Viewers of “Community” will hopefully be familiar with that show’s meta-tastic spoof cult sci-fi show within a show, “Inspector Spacetime”.
It’s a loving piss-take of wobbly-set and rubber-monster era “Doctor Who” and has somehow spawned a cult following within the small but devoted fan base of it’s parent show.
Actor Travis Richey, who plays the eponymous time ‘tec, recently announced plans to seek crowd-sourced funding for a web series based on the character and bemused some observers, who wondered when “Community” makers NBC were going to notice his Kickstarter page and shut down any direct connection to the ‘Spacetime’ character.
That day has come.
It’s kind of a bummer but wholly expected – I don’t think SyFy and NBC Universal would be delighted, for example, with my wholly unsanctioned “Warehouse 13” web series where Claudia gets to be cute for ten minutes and steampunk shenanigans ensue, hence that show currently existing only in the fevered parameters of my own head.
Of course, a seasoned observer might wonder why the BBC haven’t been parachuting lawyers into NBC’s corporate HQ to query just how much “Inspector Spacetime” adheres to the notion of fair use and parody which allows some TV shows and movies to get away with outright copyright violation with no more defence than ‘It’s kind of funny and an affectionate homage”.
Richey still intends to go ahead with his project – with some crucial but helpful addenda to his initial pitch…
Is this an illustration of the essential difference between US and UK corporate bodies or just evidence that NBC have a massive stick lodged somewhere painful and can’t even begin to see the absurd irony of their actions?