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‘Doctor Who’ fans across NC – and the world – unite to create epic fan film

The Doctor Who fan club in Angier holds a meeting to plan their contribution to the project, “Doctor Who 2.0 Origins.”
The Doctor Who fan club in Angier holds a meeting to plan their contribution to the project, “Doctor Who 2.0 Origins.”

Newly formed fan clubs in Angier and Charlotte dedicated to “Doctor Who” – the British sci-fi TV series created in 1963 – are in the early stages of contributing to what a fan-supported website calls “the most elaborate ‘Doctor Who’ fan film to date.”

“Doctor Who 2.0 Origins” is a project started by Michigan native Kirk Johnson, who hopes to make this the biggest fan film in history. Johnson came up with the idea about a year ago and started working on the script. Now he has “Who” aficionados the world over uniting to make the film a reality.

Chapters around the world are being organized into “clusters” and assigned a section of the movie to create. The main character actors will travel with a film and sound crew to each filming location and work with the local cluster to create the scenes.

A call for talent

North Carolina fans of the show opened the chapters in Angier and Charlotte in order to participate in the film.

Blair Stevens, the chapter leader in Angier, said they are still recruiting and fundraising. With 21 members so far, the group hopes to expand as word gets out about the movie.

“It’s very fun,” she said of the show. “There’s time travel, he goes to alternate universes and different planets, he stops different kinds of aliens.... It’s very addicting.”

The movie’s news release calls for “anyone with any kind of talent” to contribute to the projected five-year production. Johnson is recruiting volunteer actors, costume and set designers and more from every state and several countries and plans to film in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia.

“I get anywhere from two (hundred) to three hundred emails a day from people wanting to get involved,” Johnson said. He anticipates having thousands of participants in filming and production.

A new ‘Who’

“The word ‘epic’ is the only word that can accurately fit what we are doing as we are not going to only be filming globally, but will have battle scenes unlike anything seen in Who history before,” the “Origins” website states.

The plot involves the fourth regeneration of the Doctor, but in a different timeline. He and his partner Jema, a fan fiction character, return to Earth to discover the humans acting a little funny, then discover “cyber-spiders” have inserted themselves into the people’s skulls and are controlling their brains.

“Origins” will be a two-part movie with several webisodes, Johnson said. In order to incorporate everyone who wants to get involved, some of the more isolated fan clubs will create short webisodes to be shared before the movie comes out.

“The idea for the movie is ‘No Who Left Behind,’ ” Johnson said.

Filming for the webisodes is slated to begin soon.

For a good cause

In the end, Johnson says all proceeds from the movie will help start The Unearthly Child Foundation, a charity he says will open orphanages in poor countries and provide children and teens with shelter, medical attention and education.

In the Angier chapter, Stevens said two members plan to help with makeup, one with organizing fundraisers, and another has built her own replica of the Doctor’s TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a vintage London phone box he uses to travel in his otherworldly adventures.

A TARDIS isn’t necessary to attend their planning meetings, though. The group meets every other Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Pizza Hut in Lillington. The next meeting is Aug. 24.

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