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Tributes are paid to the designer of the Daleks

Tributes are paid to the designer of the Daleks

TRIBUTES have been paid to Ray Cusick who designed the Daleks for TV’s Doctor Who. He passed away at the age of 84.

Mr. Cusick had been asked in 1963 give form to the alien villain for the BBC’s new science fiction series from a concept by screenwriter Terry Nation.

His final design was to be a triumph over the massive constraints imposed by a lack of funding — for one episode, table tennis balls were clued to the side of the Daleks’ heads in order to improvise a lighting device to identify which of the aliens was speaking. There was also the use of an apparent sink plunger as one of the ‘arms’ of the device.

But with their warning of ‘Exterminate, Exterminate’, the Daleks were to prove to be one of the most popular alien opponents of the time-travelling Doctor.

In 2008, Mr. Cusick visited the Doctor Who props department and revealed some of the difficulties he faced back in the sixties.

The Daleks still occasionally make appearances in Doctor Who but their design has altered little since they first appeared on screen (see below). 

The Doctor Who series will celebrate its 50th. anniversary later this year.

Among the many tributes to be paid to Mr. Cusick was one from the Doctor Who actor and writer Mark Gatiss. He tweeted: “Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!.”

To view footage of Mr. Cusick’s visit to the Doctor Who props department, click here.

To see an excerpt from Doctor Who which features the Daleks and the Cybermen, click here.

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