Inspector Spacetime, the Fake Doctor Who Show From Community, Is Getting a Web Series [UPDATED]
by Jamie Frevele | 11:04 am, February 20th, 2012
The Doctor Who spoof on NBC‘s Community, Inspector Spacetime, has developed such a devoted internet following since it first showed up at the beginning of the fall season. So much so that it has its own Tumblr and history, which is as extensive as the show it’s spoofing. And it’s about to become even more real/even less fake: reports coming out of this past weekend’s Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One, tell us that a six-episode Inspector Spacetime web series is upon us. Well, that’s just the best thing ever. But I’m wondering what it means for Community. UPDATED: This web series is totally unaffiliated with the show. More details after the story.
Charlie Jane Anders of io9 was at the panel where the web series was announced and provided some of the things that we can expect. And some things that those of us who were not at the panel or convention missed, like a dramatic reading of the first episode:
“…[T]he Inspector and Constable Reginald visit the planet New Seventh Earth Two, where they meet the Blogons, vanquish them with the Inspector’s “optic penknife,” and then run into a deserted warehouse where they get trapped. Apparently, later in the episode we’ll get to meet the Inspector’s arch-nemesis.”
There was also a slideshow about the fake history of the show, which named Christopher Lee, Stephen Fry, and Steve Carell as past Inspectors.
The series will be produced by Travis Richey, who plays the Inspector in what we’ve actually seen of the fake show. (Which, I think, might be less than a full minute of footage. Which makes this even more fun.) He works on a bunch of video sketches and talks about how he got to play Inspector Spacetime in the first place on YouTube.
All this legitimate attention being paid to Inspector Spacetime is truly cool, especially because it started out as, literally, a few seconds on another TV show. But that TV show, Community, is a bit of a hot little potato right now. Even with its strong, even fervent, fanbase (of which I am a part), the show has always struggled in the ratings and was taken off NBC’s mid-season schedule. While a promise has been made that it has not been cancelled and will return in the spring, there has been no word on whether the show is getting a fourth season and no definite return date. It’s not quite clear if NBC is behind the Inspector Spacetime series, though one would think that it is still technically part of Community, and that’s NBC’s property. Let’s assume that this series will be appearing on the NBC site. Is this a vote of confidence for Community? A last, loving gesture to its fans? A reassuring sign for showrunner Dan Harmon?
There’s no way to predict. We don’t have access to the Inspector’s BOOTH.
Update: Via BuzzFeed, Richey has clarified some things, specifically that no one from the show will actually be involved with the Inspector Spacetime web series.
Dan Harmon, Community, NBC and Sony have nothing to do with this web series. I pitched it to them after my first episode of Community, but never heard back from them one way or another. So I’m going to do it myself, with the help of fans. I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in a matter of hours for an equipment budget, and the complete story can be read there.
That’s still cool, though it now gives us no information about Community‘s future. Except that there is even less to speculate about.