Reeltime Pictures Ltd is a British film, television and video production company and a distributor of the films of other companies, founded in 1984 by Keith Barnfather.
As well as producing corporate and business television, it has made a number of broadcast documentary series including Lost Trains of Cyprus and Phoenix – A Story from the Diaspora.
The company is also known for its many documentaries about the long-running television series Doctor Who (Barnfather was a founding member of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society) and in particular for Myth Makers, a series of interviews with people associated with the making of the series. Many of these programs were hosted by actor Nicholas Briggs, who would later provide the voice of the Daleks in the 2005 series of Doctor Who.
Reeltime Pictures also pioneered a technique of creating direct-to-video Doctor Who spin-offs, despite the BBC's close guarding of the series, by building the spin-offs around incidental characters and monsters licensed directly from the writers who created them. Their first effort, 1987's Wartime, was a small-scale piece built around Sergeant Benton of UNIT, a recurring character from the 1970s. In 1987, Reeltime produced Myth Runner, a parody of Blade Runner written and directed by and starring Briggs, featuring outtakes from the Myth Makers video series.
Later and more ambitious productions include Mindgame, Downtime, and Dæmos Rising. Despite its non-BBC-licensed status, a novelisation of Downtime was released as part of the BBC-licensed Virgin Missing Adventures Doctor Who spin-off novels. The narrative of Downtime was expanded to incorporate the Doctor, a character missing from the video version for copyright reasons, with the narrative of the original production forming the middle third of the novel.
The success of these ventures inspired and opened the door for later releases by BBV and Big Finish Productions with storylines featuring characters and races from Doctor Who, but not necessarily the Doctor himself (although BBV would produce two series featuring Doctor-like characters portrayed by Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, while Big Finish would also obtain a license that allowed them to feature the Doctor).
After nearly 35 years, the company continues to output a wide variety of programming, including patient information films for Moorfields Eye Hospital and is in production of a new television series about the Cypriot shrine at Apostolos Andreas.
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