Story to come in the next couple of days!
OR… Doctor Who and the Eleven Doctors
OR… Doctor Who and the Memories of a Time Lord
Or… Whatever you want to call it
Finally it is done!
Ok, well… that’s kind of a lie. I am writing this on Thursday, October 13th and will fill in details as they become available. As it truly stands (for me – in this moment), there are still some audio fixes in the beginning and the whole final scene to shoot with the First Doctor and Susan.
A couple of years ago now, my friend Bob Mitsch had made connections with the owner of the TARDIS console from the 1996 TV movie featuring the Seventh and Eighth Doctors. Paul Salamoff, the aforementioned owner, was kind enough to let us visit the console – this amazing piece of nerd history – and take some pictures with it. Bob Mitsch himself has put together a number of amazing costumes over time including Doctors, companions and monsters. Standing at the console and considering all of the resources available to us, I knew that we had to shoot something.
But what? Living in LA, I thought it might be neat to do something that embraced the scenery. I wanted to do something new and am pretty sure we haven’t really seen The Doctor in Hollywoodland before. I wrote a twenty-something page script. The idea was that a former companion of The Doctor’s had written down their adventures wtih him and sold them as Hollywood scripts, becoming a successful film executive. I liked it. I mean, I thought it was really cool, but it was a bit adventurous. It ended with a music video montage of Doctors Four and Eleven along with Amy Pond exploring the Los Angeles landmarks.
It was too long.
Also – Bob and others have put serious effort into some pretty amazing costumes. If we have costumes for each of the eleven Doctors, I didn’t want to limit it to just two or three of them. Bob ALSO has an amazing Cyberman costume that I’ve wanted to put in some sort of project.
I also had access to a Dalek. I really have no idea why we didn’t use it.
AND NOW it is DECEMBER 12th… I had to rewrite the last scene because I couldn’t score an edit bay (as a location). I’m pretty happy with it.
So here are the preemptive notes:
* The majority of people in this video are not actors; merely passionate fans doing me a favor.
* ”Your wig for Eleven is terrible!” - - I know. It’s what we were stuck with.
* ”Your accent is terrible!” – - I know. Perhaps the First Doctor was right: maybe I shouldn’t try the accent if I can’t do it convincingly.
* ”The 5th Doctor’s hair is supposed to be blonde!” – - I know. I wasn’t going to ask Brad to dye his hair.
* “You used a semi-colon improperly in the first preemptive note!!” - – Sorry, you’re probably right.
* I don’t play guitar. It shows. Sorry.
* “The TARDIS time rotor isn’t supposed to have those white arcing lights on it!” – - How do you know? You’ve only seen it in one adventure.
* ”The Master’s TCE shrinks people to DEATH! And he can’t bring them back to normal size, what the heck?!” – - Hey now, we’re trying to have fun.
* “How come when the 2nd Doctor come out of his timeline he’s in color, but when the 1st Doctor is seen he is still in black and white?” – - I’ll explain later.
I’m sure other notes will arise. Please keep in mind that I’m far from perfect and we were trying to have fun.
So GREAT thanks to Paul Salamoff http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/PaulSalamoffFanPage
Not only does Paul own the 8th Doctor’s TARDIS console [and that Dalek], but he’s a very accomplished writer and producer of science fiction.
And also the great Bob Mitsch. Not only did he supply the majority of the costumes, but he helped wrangle fans from his nerd army to help play characters in this. He’s also a great friend.
And another great friend, the incomparable Rick Schultz. Rick shot this, edited it, did all the special effects and also co-directed. Furthermore, he’s more creative than I am. When I first had the idea for this, the band was going to be playing in an all-white environment (all E-Space like), and the TARDIS was just going to have a black background. Rick convinced me that he could make them cool. To be honest, I think a big part of the reason he took this on was to see what he was capable of doing with the effects (but mostly he did it simply to help me out).
