‘Horror of Fang Rock’
Dr Who painting by Roger Shore
This Doctor Who episode is the Doctor and Leela becoming trapped on a lighthouse at the beginning of the 20th Century with shipwrecked Gentry fighting the Sontaran’s main enemy, the Rutans.
Clearly the whole story was influenced by Flannan Isle, a famous English language poem by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, first published in 1912. It refers to a mysterious incident that occurred on the Flannan Isles in 1900, when three lighthouse-keepers disappeared without explanation and is even quoted by Tom Baker’s Doctor at the end of the episode. The Doctor maybe implying that the incident and the poem are the same thing?.
The main image of the Lighthouse was a must for me and instead of cluttering the painting with loads of characters, I just decided to have that one great shot of Tom Baker with the rope around his shoulder and the moody atmosphere of the lighthouse in the background. The darkened background and Tom Baker’s pensive mood says it all. The lone light of the lighthouse casting the only brightness on the image. Sometimes it’s a hard call whether to do a painting of many elements from the story or just a few. In this case just a few elements tells the tale and the Doctor's look says it all. Don’t need any other elements here.
It’s handy when I can get actual shots on the set from the time as opposed to just still grabs from the actual TV episode because actual photographs add a whole wealth of detail to work from. The ocean shot was from an advertising campaign I saw 20 years ago and the lighthouse was based on one in Whitley Bay. I decided to make the ocean rough but not too rough. Originally I had the ship coming to grief on the rocks but I removed it as it was distracting and removed some of the mystery from the painting specifically why Tom Baker is carrying the rope.
All in all a happy experience with that painting and one that evolved over a period of time.My first true Dr Who painting and one I did twice because I wasn’t happy with the first one.