When Doctor Who returns to TV screens in just a week, the revamp of the popular series will go beyond fresh faces to include a new title sequence that was originally developed by a fan of the show.
Freelance graphic designer Billy Hanshaw, who is from Leeds, England, put the new Doctor Who opening sequence together for his own amusement, according to AV Club. Following Peter Capaldi’s casting as the Doctor in 2013, Hanshaw spent a month working on the video to challenge himself, and when he posted it online, it quickly went viral. After over 700,000 hits and write-ups in Radio Times and The Huffington Post, Hanshaw’s video attracted the attention of Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, who was impressed with the work. Moffat liked the new opening enough that he commissioned the BBC’s graphics department to create an official version based on Hanshaw’s video.
“It was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963,” Moffat recently said at a press conference promoting the new series of Doctor Who. “We got in touch with him, and said, okay, we’re going to do that one.”
— Doctor Who Fans (@DoctorWhoFanz_) August 16, 2014
Hanshaw’s Doctor Who opening elaborates on previously used concepts, but is also markedly different from the other titles used since the show’s revival in 2005. He added a series of clockwork gears to the mix, as well as several symbols sure to resonate with Doctor Who fans. A fob watch harkens back to the David Tennant era, when the Tenth Doctor and the Master used it in Human Nature and Utopia, respectively. The Great Seal of Rassilon also makes an appearance, a symbol of the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey. The seal first appeared in 1976’s The Deadly Assassin.
As Tech Times points out, while previous series of Doctor Who have put the TARDIS front and center in their opening, the new titles barely show the Doctor’s timeship. Making only a brief appearance, the iconic blue box emerges from a giant clock face to disappear into a time vortex. By shifting the focus away from the TARDIS, the new Doctor Who titles are able to explore a more stylized version of time travel.
Fans will get a unique opportunity to see the first episode of the new series, Deep Breath, in theaters next week, as The Inquisitr has previously reported. Complete with the revamped title sequence, Doctor Who premieres on August 23rd.
[Image via A.V. Club]