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Hughes on Artwork


By Alistair Hughes

Having had only limited success with my previous two TSV illustrations (the 'Pertwee Montage' and 'The Eight Doctors') I was determined to learn from experience with my next one.

I decided to produce a much quicker and less complicated illustration while continuing my policy to use a different technique each time. The original idea behind this one was to a produce a kind of sequel to the 'Pertwee Montage' but this time featuring the alien foes of the Third Doctor - an aspect which I'd deliberately avoided with that earlier illustration.

So I had a subject in mind but needed a sort of 'frame-work idea' to hold everything together, while keeping it quite different in appearance to anything which I'd done before. I remembered the Keller machine from the Eighth Season story, The Mind of Evil and the scene where the Doctor is tortured with images of his past foes projected by the machine. Deciding to expand on this idea, I used images of all the creatures faced by the Third Doctor, in chronological order of stories from the Autons in Spearhead from Space, to the Cybermen in The Five Doctors.

I combined a drawing of the Doctor looking suitably perturbed with these creatures and placed the Keller machine in the centre to appear as if it were radiating the images. Pleased with the result, I still felt that it needed something a bit special, so I rotated the illustration while simultaneously photocopying it. (I'd first used this technique at design school to produce extremely unflattering likenesses of my classmates and tutors from photographs.) It took 20 attempts before I achieved the correct sort of 'swirling distortion' that I was after, producing some very weird effects in the process (the ugliest of the aliens depicted would have taken great offence at some of the results, I am sure).

I then letrasetted the Master's sneering, parting shot from the story which the illustration is based on, and added it to the bottom as a finishing touch.

Initially afraid that the final illustration might be a little too distorted, I was pleased that TSV had the foresight to print an explanatory note to ensure that everyone had some idea of what they were looking at.

Just for the record, the illustration features the following monsters (clockwise from the top): An Auton, Silurian, Alien Ambassador, Primord, Axon, Alien Priest (from Colony in Space), Azal and Bok, an Ogron, Dalek, Aggedor, Sea Devil, a Mutt, Kronos, Omega, a Drashig, Draconian, Linx the Sontaran, an Ice Warrior, the Great One and a Cyberman. Some are definitely easier to pick out than others!

I found most of the reference material more easily than I expected, but I actually had to photograph the Keller machine from a video of the story as I could find no decent pictures of it anywhere. All in all, this illustration took just under a week to complete and judging from the TSV letters column, appears to have been received quite well. Perhaps this is proof that it is best sometimes to keep things simple?


[finished sketch]

Top: The illustration in its very roughest, primeval form-a-two-minute doodle which helped me sort out relative proportions and 'the final cast of creatures'.

Bottom: The finished article, distorted on a photocopier before the Master's quote was added. How many creatures can you identify?

[Nightmares as it appeared on the cover of TSV 15]

This item appeared in TSV 20 (December 1990).

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