So yeah, I am clearly not the first one to pick up on this but still…Doctor Who and Bill & Ted; There seem to be some similarities here. Now I love both of these franchises. Bill & Ted were and still are two of my all time favourite films. Similarly I love everything about Doctor Who especially the fact that the super advanced multi-dimensional manipulation of time and space is summed up in the phrase ‘It’s bigger on the inside.’ Despite this I can still objectively appreciate how, once again, American cinema had descended on the twitching carcass of British television.
Now Doctor Who was a long running British sci-fi programme starting in 1963. In 1989 the series ended but in a strange conscience this is also the year Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure was released. It is clearly apparent that that someone in Hollywood had been watching the show having the ‘great’ idea of Americanising it once the British telling had begun to wane whilst still capitalising on the fanbase. Only Bill & Ted turned out to be nothing like Doctor Who, bar the obvious ‘travelling through time in a phone box’ thing. The premise of Doctor Who started as a near enough immortal alien exploring time and the cosmos with his inter-dimensional, shape changing space ship. Now the famous police box was first created because this alien wished to stay hidden and in that day and age (the 60’s) there was emergency blue police boxes on nearly every corner, thus a perfect way to blend in. Later, in order to keep the iconic box, it was written in that at some point the ships chameleon circuit was broken and it was stuck in that form. Conversely Bill & Ted have a Phone Booth for no overly apparent reason other then ‘it’s kinda cool’ and ‘Doctor Who did it.’ They could have easily made a time machine anything…Maybe a car (now where have I heard that before?) but they didn’t and I would be willing to wager the reason they didn’t is because the Doctor Who had that much of a cultural impact that it was worth building a film around in order to capitalise upon. There’s just one thing, though, I don’t think Hollywood expected Doctor Who to make a comeback, especially not in the overwhelming fashion that it has. Still, there doesn’t seem much fallout over the situation and I think that lies in the fact that the Bill & Ted films were made in 1989 and 1991 respectively. That’s at least 5 years before any form of Who revival and over a whole decade before the massive kick start in 2005. As such I’m not surprised they’ve never gotten in each others way, B&T apparently managed to slip in at the start of the 25 year niche of Doctor Who absence, completely managing to avoid stepping on their toes. But now with speculative word of a potentially possible idea for a concept of Bill & Ted 3 (Yes, this is apparently happening! http://www.totalfilm.com/news/alex-winter-talks-bill-ted-3) we’ll just have to see how many more people begin to sit up and take notice of the elephant in the room similarities between the franchises.
For the record, though, I wish to state again that I LOVE Bill & Ted and have nothing against those who made it simply because it was done well. Unlike other Americanised products or adaptations like the horrid Red Dwarf remake…But that’s for another time. The point is that Bill & Ted took and idea and made it there own which, in their own ways, made it better than the original concept. I mean time travel, rock music and Keanu Reeves… To this day I don’t think you can get much cooler.
Anyway, I shall leave you with the all famous words of the duo spoken by the great vampire hun- I mean President himself…