The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Just Like Belgium


And now, deleted scenes from the fourth and final part of Doctor Who: The Curse of Davros. Which was originally massively overlength - nearly enough to constitute two episodes! – so there’s a lot of stuff. All of which seemed essential during the plotting, scene-breakdown-ing and writing, and which, during edits and rewrites, turned out to be eminently omissible. Well, most of it...

As usual, spoiler warnings apply, if you haven’t bought it yet you really should.

Oh, and one more thing. Compiling these ‘deleted scenes’ is easier than you might think, as all it entails is locating the ‘long’ draft of a script and the shortest, latest version of a script and then using Word’s ‘Compare’ function. It’s not as if I have meticulously squirreled this stuff away for posterity. If it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t do it.


To begin with, scenes, significant cuts during editing of the first draft (lots of small cuts were made too, of course).

A large chunk cut from scene 62, the first scene of the episode:

JARED:
They’ve had their minds swapped with Daleks. They did it to me once, and I don’t recommend it.

PASCAL:
I know that man... that’s Sergeant Mauduit.

(PASCAL RUNS)

JARED:
Captain, leave him, it won’t do any good.

PASCAL:
Sergeant. Sergeant Mauduit!

MAUDUIT:
Who are you?

PASCAL:
Who am I? Captain Pascal. We fought at Leipzig together. Don’t you remember?

MAUDUIT:
I do not remember. You have not been Dalek-itized. You will return to your battalion.

PASCAL:
Sergeant! Sergeant!

(ARMY MOVES ON)

PASCAL:
He didn’t know me. It’s like he’s been possessed, by some demon.

JARED:
You don’t know how close you are. Come on. While they’re heading off to war, let’s take a look inside this Chateau.

PASCAL:
You want to go into the Chateau? After what you’ve seen here?

JARED:
If it’s where the Daleks are based, then I’ve got a feeling, that’s where the Doctor and Flip will be too...

Then most of this was cut:

SCENE 63. INT. CELL. DAY.

DAVROS:
So you know what I’ve been up to since we last met. What about you?

FLIP:
Me? Oh, not much. After the thing with the Terravore there was counselling, and we had to sign this official secret thing, and then basically it was back to real life with a bump. I’m still with Jared, more or less.

DAVROS:
More or less?

FLIP:
He’s means well and everything, but he doesn’t want to do anything with his life. I want to travel and stuff, he just wants to hang out with his mates.

On to scene 64, from which most of this was cut:

DOCTOR:
And yet your own people betrayed you and exiled you to Elba.

BONAPARTE:
Not my own people, Davros. That treacherous Talleyrand and the Count of Artois. My people love me and would follow me into hell if I so desired it. Because they know I am one of them. A common soldier, who has become Emperor through the will of the people, and not simply inherited the title.

DOCTOR:
You are a true meritocrat, Emperor. The finest example of what one man can achieve with enough determination and courage. Tell me. What will you do when you have fought your last battle?

BONAPARTE:
In my experience, Davros, there is always one more battle.

DOCTOR:
But when you have finally won, when every nation in the world has bent to your will, what will you do then?

BONAPARTE:
Then? Then I will rest. (BEAT) What are these officers doing here? I gave no such command.

DOCTOR:
No. I did. Dalek-itized French officers, armed with Dalek weaponry. To assist your own campaign.

BONAPARTE:
What? I do not require assistance from the Daleks. This victory is mine.

DOCTOR:
Were it not for us, Emperor Bonaparte, this would have been a humiliating, final defeat. You would do well to remember that.

Cut from scene 65:

DAVROS:
Indeed. All those soldiers you saw, their minds are now inside these Dalek mutants.

FLIP:
Oh god, that’s horrible. They look like brains with eyes.

Also cut from scene 65:

DAVROS:
It’s all part of the Dalek plan to alter the course of the battle. They want to be sure of the outcome... so they send in their own Dalek-itized humans, armed with Dalek guns.

PASCAL:
Sorry. You’re saying the Emperor allowed this to happen, to our own soldiers, our own men, in order to win?

FLIP:
Looks like it.

PASCAL:
But a victory at such cost is not victory at all. What are we if we gain the world but lose our humanity?

DAVROS:
Very well put.

DALEK:
Help us. I want to go back. Go back to my own body.

DAVROS:
I’ll do everything I can. But I can’t promise anything, I’m afraid.

