Skip to main content
Media centre

Teesside University graduate rejoins the Time Lord

05 January 2010 @TeesUniNews


'New, exciting and big' is how concept artist and Teesside graduate Dan Walker describes the new series of Doctor Who.

The spring 2010 series is the first to star new Time Lord Matt Smith after 10 million viewers saw David Tennant regenerate into the eleventh Doctor on New Year’s Day.

Industrial Design graduate Dan has a unique insight into the forthcoming series which is currently being filmed in Cardiff. For the programme makers have commissioned Dan’s skills to help bring their scripts to creative life.

This is Dan’s second Doctor Who stint, as he first worked on the programme when it returned in 2005, as a key member of the design team for the Doctor’s ever-present sonic screwdriver and the evil Emperor Dalek.

Dan, 38, graduated in 1993 and now lives in West London. He returned to his old University last year to give a guest lecture ‘From Teesside to Gotham City’.

Dan’s work is not confined to the small screen. His talent has been viewed by film audiences worldwide in the two Batman films starring Christian Bale.

In the first, Batman Begins, he designed the interior of the new Batmobile. He has also worked on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Golden Compass. As well as these cinema fillers, Dan’s work will be seen in two forthcoming releases, the new Disney film The Prince of Persia and Ridley Scott’s new Robin Hood film, starring Russell Crowe.

I enjoyed the whole creative process when studying at Teesside Dan said: 'I enjoyed the whole creative process when studying at Teesside, there was camaraderie between the students and even now we’re a very tight group and keep in touch. I’d describe my role of a concept artist as a designer and illustrator combined.

'My main advice is ‘be persistent and always play to your strengths.’ Students have to be really keen and not be frightened to pick up the phone; they may be surprised to find that companies have got time to talk to them. I didn’t have that confidence at first, there are many phone calls I wished I’d made and letters I’d written.

'My first big break as a freelancer was on Batman Begins and I was just in the right place at the right time. I put in an unauthorised pitch for the Thunderbirds film and then my name was passed on to the Batman makers. I was in another right place for Doctor Who. I’ve always been passionate about films and have no connections with the industry so this is my dream job.'

Dan Walker's work is to be exhibited at this year's Animex Festival. More about the Animex exhibition

In the News

Teesside University graduate rejoins the Time Lord
BBC Radio Tees, 13/01/2010,
Dan Walker, concept artist and former Teesside University student, discussed his work on the TV show Dr Who. He also spoke about other projects, including those with Disney Pixar and Ridley Scott film

Dan's just what the Doc ordered
Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 10/01/2010, p.3
Artist Dan Walker, who graduated with an industrial design degree from Teesside University, was involved in the new series of Doctor Who, As a freelancer, his first big break was on Batman Begins wher