Black Orchid

14 April 2008

So the photo of Nyssa I was hoping to get a better quality grab of from the DVD wasn't in the photo gallery after all (although there were a couple of very similar shots, not the specific one I wanted), which meant I had to use the slightly ropey one from THT and tidy it up as best I could. The result is a bit iffy, but it gets over the idea I was going for I think - a recreation of the episode one cliffhanger (think of the fire as a future echo!).

In fact, this was a cover that began with the background. Scouting through images for an idea, the character shots weren't inspiring me much as most are publicity photos with everyone grinning like mad. I couldn't find a photo of the house where they filmed (either from the programme or on Google), but I did have a design photo of the interior set in one of the Dr Who annuals (1985, I think). So I decided I could have the harlequin against the staircase background, reckoning I could paste the mask over a shot of Peter Davison. But then I couldn't find any mid-length shots that would give the scale I needed and I began to realise I'd need to piece together the figure from more than a couple of photos. In the end, the harlequin is a combination of four different images, and some of those are duplicated in order to position arms differently and then fill in the resulting gaps. The final pose is not really as dramatic as I'd have liked, but I'm quite pleased given the limited source material at my disposal.

While I was working on that, I began to think that the shot of Nyssa in her butterfly costume dancing actually provided a good pose to use as Ann recoiling from the mysterious harlequin and decided putting the two together would give the cover a sense of movement. I wasn't happy with his painted-in hand, but I couldn't get the relative positions to work with him gripping her arm as I'd planned. The fire comes into the story later, of course, but it's only a representational illustration after all, not a police reconstruction!

Download the final BLACK ORCHID cover here

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