|Top: The Doctor defeats a giant lizard in "Orckingdom". Bottom: The TARDIS captures Ian the Were-Lizard.|
I have tapped into quite a few sources of inspiration for my ‘original’ “Doctor Who” comic stories but possibly one of the strangest was my liking for the 1984 David Lean drama film “A Passage to India”, which I rented out on video immediately upon its release. The idea of exploring a strange land with a mysterious ancient history seemed like a cracking idea for a story so I simply replaced the British Raj for the planet of the Timelords and threw the TARDIS crew into an adventure which would illustrate the home-world of the Doctor.
Written as a direct sequel to “Orckingdom”, “Massage to Gallifrey” is a six-page tale which sees the elderly time traveller return to his people in order to obtain a cure for Ian Chesterton; who has been transformed into a were-lizard. Despite a rather action-packed opening, which involves the TARDIS itself incarcerating a homicidal Chesterton and the Doctor dodging the laser beams of the Chancellery Guard, things soon peter out and become rather dull. I clearly tired of the entire idea and quickly curtailed the TARDIS crew’s exploration of Gallifrey by having them all captured and sentenced to death by the Timelords midway through the adventure.
|Top: The TARDIS lands on Gallifrey. Bottom: The Timelords and Chancellery Guard.|
Even an attempt to explain the motivation behind the Doctor’s travels through a series of flashback panels is soon replaced by my simply drawing the character alongside a huge word balloon. The artwork also deteriorates as my figures significantly increase in size in order for most of the panels to simply depict their heads.
However, all is not entirely lost with the story, as the ‘look’ of the Gallifreyans' ceremonial attire would remain for as long as I drew my “Doctor Who” comic strips, and there is a definite smoothing out of the mouth area for the majority of my characters; a significant step closer to the way I draw my figures these days.