Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Quatermass and the New Covers...

I've not done much since the current series of Doctor Who ended - mostly on account that Christmas is a bit of a busy time for me.

In what little spare time I had, I managed to revisit the original BBC Quatermass serials again. 

As long time followers of the blog know, I was never too impressed with the cover that the BBC gave the trilogy when they released it on DVD back in 2005. I knocked up one of my own instead based on the old Penguin books template. It was one of my first efforts in designing such things in Photoshop.

I've gone back to that design and created some faux paperback covers for the series. All of the images were originally black and white and have been tinted by me. I also had to sneak a pic from the Hammer film of Quatermass II as the sum total of usable on set stills from that serial numbers only two. 

I think they capture the flavour of the serials. I hope you like them. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Doctor Who Series One - Soon To Be Available On BBC Video

This is an old chestnut. New Doctor Who on VHS. 

One of my earliest posts suggested that the BBC forgot to disband their BBCVideo department in the early 2000s and that it was still bubbling away, waiting for something to release. That came with the new series of Doctor Who in 2005 - after all, it was one of their highest earning series. 

I only did a handful of front covers but recently I was sorting through an old box of VHSs when I came across the video of "Daleks - The Early Years". Inside the inlay was a gaudy pastel coloured ad for other titles in the range. 

I couldn't really resist going back to the new series VHS range and producing this...

The following are full size versions of the artwork which you can right-click on to save. If you print them out back-to-back and cut the sheet down to size, it can be inserted into a clear amaray VHS case. You can then place it on your bookshelf or coffee table to amuse friends, if you're that way inclined...

Some Third Doctor Adventures from the Dawn of Target Books...

I had a few enquiries - well, one - asking if I was going to continue doing my vintage Target book covers into the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who

The simple answer to that is "No, I'm not.

However, I have done a handful following a viewing of the DVD of 'Day of the Daleks' - where the production subtitles offered a tantalising hint of an early version of Louis Marks' script without the Daleks. 

These are three Pertwee stories novelised and utilising early working titles. I'm particularly fond of 'Doctor Who and the Black Hole' - the cover of which completely omits the unique selling points of the televised production...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Target: Capaldi - part two

With Doctor Who series nine now complete, here is the full run down of all of my Target book designs from the past 12 weeks. 

Click on each image for larger.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Elizabeth Shepherd as Emma Peel...

The actress Elizabeth Shepherd appeared at QUAD in Derby last week to introduce a screening of the Roger Corman movie 'Tomb of Ligeia'. Mt mate Steve Hardy interviewed her and she revealed plenty of anecdotes from not just the movie but her TV appearances in the sublime and surreal 'The Corridor People' and the very brief time she was Emma Peel in 'The Avengers' 

Sadly I couldn't make it to the event but I put together these little efforts to publicise it on Twitter. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

An Real Live Zarbi Farm - for Christmas!

It's that time of the year when the thoughts of the young - and old - Doctor Who fan turn to what they want at the top of their Christmas present list.

I want my own pet Doctor Who monster and to that end I've adapted a popular educational toy into something that will give that dream a reality...

I present the Official Real-Live Zarbi Farm!  

(Mini Zarbi supplied separately!) 

Monday, 30 November 2015

Fish People... by post!

Remember Sea Monkeys

The loveable looking cartoony pets that were advertised in ancient US comics?

The famed Professor Hermann 'Bunny' Zaroff had an idea for marketing something very similar shortly before disappearing underground.

He was never heard of again...

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Doctor Who and the Heaven Sent - Target book cover

As many of you probably know already, one of my little rules for the Peter Capaldi novelisation covers is not to include Peter Capaldi on the cover. This is nothing to do with any dislike of the actor - I think he's a great Doctor and have liked him as an actor even before he was cast in the title role of TV's Dr Who. His omission from the designs purely stems from that period in the 1980s when Colin Baker's agent allegedly put the kibosh on using Baker's face on the Target covers back then. Since my covers are supposed to echo that period, I decided quite early on to follow that lead.,,

So we come to the episode Heaven Sent in which only Peter Capaldi appears... This presented a few problems as to what should go on the cover. The paucity of pre-transmission images that didn't feature the Doctor also added to the headache...

I hope you like my solution... with it's handful of spoilerific hints...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Hm? by Wiiliam!

Sometimes a hashtag appears on Twitter that is too irresistible not to join in with.

#CelebrityFragrances is one such...

The Assistants of Doctor Who - Dodo and the Amorous Monoid

Just discovered another cover for the rather desperate 'Assistants of Doctor Who' that Target tried out in the mid-seventies.

