The BBC Revisits 50 Years of 'Doctor Who' in One Spectacular Trailer

Broadcaster Teamed With Framestore on Film Promoting Show's 50th Anniversary Special

Published On
Oct 21, 2013

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November 23 is a very special date in the sci-fi world. That's when the BBC will celebrate the 50th anniversary of beloved British character Dr. Who in a special episode, and when the series will unveil the twelfth actor to take on the eponymous role. In five decade the show has been running, it's seen eleven different men play the cyclically regenerating Time Lord, including William Hartnell, the first doctor, and in recent years, Christopher Eccleston, big fan favorite David Tennant and the incumbent Matt Smith. The BBC worked with Framestore and director Matt Lossoso on this trailer that encapsulates much of the show's history within sixty seconds.

The film incorporates doctors and memorabilia of past seasons using a combination of live action, composited shots and recreated shots. The first doctor played by Mr. Hartnell, who appeared in black and white, proved a big challenge: to recreate him in hi-resolution and in color, Mr. Lossoso had pulled a still from the original series and merged it with elements from a stunt double in Photoshop. Then, Framestore VFX Supervisor Oliver Bersey had to give him dimension: "first off I did the general compositing, the look, the colour, and the tracking, then I gave it some subtle 2D manipulations to make it look 3D as we go past him," he explained on the Framestore blog.

A plenitude of elements from the show's history are scattered throughout each scene, providing new details with each viewing -- the BBC's way of whetting fans' appetite until the airing of the November special.