Take a look at this video.
Now if you were anything like me your reaction will have been as “WTF? OMG!” as mine was. I had no idea photo-realistic CG humans were this far advanced but the possibilities for recreating all those Missing Episodes of Classic Who are immediately obvious. And surely that photo-CG would be more achievable – and cheaper – in greyscale?
Once this sort of thing becomes affordable, I can’t imagine that it won’t be long before the technology moves outside of the gaming industry to Hollywood. Sure there will be all sorts of legalities to be sorted out regarding using the likenesses of dead Hollywood actors but they did get Laurence Olivier into Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow ten years ago so they are clearly not insurmountable even now.Any dead Hollywood icon could be CGI’d, there’s already software that can create 3D models from photos so you could combine that with motion capture to recreate anyone from Humphrey Bogart to William Hartnell. And that means you could finally create a version of The Three Doctors that includes Hartnell in the mix. My photocomic version of the story shows how it could have worked and the idea of a full motion version sends my inner fanboy straight to Squee-ville. We’ve already had the colour Hartnell made for the Fifty Years Trailer so let’s hope we get a photo-CG Hartnell version of The Three Doctors for the Sixtieth Anniversary – who knows where this technology will be in 2023!
Maybe this is why the release of The Underwater Menace hasn’t been announced yet…