Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Phil Bevan

It’s upsettingly difficult to find any of Phil Bevan’s work kicking around on the internet - he’s unfortunately passed away, and as such there’s no portfolio of his illustrations online. It’s a crying shame because, alongside people like Adrian Salmon, he used some of the most unique and original visual language among artists working within Doctor Who.

This image is from one of the previews or preludes or whatever they were called which DWM used to run for the New Adventures – in this case, Daniel O’Mahony’s much-as-I-love-his-other-books-not-really-very-good Falls the Shadow. Using black and white pen and ink is unusually restrained for this sort of TV tie-in artwork, but it’s gorgeous, and shows off the slightly off-kilter attention to detail which made his art really distinctive (his idiosyncratic way of drawing hair in definite strands is particularly memorable).

I think he also did the illustrations for Gareth Roberts’ least-bad season seventeen Missing Adventure, The English Way of Death, but the picture I remembered recently was for a DWM article on what could have happened if the series had continued after season twenty-six. Bevan’s illustrations, rather wonderfully, depicted a be-ringed and dandified Richard Griffiths as a potential precursor to (Withnail co-star) Paul McGann’s official Eighth Doctor. If I get a chance to dig the issue out, I’ll post a scan, because it was a particularly glorious ‘Unbound’ concept.



  1. I also adored Bevan's work and was greatly saddened to hear of his sudden death. The lengths he apparently went to to secure new poses for the Doctor and his companions - freeze-framing TV scenes, coercing friends to pose in home-made approximations of Doctor outfits sound wonderfully barmy. And he certainly influenced my artwork for a while, strand-by-strand hair included.

    Along with the Griffiths picture I recall he 'cast' the character of Alexander Shuttleworth from Paul Cornell's HUman nature as Simon callow post-Four Weddings. As I recall it fed into pre-McGann announcement TV Movie speculation splendidly.

  2. The idea of someone coercing friends into Doctor Who poses is rather fantastic.

    Thanks for the comment!