Loose Cannon Production 12
The Reign Of Terror

     
BBC Production Details
Production Code: H
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 08th August 1964 -
Saturday 12th September 1964
Season: 1
Number of Episodes: 6
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Producer: Verity Lambert
Director: Henric C Hirsch
 

Download a free cover
as designed by Chris Salt

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: September 2000
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 4,5
Source Material: No telesnaps exist for this story
Audio provided by David Holman & James Russell
  Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
  Composite pictures
Pictures from other stories / sources
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T160
     

Bonus Material

As well as the reconstruction we are able to bring you the following goodies…

 

Celebrity Introduction

Special introduction and reprise by Carole Ann Ford (Susan). Learn more about Carole Ann's work in our Hall of Fame...

 

Special Note:  

In 2003, the BBC issued a special limited edition VHS release of the surviving episodes of this story. Please purchase this official BBC video release to complement our reconstruction.

Support The BBC Video Releases.

     

Request a copy here
Please note recons are ONLY available on VHS quality.

LOOSE CANNON WILL NOT, AND NEVER WILL, SUPPLY RECONS FOR DOWNLOAD IN DVD OR VCD QUALITY OR EVEN ON TICKER TAPE!!!!!!


Loose Cannon Says:

Source material for this reconstruction came mainly from screen captures from the existing episodes. With four out of six episodes surviving there was the opportunity to get all the characters in the correct costumes, with some occasional composite work required to put them into the correct set. Thanks to the generosity of other fans we also had permission to use exclusive photos from private collections. These included a variety of set photos including the previously unseen photo of the Physician's house. There are no surviving photos or footage of the Physician himself from this story so we located a likeness of the actor (Ronald Pickup) from around the same time and incorporated this into a series of composites so at last viewers could put a face to the voice. Rick has also worked his usual magic with synchronisation to reunite the known surviving clips against a newly restored soundtrack.

Carole Ann Ford was particularly impressed with the efforts of this reconstruction and very kindly offered to film an introduction for us. This includes a short factual piece about the missing episodes plus some personal recollections of filming the Reign of Terror.

Synopsis:

The TARDIS lands in a forest outside Paris in 1794, during Robespierre's Reign of Terror. The Doctor's companions are soon captured by government troops and the Doctor must impersonate a regional governor to get them released.

Reviews:

Review by Paul Trickett

A very clear reconstruction. The old one had no sub-titles so it was rather incomprehensible in places such as when Ian was mugged by Jules et Jean and carried through the window to the hide-out. The new version makes everything much more coherent. What's more, it makes the story more enjoyable. The old recon was such hard work to sit through that it rather put me off. The audio in the new version is very clear, almost up to Graham Strong's standards. It was occassionally a little sharp and tinny and that was a considerable bonus. The story worked better - rather elevating my opinion of the story. Even in Dennis Spooner's comedic hands, the themes of the revolution were treated with some seriousness. Barbara's disgust at Ian and Jules for killing Leon is a good example and was very well done.

As for the reconstruction work, the composites worked very well getting around the lack of pictures of Edward Brayshaw with great skill. The new pictures of Ronald Pickup were also well intergrated. The continual shots of the door were sometimes a little unintentionally amusing but that was my only gripe about the recon. Overall, another very professional production.

 

Review by Keith Watson (yes, Michael, its your Dad!)

I've just watched the L.C. recon of the Reign of Terror from start to finish and enjoyed it immensely. The intro with Carole Ann Ford was a huge treat and started the tape off perfectly. It's the extra bits like this that push the Loose Cannon Reconstructions above some of the rival recons and when they are combined with the excellent video covers that can be downloaded they make a very professional looking package indeed. My video collection looks extremely impressive now thanks to the L.C. recons.

The two reconstructed episodes blended almost un-noticeably, and to my mind I did not feel that I was watching a series of excellent photographs set against the soundtrack, it was all put together so smoothly.

Getting back to the show itself, I thought it was a fine story. I am very fond of the "Hartnell Historicals" and looking back to when I first saw the historic type episodes as a child I suppose they helped me get an idea of how things must have been in the periods when the stories were set. In fact, for the same reason I showed the video of "The Aztecs" to my young son when he covered the subject in his primary school recently (a good excuse for me to watch it again anyway).

