Showing posts with label Doctor Who. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doctor Who. Show all posts

Monday 19 December 2022

Frank Bellamy and Win a Dalek

 What a Christmas 1971 must have been! The Radio Times (with TV listings for 18 to 31 December 1971) on page 17 announced a competition.

Radio Times 18-31 December 1971 p.17

"Win a Dalek"?!?! What were they thinking? The competition is based on the announcement of the very fondly remembered Doctor Who story arc - "Day of the Daleks" with Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor. You can also see a preview in black and white of the best loved Radio Times work by Frank Bellamy - the cover of the next issue after this one, dated 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972. 

The Daleks had last appeared four years previously so this was a big event.  If you read the TV21 comic, you'll know this was not the first time a Dalek was available to win.

The text:

Dr Who is back on BBC1 on Saturday 1 January, facing his most terrifying enemies — the Daleks! And RADIO TIMES will bring you the chance to win a Dalek of your own. In the next RADIO TIMES you'll find an entry form and details of how you can become the owner of a Mark 7 Dalek.

Start now
To give you a chance to start preparing your entry during the Christmas holiday, we are printing a preview of one part of the competition. It concerns a distant planet called Destron, which is described as : 'A place from our worst nightmares, with a totally alien landscape of unfamiliar colours, shapes and textures. There are plants that have the power to move, that hunt and feed upon each other. Hideous monsters large and small—and all-extremely savage. Buildings constructed by a long extinct race that look strange by our standards.'

The prizes
One part of your Win-a-Dalek entry will be a painting or drawing that shows a view of the Destron landscape. Why not start now? When you've finished, keep your illustration safe until you read all the details of this unique competition in RADIO TIMES dated 30 December [sic].

The competition will be judged by Terry Nation, inventor of the Daleks. Winners will get a Dalek and spend a day with Dr Who at the TV studios; there will be consolation prizes for the runners-up.

Terry Nation creator of the Daleks character
with competition entries

The competition was open to two age groups Under-10s and Over-10s! Full details of the competition appeared in the issue of the Radio Times with that famous Frank Bellamy cover


Radio Times 1-7 January 1972

"Marking the Dalek's return after four years absence, this cover by Frank Bellamy draws attention to a competition inside where the top prizes are two 'Mark Seven' Daleks and an expense paid trip to the BBC to see Doctor Who in production. To win, entrants are invited to complete a storyline for a Doctor Who Dalek adventure, the start of which is outlined by their creator, Terry Nation, in the feature article. Due to space restrictions no photograph of the Dalek prizes is printed only an artwork likeness".

Radio Times 1-7 January 1972, p.10

Radio Times prompted readers a few times leading to the close of the competition. The results were published in the issue of the 24th February 1972. 

Radio Times 29 Jan-4 Feb 1972

Radio Times 19-25 February 1972

Radio Times 26 Feb -3 Mar 1972

 The Radio Times website has another image of Terry Nation and the page from the Radio Times showing the winners and an article on Terry Nation has another.

So what's this got to do with Bellamy? Well, every entrant was sent a certificate  The interesting thing from our point of view is the piece of art below.

Competition entrant certificate

There are a few versions of this certificate online. This is what it looked like before it was printed by the Radio Times.

Certificate with printed headings and text

The illustration was commissioned for use as a giveaway to entrants of the 'Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition 1972'. It shows Jon Pertwee and two Daleks. "This certificate has been awarded to [blank] for the entry in the Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition which was displayed in a special exhibition in London March - April 1972". I can't definitively say how much Bellamy was paid for it, but it may have been £20.

The exhibition of winning entries took place from March to April 1972 at the Ceylon Tea Centre in 22 Lower Regent Street, London which was a building designed by Sir Misha Black. The Ceylon Teac Board opened various Tea Centres around the world and the London one saw customers from 1946 through to the 1970s. There is even an image of the frontage with a Dalek at the web tribute to Vernon Corea, a Radio Ceylon and BBC broadcaster.

Who Dares Publishing (a company set up by Andrew Skilleter) issued reprints of a few Bellamy Doctor Who artworks as posters back in the 80s. This certificate was one of them.

