(Not) Inspector Spacetime in the Doctor Who Spotlight (Part 3)

I have covered a lot of details from the (Not) Inspector Spacetime panel at Gallifrey One ( (see Part 1 and Part 2). In this third and final installment of coverage of that panel, you will learn more about the behind-the-scenes crew: those responsible for the props, music and costumes of the series.

Piper's costume, however, is
The (Not) Inspector Spacetime Cast Meet Their Cosplayers. Photo by Alex Halcyon.

The (Not) Inspector Spacetime Costumes

Ask any cosplayer and they just might tell you that one of the most important aspects of any series and its fandom is the costumes. So meet Amanda Avery, one of the costumers behind (Not) Inspector Spacetime.

So how did Avery get on board with (Not) Inspector Spacetime? She and Richey met through Brian Uiga – the man behind The Inspector’s Optic Pocketknife prop. “We were at a prop party and Brian said ‘Oh, I know someone who does costumes’ and came up to me,” she stated.

The costume for Piper was an homage to Doctor Who and a selection of The Doctor’s companions. “This is actually the same skirt that Amy Pond wore in an episode,” Avery said as Carrie Keranen, the actress who plays Piper Tate on the series, modeled the outfit. “She’s got Converse shoes because everyone in Doctor Who has Converse shoes.” The shoes were custom dyed because most of the costumes on Doctor Who are customized in a similar way. Avery continued, “She got a denim jacket because of Rose. She got strawberries [on her sweater] because Amy Pond wears fruit prints a lot.”

Keranen added her own twist to the costume, though, in the form of jewelry. In fact, one of the pieces – a ring – ended with its own backstory. “It was actually a creature from another world that we had visited. It has like this bubble over it and looking in, you can see the bottom of it. So we decided that we had taken that from the other world and put it in its own little atmosphere. So I was carrying around a little galaxy on my hand.”

Becky Jordan (who could not be present at the panel as she’d just had a baby) designed the Inspector’s new coat. “Going from the trenchcoat to bowler hat look to something that had to be hand built – we had a lot of fun designing it,” Richey stated.

Richey explained, “All we knew was that he was kind of the universe police, we were trying to play with a uniform look.” As he spoke, he showed off some of the initial designs that Jordan had created for him. In the end, red and blue became the new colors of The Inspector.

The costume for Boyish, The Extraordinary was halfway attributed to Richey by Avery. “It’s a biking shirt. Best idea ever. It looks like it’s straight out of the future,” she said. That was paired with an oversized lab coat to create the character’s signature look.

(Not) Inspector Spacetime in the Doctor Who Spotlight (Part 3)
Artist rendering of the Circuit Chaps.

The Circuit Chaps for (Not) Inspector Spacetime were created by husband-wife team Malaki and Christina Stroffolino Keller. Malaki Keller was on hand to talk about the construction of the costume. Initially designed from a rough drawing that Richey provided. “We wanted it very old Doctor Who, like made on the cheap,” Keller stated.  It’s created from simple items like foam and cardboard tubes. “Surprisingly, it took a lot longer than I thought it would take to build this,” he said.

The eyes of the Circuit Chaps are actually Play-Doh container lids. “The way that some of these stores work is that you never get the thing you want when you want it,” Keller said. “I literally went to three different stores trying to find just red and green containers. Ultimately, I had to go to WalMart and buy a megapack of like 36 of these things just so I could get two lids.”

The mouth is an iPhone app called Mouth Off to give the Circuit Chap a robot-like mouth. “If you look at the show really closely,” Richey pointed out, “One of the Circuit Chaps has the wrong mouth.” It wasn’t noticed until too late due to only one circuit chap costume being used and replicated four times for the web series. “So one time, he has a monster mouth, which is kind of funny.”

On a sidenote, Richey did confirm that the circuit chaps will make an appearance in season 2 of (Not) Inspector Spacetime.

(Not) Inspector Spacetime in the Doctor Who Spotlight (Part 3)
The Inspector’s Optic Pocketknife

It’s All About The Props

The Doctor has his sonic screwdriver, so obviously, The Inspector needs something equally as cool. Enter the Optic Pocketknife – what Richey refers to as “the most amazing working prop I have ever seen.” If you’ll recall, my first interview with Travis Richey (aka The Inspector) also included an interview with Brian Uiga – the man behind the prop. Uiga was on-hand (in an Inspector costume, I might add) at the (Not) Inspector Spacetime panel to discuss it further.

“I had been working on some sonic screwdrivers,” Uiga said. “And the first year that the series came back with Christopher Eccleston, the sonic screwdriver – you could only shoot it from one side because the other side looked really awful.” So when it came time to create the Inspector’s signature prop, he wanted it to look good from every angle.

“When we finally got around to building the thing, it’s 80 parts,” Uiga stated. During the first meeting between Richey and what became the web series’ art team, he brought a box of various tools for Richey to play with. Richey particularly liked an Allen Key set, specifically its grips. “Then Travis had the idea of ‘what if we have a little piece that flips out and lights up?'” And the initial idea of the Optic Pocketknife was born.

“I spent three hours the night before the shoot taking the set of springs to make this actually flip and not look limp,” Uiga said of the prop. When Uiga showed off the Optic Pocketknife at Comic Con, the creator of Doctor Who‘s sonic screwdriver was impressed and liked Uiga’s design better than his own (as he should be – the optic pocketknife is even cooler up close).

There are also plans to make a less expensive version of the prop to sell to fans. There would be several different versions, complete with sound effects, at different price points.

For Boyish, The Extraordinary’s gun, it all started as a donated steampunk accessory. “We added little glow sticks and so we did that to make it look even cooler.”

The music of (Not) Inspector Spacetime. Now on CD!
The (Not) Inspector Spacetime Soundtrack. Now on CD!

The Music of (Not) Inspector Spacetime

A long-time friend of Richey, Brian Giovanni composed the entire soundtrack for the (Not) Inspector Spacetime web series. According to Richey, “Brian worked backwards from the last note that you see on the Community clip to write the theme song that you  hear in the show now.”

One of the perks for Kickstarter donors was a full soundtrack CD. But Giovanni didn’t want to send the soundtrack as it appeared just lifted from the web series. He went so far as to expand the music so that each small music clip became its own song. “Piper has a theme,” he said. “The Circuit Chaps have a theme. The Inspector has a theme. And Boyish also has his theme.” So the CD features over 30 minutes of music for a 20-minute series of video.

“This just really gave me a chance to really flesh out everything so that it takes you beyond what you see in the series and takes you more on an expanded and extrapolated musical journey, if you will,” Giovanni said.

%d bloggers like this: