Here be Dragons… well, Monsters.
I love Doctor Who. To anyone that knows me or has heard of me, that shouldn’t be news. But I mean I have always loved it… probably ever since I sat on my brother’s knee as a baby and watched Patrick Troughton’s last year as the Doctor. I can’t remember it, but his brainwashing paid off!
Mum used to tell me stories about Jon Pertwee’s Doctor and how he would whisk us off to safety in the TARDIS to a planet where nothing could hurt us. And my emotional connection to the show was cemented forever…
Ever since then, I’ve been writing Doctor Who stories. And not just writing. I used to plan out everything – drawing the monsters, the costumes, the spaceships, even the weapons!
The other day, I was going through my stuff and fond some folders with a few of those stories and a few of the alien races I crated back when I was a teenager. Some of those have gone on to appear in my professional produced Doctor Who work.
I put a couple of the images up on Twitter and they seemed to go down well, so I thought I’d stick those on here, too, and add some more to the mix.
First up are a couple of “group shots” featuring the Sherridell, the Doradans and the Shiri. (My use of the colon/dash is killing me!)
I don’t want to say too much about any of the races in this update as they might still turn up in one form or another. But I think you can see that the Shiri are badass space marauders. They basically invaded and stripped planets of their natural resources – from minerals to people. Nasty.
The Doradans later became the Volsci for my Big Finish audio drama “Paradoxicide” (part of the 150th release, Recorded Time and Other Stories). By then they had become an all-female race of combative alines who are genetically engineered from embryos harvested from other races
The Volsci have a very strict caste system. All military Volsci wear dark grey/black body armour, veined with power conduits especially at the neck, wrists and trunk. Their skin tones do vary, although they are generally dark with black hair. They also wear Romans-style helmets. The central “plume” of these matches the colours of their “veins”.
Although there are many ranks, the three main ones are the officer-class CENTURIA (green), the terrifying INQUISA (yellow) who are powerful telepaths and experts at interrogation (and mental torture), and the regular troops, the MILITIA (red).
They are set to appear again in a new project coming soon!
In the next image we see a further three – Dom Raavi (leader of the Shiri) puts in another appearance and we meet the Torrinese and the (unimaginatively named) Phoenix.
These time-travelling avian lifeforms went on to become the Ra’ra’vis, who have appeared in two stories so far – my first Doctor Who comic strip for IDW, Time Fraud (drawn by Josh Adams) – and cropped up in last year’s Doctor Who: Myths & Legends (drawn by Adrian Salmon).
Going through these lever arch files (I think re-purposed from school), I’ve found a whole load of sketches for aliens that didn’t even get names!
Although, I think the guy on the far right is an Inquino from a story idea of the same title. That may one day see the light of day. Who knows? As to the others… well, clearly a dog (perhaps my Cubil Terroriers??), something based on a Siamese Cat (!) and a bear thing!
I did two sketches fo this next one and i have no recollection of who or what he or she is… maybe I should have a “name the alien competition’!!
He doesn’t look very happy. Was he a cactus? A lizard? Who knows? Who. Knows.
I didn’t just come up with my own creations. I also wanted to play with all the main villains. So, yes! Of course, we have the Daleks. The story I had in mind was set on a jungle planet and I wanted to pay homage to the Dalek emerging from the Thames or the sand or even being spray-painted.
So, I had a camouflage Dalek appearing from the undergrowth (a few decades before those Ironsides)! I also had a Commandant Dalek – the one in charge of their base. He has pulsing/flashing lights in his sense spheres. I’d still love to see that design aspect!
I also had a go at the Cybermen. I loved the 80s designs but (whisper it) I never liked the Cyber Controllers with their egg heads. I thought (think) they look a bit silly (the updated Doctor Who seemed to concur with Controllers simply showing off their brains…). So, I dubbed mine a “Co-ordinator” and made him more badass by giving him “evil” eyes and going back to Revenge of the Cybermen for a design aspect – the ridged handles!
Next time, I’ll take a look back (and forward!) at the creatures and races I’ve created since becoming a pro including: Dahensa, Siccati, Shoalies (now called Mermin), Omsonii, Metraxi, the Tyk, Pathicols, Pelikorti, Haxeen and Stena…