Many thanks to Chris Hill (of the excellent Spacemuseum site) for permission to use some of his Radio Times cuttings and the Terry Nation image.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Fans of Frank: Owen Claxton (Part One)

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times (3 July 1976 - 9 July 1976)
Doctor Who - The Planet of Evil

I received the following email recently from Owen Claxton -[before you search, much of his work is NSFW - links below]:

Firstly, I would like to thank and congratulate you on your work for the The Art of Frank Bellamy book. I’ve been a Bellamy fan ever since I bought the Timeview book as a young Doctor Who fan in the mid 80’s, I found that book so inspiring that I took up pen and ink drawing as a hobby. I persevered at drawing, went to art college and am now an artist myself. The recent book has given me much more info about the man, his methods, times he worked in as well as introducing me to more of his marvellous drawings, for which I’m very grateful!
He then went on to ask me about Bellamy's technique - I responded with part of the Skinn/Gibbons interview and, with hope in my heart, asked him if he'd like to write a piece for the blog on how Bellamy inspired him! So I present (in two parts) another in the series "Fans of Frank": Owen Claxton.

OWEN CLAXTON: When I started school it was quickly discovered that I was mildly dyslexic and I found learning to read and write a frustrating chore. Consequently I tended to cast aside books for comics where I could follow the story by ‘reading’ the pictures and picking up the odd word or phrase that I understood from the captions. I found it much easier to learn to read from these bite sized captions with a pictorial context than from the dense pages of text in books. Eventually I managed to progress onto the books from my favourite TV show of the time 'Doctor Who'. I also loved to draw, maybe when I grew up I could draw comics and book covers too.

Like all young Doctor Who fans of the late 70’s and early 80’s I avidly scoured bookshops for the Target "Doctor Who" novels, on the lookout for another missing title to add to my ever growing collection. The appeal of these books wasn’t just the fantastic adventures within but the sumptuous artwork on the covers. The often brooding portraits of The Doctors surrounded by monstrous alien creatures always stood out amongst the Enid Blyton’s, CS Lewis, Black Beauty and other seemingly more wholesome fare of the children’s section.


Andrew Skilleter cover

Jeff Cummins cover

I quickly began to recognise the styles of the various artists responsible for these alluring images, occasionally the artist would get a credit so I could put a name to a style. Jeff Cummins and Andrew Skilleter, were two that stuck in my memory, but my early favourite was Chris Achilléos. Achilléos employed a dot stipple black ink technique that fascinated me, as a typical child with no patience I couldn’t begin to imagine how long it would take to build up all those individual dots to make such accurate images. In short it seemed like magic. Reading in Doctor Who Monthly I discovered that Chris Achilléos had been asked to draw in a similar style of another artist, Frank Bellamy, I was intrigued- Frank who?

Radio Times 13-19 May 1972

In those pre-internet days there was no easy way to discover information about anything remotely ‘niche’, so I resigned myself to never hearing anymore about this mystery artist or ever seeing any of his work. Then again in DWM I read that the aforementioned Andrew Skilleter had set up a company called Who Dares to promote his striking airbrush work, also he planned to publish two art books of work by his own illustration heroes, Frank Bellamy and Frank Hampson. I was excited by this prospect, not only would I get to see Bellamy’s work but there was another mysterious Frank out there to discover too!

Frank Bellamy's son David wrote Timeview in 1985

I was 12 when Who Dares published Timeview- The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations of Frank Bellamy in 1985, I pestered my mum to order me a copy as soon as it came out. It did not disappoint. I was blown away by the artwork and pored over every one trying to work out what it was that made them so compelling. I discarded my pencils for a dip pen and tried to copy many of them. I scoured the excellent text by Frank’s son David for any clue as to how his father approached his work. There wasn’t much for a young learner to grab onto- ‘never used process white’, ‘never did meticulous tracings’, ‘liked to get the essence of a photograph’ but I took them to heart and decided that’s what I must do to improve my own drawings. I have Frank to thank for getting into good habits early on!

Chris Achilléos cover

The two major works in the book are of course the 'Day of the Daleks' Radio Times cover and the colour illustration for 'Terror of the Zygons'. Frank’s depiction of the Skarasen Loch Ness Monster on the latter is just fabulous. Although it is extremely unfair to compare it with Achilléos’ version for the Target cover of the same story, I find it unavoidable. Achilléos does wonders breathing life into what was a very clumsy and unconvincing TV model but it doesn’t look as if it could give you more than nasty bite on the leg. In contrast Frank’s Skarasen twists and rears ready to lunge down and tear its prey apart with huge razor sharp claws that break out from the background frame. In the original story this fearsome cyborg was supposed to be able to sink oil rigs, here that terrifying potential seems credible. Again it’s wrong to compare two artists, Frank has obviously been given a much freer hand by RT than Achilléos has by Target books, the latter has been told to stay as true to the images from the TV programme as possible and has discussed before his frustrations that such constraints caused him. I don’t remember the creature on TV having claws but their addition by Frank is a masterstroke. Gratitude must go to the RT art director [David Driver ~Norman] for allowing Frank a free hand. 

