Remember When ‘Community’ Had Its Own ‘Doctor Who’?

The Large Image

  • Inspector Spacetime
    , a
    Physician Who
    spoof from NBC’s
    , turned beloved even to solid members on
    Physician Who
  • Launched in season 3 of
    , Inspector Spacetime was a low-budget sci-fi collection spoof that includes quirky characters and absurd storylines.
  • Whereas
    Inspector Spacetime
    confronted challenges, together with its try and develop into its personal present as an online collection, it stays a nostalgic favourite amongst followers.

From action movies to struggle documentaries to classic westerns, NBC’s Community has all the time excelled at doing parody. However maybe one in all its best achievements relating to poking enjoyable at different media hasn’t been receiving the eye it deserves. A staple of the “geek is the brand new cool” period of the 2010s, Group‘s Inspector Spacetime collection was a Doctor Who spoof that’s nonetheless very a lot beloved by probably the most die-hard followers, with cosplays still popping up at conventions and even its own wiki, however it’s hardly remembered by extra informal viewers, or no less than not as a lot because the now iconic paintball episodes that aimed their weapons at virtually each style within the movie world.

As soon as Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy’s (Donald Glover) favourite tv collection, Inspector Spacetime was, for some time, one of many largest issues born out of Group. It will definitely made its strategy to the Physician Who world and even turned its personal factor, with a webseries that followers can nonetheless take a look at to today. However in case you are not positive what we’re speaking about, let’s pop into the TARDIS… ahem, on the BOOTH for a bit and keep in mind that time Group did Physician Who virtually in addition to Physician Who itself.


A suspended lawyer is pressured to enroll in a neighborhood school with an eccentric workers and scholar physique.

Launch Date
September 17, 2009

Essential Style



Viewers are launched to Inspector Spacetime alongside Abed in Season 3’s inaugural episode, “Biology 101”. Whereas the principle story focuses on Jeff making an attempt to take care of his friendship with the research group after being kicked out of the biology class by which that they had enrolled collectively, there is a aspect plot about Abed shedding his thoughts over the truth that his beloved Cougar City has been moved from the mid-season schedule, a reference to Group‘s personal scheduling troubles at NBC. To assist calm him down, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) introduces him to the British sitcom that truly impressed Cougar City, a fictional present by the title of Cougarton Abbey. Alas, as is the case for many British collection, Cougarton Abbey solely ran for a complete of six episodes, and ended with all of its characters ingesting poisoned tea and dying. This drives Abed into a whole breakdown, and it is as she’s making an attempt to undo the harm that she triggered that Britta finds out concerning the Inspector and his adventures.

In contrast to Cougarton Abbey and different British exhibits, Inspector Spacetime, Britta explains, has been on the air continuous since 1962. With an absurdly low price range, the collection options two predominant characters: the Inspector (Travis Richey) and his human accomplice, Constable Reggie (Derwin Jordan), a transparent reference to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), who served because the Physician’s companion primarily throughout their third incarnation (Jon Pertwee). Touring in a sometimes British cellphone sales space as an alternative of a police field and combating Blorgons that scream “Eradicate!” as an alternative of exterminating Daleks, the Inspector instantly wins over Abed’s coronary heart. Followers are additionally hooked, notably these which can be additionally right into a sure copycat British present known as Physician Who — a present that was having fun with recognition again when “Biology 101” first aired, with Matt Smith because the Eleventh Physician and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

From then on, Inspector Spacetime began popping up in lots of Group Season 3 episodes, both as one thing that is enjoying within the background as Abed senses the existence of one other, darker timeline in “Remedial Chaos Idea” or as one of many parts of Troy and Abed’s Dreamatorium in “Digital Methods Evaluation”. Little by little, we be taught extra concerning the present, corresponding to the truth that it has a really a lot reviled vacation particular by which the Inspector and Reggie have a good time Time Day. Whereas Doctor Who does have its fair share of specials, the episode, which Abed desires his pals to look at with him for Christmas, is a nod to a different sci-fi franchise: Star Wars. In a maligned TV special, Luke (Mark Hamill) and firm pop by Chewbacca’s (Peter Mayhew) to see how the Wookiees have a good time Life Day.

The ‘Inspector Spacetime’ Fever Reached Its Highest Level in a Season 4 Episode

And talking of maligned, whereas Season 3 of Group is the one which introduces us to Inspector Spacetime, the fictional TV collection truly peaked in Season 4. The season’s third episode, “Conventions of Area and Time,” is all concerning the research group touring collectively to an Inspector Spacetime occasion. Whereas Jeff (Joel McHale) is mistaken for the actor behind the favored shirtless villain Thoraxis, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Pierce (Chevy Chase) get invited to a panel to debate an American model of the present titled Epochs of Eternity. Pierce’s many opinions on the pilot find yourself making a distinction, which ends up in the collection being a really sexist, terrible parody of itself. With itself being, you understand, already a parody.

