Many of my original “Doctor Who” cartoon monsters were inspired by the toys and games I was playing with in the early Eighties. The most prominent of these creatures was the Magma, a large carnivorous race of aliens who dwelt on the volcanic planet of Maglang. Unsurprisingly these terrors were based upon an especially big toy figure which I often used as an adversary whilst playing Doctor Who with my “Kenner” Star Wars action figures. It was therefore probably inevitable that my adventures with the plastic monster would transfer over to the inked page, but never did I anticipate that the Magma would feature in three of the first five stories I drew during my second phase of cartooning.
Interestingly the artwork to “Magma”, “Magma’s Return” and “Magma’s Curse” is especially detailed for its time, as I used a phenomenal amount of line-shading in almost every panel. This ‘technique’ would remain as part of my drawing style until I moved to a graphics editor on a computer, and even today I still utilise such line-work for scenery such as bushes and snow mounds. However I have never used it as exclusively as I did during this particular period in the evolution of the Mooretoons look.
This was however also a time when I tried to start adding some detail to my backgrounds, and this can clearly be seen in the six-page story “The Carrots”, a tale which followed directly on from the first appearance of the Magma. Inspired by the 1964 Doctor Who television serial “Planet of Giants”, I thought it’d be fun to have the TARDIS crew land in a supermarket shopping trolley, and then, having fallen out, desperately try and find their way back. However mid-way through the story I introduced the Karrots, an alien race of mind-reading vegetables who attempt to trick the First Doctor into letting them enter the TARDIS.
The story is rather forgettable, as you can probably imagine, apart from the fact that I kill off Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s grand-daughter, by having her fall into a meat grinder at the conclusion of the adventure.