My name is Stuart Humphryes; I am a digital artist, a video compositor and a colourisation artist, known on-line as BabelColour.
I graduated from Suffolk College with an honours degree in Design Communications and spent 14 years with The British Red Cross. I worked as their London Area Manager until I moved to Local Government. I am freelance colourisation artist for print, film and exhibition content.
I began colourising photographs in 2004 under the name BabelFish. By sharing this early work on-line I was invited to colourise a series of off-screen Tele-snaps for use in the television archive and restoration magazine ‘Nothing At The End Of The Lane’ in 2005. I also colourised the front cover of their omnibus reprint in 2008.
These early colourisation lead to me being invited in 2005 to collaborate on a project to colourise surviving 35mm film sequences from the BBC's 1965 monochrome serial ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. The colourised footage was featured within a documentary on the BBC’s ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ DVD.
By 2005 I had established the BabelFish Colourisation Website, onto which I routinely posted video colourisations, but in August 2006 I joined YouTube to widen my audience and share longer colourised projects. Unfortunately, the 'BabelFish' username had already been claimed, so I opted to retain the 'Babel' prefix and append the word 'Colour' to reference the colourisation videos I would be uploading. That is how 'BabelColour' was born.
My YouTube videos have been recommended by The Guardian, The Metro, The Stage, BBC America, BBC On-Line, SFX Magazine, The Edinburgh News, as well as totalling 19 monthly recommendations by the official Doctor Who Magazine issues #430, #431, #433, #441, #444, #450, #451, #476, #479, #480, #496, #507, #509, #512, #514 and #517
My 2017 web series, 'The Almost Doctors', was promoted by BBC America as "exceptional", in 'Doctor Who Magazine' issue 512 (June 2017) and issue 513 (July 2017) and promoted and recommended by the BBC AfterShow. in which they generously referred to me as a "colourisation and compositing legend".
The success of the colourisation work brought me to the attention of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, with whom I collaborated to re-colourise film for the BBC’s Doctor Who DVD releases, colourising footage for the Director’s Cut of ‘Terror of the Zygons‘ and the episode one of the 1971 serial ‘The Mind of Evil‘.
On 10th March 2013 I took to the stage as one of the guest speakers at the British Film Institute premiere of the re-colourised ‘Mind of Evil’.
The Doctor Who Magazine previewed the release of 'The Mind of Evil' DVD in July 2013, issue 461.
The verdict: "Stuart's work on the colours is exceptionally good, especially with difficult areas like skin and hair; and I think this sets a new benchmark for colourisation of film recordings".
The Doctor Who Magazine's DVD Review in Issue 462 was also very generous towards the work.
In August 2013 I was thanked by Doctor Who Magazine (issue 462) for contributions to their Morbius feature .
The Morbius Doctors had previously formed the background narrative to my 'Ten Doctors' web-series,
it is a project that has been recommended in SFX Magazine, by Digital Spy and reviewed by TV Tropes.
In 2017 I celebrated my 11th anniversary on YouTube with a compendium of all my on-line work, accompanied by recommendations and testimonials from a number of Doctor Who luminaries, including the two erstwhile Doctor Who Magazine editors Tom Spilsbury and Clayton Hickman, the actors John Levene, John Guilor, Nathan Head and Jonathon Carley, the writer and historian David J Howe, the presenter and producer Christel Dee and the Doctor Who showrunner, head writer and producer Steven Moffat.
Many projects have passed my way, from the colourisation of footage from the Axis invasion of the Netherlands to Indian Independence, and the life of the microbe to Morecambe & Wise. In 2019 the London Evening Standard ran a feature on my colourisation of historical photographs and the Royal Mail used my colourisation of VE Day celebrations in their 2020 commemorative coin packs. My history feed on Twitter began focusing on photo restoration work in June 2020 and currently has over 108,000 followers.
Whatever your interest in bringing colour back to the shadows of the past, I am always happy to consider any proposals for new ventures.
Away from colourisation, I am a keen genealogist. In 2014-15 I provided information to researchers of the BBC 2 documentary series ‘The Secret History of My Family’, which was broadcast on Thursday 10th March 2016. Episode 1 chronicled the life and descendants of my 4 x Great-Grandfather Robert Gadbury. I am second cousin (twice removed) from his descendant and premier of Tasmania Albert Ogilvie. A by-product of my genealogy and colourisation skills is an interest in the restoration and colourising of family photographs, which breathes a new life in to the faces of our ancestors.
Below: Stuart Humphryes AKA Babelcolour