And here’s the official cast list:
First Doctor: Scott Sebring
Second Doctor: Bob Mitsch
Third Doctor: Ewan Anderson
Fourth Doctor: Bob Mitsch
Fifth Doctor: Brad Hansen
Sixth Doctor: Aubrey West
Seventh Doctor: Chad Knueppe
Eighth Doctor: CJ DeAngelus
Ninth Doctor: Kevin Kittridge
Tenth Doctor: Blevin Blittridge
Eleventh Doctor: Shmevin Shmittridge
The Master: Michael Weinstein
The Cyberman: Bob Mitsch
Kevin Kittridge: Herman Vreshi Von Drake
Susan Foreman: Jody Houser
Zoe Harriot: Teri Samuels
Jamie McCrimmon: Van Donovan
Nyssa of Traken: Katharine Forman
Ace: Erin Logan
Amy Pond: Athena Stamos
So I hope you like it. If you find yourself in the Los Angeles area, you should check out my improv group.
I Want To Be There Again,
So Bob… you writing an adventure for us to shoot or what?
Back in February I went to the Doctor Who convention here in Los Angeles. The main selling point this year for me was the fact that The Fifth Doctor [Peter Davison] would be appearing. I’ve been watching Doctor Who since I was 12 or so, and he’s always been my favorite but I’d never met him. The foremost objective of the day: get my picture with him.
This was to be relatively easy, as there were scheduled photo ops throughout the weekend. As I sat in line, dressed as his character from 30 years ago, I worked out how pitch my photo idea to him. Then it happened. This was clearly a “step up, smile, *flash*, move along” situation so I didn’t have much time to explain. I approached him, shook his hand and said, “I think it would be funny if we were back to back, and I looked really super-excited while you looked scared/angry or miserable.”
We took the shot, I shook his hand again and moved along. Probably 20 seconds with him, but this is the result:
I like it. A lot.
So much so, that I saw some potential here.
I don’t know how many of you Doctor Who fans read the Target Novelizations of the episodes back in they day, but my friend Bob and I collected the heck out of those things. We each had over a hundred at one point (although Bob had considerably more). I found my next challenge…to turn this picture into the Target Book cover of my OWN Fifth Doctor Adventure!
Here is THAT result:
I like it. A lot.
This is what I do with my time,
[sorry I haven't written in a while - been busy]
OK, we didn’t exactly make history but we had a blast!
I recently found out that the current Doctor from Doctor Who [Matt Smith] would be on the Craig Ferguson show, which tapes just a couple of miles from where I work. I immediately put myself in for a couple of tickets and was confirmed (although they state that they frequently overbook, so admission was not guaranteed). I thought it would be fun to go in costume. When I saw that Ferguson was promoting the show as The Doctor Who show and even got a Dalek for the occasion, I KNEW that I had to go in costume. I called up Bob Mitsch [yon Costumer Extraordinaire] and told him of my plan. Initially he wasn’t sold on going in costume but I told him that it was a MUST.
After it was decided, there wasn’t much doubt that Bob would be going as the Fourth Doctor. The most recognizable of all eleven costumes and I believe Bob’s favorite. I, on the other hand, wasn’t sure whether to go as Eleven [Smith] or my personal favorite number Five [Peter Davison].
The only reason Bob was balking about coming to the show dressed in costume was that on the ticket it states NO WHITE CLOTHING, supposedly so people don’t stick out in the crowd. I think it’s just supposed to look like an audience as opposed to individuals. To squash any fears for Bob I did some internet searching and called the audience coordinator. The conversation went something like this:
Kev: Hi! My friend and I will be coming to the show tomorrow. Whereas it is the Doctor Who show, we were thinking of showing up in costume as Doctor Who. That sounds like fun, right?
Negative Nancy [a guy]: No, absolutely not.
Kev [slightly taken aback]: Are you sure? Cuz I think Craig would LOVE it, with him being a big Doctor Who fan and all.
Negative Nancy: No, I know people have tried this with special shows in the past and we’ve had to turn them away. I can check with some people and email you back but I’m sure they’re going to say no.
Kev: Well if you can check that’d be great!
[email information exchanged - end of telephone call]
Huh. I really would only want to go if we were dressed up. I’ve been to TV shows before and really don’t need it. Sure it’d be cool to see Smith in person but on the other hand I could go to my girlfriend’s place and smooch instead.
