Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Seventh Doctor

I'm a big fan of Doctor Who, so I thought I'd start a series of vector drawings of the eleven (!) different Doctors (so far).

Sylvester McCoy played the Seventh Doctor from 1987 to 1989, and then again in 1996.

Why the large gap in time, you're wondering? Believe it or not, after an amazing 26 years on the air, Doctor Who was canceled in 1989. Much like Star Trek, it lived on in books and radio dramas for years after its cancellation. Then in 1996, the Fox Network made a deal with the BBC to try and bring the show to America. Fox produced a TV movie (that also served as a pilot episode) and brought back McCoy to briefly portray the Seventh Doctor. Near the beginning of the TV movie, McCoy regenerated into the Eighth Doctor.

Unfortunately the TV movie didn't make a big enough splash to warrant a new series. The adventures of a Time Lord who travels around in a blue box that's bigger on the inside than the outside was probably just too weird for mainstream America.

I've only seen one of McCoy's episodes. I thought he was just OK. I need to watch a few more shows before forming an opinion.

The Seventh Doctor started out as a comical and bumbling buffoon, which caused his foes to underestimate him. As the series progressed, his personality changed and he became darker and devious. His costume even changed to reflect this shift in personality, going from an off-white jacket to a dark brown one.

Unlike any of his previous incarnations, this version of the Doctor spoke with a slight Scottish accent (no doubt because Sylvester McCoy is Scots).

The Seventh Doctor's main companion was a troubled teenage girl named Ace, who insisted on calling him "Professor." Despite being a high school dropout, Ace was proficient in chemistry and carried explosives of her own making in her backpack(!).

The Doctor saw himself as something of a mentor to Ace. The producers even planned a story arc in which the Doctor would recommend her for entrance into the Prydonian Academy on Gallifrey, where she would train to become a Time Lord herself. Unfortunately the series was canceled before these events could play out.

The Seventh Doctor continued the tradition of incorporating question marks into his attire, which started with the Fourth Doctor. It's something I always found cringe-worthy. Doctor Who is the name of the show, not the character's name. He's always been known simply as "The Doctor." Wearing a question mark as a nod to the show's title always seemed a little too cutesy to me, and every time I saw it it would yank me right out of the story.

At least Doctors #4 through #6 were relatively restrained and just wore question marks on their lapels. The Seventh Doctor went way overboard, wearing an obnoxious question mark patterned sweater vest, and even sported an umbrella with a question mark-shaped handle. We get it already, guys. Thankfully the creators of the revived series have seen the light, and Doctors Eight through Eleven have been question mark free.

Please forgive the ugly watermark on the illustration. I swore I would never add one to my art, because I know that 99.99% of my readers would never even think of stealing it. But earlier this year I had a run-in with an art thief who was not only stealing my work, but selling it as her own! Hence the watermarks. This is why we can't have nice things.

Doctor #7 is a vector drawing, drawn all in InDesign.

Stay tuned for Doctors #8 through #11!
Here's the original digital sketch of Doctor #7. The body ended up the same in the final drawing, but I tweaked the face a bit.

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