Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Eleventh 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).

At long last, it's the Eleventh Doctor! When I first started drawing the various Doctors, I really didn't expect it to take me five months to finish them. But stuff happens, eh?

Matt Smith began portraying the Doctor in 2010, and at age 27 is the youngest actor to ever play the role.

My, oh my, the Doctor seems to be getting younger with every regeneration, doesn't he? The First Doctor looked like an old man, and each successive incarnation has appeared younger than the next (more or less). I'm assuming this is because the Doctor is a physically demanding role, what with all that running up and down corridors, and it might be a strain on an older actor (as turned out to be the case with the First Doctor).

When David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, first announced he was leaving the show, I was honestly depressed for at least a week. Doctor Who is one of the very few shows I still watch on TV, and Tennant was hands down my all time favorite Doctor. I couldn't imagine how anyone could possibly replace him, and his announcement caused me to lose my enthusiasm for the show.

But if you don't like change, then Doctor Who is not the show for you. Every few years it reinvents itself and changes pretty much everything, including the Doctor himself. I can't think of any other TV show that's had eleven different actors play the title role.

I needn't have worried though. By the end of Matt Smith's first episode I'd totally accepted him as the Doctor and barely missed Tennant at all.

The Eleventh Doctor wears a tweed jacket, bowtie and suspenders, rolled up trousers and boots, appearing somewhat like a hipster college professor. According to an interview with Matt Smith, the original costume concept was a pirate-like monstrosity, similar to something Captain Jack Sparrow would wear in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Yikes.

So far Doctor #11 seems a bit more of a comedian than past incarnations, and hasn't plunged into the melancholy funks so often indulged in by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. I hope that's a trend that lasts.

The Doctor also gained a new companion in Amy Pond. Amy's a fun new companion, and I hope she sticks around for a few more seasons. The Doctor first meets her moments after his regeneration, when Amy is a young girl. He jumps back into his TARDIS for a quick errand and when he returns, he finds that while only a few minutes have passed for him, years have passed for Amy, who's now an adult.

Amy's fiance, Rory Williams, accompanies her and the Doctor on a couple of adventures and eventually becomes a full-fledged companion. Poor Rory really got put through the ringer in his first season. He's killed by a Silurian warrior and wiped out of existence, he's reborn as an Auton (a robotic lifeform), he accidentally kills Amy and then spends a thousand years guarding her body until it heals inside the Pandorica. Eventually Rory's restored to normal when the Doctor sacrifices himself to reset the timeline, and Amy and Rory are married at last.

I do like that the Doctor and Rory appear to have become pals. Past incarnations of the Doctor have been dismissive or downright hostile to the male friends of his female companions (Mickey Smith, for example), so it's nice to see his "bromance" with Rory.

River Song also makes a return appearance to complicate the Doctor's life. She's sort of a futuristic cat burglar from the Doctor's future. She claims that she and the Doctor were once married, something that hasn't yet happened from his point of view. River's true nature and agenda remain a mystery. Alex Kingston plays River, and adds a bit of sultriness to the show.

Not only did the Doctor regenerate at the beginning of the season, but so did the TARDIS, inside and out. It changes its outside appearance slightly, and radically reconfigures its control room. Once it's done, the Eleventh Doctor stands before it and says, "What have you got for me this time?" This confirms the notion that the TARDIS is alive and not just a machine and has a measure of sentience, something fans have suspected for years. It also explains why the Doctor seems to always show up at crucial moments in various planet's histories.

In the old series, the Doctor was rarely able to control where the TARDIS was going, traveling randomly through time and space. In the new series, however, the Doctor seemed to have nearly complete control. The Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS-flying skills seems to be slipping a bit, as several times in the series he takes trips that seem like minutes to him, but years to the people he left behind.

As mentioned earlier, the Eleventh Doctor is fond of bowties, telling anyone within earshot that, "Bowties are cool." He also briefly wears large red fez, declaring, "I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool." Unfortunately the fez doesn't survive long, as Amy and River savagely destroy it.

In addition to a new Doctor, new companions and new TARDIS, there were more changes this season: the Doctor got a newly redesigned sonic screwdriver, there were new Dalek designs and even a new opening theme song (well, same song, different arrangement).

I really liked the TARDIS interior during the Ninth and Tenth Doctors' tenure. It was a large, dome-like alien-Victorian looking cavern. I can't say I'm a fan of this new interior though. It's a neon and sheet metal monstrosity that seems to be a random collection of shapes and angles. No matter how long I stare at photos of the new interior, my eyes just can't make any sense out of it. Maybe it'll grow on me in time.

I also wasn't a fan of the new Dalek design either at first. Then I bought some of the action figures and once I had a chance to hold them and look at the design from all angles, I've come to accept them.

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.

Here's the digital sketch I did of the Eleventh Doctor. Matt Smith has a very unusual looking face, and it was tough to capture it in this cartoony style I'd laid out for this project. Hopefully he's recognizable.

Doctor #11 is a vector drawing, drawn all in InDesign.

8 comments:

  1. You ought to put them all in a row and print a long picture to frame, like those cel pictures.

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  2. I done made just such an image, but haven't posted it yet.

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  3. "She claims that she and the Doctor were once married..."

    When did she do that?

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  4. I thought she said in it "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead?" Maybe I'm remembering it wrong.

    She definitely implied it in the Weeping Angels episodes.

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  5. she never confirmed it - or denied it. she always leaves it open for interpretation. this year we gonna find out...

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  6. Amy is the one that keeps suggesting that they act like they are married. There was a heavy implication in the Angels episode, but of course hard to tell if River is just teasing or what. She basically said, 'I'm not saying we aren't married'. Being somewhat of a criminal makes you wonder if she isn't just pulling some strings though.

    I have to rewatch those now to find out what she said exactly. =)

    AKA: Sci-fiGuy

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  7. Yeah, now that I think about it, Amy said, "So you were Mrs. Doctor then?" and River said, "Oh, you're good." So she didn't come right out and confirm it, but she heavily implied it. I guess I remembered her implication as fact.

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  8. these drawings are great would i be able to use then as vinyl wallart to sell

    ReplyDelete

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