This was originally planned for our niece Demelza’s 20th birthday. Her fiancée Jesslee contacted me with the idea of doing a Doctor Who montage that involved the last two Doctors (prior to Peter Capaldi’s appointment) – David Tennant and Matt Smith with Demelza incorporated between them – based loosely on a poster Jesslee had sent me. Sourcing the artwork proved difficult from a resolution point of view, together with finding a suitable picture of Demelza that would fit with the two Doctors. As an alternative I had an idea of a TARDIS background with a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ variation; I was to resort to this as, let’s face it, although the original 1939 Ministry of Information poster is an iconic design – produced at a time of real struggle and uncertainty and intended to lift the nation’s morale – everyone and their cat has produced a variation of this poster that has flogged and diluted the original message to death. It is the graphic equivalent of meeting someone and during the conversation they tell you that they used to be a DJ…
In the end time ran out and I was unable to produce something worthy of gifting to a serious Sci-Fi geek and Whovian such as Demelza, so the idea was shelved indefinitely. Then earlier this year I had a little more time on my hands and when we were discussing what to do for Demelza’s 21st birthday, I thought it might be nice to reprise the tardis artwork, as with the advent of another calendar year, her geekiness and love of Doctor Who had risen exponentially! The working phrase on the tardis was ‘Keep Calm And Bait The Master’ – a reference to the Doctor’s nemesis played by John Simm* – but was replaced fairly late with ‘Keep Calm And Don’t Even Blink’ as apparently that is a quote from a David Tennant (Demelza’s favourite Doctor) episode.
The final artwork was printed as a 28 inch x 16 inch stretched canvas and sent to Demelza via 24-hour courier so that it could be there on her birthday, but was eventually delivered after 72 hours (!), proving that even timelords – like mere mortals – can fall victim to the curse of logistics!
* Although it sounds like it, I am not a Whovian.