Behind ‘The Big Whobowski’

Posted Friday, March 1st, 2013 01:25 pm GMT -4 by

Yesterday, we posted about a Doctor Who video making the rounds entitled the Big Whobowski.

Because the video was just too cool and quirky for words, I got an interview with the creator, Bob Mitsch, to find out what inspired the whole endeavor.

Bob Mitsch is a staple in the Who fandom, and you may recognize his name from his podcast, Costume Station Zero, which is big among the Doctor Who cosplaying community, or from his sketches at the Los Angeles Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One, such as my favorite, “The Unsung Hero”, a sketch primarily about Brigadier, and his love of shooting things.

Naturally, my first question was what inspired to make such a crazy cross over like ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’.

“We’re all big fans of Doctor Who and The Big Lebowski. We dabble in making videos and live sketches on occasion and one night about a year ago in a typical fan musing conversation a few of us started suggesting what the Big Lebowski would be like in the world of Doctor Who. Which character would play who and how the dynamic would work while keeping some of the core Who traits. What followed was a very warped version of the film that kept cracking us up. Once we figured out The Brigadier would be Walter and Adric would be Donny, it pretty much started writing itself.”

But why choose the 4th Doctor to play “The Dude”, the answer is simple. Aside from the 4th being his favorite Doctor,

“We needed a Doctor that was the most bohemian and hippie-esque. More to the point: Which Doctor was most likely to be the burn out? To me the obvious answer was Four. Also it allowed us to replace the Dude’s quest for a new rug with the Doctor’s quest for his new scarf which fit perfectly.”

They apparently even shot full scenes from the Big Lebowski featuring the Doctor, such as the Doctor/Dude explaining to the Big Lewbowski/1st Doctor how the Woo/The Judoon peed on his scarf. Add that to a list of things I never knew I wanted, but now clearly do.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering where all the costumes came from! Seeing as Mitsch and his friends cosplay at Gallifrey One, it should come to no surprise that they just happened to have all of those outfits. That is, everyone, except for Adric, who seems to usually get the short end of the ‘Doctor Who’ stick in everything.

“The only outfit we specifically had to make for this video, because no other character worked as well, was Adric’s. That was cheaply put together from an old T-Shirt, painted cardstock for the Mathematical Excellence badge, spare felt, cheap green hospital scrubs and recycling my 2nd Doctor wig.”

It seems even in the cosplaying world, Adric has the cheapest costume possible.

Let us not forget he has a rope for a belt.

As for how long this foray took, Mitsch states that they started in October 2012 and wrapped it up in time for this year’s Gallifrey One with the big push being four weeks before. “I’d say it took about 6 weeks counting a lot of extra post-production time, ” he recounts. “Our director/editor Rick Schultz put in a ton of time on it and it shows.”

When I asked about fun making moments, Mitsch naturally had many. Though, if you’re wondering how he managed to shoot the bowling alley scenes without too much of a fuss, the answer is that it took place on Halloween, which means it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. According to Mitsch, “a lot of other bowlers clearly were Lebowski fans and gave us a vote of approval. Although not many got the Who connection, but oh well.”

However, the best story comes from a scene that never made the final cut, though after reading this, I think we all wish it happened.

“True to form we did shoot the Cyberman/Nihilst/Carl Hungus floating in a raft in a pool with a bottle of liquor floating by him. Well to logistically get him in the pool was tricky to say the least. The suit is made entirely of foam so while he wouldn’t sink, it made maneuverability very tough and we always had a Cyber-Raft wrangler (the actor who played Rory oddly enough) just holding, pulling or pushing him in frame. Afterwards, it was quite a chore getting him out of the water as the suit was getting pretty water logged by this point. There were some seriously awkward moments that I’m glad didn’t get on film there! That said, how often do you get to drag a soggy, ‘drunk’ Cyberman out of your swimming pool?”

For me, I took special interest in this video because it’s nice to see the old Who fandom still going strong and including the new fandom. Hopefully the new fans will start getting a little bit more into what the first eight Doctors have to offer. But even more so than that, it’s a well done video that includes two of my favorite things. There is very little more to ask for.