New Doctor Who title sequence inspired by fan video

Motion graphics specialist Billy Hanshaw impressed Steven Moffat so much with his fan-made intro, that the showrunner decided to harness his ideas…

If you’re a dedicated follower of Doctor Who viral hits, then the opening title sequence for series eight – set to be revealed on Saturday 23rd August – may appear a tad familiar. That’s because showrunner Steven Moffat and co were so impressed by a fan’s interpretation of what Peter Capaldi’s intro should look like, that they went ahead and made it official. 


Billy Hanshaw, a motion graphics specialist from Leeds, uploaded his own take on the titles in September last year, openings with a swooping shot through the gears of a clock before the Tardis spins into view, spiralling through a surrealist vortex of clock faces. The title of the show then appears over the Seal of Rassilon, before dissolving into the show’s trademark shot of the Doctor. It became a viral hit on YouTube, notching over 700,000 views.

Watch it below.  

When covered the fan video last year, we did say that there was no way the BBC could top it themselves, and that they should give Billy a call. We’re going to pretend that they listened. 

Speaking at a premiere of series eight’s opening episode of Deep Breath in New York, Moffat explained how the new title sequence came to be. 

“Hanshaw created this title sequence, put it up on YouTube. I happened across it, and it was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963. We got in touch with him, and said, ‘OK, we’re going to do that one.’”

The result is very similar to Hanshaw’s original, with only a few adaptions and flourishes being added to the official product. And Hanshaw himself, of course, receives a credit for the title sequence in the show’s closing credits. 

See the finished work for yourself when Doctor Who returns to BBC1 with series eight opener Deep Breath at 7:50pm on Saturday 23rd August.  


The Doctor Who issue of the new Radio Times iPad and iPhone edition features an exclusive animated cover and photo galleries, a 68-page bonus magazine looking back at the 10th anniversary of Doctor Who, an interview with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s series-eight episode guide

Download the Doctor Who Radio Times iPad/iPhone edition now