Saturday, July 24, 2010

The First 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).

I've seen short clips of William Hartnell's Doctor, but I have to admit I've never seen an entire episode of his. Hartnell gave us the first ever Dalek episode, and introduced the Cybermen as well.

Although the Hartnell episodes set the stage for the series, they hadn't quite figured out everything back then. A lot of things in the early shows have been ignored or forgotten for continuity's sake. For example, in one early adventure the First Doctor says that he invented the Tardis, but we now know he did no such thing (he actually stole it from a repair shop!). They didn't even decide he was a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey until one of the Second Doctor's adventures.

And then there's the whole Susan thing. She was his first companion and called him "Grandfather," and was apparently from Gallifrey as well. But was the Doctor really her grandfather, or was that just an affectionate term she used? They were pretty vague on details like that back in the day.

Back when Doctor Who first premiered in 1963, no one at the BBC could have possibly predicted that home video would some day become a reality, or that anyone would ever want to watch the episodes fifty years later. The BBC would record one of Hartnell's episodes on videotape, broadcast it, then record the next week's show over it! Many of Hartnell's three season's worth of shows are lost forever in the mists of time. It makes me ill just thinking about it! Meanwhile, every episode of Two And A Half Men and The Bachelor will exist well after we're all dead and buried. There's no justice in this universe.

Doctor #1 is a vector drawing, drawn all in InDesign. I'm having a lot of fun working in this simpler vector style. It's interesting seeing how much I can simplify a character and still have them be recognizable.

One weird thing I've noticed: when I do a bitmap drawing, I use the graphic tablet. I wouldn't be caught dead without it. But when I do a vector drawing, I use the mouse. Strange. Further proof that there's more than one person living in my head.

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.

Stay tuned for Doctors #2 through #11!

Here's the original digital sketch of the Doc.

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