Today’s blog post is one dealing with my travel photography, though not what I usually post from that. Normally the photos I post are from after 1995, which is when I seriously began using medium format equipment, and are in black & white. Today’s photos are from 1987, when I primarily used color transparency film.
Of course, as you can see, the subject matter is a bit different, too. Followers of my blog may know that I’m a big fan of the British science fiction television show “Doctor Who,” which was broadcast on the BBC from 1963 to 1989, had a TV film made of it in 1996, and has been back on the BBC since 2005. (It’s now on BBC America here in the U.S.) It’s the longest running science fiction show in history.
Cyberman, 1980's vintage
Briefly, for those who don’t know the series, the main character, the Doctor (we never hear his real name), comes from a race of people known as the Time Lords from a planet called Gallifrey. They’ve discovered the means to travel through space and time with their transport machines, so episodes of the series can take place anytime, anywhere.
The first actor to play the lead character was an older man, William Hartnell, and when he became too infirmed to continue with the series, the producers came up with an ingenious idea: since the Doctor wasn’t human, he wasn’t bound by human limitations, and they decided that as such, he could “regenerate” into somebody else. He’s the same person, but looks different and has a somewhat different personality. It’s one of the things that’s kept the show going for so long and helps to keep it interesting..
As for the photos, I was visiting England on vacation in 1987, both to do general sightseeing and photography and to attend a Doctor Who convention. As luck would have it, I was in London on the day that the BBC was launching its line of Doctor Who videotapes at the Virgin Records megastore on Oxford Street. To mark the occasion, the BBC had a big event, bringing together a bunch of aliens and villains from the show’s history, along with the third actor to play the part of the Doctor, Jon Pertwee, who was in the series in the early 1970s.
Among the aliens there were a couple of Cybermen, seen in some photos here. These metal men with humanoid brains are one of the longest running villains in the series, from the fourth year of the show right up to the present, and their design has changed quite a few times over the years.
Photographically, I thought it would be interesting to picture them against a modern city backdrop, Pizza Hut signs and all, and so I did. In the other photos, Pertwee is being menaced by the Cybermen, a Sea Devil and some other interstellar troublemakers.
About Dave Rudin
Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.