The Making of The Space Pirates (Revised Edition)
By Russ Port, Dean Rose & Stuart Palmer


Russ Port Talks us Through the Making of TSP...





A few scenes in Space Pirates proved very tricky to edit. Of these the cliff-hanger at the end of Episode 3 when the regulars jump down a mineshaft went through many iterations before the final version. This scene had a great deal of action in a short period of time with very little source material. Early drafts proved impossible to keep up with the fast changing pictures and the amount of information on scrolling captions at the base of the screen. After several iterations and even considering making stills for the scene in CGI Dean eventually managed to find suitable material to composite the regulars in with shots from the caves and thinned the information out to produce a crisp ending.




A scene that was tricky to edit for totally different reasons was the one in Episode 6 in the atomic fuel store. There was very little information from the audio and precious little in the camera script. We used footage from a 1960's episode of The Outer Limits, kindly pointed out to us by Ian Pritchard, which was perfect for the shots of both the Doctor and Dervish in the atomic fuel store as it included a radiation suit, gloved hands and suitable boxes with switches and lights and lots of fiddling with wires along with composites created from grabs from the footage, shots of the Doctor and a few extra pictures of radiation suits we found. There simply wasn't enough information on this scene so Dean edited it and filled in gaps with educated guesses based on the information we had and fitted scrolling captions around the moving footage. Considering the limitations we are very happy with the pace of this scene.




The end of Episode 5 where the Doctor gets engulfed in smoke is edited together from a few sources, firstly the Daleks' Master Plan smoke overlay was used to create the smoke effect over a still of the Doctor, next a clip of the Doctor being engulfed in smoke from Faceless Ones, then a composite based on a grab of the Doctor from Seeds of Death with the Doctor with a handkerchief over his face with the smoke again overlaid, and finally shots of the Doctor getting up from Episode 2 were reversed, split into stills and cross faded to give the impression of him gradually collapsing . This gave the end of the episode a good amount of movement and built nicely to the cliff-hanger.