13 April 2013

Unpacking 50 Years of Time Travel



How do you tell the story of an iconic British television series that features a character who has been travelling through time on our screens for the last 50 years? One who has regenerated into eleven different bodies, has discovered the deepest secrets of the universe, and has met numerous mind-boggling characters along the way?

This was our challenge when we set out to create the presentation products that coexist alongside our Doctor Who Special Stamps and Mini Sheet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction series in television history.

The passing of time was a key theme in creating the visual language that enabled us to unify the numerous unique products, while clearly communicating the show's constant evolution and the associated characters within it. From William Hartnell in 1963, to the current Doctor, Matt Smith there was a vast amount of content to squeeze in.

Good job the TARDIS is bigger on the inside…


A special Presentation Pack containing all eleven First Class Doctor Who stamps, as well as the exclusive Mini Sheet stamp set, unfolds to reveal a vortex of time spanning decades of the Doctor's adventures as well as his trusty Time Machine, the TARDIS itself.


The accompanying Mini Sheet Carrier Card plays on that classic 'hiding behind the sofa' moment that all Doctor Who fans young and old will know only too well.


First Day Envelopes – in both classic and modern era varieties – feature a die cut TARDIS silhouette that reveals the regeneration of the Eleven Doctors as you pull out the information cards within them. Specially designed hand stamps that detail two of the programme's most iconic villains, a Dalek and a Cyberman, are exclusive to the First Day Envelopes.


A 26 page Prestige Stamp Book was commissioned to mark the 50th Anniversary, featuring dual covers that allow the reader to travel both forwards in time through the show's history, or backwards in time to the show's origins. The TARDIS itself punches through each page of the book from cover to cover, revealing the regenerating Doctor within, and charting the decades of his captivating adventures.


The striking central spread features 50 years of the show's most iconic villains that flip the book through 180 degrees to continue the story from front to back, and vice versa. 


We even commissioned Lee Sullivan – Doctor Who comic book artist – to illustrate our story of some of the Doctor's greatest adversaries coming together with a devious plan to finally put an end to him, once and for all. Surely one of the last adventures that the Doctor and Amy Pond will ever embark on together... 


Continuing the theme of classic enemies, the First Class Definitive Stamp Sheet highlights five of the show's most popular villains who have survived the test of time, evolving as they have from classic era Doctor Who, all the way through to the present day series that we still enjoy today.



The project was led by GBH co-Creative Director Mark Bonner, with designers Harry Edmonds and Dave Wood completing the team.

The full set of Doctor Who 50th Anniversary products are available now from the Royal Mail website.

GBH would like to thank Dean Price and Helen Cumberbatch at Royal Mail for their support and encouragement.

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