For those of you who aren’t aware, the Thirteenth Doctor is already getting audio dramas, and for once, it isn’t Big Finish that are creating them. This time, it’s a production spearheaded by prominent Doctor Who Youtuber Mr TARDIS, created and performed entirely by fans. Perhaps best known for his reviews of Doctor Who stories, including his 2019 Dalekcember reviews of each Dalek story from 1963-2019 and most recently his Cybercember reviews of every Cyberman story, Mr TARDIS is easily one of the go-to Doctor Who Youtubers for professional reviews delivered in an entertaining way.
Aside from these projects, however, Mr TARDIS has also been hard at work writing, casting and directing his own Thirteenth Doctor audio story, called The Collateral of Ivanhoe. This audio stars Wendy Abrahams who does an exceptional impression of the Thirteenth Doctor, Jonathon Carley as the lovable Graham O’Brien, Duane Gooden as Ryan Sinclair, and Shannon Rewcroft as Yasmin Khan. For a fan-made audio production, this project is ambitious and exciting, and the cast that were chosen for this audio do a great job representing the current Doctor Who cast, and although not all of the impressions are spot-on, each of the cast are still excellent voice actors and it is amazing how good a job the quartet do of representing the Thirteenth Doctor’s TARDIS team.
The Collateral of Ivanhoe has some great moments that showcase the unique writing style of this fan-made production, including some humorous scenes involving the ‘Fam’ discovering the fate of football in the 29th century, as Humankind has decided that the standard football simply isn’t fun enough anymore, as the ball becomes explosive once a goal becomes certain. Moments like these cement The Collateral of Ivanhoe as a genuine Doctor Who story, this story has been lovingly written and produced by all of those involved and it shows. The Collateral of Ivanhoe represents the spirit of Doctor Who at its purest, as despite budgetary and technological limitations the end result is a great story that is elevated thanks to the sheer quality of the writing and dedication of the cast.
The format of this audio is similar to a Companion Chronicles story from Big Finish, in that the performances of the cast are supplemented by a narrator, and the writing style is very reminiscent of the fantastic New Series novels. When listening to this audio, bear in mind that it is an unofficial production, this has been made by fans and does not have the same standard of audio recording as a professional company like Big Finish. One must keep an open mind while listening, because it doesn’t take long before any concerns about the quality of the audio are eclipsed by the quality of the writing and energy from the cast. Again, it is difficult to express just how good a job Wendy Abrahams does as the Thirteenth Doctor, the her voice is uncannily similar and she has the Doctor’s vocal mannerisms down to a tee.
We feel that it is very important to support other Doctor Who content creators in their endeavours, and there is no greater feat that writing, directing, casting and creating a full-blown audio story for a Doctor Who fan. What Mr TARDIS has achieved with The Collateral of Ivanhoe should not be understated, it is a testament to the enduring love that the Doctor Who fanbase has for the series. Mr TARDIS has suggested that a sequel to The Collateral of Ivanhoe is in the works, and whether it is a direct sequel that builds on the story elements of this audio or simply another fan-made Thirteenth Doctor audio it is safe to say that we will be eagerly anticipating the next audio story that Mr TARDIS has in store for us. In the meantime we strongly recommend that you give this audio a listen.
An unexpected yet exciting announcement by the BBC last week revealed that one of the upcoming releases in the Time Lord Victorious multimedia project is a 5-part animated series revolving around the Daleks that is set to be released on the Doctor Who Youtube channel in November. The trailers for this series have showcased the animation style of the series as well as some hints as to what fans can expect from this latest instalment in the Doctor Who universe.
One of the most interesting aspects of this series that can be gleaned from the trailers and promotional material that has been released so far is that the series seems to feature a diverse variety of Dalek designs, including several Classic and New Series Dalek designs and a modern take on the iconic comic series Dalek Emperor. This could imply that the series will feature several unique Dalek characters with individual personalities, which is always an interesting take on the Daleks that allows for more interesting Dalek dialogue.