Additionally, in a bizarrely prescient storyline, Britta desires to persuade Troy and Abed that the one feminine Inspector ever, Minerva, is definitely good, although she is hated by the fandom. Not as a result of they’re sexist, thoughts you, however as a result of she’s truly unhealthy. Now, there is no telling whether or not or not that is true — it is a fictional fandom for a fictional TV present, in any case — however it’s bizarre how a lot this finally ends up saying concerning the future. Again when the episode aired, in 2013, there was already some stress by followers to make the subsequent Physician a lady. This would not occur till 2018, although, when Jodie Whittaker took over because the Thirteenth Physician, the primary and solely lady to ever lead the collection. As a performer, she’s removed from doing a nasty job, and really brings her absolute best to the character. Nevertheless, it’s exhausting to not argue that her run because the Physician, helmed by showrunner Chris Chibnall, is unmemorable at greatest.

However the actual predominant plot of the episode surrounds Abed and Troy going through adjustments to their duo’s dynamic. Whereas Troy has began sleeping with Britta, Abed has made a brand new good friend within the type of Inspector Spacetime superfan Toby (Matt Lucas). Mad at his personal greatest good friend for having chosen his spouse as an alternative of the conference, Toby desires to persuade Abed to ditch Troy, arguing that neurotypicals solely hold folks like them down. Nevertheless, finally, Abed makes a complete speech about how Troy is vital and the one person who retains him grounded, which is a really candy second for the pair. It is also good for what it says about Doctor Who, or, relatively, Inspector Spacetime: Identical to the logical Inspector wants his emotional human constables, Abed wants his Troy.

The ‘Physician Who’ Solid Was Extraordinarily Into ‘Inspector Spacetime’

Donald Glover and Danny Pudi as Troy and Abed holding an Inspector Spacetime poster in Community
Picture through NBC

Toby’s Matt Lucas is none apart from the actor who performed Nardole, River Tune’s (Alex Kingston) sidekick throughout Peter Capaldi‘s time because the Twelfth Physician. This already goes to point out that Group spared no efforts when it got here to creating Inspector Spacetime‘s connection to its supply of inspiration fairly clear. Nevertheless, the solid of Physician Who as a complete was additionally fairly into Group‘s tackle their work. On the time, it was widespread for Gillan, Darvill, and Smith, in addition to showrunner Steven Moffat, to get questions on Inspector Spacetime, both from followers or from reporters; the subject emerged on the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, and on the 2012 official Doctor Who convention.

Gillan is usually probably the most excited concerning the spoof. Throughout a 2012 interview, she even expressed curiosity in having a cameo within the NBC collection. “Hey, Group, I simply needed to say that anytime you possibly want an Amy Pond on Inspector Spacetime, then simply let me know,” the actress joked. Sadly, Amy Pond left Physician Who later that yr, and Group just about stopped speaking concerning the present after “Conventions of Area and Time,” so this cross-over was by no means realized.

‘Inspector Spacetime’ Ultimately Grew to become Its Personal Factor

However that does not imply Inspector Spacetime itself died all the way in which again in 2013. Nicely, okay, it sort of did, however not as a result of Group‘s showrunners determined to kill it. In 2012, the actor beneath the Inspector’s bowl hat, Travis Richey, reached out to Sony and NBC in an try and make an precise Inspector Spacetime TV collection. As he by no means heard again from them, Richey determined to create a Kickstarter to fund his project as a webseries. After all, Sony and NBC reached out quickly after the crowdfunding marketing campaign went on-line and requested him to, fairly please, drop it. He did not, however he modified his present’s title to Untitled Webseries About A Area Traveler Who Can Additionally Journey By Time.

The entire first season of Untitled Net Sequence About A Area Traveler Who Can Additionally Journey By Time is available on YouTube, and whereas it’s removed from being status TV, it’s nonetheless a enjoyable look ahead to followers of Group and Physician Who. Mentions of a second season that includes The Large Bang Idea‘s Mayim Bialik and Star Trek: Voyager‘s Robert Picardo might be discovered on-line, even on IMDb, however the precise movies are not uploaded wherever. It is fairly possible that this by no means bought made, or possibly it is simply misplaced to time, the place solely the Inspector can retrieve it.

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