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This Loose Cannon production is no longer available in this original format.
Instead a new, updated version has been released - please see here for the latest version
.

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Loose Cannon Production 03
The Myth Makers
"Woe to Troy!"

     
BBC Production Details
Production Code: U
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 16th October 1965 -
Saturday 06th November 1965
Season: 3
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Donald Cotton
Producer: John Wiles
Director: Michael Leeston-Smith
 

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as designed by Chris Salt

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: August 1998
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,2,3,4
Source Material: No telesnaps exist for this story
Audio recorded by David Holman
  Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
Pictures from other stories / sources
Specially Created Material
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T120
   
Special Note:    

No episodes of this serial are known to survive. If any should resurface and be released at a later date, please purchase such an official BBC video release to complement our reconstruction.

Support The BBC Video Releases.

     

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

This Loose Cannon production is no longer available in this original format.
Instead a new, updated version has been released - please see here for the latest version
.

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++



Loose Cannon Says:

When this story was first suggested as a reconstruction we thought that it could not be done. At the time there were only a handful of authentic Myth Maker photos available. This was the first non-telesnap story we had attempted. After some thought we decided that the only way to attempt a story like this was to use as much suitable material as we could from other sources. We managed to track down pictures of many of the main characters from other productions and eventually managed to weave these into the story.

Exclusive to this reconstruction, we managed to seek permission to film the original Trojan horse model, which is currently in the hands of a private collector. This video is also a landmark for Loose Cannon as it was the first to feature specially created material in a reconstruction. This helps to explain some of the difficult visual scenes as the Doctor suggests various means to infiltrate Troy.

This reconstruction also reunites all of the known surviving clips against the original soundtrack. This includes the shot of the Doctor reflecting of Vicki's departure, the source of this clip was unknown for many years.

Since this reconstruction was produced we have acquired other rare authentic photos. Myth Makers is a likely candidate for an enhanced version some time in the future.

Please note, that this tape provides an adequate representation of the original story. However, since this reconstruction was produced our production standards have risen above all our expectations. In particular, the quality of the source material and overcoming the loss in quality when converting to and from video formats. Not wanting to deter potential viewers from watching our earlier work by all means obtain and enjoy this reconstruction but please do not judge all our tapes by the standard of these early versions. For a balanced view of what we can achieve please be sure to check out the later reconstructions as well as the early ones.

Synopsis:

The TARDIS lands in the plains outside besieged Troy. The Doctor finds himself mistaken for the god Zeus and is given a tight deadline to devise a plan that will put Troy in the hands of the Greeks.

In the meantime the TARDIS, with Vicki inside, has been captured by the Trojan Prince Paris. When Vicki emerges she too is met with praise and distrust from quarrelling rivals making power plays against each other. To prove herself, Vicki must ensure success for the Trojans by the same deadline.

The Doctor and Vicki are now pitted head to head against each other. What ingenious methods shall the Doctor choose to take the city of Troy - siege machines, flying machines, or something even more fanciful from a tale of Homer?

Reviews:
 
Review by Shayna (Shadow) - The Myth Makers

Well, I just finished watching the Loose Cannon Reconstruction of 'The Myth Makers'. And I have one word which sums up the entire recon.

And that word is.... awesome!

If I hadn't been told that there was only 7 existing pictures of 'the myth makers', I never would have believed it. There was an incredible number of photos used, and all of them seemed appropriate. There was only two photos I could place as not belonging to 'the myth makers'. One was of Achilies, which was obviously from 'The Keys of Marinus'. The other was one of the shots of Vicki, which came from 'The Romans'.

Not only was there a large quantity of photos, but the quality of the photos was incredible. Some of the older reconstructions are difficult to watch due to blurring/bad contrast/unidentifiable photos. All of the photos in The Myth Makers were crisp and clear, neither washed out or grainy. A sheer joy to watch!

The occasional full screen of text explained complicated scene changes or actions, rather than trying to space them out on the screen. I found it helped immensely with some of the mob/ fight scenes, when it is not clear by the audio what is going on.

