The Beginning boxset1 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!)
Anyway, here at last are my three covers for The Beginning boxset releases - 'An Unearthly Child', 'The Daleks' and 'The Edge of Destruction' - plus, for those who disagree with the Beeb's adopted story titles (and let's not get into that whole debate here), versions titled '100,000BC', 'The Tribe of Gum', 'The Mutants', 'The Dead Planet' and 'Inside the Spaceship'. (Hopefully no one persists in the myth of 'Edge' being called 'Beyond the Sun', cos tough!)
I actually first sketched the ideas for these three way back in spring 2004, when the Beginning boxset was first being rumoured for a November release - which it turned out would have been true if the Lost in Time collection hadn't happened instead. And those initial designs didn't really change over the intervening time - originally Susan and the Doctor were to be the other way round on 'An Unearthly Child', and the Dalek was positioned more centrally on 'The Daleks'. But come execution and such things often shuffle around a bit. The biggest change in my plans was that for 'Edge' I originally considered approaching one of the accomplished artists out there who had produced a stunning 3D computer rendition of the original TARDIS console and commissioning a new render that fitted the angle of shot I wanted to achieve. As the console was going to be the central image, like the TARDIS and (originally) the Dalek on the other two covers, I wanted a better quality image for it than photographic sources could provide. However, after it became apparent the set's release was going to be delayed, I never got round to contacting anyone, and in the end I reused the touched-up and colourised photo I had created for the Lost in Time covers.
Oh, one last difference from by original plans. On 'Unearthly Child', I had hoped to use the photo of Susan looking puzzled in the classroom (as seen on the back of my cover) but couldn't find a copy that wasn't cut off at the chest. So I, like Clayton, have had to use that 'saucy Susan' pic. Sorry to anyone who hates it.See all three covers here