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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Into the Whispering Gallery

US publisher IDW release a special one-shot Doctor Who title later this month. Titled The Whispering Gallery, superstar artist Ben Templesmith tackles his first full Who project, alongside comic book writers Leah Moore & John Reppion.

In The Whispering Gallery, the TARDIS lands in a maze-like gallery filled with thousands of talking pictures, and the Doctor and Martha discover they’ve come across a planet where showing emotion has been outlawed. The inhabitants have good reason for their supression, but it wouldn’t be like the Doctor to leave them in fear of truly living.

Leah and John have been fans of Doctor Who for nearly as long as they can remember, and pitched IDW Publishing on their story idea for the after Leah had a dream about a two-page spread one night.

While that may prompt riotous laughter from those who get the answer to "Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?" as "It Came to Me in a Vision," Leah says the couple had a hard time initially thinking up an original storyline.

“Everything we could think up had already been done, or was not the right kind of story. We went off to bed one night after brainstorming fruitlessly for hours, and I went to sleep worrying that we’d not be able to think of anything and miss out on writing it altogether.”

After the dream, Leah says she woke up knowing clearing what they would do for Doctor Who, and got the story turned around very quickly after that.

Moore and Reppion became involved in the project after being approached by artist Ben Templesmith, an admirer of their work and whose credits include Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Ben actually approached Leah via the modern miracle of Twitter and asked her if we’d be interested in pitching for a Doctor Who one-shot with him as the artist,” explains John. “Naturally, we were thrilled and said yes immediately. Ben is a fantastic artist and we both really admire his work, so it’s great to be able to work with him on such a brilliant little project."

John has some strange memories of Doctor Who from his youth. In an interview about The Whispering gallery project for Comic Book Resources, he revealed his earliest Who memory was an inflatable version of the TARDIS. “It may even have belonged to one of my Uncles before me, I'm not sure,” Reppion said. “Doctor Who is just part of the fabric of UK mainstream culture, really; it's like being asked when you were first exposed to cowboys or something like that. Doctor Who has always been there so far as I remember. The Doctor of my youth was Sylvester McCoy.”

John also has fond memories of the Marvel UK Doctor Who comic book crossovers with the likes of Death’s Head, which as we recently reported, is to feature in a new collection of Seventh Doctor adventures from Panini UK, A Cold Day in Hell.

Doctor Who: The Whispering Gallery goes on sale in the US and Canada on 29 February from IDW Publishing. Diamond order code: DEC084084. The title is not officially available in the UK

Ben Templesmith's Blog
Leah Moore & John Reppion's New and Improved Web Site

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