Monday, July 26, 2010

The Second 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 a few clips of Patrick Troughton's Doctor, but I have to admit I've never seen an entire episode of his. The Second Doctor was a bit more mischievous than the stern and serious First one.

So how did we end up with a Second Doctor? William Hartnell, the First Doctor, decided to leave the series after three seasons due to poor health. The BBC was faced with a dilemma-- cancel a popular show, or try and recast the main character and hope people would accept the new actor. An absolute genius at the network came up with a brilliant solution: the Doctor was a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, and when Time Lords are injured or reach the end of their lives, they regenerate into a new form. So William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton, and the rest is history.

This regeneration idea has allowed the show to stay on the air far longer than it ever could have with one star, and it keeps the series fresh as well. I can't think of any other series in TV history that's had a whopping ELEVEN actors play the title character!

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 an episode on videotape, broadcast it, then record the next week's show over it! Many of the First and Second Doctor's 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 #2 is a vector drawing, drawn all in InDesign. Well, except for the background, that was done in Photoshop. 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.

By the way, that's a flute he's holding. The Second Doctor would often play the flute to help him think.

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 #3 through #11!

Here's the digital sketch of the Second Doctor.


  1. I've just discovered your blog, and I'm really enjoying your Dr Who pics! One minor clarification: when Hartnell retired as the Doctor, the BBC didn't justify regeneration (putting into a new actor into the role) on the grounds that he was Time Lord from Gallifrey. While it was known that the Doctor wasn't human, the Time Lords aren't mentioned until Troughton's final episode, and Gallifrey isn't mentioned as their home planet until the third doctor's era, if I'm not mistaken.

    Keep up the great work!
    Dr. OTR

  2. Thanks, Anonymous. My knowledge of the early days of Who are admittedly sketchy.


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