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'Doctor Who' title sequence was inspired by fan's film

Season 8 of the re-booted version of the science-fiction series is to premiere Saturday on BBC and BBC America.
By Karen Butler   |   Aug. 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat says the new title credit sequence for the iconic science-fiction series was inspired by a fan-made film posted on the Internet.

The program first aired in 1963 and has featured 12 actors as the titular time lord. Peter Capaldi officially takes over the role in Saturday's Season 8 premiere of the re-booted version of the series on BBC and BBC America. He briefly appeared in the Season 7 finale, Matt Smith's last episode as the regenerating Doctor.

Moffat talked about the show's new opening at a recent press conference in New York.

"Our new title sequence, beautiful new title sequence, which I think is stunning, is online Doctor Who fandom," Moffat explained.

"Billy Hanshaw just decided to make a Doctor Who title sequence," Moffat continued. "He put it up on YouTube. And I happened across it and I thought it was the only new idea for a Doctor Who title scene since 1963. And we got in touch and we said, 'OK, we're going to do that one.' So, I suppose when we talk about Doctor Who fandom online, that's what we should be talking about. Not all the random madness and hate-filled nonsense that goes on, but we should be talking about the extraordinary creative response that there is to Doctor Who. That we give them a show and they give us our show back, sometimes better. That's amazing because so many times, and there's a couple of examples sitting in front of you, there's something magical about Doctor Who that makes the people, some of the people who watch it, actually want to do it. Actually want to make it. Actually want to go and make Doctor Who or make another show. Or even more bizarrely, this is the one I can't get my head around, it makes some people and it has succeeded in this... It makes some people want to be scientists, presumably so they can look back at Doctor Who and think: 'Wow. They made that [expletive] up, didn't they?' ... The most important thing is that [there's] an extraordinary creative response to Doctor Who that is almost unique to Doctor Who and that's all we should look at. It has turned people into actors. It has turned people into writers. It has turned people into scientists. That's an extraordinary thing. And that title sequence, which I'm so proud of, is a result. That's online Doctor Who. That's the real part of it, that's the real story."

"The level of creativity is extraordinary and the constant use of taking clips and mashing them up and putting different music and doing their own versions of the same thing," noted Capaldi, who was sitting with Moffat and his co-star Jenna Coleman on the panel. "You're seeing kind of an organic film -- embryonic filmmakers -- at work. Working with new technology and doing it to levels of excellence, which are quite extraordinary."

"It is the cradle of the next generation of creative," Moffat added. "And, bizarrely, scientists. I don't know why that is. I hate to think what they might try and reproduce from our show, but there we go."

"Amazing artwork, as well," offered Coleman. "Really amazing artwork. It's just nice to provoke a response, I suppose."

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