Anoraks is a web-based comedy series centred around the lives of three well-seasoned Doctor Who/Science Fiction fans living in Cardiff, Wales. The show pokes affectionate fun at what it means to be a fan, to have what outsiders would call "peculiar interests and habits", and how those interests impact their relationships, their rivalries and their heart-breaks.
As the show's creator, Darren Floyd says, "There has never been a point in my life when I haven’t been a Doctor Who fan - it’s always been a part of me. What I love is that the series is now part of the cultural language again and I’ve seen fandom change and become broader in its make-up. I’m really interested in how the "old guard" fans have reacted to this - with most embracing the new show’s popularity while others have become territorial. The idea for Anoraks came from seeing fans portrayed in the media. Inevitably we’d be dressed long scarves or some other costume, be single and have the social graces of a sponge. While funny, the actual truth of being a fan is more complex, and far, far funnier. As our character Rob points out in the first series, just by it's very nature, fandom is the comedy gift which keeps on giving."
Just don’t mention cos-play, bow ties and skinny-fit T-shirts. And please, whatever else you do, don’t ever call them Whovians…
The ten episodes of series one were centred around the trials and tribulations of the middle-aged characters of Rob, (Brian Smith), Mike, (Andreas Constantinou), and Damien, (Seán Carlsen). We also heard a lot about their respective partners or partners-to-be, though the only one to actually make it to screen was Rachel (played by Abbie Hirst). From writing the scripts to eventually putting them up on-line took nearly two years as we chugged our way through the season. As producer Sian Floyd is fond of reminding us, sometimes the act of getting all of our creative, talented people in the same room was like "herding cats" and we feel that subsequently, the series lost a bit of momentum for the public, but also for our team, by the ongoing delays in production.
It is completely understandable though. Life goes on, and to be honest, everyone working on Anoraks was doing it for free - giving of their time and a lot of their creative energy to make these little short films for a wider audience. With busy schedules to contend with, it was decided that if we were to proceed with a second batch of episodes, the way we should approach it must be significantly different.
At the same time, it came as something of an ironic surprise to all of us that our little web-series about fans had attracted fans of it's own. Subscription and traffic on our website continues to be massive and we've each had the pleasure of meeting new faces at various conventions around the UK who have taken the opportunity to come up to us and tell us how much they've enjoyed being a part of the whole "Anoraks experience". And we've also heard constructive feedback from the fans, who have pointed out quite rightly, that Anoraks, while succeeding in delivering on the point of view of what many consider to be the "old guard" of science fiction fandom, rarely addressed the emergence of the younger voice or even more importantly, the voice of female fans across the greater world of science fiction and fantasy.
So, through a combination of elements, series two will take the Anoraks down a slightly newer path. By the close of the first season, Damien and Rachel were experiencing the potential dissolution of their relationship as a result of Damien's compulsive obsession with Doctor Who. In the season one finalé, The Ultimate Foe!, Rachel offers Damien a second chance, but only if he agrees to move the entire family to Aberdeen to be closer to her parents. Series two starts off with Rob missing his best mate but slowly warming to another of Mike's friends, the irrepressible comic-lover Kim.
Over a year and a half ago, we launched a Kickstarter fund-raiser to help us off-set the costs of making the series and quite frankly, for a new web-series, the on-line response was phenomenal. We nearly reached our goal of £5000 but sadly, we didn't, and we were unable to film the original series ender we had written - it was just too expensive to realise. Instead, we managed what we could and for those people who donated cash to us at our various events, we extend a big thank you for helping us to not only finish the series in style, but to also go on to plan a second series and even to up-date this web-site.
Our goal this year is to be more present with our audience. We want to bring you more stories and we want to share with you a bit of the behind-the-scenes experience of what making a web-series is like. As usual, our intent is not to break or infringe upon the copyrights on any property, whether that be Doctor Who, The X-Files, or even the Marvel universe. After all, a show about fans can't exist without references to the things that drive and consume the minds of fans. Think about how often those little nods to our favourite shows in other shows makes you giggle, laugh or feel incredibly proud.
Anoraks is still a not-for-profit venture and any money that we do raise from up-coming campaigns or the sale of merchandise is money that will go back into the series. We'd like to pay our actors and our crew for giving of their time, we'd like to afford more guest actors and cameos, and we'd like to pay for this web-site and it's various contributors. With your help, we will be able to do just that. So, check out the site, watch the videos, play the quizzes and enjoy the experience. Welcome to the world of "Anoraks"!