Why is it (was it) a Tour?
What We Don’t Do.
What’s with the pop-ups?
|Images v Screen Captures
Tools of the Trade
|The Quarter Millennial Club Attribution
Other Image resources
Doctor Who’s Tragical History Tour or “History of Doctor Who in Pictures” (it has gone by several names over time) started out quite innocently enough back in July 1995 when I was scanning some art for eventual use in the WWW Doctor Who newsletter that I edited, The Matrix Mutterings (hopefully you’ve heard of it, consider it an order if you haven’t). I had a hand-held scanner purchased for me as a Christmas gift the previous year and had been using it to scan covers for Who book and video novelizations. There’s an art to hand-held scanners in making the image look right, particularly from bound volumes, and many of the pieces had to be “stitched” together, a laborious process for my (then) wheezing 486. As my attention turned to still photographs, I became determined to attempt to scan the best still photography I could find, but without the need for stitching. The Stills Project then became a learning ground for optimizing the scanning process and producing good looking images. The earliest scans dating back to 1995 reflect that I had much to learn. My scanner scanned “dark” and unfortunately most of the images saved back then were over-compressed when saved in JPG format (which almost all are save for a few GIF files), so they were dark and small. In any event the project, which was originally intended strictly for consumption within AOL’s Doctor Who Online forum, ran into logistical roadblocks, although I continued on and off (more of the former than the latter) to accumulate more images and stockpile them. Late in 1997 I determined to finally to get the collection out for everyone to share somehow, and even though AOL server resources at that time were limited. The site was inaugurated on Doctor Who’s 34th Anniversary, November 23, 1997. Version 2.0 of the site debuted April 1st, 2001 and Version 3.0 premiered on May 1st, 2002. Version 4.0 premiered on February 22nd, 2009.
It may seem a little anachronistic now, but back “in the day” when the Tour started out as a web project, and server space–heck any kind of space, was at more of a premium, the way we images were shown was a Season at a time, uploaded for one month, and then gone. We began with the first season and moved forward in this way, as a Tour would, cycling through the 26 seasons of the original series twice (taking 4 years and 4 months to do so) before moving to the permanent display format used today. To change things up we also had galleries called “The Panopticon” (themed galleries which struck our interest) and “The Eye of Orion” (a request gallery). Endlessly fascinating!
While we like to think of ourselves as a Doctor Who resource, categorizing an image database this large tends to force the issue–not that it needed much in the way of prodding–about what we choose to cover–and it simply cannot be everything related to Doctor Who. We chose to devise rules–somewhat related to that dreaded word “canon”–about what we would include in the Tour. At it’s simplest, it is BBC sanctioned Doctor Who–almost exclusively televisual in nature–that fits within the continuing storylines begun in 1963 and still running today. Within that framework that means “Dimensions in Time” isn’t in as a piece of Doctor Who, nor is The Curse of the Fatal Death, or are the Peter Cushing movies, or the stage plays–even The Ultimate Adventure. We may have images from these events in the Tour–but they would be classified most likely as either a miscellaneous or “Who Not Who” image for that actor. Canon keepers elsewhere can have fun shoehorning events into a singular timeline, but for our purposes they simply don’t work. If you feel that you can persuade us otherwise let us know.
A question we get from time to time asks about why there are so many pop-ups on the site, and it’s really quite simple. As of February 1st, 2008, there is over 3.2GB of image and html content accessible through the site. Managing this is not easy… but there would just be no way to have all of the content available if it were not for free servers (and lots of them at that), and some of the lovely pop-ups that go with them. We have, wherever possible, chose to go with servers which are theoretically ad-free, but even as pop-up blockers have proliferated, the free hosts find new ways around them. Of course it’s annoying, but until someone offering bannerless free hosting with unlimited bandwidth knocks on our virtual door, this is the way it must be. We’ll also remind everyone that Firefox handles this stuff better than IE6 ever could.
