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Reverse Engineering Doctor Who Into Color

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the like-time-travel-for-real dept.

Sci-Fi 171

Lanxon writes "In 1967, the BBC set about junking its Doctor Who archive: a moment sci-fi fans wish they could travel back in time to prevent. There are 108 vintage episodes missing, but since 1978 a number have been rediscovered as 16mm black-and-white films. The BBC shot many of these series in color, but made monochrome copies for countries such as Australia, where many TV companies were still broadcasting in greyscale. The reels had sat in archives since. Now, the Doctor Who Restoration Team, an independent group contracted by the BBC, is using a new technique to regenerate The Doctor in color."

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171 comments

color (5, Funny)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762218)

The BBC shot many of these series in color

Since this is the BBC, they shot *none* of them in color but many of them in *colour*....

Re:color (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762236)

Since this is Slashdot, we pretend we are American and hence pretend to spell words

Re:color (3, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762456)

Well, there are more English speakers [wikipedia.org] in the USA than in England... So? We Win!

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762526)

Perhaps so, but you forgot about the rest of the world, like where I am, the EU, India, Oz, NZ...
Oh wait, this is slashdot and you're American and there is no rest of world.
Ps. Shouldn't you be speaking Spanish by now?

Re:color (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762724)

Actually, the US alone accounts for roughly half of all native English speakers in the world. And given that the rest of you guys can't settle on a particular dialect, I think it's a bit arrogant to suggest that our version isn't the dominant dialect.

But, I'm sure counting lower class Indians as English speakers despite the fact that they aren't being taught it is equally valid.

Re:color (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762840)

So it's all about numbers? Does this means that sms language will soon become the official English spelling? And I suppose 50 cents is more talented than Mozart because more people listen to hip hop than classical music?

Re:color (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763412)

Have you been to India recently? Pretty much everybody there speaks English - it's one of their two national languages (along with Hindi) and it's taught in schools. As they have so many local languages, English is often used between two Indians if one of them doesn't speak Hindi.

Re:color (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764032)

..but as a Second (third, fourth... ) Language the rest of the world outnumbers the US...

The US version is not dominant, nor the is British English, what is often called International English is ...

This has many small variations, spelling is optional, and pronunciation very regional, but it is distinctly not what is taught in US schools or UK schools ....

Re:color (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764284)

And given that the rest of you guys can't settle on a particular dialect, I think it's a bit arrogant to suggest that our version isn't the dominant dialect

We can't settle on a particular dialect here, either. I can barely understand someone from the NE seaboard; they seem incapable of pronouncing the letter R unless it starts a word. "Da dyam dwag is unda da cah!"

Folks in the south have too many Rs. "Warsh thayut thar winder!"

Then there's jive, ebonics, tex-mex, board-room, 133t5p33k, txt, and those are ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Re:color (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762884)

The U.S. doesn't have one dialect. If you did, you'd all sound the same. The United Kingdom doesn't have one dialect either, otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Londoner and a Scot.

It doesn't matter how many people there are in the U.S. speaking English. The original post was eluding to the fact that people in the U.K. spell the word with a "u".

Re:color (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763998)

I believe the term you are searching for is "accent", not "dialect". Especially in the US. Outside of a few slang words there is no difference between the language spoken in Boston, Miami, or Austin. The same goes for most other English speaking countries. You have different pronunciation, but the words and grammar are the same.

Re:color (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764326)

Sure there is. And furthermore, you'll find huge differences between different social and ethnic groups even within those cities. There's an infinite variety of subtle and not-so-subtle differences which constantly cross-pollinate. Any attempt to ring-fence something and declare it "standard English" is doomed.

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763472)

We gave you the language, kindly use it correctly

Re:color (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762432)

What, that old spelling flame again? A better flame would be being a Eurocentric jerk and lecturing us all on the superiority of PAL vs. NTSC.