DALEK:
Then let us die. I would rather die than exist like this.

The entire following scene was cut:

SCENE 66. INT. CELLAR. DAY.

(JARED AND PASCAL GATHERING GUNS)

JARED:
Not bad. These Daleks certainly like their weapons.

PASCAL:
These laser guns... you know how to operate one.

JARED:
Hey, careful where you’re pointing that.

PASCAL:
I could kill you now, you know.

JARED:
You could.

PASCAL:
What you’re asking me to do, it is betraying my nation.

JARED:
But saving the world. Look, if you want to be loyal to your Emperor, shoot me, I’m sure the Daleks will be delighted and you’ll be next in line for the brain-in-the-tank treatment.

PASCAL:
I am not traitor. My first loyalty is to the human race.

JARED:
Then you can help me start packing these guns in this bag.

Cut from the end of scene 68:

JARED:
Yeah, well, we haven’t got time to stop and watch. We have to get to the Duke of Wellington.

PASCAL:
We can’t walk through the battlefield. We will have to go around the edge, to the far end of the ridge.

JARED:
You’re the expert. You lead the way.

Cut from the beginning of scene 69 (when editing, one of the first things you look for is ways of entering a scene later and leaving it earlier):

SCENE 69. INT. COMMAND CHAMBER.

(BACKGROUND F/X)

DALEK:
Emperor entering Command Chamber.

SUPREME DALEK:
How is the battle proceeding?

DOCTOR:
It is quite delightful. Within a few hours, the British cavalry will be exhausted, and the battle will be over.

SUPREME DALEK:
And the Dalek-itized humans?

DOCTOR:
Unstoppable. They could turn the tide of the battle themselves.

Also cut from the same scene:

DOCTOR:
The Doctor has vanished. Where is he, girl? Where is he?

FLIP:
You think I’m gonna tell you?

DOCTOR:
I can order the Daleks to torture you.

FLIP:
You could, but while you’re doing that, the Doctor’s at large, and you know what trouble he can cause.

Pretty much all of the next scene was cut/edited down in rewrites:

SCENE 70. EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.

(BATTLE RAGING IN B/G)

PASCAL:
Those Dalek-itized men, they’re killing everything... men, horses, everything. There’s no way the British can stand up to them.

JARED:
Then it’s all the more important we get to the Duke of Wellington.

PASCAL:
It feels strange to be walking through the British army camp unseen. Like we are ghosts of the dead. You know the way?

JARED:
I think so. Last I saw of the Duke, he was at a vantage point overlooking the battle.

(JARED AND PASCAL APPROACH)

WELLINGTON:
It is no good. They are cutting down our Cavalry. And what are those weapons they are using?

MERCER:
They seem to be beams of light, it is impossible.

WELLINGTON:
Something that boy said... about weapons more powerful than cannon.

PASCAL:
I could kill the Duke right now. He is standing inches from me. An hour ago I would have done so.

JARED:
You ready to switch off the perception filter? With me. Two one.

(PERCEPTION FILTERS SWITCHED OFF)

WELLINGTON:
What is this –

MERCER:
The French spy... and a French captain.

WELLINGTON:
How did they get here? Past our defences?

JARED:
We walked, mate. But before you shoot us, we’re here to help you.

MERCER:
You? Help us?

JARED:
Got it in one. You know those weapons I told you about?

This whole scene was cut:

SCENE 73. INT. CELL. DAY.

DAVROS:
Listen to me! I am your Emperor! I am your Emperor!

FLIP:
It’s no good, Doctor, I don’t think they’re gonna believe you.

DAVROS:
I am not the Doctor!

(DOOR SLAMS)

DAVROS:
You will regret this, girl.

FLIP:
Oh will I. Davros. Looks to me like you’re completely at my mercy.

DAVROS:
Your mercy?

FLIP:
I’ve been thinking about all the people who have died because of you. All the people who’d be alive now if wasn’t for you. You just don’t care, do you?

DAVROS:
Sacrifices must be made.

FLIP:
Why must they?

DAVROS:
Because true strength comes from being willing to pay the ultimate price. It is cowards who fear death. A great general must be prepared to countless soldiers die, if it means he will win the war.

FLIP:
But if you end up losing your own soldiers, surely there comes a point where it’s not worth winning.

