|6 – Gene Genius|
|The Projection Room serial|
The DVD cover for Gene Genius.
• John Field (Third Doctor)
• Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor)
• Sophie Aldred (Ace)
• Gordon England – Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
• Philip Newton – Dr. Theodore McRowin
• Susan Gibson – Dr. Judith Kent
• Chris Hoyle – Prof. Sid Topham
• Johnathan Banes, Alex Andreou – Cyber Leader
• Scott Buchanan, Jessica Bailey, Neil Edmonds, Philip Elliot, Tom Bawden, Gordon England – Cybermen
• Johnathan Banes, Nadia House, Ashley Frame, Jamie Roberts, James Ferity, Tom Warren, Nicky Eckes, Neil Edmonds, Scott Buchanan – U.N.I.T Troops
• Leon Asiq, Karl Otter, Chris McLay, Zoe Binns, Jonathan Barley, James Atkinson, Doug McLaughlan, Martin Dodgson – Research Assistants
|Series||The Projection Room|
|Length||3 episodes, 55 minutes|
|Originally broadcast||August 2004 (DVD)|
|← Preceded by||Followed by →|
| The Daemons (Third Doctor)|
Survival (Seventh Doctor)
| Day of the Daleks (Third Doctor)|
Doctor Who (1996 film) (Seventh Doctor)
Deserving a well-earned break, the Brigadier has elected to spend a fortnight at his quiet country cottage, and has invited the Doctor down for a pleasant afternoon tea.
But a quiet afternoon with the Brigadier soon leads to a potentially serious threat to humanity as the Doctor begins to suspect a recently-established research team are harbouring one of his oldest adversaries...
Frustrated by the Doctor's obsessions the Brigadier is not convinced, but when the theft of sophisticated research equipment leads back to The Chimera Project it becomes clear that the Doctor could be onto something and U.N.I.T need to act fast if catastrophe is to be averted...
Unlike the rest of The Projection Room's catalogue, this story stands as a one-off production, not least because it features two TV Doctors - John Field ably portraying the third (Pertwee) incarnation, whilst Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred generously reprise their roles as the Seventh Doctor and "Ace".
In terms of TV series canon, as a third Doctor adventure this story could easily bridge the gap between The Daemons and Day of the Daleks, insofar as the Doctor uses Bessie as his main mode of transport rather than the TARDIS, and the Master is the lead villain. For the Seventh Doctor, Gene Genius could really fit anywhere between Survival and the Doctor Who movie.
'Gene Genius' was suggested/requested by David and Julie Banes as a gift for their son, Johnathan, who was a keen fan of the series and the Seventh Doctor & Ace in particular. The Banes' knew John Field, Gordon England, and Phil Newton through their visits to the "Doctor Who Exhibition" in Llangollen, Wales, where John Field did a lot of promotional work. On finding out about Masterplan, they suggested that the team produce a story that would incorporate John Field as the Third Doctor, Phil Newton as the Master, Gordon England as the Brigadier, and could also involve Johnathan and his friends as Cybermen and U.N.I.T troops.
The Third Doctor elements were scripted first, forming three 15-minute episodes, and much of the action was set in or around the Banes' family home - a large converted country forge - which doubled as the Brigadier's cottage. During the weekend of filming this material, in July 2003, Julie and David suggested involving Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in the adventure, the idea being that they could record their scenes during a garden party for Johnathan's birthday in October 2003.
As a consequence the Seventh Doctor & Ace scenes were incorporated at the beginning and end of the adventure to form an introduction and resolution to the main story. This lengthened the first and last episodes - episode three gained almost ten minutes of extra material - and the finished production ended up running to 56 minutes in duration.
The October shoot was very successful - on the Sunday morning the Cybermen-U.N.I.T battles were shot, along with the dramatic pyrotechnic conclusion to the story, and all the McCoy/Aldred material was shot during the afternoon, despite inevitable logistical issues with trying to coordinate location-filming around a barbecue and garden party!
There was, however, still a quantity of interior and location material needed for 'The Chimera Project', and this was recorded during November 2003 at the Rugby League HQ in Leeds as well as Foxwood School (where the Beiderbecke serials were recorded in the 1980s) and a hospital outside St.Albans.
To add verisimilitude to the story being set in 1971, friends of the group generously provided 1970s cars for one day's location work, and served as extras in contemporary clothing! The Bessie replica - called McGinty - was generously loaned by Pauline Boyle from the "Doctor Who Exhibition" in Llangollen.
Editing was finally finished in August 2004 and a screening was held at Bar Censsa, Leeds, before the final unveiling at Johnathan's next birthday in October 2004.
Incidental music was made by Tristram Cary and Dudley Simpson, whereas Special sound was made by Brian Hodgson. Roy H. Schile was the camera operator, and Glen Savage & Co. again provided Visual Effects. Cath Astell returned for Custumes & Props in this serial. The "Cyber-costumes" were provided by David Banes and Billy Elliot, and the TARDIS was provided by Colin Jones. Sound and lighting was done by Ric Hoshley. Incubation Cabinets were courtesy of DJ Designs. The locations were organised by David and Julie Banes, as well as Chris Hoyle, who also edited and directed the serial.