And then there's the footage of the horse... I wonder why he videotaped a tv set, instead of getting a direct copy. My only complaint of this method is you can see lines running down the screen of the tv, because the tv is refreshing at a slightly different rate than the video camera. However I assume there was a reason for this. :)

Still, the footage of the horse was a delightful surprise, especially when the horse actually /moved/. The moving horse, timed up with the dramatic climax of 'I've ordered the horse to be moved into the city' was very exciting. :)

Reconstruction aside, the story of 'The Myth Makers' is simply one of the best historicals ever. The only one that can compare to it would be 'Marco Polo'. It manages to be serious, while maintaining a sense of humor.

'I'm a greek, you're a trojan, isn't that enough?' - Steven 'You know, I think this war has been overblown a bit...' - Paris

The dialogue is side-splittingly funny at times, and the characterisations are top-notch. I felt very sorry for Priam and Paris, Paris in particular. Cassandra got what she deserved, sorry. On the other hand, the introduction of Katarina seemed to be very forced. Cassandra, who doesn't refer to her handmaidens before episode 4, suddenly devotes large sections of dialogue to calling Katarina by name in episode 4. I guess the decision to retire vicki was made right before the filming of episode 4, and they hacked her into the plot. Katarina strikes me as sort of an early Leela - fanatically religious to her own strange customs, and forcing the world to fit into her own black and white view. I have seen the Achaaz version of 'The Nightmare Begins', and Katarina spends most of the time wimpering and cringing, completely different from the stubborn fire-spitting woman she appears to be in The Myth Makers.

Oh, one strange bit... the captions read that Vicki and Katarina helped Steven into the TARDIS... /after/ Vicki had run off to see Troilus. And then the TARDIS dematerialises, and then Vicki appears on the plains to talk to Troilus. Since the Doc can't control his TARDIS and do changes in location as opposed to changes in time/location, I suspect that only Katarina helped Steven into the TARDIS...

I'd recommend the Loose Cannon 'The Myth Makers' to just about any Doctor Who fan. It is, without a doubt, the best reconstruction I have seen. Ever. And that includes the recent JV work 'The Wheel in Space' (which is now bumped to #2). I'm looking forward to other Loose Cannon reconstructions. :)

When the Darkness is Unending, even Heroes are Afraid. "Jamie, I'm being *stared* at. Is there something wrong with me?"         - The Doctor, 'Evil of the Daleks'

 
Review by David Parrish - The Myth Makers

This is the third of Rick's reco's I've watched so let's get right down to the nitty gritty.

The Myth Makers was the third story (U) of the third season, smack in the middle of William Hartnell's run as Doctor Who. Originally transmitted between 16th October 1965 and 6th November 1965 this four part adventure has the distinction of being just the same as many of the other Hartnell stories (it flatlines...). In my opinion, the only saving grace for this story is its humour, which is provided by the over-acting of a bad script. It kind of reminds me of a "Carry On" version of Dr Who. I just wish the beeb had instilled the doctor with some back-bone ie, the dialogue in the Trojan's horse. The 60's weren't that bad? The Myth Makers is target novel 97, written by Donald Cotton. (Also by the same author - The Gunfighter #101 and The Romans #120.)

With only seven photo's available form the original Myth Makers, Rick has pulled off the best resurrection since that one in the bible. Reconstructions just don't get better than this. It's very apparent that Rick has gone to considerable lengths to obtain and age stills with an authentic feel. My hat comes off to you sir. The only query I have, is to why the Trojan Horse footage is washed by a blue tinge.

You must have this reconstruction for your collection, it's that good. Loose Cannon videos just keep on getting better and better. I can't wait to watch the next Loose Cannon reco.

     -David Parrish

 
Review by Matt Fitch - The Myth Makers

A few days ago I was priveledged to watch Rick Brindell's reconstruction of The Myth Makers, which along with being Rick's best to date (which is really saying something!) I would rank this recon in the same class with the JV Evil of the Daleks. Most of the stills used are not actually from Myth Makers, which surprisingly doesn't matter. I am something of a "TR purest," in that I prefer, nay can only stand, recons with actual telesnaps or clips from an episode, yet Rick uses these non-Who stills so well that is doesn't matter one bit. Each character seems to be wearing what they should, nothing looks out of place, and everything runs smoothly.

This is no exaggeration: There is NOT ONE single still which is unclear, which in reality is probably due to the lack of telesnaps. The soundtrack is crystal clear, the clips run smoothly, completely in sync with the audio, which makes for a damn good recon! Full marks all around! A+, one of the top 3 recons so far. (Evil and Fury rank above it, but as a Troughton, Hines, Watling fan I am a bit prejudiced!). Bring on The Space Pirates (did I really say that?)!!

