November 23, 2014

Doctor Who Series 8 Titles

Doctor Who Series 8 Titles

BBC Series 8 Final Titles

Concept development form Billy Hanshaw Studio

The Youtube video that started it all

Thank you teaser

Pre-production wireframe

So the first question was… how do we get into the cogs without the fob watch? The answer was through the mists of time of course! The narrative was devised with the exclusion of the fob watch and the Seal of Rassilon (Time lord insignia), which featured in the Youtube video that won us the gig. The customary use of the Doctor’s face ended up having a more ghostly appearance in the revised version, after which we travel on and out into the universe. The technique used for the spiralling clock faces is known as the droste effect. The appearance is recursive: the smaller version contains an even smaller version of the picture, and so on.  The thought behind it is in part a homage to the video feedback, howl around technique used in the very first Hartnell sequence.

Working with Steven Moffat, Brian Minchin and the BBC Wales production team has been such a gratifying experience  – and it’s amazing to think that my name will be eternally linked with such a radical change of style for such a huge show.

We provided a fully finished piece and concept storyboard (using stills from our sequence) which the BBC team took forward.  This included the thought behind each element and suggested font usage. We barrel-rolled a camera through the cogs and introduced the glowing circles on the gearwheels, pulsing to the undulating bass of the music. There’s also subtle push on the camera after the sting, which boosts momentum. The pre-vis work used the Eccleston theme from series 1 to time each section.

The final titles used in the show, were built by BBC Wales VFX to allow for as much flexibility for future use, such as in-show segments and have a colour shift from the purple to blue. We heard Murry Gold’s new arrangement of the theme music at the Cardiff premiere – it had been a closely guarded element until then – and we think it is wonderful.

As an additional thank you to the BBC team we created the who-themed web-teaser alluding to the new series but also our new site launch on the 23rd August 2014.

There is nothing more thrilling than when the audience talks back. Billy’s brilliant concept for a new Doctor Who title sequence, is the only truly new idea I’ve seen since the very original. I saw it a while back on YouTube, and was knocked out. It was a pleasure to get him to the Doctor Who studios to work on a broadcast version. This is the Doctor Who dream incarnate – the TARDIS can appear any moment and whisk you to the stars.

Steven Moffat

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