Of all the places a cool new Doctor Who fan film could come from, the city of Boise, Idaho wouldn’t have been high on our list.
In Doctor Who Velocity, The Doctor regenerates and travels back to the 1500s in a freshly renovated TARDIS, to save England’s first convicted Witch, Agnes Waterhouse, from a fiery death. Can she overcome the oppression of The Witchfinder General and save the women of Chelmsford?
Doctor Who Velocity is a ten-minute fan film, written by and starring Boise comedienne/actress Krystal Moore and directed by her partner Chris Phillips. Fourteen male actors have portrayed the Doctor since 1963 (there were two in movies, Peter Cushing and Paul McGann), and two years ago the chatter about the possibility of the Doctor regenerating as a woman began to be a strong, steady signal in social media. Moore thought a female Doctor was long overdue.
The advantage fan films often have over the official productions is that they can often respond to ideas much more quickly than the studios can. The first female Doctor is not the famously cast Jodie Whittaker, to make her first appearance on the official BBC show this December. The first woman to play the role was arguably Joanna Lumley, in the 1999 Red Nose Day sketch called Curse of the Fatal Death, but the first female Doctor ever to play the role throughout an entire episode is Krystal Moore.
“By now, the world knows the BBC recently cast British actress Jodie Whittaker to take over the role of The Doctor at the end of this December’s Doctor Who Christmas Special,” said Phillips. “But, my girlfriend Krystal actually started writing our fan film with a female playing The Doctor quite some time ago. Our fan film, with the female Doctor, is rather successful [based on] the response.”
Doctor Who Velocity was shot entirely in and around Boise. They had no problem finding shooting locations. They had everything they needed within a five-minute drive: a city, a river, mountains, and deserts. The real challenge was finding a life-sized TARDIS.
“That was our biggest question,” said Phillips. “I went to the Reddit website and asked, “Has anyone seen a TARDIS in Boise?’ It turned out that Re-POP has a brilliant, full-size 100-percent replica of the TARDIS sitting in the middle of the store,” said Phillips. “The owners were lovely, and they let us shoot some key scenes in the store.”
A native of Britain, Phillips worked extensively for MTV before settling in Boise. She now works full time for SOVRN, an advertising agency in Boise.
Doctor Who Velocity features a local cast, including Moore as The Doctor, Chris Phillips, Jen Potcher as a 16th-century witch, Chance Fuerstinger as a bumbling assistant and cast members Scott Grady, Paycen McGahey and Dylan Wood. Shooting has already begun on a second episode, but to celebrate the success of the first film, Re-POP is hosting a Dr. Who Velocity party Saturday, Nov. 18 from 5-8 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public, and partygoers, who are encouraged to dress as their favorite Doctor Who or other sci-fi characters, can rub elbows with the cast and crew, and get their picture taken with the TARDIS.
Krystal Moore will be joining hosts Mark Baumgarten and Christian Basel on the wildly popular Doctor Who themed radio program, MarkWho42. Tune in this week on Wednesday and Friday at 3 am and 4 pm Pacific time to hear it.