Daleks: The Ultimate Guide (by Chris Bourne)

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Daleks: The Ultimate Guide (by Chris Bourne)

Post by rogartheranger on 13th April 2010, 10:50

With "Victory of the Daleks" nearly upon us, I thought it would be fun to exorcise a long held obsession concerning my all time favourite monster with this special feature: "The Ultimate Guide to the Daleks". Within this guide I hope to be able to provide you all with a story-by-story listing to every variation of ‘Dalek design’ that has appeared in the Doctor Who TV series from 1963 to 2010, covering all the different paint-jobs, liveries, and sink-plunger accessories. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it (lol):- Very Happy

1. The Daleks: (1963-64)
The first Daleks we encounter are all identical with matching silver-grey liveries and blue hemispheres on the skirt section, (although as this was broadcast in black & white, we would see them as ‘white’ rather then ‘blue’). Although this look would be tweaked over the years, this remains the basic design of the 1960’s Daleks. The 4th episode of this serial also features the first sink-plunger accessory with a ‘blow-torch’ being used to cut through a door.

2. The Dalek Invasion of Earth: (1964)
It is in this serial that we meet our first liveried-leaders with the introduction of a ‘saucer commander’ in episode 2 who sports a black-dome with alternate black skirt panels. Then from episode 3 we get to meet the big boss himself who is black from top-to-toe and variously referred to either as ‘The Black Dalek’ (for obvious reasons), and ‘Supreme Controller’. The Daleks in this serial have wider-bumpers at ground level to assist with movement during the outdoor location filming and for one appearance only, they also have radar dishes on their backs to explain their ability to move beyond the static-electricity confines that were established in their debut story.

3. The Chase: (1965)
History is in the making with the debut of the famous vertical slats along the mid-drift section which replace the radar dish shown in the previous serial. The Dalek’s leader is again black, although this time referred to either as ‘the Supreme Dalek’ or ‘the Dalek Supreme’. The Daleks also sport some new sing-plunger accessories with the use of the seismic detector, a gyroscope (used to track their prey), and the electrode unit which they use to summon the Mechonoid lift. If you look carefully you will also note that the Dalek numbers have been increased in some scenes with the addition of 3 props from the Peter Cushing Dalek movies which have had their bumper sections removed to bring them to the approximate height of their BBC counterparts.

4. Mission to the Unknown & The Daleks’ Master Plan: (1965-66)
There is no change to the Dalek designs which are identical to The Chase. The Seismic detector is in use again, along with the Black Dalek Supreme who is in charge of operations. The only notable addition this time is the debut of arguably the coolest weapon yet, - Daleks armed with flame-throwers!!

5. Power of the Daleks: (1966)
Aside from a nice lick of paint here and there, for the first time there are no major changes.

6. The Evil of the Daleks: (1967)
Instead of a Dalek Supreme, we now have some ‘Black Dalek leaders’ on Skaro which are the standard silver-grey but with black-domes. These Black-Daleks also act as body-guards to the mighty ‘Emperor of the Daleks’ who makes its first appearance here. Perhaps the most significant contribution to Dalek design however is the introduction of a little black-pupil in the centre of one Dalek’s eyepiece which is carried over for every successive appearance until the end of the 1980’s.

7. Day of the Daleks: (1972) & Frontier in Space (1973):
For their first TV appearance in colour ‘Day of the Daleks’, presents us with new liveries for the Dalek troops which are a gun-metal grey design with black hemispheres on the skirt section. This colour scheme would become the norm for the next few years. The Daleks unnamed leader is resplendent in Gold with black-hemispheres. These designs with the Gold commander were used again for ‘Frontier in Space’ the following year.

8. Planet of the Daleks: (1973)
The gun-metal grey look is in force again, but this time the Daleks are led by a new version of the Dalek Supreme: a refitted casing from the Peter Cushing movies that has been repainted in a glorious mixture of glossy Black and Gold, and illuminated with a white-eye-stick that looks suspiciously like an Ever-Ready torch. And he’s fab!!

9. Death to the Daleks: (1974)
A slight oddity here, with all the Dalek props being given a re-spray (for one story only) with an all-over ‘aluminium’ look together with black hemispheres. With their usual weaponry rendered useless due to a power-drain affect on the planet Exxilon, the Daleks are also forced to accessorise with percussion weapons.

10. Genesis of the Daleks: (1975)
The gun-metal look is back again (as per Day of the Daleks), and we now have the debut of the proper optical beam effects for when the Daleks fire their weapons (replacing the simple flare effect used in previous adventures). This also marks the debut of the Daleks’ creator Davros played in this serial by Michael Wisher.

11. Destiny of the Daleks: (1979)
The Dalek warriors in this story have been given another re-paint and are now a light-grey colour with black markings along the mid-section and black hemispheres. The Dalek’s leader in this serial is a gun-metal grey casing in the style previously seen in Genesis of the Daleks. Davros is also back again now played by David Gooderson.

