The good time-traveling Doctor’s TARDIS has been dematerializing in exactly the same way for fifty years. Filmmaker and effects wizard with the uncommonly common name of John Smith has created an amazing new take on what’s really happening to the TARDIS when it shifts frames of time-space reference. Smith’s short clip shows the TARDIS dematerializing, travelling through the time vortex, and rematerializing in a single take.
Why hasn’t the BBC rethought this effect in fifty years? Habit, perhaps. Or the expense. It started as something they could do simply with a video fade. Because they had to do this effect at least once per show and the budget was limited, it made sense to use a visual trick that had its origins in the work of the French filmmaker and magician Georges Méliès. Now that Doctor Who is the longest running and arguably the most popular science fiction based show in the world, perhaps it’s time to rethink it.
Maya, After Effects, Element 3D (v2), and Premiere were the programs used. John does do this for a living, which explains why this is such a jaw-dropping effect. No, he has never worked for the BBC, but we think he ought to. His previous Doctor Who related effort was his beautiful fan-made teaser for Rain, a Capaldi episode which, in May of 2014, had not yet been shot.
We played John Smith’s new TARDIS effect over and over when we saw it. It gives us goosebumps. Stephen Moffat, if you’re reading this, you need to find this guy and talk to him. Seriously.
– 30 –