Doctor Who prints are still turning up... Apr 12, 2017 18:51:07 GMT
Post by Richard Molesworth on Apr 12, 2017 18:51:07 GMT
It has struck me in subsequent years, when I understood more about the mechanics of telerecording, how odd it was to have this lone dub in the BBC archives, which the BBC had no motive for making.
Enterprises would not have bothered to duplicate from a positive, unless they had a customer but no longer had the master negative. But if they had junked the negative, that indicates a decision not to retain that serial, so why would they bother to duplicate a surviving positive? They had no reason to care about the fate of 'Wheel in Space' once its negatives had been junked, so would just have shipped the last remaining set of positives overseas to their customer.
The only logical place for a positive to be duplicated is overseas, in a huge country - such as Canada or Australia - where there could be a motive for having more than one print. For instance, you could only show a serial simultaneously in such a country, i.e. in all provinces at once (in the days before it was possible to use a satellite link to transmit from a single print), by supplying a separate print to each transmitting station.
That gives ABC and CBC a motive for striking dub prints. And it's not unreasonable, given that they were both financially capable of bearing that cost: far more so than the smaller countries that participated in the cycling process.
If we are puzzling over rogue dubs of VT material, we shouldn't overlook the evidence for the existance of rogue dubs of 16mm b/w film prints. If overseas stations were routinely striking their own duplicates of film or VT material, there may have been more prints and tapes in existence than we have previously supposed.
According to my notes, the BBC don't have a 16mm print of 'Wheel' Ep 6, just 35mm postive and negative prints. Could be a database ommission, as the 35mm prints are superior after all...
Even if they did, there's nothing suspicous about the BBC getting a 16mm reduction viewing print made from the 35mm prints.
And thinking about it, I suspect they may well have done this when Ian Levine purchased his own 16mm copies of the b&w episodes still held by the BBC film library in 1977/8. 'Wheel' 6 would be one of those...
The 'Cybermen - Early Years' VHS release did contain a terrible 3rd-generation 16mm film copy of 'Wheel' Ep 3, but this is because they made a neg copy of David Stead's original print when he loaned it to the BBC in 1984. They then made a 16mm viewing copy from the neg, dropping another film generation.