Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos Special Edition

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Brief Synopsis:
Classic Who's Vengeance on Varos, converted to modern aspect ratio, with a new soundtrack.
Apart from being my favourite of Colin's era, and still very relevant to today, the DVD has the luxury of a studio-only soundtrack, so I include a new music soundtrack, as well as converting the material to widescreen.
Special Thanks:
Dwight Fry for giving up a huge amount of his time, providing me with much guidance and assistance to help complete the edit.

Last Survivor for generously supplying the original source material in a useable format.
Release Information:
Cuts and Additions:
Major alterations:

- Converting the aspect ratio to modern widescreen.

- New updated 5.1 opening and closing title music.

- Exterior shots of the surface of Varos have been replaced.

- The two episodes have been converted into one extended episode.

Significant cuts:

- The first TARDIS scene. This scene serves no purpose in driving the plot forward, and references the previous story, which is unnecessary for viewers of this edit.

- Sil's dialogue regarding zeiton 7 ore being used to drive space-time craft. This is likely a script oversight, since later everyone is either disbelieving or unwilling to accept Peri's claim that she and the Doctor are time travellers.

- Two shots of the TARDIS flying through space are added prior to two TARDIS scenes.

- Peri referencing the comparator (harking back to Planet of Fire), has been cut.

- The "technobabble scene" in the TARDIS has been heavily cut. We now open the scene with the Doctor re-starting the TARDIS energy levels.

- The guard being disintegrated by the laser has been cut, so that the Doctor is not seen as a murderer.

- The infamous acid bath scene is completely cut, as it doesn't fit with the Doctor's character.

- The opening of the execution scene, including the appearance of the Priest, is cut.

- The Priest reciting prayers, has been replaced with an alternative soundtrack.

- The Governor ordering the broadcast of the Doctor's execution to be paused, is cut. It undermines the Doctor's intelligence and how he knew the execution was staged, especially as he seems pensive *prior* to the Governor's televisual order.

- Sil's scream in response to the Governor stating he - Sil - has released him from the contract.

- A few moments of humour are cut back to tighten the tension and pace of the piece, largely from the Doctor, and Arak and Etta.

- All of the Doctor's scolding/insulting Peri has been cut.

- A few minor trims here and there to tighten up the pace and tension.

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Vengeance of Varos is indeed a truly great Doctor Who story, whose themes come across as relevant even today. Governments as puppets of the corporations, TV entertainment as a cruel pastime for desensitized audiences, the works. And it has lots of suspense and interesting characters (Sil in particular is a standout) and plot points. So my first thank you is for The Warlord for directing my attention to this story in its unedited form.

My second thank you is for him for making this edit and applying his usual streamlining talent. He really has an eye to detect filler in stories that at first don't seem to have much, and remove it as it never had to be there. Watching his work one gets the idea that most stuff that we watch could lose a good chunk of running time with no consequences, and often for the better. If one hasn't seen the original for a while, they will only notice that the acid bath is gone, and that's just because it's so infamous (the excision itself is seamless), but hardly anything else. It's just as good as the official cut if not better.

However, people must also be warned that this edit is not for everyone and might be a "marmite" type due to the replaced score. Some folks like me will appreciate how well the music fits the images and the action (after all this is very much the kind of story that the other show frequently told), while for others it may be a turn-off because it's so recognizable. Watch it with an open mind and ears, and you be the judge.

Technically is extremely well done. Score replacement is always tricky, but it's perfectly achieved here. Technical quality is also excellent, taking into account that the source is 1980s videotape transferred to DVD. And the 16:9 reframing works much, much better than I initially feared. A lot less picture than I expected is lost on the top and bottom, and most of it is air anyway.

Too bad this doesn't seem to be getting much attention so far, as it is highly enjoyable and very well made. I hope we will be getting more classic Who edits in the future! Or in the past, or in whatever timey wimey wibbly wobbly way, shape, or form!
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