Restoration by Animation.
June 23, 2006 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Fill in the blanks, connect the dots. We've had Star Trek special effects possibly redone, we've had Battlestar Galactica "reimagined". Now the BBC is replacing a couple of lost episodes in a live series Doctor Who DVD with animated versions, to match the soundtracks, which weren't lost. Of course, we've seen some Flash based episodes already.
posted by juiceCake (7 comments total)
This is a nice idea. I feel 2D animation dates far more slowly than 3D CGI. But more generally, as I mentioned in the Star Trek FPP, if they feel the urge to redo the effects from a 60's/70's TV show, I'd much rather see it done with traditional models and a bit of retouching. CGI just doesn't seem to mesh with the aesthetics of the originals. I find much of the appeal of those old SciFi shows is the carefully handcrafted models.
posted by Meridian at 11:26 PM on June 23, 2006

They have already replaced cheesy 1970s model FX in at least one Doctor Who DVD release, The Ark in Space , with 21st-century CGI. I own it, and I have to say, the new sequences (featuring a rotating space station in orbit around Earth, and a spaceship taking off and exploding) were very well done -- not like the obtrusive, tacky "enhancements" that George Lucas wrought upon his old films.

The DVD in question allows you to watch the story either with or without the new FX sequences, which is especially nice.

posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:22 AM on June 24, 2006

BTW, "carefully handcrafted models" does not describe what the BBC used in the 1975 FX shots for this story... more like spraypainted cardboard and sparklers, obviously dangling from wires. (And the smoke from the sparklers goes upward, even in space!) I'm sure they were doing their best on tiny budgets, but it's pretty dire stuff.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:29 AM on June 24, 2006

If the 30 second trailer is anything to go by, this looks really moody and atmospheric - I can't wait to see the episodes. I'm really pleased the BBC are now investing so much effort in Doctor Who.

The less said about the Kylie/K9 mashup, though, the better...

posted by greycap at 2:41 AM on June 24, 2006

What a neat idea. I was wishing not long ago that someone could take the soundtrack to the original BBC TV Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and do animation to it (keeping only the brilliant animated Guide sequences)... then I watched it again and realized that there's some bad acting in that one too, not just cheap visuals. ...Now I wish that someone could do animation to go with the radio series...
posted by tomboko at 6:25 AM on June 24, 2006

They re-did the special effects for The Dalek Invasion of Earth's DVD release, and they're really good.

The key factor is that, despite them using CGI, they still look like 60s special effects, except with perhaps less wobble, and no strings.

They even went as far as adding copious amounts of artificial film grain, to match the original.

Pictures and a (very long) description of changes, here
posted by Mwongozi at 8:52 AM on June 24, 2006

The Invasion is one of my favorite Who stories, and I'm glad they picked it for the "updating," though a big part of me is holding out that somewhere, somehow, someone is holding on to the missing episodes. The scene with the Cybermen walking down the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and coming out of the sewers still gives me chills. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:27 PM on June 24, 2006

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