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It’s long been a dream of Whovians, Moffatarians and Sherlocktagonians to try and crossover the worlds of some of the best British shows in one big fantasy melting pot, and last night, that exact thing happened.
In a special one-off sequel — for two autism charities — to the hit West End play The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Matt Smith appeared in special filmed segments as the Doctor. The story sees him asking the autistic central character Boone for help stopping a computer virus created by Moriarty from Sherlock (played, in another specially-filmed segment, by Andrew Scott), to destroy people’s ability to understand metaphors, something that people with autism commonly have problems with, and thereby destroying all artistic endeavor.
Ben Whishaw also appeared on screen, as Q from Skyfall, and Helen Mirren as the Queen, with Jude Law actually taking to the live stage — as a supply teacher — opposite the show’s lead actor Harry Treadaway.
Naturally we can’t tell you who won in the end. But you can probably guess.
Here’s what else is going on in space and time this week:
• Congratulations to Doctor Who for its three nominations at Britain’s fan-selected TV Choice Awards — Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Matt Smith), and Best Actress (Jenna Coleman). You can cast your ballots at their website.
• A “3D trailer” for Doctor Who 50th anniversary special made the rounds on the Internets (as these things do), and it’s gotten fans quite a-clamor. The minute-long clip, which features a tête-à-tête between Matt Smith and David Tennant‘s Doctors, certainly looks and feels convincing.
However, make no mistake: this isn’t a BBC-released teaser. As the BBC told WhovianNet, “There’s no official trailer yet. That’s not the genuine article.” Rather, it’s an artfully edited, CGI-enhanced fan creation uploaded by YouTuber John Smith, with scenes from previous Who installments. But never has it been so fun to be bamboozled. So what’s if it’s fake? This level of craftmanship deserves a “Bravo!” — and a hearty “Allons-y!” for good measure.
And in a clip that’s almost more gripping than the faux-trailer itself, here’s the astonishing shot-by-shot way he put it all together. “This represents about three months of sporadic compositing work and around 55 hours of rendering. To achieve the full stereoscopic 3D, each shot had to be rendered twice (a left and right eye) at slightly offset angles. Adobe After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, and Autodesk Maya were the programs used.”
Watch and marvel:
• In the new issue of Doctor Who magazine, Steven Moffat offered this lovely tribute to Matt Smith this week, affirming that he definitely wants to work with him again on future shows (as opposed to futuristic shows): “These have been the maddest few years of my writing career — so many ridiculous adventures, so many things I thought I’d never do — and I could not have shared them a with a kinder, more considerate, more entirely supportive friend than the man I completely refuse to call Smithers.
“We’ve been to so many insane press launches, we’ve looned about New York, we’ve dropped in on a specialist Doctor Who bar to watch the show with some (fairly surprised) fans, traveled the country in a special Doctor Who bus (well he did, I just dropped in occasionally!) and shown the new Director General of the BBC how to fly the TARDIS. And we’ve spent a fair amount of time looking at each other, and wondering how the hell any of this happened, and how we ended up here.”
• More Doctor Who ebooks are on the way, from a huge variety of new authors.
• Did you see the BBC AMERICA special devoted to the Sixth Doctor over the weekend? If not, here’s our own tribute to the Time Lord with the coat of many colors.
• With all the discussion of the Sixth Doctor, the topic of the Valeyard and other, less ‘official’ versions of the Doctor has been fully addressed by the Doctor Who website.
• The BBC are running the following trailer for this year’s Proms, which will include a healthy helping of Who:
• Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss’s old pal from The League of Gentlemen, has been telling Digital Spy about the thrill of playing Patrick Troughton in An Adventure In Space and Time, Mark’s retelling of the early years of Doctor Who.
“I was honored to be part of it,” he said. “Mark’s… had that idea for a long time and he’s finally got to do it this year. It’s the perfect time for it to happen, with it being the 50th anniversary in November.
“I think he just always had this idea that I would [play that part]. It’s very small – I’m literally only in a very small little bit, but it was lovely to be part of it.”
• Can you match the sonic screwdrivers to the Doctors who used them?
You’ll find that info (and the accompanying graphic) in Who-Ology, the official BBC miscellany of all things Doctor Who. The sturdy book is loaded with charts and graphs highlighting everything from where the TARDIS has landed on our globe (and beyond) to the 40 best ways to defeat a Dalek.
And here’s a link to explain things properly.
• Let’s end with something delicious, and scary. How to make your own Dalek cake, courtesy of ThatsNat04:
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.