I think paradise is a little too green for me as well.
Only a day behind this time... I am getting better! So, yesterday I watched the back half of Kinda on the new Fifth Doctor first season BluRay set. The last time I watched it, I specifically viewed the original broadcast version, of which I said:
It's a shame that the big snake effect at the climax was so dreadful, because all kidding aside the story really was quite good.
This time I watched the version with the enhanced special effects created for the DVD release several years ago. You want to take any guesses on whether I thought it was an improvement?
Kinda - Parts 3 & 4
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
Much can be said about "special editions" and revisionist history in media. Sometimes they can be done very well, as was done with the remastering of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Sometimes they can be done very poorly -- and yes, I am specifically thinking of the wretched meddling inflicted upon the original Star Wars trilogy by George Lucas himself. The big difference between the two? In the case of the former, the changes were specifically made to remain within the fabric of the story as was originally scripted and intended to be filmed. With the latter, I am sure that Lucas started with the best of intentions but ultimately he was just not able to contain himself. This led to overindulgent tweaking and the cramming in of spectacle for the sake of its own self and outside the fabric of the original work. The results speak for themselves.
Here, then, we have one of my favorite Fifth Doctor stories, and one in which the show's reach truly exceeded its grasp. Writer Christopher Baily didn't really understand the constraints of the program, which he fully admitted after filming completed and for which he asked for (and received) a second crack. This resulted in the excellent sequel story Snakedance in the following season, which is also one of my favorites.
Case in point, the entire story hinges on the final showdown with the Mara inside the circle of mirrors. The BBC effects department did absolutely the best they could with the material as written, and unfortunately within the constraints of the budget and technology available to them at the time that "best" was laughably bad.
Here, then, is a golden opportunity for this excellent story to get a second chance at landing the story as originally written. Not an embellishment, not a gratuitous splurge of PrettyShiny, just a chance to tell the story the way the writer originally intended and had hoped to see executed.
So with all that being said, check out this side-by-side comparison of the results, taken from the special features section of the DVD release:
That, my friends, is a thing of beauty. The Mara looks amazing, in an effect that blends perfectly with the original material. This is the kind of thing that special editions were made for. I was literally running on the treadmill, grinning ear to ear, and saying, "Niiiiiiiiice...."
So yeah, it was a good day on the treadmill. This may be a ridiculous project, but two years on it still brings me a stupid amount of joy.
Companion(s): Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa, Adric
Episode(s): Kinda - Parts 3 & 4
Steps Walked: 7,262 today, 4,530,437 total
Distance Walked: 3.58 miles today, 2,371.68 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 75 today, 11,375 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 5,865 total
Weight: 266.02 lbs (five day moving average), net change -41.28 lbs