Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The War Doctor

I'm a big fan of Doctor Who, and a while back I started a series of vector drawings of all the various Doctors. Here's my version of the War Doctor, from the 50th Anniversary Special The Day Of The Doctor.

The War Doctor (played by John Hurt) is a previously unknown and unmentioned incarnation of the Doctor. He fought in the Last Great Time War, a conflict between his own people the Time Lords and the evil Daleks.

As the Time War dragged on, it threatened to destroy the entire universe. The War Doctor realized that the only way to end it once and for all was by using a super weapon called The Moment. Unfortunately this would result in the utter annihilation of both sides. In essence the only way to save the universe was by destroying his own people.

Ultimately the War Doctor used The Moment and ended the War. Wracked with guilt, he was now the last of his people. This caused him to bury this particular incarnation of himself deep within his psyche, never to be spoken of again.

I know, I know, there's more to this convoluted story (a lot more), but that'll do for now.

I have to admit I wasn't crazy about the whole "Hidden Doctor That's Never Been Spoken Of" thing. It just seemed like a cheat to me, shoehorning him into the show's past history like that. I'm slowing warming to the idea though. 

Let's just hope this is the first and only hidden Doctor and we don't get dozens more crawling out of the woodwork.

It would have been nice if all three of the modern Doctors (the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh) could have teamed up for the 50th Anniversary Special, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor, refused to appear.

He's got his own reasons of course (citing irreconcilable differences with the BBC management), but it would have been nice if he'd been able to set them aside for the fans. Ah well.

I'm convinced that the War Doctor was created to take the place of the Ninth Doctor. I wish they'd have used Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor instead. Even though he only appeared once (in the Fox TV movie), the Eighth Doctor is a fan favorite and McGann still looks young enough to pull off the part. So why didn't they just use him in the 50th Anniversary Special instead of coming up with a new character? You'll have to ask the BBC about that one.

They did bring back McGann as the Eighth Doctor in a special mini-episode called The Night Of The Doctor that aired before the Special. So he was available, and they were cool with using him in some capacity. So again, why create a brand new character? I don't get it.

As for the drawing, the War Doctor has quite a complicated outfit that I simplified quite a bit. My first instinct of course is to reproduce every tiny detail and texture, so I had to keep reigning myself in and leave things out.

He also needed to match the earlier Doctor drawings I did several years ago, back when I wasn't as experienced in working with vector. I like to think I've improved since then.

The War Doctor has a new sonic screwdriver (so the BBC can sell more toys), which he's holding here. I'm happy with the way it came out.

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 my digital sketch of the War Doctor. I'm not a great caricaturist, and sometimes I have trouble capturing a likeness. I think this one came out pretty well though, if I do say so myself. I'm betting it's because of John Hurt's craggy, hangdog features. Generally speaking, older, wrinkled faces are easier to draw than young, smooth ones.

The War Doctor is a vector illustration, drawn all in InDesign. Yep, InDesign.

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