Thursday 23 September 2021

The Story of the Doctor Who Tapestry (Part Two)

I often get asked the same questions regarding the tapestry: When did you start it? How long have you been doing it? It’s not actually that easy to answer because it has not been a continuous activity. But let me wind the clock back and try to provide some answers. (Part One here)

Part Two – Finishing the Seven Faces of Doctor Who.

Having started on the other Doctors I was determined to complete them. Even at this stage there were no plans to join them together. The other canvases were designed as individual pieces.

William Hartnell, the First Doctor included a Zarbi and the TARDIS console. The background is partially the titles and partially Vortis where The Web Planet was set. Although at the time I struggled to find a suitable reference photo for the console, so this part never got finished. To this day it has still not been completed. Maybe this is the next thing I should take a look at, there is so much more reference material available now. Back then we never had the luxury of all the classic series being available on DVD as it is today.. 

Patrick Troughton, like Hartnell, the background was difficult because these stories were in black and white, so I had to apply my own colour scheme to try and give some depth to the picture. Although later I was to create a pure black and white panel for the larger canvas, but more about that later. This time I went back to the initial design of Doctor and two besties including a Kroton and an Ice Warrior. The cover of the novelisation for The Krotons was an influence on this one.

Peter Davison, this time I threw the design idea out of the window and just had the Doctor and the Malice from The Awakening. I think the Malice grew out of control on the tapestry leaving no room for anything else. The change in titles at the end of the Tom Baker era was reflected here in the massive use of black wool to create the star field title sequence that dominated both the 5th and 6th Doctor’s eras.

Colin Baker, here I went for the Trial of a Time Lord, which let’s face it was almost 50% of the VI Doctor’s time aboard the TARDIS. I went back to the initial design and included the Inquisitor and Valeyard as the additional characters, which balanced well, but this time looking down upon the Doctor. Focusing on the Trial serial also allowed me to jazz up the background with the colour flares that were introduced into the titles this season.

So there I was with seven Doctors, three of which were now framed and that was when an idea struck me, rather than framing them, how would they look joined together. But the backgrounds did not merge together, except maybe for Davison to Colin Baker. Something would have to go between them to join them and allow the backgrounds to merge. And that was when space and time exploded…

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