Doctor Who: Babelcolour Brings Us a Ten-Doctor Special
Stuart Humphryes, better known to the online Doctor Who community as Babelcolour, is one of the top producers of online video content. His work is almost unrivaled in popularity, and his ability to colorize the adventures of the First and Second Doctors is beyond compare. Recently, he contributed to the Third Doctor serial "The Mind of Evil," where he was responsible for hand-coloring some 7,000 frames of footage to bring that story into stark, beautiful life.
There's no slowing him down, though, and for fans who were hoping for a massive, all-inclusive multi-Doctor special for the 50th anniversary, then Humphryes may have the next best thing. Bit by bit he is releasing "The Ten Doctors," which brings every pre-Smith incarnation into united effort to stop a mysterious power from erasing him from existence.
"There was no pre-planning or script or even a storyline," said Humphryes. "I just made it up as I went along! Quite literally. The first scene I ever compiled was the UNIT battle, and then I had to imagine why on earth they'd even be there. I was held hostage by the footage and quotes I could find. The clips lead me and not the other way round."
The special is obviously composed of previous footage, but augmented with Humphryes himself speaking to each of the Doctors through original transmission. There's only so much that you can do cutting and pasting them here and there and everywhere in settings that span half a century, but Humphryes really does manage to pull off the feeling that we're seeing the different Doctors come together as one.
It's big on action, lots of running and at least five times more battles than your average episode...maybe ten once the Sontarans and the Daleks get involved. It's sadly short on the Eight and Ninth Doctors, but then again so is television. While not exactly a perfect meshing of collage footage as is something like Spectres of the Spectrum, it is still an ingenious work that glimpses a perfect world where our heroes can exist as one.
"The Ten Doctors" has been on hold for about two years as Humphryes worked on "The Mind of Evil" and portions of "Terror of the Zygons." In that time, he actually found himself under fire from portions of the BBC that flagged his YouTube account for copyright infringement. The flag was eventually lifted, though it's telling that Humphryes has chosen to host the segments on the more relaxed Vimeo instead.
"The BBC is a huge organization and relationships with one department go unrecognized by others," said Humphryes. "The BBC YouTube manager telephoned me to apologize for the strikes against my YouTube account, but red tape prevented him from reinstating them. So even if management are okay with the videos, there's always someone else lower down the ladder who can press that delete button."
For the moment, it appears that Humphryes has the green light to showcase his latest masterpiece of Who fan art. Who knows what wonders still lie in store for us from his hand down the road. Click to page two to watch 'The Ten Doctors"!