Monday 22 October 2012

Frank Bellamy and Blackpool

Blackpool 1976

On the 21 June 1976 Frank Bellamy submitted his bill of £145* to BBC Enterprises for his work on the Doctor Who Exhibition - Blackpool poster. He was commissioned by Lorne Martin, Assistant to Exhibitions Manager, on 10 March 1976 and had to have the art with the printers by 17 April 1976. He was asked to include the then current Doctor, Tom Baker and "the monsters displayed in Blackpool" and was provided with some photographic reference. He had his attention specifically drawn to "those marked with a red cross [which] are this year's new additions, and should therefore be given prominence".

The Blackpool Exhibition opened its doors, according to Kevin Taylor's Doctor Who Exhibitions site, in 10 April 1974, so it seems the poster illustrated here preceded Bellamy's one in 1976. The earlier poster (which is clearer here)  has a Cyberman, a Draconian, Aggedor, the Wirrn and K1 Robot. These characters appeared in Season 11-12 (1973-74, 1974-75). Bellamy's poster includes from the top left, Marcus Scarman (a servant of Sutekh from Pyramids of Mars), Brain of Morbius, Cyberman, Silurian,Dalek, and from top right, Sontaran, Kraal, Zygon, Sea Devil who generally appeared in the later Season 13 (1975–76). So despite David Bellamy's comment in the Timeview book of 1985, which included from the original artwork,  that the piece was used "between 1975 and 1977", it seems obvious it started being used in 1976

Timeview page 55

The story does not end there.

I spotted something strange on Dave Copsey's website - and wrote to him asking about the picture he had as....the Doctor is smiling in this version!

What's On in Blackpool 1976 Cover

Doctor Who Exhibition advert 1976

Close-up of Bellamy's art from Timeview

Close-up of the smiling Tom Baker!
It' a very clean change that's been made - the eye has more detail filled in, the cross-hatching on the smile has used the lines already there. But who (sorry!) is the artist who amended the artwork? Was it Bellamy himself? The timings say perhaps not as in July of 1976 he had passed away. Why do it? Was it that scary or depressing? If so, why not use photos - after all even if BBC Enterprises weren't part of the Corporation at that time surely they would have some agreement to use materials?

* Price comparisons for your interest, but note some things "cheaper" now as the technology has brought the price down in comparative terms mean :
From Radio Times 3-9 July 1976:
  1. An advert for "Plumbs 3-piece suite covers" on the back cover shows the cost reduced from £16.55 to £7.95. Compare that to 2012....oh, you can't! But one price I read online said £1000. But a more conservative comparison would be £480 from a different 'covers' website.
  2. In the same Radio Times we see Pan, Penguin and New English Library paperbacks in a W H Smith's advert and an example is John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids in a Penguin edition paperback 60p - in 2012 the same costs £7.00
  3. Peugeot 104 (954cc) new is £1842.75 including VAT, Car tax, seat belts) - 2012, the 107 (1000cc)  is £8745 plus!
Draw your own conclusions!

=====ADDED 23 OCT 2012=====
I'm absolutely gobsmacked by this! Never knew it existed. I firmly believe that Bellamy was responsible for the amendment as it's not just the smile but also the Doctor's hand.

I think Bellamy probably had second thoughts about it himself and decided to make  these changes off his own back. The hand in the amended version is much nicer in my opinion.

Maybe he was asked to change the Doctor's expression but then took the opportunity to change the hand as well. We'll never know.

All I'm going on is my own experience. I've done similar things to my own art after publication. Sometimes you don't notice an error until it's too late. Sometimes you just want to tweak.

I'd love to see the original. I bet there's scrape marks all over those areas on the CS10!

There was also a small promotional poster (slightly smaller than A4) An example of the wording added:
The poster is yellow with the writing in blue/green. The artwork depicts Tom Baker with his clothes colored in blue/green while the monsters are all in black and white. Finally the artwork for the poster is reproduced in "Timeview" on page 42.


Paul Cooke said...

Wow. I've been a Bellamy and 'Who affiianado for a good many years and I've never seen the smiling version. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.
By the way, brilliant blog, keep it up!

Norman Boyd said...

My pleasure Paul, and thanks for your feedback - it's food for the blogger's soul!

Paul Cooke said...

I've been reading for a while, but never commented. I find the blog never less than interesting, and I like when you get current artists' views and reminiscences.
There really should be a good quality book of Bellamy's work available. The old Timeview was OK, but very narrow in subject matter. Not something that can be said about your blog