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PaulHanley's avatar

The Other

Ironically, this latest "I'll draw anyone as the Doctor" commission is probably gonna be the most controversial of the bunch, even though it's the most canonical. It's also really stretching the definition of "The Doctor", but I couldn't resist the challenge. And there's something gloriously transgressive about depicting him at all. :D

Gallifreyan legend speaks of three men instrumental to the creation of Time Lord society: the wily and sinister Rassilon; the brilliant but doomed Omega; and an "Other" lost to history. Some say this being is connected to the Doctor. Some even claim he IS the Doctor. But a lot of people believe a lot of different things about where the Doctor comes from, who he really is, and who he'll become. And always remember the first rule: The Doctor Lies. ;)

A big special thanks to one of Doctor Who's great myth makers, Lance Parkin, for offering advice on how the Other should look (which interestingly, was very different from my initial idea). I did my best to mesh up the description he gave me with the fleeting bits of description Marc Platt offers in the novel "Lungbarrow". Hopefully this'll serve as a "definitive" version for this rarely-depicted character.

DOCTOR: A long time ago, on my home planet of Gallifrey, there lived a stellar engineer called Omega.

ACE: Stellar? As in stars? You mean he engineered stars?


ACE: Sorry. Go on.

DOCTOR: It was Omega who created the supernova that was the initial power source for Gallifreyan time travel experiments. He left behind him the basis on which Rassilon founded Time Lord society, and he left behind the Hand of Omega.

ACE: His hand? What good was that?

DOCTOR: No, no, not his hand literally. No, no, it's called that because Time Lords have an infinite capacity for pretension.

ACE: I've noticed that.

DOCTOR: The Hand of Omega is a mythical name for Omega's remote stellar manipulator, a device used to customise stars with. And didn't we have trouble with the prototype.

ACE: We?


-"Remembrance of the Daleks", 1988
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What is “the Other” like in terms of characterisation?

He looks like a former Doctor Who actor...or maybe two, but I can't manage to decide which. Care to drop a hint? :) I might have a jelly baby or two with me.

HSeeker16's avatar
This character is surrounded by so much mystery... 
I fully understand that you don't want to tell who the face is based on but I have side question:

Do you think the other's depiction on the ebook cover of Lungbarrow could be based on the same person ? (I already asked the amazingly talented Daryl Joyce about who he used as a reference but it's sadly been too long ago for him to remember)
PaulHanley's avatar
Well, it's not like it's a HUGE secret with the Other's face- it's just that it was something Lance Parkin told me privately about what he had in his head when he wrote "Cold Fusion".  But since it's info he chose not to explicitly put in the book, I assume he didn't want it "out there" b/c it'd take away some mystery from the character- which I totally get.  It's kinda like how I have specific ideas about who the Doctor actually is, what really happened to his original family and why he left Gallifrey... but if I were ever writing the character professionally, I wouldn't want that stuff out there for fear it'd be taken as "official", when really it's just a fan theory that's a useful writing tool to get in a character's headspace.  :)

I don't know Marc Platt at all, so I have NO idea if he ever conferred with Lance about what the Other looked like.  But I know Daryl a bit, and I can say the guy puts a *lot* of thought into his paintings- so I'm sure whatever he was thinking at the time, it was interesting. :D
christianthefearless's avatar
Hello there, I love the design it's definitely a spot on depiction of The Other in my opinion. And the detail coloring and effort put into it is spectacular and gorgeous, I was wondering though if maybe me and my friends could use this design for our up and coming. Doctor Who web series, If not I understand completely but truly still amazing art work. :)  
PaulHanley's avatar
By all means, go right ahead! Be sure to send me a link when it's done. :)
DoormattCovers1992's avatar
Would you count "The Other" as canon.
PaulHanley's avatar
Honestly, I don't like to think of ANYTHING about the Doctor's days before leaving Gallifrey as canon.  I like to think of The Other as kinda being like the Joker's origin flashbacks in BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE.  You can take them as "real" or just the questionable account of an insane person.  The Doctor's woven such a web of lies around himself that it's hard to know if anything we think we know about his pre-UNEARTHLY CHILD days is real.  

Also, there's a bit of evidence nowadays that the Doctor himself is getting so old he's forgetting some details of his past- so ya have to wonder if even he knows the truth at this point. :)  
DoormattCovers1992's avatar
I was thinking of using it in a future story :3 
Guilliman-Heretic's avatar
John Hurt would have been great as the Other... I like to think he's the Doctor's past life/something like that. As close to it as a show frequently written by atheists would go.
DoormattCovers1992's avatar
Can I use this design please? :)
countmall's avatar
This is really good, but whenever I think of the Other I just see Jaime Murray.  For some reason...
HenshinDaisuke's avatar
Brilliant work, it is funny I have seen the episode enough times that reading the quotes from it my inner monologue automatically switches to the appropriate voices before I've even halfway through the first line. 
fbi12345's avatar
It does look kind of like the John Hurt Doctor. He looks ancient yet inexplicably kind. "What I did is for peace and prosperity"Help created the Time Lord Society and over a millennia of peace. But given how power hungry and corrupt the early time lord society was. 
BlackLanternDaddy's avatar
Played by John Hurt...I'm hoping.
DraconiusAsmertal's avatar
Ahh, I wish Andrew Cartmel had time to portray The Other on screen. This is a spectacular take of him.
neptun-II's avatar
he looks a bit like the seventh Doctor, I dig it
fbi12345's avatar
He also looks a bit like John Hurt. Which would make sense, The Incarnation ZERO.
fulminato's avatar
i'm drawn to the faint text around the spark his gauntlet is creating, like a floaty equation of some sort, and that idea delights me... goodness knows the Time Lords were probably that drily logical, and Rassilon was the most poetic/flamboyant of the three. The Other has always been (at least in my mental imagery) the most practical, especially given the fact that if he IS the Doctor, then he didn't do something ridiculous like get himself locked in a pocket universe or eaten up by the inhabitants of some other pocket universe or locked in a time pocket or something stupid like that.

So the concept of conjuring tiny sparkly equations to do his cosmic bidding in a very sensible fashion just pretty much makes my day, haha.

...sorry for rambling oops
DoctorVorlon's avatar
That face... I almost feel as though he should be giving us a sly wink.
ThePhilosopher4's avatar
Didn't the Other throw himself in to a loom and reincarnate as the Doctor?
Theta-Xi's avatar
Ooooh, very cool!
I like your concept a lot! :3
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