The King's Demons

20 November 2010

My starting point for this cover was how (or indeed whether) to feature Kamelion. Obviously he's the lynchpin around which the rest of the story rotates, but I didn't want to give the game away too much (while I know my covers are used by fans who are familiar with the series, I still like to treat them as if they could be 'official' ones in the shops and try to avoid too many spoilers) and he's not strictly a villain. From that point of view I was more keen to feature King John. So one possibility was to include them both, perhaps in similar poses to hint at the idea they're one and the same. I wasn't keen on this as it seemed a bit obvious and I felt I'd probably seen it done on other fan covers (and then Clayton went and did it on his official one!). So I went instead with the idea of using King John but with a hint of his true nature. Not screen accurate, and not really any less subtle, but I'm pleased with the execution.

There were two or three usable shots of the Doctor I could have used, and although the original of the one I finally chose had him reaching out to a door handle with his left hand, I knew the angle of his body would allow me to paint out that arm without him looking odd. For the background, I had saved a good high-resolution photo of Bodiam Castle that I'd found ages ago for potential use whenever The King's Demons was released, and while I briefly considered using a shot of the interior castle set given I had King John sitting in his chair, I decided to stick with my original plan so I could have the Master looming overhead. The original photo of the castle had a bright blue sky, so I replaced this with a shot of some doomy clouds at sunset. I added the rays of light by copying the clouds layer onto a new channel, upping the contrast and levels so only the very lightest areas remained, applied some radial blur and then used the result as a selection to add the rays in a layer above the clouds image.

Download the final KING'S DEMONS cover here

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