Radio Times (30 August 1975 - 5 September 75)
Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons

The beast is upon us, there seems no way of getting out of its way, with bloodlust in its eye and drool swishing from its mouth as it looms out of the darkness, The Doctor looks genuinely alarmed! Frank is a master of composition, here you have the Zygon spaceship blasting off upwards, the monster pushing forwards and to the right while in top right Tom Baker fixes us with his wide eyes, yet the whole drawing hangs together. The two rectangles of the background give stability but the way their edges are broken or sometimes left out stops them having a dulling effect and the jagged lightning border, the abstract shapes to Tom’s right and the zig-zagging wave of sea foam help to move the eye around the drawing and keep the two halves in harmony. 

Radio Times (1-7 January 1972)
Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

On the 'Day of the Daleks' cover he brilliantly uses negative space on the left to break up the square format, the strong diagonal of the speech bubble along with the foreground sucker arm breaking the right border adds dynamism and the circle, which is not drawn but painted in by colour alone, provides focus. The composition is so perfect you don’t notice that Jon Pertwee doesn’t appear to have any ears. [He had a lot of hair covering them -~Norman] Also, note the Dalek eye at the centre of the circle, a lesser artist such as myself would be tempted to add more detail to that which would be the wrong thing to do as it would pull focus and send The Doctor into the background. One of the hardest things for an artist to learn is economy- when to make a mark or to leave it out- it’s something that can only really come from experience and a lot of drawing. Beauty comes from simplicity. The more simply something can be drawn, the more beautiful it will be. There are never any unnecessary lines or marks in Frank’s work, if something like a Dalek eye can be convincingly suggested by just a black oval and a bit of flat cream colour then why add anything more? Something you see a lot of in his work is a half defined face, the other half being lost in shadow or bleached out by bright light or even cropped off entirely. This is economy, you only need half a face to read the expression and if you’ve got tight deadlines you don’t have time to render everything so you must decide what’s the simplest way to get the story across dramatically and effectively. Less is more, it allows the viewer to fill in the gaps with his or her own imagination.

With Frank as inspiration and the guidance of very supportive art teachers at school I managed to get myself into Edinburgh College of Art in 1991. By the early 90’s, 'Doctor Who' had finished, Target books were running out of stories to publish and no one at art school knew who Frank Bellamy was. Having come to the painful conclusion that no one, particularly girls, was impressed by my extensive knowledge of creaky old TV shows and now long dead illustrators, I decided to put such childish interests behind me and try to become a cultured and sophisticated grown up. At art college I immersed myself in the work of the old masters and various 'Art-isms' and I swapped drawing Daleks for nude models. There are many smug artists that will tell you the hardest thing to draw is the human figure, that’s because they’ve never tried drawing a Dalek! I was lucky enough to win a Scottish Education Trust Visual Arts award as a student (the Trust set up by the late Sir Sean Connery with the money he made from Bond) and since graduating I have worked as a freelance artist and occasional illustrator. I have never forgotten my debt to Frank Bellamy and Chris Achilléos for inspiring a young lad to start taking drawing pictures seriously.

Thanks so much Owen - good to know Frank is still inspiring people! 
Owen kindly sent me two images which are pertinent as they depict Doctor Who subjects:
Dalek Life Drawing Class - Owen Claxton

David Tennant as Doctor Who
by Owen Claxton
And I love his clock face Doctor Who but obviously 12 might limit the imagination! An alternative to Lee Sullivan's ever expanding "Usual Suspects"!
Twelve Doctors by Owen Claxton


[Part Two to follow shortly]

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Fans of Frank: Will Brooks and Frank Bellamy

Eagle 23 January 1960 Vol. 11:4, p1
Original art scan thanks to owner
Will Brooks works with digital art  and "is a freelance designer based in Cardiff Bay. His main work is Doctor Who-based, and previous clients have included Big Finish Productions and BBC Worldwide. Currently, Will provides photo cover variants for Titan Comics’ range of monthly Doctor Who titles".  Take a look at his gallery on Deviant Art and follow his Tumblr account.  He has become a follower of Frank Bellamy's work, and so I asked him to add some words to my infrequent feature "Fans of Frank" . Over to you Will....

Will Brooks
When I was first discovering Doctor Who at the tail end of 2003, most of my knowledge about it came from great big books I’d picked up at geeky specialist shops. Things like Justin Richard’s The Legend were my absolute bible. I’d sit there for hours just staring at the pictures from all these stories that seemed so far off and distant. While I’d started picking up odd VHS tapes from the library and the same geeky shops, I knew I was really better off waiting for the DVDs in many cases, and my calculations at the time suggested that at their current release rate, I’d not have a full collection until somewhere around 2025.

