During the wild era for Doctor Who known as The Wilderness Years The BBC and other rights holders were looking for a way to bring the show back and bring it back in a way that would appeal to Canadian and American artists as well. One of the ways they chose was the 90s TV Movie starring Paul McGann (a topic for another column). Another idea they had was an animated continuation (not remake) starring an all new all cartoon 8th Doctor. The BBC approached Canadian animation studio Nelvana (known for a lot of work including Care Bears) to get the ball rolling on pitches and a pilot for this new form of the show. According to Conceptual Artist Ted Bastien the team had produced 4 scripts for a potential pilot as well as several storyboards and concepts for what the new Doctor, new Companion, and other supporting characters would look like. The Project fell through sadly when an unnamed British animation studio came calling claiming that they could produce the show on an even cheaper budget.
Honestly all the art that I’m going to show you looks really awesome in my opinion. I would have loved for their to be at least a pilot of this to watch. Even in concept art alone this is the best (by a wide margin) animation the franchise has ever seen. (The closest that something that got produced comes in quality to this is Scream Of The Shalka but even then it is stiff and the character work is all jagged.) Now here’s a selection of the art paired with my musings on it.
- All The potential looks for The Doctor are great. This one especially seems to be going for an old timey Racer look to it. Also giving Doctor Who a giant stopwatch is a no brainer.
- My favorite of the Nelvana Doctors this guy looks like he raided the closets of both 3 and 4 combining them into one super outfit. Also that large hat is amazing.
- This Third Potential Doctor Who is giving me strong vibes of what would come to pass over a decade later with 10 and Martha Jones. That giant question mark is a neat throwback to 7’s costume too. The companion appears to be either a filmmaker or a reporter and would’ve been the first companion of color to be on screen in franchise history
- Another potential companion this time paired with a cute alien of some sort. She appears to be wearing the same outfit of the previous companion so I’m inclined to believe these two are alternate takes on the same character or The Doc just decided to get uniforms for everyone on their crew. This would make a killer obscure cosplay idea though.
- Much like in Scream Of The Shalka this version of The Master would have been more machine than Time Lord with a big Cyborg Body. Also in a nice touch The Master gets their own K9 with this badass robot Falcon.
- The Cyberman pitch is probably the one big misstep of the pitches this version is just way too lean. No way that’s a human or mondassian encased in that machine. Also it is wearing sneakers which is weird.
Those are the standouts of the pitched artwork for the series. Nothing else really exists of the show outside of the released art. What do you think of these drawings? Would the show had it came out be awesome or be terrible? Let me know what you think in the comments