We continue our weekly creator spotlight with Episode Five: The Guardian of Azantia, written by Kate Coleman and illustrated by the fabulous Staypee.
Writer: Kate Coleman
How did you come to Doctor Who? What’s your journey with the show?
I started watching Doctor Who with my dad back in the 1970s, and devoured the whole Target collection of books, New Adventures, VHS video tapes when I could get my hands on them, and fanzines. I stayed with the show until Survival in 1989. From there, I drifted around the vortex until the show returned with Rose in 2005, which I viewed with much pleasure, but it wasn't until January 2016 that my full on fangirl emerged again. I discovered AO3 and started writing fan fic and from there got inspired to write original fiction too. I've had two stories published in charity anthologies: A Twelfth Doctor and Clara story in www.pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows and a story for the Ninth Doctor and Rose in www.thetemporallogbook.wordpress.com.
What is your favourite thing about the show?
It's hard to answer this question! I enjoy watching. I like the premise and the originality of it. I love the characters and the settings we get to explore. I like sitting down with the family to watch and enjoying it together. But it's almost like asking me why I love my children. I just do. I love it deep in my bones and that fact that it is in my life makes me happy.
So, what’s it like writing for TUA? What are you most excited for?
It's been a privilege to write an episode of this wonderful series. I love the idea of exploring where Clara goes next (she's my favourite companion). I'm really excited to see the art Staypee will create for the world I've dreamed up.
How did your episode come to be? Where did you look for inspiration: Doctor Who itself, other places, bit of both?
I came up with the premise and outline for the Guardian of Azantia as a Fifth Doctor and Peri story, to enter a Big Finish Short Trips competition. It wasn't selected, so when Ruth offered me the opportunity to write for TUA I revisited that idea. It turns out it was a bit harder to transfer the concept than I anticipated, mainly because I had envisaged the Doctor's TARDIS landing inside the underwater base where the story starts. The Diner-TARDIS was much too big for that, so I had to rework quite a few things. But it gave me the opportunity to place Clara's TARDIS in a more visually interesting location, so in the end it was definitely worth it!
Sum up your episode in 3 words!
Underwater, Rescue, Betrayal.
What’s your journey with Doctor Who? Did it inspire your art?
I started back in 2013 with the 9th Doctor’s episode ‘Rose’. And I liked it. But then here comes the 12th Doctor... and I fell in love completely. It did inspire my art in a way that it drove me to try and capture the likeness and vibe of the actors playing the characters (still trying). It’s just that when you love the characters so much you want to draw more of them. Overall, my love for the show and the response I get from fellow fans inspires me to experiment and create more.
What are you most excited about when it comes to doing art for this series? What do you think are/will be the greatest challenges?
Working together side by side with great writers and artists! I’m so glad to be a part of this series. The challenge would be being able to bring justice and life to Kate’s story in this episode.
Can you give us some non-spoilery teases about the look of the episode and the art you’re going to provide for it?
It’s exciting and it’s underwater!