I just finished watching Series 8 of Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi got me thinking of moving backwards, so I decided to make a Alternate Title Sequence. I only dabble in 3d animation, and since there are already some intense fan made title sequences, filled with hyper real 3d animation (neon visual is one of my favorites), I thought I would go the other direction. Go backwards. I got the idea of Doctor Who Series Zero, from an alternate universe where the show had a season that ran from 1936-1957. So I set out to make a title sequence inspired by the various Doctor Who titles sequences, and old film titles.

Doctor Who Series 9 Alternative Opening Title Sequence (Series Zero 1936-1957) from nereusmedia on Vimeo.

I started out collecting some stock footage of gears that reminded me not only of the gears from the Series 8 tiles sequence, but even the motions implied by the camera from various series. One of my favorites in since Doctor 9 is the TARDIS going through the wormhole from left to right. Something about the bevel gears implied this kind of motion, so I included that footage in the title sequence. Then there is an amazing woodwind performance that gives the feel of soviet lyshenkoism, as if the woodwinds were somehow defiant by their being impervious to the sonic screwdriver. I included a Glasgow police box photo from 1937, the 1950′s batwing version of the BBC logo, and title fonts that seemed to work.

I composited the gear footage, using some cross fades, and added the ripple effect that again evokes the Series 9 title sequence’s unwound spiral clock face. I generated the logos using fonts that echoed vintage, everything with a bit of cross fade, like the montage seems of films of that era. Then a add a few old film effects, just to give this an a decayed feel. I tried to keep the more modern effects to a minimum, but wanted to at least have some modern features so to keep consistent with the visual narrative of the later Doctor Who title sequences. The main design concept was sticking with the mechanical (through gears, woodwinds, film-grain effects) as opposed to the the video feedback aesthetic of the original first series titles.

Let me know what you think of this Doctor Who opening sequence by leaving a comment on my nereusmedia vimeo page. Thanks.

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