Planet of Fire

22 August 2010

Sitting down to restart my covers after taking a summer break, and faced with a backlog of 13 stories (eep!), I decided to begin with 'Planet of Fire' as it was one of the few (of this batch) that I already had an idea for the composition of based on photos I'd seen before. The main characters to include were the Master, obviously, and Timanov, of whom there's that great shot of him with billowing cloak. On the DVD photo gallery is a version with less billowing that I did think to use, partly because it was less familiar and because I thought it would fit better, but in the end the more billowing version - which I had a good-sized copy of in a past DWM - suited the composition more after all.

I knew the classic low-angle shots of a green-sidelit Master in his lab would sit in the top-right corner nicely, and I thought I could relight his face with the blue glow of numismaton gas. But when I came to place him I began to think how best to integrate him without him just floating in the background. I'd already Googled photos of Lanzarote with an eye to having a simple landscape background. So it was at this point I decided to select one that had a good crater in the foreground over which I could place a column of smoke to contain the Master. Adding some fire and tinting the whole background to heat it up made the idea of blue lighting seem out of place, so he gained some yellow glow from the eruptions below him. (Trivia fact: the central plume of flame is new, but the right-hand lava eruption and the left-hand smoke plume are lifted from past covers - see if you can work out which ones.)

Finally, there weren't a lot of suitable full-length images of the Doctor from this story to choose from but most had him without jacket and jumper, which I wanted just for the change to the norm. The one I picked originally had backwards question-marks on the visible brace strap, so I replaced them with correctly oriented ones from a different shot.

Download the final PLANET OF FIRE cover here

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