Re:color (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762446)

I'm from North America. Canada to be precise. And I would like you yanks to learn to spell as well. =)

Re:color (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762696)

I'm from North America. Canada to be precise. And I would like you yanks to learn to spell as well. =)

Have you got a spell for that Potter?

Re:color (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764244)

Please also teach them to pronounce the letter "z" correctly, and soon - I'm running out of places to hide the bodies.

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762710)

There's a reason why NTSC is said to be a shorthand for Never Twice the Same Color (obviously not colour :-))

Re:color (1)

AGMW (594303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763184)

There's a reason why NTSC is said to be a shorthand for Never Twice the Same Color (obviously not colour :-))

... and presumably no reason why PAL was known as Pale And Lurid?

Re:color (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763476)

"Perfection At Last"?

Re:color (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34764248)

Some NTSC user once commented "Pay for Added Luxury"...

Anybody have any good ones for SECAM? (that's the invented by the French, for the French, because we're French - that's why you uncultured Anglophones...)

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763132)

Don't the French use SECAM?

Please - it's Anglocentric jerk, not Eurocentric.

Re:color/colour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762504)

Dude, the Rolling Stones just called. They said you aren't taking The Mick anywhere.

Re:color (1)

yfjyb (1970810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762952)

When they started rerunning the old episodes in Australia a few years back I really enjoyed them. [replica.hk]

Re:color (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763568)

The point being that 'the BBC' didn't destroy these tapes, at most, ONE or TWO idiots who worked for the BBC destroyed these tapes - and you can bet your bottom dollar that they were managers, arrogant tossers with an overblown sense of their own importance, who destroyed forever all the hard work of scores of people, which can never be replicated.

Thanks for that, BBC!

I notice we are never given the NAMES of the idiots behind these decisions. Somebody must know who they are.

technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762224)

The article says that they are using color information that was on the b&w prints. Not really reverse engineering, but still cool.

Re:technique (5, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762450)

It almost is reverse engineering. The chroma subcarrier in a video signal has a center frequency picked to allow the sidebands to fall between those of the main lumanance (black and white) video. The spectrum of those extends out from the main visual carrier frequency (or up from D.C. for the baseband signal) at multiple of the horizontal scan rate. The goal was to add color broadcast information to an existing greyscale system while introducing a minimal amount of interference. Here people are figuring out what is going on from the visual interference.

The added signal amplitude represents the amount of color added/subtracted from the greyscale white, and the phase represents the hue. The phase of the signal is compared with a short burst (a minimum of eight cycles) sent just after the horizontal sync pulse prior to the start of video on each scan line. PAL, as used by the BBC, is very similar to NTSC, except the scan rates differ, the phase of the reference signal is inverted on every other line to help cancel out the effect of small phase errors on tint.

Basically, those trying to recover color from the back and white films of on-air video have to use a comb filter to pick off the frequency (precisely related to the inverse of the spacing) of the resulting dots that are there from the color signal. The position of the dots from left to right carries the phase information. Considering that the dot pattern is probably quite weak, the resulting color would be noisy. Depending on the filtering used, the bandwidth (detail) may also suffer. But it is still a good starting point to know what the colors were.

The dots aren't on/off like pixels. It's actually a sinusoidal intensity variation. I recall some older Zenith B&W sets had particularly good detail (and maybe some video peaking - enhancement) making it easy to see which programs were broadcast in color, and what parts of the picture were deeply saturated. In addition to a notch in the video response at 4.5 MHz to filter out patterns from the sound, some sets rolled-off or notched centered at 3.58 MHz (3.579545 actually) video response to reduce the interference. Better later sets (and color generally) used "comb" filters to separate the interleaved spectral components without those loss of detail seen with more primitive methods. Failure to filter color signals could cause wild colors/patterns on things like striped neck-ties when a shot zoomed in/out.

It's pleasing to see that there are still a few around that understand the old analog technology well enough to realize there were visual color cues remaining. Even those that understand the electronics well often don't associate a particular visual characteristic with the responsible signal attributes.

