Moments in Time: The Survivors
In the second of our features on special moments in Doctor Who we head back to 1963, and a familiar menace is about to be revealed in all its glory …
Last weekend saw the celebration of the first appearance of a Dalek at the end of The Dead Planet; however, as much as a “sucker arm” menacing Barbara would set the audience up in anticipation, it did little to prepare them for the full ‘horror’ to come!
The appearance of the Dalek was originally devised by Raymond Cusick based on the descriptions given by writer Terry Nation, with history attributing their appearance to being inspired by a visit to the Georgian National Ballet – the long-flowing skirts of the dancers giving the impression of them gliding across the stage. Once the design was settled, the physical props were then realised by Shawcraft (Engineering) Ltd, a look that has served them with minimal modification since.
Little did the production team know that what they were about to introduce would become one of the most memorable icons in British culture, with a National Trust survey in 2008 indicating that nine out of ten children were able to identify them! Their immediate success has led to spin-off films, stage plays, and almost their own series, not to mention the multitude of appearances in Doctor Who itself – culminating in their integral part in “the fall of the Eleventh” just this week in The Time of The Doctor!
However, for today’s Moment in Time we look back to this very time fifty years ago, to when the Doctor and the viewing public would first encounter the most enduring foe in Doctor Who …
(watch the clip via the BBC Doctor Who website – requires Realplayer)