DAVROS:
All wars are worth winning. There is nothing else. That is what makes me greater than the Doctor. I would willingly lay down anyone’s life if it meant victory. The Doctor is weak. He seeks to minimise the loss of life, which means I will win.

FLIP:
Doesn’t look like you’re winning at the moment.

DAVROS:
It is only a matter of time, my dear.


And the biggest cut of all, a flashback sequence beginning at the end of scene 74:

BONAPARTE:
I didn’t have to. He showed me.

(WHICH TAKES US INTO A FLASHBACK)


SCENE 75. EXT. ST HELENS. DAY.

BONAPARTE: (NARRATING)
The Daleks took me to the island, to show me my future. There I found my future self, standing on the shore, staring out to see.

YOUNG BONAPARTE:
Emperor.

OLD BONAPARTE:
Who is this?

YOUNG BONAPARTE:
Look on my face. Do you not recognise me?

OLD BONAPARTE:
But... it is like looking into my own past.

BONAPARTE: (NARRATING)
And so I told him about the Daleks, and how they had brought me here to show me the future. And he told me all about the Battle of Waterloo, and how he had been so close to victory until the arrival of the Prussian army. We talked into the night. He showed me the battle using lead soldiers on the floor. Until at last it was time for me to leave...

OLD BONAPARTE:
So now you know of all the mistakes that cost me victory.

YOUNG BONAPARTE:
I do. It will not happen.

OLD BONAPARTE:
All I would do differently had I my time again.

YOUNG BONAPARTE:
It will now be different. You have shown me the path to victory. I will not end up here, a broken man, a shell of my former self. Things will be different.

BONAPARTE: (NARRATING)
And with that, I took my leave of the Emperor, and returned to fight the Battle of Waterloo...

(AND BACK TO THE PRESENT)

SCENE 76. INT. DAVROS’ CHAMBER. DAY.

DOCTOR:
I see. So that is how you knew what to do.

BONAPARTE:
And now the victory is mine. There is nothing you can do to stop it.

DOCTOR:
Oh, I can. When the Daleks Dalek-itized your officers, they installed a fail-safe. All the soldiers can be killed remotely from here using the command network.

BONAPARTE:
Then do it.

DOCTOR:
Not while there remains a chance of saving their lives.

BONAPARTE:
You are weak, Doctor. You have no courage.

DOCTOR:
And you do? I think I have the courage not to kill.

BONAPARTE:
You are weak!

DOCTOR:
No so weak.

Most of this was cut/heavily rewritten:

SCENE 78. INT. DAVROS’ CHAMBER. DAY.

(DOOR OPENS)

SUPREME DALEK:
You sent for me, Emperor.

DOCTOR:
I did, yes. How proceeds the battle?

SUPREME DALEK:
The Dalek-itzed humans have gained control of the British ridge. The British are retreating.

DOCTOR:
Excellent, excellent. And then we can leave.

SUPREME DALEK:
Leave?

DOCTOR:
Yes. Napoleon will have won the battle, we’ve changed history, the world’s united and all speaking French. Our work here is done.

SUPREME DALEK:
But Emperor. The second part of our plan.

DOCTOR:
Cancelled. No longer necessary.

SUPREME DALEK:
You promised us. The Emperor Bonaparte would be mind-exchanged. His mind would be used for a Dalek battle computer.

DOCTOR:
Oh yes. And his body –

SUPREME DALEK:
His body would be occupied by the mind of a Dalek. The Earth would be placed under Dalek control.

DOCTOR:
I’m not sure it was such a good idea. Bonaparte’s genius for war turns out to be hype and good luck.

SUPREME DALEK:
Where is the Emperor Bonaparte?

DOCTOR:
Oh, I dismissed him, he’s returned to the battle. Which reminds me. Could you bring the Doctor’s female companion to me here?

SUPREME DALEK:
Why?

DOCTOR:
If the battle is in the final stages, it would please me for her to be a witness to our ultimate victory. And we’ll be able to observe the effect of changing history on a humans specimen from the future.

SUPREME DALEK:
I obey.

DOCTOR:
Oh, and I want all the Dalek-itzed humans brought back here. They are no longer required in the main battle.

SUPREME DALEK:
I obey.

This next scene was cut down to just four lines!

SCENE 79. EXT. BRITISH CAMP. DAY.

(BATTLE IN BACKGROUND)

WELLINGTON:
Mercer, what is it?

