Published on April 9th, 2013 | by Philip Bates
The Animation You Never Knew Didn’t Exist
Dan Norton, best-known for his work on DC’s Green Arrow, Wildstorm’s Ninja Boy, and Image’s Black Ops, has revealed on his Deviant Art account that he previously worked on an abandoned Doctor Who animation series, which was set to feature all the Doctor’s incarnations.
Norton, who’s also worked on Marvel’s Spider-Man Unlimited and Uncanny X-Men, said:
Yeah, man, we were so close… Had a few revisions creatively that were requested and so we retooled. It was going to be epic, man. End of the day, BBC didn’t want anything to distract from production of the TV show.
Well, what was close to happening didn’t. Since the BBC eventually passed on, you will be rewarded with! This is the pitch poster I had only 7 hours to do. Starting with [the] First Doctor, the series would have touched on all the versions and filled in some gaps.
As you can see, the series would’ve featured established enemies like the Cybermen as well as new monsters, and Norton says:
I was establishing scale of a Cyberman and I did some rough body types of the child companions that would have travelled with the [Doctor]. The boy would have been circa 1920′s and the girl was of modern times. I was really trying to break traditional proportions and style by going really skinny on the legs and pushing the faces a bit more euro from an anime base.
The series would likely have been for an American TV channel, BBC America perhaps, and judging from the artist’s sketches, would’ve starred all eleven Doctors. Norton even has previous with animation, having worked on the 2011 series of ThunderCats.
Bleeding Cool notes that:
If we’d seen these images at the weekend, we’d have totally run them on April 1st, as part of our series of articles that looked like April Fools but weren’t.
It sounds as if the series had only got to pitch stage and was awaiting permission and final confirmation from the BBC, and likely didn’t have many writers attached to the project. But the show is amazingly popular in the US, so I’m sure a talented crop of writers could’ve easily been found!
It seems we’ll never see a Doctor Who animation take off. Is that a good or bad thing? Anything can be achieved through animation, of course, but would a series go into fan-fiction territory and bring back – oh, I don’t know – the Rani?! Would it have been a nice extension to the Doctor Who brand, or would a series simply be too distracting from the main show?