BBC Project – Doctor Who Animated Designs Part 1

Initial posting giving an overview of the project history here.

A pause in the slew of material that I was responsible for, to show off the work of someone else.

I’m not the smartest or most talented person in the world, only the prettiest.  But when I first became involved in this project, I knew there were two things I could bring to it, my abilities as a story teller, and the huge range of incredibly talented and knowledgeable people I happen to be friends with.

Nick Stathopoulos is an old mate of mine. In fact, he’s Godfather to my eldest child.  Nick is a Hugo nominated artist who has worked on feature films, TV, video games, a whole range of different project, but he is probably best known for his book covers, his yearly Archibald Prize entries, and his recent “Toy Porn” exhibitions of paintings of various toys.

So when this Doctor Who project came up, he was one of the first people I contacted.  I know his work, I know his attention to detail, and his ability to think on the fly.  So over the next post or three, I’ll be presenting the stuff he did for us, culminating in the computer generated head he and I worked on together during a visit he paid to my house.

Naturally all the rough sketches and designs presented are copyright Nick Stathopoulos.  Please do not reproduce them without permission or linking back here.  For a start, amongst Nick’s many skills, he’s a qualified copyright lawyer!

Nick’s Dalek redesign

Idea for a new Dalek design.  I’m a traditionalist, and so prefer the originals, but it’s an interesting and unusual take.

Early thoughts on the Doctor

The first character sketches of the Doctor.

A McGann-esque take on the character

The Master

I think Nick nailed the Master first time.  Not only does he look fabulous, he also bears more than a passing resemblance to Nick himself!

A reimagined, and younger looking Susan – also the starting point for Phoebe.

Nick was essentially playing with ideas, and as such giving us a starting point to work from, hence original series characters turning up. This is very like some of his Phoebe designs, but given he named the piece Susan, I’m assuming it was his take on the Doctor’s Granddaughter.

I’m trying to remember whether at this point we were mooting a complete restart.  It certainly wasn’t in my mind, but even so, the joy of animation is that we’d be able to revisit any character in the show’s history, if we had a reason to.

So there follows a few other old favs.

Animated Tom Baker

The Brigadier


The Doctor and Phoebe

This is a sweet image.

Another look at the Doctor and Phoebe


All this stuff was sent my way around about the first week of December 2002, and is presented here pretty much in the order I received them.  I naturally forwarded it on to Cliff Bowman, and we discussed pros and cons.  Nick was fabulous at generating these rough sketches to get us thinking.

The next post will be a much smaller one featuring Nick’s slightly more refined character sketches of the Doctor and Phoebe, based on our feedback.

To find all the posts on this topic, please click here.

3 thoughts on “BBC Project – Doctor Who Animated Designs Part 1

  1. Wow…interesting to see these after so much time has elapsed. As people can see, these are literally first pencil on paper scribbles…yet some characters easily lent themselves to simplification for animation. The thing about animation is capturing the essence of the character without making them too complex to be drawn over and over. I too am a Dalek traditionalist: the thoughts here were to come up with something that didn’t look like a guy in a Dalek…and the possibility of them separating from their trundling base and walking! Sadly…none of them ever got refined too much beyond this sketch phase. But gee I’d love to take this further. The Brigadier and the Sontaran still look fantastic. And Paul McGann translated very easily into a cartoon character.

  2. Pingback: BBC Project – Doctor Who Animated Designs Part 2 | Dalekboy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s