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The colorised First Doctor, William Hartnell

It’s always a tough sell to convince fans of classic old monochrome film or television that the best thing to do is color it in. For some reason, no matter how lovingly done, it always looks like colored-in black-and-white footage, and not actual color footage.

However, this collection caught our collective eye, not least because it was done frame-by-frame, in Photoshop, and certainly stands up next to, say, the color version of Doctor Who as seen in  the Peter Cushing Dalek movies made around the same time. In fact, there are bits of it where it’s with in a hair’s-breadth of looking like proper color.

Stuart Humphryes, who posted the video on his Babelcolour YouTube channel, explained how it was put together:

“I have no automated process, all the videos are colorized by hand, frame by frame. I capture each individual frame as a still image which I open in Adobe Photoshop to hand colorize. I then re-assemble the hundreds of frames, in order, in my video editing program and render as an avi file. The original PAL video source is 25 frames a second, so this 5-and-a-half minute video represents over 8000 hand colorized frames.”

The acid test for true Whovians is whether it makes the tummy turn over, because it feels like new footage, and this has a pretty good strike rate in that regard. It certainly brings some of the oldest footage to life for anyone born into the color age.


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Filed Under: Doctor Who
By Fraser McAlpine