MERCER:
We’ve just come from Wavre, your grace. We’ve managed to remove the French blockade.

WELLINGTON:
And Blucher’s troops?

MERCER:
Are advancing towards the battlefield. They should be here within an hour.

WELLINGTON:
Then we have a chance, just a slim one.

JARED:
How’s it going here?

WELLINGTON:
The French’s weapons are destroying our cavalry, and our men are already retreating. The French are overextending themselves attempting to pursue us. We are almost beaten.

JARED:
Yeah, but wait until they see the Prussian army.

WELLINGTON:
I only hope you are right.

JARED:
Wait, look. The Dalek-itized humans – they’re drawing back.

MERCER:
But they can’t have seen the Prussian army.

WELLINGTON:
No. They must have received other instructions.

This whole scene was replaced with a new scene of the Doctor confronting Davros:

SCENE 82. INT. DAVROS’ CHAMBER. DAY.

(DOOR OPENS)

SUPREME DALEK:
I have brought you the human female.

FLIP:
Davros!

DOCTOR:
Yes. How’s the battle going?

SUPREME DALEK:
The Prussian forces are approaching the battlefield from the East. They outnumber the remaining French forces.

DOCTOR:
Good. Activate the weapon destruct fail safe.

SUPREME DALEK:
But the Prussians are winning –

DOCTOR:
Yes. Armed with our weapons. The battle is lost. Napoleon has failed us.

SUPREME DALEK:
Activating automatic weapon destruct.

DOCTOR:
Now if you will excuse me, I have to head to the hatchery.

FLIP:
The hatchery? Are you sure, Doctor?

SUPREME DALEK:
Doctor. Doctor? You called him Doctor.

FLIP:
I meant Davros. It’s so easy to get them confused.

SUPREME DALEK:
You will undergo a brain scan to get your identity.

DOCTOR:
As you wish – Flip – run!

(THEY RUN)

More cuts, this time filling in plot holes!

SCENE 92. EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.

FLIP:
Oh my god, the whole village is on fire.

DOCTOR:
Yes. The Prussian and British troops have overcome the French forces.

FLIP:
You say it like that like it’s all facts, but there are people being massacred in there.

DOCTOR:
That’s history. Running back on course.

FLIP:
But what about the Dalek guns?

DOCTOR:
All destroyed with no trace. It’s not perfect, but in the heat of the battle, no-one will remember.

FLIP:
If you say so.

Yes, that was a bit of a ‘hand wave’, wasn’t it? Another whole scene cut:

SCENE 93. EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.

NEY:
It’s no good, your Emperorship. We have been defeated.

BONAPARTE:
Destiny catches up with me. What will be will be.

NEY:
We have no choice but to surrender, we are outnumbered.

BONAPARTE:
We will run. But let history judge me. I had the chance of being a legend, Ney, I had the chance of ruling the world. And I threw it away. History will regard this battle as one I should have won but lost through making mistakes. But do you know, Marshall Ney? Looking back, I wouldn’t do a single thing differently.

And the beginning of the next scene was cut too:

SCENE 94. EXT. CORNFIELD. DAY.

FLIP:
They’re still fighting.

DOCTOR:
Yes. The battle will continue until the evening, until it becomes obvious the French have been broken and Napoleon has left the field.

JARED:
It’s horrible.

DOCTOR:
Best not to get too close.

JARED:
I don’t know how you do it, this travelling in time lark. It’s too much. All the deaths.

DOCTOR:
Yes. But knowing you can’t save them. That’s the worst. And that’s why I’m sending you home.



And with all of that cut, what remained turned out to be quite a fast-moving, compressed episode. Going into the second draft, the whole episode was heavily rewritten (with the scene with Flip and Davros in the cell being added, and the scene with the Doctor confronting Davros being extended) while more of the story turned out to be cut-able, starting with this entire scene:

SCENE 66. INT. CORRIDOR. DAY.

(FLIP AND DAVROS MOVING THROUGH PASSAGE)

FLIP:
You’re sure Jared will be alright?

DAVROS:
As I’ve disabled the security systems, he’ll be able to leave the Chateau undetected. After that, it’s up to him.

(DOOR OPENS)

DALEK:
What are you doing with the female prisoner? Report.

DAVROS:
I have been ordered to take her to the Supreme Dalek in the command chamber.