Although partial signal recovery is easy to envision with analog electronics, something along the lines of a GIMP/Photoshop plugin could work as well. Some might think of it as being similar to watermark detection.

Re:technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762762)

+1 informative.... well done, sir!

Re:technique (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763142)

My mom told me once she was watching a black and white TV with her family, and someone walked on the screen with green hair. Everyone watching the TV instantly started laughing because the guy had green hair. I don't entirely understand your post, but it does verify that my mom was not crazy, and average people watching in those days could distinguish even if they didn't know what was going on.

Re:technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763290)

"the guy had green hair. I don't entirely understand your post, but it does verify that my mom was not crazy,..."

No, she was colorblind, it was a redhead.

Re:technique (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763676)

"the guy had green hair. I don't entirely understand your post, but it does verify that my mom was not crazy,..."

No, she was colorblind, it was a redhead.

At least she was polite enough not to comment on his transparent trousers. You were really naive to think she was laughing at his green hair.

Re:technique (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763870)

My mom told me once she was watching a black and white TV with her family, and someone walked on the screen with green hair. Everyone watching the TV instantly started laughing because the guy had green hair. I don't entirely understand your post, but it does verify that my mom was not crazy, and average people watching in those days could distinguish even if they didn't know what was going on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_with_Green_Hair [wikipedia.org]

Re:technique (1)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763432)

Good show, old chap, well done indeed. I, for one, miss the smell of hot dusty valves, and the high pitched whine of an ageing flyback transformer.

dumb question but why doesn't it just work? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763668)

I am sure this is a dumb question but why doesn't it just work? If the colour subcarrier is there then why doesn't it just show in colour when displayed on a colour TV? I thought this was why some patterned ties, shirts, etc. with fine monochrome lines would show as a glittering rainbow of colours.

Re:dumb question but why doesn't it just work? (2)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763762)

If the colour subcarrier is there then why doesn't it just show in colour when displayed on a colour TV?

I think the point is that the color subcarrier isn't there; all you have are the errors from the color subcarrier bleeding into the luminance part and now those errors are being used to extrapolate and restore color to the film.

Re:dumb question but why doesn't it just work? (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763804)

" ... Why doesn't it just work ... "

Because colour TVs don't interpret chroma dots to display colour, they use three different signals for RGB. Engineers would have had to build chroma-dot interpretation into the colour TVs.

Things don't just work. They have to be made to work. Are you in middle management by any chance?. Do you use the phrase "Make it so Number One"?

Sorry this is wrong (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763960)

" ... Why doesn't it just work ... " Because colour TVs don't interpret chroma dots to display colour, they use three different signals for RGB. Engineers would have had to build chroma-dot interpretation into the colour TVs. Things don't just work. They have to be made to work. Are you in middle management by any chance?. Do you use the phrase "Make it so Number One"?

I know enough to know this is wrong, PAL uses a colour difference signal. Fine patterns in the luminance signal do show up as colours, check patterns would often show as strobeing colour on older colour TVs.

And now for the nerdery. (5, Informative)

thechao (466986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762266)

So the article was devoid of anything of particular interest other than some jargon. The jargon, on the other hand, led to fascinating little technique about reconstructing the color of the grayscale image from "chroma dots". The actual method was discovered by a BBC engineer, and you can read more about it here: colour-recovery.wikispaces.com.

Re:And now for the nerdery. (5, Informative)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762772)

Complementing TFA is the restoration team's FAQ [iwillvoice.com], which covers some of the non-technical details involved.

