Doctor Who: Velocity has recently released a new episode and the responses have been pretty positive. Those curious about the details of the recent third installment of Velocity can check out our review. Just how did all of this come together though? We had a chinwag with the star of Velocity, Krystal Moore about her successful fan made Doctor Who web series.
From exclusive information about a costume change next year to the research involved with creating the episode stories, Moore opens up about Doctor Who: Velocity.
TGT: How did you come up with the idea to write, film and star in your own version of Doctor Who?
Moore: I had the idea when Matt Smith announced he was leaving. Nothing developed, more a parody that explored how differently some of the Doctor’s adventures might have turned out had he been she. I shared this with my partner, Chris Phillips, who agreed there was something there. A few months later I began growing a little human, and put that idea on the shelf. When Peter Capaldi announced he was leaving I thought now’s the time. I could just feel it.
TGT: Was your Doctor inspired by any of the previous Doctors in particular?
Moore: I think each new Doctor is somewhat inspired by bits of previous incarnations. For me, it was [William] Hartnell for his frank nature, [Christopher] Eccleston for being a bad-ass in a leather jacket, [David] Tennant for the heart.
TGT: The Doctor’s costumes are iconic. How long did it take you to come up with the one you put together for your version of the Doctor?
Moore: For about a month I went to different stores and thrift shops looking for The Doctor. I found the hat, and that was what spoke to me. I had a feather I knew would look cool in it, so I got the hat first. The rest was an exaggerated version of my own style. The jacket I already owned, the tie, the suspenders were mine. I wanted to do a white top, but due to the TARDIS interior being white technical difficulties would have arisen. The socks are my 10-year-old daughter’s and the shoes are boy’s Converse. I really liked how this look turned out, though I ended up kinda hating the pants. They aren’t action pants, so we will be seeing The Doctor in a new outfit next year. The hat will stay. I am, after all, a Yankee; so I’ve got the feather in my hat like the song says.
TGT: Did you have any notion your fan show would become so well received?
Moore: I’ve written and performed many things, there’s a gut feeling that you get when it’s good. I call it “There’s gold in them there hills!” It’s that giddy feeling that this is going to work.
TGT: About how long does each episode take to write and how much revision do you end up doing (if any) after filming starts?
Moore: I had not really appreciated the velocity (pun embarrassingly intended) at which I can write a story. My partner took notice of this with my comedy, and I am grateful to him for it. If you can do a thing well and fast, you should… especially if you enjoy it, and I do. We kick around ideas and talk about scenes that would be fun or visually interesting. So we spend a couple weeks just planting seeds in the ol’ noodle. Then we get together and bulleted the beets and structurally figure out what kinds of things need to be at each place in the story. Once I have that, I sit down and write it in one sitting. I send it to my sister at this point, author C.S. Moore. She will send it back with notes and I’ll tighten it up. Then I send it to her and my other sister, who has unfiltered opinions, if they both love it at that point I will send it to Chris. He looks at it from a technical point of view and sends edits. I revise one last time and we go to film. Once filmed one or two lines will end up being cut for pacing. My part of the work is a couple of days once I sit down and write.
TGT: What process do you use to cast the actors for your show? Do you have a vision for each character before casting begins?
Moore: The actors I met at an acting class I was taking run by April Matson. Thus far each character has been written with the actor in mind.
Moore: Good question! Part of me does. That part of me that is curious and reckless. The nerd in me who’s watched entirely too much apocalyptic sci-fi would have been living in a cave away from this clear and present alien threat.
Krystal Moore’s female Doctor debuted before Jodie Whittaker’s thirteenth Doctor incarnation. Fans have been a bit torn since the announcement of the first ever official female Doctor in the television series of Doctor Who. Some fans who were against the gender change have come to accept it, while others have not.
TGT: What do you say to fans who don’t like the idea of a female Doctor?
Moore: Well… I’ve said a great many things in response to this. [ … ] Honestly, I think if this is an issue for you then your priorities in life are dramatically askew. People still kill each other for god and children in poor countries make most of our clothes. How insecure must one be to draw offence out of a woman being cast as a time-traveling alien?
TGT: What were your immediate thoughts when you found out the thirteenth Doctor would be female?
Moore: I knew we were on the zeitgeist, I didn’t think the BBC would actually do it, and was excited about who they cast. I have so much respect for Jodie as an Actor.
TGT: Have you watched Series 11? What are your thoughts on how the Doctor is being portrayed and the story lines?
Moore: I have kept up with series 11. I think that Jodie is charming enough and a good enough actor to make you love her despite being given kinda bland lines and poor plot conventions. The Rosa Parks episode, on the other hand, was phenomenal! When I look at the women’s lines specifically the first episode has some classic Who-y lines and some fun ones; the second, fourth, and fifth episodes have expositionary lines, likely due to there being too many people in each scene. I consider the Rosa Parks episode the best episode of Doctor Who yet. It is a brilliant example of what good storytelling can do and should aim to do. The characters were so well fleshed out and their lines really meant something, even the ones that were comedic relief. Maybe I shouldn’t give quite that candid an opinion on the matter, but I really think they’ve got a great bunch of actors connecting you to these characters and they deserve Rosa Parks episode every time. Jodie is brilliant.
TGT: Doctor Who Series 11 is having an episode where the Doctor goes back in time to the witch trials. As this is similar to your initial Doctor Who: Velocity episode, what are your thoughts on this news?
Moore: If we had any influence in that at all I am only flattered. At the time that I wrote it, the term “witch hunt” was being severely misused to the point of eliciting extreme wrath from me. [ … ] I could not stand it, so I rented a 36-hour university discussion on early British history from Pagan times prior to Rome up to King Henry in order to better understand how a whole people went from being pagans to burning witches in so short a period of time. Then I researched King James and why he wrote the Witch’s Hammer, and then I came across the story of Agnes Waterhouse, which was so fascinating. I hadn’t yet considered that, of course, many people would have considered themselves a witch and thereby guilty according to the law. I knew that was the subject I wanted to play with. Guilt on the personal level and paranoia on the social level. I was really excited to do that one and honestly, wish I had 45 minutes and a lot more money for that episode. It turned out better than it should considering it’s really just the two of us, but in my head, that story is so much more than we could visually put into it.