For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about, and now we know that the signature image of Doctor WhoSeries 11 was such a moment; owing less to Photoshop than to serendipity and quick-thinking.
The ubiquitous study in silhouette of the Thirteenth Doctor and her TARDIS against a deepening sky was an impromptu smartphone composition by the actor, Shaun Dooley.
Shaun (44), who played Epzo in The Ghost Monument, caught the image while he and Jodie Whitaker were driving to the top of South Africa’s Paarl Mountain. Shaun told Doctor Who Magazine:
“As we went round this corner, I suddenly saw the TARDIS on top of this mountain range. There was nobody else there and it looked amazing… so I was like, ‘Jodie, Jodie, Jodie, go and stand up there.’”
Dooley, a hobbyist photographer, sensed that they might have only a handful of heartbeats to produce something special. But, when the breeze caught Jodie’s coat, he had his canvas and was able to freeze a “beautiful, perfect moment.”
Shaun and Jodie both loved the portrait so much that he sent it immediately to executive producers, Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens. The actor recalls:
“I said to them, ‘I think I’ve got a great picture of our Doctor.’”
Now, Shaun’s ‘beautiful, perfect moment’ will be frozen forever on mugs, Blu-ray cases, and bedroom walls across the world.
Indeed, it takes centre stage on the Amazon Exclusive steelbook of Series 11 – which is out today!