Open with this then
July 10, 2014 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Billy Hanshaw is a VFX artist, who being also a Whovian, decided not to wait to create a new opening title for the the next Doctor. It caught the attention of Radio Times, Huffington Post, BBC America, SFX magazine and members of the Doctor Who production team
posted by pjern (34 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, that's great. Love the use of the Seal of Rassilon.
posted by immlass at 8:02 AM on July 10

Answer: no, the BBC cannot top that opening.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:05 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]

I personally love it and think it's better looking than any of the official openings but it probably won't actually be used. The use of clocks, while brilliant, doesn't really match the whole "time corridor" thing that the show has always had. Also I don't know how Timelordy this season will be so the Seal of Rassilon may be a bit much.

Also, "Last of the Gaderene" by Mark Gatiss is funny as hell.
posted by charred husk at 8:06 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

Very nicely done! Catching the attention of those folks is terrific, and I hope it leads to some work opportunities.
posted by xingcat at 8:13 AM on July 10

Oooh, I LIKE that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on July 10

Wow, this is the better part of a year old. Nicely executed but I didn't like much about what was being executed. Actor surnames fading in before given names, okay, but when the surname fades out the overlapped portion of the given name isn't revealed, it's just sort of snipped off and it looks weird. The words "Panopticon Horologies" appear in large 3D type within the watch mechanism at the beginning; I'm pretty sure we don't want English text in the physical objects of the titles -- overlaid on them yes, but there's a distinction between depiction and description to be honored there. Also I don't know what it is: a brand name? Also, never been a fan of the titles that use the actors face and prefer the ones that don't but that's just me. Also, planets floating around too close together for their apparent size is a pet peeve of mine.

Yeah, I know one is supposed to just say "woo this is awesome" but I thought I'd put some constructive criticism into it just to be weird.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:45 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]

Wow, that is awful pretty. Gave me chills.
posted by Kitteh at 8:46 AM on July 10

Cogs seemed a bit of a tired idea but the swirly Roman numeral clock face was cool and as immlass says finishing on the seal is good. I'm not sure I like Capaldi smiling though, it doesn't look natural.
posted by biffa at 8:47 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

How many gears are there in a Doctor Who episode, really? Apart from Steampunk Big O.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 8:51 AM on July 10

I'm not sure I like Capaldi smiling though, it doesn't look natural.

You know what Peter Capaldi thinks of that?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:54 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Yeah, for all that it's about a time traveller, Doctor Who has mostly avoided the clocky-clocky-clock-clock genre cliche. Though Moffat may be more susceptible to it than other showrunners; gear symbols recur in the pandorica and the ultimate time war weapon and the mechanobaddies from The Girl In the Fireplace.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:55 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

You see so much fan created stuff online these days (which I think is a good thing), you get sort of 'meh' about almost all of it, but I think this is really neat and hope gets this guy some good work.

I like the creepy Capaldi smile because it reminds me of the creepy McCoy smile from days gone by.

I also like the watch/gears because it reminds me of the fop watch, which, given the newly regenerated Doctor may or may not have some memory problems and everything w/r/t the Time Lords has changed, is a nice reference to "Human Nature", which is basically "days gone by" for a large section of the current viewers anyway.

(For those keeping track of such things, more time has passed between the premiere of "Human Nature" and today than had between "An Unearthly Child" and the premiere of Pertwee's second season.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:03 AM on July 10

Reminds me (a little) of this.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:06 AM on July 10

The opening I want is the one that doesn't have the name "Moffatt" in it anymore.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:08 AM on July 10 [13 favorites]

All I can say is that I am counting the days until August 23.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:10 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

The titles for Doctor Who -- which are the only part of the show I've ever cared for, if I'm honest -- haven't been any good at all since 1996, when they shifted from psychedelic film and video effects set to otherwordly low-key electronic sounds to being a CGI TARDIS flying around CGI space dodging CGI credits while a frigging orchestra plays bombastically. It's just godawful. Ain't no kids hiding behind the couch when that shit comes on.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:20 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]

There is something phenomenally awesome and creepy about that original Hartnell opening, with the space-age electronic music and 2001-style slit-cam effects. Must've freaked the hell out of people in 1963.

I'm ok with the CGI TARDIS, but I'd really like them to go a different direction with the music. Currently, it sounds like a chamber orchestra backed up by a Casio drum machine.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:25 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, there's a definite clockwork gear motif -- though no visible gear tooth engagement -- to the overhead rotor disks in the newest TARDIS console room manifestation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:38 AM on July 10

Too clean a set of effects. The gears should look timeworn if you are going with that theme. I liked the clock spiral as a visual motif, but really this opening would've been best for a new 'Voyagers!'
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:39 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

I don't get the love for this opening. It looks like the sort of thing they would've done for the '96 movie. Timelord crap and clocks. We can do better. That said, the real one hasn't looked that distinctive. But I'd rather have that than distinctively BAD.
posted by rikschell at 9:54 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I'm with Sys Rq when it comes to the theme - I honestly couldn't concentrate on the titles because the orchestral desecration makes me so bloody angry.