     -Matt Fitch

 
Review by Paul Cryer - The Myth Makers

Comments on the plot:

This story is really rather silly. The plot is based on the Trojan Horse story, but some of the characters are so stupid you wouldn't believe it. The acting is excellent, even the silly characters are played well, these being the cowardly Menelaus and Paris, and the wretched Cassandra, who really got on my nerves, why they couldn't have executed her I don't know!!! The best characters are Agamemnon and Odysseus, who are strong and played extremly well. The departer of Vicki is handled well, if a bit soppy.

Plot Rating 5/10

Comments on the reconstruction:

WOW, what can I say. This must be the best recon so far. It was a nearly impossible one to do, but it is superb. Rick has used screen grabs of appropriatly dresses characters from other stories (I don't know if they were the correct people or just ones who looked right), but who cares, you really won't know. The 8mm clips are in superb, the horse stuff is just so good, and the audio is of tremendous quality. The text is added well and very readable.

Reconstruction Rating 10/10

 
Review by Craig Fuqua - The Myth Makers

For those of you who haven't heard about this yet:

Find a friend with a copy and get the Myth Makers reconstruction from Loose Cannon Productions (aka, Rick Brindell), which also presented Macra Terror and Faceless Ones.

Starting with seven pics from the original production and a few off-air 8mm clips, Rick has pulled off a miracle in producing a reconstruction most of us thought we'd never see. He's grabbed images from a wide variety of sources, most of which show the same actors in similar costumes (the most amazing shows the same actor in the same costume from a different show). He's gone to great lengths to make this as authentic as possible.

He continues his method of scrolling captions to fill in the blanks where actions speak louder than words on the soundtrack, using white text on a black background for greater readability (he debuted the black background on Faceless and has recently redone the titles on Macra).

High points: Rick's careful selection of facial expressions preserves both the humor and drama in the story. (See spoiler for the highest point.)

Low points: It's an effort to mention flaws because I'm so damned happy with the tape. And they're so minor I'm not going to list them.

I understand Tenth Planet is on its way soon. I still like Michael Palmer's version, but I've wanted a classic TR version to go with it.

For the record: I'm listed as a "producer" on the tape, although my contributions were mostly moral support for the project and suggestions from beta tapes he made this summer. If you have an earlier version, you really need to get the new one: there are many more pics in the released copy.

The most thrilling part of the tape is the premiere of video clips of the original Trojan Horse from the serial. Top-quality work by two fans who wanted this reconstruction to be the best possible. The clips are new but have been "aged" to fit in with the rest of the tape.

 
Review by Charles Daniels - The Myth Makers

This is a very unique and exciting time for the reconstructions. When I first got involved with watching the reconstructions they were mostly the same as the last with minor variations. Some reconstructions would have slight, very minute, advantages over the others usually directly related to the number of surviving episodes or existing photos. However recently the exact opposite has been the case. Fans of the reconstructions have been taken through a rollcoaster ride of seemingly endless improvements.

Each reconstruction takes bold new steps to advance the entire medium. After watching each one I have been convinced that I have just seen the best reconstruction ever and my mind boggles at what could possibly be done to improve them other than the recovery of more footage.

The Myth Makers was something I was completely unprepared for and pushes the limits of reconstructions more than anything since Micheal Palmer's Tenth Planet. Rick's TARDIS materialization, sort of his recosntruction trade mark I feel, at the beginning of this story has never been in better form, it's by far the best effect of it's kind I've ever seen in any reconstruction. There are pictures from all sources as only 7 pictures exist from the story itself. Had I not personally seen some of the material at Rick's home as he was reviewing material for the reconstruction, had Rick not come out and told me his sources specifically I would have never known what was from the Myth Makers and what wasn't. In fact even with all these behind the scenes cues I was still fooled often. I had so suspended my disbelief and Rick had used the material so well it became impossible to do anything but get wrapped up in the story.

There were pictures in this production that were so clear and crisp it made my head spin. All the pictures are very good and excellent in quality but some stretch the imagination and are incredibly clever to boot. In particular the scene with the Doctor showing his plans for the Trojan horse was ingenius and every detail of the plans could easily be studied from the picture on the screen. I imagine the little details were clearer to pick out than they would be if I had the original moving footage from the actual story itself. There was also the surprise of a good number of 8mm clips mixed in with special "horse footage" which was enjoyable as it was well used, gave even more life to the story, and more movement in the reconstruction.

This reconstruction was also interesting for me as I had listened to the audio recording by David Holman some months ago and found I could follow the story enough to understand it. With this reconstruction I could really utilize the visual images so I didn't have to spend all that time to guess or figure out what was going on like I did with the straight audio but could just sit back and enjoy it. The audio was also impressively clear in the reconstruction. It is far better quality in this reconstruction than I recall it being on my casette tape.

The Myth Makers was very well written and has many serious moments but it is mainly a very funny story. It's a sort of comical view of the Fall of Troy and all the characters Homer wrote about - Hector, Achilles, Odysseus, Diomede, Agamemmnon, etc. My personal favorite is the Trojan prince Paris. He is portrayed as a incompetent coward, a bumbling idiot, who probably would be more at home in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. Max Adrian does a great job as King Priamand indeed everyone in the story seems well suited to their roles. Definitely a classical story in classic Who.

 
Review by Dominique Boies - The Myth Makers

I have watched the first episodes of "The Myth Makers" and must admit I have mixed feelings about it. The reconstruction itself is wonderful. You used many pictures from other stories but they fit perfectly into the story. It's difficult to believe that only 8 pictures have survived up to now. I also like the way you used full screen text to replace scenes when pictures are not available. However, it's one of the story where I feel a complete script would have been very helpful. Not necessary like the COI reconstructions, but at least to know exactly who's talking. Not being English-speaking, I was often confused even when I was able to keep track of what's going on.

You should also have included a small introduction, explaining that the few materials surviving required that you had to be innovative. Those who are not aware of that may be surprised to see a picture of the thief from "Marco Polo".

Besides these small points, I really enjoyed what I have seen. The pictures and the sound are very clear, and the number of pictures and stills is large enough to keep the viewer interested. Congratulations! It's a brilliant accomplishment.

I have also found some time to watch episode 2 of "The Myth Makers" and I am still very impressed by the way you have chosen your pictures. For instance, I recognised the picture of Cassandra as being taken from "I, Claudius". Remembering what you said about Tutte Lemkow, I checked my notes about "I, Claudius" and found that Frances White was once again the same actress - she played Cassandra in "Doctor Who" and Julian in "I, Claudius". Therefore, I am curious to know if you have been as careful in the choice of pictures for the other characters since I am not very familiar with British actors.

If I hadn't know there were only 8 pictures from the original series, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell! Your reconstruction is AMAZING!

I finished watching the reconstruction yesterday night and I am very, very impressed by it. You have taken great care to get matching pictures of many (if not all) of the actors involved. I also liked the video footage with the Trojan Horse. Was it the same one used in the production of the series or a replica?

Also, it is not clear by the end of episode 4 that Vicki got out of the TARDIS before the Doctor shut the doors. The last time we hear about her, she's helping Katarina to get Steven inside the TARDIS, just before Odysseus arrives.

Now, I am really looking forward to seeing "The Tenth Planet".

Dominique Boies

 

Review by Edmund Kimmell - The Myth Makers

I repeat, magnificent. I was amazed by the 'horse footage', of which I
had no idea that it even existed. It was great to finally see the 'mystery scene' of Hartnell matched up with the correct audio.

Each picture was ingenious (how on earth were the horse blue prints done?!).

Overall, an 11 out of 10.

Good day...

 
Review by Pat Lynch

My wife is a huge fan of I, Claudius.

Not, it would seem, a statement of any relevance to a review of Loose Cannon's third recon, The Myth Makers, but read on.

Unlike The Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones, The Myth Makers poses a problem to reconstructors. No telesnaps. Indeed, I believe I am right in saying that no more than eight publicity photos were available to Rick Brindell. What has been produced is little short of amazing.

Using photos from other Who stories, other TV programmes, films, photos especially shot, and a host of other inventive ideas that I can only guess at a breathtaking and THOROUGHLY WATCHABLE video has been produced.

The story is a cracker, indeed most of the historicals were. With The Doctor and Vicki captured by both sides of the Trojan War, they each have to outwit the other in finding a way to appease their captors and return alive to the Tardis. The story had me laughing out loud in places. Menelaus and Paris in particular have some of the funniest lines ever in Doctor Who, Menelaus's deadpan delivery is priceless.

