New Beginnings

8 February 2007

These annual boxsets are something of a mixed blessing for me - it's great to have more stories on DVD, but they triple my cover workload! However, as the original broadcast of this trilogy marked my transition to fully paid-up fan, they're a particularly welcome addition to my shelf.

Not a great deal to reveal about the creation of these covers. An old DW annual provided some great set photos from 'Traken' for use as the background (although mostly obscured in the final cover, I like to be thorough) and I had to go right back to DWM issue 51 for the pic of Tom. I had originally thought to have Kassia gazing up at the Melkur, but in the end I chose to go with a bigger, more imposing Melkur, which didn't leave room between him and the Doctor for another figure. And she would have drawn attention from the Keeper in the background too.

For 'Logopolis', the dish is so iconic - and crucial to the ending - that I didn't even consider using a different background image, even though everyone uses it. However, I had to shrink the dish relative to the Logopolitan buildings, to give enough room for the Master, and the buildings needed extending to the left and right to fit the width, which took a lot of cloning. I was disappointed not to be able to find a copy of the picture of everyone gathered around the shrunken Tardis that wasn't cropped halfway down the police box, as I needed it full length and in my memory that was how it appeared in the photo. So as well as sharpening up a pretty ropey photo, I had to recreate the bottom half of the Tardis. I got almost all the way through the recent BBC Audio release of 'War of the Worlds' doing that!

And so finally (phew!), Castrovalva. I'd planned to use those images of the Doctor and the Portreeve even before this release was announced. In the event, the Portreeve is a composite of a full-length shot (scanned from DWM so rather soft but touched up) with a sharper close-up of his face. (You may think the shadow across his chest and arm gives the join away, but you'd be wrong - I left that to distract from the real join, which I hope is seamless!) The background, however, went through a couple of iterations. I had originally hoped to produce a photo composite of set images in a way that reflected MC Escher works like Belvedere and Relativity (the latter is the one Andrew Skilleter referenced for the VHS sleeve), but picture sources, time and the will to live defeated that idea. I then tried something a little like what appeared in the show, but it just looked naff (as it does on screen, arguably). So in the end I went for a circle of mirror images (there are four different shots of the courtyard set used in all). Then, once I'd added the glowing web to cover the joins, that gave me the idea to put Adric in the centre, which I think pulls the whole together quite nicely.

Download the final covers here: THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN, LOGOPOLIS, CASTROVALVA

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