The Invisible Enemy

19 June 2008

I can't say 'The Invisible Enemy' is a story I particularly like, based on my last viewing when the VHS came out, so I came to this cover without any previous thoughts on how I might approach it. As such, it was down to collecting together photo sources and seeing what, if anything, sparked my imagination. The one preconception I did have was that it would be nice to get K-9 on the cover. As regular visitors will know, the style I chose to go for at the start of producing my covers was to focus on the villains and monsters in each story, with just the Doctor representing the good guys. However, companions have put in an appearance on those few occasions they're central to the story, such as Barbara on 'The Aztecs', Sarah on 'The Hand of Fear' and Ace on 'The Curse of Fenric'. I have in mind a vague idea that it'd be nice to give each companion at least once cover appearance, though don't hold me to that - I'm not sure Adric was ever key to events unfolding on screen, even in 'Full Circle'! But if K-9 is ever to trundle onto one of my covers, this seemed the most obvious place. Sadly, he trundled off again, for now at least.

Gathering photos produced some shots of the sets for the Titan base, but nothing I felt really got to the heart of the story. To feature K-9 I would really need to 'locate' the cover in the Bi-Al hospital, but didn't have any decent images of this. What I did have were a couple of model shots of the Titan surface and that natty little space shuttle. This felt like a more productive way to go, allowing me to feature Saturn and the Virus-spreading energy cloud, but unfortunately leaving nowhere to put the faithful robot dog. Thus the background setting came together first, mixing together elements of the two model photos to produce a new view of the shuttle coming in to land. A Google search turned up a wonderful photo of someone doing some backyard electric-arc experiments, which provided the essence of the energy cloud, augmented with some handheld sparklers! The image of Saturn was kindly supplied by the Hubble space telescope.

Colour photos of the Doctor from this story proved few but I'd anticipated using the one of him at the gateway to his own brain (a rare set design failure for the usually brilliant Barry Newbery, I feel), as I knew it was a full-length shot. In the event all the copies I could find had very fuzzy colouring and lacked detail. DWM provided the shot I finally used - which fitted the composition perfectly, indicating the Doctor's own infection by the Virus - as well as the gun-toting shuttle crew. Finally, I couldn't not include the infamous prawn, but didn't want him too prominent, so look very carefully and you'll find him.

Download the final INVISIBLE ENEMY cover here

PS While K-9 may have been relegated to the back of my 'Invisible Enemy' cover, he does take pride of place on 'K-9 and Company' - if you can find him! As a kind of website easter egg, K-9 is hiding somewhere on Velvet Jacket. If you spot him, click him to see my covers for the first ever Doctor Who spin-off. Happy hunting!

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