The Best Episode You Never Saw! Artist Christopher Jones On Bringing Back ‘The Third Doctor’
Even by the admittedly kooky standards of Doctor Who, the adventures of the Third Doctor are remarkable for their idiosyncrasy. As portrayed by actor Jon Pertwee in the early 1970s, the Third Doctor spent much of his tenure stranded in Britain in a single time period, working alongside the military, rather than travelling across all of time and space.
That’s the era revisited in the new Doctor Who: New Adventures With The Third Doctor series launching this week from writer Paul Cornell, artist Christopher Jones, and colorist Hi-Fi, with the Doctor trading in his bright blue Tardis for his bright yellow roadster, Bessie. Jones spoke to ComicsAlliance about working with Cornell, and his research as an artist, and shared an exclusive look at the art process from inks to colors.
“I couldn’t be happier with the story that Paul Cornell has written. There was about a week between when I found out I’d be drawing the book and when I got the actual script. During that time I very curious what the story would consist of, and had compiled sort of a mental checklist of elements I hoped the story would include, either because it was something I wanted to draw or because I just wanted to see them as a Doctor Who fan.
“Paul’s script ticked every box! Lots of classic Jon Pertwee action, Jo, UNIT, The Brigadier, Captain Yates, Sergeant Benton, The Master, Bessie… It reads like the best Third Doctor episode you never saw!
“Paul Cornell obviously knows his Doctor Who, and has done a lot of my work for me. The script includes a lot of references to specific Jon Pertwee mannerisms that Paul wanted the artwork to display, and thankfully I knew exactly what he was talking about! The story is very clever and is just a great Third Doctor-era adventure, packed with lots of little surprises for fans who’ll recognize the references.”
Approaching The Research:
“Well, I’m a pretty big fan of classic Who, so I thankfully had a strong grounding in the material. Any time I draw a comic based on a live-action property, I want to capture the look and feel of the original version, so I knew I wanted to draw this as realistically as possible with the best possible likenesses of the actors. That means a lot of photo reference, so Google Image Search has been my best friend for a couple of months.
“I’ve tried to stay true to the look and feel of the Pertwee era of Doctor Who, while featuring things the TV show didn’t have the resources to show, like a major field operation launching from UNIT HQ’s helipad.
“I found reference for Denham Manor, the shooting location for UNIT HQ in this era of the TV show, which allowed me to get some different angles of the building than what were seen on TV.
“We see the Doctor’s UNIT laboratory, which tended to change a bit from story to story, so I didn’t worry about an exact match as much as trying to approximate its appearance in the episode closest to when our story is set, and then trying to be internally consistent from there.”
“I can’t wait to hear what the fans think of this story. There are so many fun surprises in store, including a reveal at the end of the issue that will turn all your expectations for the series upside-down!”
Doctor Who: New Adventures With The Third Doctor #1 goes on sale September 14, 2016. Check out the covers below.