centurionThis post contains Spoilers from Doctor Who through the end of the first half of the 7th Series of the 2005 incarnation. There will be a warning when they start.

As mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who for a moderately long time. To give you and idea, I would run home from school to watch an episode on PBS. Typically they would run a 6 episode story over 4 days of the week and then run an entire story on Saturday afternoon. This was my joy after Saturday morning cartoons and before ABC’s Wild World of Sports. The latter I watched mostly for the opening with its “Agony of Defeat

My first Doctor was (like most Americans over 30) Tom Baker. I went to conventions in scary hotels, dressed in sad attempts to match clothing (There was no real thing as Cosplay) and bought many Target novelisations. I also decided at a young age to colour my spellings and hunt for Jelly Babies.

The down time was especially difficult. When a Science Fiction show goes away, it’s pretty much gone forever. As I like to term it, “I was a Doctor Who fan, when there was no Doctor Who” And the one shot movie… it was there… But it wasn’t ‘My Who.’

And then in 2005, a miracle occurred. I was one of those folks who pulled down the leaked episode the day before it aired because I “HAD TO KNOW.” The press was so positive and I was absolutely in fear. I watched the torrented treasure on my computer in Snohomish, Washington. Pretty damned far from where I’d watched my first episode in Pennsylvania. The episode started with the theme… and I was young again. I was in love again. It wasn’t ‘My Who.’ It was what as a child I always thought it looked like. But now through adult eyes, it too had grown up.

The writing on the show had grown up. Oh, sure there was the occasional episode that was more groan than grown, but that was forgivable. The characters had more dimensions than the time stream had in the 70s. But above all else… I could celebrate my fandom in the way that only a geek could.


On more than one occasion, I’ve tried to cull my shirts in order to make a big graphic post about them. Knowing my penchant for dropping effort like that on the floor, I simply resisted. At this point I estimate my complete “Who Shirt” collection to be about 20. Honestly, considering what is out there now… this is paltry.

Today, I’m going to write about the exact opposite of this topic. As more an more internet venues appear for merchandise (official, unofficial, and fan created) there is a wealth of shirts available. Unfortunately, not all are worth considering. Sadly, some are downright… well…

I’m going to give my opinion… Take it or leave it as you will…

Today, I want to focus on an offering from Blue Box Tees. I’ve purchased from them in the past so I’m not trying to cast derision on their company. They offer a program where you submit art (Doctor Who for that site, other art at other sites owned by them), you receive $1.50 for each shirt they sell over 7 days at their price. And that is it. You retain full rights. Not a bad deal (but then again, I don’t make them, I buy them) Today’s art was created by Zerobriant. Zerobriant has a LARGE gallery of fan art at Red Bubble. You can also look at the Zerobriant blog and a whole slew of other references under any simple net search. I’ve also purchased shirts with Zerobriant’s work in the past. I own a copy of “The Who’s” which I think is absolutely brilliant. So no personal attack on the artist.

That being said… I’m very unhappy with the offering on Blue Box by Zerobriant of “The Last Centurion” (Pictured above.) Okay, I get it. It’s a send up of a style done many times over. Heck… It’s even got it’s own listing on TV Tropes. They call it “The Leg Cling” which honestly I think was best done for “Army of Darkness.” So, what’s the problem then? The art is good, it’s a send up of a style…

Well, the problem is it’s neither. First the artwork. Amy is Amy. Zerobriant has proven time after time very good at drawing Amy. Not just her features, but her character as seen in “Come Along Pond” But that’s about where this attempt ends. Rory is an unmitigated disaster on several levels. The face is unrecognisable. Arthur Darvill has some very striking features that stand out. The character on closer examination looks closer to Christopher Eccleston. We add to that the cloak which seems to have been manufactured by the same person who worked on several Batman films, but more specifically Alec Baldwin’s “The Shadow

But really gets me here is how poorly chosen the style is concerning the characters. (Here be ye spoilers)

And more spoiler space

And then some

That’s your warning.

Say what you will about the Ponds. Like them, hate them, love them, lose them. Amy Pond is not the type to throw herself at the feet of her man when he shows off his bravado. To see Amy nigh-supplicant to the Centurion is complete disservice to not merely her, but both of them and their relationship. This is the woman who hand-cuffed the doctor, destroyed herself on multiple occasions to not live without the man she loves going so far as to not permit him to commit suicide without going with him. These are (likely) the first two humans to have sex on the Tardis in the time vortex. These two characters are equals. Regardless of which of them did what. It’s what makes their relationship so strong.

I don’t mind fan service to either of them, but this art comes off to me as degrading. Allow my nigh-feminism side to come out. (I say nigh, because to claim feminism as a man is to court derision)

Zerobriant has done better work and I expect will do so again. But this one isn’t it.

If I had a rating system, I would have to give this one “5 children gone mad staring into the untempered schism” Save your money, there will be more shirts on this and other sites and likely more from Zerobriant.

Yes. I am a fan. Yes. I am a geek. No. I didn’t have anything better to do.


« »