12. The Five Doctors: (1983)
Aside from red-flashing lights on the dome, this lone Dalek is pretty much the same as the grey-versions used previously. This story does however mark the first time that we get to see a Dalek prop get well and truly blown-apart so that we can see the writhing mutant within!!

13. Resurrection of the Daleks: (1984)
The Daleks here are something of a mish-mash of old casings from previous serials which have been painted their usual grey-black theme but this time with a slightly blue-hue. This serial also marks the return of the ‘Supreme Dalek’, for the first time since Planet of the Daleks, who on this occasion is completely black with white-hemispheres. Davros returns again this time with a new face-mask and now played by Terry Molloy who would reprise the role for the duration of the 1980’s.

14. Revelation of the Daleks: (1985)
With Davros now a fugitive from his own creations, he retreats to the planet Necros to build himself a new army of Daleks that are completely loyal to him. These new Dalek props have been decked out in a cream-and-gold livery. The gun-metal variety (loyal to the Supreme Dalek) are present again in this story too and we also encounter a transparent ‘glass’ Dalek. If that wasn’t enough we get two versions of Davros: – a clone head in a tank, together with the standard wheelchair bound version. This is the first on-screen serial to show that the Daleks and Davros are capable of hovering above the ground.

15. Remembrance of the Daleks: (1988)
Continuing the theme of the Dalek civil-war we again have two groups who are named as the ‘Renegade Daleks’ and ‘Imperial Daleks’. The ‘Renegade Daleks’ in this instance are the grey-and-black liveried versions which are now lead by a Black-and-Silver Supreme Dalek. The Imperial Daleks are newly built cream-and-gold props which are slightly more slimline than previous versions, with smaller lights and notches cut into their sink-plungers. A further addition to the Imperial Dalek ranks is the introduction of the ground-breaking ‘Special Weapons Dalek’ which resembles a trundling tank that is armed with a f**king great big cannon instead of the usual antennae. Leading the Imperial faction is a new bulbous-headed Emperor Dalek which later turns out to be Davros inside. This is the first time we get to see the Daleks conquer the stairs with an Imperial Dalek seen to hover after the Doctor in the Coal-Hill School basement chase-sequence.

16. Dalek: (2005)
With Doctor Who returning to our TV screens after a long absence it was time to update the Daleks with the newly unveiled bronze livery. This version was notably far more chunkier then its predecessors, slightly taller (to match with Billie Piper’s height for their scenes together), and with a stylistic riff on the Peter Cushing movie versions – such as the larger headlights on the dome. Through the miracle of CGI this Dalek could now utilise its sink-plunger accessory as a lethal weapon, rotate its midsection, use a force-field to deflect bullets, was able to open its shell, and use detachable hemispheres as part of a self-destruct device. Yep no doubt about it this ‘Time War’ Dalek kicks arse!!

17. Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways: (2005)
This story sees the return of the blow-torch accessory – along with the Emperor himself. In a subtle nod to Evil of the Daleks (which was missed by many viewers) you may have noted that the Emperor is seen to be flanked by a pair of CGI Daleks with black domes. The Daleks in this serial don’t just ‘hover’ anymore, as we finally enjoy the massed armada effortlessly swarming through space in their attack on Satellite 5.

18. Army of Ghosts / Doomsday: (2006)
It is here that we are introduced to the Cult of Skaro which gives us our first ‘named’ Daleks since the series began (Sec, Caan, Jast and Thay), and also heralds our first all black Dalek since 1988.

19. Daleks in Manhatten / Evolution of the Daleks: (2007)
We see the arrival of a new plunger attachment in the form of a syringe to administer the chromatin solution, just prior to Dalek Sec’s shocking transformation into a half human, half Dalek hybrid.

20. The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End: (2008)
This serial provides us with Daleks kitted out with new multi-spoked plunger attachments, together with a blown-apart Dalek Caan, and of course the glorious new Supreme Dalek decked out in red and gold and looking rather snazzy!! Assisting the Daleks is their creator Davros who is also sporting a few new changes himself such as a mechanical hand to replace the one lost in Revelation of the Daleks, and the removal of the ‘head-mike’ attachment that he used to speak through during the old-series.

21. Victory of the Daleks: (2010)
Oh well that would be telling....just wait until Saturday and all will be revealed!!!!

Last edited by Renny on 14th April 2010, 01:39; edited 10 times in total (Reason for editing : Removal of unrequired tags)

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Re: Daleks: The Ultimate Guide (by Chris Bourne)

Post by Renny on 13th April 2010, 20:18

Super job, Chris Very Happy

"Believe it or not," Doc advised her, "we get some fun out of this sort of thing."

