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Sony cries 'Eradicate!' on Inspector Spacetime Webseries


Doing what even the Blorgons, couldn’t, the lawyers at Sony Pictures have forced the Eleventh Inspector to retreat — but only for the moment. They’ve halted actor Travis Richey’s plan for making a fan driven webseries of Community‘s affectionate Doctor Who spoof Inspector Spacetime — but only one incarnation of it.

Richey, producer of hit webseries Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy and 2 Hot Guys in the Shower and the actor who brought the last of the Infinity Knights to life on several episodes of NBC’s popular show, recently announced his intent to bring a fan lead version of the show to the web. He created a Kickstarter page for the project and made an appearance at the annual DOCTOR WHO convention, Gallifrey One, that included the cast of the upcoming series was very well received.

All that changed yesterday, with a call from Sony. “They told both me and my agent to stop the series or they’d issue a Cease and Desist letter,” Travis told this afternoon. “So I have.”

Fan driven, not-for-commericial-use versions of popular series are pretty common in this digital age. STAR WARS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and SPACE: 1999, have all had non-professional, web versions. STAR TREK is perhaps the best example, with series like Hidden Frontier and Phase II first being affectionate takes then, later, the only takes when TREK was off the air from 2005-2009. Lucasfilm even embraced their fans, blessing the creativity and love of their audience with the yearly The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards, complete with rules, statues and award ceremonies at Comic-Con. Sony doesn’t seem to be in that mindset.

“I believe the law would be on my side in producing this parody… of a parody,” Richey said. “I love Community, I love DOCTOR WHO and I really love Inspector Spacetime, so I have no wish for a fight.”

With competing wikia pages, a forum, an entry on TV Tropes and an ever increasing array of posters and t-shirts, the show-within-a-show is a hit with the fans. “This was a great way to bring audiences what they were hungry for — more of the Inspector,” Richey said. “Since there is a very real possibility Community won’t be back next year, a webseries was a further way to celebrate all of this. It’s sad that Sony doesn’t see it that way.”

But much like how the Inspector was able to turn the Promethium to his advantage and reverse the Vociferate’s destruction of the universe, Richey has regrouped, reincarnated and hatched a new plan. He will be removing all references to Inspector Spacetime from his proposed web series, as well as altering the costume and other details so as not to infringe on Sony’s copyrights. “It’ll be my own, my writing partner and, most importantly, the fans creation,” Richey said.

The Inspector would be proud.

Editor’s Note: More about the Kickstarter campaign can be seen below. And don’t forget to check out the Gallifrey One convention video, also below, where Richey brings queerness into the IS universe with a wonderful discussion of the Insepctor’s husband.





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