Papers laud publication of DIY Dalek plans
Forget that fans have had 'em for years...
The Daily Telegraph and others are making much of the online publication of a series of build-your-own Dalek blueprints from the 1970s.
The plans were apparently sent by the Doctor Who Production Office to a viewer. Reading today's stories, you'd think the blueprints had been missing, presumed lost, for years.
But, as any half-decent Who fan knows, the plans were published by the BBC in 1973 in a special edition of its listings magazine Radio Times to mark the tenth anniversary of the show.
Indeed, pics posted by the Telegraph suggest that the BBC simply sent out a set of photocopies of the pages in the special.
You can still pick original copies of the special for around £16 these days, rising to £100 if you want one signed by Dr Pertwee himself.
Even cheaper copies can be obtained if you settle for the reprint of the special put out by the BBC a few years ago.
REAL DALEKS don't climb stairs, they level the buiding.
Re: Dr Who Panto
Let me guess, John Nathan-Turner's 1984 production of Cinderella, that ran at Tunbridge Welles Playhouse, featuring amoungst others, Anthony Ainley as Baron Hardup...?
Not widely known
If you actually used the Radio Times blueprints you'd end up with a wonky Dalek that leans to one side due to serious mistakes.
What we did back then was ask the Doctor Who office for a copy of the plans and they would send you corrected plans.
I've even had send to me from the Radiophonic Workshop in the mid 1970s a Dick Mills photocopy of how to build a Dalek voice box. Except I discovered he lifted it from the Practical Electronic magazine Issue #1 cir. late 1964 in which there is a circuit for a Rolf Harris 'didgeridoo'. AKA a Ring Modulator by any other name. The text suggested it could be used in creating robot voices....
how do I know this? Decades later when I became an Electronic engineer, I came across this issue and couldn't believe my eyes when I compared his sheets with the magazine and saw the exact same circuit he'd photocopied and cut out.
So much for claims that the Radiophonic got the Dalek voice from a commercial Synthesizer in the mid-1960s... Well they could hardly admit to ripping it off could they?
Nick Briggs will have to re-write the DW history books...
Drunken Dalek wars
In the early eighties I worked backstage on a panto featuring the Doctor of the day, Peter Davison. The BBC provided various props and outfits for display in front of house, including 3 or 4 daleks that ran on castors, and came in bits for us to have fun assembling. There was also a Tardis - a seriously heavy bastard to put together - and for reasons I still don't quite get, a few triffids. Once assembled, there was a simple wooden bench inside the daleks for the operator to sit, with a cut out in front on the 'floor' to use your feet to move around (but much easier to get someone to push you), the top sides was gauze (as I recall) to see out of and you could waggle the various appendages, although without much finesse.
Finesse wasn't much of an issue though, as we spent a good deal of the time anywhere between half pissed and completely banjaxed, which occasionally involved after hours driving drunk in charge of a Dalek. At the end of run party it got out of hand, starting with dalek racing and ending with a small interspecies war raging across the front of house foyer. How we avoided the large FoH staircase I'll never know, but the daleks were returned to the Beeb slightly more battered than they arrived.
No not really, if you listen to the first Dalek story (The Daleks 28th December 1963 was their first appearance) you'll find they don't speak using a Ring Modulator effect.