It's not just one-liners and off the cuff remarks either. Cassandra, played by Frances White, is gloriously over-the-top. I can still hear her yelling 'How darrrrrrrrre you!!'

The clarity of the visuals is pin sharp, as is the audio (although episode 4 seemed slightly less clear). Most pleasing of all was moving footage of the actual horse used in the original show. Marvellous. Also the William Hartnell look-alike (or hand-alike to be exact) was a clever touch. Photos came thick and fast from heaven knows where. Never jarring and always helping to push the story along. There was a slightly greater use of text captions here than in the previous two recons. But they were never superfluous, and were perfect for describing those moments when stills and audio alone might confuse the viewer.

As ever, the proof of the pudding is in the watching. I meant to watch one episode a night. However I sat down with my wife and watched episode 1, followed by episode 2, and then lo and behold we'd watched it all. My wife in fact had been reading when I put the tape on but soon she was engrossed.

Remember when I mentioned my wife's fondness for I, Claudius? The shots of Frances White (Cassandra) in the recon are all from her appearance in I, Claudius. After the tape finished I asked my wife if seeing stills so obviously (from her viewpoint) from another show had been off-putting. But she said no, she was too busy enjoying the story.

If you can make a non-Who fan spend an hour and a half watching stills on a video using material from a show she is all too familiar with, yet she can STILL enjoy it...well...then you're doing something right. Keep it up.

 

Review by Ben Kirkham

I was amazed by the effort and the sheer talent that went into this reconstruction. I was very impressed. The story itself is very funny and sophisticated, but the recon is brilliant. Cud we ever get closer to the original? Congratulations on a very successful reconstruction. Highly recommended!

 

Review by Tim Kocher

This was the rwcon I saw, years ago, that convinced me that they could be worth watching. I found the sole reliance on telesnaps to be extremely boring, especially when no captions were present to help understand onscreen action. When I saw "The Myth Makers," I couldn't believe the artistry and sensitive care that was given to the storytelling.

Flash forward a few years, watching it again after having seen some of LC's more recent triumphs, like "Marco Polo," "The Massacre," and "The Reign of Terror." It seems a bit creaky and primitive now, compared to those assured and astonishing achievements, but it still tells the story well, and is extremely inventive in its techniques. While I'm sure the LC team wish this were done in the most current style, it still works like a dream. Good thing, too - it's a terrific adventure, full of wonderful wit and a startlingly grim ending, and without this recon, I may never have known.

 

Review by Stuart Palmer

The Myth Makers in a little gem of a story. It's well acted from a top rate cast, has a clear and well developed plot, showcases William Hartnell at his finest, and, best of all, it's extremely funny. Indeed, there are no other Doctor Who stories that I can think of that can make me laugh out loud so frequently. The hysterically funny Menelaus and the cowardly Paris get many of the best moments, but Vicki also has a chance to shine, and Cassandra is gloriously over the top.

It's also the only Doctor Who story to mention orgies. Probably.

The reconstruction, whilst not quite up to the standard of later efforts, is still top notch. The occasional full screen stage direction is a little alarming at first and, obviously, with the growing skills of the team would never happen these days, but it serves its purpose when the scene is action orientated. I did find the inclusion of Altos from The Keys of Marinus a little distracting just because I recognise him, his costume and the sets behind him so well, but it again serves it purpose and gives a better understanding of the story. The horse footage and the crisp soundtrack more than make up for these minor failings though and I heartily recommend a good reconstruction of a great (and sadly often overlooked) story.

 

Review by Warren Butler

Fantastic, terrific, wow. I consider this to be a great vid, and has to be seen to be believed. I think that this story should rank up there as one of best. The only criticism I have is that with the movie "TROY" just out; I couldnt help but think of this one all the way through (they are about the same story anyway!!!) I enjoyed it even more on my second/third time viewings.

 

Review by Jonathan Witchell

The Myth Makers for me, marked the last ever recon I needed, and the last ever Dr Who story I needed in some visual format... The trojan horse clips are good, helping the viewer along the way, and the telesnaps are good, but its a pity that there are only a few. The viewer often got areas where there are no pictures, just writing, and, if nothing else, the prior picture could have remained and the writing scrolled underneath, so that the viewer could contnue to look at something. Despit all my criticisms, it is a fine reconstruction and once again deserves congratulations - well done!

 
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