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.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Announcing the Terry Nation Kitchenware Collection...

The signature of Terry Nation has adorned many products over the years - like Talking Daleks and Blakes's 7 annuals. 

But now it's the signature of quality for a new range of kitchenware!

Just the thing for all that cupboard space in your new fitted kitchen... 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Ian Chesterton and the Lusts of the Slyther

The RT Dr. Who Tenth Anniversary Special - page nine
I was looking through my copy of the Radio Times Doctor Who Tenth Anniversary Special the other day - seeking out some inspiration for my vintage Target book covers. 

It's still a fun read. The episode guide, in particular, is a mine of misinformation and crimes against the written word. 

One peculiar sentence really struck me though. Buried deep within the synopsis for 'World's End' - better known these days as 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth', is a reference to Ian Chesterton facing "the lusts of the Slyther". The mind boggles - especially when one recalls the scenes in question in the broadcast version.

To make matters worse, the Slyther itself is described as "the Dalek's man-eating pet". Ouch on that possessive apostrophe too!

It didn't stop me from adding to the small collection of period spin-off novels featuring The Assistants of Doctor Who though...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Vintage Doctor Who Target Book Covers - season six

This is the final lot. No more now that I've reached the final black and white Patrick Troughton adventure. 

One of the main tasks I set myself when creating these period covers was to make the monochrome stories a little more colourful and give them all the same visual quality that the early Target novelisation covers. I don't plan to go further with them into the Jon Pertwee stories as I can't really see the point as the shows were not only made in colour but there's plenty more colour visual material available from them.

I hope you've enjoyed them and I'm glad you've put up with them for the past few weeks. 

Hopefully, I'll be back to the really silly stuff shortly... I have one or two made ideas but first I need a few days rest...


Doctor Who and the Zygon Inversion - Target book cover

Episode 8 of the current series of Doctor Who and the second book of the two-part trilogy in two volumes.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Vintage Doctor Who Target book covers - season five

Had a bit of stumbling block with one of these... but it's amazing what can turn up eventually. 

I shall say no more as it's Saturday evening and Doctor Who is on shortly. I need tea and a pee...

Thank you.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Vintage Doctor Who Target Book Covers - season four

We're onto Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Doctor now. Don't worry, I'll get back to the real silliness soon. 

I've had some lovely feedback from the previous posts and it's much appreciated. As I've said already, this is just a 'little' personal project I'm doing in my spare time to practice my Photoshop skills. I've not been at this long and am still learning. You can probably spot my early efforts in the designs and how some of the later covers become a little more sophisticated. I like this as it gives them more variety and some of the design tropes don't become repetitive when viewing the stories in broadcast order. 

At the time of writing this, I still have one from season five and half of season six to complete. Hopefully I won't get bored by it and the project unfinished. I have a very short attention span for these sort of things. With a bit of luck I'll have finished it by the weekend and can get back to the really silly stuff again...

Thank you for bearing with me.