We continue our weekly creator spotlight with Episode Two: Áhreddan, written by Laine Ferio and illustrated by the marvelous Redundantz.
Writer: Laine Ferio
How did you come to Doctor Who? What’s your journey with the show?
Some friends introduced me to Doctor Who fairly shortly after New Who began; I think it was early 2007, and they showed me "Rose", "The End of the World", and then "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". "The Empty Child" definitely scared me! But I didn't understand how Rose had grown from the first episode to the person she is in that two-parter, so I didn't really continue with the show. Until December 2012, when I graduated from college and moved back home. A friend got me copies of seasons 1-4 for me to watch when I was stuck living at at my parents' house; I watched over late winter, spring, and summer of 2013, and then I started grad school. I got Netflix so I could watch Series 5 (of which I'd seen two episodes of by accident at my parents' place, as they re-ran on BBC America; two episodes because the first was "The Time of Angels" and I had to watch the second part). Then I found a place to watch Series 6-7, and a grad school classmate got me a copy of "The Day of the Doctor" to watch in early December 2013. So the first episode I watched at the same time as other people was "The Time of the Doctor". That's also about the time I joined tumblr, so that I could talk about Doctor Who with people.
What is your favourite thing about the show?
Doctor Who constantly surprises me, even when I end up predicting things like how Twelve got his face. It makes one think, and I like stories that surprise me, that make me think, that give me other windows on the world. On that second viewing of "Rose", in 2013, the show caught me with that speech of the Doctor's, the one about the rotation of the Earth, and the mystery of who he was, and how there's so much going on beyond what everyone sees as normal life. And I was very much taken with Rose, too, because even though I was a little bit older than her, I understood her and her struggles of wanting more and feeling trapped and not necessarily knowing how best to get what she wanted, and I realized that there wasn't a lot of fiction that I'd engaged with where one of the main characters was a young adult woman. But there's a sheer delight in Doctor Who that is hard to come by elsewhere in the Land of Fiction – danger, too, but delight nonetheless (I'm reminded of Martha on the Moon; the Doctor says, "We could die" and Martha says, "We might not" and he just grins). And Clara and Twelve? Well, we grew together during Series 8 and 9 while I went to grad school and then had my first year out as an on-my-own adult. There's just something there that I can't quite articulate. So, yes, Doctor Who is my favorite.
So, what’s it like writing for TUA? What are you most excited for?
Honestly, it's a privilege and a bit nerve-racking. A privilege because I ended up a part of it almost at the end of the writer recruitment, when one of my mutuals suggested I reach out to Ruth and I took the chance and did so. The team's full of excellent writers and artists, and sometimes I'm just floored because of the sheer ambitiousness of what we're doing. It's also nerve-rackingly humbling because I'm not very used to having any of my writing just... out there for the world to see, let alone at this level of 'out there'. I mean, I have some fic on my AO3 page, but this is something else entirely. After all, I've never had someone else make art from my writing before! I know we've been at this for a little over a year but I'm still not used to the level we're doing this at.
How did your episode come to be? Where did you look for inspiration: Doctor Who itself, other places, bit of both?
Bit of both, really. I'd had the idea for the guest characters prior to joining the TUA team, and then when I joined, I knew what slot I had and went for an adventure with Clara and Me. Also, in my professional life (thus, partially, the pseudonym) I'm an archivist, and I was musing about things during my drive home after work one day and the idea for the Memory Station emerged, along with why the guest characters are there and other things.
Sum up your episode in 3 words!
Lonely, Family, Legacy.
What’s your journey with Doctor Who? Did it inspire your art?
I found out about it from Tumblr, at the height of its popularity right at season 7 with Amy and Rory. I was so intrigued by what it was about and what these creepy statues were haha. From there I started watching from the 9th Doctor and was hooked from episode 6 onwards. I was sobbing over a Dalek...
It has influenced my art greatly, maybe not so much in style but in love for the characters and universe. I couldn't stop drawing them! Especially when Clara came along.
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?
I am really excited to see to see how it all comes together. All the different styles and ideas, making Clara come back to life after she left the show.
I think staying motivated might be the hardest part, just because it is a longer running project. But I have no doubt it will be wonderful in the end we will all work hard on our parts!
Can you give us some non-spoilery teases about the look of the episode and the art you’re going to provide for it?
Nothing concrete yet but, it is shaping up to be a pretty somber, more cool feeling type of space base look. Lots of blues, purples and grays accentuated with some reds for key areas.
There will some character concepts, maybe some props and backgrounds for some key scenes. We haven't decided exactly on which scenes we will have the bigger illustrations yet but we have some solid ideas!