This animated series also fulfils the life-long desire of the creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation, who since 1965 had intended them to helm their own spinoff series. Nation’s attempts to create a Dalek TV series failed, though he would go on to license the Daleks for the Peter Cushing movies and write several Dalek stories for Doctor Who in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, in 2020, his original vision is being realised as the Daleks get their own animated series.
Another very exciting aspect of this animated series is that it will introduce a lot more templates for Dalek customs, some of which have already been created by fans. Following on from the Asylum Project showcase of custom Daleks that has been showcased on this blog, more posts showcasing custom Daleks based on this animated series as well as the wider Time Lord Victorious story arcs will be listed at some point following the release of the series.
Number 10 on this list is a more recent entry into the PilotRedSun pantheon but it perfectly encapsulates everything that a good PilotRedSun video is. It uses bizarre, disjointed and crudely-designed animation, the plot or purpose of the video is totally unexplained to us, it is presented in a format which is at first charming but then becomes somewhat disturbing, only to truly baffle us by the end with its sudden shift of setting and tone. The ‘music’, if you could call it that, is the only thing that really lets this video down, and that’s because – there isn’t really any. The sound effects are incredible, and evocative if a little tinny, but this video doesn’t contain an example of a classic PilotRedSun tune, so we will move on.
9 – Casino Night
Another beautifully creative and potentially disturbing video from two years ago that continued the somewhat-recurrent theme in PilotRedSun videos of having a bright red dragon-like ‘fiend’ involved somehow in the ‘plot’ of certain videos, Casino Night perfectly marries casino and gambling imagery with one of PilotRedSun’s tunes, also called Casino Night, that is track 3 of his album, ‘Achievement’. The plot is simple – a young man goes into a casino to try and win some big cash. After failing to win anything on the slot machines, he tries one of the card games, despite the warnings of the green man at the table that ‘the house always wins’. I won’t spoil the sublime ending, but it doesn’t really come as much of a shock. Also, the fiend’s ‘voice’ sounds awesome.
8 – Grinch’s ultimatum
The second of two Christmas-themed PilotRedSun videos that were released on Christmas Day of their respective years, Grinch’s ultimatum demonstrates how a simple melody can perfectly harmonise with the dynamic of a video. The animation perfectly syncs its tone and plot events to the changing nature of the music, right up until the magnificent ending. The message of Grinch’s ultimatum is clear – be true to who you are. When a benevolent-looking Santa magically slides into your room, and offers you the choice between eternal sainthood and perpetual grinchdom, go with your gut and take the path that best reflects yourself. Although you may have doubts, eventually your true meaning will become clear to you.
7 – video for silverman
Simply put, video for silverman is a depiction of a battle between Vegeta and Mewtwo, created as part of a ‘compilation collab’, according to the description. Regardless, what follows is a hilarious example of how limitations in animation can create some truly outstanding results, particularly what happens to Vegeta’s head whenever he talks. The music of this video at a glance is seemingly simplistic, and yet upon closer inspection it is actually quite a complex melody, that intensifies as the video progresses leading up to the explosive conclusion.
6 – dogowner
Another example of the fantastic music used in Pilot’s videos, although unfortunately the track from this video is not on the album. This video marks another appearance of the dreaded ‘fiends’ in Pilot’s videos, although this one seems much less malevolent and certainly more animal-like than the human-sized fiends that appear in other videos. Dogowner has a simple plot – a bloke sits down to watch some Shark Tale on TV with his best pal, when an interloper attempts to invade his abode. Naturally the dog has a thing or two to say about that, since the owner sits there helplessly meaning the dog has to do all the work. I wonder if Pilot had been watching too much Wallace and Gromit.
5 – preschool bully
Definitely one of the stranger PilotRedSun videos out there, preschool bully tells a simple story about a small kid who doesn’t want his sweets taken off him. This was actually the first PilotRedSun video that I ever saw, and it seems hard to imagine now that this ridiculous animation that is only fourteen seconds long would open up a formidable can of worms. Despite seeming like a disjointed event that you would witness in a dream, preschool bully provokes a pang of sympathy for the poor child at the table – maybe it is based off a true story?
