Tuesday, 18 December 2007

XMAS XTERMINATION

My passing reference to Doctor Who yesterday brought forth a predictable (and I have to say justifiable) comment from my friend Irascible Ian who refuses to be swayed by the shameless BBC publicity surrounding the Doctor's current adventures and the excruciatingly excessive hoop-la over his Christmas Day encounter with Kylie Minogue!

Happily, being away, I will miss the programme and whatever disappointment it brings in its wake, but it did prompt me to mention the work of another friend, the artist and illustrator ANDREW SKILLETER, whom I first got to know when he illustrated the audio-cassette boxes for my seven BBC dramatisations of C S Lewis' The Magician's Nephew (above) and the other six 'Chronicles of Narnia'.

Andrew is well-known as the premiere Doctor Who artist and a worthy successor to the great Frank Bellamy, having created numerous book, video and audio covers including several iconic Doctor images, such as the cover art for the Radio Times featuring 'The Five Doctors' as well as classic art featuring the Cybermen...


...and the Doctor's arch-enemies, the Daleks!


It is curious perhaps to favour graphic art over photographic images when the subject matter is a TV series, but I've always thought that the magic and mystery of Doctor Who was better served by the artist than the photographer.

Andrew Skilleter has produced fine art portfolios of his Cyberman and (more recently) Dalek paintings which Dalek Links has described as "awesome" and if you are an 'old school' Who-fan for whom such imagery of the Doctor still bring back fond memories of your early Saturday evening viewing.

You can access the brochure for the Dalek portfolio here for the front and here for the back and this collection (together, possibly, with the Cyberman portfolio) may need to be added as an urgent 'PS' to your Santa wish-list!

Images: © Andrew Skilleter

8 comments:

Boll Weavil said...

Dr Who has always been a kind of pantomime with its shaky sets and performances so I think the Christmas is a good time to screen it.Tenant is a little too smug to be a good doctor in my opinion but the writing of Davies is excellent and with the gravitas of an actor like Christopher Eccleston, worked really well.Perhaps, like the weather, it's one of those things that always seemed better when we were young.

Brian Sibley said...

GILL has commented --- or, rather, GILL has SPOKEN...

I love Dr. Who!! I don't hide behind the sofa any more but I still get spooked by some of the baddies (those angel statue thingies were very sinister), I think the writing is sometimes very witty, I like the 'Torchwood' cross references and picking up the clues therein. I don't mind the 'Radio Times' promoting it and I am really looking forward to the Christmas Day special. So there!

PS The illustrations you posted are terrific.

Brian Sibley said...

I happen to know that Irascible Ian is busy this morning, so Gill may have to wait for a reply!! ;-)

Personally, I'm not enamoured with what I've seen of Mr Tenant (nor was I that keen on Mr Eccleston, excellent actor though he is) but then, for me, the Doctor has always and only ever been William Hartnell. As someone who watched 'Doctor Who' from the very first episode) it is -- like nostalgia -- not what it was!

LisaH said...

I rather like David Tennant I must admit and am looking forward to the Christmas special.
Re the artwork - it's fabulous.

Ian said...

Well since you mentioned it....

Who written by Moffat is sublime and shows what the format is capable of. Unfortunately the vast majority of scripts are written by Davies whose idea of sophistication is endless stunt casting of the likes of Catherine Tate or the poor man's Madonna, Kylie Minogue. The man can't write a good story to save his live, invariably writing himself into a hole every episode and having to resort to ridiculous ex deus machina endings because he doesn't know what else to do.

So instead of genuine scares we get daleks and cybermen trading 'jokes' about each others designer armour; instead of a time lord we get a superhero who suddenly develops the ability to walk through large rotating fans, or Christ-like gains the power of levitation while firing sparks from his hands (and while overly loud totally inappropriate music drowns out any dialogue). Utterly ridiculous!

I fully expect Davies to cast the next Master as Simon Cowell - the man is so limited in his imagination.

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments on Brian's comment...

Ah! But if things did not change we would still be living in caves! Even if things went into stasis with Mr. Hartnell then (amongst other things) there would be no blog to comment on, no mobiles (a mixed blessing I concede), no cheap flights to nice places, children would still be beaten in school, you and David could not have formalised your relationship, I would almost certainly not have the job I have, and so on and so on!

Carpe diem! And if my Latin was good enough I'd add 'not yesterday' in Latin!

That's quite enough self righteousness, must go and wrap Christmas presents.

Good Dog said...

Ah, it looks like Ian beat me to the best possible explanation as to why watching that damned show is just the equivalent of being dropped face first into a vat of boiling monkey vomit.

Luckily I'll miss it. Huzzah!

Jason Fisher said...

You know Andrew Skilleter, do you? That’s very cool. I was a very big fan of Dr. Who throughout the 80s and into the early 90s. Then, during its long hibernation, I lost touch with it. But I once knew Skilleter’s work very well. In fact, I still have a calendar he illustrated, which I got autographed by John Pertwee. Skilliter’s paintings were always my favorites, though I haven’t looked at them in years. Now I’m going to have to dig up that old calendar. :)

The new series haven’t really captured my attention, I’m sorry to say. Eccleston, I haven’t seen at all (but was annoyed to hear he left after one season — for which I believe Peter Davison read him the riot act). Tennant, I’ve seen once or twice, recently. Pretty good. But not the same magic and corny special effects I remember. *sigh*