It was only about six months ago that Travis Richley kicked off a fund-raising initiative to get production rolling on his web-series, Inspector Spacetime, prompting NBC and Sony to send a cease and desist order.
NBC’s problem with the show? Inspector Spacetime, which is a clear parody of the BBC’s Doctor Who, was actually created for the network’s popular situation comedy program, Community. The fictional show appears a few times in various episodes as something the characters watch on television, and Community’s producers filmed the Inspector Spacetime sequences for this purpose. Richley, a self-professed fan of both Community and Doctor Who, was cast in the role of the little seen character.
Here’s a clip from Community:
Richley was enamored with the parody, and wished to do more than just a few brief clips of the fake show. Having no luck with convincing the network to make the parody into a web-series, he decided to start up a kickstarter project to get the funds to do it alone.
NBC decided that this was against his contract and their copyrights to the fictional show. However, all they really have rights to is the title, since the rest is a parody, and Richey’s performances are his own.
Richley changed the name of the project and posted this on the Kickstarter page, “If it wasn’t clear; NBC, Sony, and the Community production team have nothing to do with this web series, which is NOT Inspector Spacetime. It is entirely fan produced. With your help.”
The project doesn’t seem to have soured NBC’s relationship with Richley. He’ll be back on the show briefly in the coming season when the character go to an Inspector Spacetime convention.
The Project, now called Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, debuted this week, and this first five-minute episode is clever, and clearly comes from place of love for Doctor Who, rather than one of mockery.
More episodes will arrive weekly on Richley’s YouTube channel.