Everything I knew about Doctor Who came from books like that. Even now when I think of certain stories, the first thing that comes to mind is whatever image was printed as a full- or half-page in connection to them. It was in one of these books that I first came across the work of Frank Bellamy.

Radio Times 30 Aug- 05 Sep 1975, p.6
Note the punch holes - Norman was stupid in 1975!

Specifically, it was the gorgeous 3/4 page "Terror of the Zygons" piece for Radio Times [30 Aug1975-5 Sep 1975], with a terrifying but beautiful Skarasen lurching from the bottom panel while the Doctor muses on the nature of the threat they’re facing. Just in the way that I picture specific photographs when thinking of certain Doctor Who stories, when "Terror" crosses my mind, it’s [the above] image I see.

Radio Times 30 Aug- 05 Sep 1975, p.17
Such an unusual piece!

I’ve less clear memories of when I first saw the rest of Frank Bellamy’s Doctor Who work. Over time, it’s all sort of merged into that great big Who-flavoured soup in my head. That’s not to take away from any of the other art, though, because it’s all beautiful in its own way. There’s another piece from the Radio Times for "Terror of the Zygons" - a smaller, 1/4 page affair - which is very different in style to the first, but really sells those opening moments of the story. There’s a similar piece for the previous season’s "The Ark in Space", too, which brings together the Doctor, the Ark, a Wirrn, and one of the cryogenics bays in a way that’s more beautiful than any of the subsequent covers the story received for novelisations, or on video, or DVD.
Radio Times 16-22 August 1975 p34:
"The Ark in Space"
That "Ark in Space" piece might - just might - be my favourite one of these Radio Times pieces, looking at it again. Because it’s one that really sums up what it is I love so much about Bellamy’s design work. He’s got a way with layout, with compositing the elements together, that has rarely been matched in Doctor Who artwork since. It’s the use of negative space as much as the actual art itself - in this example the way the lines break up not only the distinct elements of the design, but cut across the images too. It’s an effect I’ve tried - and always failed - to implement several times in my own work. For now, I’ve decided it’s a technique best left to the expert.

Radio Times 16-22 August 1975 p34:
Norman's copy pasted in his scrapbook from the 1970s

It’s that real genius for layout that I love the most about Bellamy’s work, and it’s as distinctively ‘him’ as that terribly long signature that adorns so much of his work. It’s present in those preview pieces for Radio Times (as well as in his single episode images that accompanied many stories in the early 1970s), but it’s perhaps more obviously on display in his work outside the world of Doctor Who.

Eagle 23 January 1960 Vol. 11:4, p1

The more my interests around archive television have expanded, the more I’ve found myself bumping into Bellamy’s earlier work, and every time it’s instantly recognisable and totally distinctive. From his work on comic strips for Thunderbirds and Star Trek, and right back earlier than that to his time on Dan Dare in the late 1950s and early 1960s, his style is totally unique, so distinctly his. It’s also, dare I say, completely timeless. The way he arranges the panels on a page in a comic strip sets my imagination alight now at 27, so I can’t imagine what it did to a generation of kids opening up their copies of the Eagle each week to check in on their favourite pilot from the future. I’ve recently had a copy of the Thunderbirds Comic Collection as a gift (which means I can stop gazing lovingly at it in branches of Waterstones), and I’m pacing myself as I work my way through, taking time to really appreciate every page.
Will Brooks' montage a lá Bellamy
from Titan Comic's Third Doctor series

Recently, as a cover for an issue of Titan Comic’s upcoming Third Doctor mini series by Paul Cornell, I was able to try and mimic a bit of Frank’s work. It’s perhaps telling that of all the covers I’ve put together for Titan (it’s a lot, and the number keeps growing!), it was the cover that homaged his work that had the biggest impact. Every element is rather shamelessly cribbed from his style - the red circle picking out the Doctor is a lift from the Radio Times cover for 1972’s "Day of the Daleks", for example, while the lightning bolt and the way images are cut off comes directly from that "Terror of the Zygons" piece which introduced him to me.
Radio Times 1-7 January 1972 Cover
Much imitated, never bettered!

His style is totally ingrained in that period of the programme, and it suits the tones of the era. It’s a crushing shame he died so young, and I can only imagine what he might have done with covers to stories like "The Deadly Assassin", or "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". I’m at least comforted by the fact that there’s still so much of his portfolio out there for me to discover.

