Gallifrey One, Dick Mills, and “Inspector Spacetime”

Feb 18 2013 Published by under Film/TV, Humor, Music, Personal, Technology

Us and Dick Mills

My wife and I attended Gallifrey One, the annual Doctor Who convention held in Los Angeles around Valentine’s Day.  It was a lot of fun and super crowded.  We met a doctor (Sylvester McCoy), a bunch of companions, Dr. Bishop (John Noble), and many others.  But the highlight of all highlights was our one-hour small-group meeting with legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop member Dick Mills (pictured above), who was part of the workshop from the late 1950s to his retirement in the 1990s.  During that time, he was responsible for nearly all sound effects heard in Doctor Who and quite a bit of the music as well (including the original title theme, which he and Delia Derbyshire created from a score by Ron Grainer).  It was amazing to get such a first-hand account at the workings of the famous workshop, especially from someone who had been there from the beginning.  To top it off, he was a wonderfully sweet, warm, and engaging person.  He also gave a one-hour talk to the whole convention featuring lots of great photos and sound samples from his many years at the BBC.  That was, indeed, the highlight of not only the weekend but the year, as far as I’m concerned.

Another highlight was my introduction to Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, the Doctor Who parody by the guy who played the Doctor Who parody Inspector Spacetime on the TV show Community.  I’ve been amazed by the fan response to a running gag on a show–they’ve created an entire history of the 51-year-long imaginary show, complete with more intricate detail than most real shows possess.  But all that creativity doesn’t really amount to anything if there’s no real show.  So Travis Richey (the 11th Inspector) and his compatriots (all up-and-coming writers, directors, actors, etc) created the show, which consists of one 30-minute web series and another on the way.  My wife and I attended their two-hour-long panel which featured a viewing of the series, interviews with the cast and crew, and a table reading of the first episode of the new series.  As I was watching, I remember thinking: this is the future.  Forget networks, cable, movies, all that–the future is people with good ideas and a little bit of money (they raised the funds for the series through Kickstarter) pooling their resources and creating awesome things.  This future already exists in music; it’s always existed in writing; and it’s coming to the big, big world of TV and film.  I can’t wait.


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