And the email came [cut and pasted from my email]:
I passed the request along, but got shot down. Sorry bud.
Well this wouldn’t do. Bob and I discussed the matter and decided that I would go as Eleven [even though my hair is super short now and no longer resembles him] because his costume while slightly fancy could possibly be worn by a normal person…more or less. Bob would still go as Four, complete with scarf. If they turned us away we would bring normal clothes in Bob’s car to change into.
The doors opened at 3:30. Bob showed up to my work at 1:30 with the costumes. We changed – much to the delight of my coworkers – and headed out. We ended up getting there at about 2:10 or so and there was already quite a line. I perused the queue and saw that we were really the only two in costume which concerned me (but I didn’t share my negativity with Bob). We waited. We posed for some pics for fans. We waited. I stepped out and got a Veggie Hot Dog at The Grove around the corner. Finished it on the way back to the line [it's so good to buy a veggie hot dog in public - so tasty and convenient!].
Finally the line starts moving. Audience coordinators had been perusing the line during our time there and nobody said anything like “the costumes gotta’ go” or such. Then the line stops at with about three people in front of us and a coordinator comes out. He explains to us that not everybody will be getting in. I hold back the urge to point out that Bob and I deserve entrance due to our obvious passion for Who. It was a nervous few minutes. The line starts moving slowly again. The people ahead of us get in. Bob and I get in. The gal on her own behind us gets in.
And that’s it. [Whew!]
So we’re in, right?
While waiting in the next line [TV shows are like Disneyland and mountains that way - there's always another peak], a coordinator comes up to Bob and I and asks if he can talk to us for a minute. In my head I’m thinking that this could be either fantastically fantastic or fantastically bad. He explained super, super nicely that while it’s great that we have enthusiasm for Matt Smith’s appearance – it is important that the people at home believe we are as much fans of Craig himself. Bob and I enthusiastically agree and confirm that we are big Ferguson fans. This was a bit of a stretch on our parts. We both appreciate his presence and comedy but neither of us had actually watched the show. Our new friend then asked that I remove my bowtie [!] and Bob remove his scarf.
We were nice. We acquiesed. I took my tie off and Bob took his scarf off. I was pretty disappointed.
Then we got in the audience and sat down. Bob mentioned that the coordinator told him that his scarf was OK to wear after all. In my head I was all “What the fuck?! But my bowtie is too much?!” So I put it back on.
Skip ahead to Matt’s entrance.
Now, I’ve been in LA for thirteen years. It takes a lot to get me starstruck these days. I’ve seen Prince, Al Pacino, Eric Idle, John Cleese and many others.
But this guy is The Doctor.
I had that feeling inside…that… “Holy Cow, it’s really him”. It was very, very cool to see him in person. Not only did I decide to break the rules and wear my bowtie, but I decided I would be one of the last folks to sit down after the standing ovation. Matt really should see the costume, I rationalized.
So he sits down. Craig asks him about obsessive fans and Matt surmises that the fans can be enthusiastic. He then POINTS TO ME:
He says something like “There’s a chap dressed in a bow tie, you look very smart!” I stood and gave him a small salute. The camera didn’t catch it or anything but we became instant BFFs.
The show goes on. It was lots of fun. The taping is pretty much over. The crew is all “Are we done?” and somebody mentions “We need another shot. Where’s the guy in the bow tie?” I raise my hand, and the audience warmup guy says, “OK, you’re going to be on TV tonight.” I waited as they got a shot of me sitting in the audience. I played it cool. Too cool (and rather dorky). I should have just sat back and gave Matt – who had left by then – a similar salute to the one I gave him. Oh well. And Bob was in the shot also!
As they often do on TV shows these days, we all got a copy of the Fifth Season of the new Doctor Who series on DVD on the way out. Distributing them was the audience guy who told me not to wear the bow tie. As I accepted the DVD box set from him, I told him “I’m sorry I betrayed your trust.”
But I’m NOT!
We show up at about a minute and forty seconds into the above video.
So. We broke the rules. We got on TV. The Eleventh Doctor told me I looked smart. It was a pretty fantastic day!
Next Stop – Appearing on Doctor Who ITSELF!!