I rather like that while I started out as a Doctor Who fan who liked the work Bellamy did in connection to the programme, I can now claim to be a fan of Frank Bellamy in his own right. One day, if I’m very lucky and I wish very hard, I might even master even half his skill with layouts…


Thanks a lot Will, for adding an entry to my Fans of Frank series where I unashamedly ask people to tell me why they love Bellamy. In return I am left to say, head over to Will's Tumblr to see his photographic collage work and follow links to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Behance, DeviantArt and even Etsy! When does he get time to work? I can't even post more than one blog article a month!

Monday 18 April 2016

Frank Bellamy - Docotr Who and Winston Churchill

I feel I should apologise for the lack of material on this blog in the last 6 months.  Our house has been completely re-plastered - new plasterboard on walls and ceilings! That's the first time I've been able to paint new new walls and ceilings and skirting boards! And it will the last, I can't face that work again!! Amway all the books, notes etc are out of storage

Enough of me, let's talk Bellamy

While I was 'out of it' a few things appeared which connect with Bellamy. 

Doctor Who: The Complete History
Volume 17:Colony in space; The Daemons; Day of the Daleks
The above Doctor Who: The Complete History was published as a partwork by Panini. I caught it while it was available in W H Smiths. This is the second published volume (actually volume 17) covering three episodes (the first two 1971; the latter 1972). You can read the reviews of each issue of this multi-part work at the Doctor Who fan site Kasterborous "Doctor Who News, Opinions, Reviews and PodKast", If you are wondering, they state "Kasterborous (Cas-TER-bor-os) was the constellation in which the planet Gallifrey was located"

It looks like the series of hardbacks have the following outline:
  1. Introduction
  2. The Story
  3. Pre-Production
  4. Production
  5. Post-Production
  6. Publicity
  7. Broadcast
  8. Cast and Credits
  9. Merchandise
  10. Profiles

Below are my photos of the Bellamy relevant pages from this particular volume which show artwork from the Radio Times
  • 10 April 1971 -16 April 1971: Doctor Who - Colony in Space 
  • 22 May 1971 - 28 May 1971: Doctor Who - The Daemons
  • 18 December 1971 - 31 December 1971: The omnibus edition of The Daemons
  • 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972: Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

pages 38-39


I also saw advertised in a Museum catalogue which arrived on my doormat, the excellent "Happy Warrior" reprint I have previously mentioned where they state rather strangely  "Reproducing 8 complete 'Eagle' colour comic strips from the 1950s telling the life story of Sir Winston Churchill". Where did they get the figure 8 from? The series ran for 49 episodes (including the full page portrait); it was one long story - not 8 parts; it took up one page each week; it was indeed the '1950s' but actually 1957-1958. Strange!

An erroneous description!
The hardback is apparently out of print in the USA, and i have learned that  Book Palace have stock

Saturday 20 July 2013

Frank Bellamy and Doctor Who: Sea Devils original art

Timeview p.23 - pink colour as published
Original Art 1

Original Art 2

Original Art 3

UPDATE: Winning bid with 15 bids: £466.56 (July 2012)

I have had it pointed out to me that a piece on eBay of Bellamy's art is for sale. The seller is tinkswesterman (with 100% good feedback) and lives in Kirkby on Merseyside and appears to sell quite a few Doctor Who rare items.

When I looked at it, I was a bit puzzled and decided to scan the version that appears in Time View: Complete "Doctor Who" Illustrations of Frank Bellamy written by Bellamy's only child, David.

The original reproduction in the Radio Times is not worth reproducing - for those who don't know - the Radio Times in 1972 when this appeared was published mostly on pulp paper and therefore linework didn't come out too clearly. However here is a scan of the listing for Doctor Who for the relevant day:

Radio Times (18/03/1972 - 24/03/1972), p.20
Why do I feel puzzled? The 'RADIO TIMES' and signature look a bit wobbly. Below is a photo I saved from ebay when the last original piece of these Doctor Who cameos came up for sale by a renowned Doctor Who collector based in Luton. I'm sorry the detail is not very clear, but one can see the 'Radio Times' lettering added by Bellamy and it appears somewhat at odds with the one above.

Also draw a vertical line from the bottom left and in the 'original' art you do not bisect the 'ear' - it appears whole; in the Radio Times version you bisect an incomplete 'ear'. There are other tiny differences I would query when I look very closely.

I don't want to claim this is a fake, but it appears puzzling, particularly as the seller has lots of unusual BBC Doctor Who materials and has had no complaints but he bought it in good faith. The piece below sold before I started this blog!

I'll add any comments I get and update the selling price as and when

Sold in June 2001