Keep up the good work and please pass on my thanks to yourself and to all of your Loose Cannon team colleagues.

 

Review by Andrew Hodson

Once again, Loose Cannon have amazed me. This was my the first reconstruction I saw which was created without the use of telesnaps - yet this hardly makes a difference to the quality of the episodes.

I know from this page that the team have used screen grabs and composite images to produce this episode and that so many publicity photos simply do not exist…. yet I failed completely to figure out where these were! I can think of only two or three places were I could actually tell that a new background had been added or the action had been pinched from Prisoners of Concierge.

The technical quality of the images in the reconstructed episodes was very high throughout. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the surviving episodes, which were quite poor. However, this is largely unimportant as I shall soon be Supporting The BBC Releasestm with the wonderful Reign of Terror set. Loose Cannon's version will bridge the gap between the new pristine release of the surviving episodes wonderfully!

Also of note is the use of captions in the reconstruction - or lack thereof. Only a couple of scenes featured any major caption element; the pictures and audio alone managed to tell the story for the rest of the time. This is the way a great reconstruction should be!

The only aspect of this recon which did not impress me was the use of the shot of Leon's door opening/closing every time somebody uses it. By the end of the reconstructed episodes, the repetition of this shot had me laughing quite hard!

 

Review by Michael Livsey

I've just watched the Reign of Terror and enjoyed it immensely. Previously, I had seen a fuzzy pirate copy of the existing episodes, but the combination of clearer copies, plus the two reconstructed episodes made me feel like I'd seen the thing complete. I was amazed at the composite image of the Physician and his surgery. The two episodes are fairly crucial to the plot, and LC have to be applauded for bringing them back to life. My only gripe as your other reviewer said was the repetitive shot of the door opening and closing at Jule's house, which made us laugh, though it made perfect logical sense to put it in.

This story has a fairly indifferent reputation, but I think it's fantastic. The comedy elements don't detract from the serious nature of the story. As with most of the Hartnell historicals, there's a real feeling of doom and inevitability about the way history is going to turn out.

 

Review by Tim Kocher

Another wonderful reconstruction. The introduction and interview with Carole Ann Ford is a lot of fun - her whimsical take on her time on the show is charming, and provides great added value to an already worthy project.

For me, the historicals are easily the best of the Hartnell run, and "The Reign of Terror" ranks well among them. I watched the previous recon of this story and became more frustrated as each scene went by - with no captions to indicate onscreen action, I quickly lost track of who was saying what to whom, and where. The scenes in the church were impossible to understand, as were such simple things as Jules and Jean carrying Ian through the window.

This reconstruction makes it all better! Every stage direction is clearly indicated by the onscreen captions, but they are never intrusive or overdone. The use of Photoshop montages is very effective, creating a vastly wider array of images than could ever have been gathered from the existing pool. Audio is fine and understandable as well.

While I see I'm not the only one to find the opening/closing door feature to be amusing, it was an experiment worth trying, and it's that sort of openness to new techniques that sets Loose Cannon apart from pretty much everyone else in fandom! "The Reign Of Terror" is an important story, providing the climax to the first season as well as some of the most exciting and entertaining historical action of the era. Thanks to LC for returning this story to us - we may not have the real episodes 4 and 5, but I still feel as if I've seen them.

 

Review by Jameson Lee

The last episode of the first season - the biggest reason for reccomendation I can give is the last scene as we watch a starfield and hear Hartnell talking about the nature of their lives as they wander through space/time.

The reconstruction is fab. This was my first recon that I watched and I really enjoyed it. Seeing Hartnell in rare form as he takes a commanding position in the French regime is classic. Reserve a copy today!

 

Review by Corey Charette

Loose Cannon did what BBC shelved 10 years ago. With only 2 of the 6 episodes missing, this is one recon that most Whovians should watch. LC did an excellent job of the reconstruction of this story. The story moved very smoothly from the video episodes to the recon episodes. The pictures are very clear, with good quality audio to complement it.