Re:And now for the nerdery. (5, Interesting)

dugeen (1224138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763428)

What you won't find in the FAQ is a list of all the changes the 'Restoration' Team have made to the stories - not only have they painted out boom shadows, camera reflections etc, but they've also messed up these changes on numerous occasions, resulting in missing sound effects, actors being left out of credits, credit backgrounds being the wrong colour, and everyone in Black Orchid looking like they're wearing bright red lipstick. But you can find a list here: http://tinypaste.com/c5441e [tinypaste.com]

Re:And now for the nerdery. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763708)

They are human, for god's sake. Maybe they shouldn't be going into making corrections, but I am happy that they are there. They are working to try to help partially fix the massive mistakes the BBC unknowingly made so long ago. They are doing some yeoman like work, so please don't completely diss them.

Re:And now for the nerdery. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764258)

This is an informal working group devoted to the advancement of technology for the recovery of PAL colour information embedded within B&W film telerecordings

In other words, they are just doing a software decoder of a composite PAL signal (which has been encoded on monochrome film).

Rev the wrong thing (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762270)

Can they reverse engineer the scripts instead? Color or black and white, those old episodes are damn unwatchable. We'd be better off giving Wikipedia descriptions of the episodes to the writing staff of Golden Girls. Those old droning 5-part episodes would be turned into 22.5 minutes of tightly scripted comedy starring Bea Arthur as the Doctor. And any of the other old hags as K-9.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (3, Funny)

tuffy (10202) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762286)

Color or black and white, those old episodes are damn unwatchable.

108 of them are, at least.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (3)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762426)

To be honest, I have not been able to really get into old Doctor Who at all. I've tried watching City of Death (I think that was it) multiple times, as I heard it was one of the better Fourth Doctor adventures, but when I watch it, the acting is too poor to really be able to enjoy it. I really want to experience the history of the series, as I love the revival to death. I guess it's just not for me. :/

Re:Rev the wrong thing (4, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762576)

You might consult the Doctor who ratings guide [pagefillers.com]. Look under "Televised Adventures".
Many people like Pyramids of Mars, and the Talons of Weng Chiang, though the latter isn't particularly culturally sensitive. Genesis of the Daleks is another keeper.

Personally, I started with The Power of Kroll.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (5, Insightful)

heironymous (197988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762802)

Many people like Pyramids of Mars, and the Talons of Weng Chiang, though the latter isn't particularly culturally sensitive.

I agree, but there's a wonderful moment when Tom Baker exclaims something like, "Wait a minute, you're Chinese," as if that visually obvious fact had eluded him up to that point. Made quite an impression on my young mind, that an alien -- even a super intelligent one -- would be less capable of seeing our trivial differences. To be truly unprejudiced, we must see through better eyes.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763794)

Personally, I'd start with An Unearthly Child and continue chronologically with the highlights.

I understand it may be too much for some people, like a DBZ marathon, but it's important to see the context and evolution. A brief skim through doctors 1-2, then settle in and watch most remaining Pertwee, then watch 4, 5, 6 and 7. Once finished go back and watch the ones you missed. Then start on the reconstructions and consider whether the new series is worth it.

Of course for this you need an experienced Who fan to set up the "playlist" of early episode.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764276)

To be honest, I have not been able to really get into old Doctor Who at all. I've tried watching City of Death (I think that was it) multiple times, as I heard it was one of the better Fourth Doctor adventures, but when I watch it, the acting is too poor to really be able to enjoy it. I really want to experience the history of the series, as I love the revival to death. I guess it's just not for me. :/

You should try reading the books instead, great sci-fi. Not trying to make a lot of deep social commentary or impress by being Literature, but thoroughly digestable if you're looking for some pseudo pulp.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762598)

When they started rerunning the old episodes in Australia a few years back I really enjoyed them. The acting wasn't real good, the fight scenes (fist fights etc) were so bad they were funny, and the strings holding up the dalek's spaceship were visible and it rocked side to side, but I still really enjoyed them.

Re:Rev the wrong thing (4, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762670)

When they started rerunning the old episodes in Australia a few years back I really enjoyed them. The acting wasn't real good, the fight scenes (fist fights etc) were so bad they were funny, and the strings holding up the dalek's spaceship were visible and it rocked side to side, but I still really enjoyed them.