It seems that with a lack of proper novelisations to publish coupled with the fact that adults adored Doctor Who as well (according to Matthew in the Daily Mirror), they thought that it would be a good idea to publish a series of novels that were "too broad and too unfilmable" for television. 

This being the mid-seventies the adult themes in the novels turned out to be more Timothy Lea's Confessions series than Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey... 

There might be some more but it means getting the steps and a trip into the attic.

Heigh ho.....! 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Doctor Who and the Raven - Target book cover

Here's the cover for episode ten of Doctor Who series nine - Face the Raven. 

I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by the use of titles that can't be adapted into the traditional Target "Doctor Who and the..." style. 

Luckily - despite the production team's best efforts - next week's still can... 

Stay tuned for 'Doctor Who and the Hell Bent'

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Dr Who Annuals for a 1960s Christmas!

Following the success of 'National Chumbley Day' earlier in this blog, I've discovered some further examples of festive gift book goodness! 

I hope these little gems are on your Christmas list...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Vintage Doctor Who Target books - deconstructions

Had a few comments about the colouring of some of the vintage Doctor Who Target books. With one or two exceptions, I haven't used any colour photographs on these designs. They are coloured in Photoshop. 

I don't make any claim that the colours are correct. I understand that the Drahvins' costumes (from Doctor Who and the Chumblies) are a pale blue/grey and not pale green - but I think they look better as green. 

I do, however, stand by the colouring of Mavic Chen on Doctor Who and the Time Destructors cover though. His skin had a rather thick orange pallor whilst he wore a pale blue roll-neck under his white apron! That's something I've always been aware of since a kid. I vaguely recall seeing a colour picture many many years ago. 

Here are deconstructions of three of my favourite designs showing the original photographs from which the final covers were made. 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

EastEnders - Newly Missing Adventures from your favourite Doctor Who authors!

I did some of these a year or so back to celebrate the 30th anniversary of TV's EastEndErs

They seemed to go down well and since EastEndErs is one of the few TV shows I still watch regularly these days, I thought I'd do some more. 

Life would be dull otherwise...

Doctor Who and the Space Sandmen - Target book cover

Here's episode nine of the current series of Doctor Who.

I did toy with - given the nature of the televised episode - not doing a cover for the book and just beginning with the first chapter... but that would probably be taking things a bit too far. 

In the end, you've been warned not to read this book... and you all follow warnings don't you...!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Doctor Who and the Chumblies Remembered...

Let's face it, the Daleks were the most successful element of the first few series of Doctor Who. Kids imitated them in the playground. Merchandisers made toys and books available to the eager public. And the show's production team couldn't wait to bring them back in a new adventure despite the terminal nature of their previous appearance. 

It comes as no surprise then that there were concerted efforts by writers other than Dalek creator Terry Nation to introduce other robot races into the series. The Quarks, the War Machines and even Terry's own Mechonoids all failed to capture that elusive lightning-in-a-bottle that the Daleks themselves did. 

Except for the Chumblies... William Emms produced them in his season three adventure 'Galaxy Four' as the robot servants of the beautiful (sic) Drahvins - female alien space warriors trapped on a dying planet with the pig-like Rills. Unlike the Daleks, they were cute and resembled a child's toy - not that that was unintentional, I'm sure. 

In an alternate universe, this started an avalanche of merchandise which is now much sort-after by collectors of that sort of thing. 

This is some of it...

1. Dr Who in an exciting adventure with the Chumblies - novelisation by Williams Emms of his original scripts - published in paperback by Armada books.

2. The Chumblies - Century 21 mini-album featuring the soundtrack of episode three (!) of Galaxy Four with additional narration by Shane Rimmer and an instrumental version of Aqua Marina used instead of the Doctor Who theme music on side two.

3. The Chumbley Outer Space Book - Hardback annual-style book featuring text and picture strip stories. Introduced the space warrior agent - Maagal - a Drahvin superwoman agent who had a squad of telepathically controlled Chumblies. Also includes the infamous 'Anatomy of a Chumbley' which implied that the Chumblies were powered by 'anger' energy (!).

4. TV Century 21 magazine - Issue 18 - A Chumblies comic strip appeared in colour on the back page - paperwork suggests that it was written by William Emms himself and drawn by an artist. The comic strip ran without a break for a fortnight.

5. The Chumbley Pocketbook and Girl Space-Traveller & Beauty Guide - A paperback stuffed with a myriad of interesting facts about the Chumblies and their Drahvin mistresses. The other 80% of the book contains beauty tips for girls yearning for that "outer space" look...

You can find details about other Chumbley products by clicking here.