Incredible set of retro Doctor Who series 9 posters

From The Magician's Apprentice to series nine finale Hell Bent, designer Stuart Manning has created a brilliant poster for every episode

Doctor Who series nine is over, but at least we have the memories… oh, and designer Stuart Manning’s incredible posters, one for every episode of 2015.


Manning has been creating these retro posters for for the past two years now, with limited edition series eight and nine posters all available to buy online.

Now, in all their glory, are all 12 posters for series nine, from The Magician’s Apprentice to Hell Bent, with comments from Manning about how he came up with the striking images.

See them all below – and if you’re impressed, make sure you check out Stuart’s other work on Twitter.

Episode one: The Magician’s Apprentice

Stuart Manning says: “I thought it would be fun to base this poster on my original design for Peter Capaldi’s opener Deep Breath,” he says. “So I made the focal point a new profile silhouette of the Doctor, updated with his hoody, shades and ever-increasing Jon Pertwee bouffant, showing how far this Doctor has come from the stern patrician figure seen in his opening story.

“The Magician’s Apprentice got me thinking of playing cards, which was a good way to incorporate the profile with a shot of Missy as the Doctor’s literal flip side.

“The design itself is inspired mostly by US gig posters, drawing on the Doctor’s new electric guitar and reinvention as the universe’s oldest rocker. As the kick-off to a new series, I like to think of this as the first stop on the tour – a big, fun opening riff with the Doctor playing up to the crowds. Gallifrey via Vegas somehow seemed to fit the bill.”

Episode two: The Witch’s Familiar

Stuart Manning says: “I love the 1960s Daleks and last week’s episode brought them closer to their original concept than any other modern Doctor Who story, with their weird and wonderful Tomorrowland-style city, harking back to the ‘mysterious outer-space robot people’ of the 1960s annuals,” explains Stuart.

“The city also had shades of Metropolis, which inspired the typography and I liked the idea of contrasting ragged young Davros on the battlefield with sleek lines and stark shapes of his future world. With the colour and the angles, there’s probably a little touch of propaganda art in there too – look out for Davros pasting it into to the side of a Dalek come election time…”

Episode three: Under the Lake

Stuart Manning says: “Ghosts on an underwater base and a later time slot! I knew this one had to be scary, and I wanted a definite contrast against the hard lines and more graphic style I’d used for the opening Dalek story. The little running Doctor is my nod to The Third Man – possibly appropriately, given Peter Capaldi’s love of Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor – which I riffed on with a little deco-style type and some watery lettering for the title itself.  

“When I was growing up, horror novels usually had big scary faces on the covers, so I think that’s burned into my psyche as a visual shorthand. The Victorian-looking figure in the top hat brought to mind Dr. Caligari, so I combined that as an influence with some ink splatter to give a touch of implied violence and reflect the underwater location.

“The final result has more than a little of the video nasty-style VHS covers I used to gaze at in the local video rental shop as an eight-year-old. As with most things in life, enduring influences are usually the bad ones…”

Episode four: Before the Flood

Stuart Manning says: “After the measured fear of Under the Lake, I wanted something much more anarchic for the air of all-hell-breaks-loose promised in Before the Flood. Sometimes things just come together without much thought. I was playing around with the image of the dead-eyed Doctor and tried a strip of it in negative, which was instantly more arresting. 


“With the Doctor defying the TARDIS, Capaldi’s rebel Time Lord promises to be out in force, so something more graphic and energetic seemed the way to go. There’s a touch of grungy 80s and 90s graphic novel covers in there, plus a little Ralph Steadman splatter for good measure. Doubtless coming to a collected trade paperback edition soon.”

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