As a story, it (like most 6 episoders) is too long. IMHO, it should have been 4 episodes instead to make the story move faster. But don't let that hold anyone back from watching this one. With the exception of "Tenth Planet" this is the most complete missing story out there. Go out and get it. And with that final scene with Hartnell's monologue being said over a starfield, made an excellent ending to the first season.

 

Review by Marc Cameron

This is probably the last TV story I come to with no previous knowledge until any new episodes are made. Somehow I never saw the novelisation in my childhood and it would be years until I was born. Therefore I was looking forward to this a lot. I was not disappointed.

The story is a nice little Hartnell historical with the usual separation, capture and intrigue. Basically I loved this, fine performances from the regulars and the guest cast. Nice sets and sound helped to make this an enjoyable story. That said the Doctor's violence has left me mentally scarred!!

The reconstruction itself is for episodes 4 & 5 only, as fortunately the others still survive intact. As per usual the pictures and captions all help let you know exactly what is happening at any time. The cine clips that also exist are inserted seamlessly and I loved the opening door capture which did make me chuckle for no good reason.

The celebrity introduction is quite good, Carol Anne Ford giving us an anecdote about Henric Hersch and a candid account of why she was not completely happy in the role. Not a shocker for convention attendees I would imagine, or those who read their DWMs etc over the years, but still quite a nice inclusion any way.

If you're looking for a first recon this could be the one for you. The majority of the story is presented here with the complete episodes, the missing episodes are well reconstructed with a couple of clips to boot, the interesting extras and the story's pretty good too. All in all a great package!

 

Review by Andy Edgell

Out of the William Hartnell historical stories I have seen, The Aztecs, The Crusade and now the Reign of Terror, the Reign of Terror has to be the best in my opinion. This story appealed to me more because of the setting of the French Revolution and I enjoyed it very much...

Now to the reconstruction itself, Reign of Terror is the second reconstruction I have seen (after The Moonbase which has it reconstructed episodes very well done). The Reigh of Terror isn't that far behind with the telesnaps in good order and being very clear with good a good audio soundtrack with it, also in the reconstructed episodes are a few short clips which are pleasing to the eye. The inclusion of the clip of the door opening was a good idea. The introduction by Carol Ann Ford was also a nice touch.

So in conclusion Loose Cannon have produced another brilliant reconstruction, 8/10. If your new to Loose Canoon and looking for a good story to begin with I would recommend this.

 

Review by Steve Herbert

Carole Ann Ford's intro was very good, like a dvd extra. And her bit at the end to was very good. Especially her story about the miniture set on top of the wardrobe & its sad demise. I guess I rushed through the first three episodes, got well into the story and then there it was the two reconstructed episodes. You've done a great job. I won't nickpick, I know there are little bits that most people have mentioned in their reviews, but I won't go into that area. I'd rather judge it on the high points, and there were lots, The film sequences fitted in well and the whole two episodes were easy to follow. When I got to the last episode it was all worth while. Top marks.

 

Review by Shane Moody

It seems a shame that of the first season stories that are missing, they both fall into the historical genre. The Aztecs is the only historical story that is complete from season 1 and it is a shining example of how historical adventures can captivate an audience. I feel The Reign of Terror falls equally into this same category of tale. I have now viewed this recon 3 times and have come to the conclusion that the feel the production team had for creating historical time periods is just fantastic. Along with some quality acting both from the regulars and the supporting cast, and you get a solid adventure worthy of praise.
The Loose Cannon team have once again done a strong job of filling in the blanks left by the missing episdoes 4 & 5. I think even more so here than in other cases, their work is stellar as the material they had to work with was limited. Once more, thanks for all your effort on this and other projects. You all are helping to fill in missing pieces of the Doctor Who puzzle.

 

Review by Michael Rose

The Reign Of Terror is one of the best reconstructions ever with Carol Ann Ford doing the introduction to the story. What made it a joy to watch was no subtitles to distract from watching the story. Just keep up the good work.

 

Review by John Saltzburg

WOW even for what is an older recon this is amazing. it's nice to have the frequent picture changes to show who is talking and it really fills in the gap much better than the 5 minute interstitial on the BBC video release. actually a little nicer than the BBC video recon on 10th Planet. if you have the BBC VHS you need this recon

 
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