They had not mastered String Theory at the time.

There's Good News and Bad News... (4, Funny)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762328)

The good news is that they've figured out how to restore colour to the B&W negatives. The bad news is that it requires Kodachrome processing...

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (5, Informative)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762352)

Actually, the process by which they're recovering the colour data is very interesting:
http://www.insell.co.uk/colourisation/Recovery_of_Colour_Information_0-2.htm [insell.co.uk]

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764296)

This is the same sort of thing the NTSC video filters for game console emulators do internally to get the same picture you'd get on a TV.

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (2)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762366)

The good news is that they've figured out how to restore colour to the B&W negatives. The bad news is that it requires Kodachrome processing...

No problem there at all. Just use the Tardis and go back to the heyday of Kodachrome processing. For this...it really helps to use a Time Lords trick of thinking inside the box.

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762736)

That's silly, if you're going to go to that trouble, you may as well go back to 1967 and stop the films from being destroyed. Or better yet, take them out of the bin and bring them back to the 21st century.

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (2)

heironymous (197988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762816)

That's silly, if you're going to go to that trouble, you may as well go back to 1967 and stop the films from being destroyed. Or better yet, take them out of the bin and bring them back to the 21st century.

Sorry, can't. Since they were actually destroyed, messing up the timeline is a no-no.

Oh, but wait! We could copy them and put the originals back. Argh, can't do that either. Curses, RIAA.

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (3, Insightful)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763046)

No, but what if someone convinced the BBC to knock off 6 more copies [wikipedia.org], then sealed them up in a wall so they could be picked up later and sold to collectors?

Yeah, sure, they'd have "This is a fake" scrawled all over them, but since a copy by the original producer can't really be a fake...

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763052)

Oh, but wait! We could copy them and put the originals back. Argh, can't do that either. Curses, RIAA.

(Studies the 10th and 11th Doctors' crib sheets) -- That's it! Time CAN be rewritten!

(One round trip later) What, exactly, were you referring to by the nonsense acronym 'RIAA'?

Re:There's Good News and Bad News... (1)

pgfuller (797997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763500)

They did. However the Doctor's sidekick left an iPod behind. Kodak engineers reverse engineered it leading to the creation of cheap consumer digital electronics. The inevitable demise of analog technology and analog recordings followed as a natural consequence. Um...Where were we...

not so new, but still cool (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762360)

this isn't a new technique - TFA even says it's a refinement of a technique that's been used before.

damn cool though, to get the crap from the colour subcarrier that spilled into the luma image and re-generate the original from it.

good thing those old kinescopes were in focus!

Excellent (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762420)

"Computer Science: it works, bitches!"

For a taste of recolored Who, see Babelcolour's videos [youtube.com] (hand-recolored, frame by frame)

Re:Excellent (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763374)

"This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."
Got a torrent?

I wonder if they can use the same technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762476)

to put some taste back into their food.

C'mon people! The war is OVER!

Standard Slashdot nitpick intended to earn a +3 (-1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762506)

...but since 1978 a number have been rediscovered as 16mm black-and-white films.

I'm so sick of black and white photography being referred to as not being in color. White contains all of the colors, they're just at the same intensity. They shouldn't be calling it 'colorizing' them, they're actually de-colorizing them! Gah! Use the right terminology!

nitpicking the nitpick (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762648)

Since in this case, film is meant to be run through a projector of some sort, the "white" areas are actually transparent, and the "gray" areas are, well, transparent areas that are partially obscured by black pigments.

And AC simply because I don't care about karma whoring.

Why couldn't they have lost the right ones? (2)

linguizic (806996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762516)

Like everything from Colin Baker. Seriously, aside from Peri's chest, there was nothing of interest in those episodes.

