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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 525 > THE CUTTING-ROOM FLOOR


Not everything that’s filmed and recorded for Doctor Who makes it to the screen. Over the decades, numerous scenes and sequences have been cut. Many are unremarkable, but others include some of the most intriguing dialogue ever written for the series…
How it might have looked… the Shakri attacks Rory, Amy and the Doctor with a vicious eye bolt in The Power of Three (2012).
Illustration by ADRIAN SALMON

Wasn’t that fake Casualty scene in The Lie of the Land (2017) brilliant? Actually getting Amanda Mealing and Tony Marshall for that bit where Connie and Noel were dealing with another emergency, but blending it in with the Monks. “Have we got an ID on the driver yet?” asked the deputy clinical lead regarding her latest patient. “She had nothing on her,” replied the receptionist. “It’s lucky that Monk was passing. He literally tore the door off and pulled her out before the car exploded.” “Praise be to the benevolence of the Monks,” agreed Connie.

What do you mean there’s no such scene? It’s there in the script, at the start of the episode. It’s what the family are watching on TV before the arrival of the Memory Police. It was recorded at Studio 7 of Roath Lock on Sunday 12 February 2017. It’s even referred to in Doctor Who Magazine’s preview of the episode.

But no… it didn’t make it to the final broadcast. It’s one of numerous instances where an editing decision changed the finished show. A side-effect of schedules, budgets and things that go snip in the night. So let’s take a look at these missing moments, bearing in mind that, as with broadcast running times, magazine word counts are finite. Thus – as with the material under discussion – some choice moments have been pared along the way. But that’s the whole point of editing…

When Doctor Who began in 1963, it was generally recorded on two-inch videotape – a tricky beast to edit using fiddly iron filings to locate magnetic patterns indicating a picture change, identifying where the tape needed physically cutting, and splicing the ends together. The more splices, the more a tape was prone to breaking. In 1964, producer Verity Lambert told directors that ideally their episodes should not require more than five edits; each splice meant an additional allocation from the budget towards a replacement tape.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

From scenes which didn't make the final cut to characters who were completely edited out... Issue 525 of Doctor Who Magazine brings you the best bits of Doctor Who you never got to see! Doctor Who Magazine 525 also includes: • An interview with Will Oswald, an editor on Doctor Who from 2007 to 2017 • DWM chats to Michelle Ryan about the return of her character Lady Christina de Souza • The Time Team returns - and they've regenerated! • Out of the TARDIS with Janet Fielding, who played 80s companion Tegan • A look back at the ways new Doctors have been introduced to the public • Jamie Lenman's cosplay quest to recreate the Fourth Doctor's scarf • Part Two of The Clockwise War, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 2009 Tenth Doctor story Planet of the Dead • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!