Currently GM-ing: Star Trek Adventures Playtest
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Re: Daleks: The Ultimate Guide (by Chris Bourne)

Post by rogartheranger on 16th April 2010, 06:51

Time for a bit of Dalek myth-busting:-

1) "Exterminate!!":-
The Daleks speak of extermination as early as the 3rd episode of their debut story ("The Daleks"), but it takes a surprisingly long time before "Exterminate!" is established as their destinctive battle-cry. At no point during their first two adventures do we hear a straightforward cry of "Exterminate!" In fact the word doesn't appear until the final episode of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", when the Black Dalek orders Ian's execution with a cry of "Exterminate him!" - and we have to wait until the opening installment of "The Chase" before we hear a simple, "Exterminate!" on its own. But even then it's just the Supreme Dalek issuing instructions: The classic combo of a Dalek crying out "Exterminate!" whilst opening fire doesn't arrive until the battle with the Mechonoids in the same storys final episode.

2) "My Vision is impaired!"
This is the other classic line that we often associate with the Daleks - but you might be surprised to learn that this arrived rather late in the series run. There's an instance of "Vision impaired!" in "Destiny of the Daleks" (1979), and even a cry of "I cannot see! Vision impaired!" in Planet of the Daleks (1973), but it's not until 1984 with "Resurrection of the Daleks" that we're treated to the full pronouns-and-all classic, "My vision is impaired! I cannot see!"

3) Flying Daleks:
As fans we were all well aware that Daleks could climb the stairs before the screening of the 2005 episode "Dalek". However, a more interesting question might be "how long before?" As I mentioned in my Dalek-guide above, the first full on scenes of unassisted hovering Daleks occur in the 1980's stories, "Revelation of the Daleks" (from a Dalek's eye-point of view), and "Remembrance of the Daleks" (for the stair chase sequence in the school basement). However did you know that there is further evidence of flying Daleks long before these stories were broadcast? And no, I am not referring to the sequence in "Planet of the Daleks" where a lone Dalek uses an anti-gravitational device to hover up a ventilation shaft after the escaping Doctor. Long before that there was the 1965 serial "The Chase". During the 3rd episode the Daleks arrive onboard the Mary Celeste. Having arrived on the ships' main deck in their time-machine the Daleks split up to search for the Doctor - and lo and behold a couple of shots later we see a Dalek up on the poop deck. How is he supposed to have got there? Something similar happens a shortwhile later in episode 4 when the Dalek vessel arrives within the ground floor of a haunted house - and just a few scenes later Ian encounters one upstairs in the laboratory. So there you have it, proof that the Daleks have been flying since 1965!!!

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Re: Daleks: The Ultimate Guide (by Chris Bourne)

Post by rogartheranger on 18th April 2010, 03:15


Dalek creator Terry Nation was a thriller writer of the old-school, steeped since early childhood in pot-boilers, cliff-hangers and page-turners. Over the years his work on Doctor Who has come in for the occasional bit of stick for its repetitiveness, but you have to hand it to the man: he wrote a brilliant Episode One for that first Dalek serial. In fact, he wrote such a brilliant Episode One that he sensibly went on to write it again. And again, and again, and again. So for a bit of fun, here’s a handy guide to those classic Terry Nation opening Dalek episodes. For further amusement factor, try using this guide with his non-Dalek scripts and Blake’s 7 episodes too Very Happy :-

• The opening sequence includes a scene of grisly death in a hostile environment.

• Our heroes arrive in a deserted wilderness.

• Our heroes arrive in a deserted city.

• Our heroes arrive in a deserted jungle.

• Our heroes arrive in a deserted jungle near a deserted city in a deserted wilderness.

• There is deadly radiation, requiring drugs. Or gloves. I can’t be certain.

• The whole place is teeming with hostile plant life.

• The travellers are cut off from the TARDIS by a rockfall or similar accident.

• The travellers stumble across the corpse of a man, whose unusual attire and accessories offer clues as to the nature of this strange new world.

• The travellers stumble across the settee-solidified corpse of a monster in a magnetic field, or an inner magnetic field rather, offering clues as to the nature of this strange new world.

• The travellers are split up due to an unforeseen mishap which is likely to involve either automated doors, high explosives, polystyrene pillars or gratuitous sunbathing.

• We encounter some hard-bitten military-types who oppose the mysterious enemy – an enemy who at this point remains tantalisingly unnamed (except in the story’s title!)

• We encounter some hard-bitten military types who will later evolve into the mysterious enemy – an enemy who, unusually, has been named in the opening scene.

• Before we reach the end of the episode we’ll have met someone called Taron, Tarrant or Garrant.

• A companion is stalked through the deserted wilderness by a sinister, heavy-breathing figure who will later turn out to be completely friendly.

• The episode concludes with a surprise reveal of the Daleks, emerging from somewhere unexpected and, in some cases, frankly unlikely.


The Daleks:

The Dalek Invasion of Earth:

The Chase:

Mission to the Unknown:

The Daleks’ Master Plan:

Planet of the Daleks:

Death to the Daleks:

Genesis of the Daleks:

Destiny of the Daleks:


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