Posts Tagged ‘Womblin’’

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.


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.