Posts Tagged ‘Whoniverse’

6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 6: The Doctor

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

It used to be true that if you want to know how old a British person is, just ask them to describe Doctor Who (yes, yes, I know that’s not his name). The unprecedented popularity of the new version may have changed all that however, with most people looking to the current incumbent of the role  – many people have played the part due to a mysterious Gallifreyan process known as “recasting” (gag nicked from TVCream).

“My” Doctor, like that of many others who grew up in the 70s and 80s (seeing as he held the role for the longest time) was bone fide Great British Eccentric Tom Baker, now probably best known for his narration on Little Britain (on which he seemingly reprises his role of Lionel Nimrod). I spent many Saturday evenings being absolutely terrified by his inexplicable antagonists – like that woman made out of shells that grew out of a disembodied hand, or that big penis shaped thing that lived in a lighthouse and sucked the life out of people. It’s possible that I don’t remember some of this stuff exactly.

I think it was all so scary because I didn’t have a hope of understanding it. It was a show full of horrors, unfathomable alien presences appearing like ghosts out of the darkness, and generally fucking with powerless human idiots. Many years after it had traumatised me as a child I came across an episode called City of Death, which featured Julian “General Veers” Glover tearing off his face to reveal a tentacley Lovecraftian monstrosity. It was a bit of a disappointment to rewatch that scene and see him very nearly pulling off the monster face along with the human one.

I have a bit of a theory about Doctor Who. His look is generally inspired by stuff that was going on a few years previously. OK, William Hartnell was just this old professor dude, but Patrick Troughton had a Beatle cut and Jon Pertwee looked like he could’ve hung out on Carnaby Street with The Pretty Things and Tomorrow. Tom Baker’s look is totally 70s, all hair and natural fibres,  actually in a certain light he’s a dead ringer for Orinoco. Peter Davison’s Doctor is all a bit Brideshead Revisited, and the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy incarnations both look like ghastly multicoloured 80s childrens’ entertainers. Of course the theory falls down a bit at this point when we get to Paul McGann, though I’m not sure “Whovians” even count him as canon? The boys over at MMM/Fantragic would be able to tell you. David Tennant is pure Britpop though, he looks like one of The Bluetones.

Doctor

The idea behind this picture, as suggested by Mr Jeremy Marshall over at the 6 Degrees of Francis Bacon group on Facebook, was to draw The Doctor in the style of Peter Blake. All well and good, except that I’m not the John Sessions of comics, so the best I can hope for is a picture with some vaguely Blakeish pop arty 60s references. Although Tom Baker was the 70s Doctor… ah well, enjoy.

So that means I need something cool to draw that connects in some way to Doctor Who, Tom Baker, Peter Blake or anything else suggested here. Suggestions are very much appreciated here in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.

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Who’s Next

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

When TV Cream’s Graham Kibble-White asked me if I knew anything about Doctor Who, I told him the last thing I could remember was Tom Baker offering jelly babies to a disembodied skull in a creepy lighthouse. This was, of course, a lie, but most intelligent life forms would rather forget about Sylvester McCoy in Paradise Towers.

However, I go way back with SFX Magazine. I bought the first issue (on the cover: Lori Petty as Tank Girl), filled out a questionnaire and got sent a free copy of issue 2 (on the cover: Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd). So the chance to contribute to a special edition of the mag (something like 15 years down the line… damn, I’m old!) was too tempting to turn down. The brief was to draw a strip in the style of old Fleetway comics  – I grew up with Whizzer & Chips, so that stuff is hardwired into my brain. I’m sure Graham’s script is packed with geeky references to Who, but my only contribution in that regard was to add The Seal of Rassilon. Now I don’t know what The Seal of Rassilon is, apart from the fact that it might be some kind of seal, possibly originating from a place called Rassilon, but i do know that it was heavily featured in the doomed-from-the-start American Doctor Who TV Movie, because SFX pointed it out (and, to my recollection, they weren’t happy about it).

So anyway, to cut a long story short, go out and buy the SFX Doctor Who special, cos I’m in it and it’s great!

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All I Want For Christmas Is A Dalek

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

At a loss for Christmas present ideas for the Whovian in your life? Of course you are, because there’s barely any Who merchandise out there (sarcasm). However, you should definitely pick up SFX’s Doctor Who: The Fanzine, because in addition to more Time Lord related shenanigans than you can shake a… er… Dalek sink plunger at, there is also the latest instalment of our comic strip Arthur “Dies Daily” Darvill Vs Murderous Moffat. 

Now if SFX ever want to do a Star Wars special I have a great idea for a story about Sheltay Retrac and Don-Wan Kihotay.

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