Dalek designer Ray Cusick passes away aged 84
The designer of iconic Dr Who villain the Daleks has died.
84 year-old Ray Cusick died in his sleep over the weekend, reportedly of heart failure. Dr Who Magazine broke the news with a Tweet.
It's with great sadness that we report the death of Ray Cusick -the designer of the Daleks. Half a century on, his iconic design lives on.— Doctor Who Magazine (@DWMtweets) February 23, 2013
Fan site Eye of Horus reproduces an interview Cusick once gave to the Yorkshire Evening Press in which the designer said the design for the villainous aliens was inspired by the shape of a pepper pot. In another interview at drwhointerviews.wordpress.com, Cusick said he got the job after Ridley Scott’s schedule made it impossible for him to do the work.
Cusick’s thought process led him to believe the Daleks had evolved into little more than brains, so would need a robust enclosure and small wheels so that viewers could never quite see how they moved. That plan went slightly awry when, on location, “… with bumpy pavements etc., they rattled like an old biscuit tin …”. Pneumatic wheels fixed that, but needed more space, “which meant deepening the skirt on the bottom to accommodate the wheels.”
The interview goes on to say the crew were quickly taken by the Daleks and imagined they would adorn merchandise and be the subject of their own spin-off movies.
A Dalek-shaped bubble bath bottle belonging to the author's son, an artefact
that speaks eloquently of the villains' enduring popularity
Both came to pass and of course Daleks remain an important part of Dr Who to this day, with merchandise galore to be had and the grating electronic refrain "exterminate" a pop culture staple.
Cusick is survived by two daughters. ®
Re: Dalek genius
Real Daleks don't climb stairs; they level the building.
"Terminated" - exterminated, surely?
The genius of the old designers was brought about by limitations and improvisations. In these days of "you can have what you can imagine" CGI - there does not seem to be the same level of creativity, at least not in the way that really grabs one! Maybe that also explains the charm of the old UI's compared to the new UI's. (The IT Angle)
The original King Kong effects were more moving than the modern effects.
As the old cartoon goes - daleks approach a flight of stairs. "That's our plans to conquer the Universe buggered!"
From somewhere behind the sofa
"The genius of the old designers was brought about by limitations and improvisations."
Oh so true... Last week I watched 'Return of the Jedi' again and even there these things pop out, especially when compared to the last 3 movies.
During the scene with the Rancor you see Luke, Han and the rest standing on a sort of "sand glider" (I don't know the official name). Several times you get close-ups, for example the moment when Luke walks the plank. If you then focus your attention to the surroundings you'll suddenly notice that this vehicle is battered; it has bludgeons on it, scratches and even some damage here and there.
Put differently: the vehicle actually looks as if its being actively used. When looking at the modern movies you won't get that little bit of detail anymore.
I will raise a glass to Ray as his invention was truly frightening for a young lad watching Dr Who in the 60/70's.
However, the Daleks were never really the same to me after I watched this on YouTube
Also, Spike Milligan did a wonderful parody of them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXMiHczfJHM