Here's where we'll keep you informed of new covers at Velvet Jacket, give some background on how the designs were devised and created, and highlight any other new goodies available from the site.

Or keep an eye on the Velvet Jacket blog

The Power of the Daleks

25 November 2016

The announcement of a new animated version of The Power of the Daleks to be sold on BBC Store was more of a curiosity to me than something to get excited about. While I think the previous examples of animation are a perfectly acceptable way to watch the odd episode in an otherwise all-original-footage story, I didn't find the prospect of a totally animated story of especial interest...

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Pyramids of Mars redux

15 November 2015

As I mentioned in my recent blog post, now that I've completed covers for all the released stories, there are a handful of my early efforts that I hoped might get re-released so I would have an excuse to revisit them. I noted that I was never satisfied with my cover for one in particular, namely 'Pyramids of Mars', so I have produced a new design that I'm much happier with...

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Extra spines

9 November 2015

With all the main releases (and re-releases) now done, there were a few supplementary discs that I haven't covered, namely 'Shada', 'More Than 30 Years in the Tardis' and 'Scream of the Shalka'. I don't have plans at the moment to do covers for these as they're not broadcast Classic stories, so what I have done is produce matching spines that you can print, trim and slip into the cases so that your bookshelf can at least look consistent. Don't forget, there are already full covers for 'K-9 and Company' (in standard VJ and one-off styles) -- just keep a sharp lookout for K-9 hidden somewhere in these pages.

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Final Revisitations

9 November 2015

And so the primary purpose of Velvet Jacket is finally achieved with these four revised covers for stories that had a Special Edition release with extra special features. These make the site complete, with covers for every Classic Doctor Who story released on DVD - and it's only taken me 14 years! Still, no small achievement (particularly as the ever improving official covers made replacements less valuable) and I've enjoyed doing them all on the whole...

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A trove of Troughtons

26 October 2015

With the long-awaited release today of the final Classic Doctor Who DVD, I thought it was high time to wrap up some uncovered stories from late in the range. So here, at last, are covers for a foursome of Second Doctor releases: 'The Underwater Menace', 'The Moonbase', 'The Enemy of the World' and 'The Web of Fear'...

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The Reign of Terror & The Tenth Planet

22 November 2013

I think there's a fundamental law of the universe that states it's impossible to produce a cover for 'The Reign of Terror' without using that photo of the Doctor, dolled up in his provincial deputy's uniform with sashes and gloriously feathered hat. To be fair it's a fantastic image, with William Hartnell looking his imperious best, and there aren't many others from the story that look as good...

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The Ice Warriors

21 November 2013

For a 1960s story there's a surprising number of colour photos from 'The Ice Warriors' - and apart from a few of the Doctor, all those of the eponymous creatures show that first attempt at a helmet that, frankly, I think looks blooming awful. That head-bloated, 'grinning' Ice Warrior is probably the most seen image of the Martians ever thanks to the colour shoot during filming at Ealing, whereas photos of the 'proper' helmet are limited to a few black-and-white shots...

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Spearhead from Space revisited, The Ambassadors of Death, The Mind of Evil

20 November 2013

Like 'The Caves of Androzani', it has taken me some time to rework the cover for the re-release of 'Spearhead from Space' because while I knew I wanted to make changes to the original, I couldn't quite decide what and how. These were some of my earliest covers, when I was still working out my style and photo sources were scarcer. While I still like some elements of the original 'Spearhead' illustration - the Auton emerging from the bushes and the meteorites - the rest I was keen to change...

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Terror of the Zygons, The Face of Evil, Nightmare of Eden

19 November 2013

The illustration for 'Terror of the Zygons' came together quite easily once I'd satisified myself I could source the necessary images to achieve my desire of having the Skarasen appear. Broton was a given, and there are plenty of photos of him, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to include the Skarasen...

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The Visitation & The Caves of Androzani - revisited

18 November 2013

Two re-release covers complete the Davison era, one of which has been a long-time coming, having being included in the first Revisitations boxset three years ago (sorry about that)...

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Vengeance on Varos - revisited

17 November 2013

After their initial uncertainty about re-releasing 'Vengeance on Varos', I was pleased that 2|Entertain decided to do so as it was a cover I was more than happy to revisit, and probably would have done anyway once the range was complete. One reason for this was technical: as with several of my early covers, picture sources back then were more limited and I was very unhappy with the quality of the image of the Doctor...

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The Happiness Patrol

16 November 2013

I'd put off doing this cover originally because I couldn't satisfactorily figure out a way to divide it up to accommodate the elements I wanted. These were always the Kandyman, Helen A and Fifi (in the absence of any shot of the eponymous Patrol themselves), plus the Doctor, of course. I had thought to use an 'A' shape to give three sections (a central triangle plus space either side), but in practice I didn't feel it was clear why the shape was there...

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The Krotons

11 April 2013

Given there aren't a lot of photos from this story and most are of the Krotons themselves, I decided to keep this design simple, with a single example of the eponymous creatures looming over the Doctor. Although when I say "simple" it was anything but -- plenty of images of Krotons, but the best quality are of the one carrying its huge dispersal device, while those without are rather dark. I really wanted to use one of a Kroton leaning forward fiddling with its feeding tube...

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Dragonfire (...and Delta)

11 September 2012

It strikes me that there are two problems to deal with when designing a cover for 'Dragonfire'. First is the paucity of photos of the chief villain, Kane -- there are a couple of smiling-to-camera publicity shots, which aren't really appropriate, or there's his melted head, which rather gives the ending away. Second is the obvious desire to give the cover a cold, icy feel, given the setting and Kane's nature and modus occidendi. But the title is 'DragonFIRE'; bit of a contradiction there. I gave both posers some thought and hope the solutions for my cover are effective...

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The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

6 September 2012

Deciding to catch up with the recent glut of McCoy stories, I started with 'Greatest Show' as the composition was the most concrete in my mind, although that's not to say it didn't change as I came to put it all together. In thinking about all the Seventh Doctor stories, however, I devised rough ideas for each, so McCoy fans may not have to wait too long for another cover...

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Death to the Daleks

1 September 2012

'Mention 'Death to the Daleks' to any fan and there's a good chance what pops into their mind's eye is a headless Dalek with a plume of flame licking up its back. There are actually half a dozen or more slightly different shots of that scene but the image is iconic to this story, surpassed perhaps only by Roy Knipe's dramatic rendition of the same idea for the Target book (as paid homage to by Lee Binding on the DVD sleeve). Often I'll go against the familiarity of such images and try to come up with something different for my covers, but in this case it just seemed the right way to go, and fits with the title well. In the event it got a bit more complicated than I anticipated...

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Planet of Giants

24 August 2012

'Planet of Giants' seems like an odd cover to do first after my latest unplanned break; I'm not sure why I picked it. Certainly it's one of those stories with relatively few photos, and most of those not of the eye-catching-on-a-cover sort. Even Lee had to go with a screengrab and some unconvincing stock-photo ants on the official cover. Not that I've managed any better, resorting to screengrabs and stock photos too!

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The Daemons

19 April 2012

As a change from discussing why I chose certain images and how I arranged them, I thought I'd talk about some of the Photoshop techniques I used in producing my cover for 'The Daemons'. Photoshop is such a fabulously powerful and flexible program that there are myriad ways to achieve the same or similar results, so none of the following is intended to suggest the best or only way to go about things. These are just some of the methods I use which work for me and might, I hope, give some insight into how a composition is achieved...

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The Android Invasion

12 April 2012

Having discussed in the notes for my revised 'Carnival of Monsters' cover the difficulties in devising an illustration for stories from which few photos are available, I had expected 'The Android Invasion' to present similar problems, as what images do exist are predominantly black and white and ignore some principal characters. As it turned out, I ended up squeezing more into my illustration than I had anticipated...

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Carnival of Monsters - revisited

3 April 2012

At last I've completed by revised covers for the three stories in last year's Revisitations 2 boxset. While 'The Seeds of Death' and 'Resurrection of the Daleks' had been fairly straightforward updates -- with no significant changes to the designs, just improvements to the execution -- I felt 'Carnival' warranted a more major facelift. As I've mentioned before, many of my early covers were limited by my inability to take screengrabs from the DVDs (either of images in the photo galleries or shots from the episodes themselves) owing to the Mac I had then not having a DVD drive (I know, kids...

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The Sun Makers

21 March 2012

Sometimes stories for which a lot of photos exist can be as hard to devise covers for as those for which very few images are available, as you're almost overwhelmed with choices. It's not the number of photos that matters so much as their content and quality. Just a few well-posed (ideally dramatic), clear shots can enable an eye-catching composition. Sadly, 'The Sun Makers' is not one of those. I'm struggling a little with 'The Android Invasion', but at least there I have a few iconic shots of Kraals to consider; for this story there's so little to work with...

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Revisitations 3

15 March 2012

Despite previous tweaks to covers released in Revisitations boxsets turning out to be more involved than anticipated, it seems I still go into them thinking the originals will just need a little tidying up. Thus with the release of Revisitations 3, I thought updating the three covers for the stories within would be pretty quick, with only one knowingly needing a new image. Oh how naive one can be...

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Invasion of the Dinosaurs

6 February 2012

'Invasion of the Dinosaurs' presents a key decision for any cover designer: do you sell the story using the best, most realistic images of dinosaurs you can find (as on the VHS sleeve), or do you hold true to the programme itself and show the model creatures in all their rubbery glory? Personally I always wanted to feature the genuine dinosaur models, partly out of faithfulness to the source material and partly because they don't look that bad when still, it's more their movement that lets them down. Plus, with a little Photoshop magic to sharpen teeth and claws, they could be made to look a bit...

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The Sensorites

30 January 2012

Anyone who has seen my work in The Wonderful Book of Dr Who 1965 will find the composition of this cover a little familiar, and that's entirely deliberate. When creating the illustration for 'The Sensorites' for Paul's book last autumn, I knew the DVD would be coming out early this year and chose images and a layout that could also work for the DVD cover, with the hope of saving myself some time when producing the latter. This it did, although it wasn't entirely a simple copy-and-past job...

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Colony in Space

28 January 2012

With this story featuring a range of villains and creatures (the Uxarieans can't really be called monsters), a 'multi-part' cover layout seemed the obvious way to go, showcasing the three main 'bad guys' - the Master, Captain Dent and one of the various Primitive races - plus the Doctor, of course. With these four main elements self-selected, I initially envisioned something along the line of my Two Doctors cover: two horizontal panels, one with a Primitive scene overlaid with the Doctor, below one with an IMC scene incorporating Dent overlaid with the Master. Then at some point between being...

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Day of the Daleks

27 December 2011

I always planned to use the classic shot of the three Daleks for this cover as it's just so iconic -- why try to fix what ain't broken? So with the Doctor and, I hoped, a shot of the Controller as the other main villain of the story, the content for this cover was quick to decide. What needed thought was the composition...

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The Gunfighters

22 December 2011

My initial back-of-an-envelope idea for this was to have Johnny Ringo and Wyatt Earp facing off on either side of the cover -- knowing there were photos of each pointing a gun -- with the Doctor in the middle. When I came to sketch out the layout, however, I found the narrowness of the cover made this impossible, as the Doctor would be covering up the cowboys' guns too much. I had to move the Doctor down, and reduce the two gunfighters so their outstretched gun-arms would fit and be suitably pointed at each other. This opened up an awkward gap between them, while shrinking the...

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Paradise Towers

18 December 2011

Pretty straightforward composition for this one (don't know why it took me so long). The elements were obvious: the Chief Caretaker and Cleaner were a must, and with the Doctor I was sure they'd be enough to fill the space -- any other characters would have just cluttered it I think. Finding appropriate images was the hardest thing. There are quite a few of the Cleaners but I needed one at just the right angle to look like it was creeping up on the Doctor...

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The Awakening

27 June 2011

This cover was always going to have a giant Malus face as the background - it's just such a great design with the grinning mouth, beaky nose and evil green-glowing eyes. In fact, I didn't anticipate the overall cover being green at first but those eyes kind of dictated it. With 'Warriors of the Deep' being green and 'Frontios' brown, I had expected to go for a blue or grey scheme for 'The Awakening'. But once I'd given the background of the main illustration a greenish tinge from the glow of the Malus's eyes, I really needed to carry that over to the full cover background. I kept it a paler and more...

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30 May 2011

This was a pretty straightforward cover to design: the Doctor and Gravis were all it really seemed to need, and I knew I had some nice big photos in DWM I could use for the latter. The BBC site kindly provided a good clean shot of the former that just need some minor cleaning up (mainly painting out the TARDIS console from in front of him). I could have had the Gravis taking up the complete right-hand side of the illustration, but decided it needed something more interesting in the bottom corner. My initial, obvious thought was a shot of the titular planet, being bombarded my meteors, but that...

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Terror of the Autons

22 May 2011

The starting point for this cover was the sole, semi-decent photo of a masked Auton that seems to exist: the one of it lying on the ground with Captain Yates kneeling over it pointing his gun. The upsides were that none of the detail of the carnival mask is obscured by Yates, only the brim of its hat, which can easily be cloned in, and that I had a good sized copy of it (kept from a long-ago cut-up copy of 'The Adventures of K-9 and Other Mechanical Creatures'). The downsides were that, being mono, it'd need colourising, and that because the Auton is lying down (but can be made to appear...

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Planet of the Spiders

27 April 2011

My starting point for this illustration was Sarah with the queen spider on her back. It's one of those classic images that just sums up the story. While I've already given Sarah one appearance on a cover (The Hand of Fear) and didn't feel Spiders was especially Sarah-centric (although having watched it again it is perhaps one of her better stories), I knew I had a good quality copy of that shot and it shows off the titular spiders well - and having a giant spider crawling up your back is damn creepy! There are a couple of variations on the image and I knew I wanted to use the one of her looking...

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The Seeds of Death - remastered

18 April 2011

Despite being my 13th cover, I was happy with the concept and composition of 'The Seeds of Death' so I didn't want to redesign anything for the Revisitations 2 version. But there were a few areas of the original execution that I was happy to redo. While the Earth and Moon are the same, I redid the starscape using the Glitterato plug-in from Flaming Pear. I also recreated the T-Mat beam using newer brushes to give it more texture...

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16 April 2011

My only starting point for the 'Kinda' illustration was that I wanted Hindle on it, as he's the best part of the serial for me, a key 'villain' and rarely featured on others' covers. I did wonder if the last point was because there were few decent photos of the character, being aware myself of only a couple which I wasn't sure I could fit into my style of covers. But luckily, as often happens, the DVD's photo gallery offered up some good alternatives, plus many more useable shots of the Doctor than I'd been able to find elsewhere...

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Resurrection of the Daleks - remastered

27 March 2011

Although the three titles in the Revisitations 2 boxset don't strike me as in great need of sprucing up, I'm happy for the excuse to revisit my covers for the stories. And while I'm pleased with the compositions of the originals, my technique was still developing back then and there are some rough edges I'm pleased to tidy up. I've kicked off with 'Resurrection' as I felt there was no need to rethink any of the images in this one, just to redo some with my now more advanced Photoshop skills...

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26 March 2011

I was always slightly daunted at the prospect of doing covers for the two Christopher Bailey stories, particularly 'Kinda', as it's the ideas and atmosphere that make them stand out, which is difficult to portray in an illustration. While they have their bad guys (although more by influence rather than being inherently evil) and, of course, use snakes as an iconic image, they feel less suited to the usual montage of characters, requiring something more conceptual. For 'Kinda' I had an idea that seemed at least to be heading that way, but a first attempt at a key element proved disappointing...

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The Talons of Weng-Chiang - remastered

27 February 2011

Like many, I was surprised 2Entertain chose to re-release 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' as the original seemed pretty good on both restoration and special features fronts. For me, it wasn't a cover I was desperate to revisit, even though there were a couple of niggles (I could probably say that for pretty much every cover I've done), but in the event I tweaked more than I had expected to...

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The Ark

21 February 2011

John Wiles was clearly not a Doctor Who producer for whom publicity was a high priority, given the relative lack of photos from his run of stories. With most of these also missing from the archive, it's almost as if he was trying to avoid all record of his time on the show. The relative wealth of photos from 'The Celestial Toymaker', many of them in colour, suggests incoming producer Innes Lloyd felt the programme worth promoting, and maybe he's responsible for what imagery we have from 'The Ark', even though it concentrates on the obvious crowd-pullers of the latest monster and young women...

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The Mutants

6 February 2011

'The Mutants' is notorious for seemingly having had few photos taken during its production so I knew from the outset this was going to be a tricky one. If you want to have anything more than a great big Mutt taking up the whole cover (and that would be fine as it's such a gruseome design - hey, it worked for the Target book), then good luck. Some colour shots taken in the caves, which are horribly red-biased and very soft, and a few black and white shots of the Skybase set don't give one many options. Even the DVD's photo gallery was disappointing for once, missing out many well-known shots...

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23 January 2011

My heart sank a little at the prospect of doing a cover illustration for 'Meglos', not because of the story itself -- while it's no classic it's far from the worst Doctor Who story ever in my book -- but because I knew I'd have to do not one but two cutouts of Tom and his curly locks, one with added cactus thorns sprouting all over. Then it got worse as I wanted to include General Grugger too, even though I'd be faced with cutting out his furry hat. All very fiddly and time consuming. Not only that, but I had to colour a black-and-white photo of Grugger as I had no suitable colour shots of him. Indeed...

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The TV Movie

16 January 2011

As for the DVD releases themselves, the Revisitations boxsets provide an excuse for me to revisit some of my early covers, when I was developing my skills and bedding in the design. Thus, as with the re-issue of 'Remembrance of the Daleks', I plan to redo covers for all re-releases -- at the very least to update the Special Features lists on the back but also to amend some of the typography for consistency with later covers and, where appropriate, tweak the illustrations to correct any elements that have since come to niggle at me. However, I won't be rechristening these 'special editions'...

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Revenge of the Cybermen

9 January 2011

This cover turned out very different from what I originally had planned. When I was creating the illustration for 'Silver Nemesis' I thought the same composition would work for 'Revenge', with Kellman and Vorus in the places of Peinforte and DeFlores, and either Voga or Nerva Beacon providing a background shape as the Earth did on the former cover. However, while I wasn't sure the only photo of Kellman I had would be high enough quality to fit that position, ultimately I couldn't find a decent photo of a Cyberman suitable for the design, even from screngrabs from the serial itself. So what I...

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The Monster of Peladon

2 January 2011

Sometimes it's a real struggle to come up with ideas for a cover illustration. It might be that you really like the story and want your creation to do it proud, or that the story simply doesn't inspire much feeling at all - and I like to think the best covers (not just of mine, but any) are not simply a collection of images pleasantly arranged but convey some of the atmosphere of the story. Well, that's the ambition. 'The Monster of Peladon' falls into the latter category, the story itself not really engaging me, so making it hard to get a feel for what the cover should be like...

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The Creature From the Pit

30 December 2010

My starting point for this cover illustration was deciding whether to include the titular Creature or not. As you can see, I chose not to as it would probably look either ridiculous or just too confusing as to what it was. The decision led me to a foresty backdrop rather than a cavey one, but I still wanted some nod towards the presence of Erato even if he wasn't to feature himself. I knew my two foreground figures would be the Doctor and Lady Adrasta, of course, but just them against a forest background didn't seem to 'sell' the story enough. So I decided to place between them the mouth of...

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Time and the Rani

27 December 2010

Okay, it's pink. I had thought to give the cover a less obvious colour just to be different from all the other 'Time and the Rani' covers ever done. But this story is just so pink, from the sky to Mel's costume, the bubble traps and even much of the lighting. And once I'd decided on an exterior background for the illustration, the cover's fate was sealed. Pink it would have to be!

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The Seeds of Doom

13 December 2010

I knew from the outset with this cover that the main question would be whether or not to feature Harrison Chase. He's the story's big villain, of course, but I knew of no photos of him, and for once the disc's photo gallery disappointed. In fact there were surprisingly few photos from this story, concentrating on the monster (understandably) and, more oddly, the Antarctic base. So if I was to include him it would have to be via screen captures. I have done this a few times before, most notably for Miss Winters on my 'Robot' cover, but it's always tricky finding a suitable pose with the person...

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The Horns on Nimon

28 November 2010

The elements of this cover were pretty clearcut - the Doctor (of course), the Nimon and Soldeed - as was their arrangement: Soldeed menacing the Doctor with his staff as the Nimon loomed above them. It's a layout I've used often (most recently with The Time Monster, in fact) as it fits the shape of the cover well. I did think of having the Nimon larger, more central and facing forward but in the end didn't have a suitable photo, so he ended up on the right. Given the title of the story, I didn't want his horns disappearing behind the logo, so decided on what I think is only the second...

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The Time Monster

23 November 2010

This cover began with the image of the Master holding the Crystal of Kronos aloft, a familiar shot but one I've always felt symbolised this story wonderfully. The only downside was that I could only find mono copies of the photo so, resigned to having to do some colourisation, I chose the shot that best showed the Master's face. I used a colour photo of him in the TOMTIT lab as a reference for his shirt and tie, although these were shifted slightly by a colour overlay applied later to tie him into the overall colouring of the final composition...

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The King's Demons

20 November 2010

My starting point for this cover was how (or indeed whether) to feature Kamelion. Obviously he's the lynchpin around which the rest of the story rotates, but I didn't want to give the game away too much (while I know my covers are used by fans who are familiar with the series, I still like to treat them as if they could be 'official' ones in the shops and try to avoid too many spoilers) and he's not strictly a villain. From that point of view I was more keen to feature King John. So one possibility was to include them both, perhaps in similar poses to hint at the idea they're one and the same...

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The Space Museum

7 November 2010

Having completed The Chase it seemed only fair to follow it with The Space Museum as again I'd already done a rough design before my summer break. My first concern with any cover, but particularly those like this for which not many photos were taken, is whether I'll be able to find a suitable photo of the Doctor. Fortunately in this case there were a couple of the him being held by the Moroks, and although I found the shot I decided to use in DWM, I figured once it...

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The Chase

24 October 2010

Well here we are, my 100th Classic Who DVD cover illustration! I thought for some time how I could perhaps do something a bit special for such a milestone, but decided I didn't want the illustration itself to be too different from the norm else it would stand out oddly among the rest, and not being able to print it with foil blocking or something, I turned to choosing a story that perhaps justified being wrapped in my centenary cover. Sadly this year has been one of rather middling releases and nothing leapt out at me as celebration-worthy. Then I remembered I hadn't completed The Chase...

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The Curse of Peladon

17 October 2010

This was a tricky one to come up with a concept for for two reasons. One is there are so many interesting-looking aliens in it that it's too tempting to get them all on even at the risk of cluttering the illustration. Second, they're not all villains (and the style for my covers is to focus on the bad guys), most notably the most recognisable - the Ice Warriors. However, you can't have a Peladon cover without them, and to leave them off because they're on the Doctor's side this once would give away that twist. Conversely, too much of a focus on Arcturus as the true villain would give that away...

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17 October 2010

Ah, Season 15 - so few photos! We know rampant inflation was affecting production of the show and it seems an on-set photographer was an easy cutback. Or there was just less need for photos in those days. Either way, this year's stories are always a bit of a struggle to come up with anything interesting or new as options are so limited. I'm really not looking forward to doing The Sun Makers (although I am intrigued to see if the DVD's photo gallery turns up any unseen gems)...

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The Dominators

17 October 2010

As ever with the black-and-white stories, one of the main choices when composing my covers is what colours to use. I've only ever seen a fuzzy colour photo of a Quark taken at an early exhibition of Doctor Who props, and never one of the Dominators' costumes, so I felt I had a free reign to give them whatever colours I felt suited the illustration. I didn't want a dull metal grey for the Quarks (which is what I suspect they were) so went for an earthy-toned green with complementing golden panels on their heads. This gave the colour scheme for the whole composition - sandy yellows...

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Silver Nemesis

17 October 2010

Moving swiftly on from 'Planet of Fire', I chose pretty much at random to have a go at 'Silver Nemesis'. Lots of pictures, I thought, but surprisingly hard to find a decent 'hero' image of the Cybermen. Ideally I wanted a face on shot from a low angle looking up, but the best I could find was the one used on the official cover or that which I finally used, both of which were at an angle. However, this month's DWM kindly printed a large photo of Sylvester in his cream jacket (not from 'Silver Nemesis' but from a photoshoot around that time, I think) that was a perfect fit, great quality and, with him...

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Planet of Fire

17 October 2010

Sitting down to restart my covers after taking a summer break, and faced with a backlog of 13 stories (eep!), I decided to begin with 'Planet of Fire' as it was one of the few (of this batch) that I already had an idea for the composition of based on photos I'd seen before. The main characters to include were the Master, obviously, and Timanov, of whom there's that great shot of him with billowing cloak. On the DVD photo gallery is a version with less billowing that I did think to use, partly because it was less familiar and because I thought it would fit better, but in the end the more billowing version...

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The Masque of Mandragora

14 March 2010

I've done 'Masque' ahead of the two Peladon stories because I've always had in my mind to use the shot of the masked Hieronymous sitting on his throne as the main image for this cover, whereas I'm still mulling over possibilities for 'Curse' and 'Monster'. So I thought I'd at least get this out the way rather than delay it while I worked on the Peladons. That's not to say it came together instantly. I still wanted to wait for the DVD release to see what photos of Count Federico it threw up - in the event nothing I hadn't seen before but it did have a more useable shot of him and Captain Rossini...

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Planet of the Daleks

7 February 2010

Not quite sure what it was about this cover but it took ages for me to come up with an idea and then more time to work up the interest to implement it! I think it was the fact the only villains are the Daleks, and the prospect of cutting out lots of them was putting me off. So I began with the photo of the Doctor, which is from the cover of the 1974 Dr Who Annual. It wasn't as good quality as in my memory but it was either use that or the well-used shot of him in the Spiridon fur, so I went to work cleaning it up as best I could...

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Frontier in Space

12 January 2010

Two initial ideas for my 'Frontier in Space' cover ended up coming together into one serendipitous whole. The first was, given the story's title (although how much more dramatic is Target's 'The Space War'?), I kind of wanted a line, or frontier, with Earth on one side and Draconia on the other. So I suspected this would be one of my 'bisected' style covers, such as 'The Caves of Androzani' or 'Attack of the Cybermen'. The second idea was that perennial question when doing a cover for 'Frontier': whether or not to hint at the Daleks' involvement. Obviously they're a good iconic figure to include...

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The Keys of Marinus

6 December 2009

I'd always planned to have the Conscience machine at the heart of my 'Marinus' cover, aware that while photos of it always had the silver beams criss-crossing in front of it, I knew of several shots from different angles allowing me, I hoped, to create a 'clean' version of the central dodecahedron. In practice this proved trickier than I'd imagined. The starting point was a photo of the Doctor and Arbitan which had the Conscience machine behind them nicely face on to the 'control' panel, their heads just covering the left and right panels. It was also missing the top third or so and had two...

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The Twin Dilemma

29 November 2009

My initial concern with doing a cover for 'The Twin Dilemma' was that, given the title, well, you have to include the twins somewhere, don't you? But not only do I focus on the bad guys for my covers (acting ability notwithstanding), I didn't really want that pair of dweebs taking centre stage. So I began to think about graphical ways I could include them without being too prominent. My mind turned to the model of the Jacondan solar system in the story and I thought I could use that, or rather a graphical representation of it, as a background within which to feature the twins...

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22 November 2009

This cover has its origins in a pen-and-ink illustration I did way back in the early nineties, in which I first had Wrack threatening Striker with her knife (instead of the Doctor as in the original publicity photo). They say if an idea's good it's worth using again, and I'd need to feature those characters on my cover anyway, so I recreated it in photo form. With the Doctor taking up the rest of the foreground, that left the background to the scene of ships floating in space - obvious, I guess, but it is central to the story. It just depended on being able to find usable shots of the ships themselves...

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13 September 2009

My biggest worry when anticipating doing a cover for 'Terminus' was that I had never seen a straightforward shot of one of the Vanir, and I knew I'd want one given they're the nearest this story comes to villains. Fortunately, the DVD's photo gallery presented one usable image of a helmeted Valgard. Hurrah! I knew I wouldn't be able to feature it too large, though, so I began to think about ways to constrain it. 'Terminus' has never struck me as having any strong design iconography beyond the skull images, which I also didn't have and didn't really help me anyway. So it was while...

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Mawdryn Undead

7 September 2009

Boxsets, particularly trilogies, always raise the question of whether or not to do linked cover illustrations. As with The Beginning and Beneath The Surface sets, I decided not. In this instance, the three stories are only loosely linked by the Black Guardian and deserve their own treatments. In fact, my initial sketches took form very quickly, and for 'Mawdryn' at least has proved pretty faithful to the final illustration, with just one significant change.

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Remembrance of the Daleks - remastered

6 September 2009

'Remembrance' has been one of the few covers of mine I've been waiting some time for an excuse to revamp. As my very first DVD cover, it carried a lot of weight in setting up the template and style of illustration, and some aspects inevitably changed as I developed the covers in those early days. That said, the main thing I really wanted to redo was the photo of the Doctor. At the time the best copy I could find was in DWM, which was a slightly low-contrast image with very noticeable print screening. Subsequently my cleaning up of the image was a little rough (see below). My Photoshop...

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The War Games

12 August 2009

Well, I succeeded in doing a cover without using the War Room map as a framework. Part of the reason I was against doing so - apart from the fact that most 'War Games' covers, including Clayton's official one, use it - was that I wasn't keen on having lots of panels that I'd need to fill with different elements from the story, unusure that I'd be able to find suitable pictures to represent the various wars featured. It was perhaps ironic, then, that in the end I decided, for a story called 'The War Games', I really did need to include some suggestion of people fighting, and that just showing the...

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Delta and the Bannermen

2 August 2009

Phew! What a hectic couple of months I've had, and sadly keeping my covers up to date was what had to give. Things have quietened down now (until the next emergency arises), however, so I'm hoping to quickly get back on track. What I don't want to do, though, is compromise the quality of my covers just to hit some arbitrary release date - I hope you agree a delay is better than a rushed cover, but I'll try to keep that delay down to a reasonable time.

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The Deadly Assassin

31 May 2009

It may give the surprise away, but you have to use a photo of the decaying Master on a cover for 'The Deadly Assassin', don't you? It's such a gruesomely eye-catching creation. The story is also such a head-to-head battle between him and the Doctor, that I quickly decided to do one of my two-level compositions, so I could give each equal weight in the illustration. When I saw the official cover previewed I gave a sigh knowing I was likely to use the same photos of the Doctor and Master - that shot of the Tom Baker in Time Lord garb is a classic - and although when I came to do my...

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Image of the Fendahl

6 May 2009

Sometimes the trick to getting a cover to work is knowing when to stop. For 'Image of the Fendahl' my wishlist of elements kept growing and the result, I think, is perhaps too cluttered. The problem began because I really wanted to use the shot of Adam and Thea as I liked the sense of threat in it, with Adam gripping Thea while looking over his shoulder at some unseen thing (okay, in the story he's just heard a scream, but it looks like he's looking at something). Of course, most of the decent images from this story are of the Fendahl Core and the Fendahleen, so their use was practically...

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The Velvet Jacket blog

24 March 2009

I tried running a blog last year without telling anyone, to see how I got on. It lasted three posts! But I've decided to have another go, and hopefully by announcing it here I'll be motivated to keep it updated. I'll still post updates for each cover here, detailing how they were created. The blog is more to comment on the broader array of DVD covers available - both the official sleeves and other fan-produced ones that catch my eye - and to allow you guys to comment too. So let's see how it goes.

View and contribute to the VJ blog here

Attack of the Cybermen

20 March 2009

As I needed to wait to get the DVDs of 'The Rescue' and 'The Romans' before I could complete their covers, I moved straight from finishing the E-Space Trilogy to doing 'Attack of the Cybermen', for which images could be found more readily than for the two Hartnell stories. This one started with the photo of the Doctor as I had previously earmarked this pose as a likely contender for my cover and knew the DWM Complete Sixth Doctor had printed a nice full-page version that I could scan and shrink for a clean, crisp image. The only tricky bit here was cutting out his hair - curse the...

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The Rescue/The Romans

15 March 2009

Despite Doctor Who's success in its first year, one of the cost savings that appears to have been made in the second year was on an on-set photographer. Images from this season and the next seem especially sparse and often concentrate on one particular aspect of each story. Thus for 'The Rescue' there are several posed shots of Vicki and Koquillion to introduce the new companion but little from the rest of the story. 'The Romans' fares worse - even guest star Derek Francis appears in only two rehearsal shots, no publicity photos anywhere. What this often means for my covers is that I'm familiar...

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The E-Space Trilogy

10 February 2009

All three covers for the E-Space trilogy - 'Full Circle', 'State of Decay' and 'Warriors' Gate' - are now available from the 1980-1984 page above, bringing Season 18 one story away from completion.

The genesis of these covers began, appropriately enough, with 'Full Circle'. For some stories it's hard to find suitably eye-catching photos for the cover; for others there are key images that stick in your mind and seem ideally suited to the job...

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Mac OS X Dashboard Widget revision

11 January 2009

Over Christmas, my sterling new webmaster James and I did some work behind the scenes of Velvet Jacket to bring the code more up to spec, one result of which was that the VJ Dashboard widget no longer linked to the new pages. So any regular site users who are on Mac OS X who have installed our widget, or new users who want to try it out, please click on the big red button above to download the revised version. Once installed on your Dashboard, you can choose to view thumbnails of our covers or the clean artwork in a little slideshow at a rate of your choice.

Download the new widget above or here


29 December 2008

Ah 'Battlefield', one of my bottom five Doctor Who stories of all time! Sorry to those who love it, but I hated it in 1989 and it has never grown on me since (and I've given it several chances in the last 19 years - well, a couple). The whole thing's just a mess, in my eyes, one that not even the reliable Nicholas Courtney can rescue. Oh well, we can't all love everything, and while I was glad that my off-air copy saved me from having to buy the VHS release, I'm happy to pay my dues for the DVD. My cover would have been a struggle without the aid of the disc's photo gallery, so it was worth it for...

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Site reworking

27 December 2008

Just in time for the New Year, Velvet Jacket has had some rewiring done behind the scenes. Everything should look and behave the same when you use the site, but the coding now operates a little more economically. But should you come across any broken links or page errors, please do email me and I'll get them put right. Cheers, JC

The Brain of Morbius

21 December 2008

A new cover, at last! Apologies again for the inordinate delay in completing my 'Brain of Morbius' cover. As I've mentioned before, I was holding out for a decent colour picture of the Morbius monster in a pose that suited the composition as you see it, but even after working my way through a huge pile of DWM back issues I recently bought through eBay (not solely for this purpose, but to fill the large gap in my collection when I stopped buying the mag in the 90s) I still couldn't find what I wanted. So in the end I had to colour a black-and-white photo scanned from Peter Haining's 'The Time-...

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The Trial of a Time Lord

12 October 2008

I started the basis for this cover way back in the early summer after having finished 'The Invisible Enemy' and thus many of my decisions were based on not knowing at that point whether the eventual DVD release would be in one box or several. For the latter option, there's always the temptation to do a single image split across however many covers are needed, so that they form one composition when placed next to each other. I quickly decided, however, that a) no one really lines their DVDs up like that, b) the irregular shape of my cover illustrations, with the logo slicing across the top...

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Four to Doomsday

5 October 2008

Where does the time go? One minute my DVD is plopping through the letterbox and I can at last get some suitable photos for the cover; the next, 'Trial' has been out a week and 'Four to Doomsday' is still unfinished! Though to be fair it's partly my fault (and Play.com's). I was all set to complete this cover last weekend, when my 'Trial' DVD turned up on the Saturday, for once, and pushed 'Four to Doomsday' from the top of my list. Sorry...

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The War Machines

25 August 2008

First off, apologies for the delay to the 'Brain of Morbius' cover. Apart from real-life stuff getting in the way, this one's proving a pain to complete, mainly because of the photo resources I'm limited to (I'll explain in full when the cover's finished). However, rather than delay further covers while I struggle with Morbius, I've put that to one side so I could get 'The War Machines' done on time. The DVDs are coming thick and fast over the next month, so your guess is as good as mine as to what order my covers will appear in! 'Four to Doomsday' I suspect will be late as I want to see what photos...

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The Invisible Enemy

19 June 2008

I can't say 'The Invisible Enemy' is a story I particularly like, based on my last viewing when the VHS came out, so I came to this cover without any previous thoughts on how I might approach it. As such, it was down to collecting together photo sources and seeing what, if anything, sparked my imagination. The one preconception I did have was that it would be nice to get K-9 on the cover. As regular visitors will know, the style I chose to go for at the start of producing my covers was to focus on the villains and monsters in each story, with just the Doctor representing the good guys. However...

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The Invasion of Time

5 May 2008

While waiting to get hold of the right images for my 'Black Orchid' cover I wasn't idle and managed to get both 'The Invasion of Time' and 'The Invisible Enemy' done, helped by the fact that 'Invasion of Time' was pretty straightforward in the end. The focus on Stor was a given really - I don't worry too much about giving away certain surprises as this is a 30-year-old TV show and anyone using my covers is more than likely to be aware of the returning bad guys. Having said that, I did begin with a version featuring a helmeted Stor (as that's how the photo I used had him) but decided that, because...

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Black Orchid

14 April 2008

So the photo of Nyssa I was hoping to get a better quality grab of from the DVD wasn't in the photo gallery after all (although there were a couple of very similar shots, not the specific one I wanted), which meant I had to use the slightly ropey one from THT and tidy it up as best I could. The result is a bit iffy, but it gets over the idea I was going for I think - a recreation of the episode one cliffhanger (think of the fire as a future echo!)...

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The Five Doctors

1 March 2008

When I designed my cover for the original 'Five Doctors Special Edition' DVD release, I was disappointed that the best copy of the photo of Peter Davison I wanted to use was a fairly small image from the web that, despite much touching up, still looked rather ropey. This was compounded when, some time after, I found a far better and larger copy in Peter Haining's 'The Key to Time' book which I'd had all along. So part of me has been longing for this inevitable release of the transmitted version of the story so that I could redo the cover with a good photo of the Fifth Doctor in pride of place. I...

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The Time Meddler

9 February 2008

Like many, I suspect, I first saw 'The Time Meddler' when it was repeated in 1992 and thought it a cracking little story. With an off-air recording I never bothered buying the VHS release, though, so I'm very glad to get a pristine copy with this DVD (well, as pristine as the existing recordings can be made, but that's more than good enough for me). I mention this as the cover for my off-air tape became one of the first I ever made, back in the days when I was a mere...

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Beneath The Surface boxset

18 January 2008

I do like the boxsets we're now getting - they're such an 'event' release and, of course, get us closer to a full set of stories on DVD that bit quicker. But when it comes to the covers, each time it throws up the question of whether or not to include some uniform element. I can see why the official covers generally do, as if you're selling a set of three stories that are, by implication, linked in some way then the covers should reflect that. That seems less relevant to replacement covers, so with the previous Beginnings and New Beginning sets I've done standalone covers as if the stories had been...

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Destiny of the Daleks

1 December 2007

As soon as I heard 'Destiny' was coming out on DVD, I recalled an image of a group of Movellans standing pointing their guns, and pretty much instantly decided on one of my two-panel covers: the Movellans and Doctor in one, Davros and the Daleks in the other. Finding said shot proved trickier! I was convinced it was in 'The Doctor Who Technical Manual' but was quickly proved wrong. A hunt through my collection of Who hardbacks eventually turned it up in Peter Haining's 'Doctor Who - The Time Travellers' Guide'. What the Technical Manual did have was one of several shots of the Daleks...

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Planet of Evil

15 October 2007

I've been looking forward to 'Planet of Evil' coming out so I could have a go at treating the photo of the silvery anti-matter creature costume to make it look like it appeared in the programme. In the end it only took a few simple Photoshop filters, but I think it's an effective representation nevertheless. Given the show's called 'Planet of Evil', featuring the planet itself on the cover seemed a must too, and having the creature rise from the black pit at its centre gave me the arrangement of central planet, creature above and the Doctor and Sorenson either side. I had wanted to include some...

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The Key To Time - Region 2

22 September 2007

Thank goodness I managed to get my Season 16 covers finished before this year, cos trying to produce six covers in a month or so would have killed me! Although with the increased release rate, who knows what next year may bring? Gulp!

So a straightforward update, with the new Region 2 extras included and the BBFC certificate added. The only changes I've made to the front illustrations are to remove an element from the 'Pirate Planet' that was accidentally left in from an...

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The Time Warrior

3 September 2007

There are lots of good photos from 'The Time Warrior', particularly of Linx (they were understandably proud of their latest monster design), although surprisingly few of lead guest villain David Daker as Irongron. Thus it was that my original idea for this cover had to change slightly, but for the better in the end.

The shield background was an idea I'd had long ago, but originally it was going to be divided into four quadrants and in...

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Time-Flight/Arc of Infinity

6 August 2007

Finally up to date again with my covers (in fact, a little ahead as 'The Time Warrior' is completed too, but you'll have to wait till next month for that one). Just had to wait for the discs to be released to get some pictures for the back cover - had trouble finding good-quality colour pics for both these stories.

'Time-Flight' was the worse, image wise, so I started with 'Arc' as I knew I had the picture of Hedin I wanted to use...

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14 July 2007

I've been holding back this cover for a few days to give 'Robot' a little extra time on the home page, seeing as that one was a bit late. But now we're into the monthly release schedule, I guess they'll all have their moment in the spotlight reduced. So now comes the turn of 'Timelash', that widely acknowledged turkey of Season 22 - although as ever, some like it and a DVD release, with its background information, always makes you look at a story afresh...

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27 June 2007

A slight delay on this cover owing to the poor selection of photos from the story leaving me rather uninspired. Featuring the robot was, of course, a given. But I decidedly didn't want to do the whole multiple-images-at-increasing-sizes-to-show-it-growing thing, as it's become rather cliched and, besides, the robot growing is only a fairly brief event at the end of episode four. I thought a shot looking up at the robot to imply it's size was a nicer way to go, but couldn't find any decent photos. As I also wanted to feature Miss Winters on the cover - it being my style to include the major villain...

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15 April 2007

This cover began with the picture of the Doctor. I'd always had that pose earmarked for the 'Survival' cover, knowing I had a good-sized photo to scan from the back page of The Frame issue 13 and feeling Sylvester's expression was just right for this story. I also knew I wanted him central, given it was the last story (at least when I first had these thoughts). That led to doing a two-panel cover, rather like my 'Caves of Androzani', so once this DVD was announced, I just had to decide what to put in each...

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New Beginnings

8 February 2007

These annual boxsets are something of a mixed blessing for me - it's great to have more stories on DVD, but they triple my cover workload! However, as the original broadcast of this trilogy marked my transition to fully paid-up fan, they're a particularly welcome addition to my shelf.

Not a great deal to reveal about the creation of these covers. An old DW annual provided some great set photos from...

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Series 2 covers at Leather Jacket

7 December 2006

To be honest, I'm not sure there'll be much demand for these, given that the boxset seems to be much better packaged than last year's and the vanilla releases had even jazzier covers than Series 1's. So I'm guessing not many people will be rejacketing their DVDs. However, having set up Leather Jacket for 'new Who' covers last year I thought I might as well keep going, so my covers for Series 2 are now available on the site...

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The Invasion

4 November 2006

At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I feel I'm getting quite good at this colouring lark. I'm rather pleased with the pic of the Doctor on 'The Invasion', which is perhaps as close to making a colourised mono photo look like a genuine colour one as I'm going to get. I'm resigning myself to having to colourise the covers for all remaining black-and-white releases if I'm to stick with my dislike of simple colour washes - at least over the whole cover. For here, as on 'The Mind Robber', some areas of simpler colouring can work...

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The Sontaran Experiment

9 October 2006

My cover for 'The Sontaran Experiment' - a great little two-parter, in my opinion - is now available for download. I was a bit surprised at just how few photos there are for this story when I came to look into it: all those well-known ones of Sarah captured by Styre and, er, that's about it. When I found a decent one of the GalSec guys with the gravity bar (in Howe/Stammers/Walker's 'The Seventies') I knew I wanted to use that, as I hadn't seen it on a cover before and felt it reflected the 'Experiment' element of the title nicely. Obviously I needed a pic of Styre, for which the ever-trusty ...

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The Mark of the Rani

4 September 2006

A pretty straightforward cover for this story. While there are lots of good design elements in 'The Mark of the Rani', I decided its key selling point is really the convergence of the three Time Lords, and so kept the cover focused on them. I was pleased to find some hi-res photos of Blists Hill on the web which I planned to combine into a great background panorama. But when it came to it, I realised space behind the foreground trio would be so limited it was best to keep the background to a couple of prominent pieces...

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The Hand of Fear

29 July 2006

Those publicity photos of Lis Sladen holding the stone hand are just so iconic of this story that, like the official BBC cover and practically every fan version I've seen, I couldn't not use one. While it's nice to do something different from the norm, there's no point cutting your nose off to spite your face. Although notice, I've added in the missing finger - it just seemed to make the hand more alive and grasping...

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25 June 2006

Okay, it's orange, there's lava and fire, and the Brig in an eyepatch. But honestly, what else can you do for 'Inferno'? At least I got Stahlman on there, which I don't think many other covers have managed. :)

The original idea for the stream of lava was to divide the cover into 'real world' and 'parallel world' halves, with the Primord representing the latter. But when I came to research pictures for the story I found they were mostly from the parallel...

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Genesis of the Daleks

5 May 2006

Boy am I sick of cutting out Daleks!

What with the covers for 'Revelation', the new series, 'The Daleks' and now this, I feel like I do nothing but cut around blasted pepperpots these days. I dearly hope after three Dalek stories out on DVD in under a year that we get a break from them for a good while. Besides, there aren't any decent ones left to release (except maybe 'Day') so there's no...

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The Beginning boxset

1 February 2006

Phew! That was a bit of a marathon - eight versions of three covers in the usual time to do one. I'd say I now know how the Restoration Team feels when they have to produce a multi-story release, except that'd be totally dismissive of the enormous amount of work and dedication they put into their DVD projects. My own efforts pale in comparison. (And I thought it'd be all right with a big break over Christmas to do them in. Hah!)...

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Leather Jacket

21 November 2005

Now the Series One boxset has hit the shops, I'm very pleased to announce the addition of a new subsite to Velvet Jacket: Leather Jacket.

Here you'll find my alternative DVD covers for the New Series releases. Because, like the VJ covers, they're intended as replacements for official product, they're produced to reflect the content of those disks: ie, not individual episodes or...

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City of Death

5 November 2005

This cover came together pretty simply. Because there's a healthy selection of photos from this story and they're all taken well - aided by the serial's great design, from costumes to Ian Scoone's impressive models - most have been seen before, so the cover was never going to startle anyone. So while that picture of Tom is used by a lot of other cover designers, it's such an eye-grabbing image I never intended on using any other. I was quite pleased to find the high-angle shot of the Jagaroth spaceship in an old DWM, though, to make a slight change from the more usual ground-level shots you see...

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The Web Planet

2 October 2005

'The Web Planet' is my first fully colourised cover - or rather, it nearly was.

Since deciding to produce alternative DVD covers and devising a format, it was always my intention to do full-colour illustrations, even for the black-and-white stories. This, I hoped, would be one of my differentiating factors, as the trend with most alternative covers is to go for a unifying colour overlay, something I always feel is a shame when stories...

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The Ribos Operation

20 September 2005

I was, of course, going to post 'The Web Planet' this week, but as that has been delayed by a couple of weeks I decided to knuckle down and get 'The Ribos Operation' finished off - paradoxically, the last and the first of the Key to Time covers, for those who have purchased the region 1 boxset.

I was also keen to get this one done before the release of 'City of Death', before too many people could work out where...

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Mac OS X Dashboard widget

13 August 2005

A little bonus for Mac OS X 'Tiger' users: Velvet Jacket's very own Dashboard widget! This displays thumbnails of our covers in a random order at a rate set by you.

Download the widget by clicking on the link below. The Zip archive should automatically uncompress and ask you if you want to install the widget (click 'Install'!). If it doesn't, simply locate the .wdgt file in your Downloads folder and move...
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Revelation of the Daleks

8 July 2005

I have mixed feelings about this release. I've never been quite sure why it seems to be such a huge fan favourite, given it's less Doctor Who and more 'The Adventures of Eric Saward Characters'. Even the Daleks are hardly in it. It is one of the best of Season 22, of course (second only to 'Vengeance on Varos' in my book), but that's not exactly hard to achieve. If it weren't for Graeme Harper's sterling direction, I doubt it'd be so popular. And I'm actually quite glad the Doctor didn't get to say "Blackpool" at the end...

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The Armageddon Factor

24 June 2005

Hooray! Another segment of the Key to Time recovered!
As long-time VJers will know, it's been taking me a while to complete covers for the R1 Season 16 boxset. But we're now five-sixths of the way there - just 'The Ribos Operation' to go.

Part of the problem with these last two, especially 'Armageddon Factor', is the sheer lack of photos from the stories...

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