In the long wait for Jodie Whittaker’s first Doctor Who series, fans are doing all they can to fill in the gap, from creating fanart and costumes of the Thirteenth Doctor to making up a fake (but very plausible) logo for the new run that fooled a LOT of people.
Elsewhere some fans are taking things even further, using VFX software and their own ingenuity to create new versions of the iconic Doctor Who opening credits for Whittaker’s first series.
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But while the practice of creating fake Doctor Who titles has gone on for years, it feels like there are slightly greater stakes these days. After all, Peter Capaldi’s opening credits were created in 2014 when one such fan’s video was spotted by Steven Moffat, with the now ex-showrunner bringing YouTuber Billy Hanshaw onboard to help create a new sequence based on his clockwork idea.
"I happened across it, and it was the only new title idea I'd seen since 1963,” Moffat said later. “We got in touch with him, and said, 'OK, we're going to do that one.'"
"I had to pinch myself because I didn't know if it was really happening," Hanshaw added, but it did – and then more recently something similar happened again, with Canadian VFX artist John Smith (not his real name) also hired by the series for some recent episodes after his own popular YouTube videos were noted by Moffat and the team.
So in that spirit of showcasing future talent, here are just a few of the fan-made Doctor Who opening sequences we’ve seen around the internet that got us even more excited for Jodie’s new adventures. And who knows? In a few months, we could be seeing a souped-up version of one of these videos ahead of the proper series.
Created by YouTuber Walrus is in the Matrix, this sequence uses an intriguing inkblot technique to update the opening credits, with a slow build to the main theme and an unusually boxy time vortex. Gotta love that callback to the original series credits behind the logo as well.
Meanwhile, this effort uses that fake logo that was making the rounds a few weeks ago in a sequence that sees the Tardis hurtling through space, asteroids and other intergalactic ephemera before pulling in through a picture of Whittaker’s Doctor, classic series-style (and also featured in the recent series starring Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi).
Interestingly, a few people also seem to be using the same fake title for the first episode – The Girl Who Fell to Earth.
And then we have this creation from Sam Millar, which takes a more abstract, minimalist look at the traditional sequence to great effect. Beginning with the Tardis doors opening, according to Millar himself the credits sequence is based on concepts from the science of cosmology and creates bright, dynamic versions of things like gravitational waves, branes, bubble universes and neutron star collisions. Like the fictional episode it promotes, it certainly is Something New.
Following the same theme, this version by YouTuber It’s A Guy Thing Animations forgoes the vortex almost entirely for a sequence including all sorts of scientific and sci-fi images (as well as a few familiar Doctor Who features).
Aaron S’s video uses some elements from the current sequence and a rather natty new vortex to create this mash-up of old and new, while sticking to the traditional “Tardis flying through a maelstrom” look of recent years.
And then there’s this one which, well, has to be seen to be believed…
Overall, then, there are plenty of ideas out there for new Head Writer Chris Chibnall and his team to factor in if they so choose. And if not, not to worry – making and watching them will still pass the time until the series returns later this year.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn