Community's Inspector Spacetime To Be A Web Series, And Questions Of Legality Arise

Communitys Inspector Spacetime To Be A Web Series, And Questions Of Legality Arise

Hey, let me be one of the many writers out there who love him some Community: I've watched the show since it first aired and know that much like Arrested Development, will likely never be watched quite like less-deserving shows and has been on the brink of cancellation since it was announced that it would not return mid-season (although it was recently announced it would return for more episodes on March 15).  There is some sort of grasping-at-straws news out there, however.  A show created for a quick joke called Inspector Spacetime, a take-off on Doctor Who, is being made into a web series by the man who played Inspector Spacetime, without the involvement of NBC, Sony, or Community itself.

Can Inspector Spacetime Be A Web Series Without Its Original Creators?

First, here's the clip from Community where Inspector Spacetime came to be, after Abed's (Danny Pudi) disillusionment with the show Cougartown:

The man playing Spacetime is Travis Richey, and he's the guy who announced at a Doctor Who convention that he was making this series.  This got some fans of Community excited: Dan Harmon, the creator of Community, would at least be keeping some part of the show alive while we waited to see if the actual show was going to be able to continue.  But Richey came out and said:

Dan Harmon, Community, NBC and Sony have nothing to do with this web series. I pitched it to them after my first episode of Community, but never heard back from them one way or another. So I'm going to do it myself, with the help of fans. I'm launching a Kickstarter campaign in a matter of hours for an equipment budget, and the complete story can be read there.

Communitys Inspector Spacetime To Be A Web Series, And Questions Of Legality Arise

So I'm going to take the role of TV-obsessed Abed here and bring up a scenario from Night Court.  Remember Night Court?  Eh, it was a show on NBC from 1984-1992.  There was an episode I recall with a character who claimed he owned The Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge because he sent New York City checks for a dollar with those landmarks' names on them and they were cashed.  Here, it sounds like a guy approached the owners of the property and didn't get a response, so he's taking their lack of an answer as, "So, I can go ahead and do this on my own, then?"

Well, not entirely his own.  As is becoming more and more common, funding for the web series is being set up on Kickstarter.  They're looking at a $20,000 goal, and if the initial response is any indication, it's going to get it.  40 days left, it's already over $5,000.

What's great about the world we live in now is that a 15-second clip on a loved show that doesn't do well in the ratings has spawned a fake history complete with actors who have supposedly played the Inspector over the years.  Richey is playing on that aspect on his Kickstarter page, calling to the fans to make a donation and make the series happen.

Interesting questions abound with this new web series.  I'll be interested to see how it ends up.

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Posted in Web Series
About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=45609168 Thom Blake

    There is a response to legal concerns posted here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1878253293/inspector-spacetime-the-webseries#IsThisLegaIsNbcsHarmHarmMomGoinToLetYouDoThis.

    • Chris Atkinson

      Thanks for the digging. I didn't see that on my first go round.