The Blog of artist David "Draculasaurus" Burson. -
-Doctor Who fan art - Comics - Whatever else seems interesting

Monday, October 17, 2011

Celestial Toyroom 400

The latest cover of The Doctor Who Appreciation Society's long running fanzine, Celestial Toyroom is out.
I'm very proud to have been asked to do the cover for their landmark 400th issue.

In case you were wondering, no there's not an app for that. It's a hand cut three color stencil and acrylic paint.
If you've been thinking about joining the DWAS, there's no time like the present. Their website is here.

CT issue 400 is now at the printers. Contents include:

Nicholas Courtney RememberedLinkReview - Claws of Axos
Interview - Nicholas Courtney
Review - Inferno
Matrix Lava Lamp - The Web of Fear
Matrix Lava Lamp - Battlefield
Review - Mawdryn Undead
Monstrous Motives - The Brigade Leader
Colin Baker Welcomed. Previously unpublished Press Call Photograph from 1983
Full colour cover

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alien civilizations in modern Doctor Who

Seeing alien cultures and civilizations is one of my favorite things about science fiction.
Doctor Who is a show about a man who has all of space and time at his finger tips. It's a show that's full of alien cultures, isn't it?
Let's take a look at the revived series and see.

End of the World - Off to a great start here! Even though Cassandra is "human" and is behind it all, the space station is alien run. We see alien customs, living quarters, hierarchy. It's also a veritable parade of alien races.

The Parting of the Ways - Here we see a Dalek who has set himself up as an Emperor and a God.
This barely counts as an alien culture, it's more of a standard invasion with a dash of megalomaniacal flavor, but it's still worth mentioning.

New Earth - Some great looking alien cat ladies, but living in a human culture. It's still New York, even if it's new new new. Not an alien civilization.

Smith and Jones - We don't see a full blown alien culture here, but we do get some nice implications of culture. The Judoon are representatives of an alien culture, going about their business. Not an alien civilization, but in the same spirit.

Gridlock - Cat people again, but assimilated into human culture, not a civilization.

Utopia - A full blown alien culture on the planet Malcassairo! Unfortunately they're long dead except for Chantho. It's a shame because Chantho looked great and had interesting mannerisms.

The Stolen Earth - The Shadow Proclamation isn't really a culture, but it's sort of part of a culture. There's not a lot of information here, The Doctor stops by, figures out some plot points and leaves.

Voyage of the Damned - I guess technically, they're all aliens from the planet Sto, but almost none of their culture is on display here. Their ship, clothes and food are all based on Earth culture.
Even Bannakaffalatta is wearing a tuxedo.

Planet of the Ood - Here's an alien culture, sort of. Tragically subjugated by humans, but we do get a hint of what they might be like, sitting in a circle and psychically singing to their chief brain. Their culture is pretty boring, but we do see something of it.

Planet of the Dead - Here we have the lush and vibrant planet San Helios, with a fully developed advanced culture, except, oops, we just missed them. Every tiny scrap of their civilization got eaten before the episode starts. We do see some fly-headed Tritovores, but we don't really learn anything about their culture except what they like to eat.

The End of Time - We see the Ood again in this one. The Doctor remarks about how advanced they've become, and is then ushered into a cave. (Maybe he was just being polite.)
We do get to see some of their architecture though.

Yes, Timelords count as an alien civilization I suppose. We see some of their fantastical architecture and costumes. We also learn that they utilize some sort of clairvoyant seer, and we see their government in action. We don't really get to explore their culture or learn much about them that we didn't already know, but it still counts.

The Time of Angels - Here we see the planet Alfalva Metraxis, home to an advanced race with two heads. Unfortunately they're all dead and we don't find out much about them except that some of them wanted to marry themselves, and that they bury their dead in a labyrinth.

The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood - Well, Silurians aren't really aliens and we don't really get to see their culture, but we do learn a few things about them. Their society is split by caste system, there's a warrior class and a scientific class, but the balance of their culture doesn't make an appearance. Cool underground city though.

The Pandorica Opens - Here we see a full blown alien bar. Star Wars cantina style. Sadly it lasts only a minute and is gone, but no one is long dead or asleep. What a tease.

A Good Man Goes to War - We don't learn a lot about the Headless Monks, but they seems to have their own thing going on. I'm not sure if it's a culture or not, but they have rituals and some kind of system of belief. Either way we hardly learn anything about them.

The Girl Who Waited - Apalapucia is an intergalactic vacation destination, home to an advanced culture. Presumably they're humanoid, based on the robots they created. That's about all we see of them. Just an empty hospital facility and some borrowed art.

The Wedding of River Song - High stakes live chess with an alien! This sounds very interesting, but that's all we know about it. It's just a brief glimpse of a culture.

Well, that's about it. Not nearly as many as one might think.

It almost seems that we saw more fully developed cultures in the supposedly earthbound Pertwee era. Peladon, Metebelis III, Inter Minor, The Draconian Empire, The Silurians (if we're counting them).

I'd love to see some more in series seven, but I guess it's a trade off, fleshed out companions or cultures. Hopefully they can strike a balance that will work for everyone.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Impossible Assassin

click image for a 1024x768 desktop wallpaper, or click here for a 1600x900 version.
-also, just for fun here's a 640x960 iphone wallpaper crop.