4 – Garfielf
Undeniably this is PilotRedSun’s most popular video, with over 7 million views as of January 2018. which is a shame since it is a drastic deviation from his standard video style. Rather than a short animation with a confusing premise, this video is quite long – over a minute, which is long for a Pilot video. Garfielf also has minimal animation, mostly consisting of stills that play over the voice commentary (created using a text-to-speech instead of Pilot’s usual iconic voice), and intense dis-chordal music. The video itself is hilarious, like most Pilot videos, and I suppose it proves that trying something new from time to time occasionally pays off.
3 – IPAlien
‘An Alien walks into a bar’ might sound like the opening to a terrible joke, but in this video it opens a ridiculous chain of events that end up with Earth being conquered by alien forces. Why? Well, its over a beer – a space beer to be precise. An interesting ‘Easter Egg’ is actually visible in this video, just as the bartender is about to slide the Alien his cold one, if one looks to the far wall next to the ‘office’ a painting of a fiend is visible on the wall – clearly the owners of this odd establishment (which also has a billboard on the roof that says ‘Waste Time, And Money’) have interesting taste in pin-ups. Another interesting detail that never fails to make me laugh is the fact that the Alien’s ship is clearly marked ‘Unidentified Flying UFO’, just in case you were confused (but then again, when watching these videos, who isn’t?)
2 – quaker’s oats
The most interesting thing about PilotRedSun’s videos is their tone. Through the use of music, sound effects and voices Pilot is able to make his seemingly inane and totally off-the-wall videos take on tones of extreme malevolence, or, in this case, cheerfulness and warmth. The music used is a section of the tune Bodybuilder from ‘Achievement’, that is played over Mr. Quaker’s calm and composed morning advertisement for his exquisite oats. The overall message of this video is unclear, except, perhaps, to go and eat more Quaker’s Oats?
One of the shortest and earliest PilotRedSun videos, this was another of the ones that I was first shown when being introduced to his channel. What is truly a miracle is that I actually carried on watching videos after this one, as it seems to exist to be little more than an animation test for a gif, but who knows. Again, the tone of this video is odd – it isn’t exactly benign, but its not exactly malevolent either, but I certainly wouldn’t trust this bunny around the children he claims to ‘deliver the goods’ for…
christmas story (scroge duck)
This would have been a lot higher on the list were it not for the second Christmas Special, Grinch’s ultimatum, totally blowing it out of the water – but christmas story (scroge duck) stands in its own right as a classic PilotRedSun video – from the jarring animation, the awkward sound effects, the iconic voice and of course the fantastic music. The tune at the end of this video is Snow Day from ‘Achievement’, although unfortunately it only plays the first thirteen notes before the video ends.
Rocko’s Gaming Tragedy
One of the few PilotRedSun videos to actually use capital letters in its title, Rocko’s Gaming Tragedy takes the form of a ‘lost episode’ of the popular cartoon show ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ that ran on Nickelodeon between 1993 and 1996. I have never actually seen a real episode of this show, although from what I hear from people who have seen both the original show and this video, the two are barely distinguishable from one another. Nobody quite knows how PilotRedSun was able to so perfectly capture the distinct animation style of Rocko’s Modern Life, nor how he managed to get his hands on the script for the lost episode, but undoubtedly Nickelodeon paid him to carry on the legacy of one of their flagship shows.
And finally, number one is…
1 – Pringle Advert
Another of PilotRedSun’s most popular videos, with over 1,170,000 views, is pringle advert, which continues another loose ‘theme’ of PilotRedSun’s videos whereby he will use the image of a popular brand mascot but give it an unexpected and sometimes malevolent twist. While the Pringle Man isn’t quite as horrifying as the Hamburger Helper mascot seen in another Pilot video, the malevolence of the Pringle Man is much more subtle, which is many ways makes it very creepy. The music and general look of this guy is bad enough, but after a calm introduction the video takes a turn when Pringle Man realises that nobody actually likes Pringles. Give the video a watch, you will not regret it.
And that’s my list of Top Ten PilotRedSun videos! Leave a like if you enjoyed, comment to say whether or not you’d ever seen any Pilot (and, indeed, if you are planning on watching any more now or if you want to run as far away as possible) and remember, for some cool tunes, check out PilotRedSun’s album, ‘Achievement’,