Revisitations 3

15 March 2012

Despite previous tweaks to covers released in Revisitations boxsets turning out to be more involved than anticipated, it seems I still go into them thinking the originals will just need a little tidying up. Thus with the release of Revisitations 3, I thought updating the three covers for the stories within would be pretty quick, with only one knowingly needing a new image. Oh how naive one can be.

The Tomb of the Cybermen was a cover I'd actually been looking forward to the opportunity to redo. I had always been unhappy with the smeary Cyberman I'd attempted to clean up from a small, grainy image and knew that I had since encountered much bigger, sharper shots. The one I used in the end was from trusty old DWM. I'd already decided I would have him facing to the left - in fact, I can't remember why I flipped him originally; presumably I thought at the time it worked better facing right - but in the event I also used a different Cyberman from the same 'emerging from the tombs' photo as I preferred his stance. Although the Cybermen are, of course, silver, the black-and-white image still needed colourising, and finally I replaced the solid black outline of the original - an effect I still like but haven't really stuck with on my covers - with a shadow.

The background was the same image as before, although I dropped the texturing, which didn't look as icy as it was supposed to, and just blurred it to defocus it. And initially I was going to keep the photo of the Doctor the same despite it being from a different story, as I had done on my 'Seeds of Death' revision, but decided I should save that for when I get round to doing a cover for 'The Moonbase', given an alternative was available from this story. This needed colourising, of course, but I do think I'm getting better at that. And originally the Doctor was facing the other way, but rather than reverse the whole image I just flipped his head.

I really did expect The Three Doctors to be a simple tidying job. The background is the same, just with some more dramatic lighting to darken the edges, and Omega just received some tidying up around the edges. The beams of light were recreated, though. I'd even started on simply touching up the Doctors, when I made the mistake of thinking, 'Oh, I'll just see if I have any better quality shots I can use.' This search turned up a full-page shot of the three in DWM's Complete Third Doctor (which I would have had when I first did the cover, so I don't know why I didn't scan it in then), from which I took the first and second Doctors, while the Radio Times 10th Anniversary Special reprint provided a good big photo of Pertwee - not the same pose as I'd originally used but a better one I think. So these three now have much more definition and detail.

The main change on The Robots of Death is the Doctor. Originally, being unable to take screengrabs from the DVDs at the time, I'd used a video screengrab from the Doctor Who Image Archive as the best option for an image from the correct story. A fresh search still didn't provide any good shots of Tom from 'Robots' - those of him holding the Laserson probe were best and I would have colourised one if it had fitted the layout better - and I was reluctant to use one of him in the same coat but from a different story. So I planned to simply grab the same shot from the new, higher-quality DVD, until I decided it really was a bit of an odd expression on his face. In the end I went for a head-and-body combination of screengrabs from elsewhere in the story.

I also re-grabbed the shot of the sand mine, although being a model sequence on film this was still rather soft and grainy so it took a lot of work with paths and channel masks to smarten it up. And I added some smoke and dust to give it a sense of movement. The Voc merely had his colours rebalanced to make him a less yellowy and more metallic green, and I added some glow around his previously rather stark red eyes. The background, as with 'The Three Doctors', just had its lightling amended to bring in some edge shadows for depth.

Here are the original covers with the revised ones for comparison:

Download the updated TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN cover here
Download the updated THREE DOCTORS cover here
Download the updated ROBOTS OF DEATH cover here

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