DIY Dalek and dapper Time Lord battle in 'Japanese Doctor Who'
Dalek with legs? Cybermen in Spandex? Sonic Screwdriver as a sword flute? Crave chats with the "Japanese Doctor Who" filmmaker Joshua Kahan about why he gave the popular British sci-fi show the Tokusatsu touch.
Whovians have paid tribute to the British sci-fi series "Doctor Who" by making their own fan films for decades. The iconic show has been re-imagined as a cartoon, as anime, and even as a musical mashup with Sherlock. So why not as a Japanese sci-fi superhero show?
London-based filmmaker Joshua Kahan pays tribute to the older "Doctor Who" series from the 1970s and '80s as well as the live-action Japanese sci-fi genre known as Tokusatsu in his video, "Japanese Doctor Who."
The video, which he shot in 4:3 aspect ratio to give the video a vintage appearance, features a suave-looking Time Lord, an angry Dalek with legs called Dalekor, and his Cybermen henchmen. The sound design includes sampling from various episodes of retro Tokusatsu shows "Kamen Rider X" and "Supaidaman" (Japanese Spider-Man).
Any Whovian worth their sonic screwdrivers know that the Cybermen are not supposed to be working for the Daleks, but in this parody they have teamed up to rid the universe of the Doctor.
"I approached the project from the theoretical mindset of if I were Japanese TV exec and I were making a version of 'Doctor Who; and had no knowledge or care about the show, what are the most superficially iconic things about the show that I can use as a starting point for something that clearly isn't 'Doctor Who' and involves transforming heroes and giant robots?" Kahan told Crave.
"To me Daleks and the Cybermen are the most iconic villains," Kahan added. "They're also both robots so it weirdly makes sense teaming them up. I am also aware that they're not exactly friends, which was another reason to pair them up. I thought it would be funnier."
The costumes made for the parody harken more to the older "Doctor Who" episodes starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, rather than the current "Doctor Who" series which clearly has a bigger budget.
"Dalekor's armor was forged in the fire pits of Skarros, his birth planet, from assorted utilities -- a plunger, ping pong balls, a dustbin and plastic tubing," Kahan told Crave. "What else would a person need to create the armor for such an evil monster?"
"The Cybermen, designed by the vile Davronicus -- scientist Lieutenant to the M.A.S.T.E.R., are the foot soldiers of the Machine Monster Empire," Kahan told Crave. "They are made from conquered or captured species that have then had their personalities wiped and their bodies warped and replaced with deadly cybernetic parts. To a regular Joe, they appear to be constructed from black zentai suits and chrome spray painted alien masks."
The Doctor was outfitted in a costume that befits his debonair personality. "What does the pimpest, coolest, suave-est guy that given the opportunity any right thinking man circa late '70s early '80s would want to be?" Kahan told Crave. "The answer was Banba Sokichi aka Big One from J.A.K.Q. -- the second 'Super Sentai' series. His costume was pretty much spot on, the only thing he was missing was a Sonic Screw Sword."
You heard right. Instead of the Doctor's traditional Sonic Screwdriver, this Doctor has a Sonic Screw Sword that he plays like a flute which obliterates Dalekor.
Sadly, Kahan has no plans to make more episodes of "Japanese Doctor Who." We'd love to see his take on other "Doctor Who" characters like the Ood, the Weeping Angels and the Sontarans. But Kahan assures us that more parodies of other franchises are on the way. Currently, he's hard at work on his next projects -- a "Star Trek" musical and a children's parody book called "See Tom Cruise Run."