Imagine you’re a motion graphics creator and “Doctor Who” fan. In your spare time, you create an opening sequence to the new series of the show, featuring new star Peter Capaldi. You tweet the sequence to the motion graphics company who creates the actual titles for the BBC.
And then imagine those fan-made titles were so good, they got seen by series Executive Producer Steven Moffat, and were used nearly frame for frame on the actual new series of the show.
That’s exactly what happened with Billy Hanshaw, a freelance motion graphics artist who worked on the self-created title sequence for four weeks, and now finds his work will (essentially) be on television screens around the globe when “Doctor Who” premieres on August 23.
“Our beautiful new title sequence, it’s absolutely stunning, is online ’Doctor Who’ fandom,” Moffat told press at a conference to promote the new series of the show. “Billy Hanshaw created this title sequence, put it up on YouTube. I happened to cross it, and it was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963. We got in touch with him, and said, okay, we’re going to do that one.”
The clip has garnered over 700,000 views as of this writing; but given the global audience for “Who” is about to reach a whole lot more. And the final sequence has some differences from the one Hanshaw created at home – for example, the shot of Capaldi is very different (no smiling for this Doctor), and the font differs on Capaldi and co-star Jenna Coleman’s name. But a good portion of the new sequence is exactly how Hanshaw created it.
You can take a look at Hanshaw’s sequence below, and the new one when the show premieres on BBC America, on August 23.