DALEK:
Proceed.

(THEY MOVE ON, DOOR CLOSES BEHIND THEM)

Then this was cut from scene 69 (formerly scene 70, see above)

SCENE 69. EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.

(BATTLE RAGING IN B/G)

PASCAL:
The British camp. If any of these men could see me, they would shoot me in an instant.

JARED:
So I suggest you keep your filter thing switched on.

PASCAL:
You said you knew the whereabouts of the Duke?

JARED:
Yeah, last time I saw him, he... hold up, here he is!

(THEY APPROACH)

Originally the character of Pascal survived longer into the episode, which created a small problem of allegiance addressed in this cut section from scene 71:

JARED:
And those are Grouchy’s troops. Must be about a hundred of them. (WHISPER) You okay about this, Pascal?

PASCAL:
No. But it has to be done.

JARED:
Okay. You just stay invisible, okay?

And this is his original death scene, cut from scene 73:

JARED:
Don’t mention it. Really. This mustn’t end up in any history books, it would look bad.

PASCAL:
(WHISPER) A history that will now tell how the Prussians marched to the aid of the British.

JARED:
(WHISPER) Listen mate, you did the right thing.

PASCAL:
Maybe so. But I have condemned thousands of my fellow countrymen to death.

JARED:
That was your Emperor. The – (Prussians)

MERCER:
Watch out! Skirmisher!

JARED:
A what –

(GUN SHOT)

PASCAL:
(HIT) I am no traitor.(DIES)

(SOUND OF PERCEPTION FILTER BEING SWITCHED OFF)

MERCER:
Who is this? Where did this dead Frenchman come from?

JARED:
His name was Captain Pascal. And he saved my life.

So there you go. Probably nonsensical out of context but maybe it gives you some idea how much work, how much rewriting,  and how many roads are gone down only to turn out to be wrong turnings in the process of writing a script. It’s all about boiling down and tightening up, utterly ruthlessly, without ego. And building a huge pile of deleted scenes on the cutting room floor.

Enough naval-gazing. Now, back to some actual writing.

2 comments:

  1. Dear prolific professional writer and expert Whovian. Apologies for hijacking this post, but I have a time paradox to ask you about.

    Thirty years ago, a nerdy girl of about 10 watched Nyssa of Traken witnessing the destruction of her homeworld without crying. Nyssa was brave and stoic and quiet in a way that recent Doctors would do well to emulate: she maintained a stiff upper lip and simply got on with the business of helping others. Deeply impressed, her 10-year-old fan decided that if Nyssa of Traken could gut her way through that, the 10-year-old should certainly be able to tough it out through juvenile rheumatoid arthritis without raising a fuss.

    Seasons changed, Doctors changed, and eventually some idiot pulled the plug on Who when some of us were still enjoying it, thank you very much. The creaky nerd girl grew up and blossomed into an adult nerd. At forty, she finally discovered that while her back was turned, some dedicated Whovians had spent fifteen YEARS creating new audio Who episodes with old friends. Prominent among these was one of her three favorite companions and childhood role model.

    Much BF purchasing and blowing through of Paypal funds later, I am now up to date on the Older Nyssa stories, although I can still look forward to about 20 of the younger Nyssa episodes.

    I have just finished listening to Prisoners of Fate. (And Butcher of Brisbane, Jupiter Conjunction AND Emerald Tiger within the past 48 hours. My brain is now twitching on the floor like the innards of an exploded Dalek.)

    Do you think it would cause a dangerous temporal paradox if I hopped back in time and beat on your computer with my cane until it was reduced to subelementary particles, so as to prevent you from writing that story and putting my imaginary friend of thirty years through the angst wringer?

    Just wondering.

    No, seriously, that story was brilliant, and I am so grateful for your characterizations of ALL the classic Who characters I love and remember. But I now have to go find a bad recording of the Time Monster or something equally cheesy to cheer me up.

    Or write fanfic.

    *mutters imprecations and heads off to open a text window*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiya,

      Thank you for your kind words. I think remaining stoic and selfless whilst having the most dreadful things happen to her is kind of the key to Nyssa's character. And so beautifully played by Sarah Sutton.

      The 'older Nyssa' storyline isn't quite over yet, so let's hope she gets that happy ending she deserves. But your imaginary friend of thirty years ago may be put through the wringer a little more.

      Jonny

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