Underground Film Journal

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Light Industry: Doctor Who And Cops With House Music

By Mike Everleth ⋅ April 5, 2010

Light Industry

April 6
7:30 p.m.
Light Industry
177 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Hosted by: Light Industry

Now this sounds like an awesome evening. Media artist Paul Slocum presents two very special projections of two cult favorites: One pretty much straight-up and the other a slight remixing.

First up, anybody who was a devoted follower of Doctor Who broadcasts on PBS in America know that the singular most frustrating thing about being a fan was that many episodes from its early years in the 1960s were disposed of after their initial broadcast by the BBC. The network simply threw the tapes away or erased them in a short-sighted bid to save on storage costs.

Personally, I know that I used to have a checklist in a comic book fan magazine that listed every episode of Doctor Who ever made and I diligently checked off each one after viewing it. And it just totally blew that there were whole columns of episodes I knew I’d never see, especially ones with the second Doctor Patrick Troughton.

For this screening, Slocum will present a fan restoration of the fourth chapter of the story “The Tenth Planet.” (Each Doctor Who story was originally broadcast in the BBC in half-hour episodes, then typically combined and broadcast in the U.S. as one long two-hour presentation.)

This particular chapter that Slocum will recreate is an especially historic one in the run of the show. It was the first time the title character “died” and regenerated into a new personality. In Who lore, the Doctor is an alien being known as a Time Lord that has a certain number of regenerations before dying permanently. This was a clever way for the show to continue whenever one actor got bored with the role or retired for whatever reason.

This first regeneration occurred when the first Doctor, an elderly and ill William Hartnell wished to retire, so producers hired actor Patrick Troughton to take over the role. Also, “The Tenth Planet” also features the introduction of one of the Doctor’s most popular recurring enemies, the malevolent Cybermen.

While “The Tenth Planet” simply no longer exists on videotape, Slocum will recreate it using home-taped audio of the entire chapter — something rabid fans of the show did in the days before VCRs — played along with 16mm BBC clips used for other programs, film of the chapter shot by fans off of their TV, on-set photos as well as photographs, called “telesnaps”, taken by the BBC and used to track continuity.

Following the Doctor Who screening, Slocum will project his latest project, “Cops with House Music,” which combines an episode of the long-running FOX TV show Cops with a soundtrack of house and post-house music. The end result is a case of assault and battery: You’ll be assaulted with the powerful thumping of the music and you’ll get to see police officers batter a selection of petty criminals.