(I'm aware that getting angry about the theme song to a telly programme is bonkers, but come on, it was the best one in the history of the medium and some fucker decided it needed zhushing up with weedy strings? Criminal.)
posted by jack_mo at 10:14 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

They should really open with the Orbital version, still the best.

As for the visuals, it's interesting, but one of the things I always liked about the original titles is that they were weird and trying something new. All of the modern incarnations of the title sequences are bog-standard CGI whooshing bits. Archer has a more distinctive title sequence, the BBC should reconsider what they're doing with one of their most valued shows.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:24 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

The original Doctor Who titles in 1963 were a mix of throbbing video feedback and avant-garde electronic music. It was unlike anything that anyone had seen or heard before, it was thrilling in its otherness, and it was brilliant. It defined the show for decades.

This video looks more like something from a well-budgeted CD-ROM circa 1996.
posted by Hogshead at 10:36 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]

They should really open with the Orbital version, still the best.

When I'm queen of the universe, Orbital will be making or at least picking all the music for Doctor Who.
posted by immlass at 11:14 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

Archer has a more distinctive title sequence

Yes, but Archer has a more distinctive title sequence than most shows.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:56 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

This video looks more like something from a well-budgeted CD-ROM circa 1996.

That is exactly what it looks like! Thank you, Hogshead.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:55 PM on July 10

I want Delia back in some form, whether remix or callback, to right the wrongs of JN-T's tragic, dated "futuristic" ruination of the titles for that hip decade of British progress that would produce lasting iconic wonders like the Sinclair C5, Come Back Mrs. Noah, and the grinding reign of Margaret Thatcher, and I'd love to see something that might fill people with that same itchy feeling of ominous magic that I felt when those two bands of psychedelic static popped onto the screen, then expanded around a stylized TARDIS and nicely simple imagery.

The best openings, in my mind, were always symbolic, not literal, and now they're sort of half-literal, except you never actually see a CGI TARDIS flipping around a CGI spacescape like a CGI Yoda whirling around like a little green bouncy ball in the actual program. The great thing about the TARDIS, to a kid for whom Star Trek was too macho and shouty and military, was that it didn't rush around like a jet—it just was puttered languidly around in a mostly unshown limbo and then arrived, departing with the same understatement, like a withering quip by a character in Wodehouse.

Of course, things change, and one can only wave his rake so much at the unstoppable march of fashion, but I'd much rather have something abstract and symbolic like this than the video game whizziness we've been getting thus far.
posted by sonascope at 1:31 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]

Yikes, correction in my grumpiness—Mrs. Noah was earlier than I thought.
posted by sonascope at 1:44 PM on July 10

it just was puttered languidly around in a mostly unshown limbo and then arrived, departing with the same understatement, like a withering quip by a character in Wodehouse.

posted by dng at 3:48 PM on July 10

I don't get the love for this opening. It looks like the sort of thing they would've done for the '96 movie.


Apart from making the Doctor half-human, the absolute worst thing the 1996 movie did was put a damn clock on the TARDIS console. For decades Doctor Who had deliberately averted that stupid trope, and for good reason. The TARDIS might be a time machine, but it's an alien time machine piloted by a mysterious near-immortal alien that can go anywhere in space. The current time and date according to, and in the format of, the calender used on much of late 20th century Earth is usually irrelevant and almost never comes up in any non-historical episode.

For that reason, I think the ubiquitous TARDIS roundel can be interpreted as a sort of anti-clock motif. They decorate the entire interior of the TARDIS and represent all the places that clocks would be if time, specifically Earth time, actually mattered. The series is no longer Doctor Who if you fill in all those voids with actual clocks or clockwork.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:15 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]

If you fill Doctor Who with clocks, it's just another show about a time machine.

Doctor Who has never been about a time machine.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:46 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I want to accuse you guys of beanplating, but at the same time, I kind of agree about the clock stuff.

RonButNotStupid, the clock on the console was just one small failure in that TARDIS set. It's a baroque nightmare. The 1996 movie isn't terrible, but that console room is just so wrong. (And Eric Roberts? Come on.)
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:05 PM on July 10

Wow, you weren't kidding - that original title sequence is creepy as hell and wonderful for it. I'm a little bit in love.

You were also incredibly not wrong about how horrid it is to watch it switch to 1998 screensavers.
posted by pseudonymph at 10:43 PM on July 10

While I'm doing my best to stay spoiler-free, supposedly the leaked Series 8 scripts include this credit line: "BBC Wales Graphics based on original idea by Billy Hanshaw"...
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:22 AM on July 14

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