5 Fans Who Do Doctor Who Better than the BBC
There are two really wonderful things about the era that we live in. No. 1: the ability of any entertainment vehicle to reach a worldwide audience with comparative ease. There's a reason we're still finding lost episodes of Doctor Who in sheds in Africa half a century after they were shipped there. Getting the word out used to be really hard and uncertain.
The second thing is that incredible film and television technology is so accessible to the average consumer that with a little practice and hard work virtually any fan can surpass many aspects of his favorite geek shows and movies themselves. That's a good thing because sometimes a show like Doctor Who sort of drops the ball in places.
These five fans not only pick up the ball. They run it all the way down field for a touchdown.
R. A. Mitchell: One clear area where the BBC is failing fans is that it doesn't seem really all that keen on keeping up with the vast world outside the show. I'm not talking about making sure that every single fact adds up and doesn't contradict itself across the novels, audio stories, and comics. I just mean making sure that they're accessible.
Consider the Eighth Doctor, who many met for the first time in "Night of the Doctor" recently. As I pointed out last week, getting to know some of his wider work outside of his 1996 television movie can be a huge headache. Especially his comic appearances, because Panini Books has allowed the first volume, Endgame, to go out of print.
Enter R. A. Mitchell, who has started not only preserving them online, but turning them into pretty spectacular motion comics. While Mitchell is no Paul McGann, he still has a pretty incredible voice that brings the stories to life. BBC is really missing out by not taking all these comics that they have lying around and turning them into motion comics along the lines of Buffy Season 8. It'd basically be printing money, but until then Mitchell has us covered.
Alisa Stern: Another thing that would be nice from the world of Doctor Who would be more content aimed at the 3 - 5 age group. My daughter loved the animated special Dreamland, but it's more or less the only one of its kind (Infinity Quest is rubbish). Dreamland is also not very good, with production values slightly below that of your regular straight-to-DVD Barbie releases.
Stern, an animator who has worked on quality shows like Team Umizoomi has outdone Dreamland amazingly with her Doctor Puppet series. The shorts are expertly crafted recreations of the various Doctors having minor adventures, and I can tell you from personal experience that it accomplishes ten times what any other official animated adventure has with far less. That BBC hasn't given Stern some sort of job producing these officially is kind of a travesty.
Xander David-Hugh and Billy Hanshaw: With a new Doctor coming in 2014 we'll almost certainly be getting a new title sequence that will define Peter Capaldi's new take on the role. At least two fans have made mock-ups of suggestions, and in both cases they are far superior to pretty much anything that has shown up in the actual show. The one up there comes from Xander David-Hugh, and is mostly a more action-packed and exciting version of the already killer Matt Smith/Jenna Coleman intro. If you'd like something a little more revolutionary, Billy Hanshaw has this. It's much more focused on time than space, and might be the better fit with the supposed quest for Gallifrey that fans are expecting to see.
1981Timelord: Though fans are grateful to Steven Moffat for filling in the last of the regeneration gaps in "The Day of the Doctor", it still felt like a gyp. John Hurt's War Doctor, worn out from the struggle, quietly and happily began his regeneration, but onscreen we see only the barest hint of Christopher Eccleston's eyes beginning to form on the new face.
So it's nice to see that someone like 1981Timelord was able to make it literally a million times more fantastic by fully completing the sequence using all the same material the BBC had at its disposal. Then again, he's got a lot of practice turning people into the Ninth Doctor. Before "Night of the Doctor" he also made what was probably the then-best possible regeneration sequence to fill the gap.
Stuart Humphryes: Better known as Babel Colour, Humphryes is, as far as I know, the only person on this list who has actually worked on Doctor Who officially. He was the person behind the colorization of "The Mind of Evil", and his skill at bringing the black and white era of the show into color is unmatched by any other.
Which is why it is really annoying the BBC doesn't use him for that more.
Whenever the show wants to incorporate footage of the first two Doctors, rather than have them colorized they just make every Doctor seen through a weird monochrome lens. Apparently Time Lords have Tardises but skyping in color is too much to ask.
Then, when Clara Oswald interacted with the First Doctor as he was preparing to flee Gallifrey, we finally got to see William Hartnell in color with a modern companion, the result was not even close to the clarity and realism that Humphyes brings to the table. As awesome as those moments from "The Name of the Doctor" were, they could have been even better in Babel Colour.
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