As the “mission” of the site is to be a WWW Doctor Who Resource and provide as many high quality images about Doctor Who as possible, the images presented on the site have been collected from many sources, both print and electronic. Those scanned in are big in pixel size, on purpose! Most competent graphics programs can very adequately scale down images without significant loss of detail, but it is quite hard to similarly scale up. Most images scanned in are 600-800 pixels in length on the long axis. Images found elsewhere have almost always been kept in their original sizes, with much more variation as to size. Until recently, one thing I have strenuously tried to avoid however is the use of screen captures as images. Screen captures have their place, indeed many of the most potent images from the series can only be represented by using video screen captures, but only now has the quality of images taken from digital sources (DVD’s) with newer capture software have come along sufficiently for inclusion in the Tour. Indeed the recent quality of these captures rivals, after suitable re-touching and color correction, many of the better images already in the Tour.
|dXX-YY-ZZZ.jpg 1. Primarily, and wherever possible images are categorized according to the story that they come from. They have the following name structure:
||dAA-BBB.jpg 2. There are also images which are either straight publicity pictures having nothing to do with a particular story or which haven’t firmly been identified to a story yet. Those images are named:
If you can help to properly identify an image to a particular story, please E-mail me with your suggestion. If accepted the image in question will then get folded into the rest of the images for the story named.
|dXX-YY-cZZZ.jpg 3. Screen captures are named like other ‘story pictures’ except that they have a ‘c’ worked into the name structure as follows.|
|dAA-wBBB.jpg 4. “Who Not Who” pictures for each Doctor also have a slightly different naming structure to the miscellaneous images for each Doctor, adding a ‘w’ to separate them from other pictures.|
|William Hartnell||16034||Colin Baker||10807||David Tennant||46558|
|Patrick Troughton||14848||Sylvester McCoy||11347||Matt Smith||53777|
|Jon Pertwee||24928||Paul McGann||3445||Peter Capaldi||34973|
|Tom Baker||34915||John Hurt||2183||Jodie Whittaker||2540|
|Peter Davison||17952||Christopher Eccleston||13711||Richard E Grant||2129|
|Last updated June 18th, 2018||TOTAL||290147|
|Total Tour Space (images, thumbs, HTML) 40.2 GB|
- Picasa The best, slickest image manager. (no longer maintained)
- Digikam A more than adequate replacement for Picasa .
- XNviewMP Our image viewer manager of choice with loads of options.
- Jalbum Amazing tool for generating image galleries, with “skins” to customize the output.
- Anti-Dupl A tremendous tool for finding duplicate looking images. More than just a duplicate file finder.
The Quarter-Millennial Club is a special signification for those stories in the Tour which have had accumulated over 250 images (excluding screen captures). As of April 29th, 2017 there are 42 such stories. In fact there three stories for which the Tour has accumulated over 1000 images. The leaders in the clubhouse are:
Attribution: For those images that have been procured from other sources on the WWW, and where it is possible I have endeavored to cite the original sites (assuming they are still active) with active links to those sites. However, with so many images and having done this for going on for 7 years now, it is well-nigh impossible to remember where everything came from. If a picture appearing on the site originally appeared on a site of yours and no attribution has been made, please E-mail me and let me know and I will make the necessary acknowledgments and linkages.
Copyright: Yes it might be an issue. Doctor Who and associated names, titles, logos and screen captures (if any) are © 1988 BBC Enterprises Ltd. A majority of the photographs represented here in low-resolution digital form originate from BBC Enterprises Ltd. Other photograph sources are credited where known. Text sources credited where known and used with permission where possible. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is ever made from these pages; no money is collected from its use; no profit advertising is accepted. No copyright for the photographs represented on any of these pages is claimed. Images are intended as a research and archive reference tool. People are free to use these images for any non-profit purpose with the understanding that if the images are ever removed from the Tragical History Tour due to copyright infringement, all other copies of the same images are to be removed from other web pages at once. I claim no responsibility for other web pages that link directly to a URL beginning with tragicalhistorytour.com. If contacted regarding a copyright infringement problem, I will comply with file removal requests.
Other Image resources This site could not have been developed without having other DW images resources out there on the WWW. The following, although not comprehensive, will give you a glimpse of what else there is out there.
- Doctor Who Image Archive — Run by my friend Steve Hill, this is, bar none, the pre-eminent DW picture source on the web, a must-visit site for any fan of the series.
- Doctor Who Picture Page — a new picture monthly.
- The Dr Who Picture Archive
There are other Doctor Who “art” resources for created Doctor Who-related imagery, but the above sites have an emphasis on still pictures as this site does.