Re:Why couldn't they have lost the right ones? (3, Informative)

Spacelem (189863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763444)

I did enjoy some of the Colin Baker episodes. Seriously, the guy did an amazing job considering the crap they were putting it through, and it's the producer John Nathan-Turner who would have been better lost, as he seemed determined to make the series die a slow death. Being forced to retake scenes requiring strong emotions multiple times just because "that prop in the background still isn't quite right" must have been soul destroying for the actors.

The good news is that Colin Baker is still doing Doctor Who via the Big Finish Productions [bigfinish.com], where he is given good scripts and is well liked among fans. Nicola Bryant seems to have settled into the role well too, and no longer sounds like she's about to burst into tears after every sentence.

Re:Why couldn't they have lost the right ones? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763730)

I love the sixth doctor in the Big Finish episodes. BF has really allowed him to dig into the dark side of the character and do some complex stories that JNT would of never allowed. Colin Baker showed up at a really bad time at the franchise when they made some really bad decisions about the direction of the show (i.e... giving the Doctor too many unlikeable properties at once, too much domestic fighting in the Tardis, a horrible costume idea, etc..)

Not a bad idea. (1)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762586)

At least, if they restrict this to those serials that were originally shot in color. I would be a bit uncomfortable if the older, black and white originally, serials were colorized.

Re:Not a bad idea. (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762760)

If you read the article, they're actually recovering some of the colors from the originally color serials. This means it doesn't have to be done all by hand. Hand-coloring the originally B&W serials would take a lot longer and require rather more artistic license.

Re:Not a bad idea. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762766)

I take it you weren't a fan of the colorized version of Casablanca?

Re:Not a bad idea. (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762826)

I take it you weren't a fan of the colorized version of Casablanca?

The one with the happier ending?

Re:Not a bad idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762900)

the parent obviously means Barb Wire.

Re:Not a bad idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763712)

I take it you weren't a fan of the colorized version of Casablanca?

Even worse was when Turner colorized the black & white parts of the Wizard of Oz!

Cheaper to re-film? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762944)

From TFA:

"It's very, very labour intensive -- several hundred man hours' work every episode," says Roberts.

Given the production quality of the original, I'd have thought it cheaper and quicker to redo it in the manner of Jack Black's "Be Kind, Rewind".
Unlike the old movies featured in that, they might have made improvements to "Dr. Who?".

Facts (4, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762968)

The article is a bit dubious on facts. While it is true that the videotapes of the series were being wiped in the 1960s, the film telerecordings/kinescopes were not being junked until 1972, and went on for about 6 years. Also, Steve Roberts is not 35! I knew him for a while; I'm currently 39 and he is at least a few years older than me!

The politics behind the Chroma Dot story is intriguing and in some places unpleasant. The instigator of the team was James Insell, and a method was created to perform the chroma dot extraction by a man named Richard Russell. Insell became a bit proprietorial over it all, and he and Russell parted ways, and now Russell it doing it alone. The original Colour extraction blog is here [wikispaces.com] but they don't seem to have made any huge advances since Russell left. There is some more info, plus a link to Russell's own work (including software download) on my own Dr.Who webpage here [paullee.com]

For their next trick... (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763264)

A method of digitally replacing, Jon Pertwee, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann with... I don't know ... Ewan McGregor or anyone!

Overcomplicated (1)

gafisher (865473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763482)

All they really need to do is to give the prints to Turner [reelclassics.com].

Re:Overcomplicated (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763690)

All they really need to do is to give the prints to Turner [reelclassics.com].

I t6hink they are basically doing the same thing but extracting the original colour from vestigial chroma signals, rather than using what some artist thinks the colours were like..

Doctor who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763594)

No, really.

more proof (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764100)

This along with the MGM fire that destroyed the original Tom and Jerry prints, is more proof of how piracy can help us. If this stuff had been pirated all over the net like it would be today, it wouldn't have been lost in the first place. Hopefully they would have used a loss less format though... :-)
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