Custom Display for Doctor Who Library Space Helmet

Custom Display (and SKULL!) for Doctor Who Library Space Helmet

“Hey! Who turned out the lights?” We’re all fans of the BBC television series Doctor Who, so when a client brought us this space helmet from the David Tennant era, we were thrilled to help create this unique display. This helmet is one of the screen used costumes from the 2 part episode “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”. Fans of the show will know these episodes as the first appearance of River Song, who becomes an important figure in the Doctor’s life, although we can’t be more specific because….Spoilers!

When the Doctor Who space helmet arrived to our studio, our first impulse was that it needed a skull to be displayed inside! As one of the most iconic images from the episodes and we were ecstatic to hear that is exactly what the client had in mind!

Since the skulls featured in the episodes were more stylized and less realistic, we weren’t able to just used a pre-existing skull. Instead, our in-house 3D artist Christian Maggi digitally sculpted a replica of the skull to closely match the look from the show. The process is very much like the process of sculpting in clay, but there is the added benefit of being able to more easily modify the sizing for fit. When creating a piece like this which needs to fit inside of a pre-existing helmet the ability to modify the size after it is sculpted is a huge help!

Once we had a final digital sculpture, and after a few tests for sizing, our studio used high-resolution 3D printing to create a flawless resin skull. Patrick Louie took that resin skull and painted it with several layers of paint to bring out the contours of the skull and match the style of paint and distressing on the skull masks used in the classic Doctor Who episode.

Pat also created a custom shoulder mount to help support the pretty substantial weight of the helmet and shoulder piece. This also gave us a mount where we would be able to attach the finished skull. We were happy to find out that most of the internal lights were still functioning and we were able to convert them from battery power to a wall plug for a cleaner display. Even the life-clock countdown lights still function! The end result is something any Whovian would be proud to own! A true piece of Who history!

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