astonishing.
[Over-enunciation isn't a Fluff]
The King's Demons
Double Entendre: The Master appears to say 'You're getting old Doctor, your willy's weak!'
[This was in the final draft but appears to have gone missing somewhere in Virgin mansions - we wonder why]
(Nick Cooper: Probably because it's actually 'your will is weak.')
The Five Doctors
Goofs: The Master's eyes are open when he's supposed to be unconscious.
[It's accurate, so God knows why this was dropped]
The Bottom Line: A fine production with a quality cast, including Peter Gilmore and Drop the Dead Donkey's Jeff Rawle.
The Caves of Androzani
Dialogue Triumphs: 'I am telling the truth. I keep telling the truth. Why is it no one will believe me?'
The Twin Dilemma
Dialogue Disasters: 'In my time I've been threatened by experts. I don't rate you very highly!'
The Mark of the Rani
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor may meet Telford, Faraday, Davey and Brunnel in this story.
[Emphasis on the 'may']
Remembrance of the Daleks
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Renegade Daleks are blobs. Imperial Daleks are bionic blobs with bits added. You can tell the Daleks are into racial purity.'
The Happiness Patrol
The Bottom Line: Proves once and for all that if you show a fan a point, they'll miss it!
[Cut because it was just Paul Cornell being provocative, as usual!]

This article was first published in Soft Targets issue 3, edited by Nick Cooper. It was reprinted in TSV with the permissions of Keith Topping and Nick Cooper.

This item appeared in TSV 47 (April 1996).