Doctor Who - Documentary s02e16 Episode Script

Cusick in Cardiff

(DOCTOR WHO THEME) -So, Ray, this is our props department.
-Yes, wonderful.
And this is where we keep all the significant -Yeah, it's very familiar.
-Yeah, I'm sure.
-They all look the same, don't they? -Yeah, they do.
A mess.
And then this is our, sort of, more specialist store.
CUSICK: Oh, the Daleks.
THOMAS: The Daleks.
Oh, yes.
Here we are.
Two of them.
We've got We've got four in total.
-Four? -Yeah, including one -which is a black Dalek.
Unfortunately, they're all out and about on various things and exhibitions, etcetera.
-But this is obviously a complete one.
-Yes, they're beautifully made.
THOMAS: Yeah, fibreglass as I think the originals were.
Were they? -Yes.
-THOMAS: Yeah.
I mean, we haven't changed much I suppose from your original design.
Yes, I was saying earlier that One of the original ideas I had was, behind these blisters were going to be P Lights.
-Connected out to a 12-volt car battery -under the operator's seat.
And so, when the Dalek got agitated all these lights would all flash off in a random pattern.
-Great idea.
Great, you know, but "We've worked it out, you can't afford -"four 12-volt car batteries.
" -Car batteries.
-So the whole idea had to be scotched.
-Oh, yeah? Yeah.
'Cause there would have been a perfect position under the seat for the battery, -wouldn't it? 'Cause it's a -Yes.
They're great.
Very primitive inside, but they look great from the outside.
When they were taken down to the rehearsal room, I went down and I said to the director, "How's it going?" Well, he said "Yeah, it's great.
There's just one problem.
"I can't tell which of the Daleks is talking.
" So that's when I come up with the, eh -With the lights.
-With the lights.
And originally as an emergency thing we had ping-pong balls stuck on.
And I think they were only on for one story -THOMAS: Right.
-Or oneone particular episode.
And am I right in thinking then they developed into little Mini Cooper lights? Was that Did I read that somewhere that they were -No.
Somebody else might have done that.
-They might have done that afterwards.
We never went in for anything elaborate.
-We couldn't afford it.
-THOMAS: Couldn't afford it.
These things.
You know what these things are, don't you? -No.
-Well (MUMBLING) Of course, the Daleks were written for the one story, -and they lived in the Dalek city.
And they got their power from the floors.
-Right, yeah.
-Like the dodgem cars at fairgrounds.
Verity Lambert, "We want more Dalek stories.
" And so, the writers wanted to put the Daleks outside of the Dalek city.
-Where do they get their power from? -Ah, so they So, as a quick idea, I thought solar panels.
These were originally meant to be solar panels.
Wouldn't work in Cardiff, solar panels.
-Why? No sun? -Miserable weather.
(BOTH LAUGHING) THOMAS: Ray, people say that you were inspired by a pepper pot.
Yeah, people do say I was inspired by a pepper pot.
And I always think, "Well, if that's all it takes to become a designer, "it's a doddle.
" When I asked Bill Roberts, the special-effects chap who was going to make them Well, I invited him to lunch, and I picked up the pepper pot and moved it around the table, and said, "It's gonna move like that.
No visible means.
" You know, no wheels or anything.
That was it.
And ever since then people say I was inspired by a pepper pot.
But it could have been the salt pot I picked up.
But when I'm asked "What were you inspired by?" I suppose it was really a system of logic.
Because I realised that you've got to have an operator to operate them.
If you had anything mechanical, 10-1 on the take it would go wrong.
THOMAS: Go wrong.
So you've got a human being in there that would be absolutely, totally reliable.
And to be in the studio all day, and I wanted these things to be They're a bit higher than I -Yes.
-Two 5'4, I remember.
We did that for a reason, because Billie Piper was a certain height.
-And I wanted Billie to be looking directly into the eyestalk of the Dalek.
So that's why they ended up being slightly bigger.
So I thought, "Well, the operator's got to sit down.
"I drew a seat, ergonomic height, 18 inches, got the operator down, "and then drew round him, you see, that's how the basic shape appeared.
" -All right.
-And I thought, "Well, he's got to be able to see.
" -And I came up with this mesh idea -Yeah.
Where you can't see in but he can see out all round.
Like this grew out of a sort of system of logic, really.
Very clever.
They're a work of genius I think.
You really did something special there.
After you then, Ray.
Welcome to the TARDIS.
-So, it's, as you know, 500 years old.
-Oh, this looks like a dog's breakfast.
-Yeah, exactly.
It's seen better days, I think.
-You know? Yeah, I mean, we wanted the idea of it to be 500 years old -Yes.
-And that there was nothing original -left on it.
Really, you know, everything had been broken, snapped off.
-And that the Doctor in his eclectic way had just gathered things, you know, everything from paperweights, -to all sorts of bits of machinery -Yes.
that basically do the job of what the original machine would have done.
-Does that column still go up and down? -Yes, it does.
THOMAS: Yeah, that all goes up and down.
And it's lit from within.
We've also then created We've retained the roundels -Yes.
-All the way around.
-And the coat stand.
And this is a metal structure covered in cling film.
And then this is roofing insulation -that we've sprayed on.
-Oh, yes.
And just like your idea with the Daleks with putting lights inside -we've done the same sort of thing here.
-Oh, yes.
We filled this with lights so that it all illuminates.
Basically we've created a lightbox so that we don't have to have any lights within the TARDIS to light the actors, because we light it from the outside with big space lights.
-Very good.
-I mean, I was keen that, obviously, that there's been fantastic TARDISes in the past, and I'm sure there'll be fantastic TARDISes in the future.
And I was keen that we sort of had something that grew, that it had grown, so it's quite organic.
It works quite well.
It's quite cathedral-like, -in its form.
-It is, isn't it? Massive set.
Ray, how does it compare size-wise to the original set? CUSICK: Much bigger, yes.
Much bigger, yeah.
Of course, as you say, this isn't constructed to dismantle -No.
-And re-erect next week.
Absolutely, no.
-It took a month to move it.
But it ruined my day when they said they had to move, 'cause it was, you know, it is just literally an installation, not a set built to move.
But they don't tell you that at the beginning, do they? -No, no.
-You know, they say, "We want it to be this.
" Or, "We want it to be that.
" No, no, no, no, no.
-And then, all of a sudden -That was a common problem also in TV serials, where you have the set which is designed for the first episode.
-Never to be seen again -No.
-You know? -And then it comes back.
-THOMAS: Yeah, 'cause they love it.
Somebody's written it in, you know? Yeah, we always try and check with Russell when it comes to characters' interiors that we build, you know, where there would be sort of the Tylers' flat, I would say to Russell at the end of the series, "Now, do we keep this, or do we throw it in the skip?" "Oh, no, they are not coming back.
Throw it in the skip.
" Off it goes.
First phone call you get, "Did you throw that flat away?" "Yeah.
" "We may need it back.
" We've had the Daleks We've had the Daleks in here, Pete, I think we had one episode.
-We rolled in the Dalek.
-Oh, really? -Yeah.
And then we blew it up.
So And it's not the best set to have fire in -No.
-Because it's all sort of plastic -and resin.
-It -'Cause that was the problem with the studio-based Doctor Whos, if there was anything like that, you know, explosions, bangs or Burning through metal doors or anything like that, you couldn't possibly do in the television studios.
They all had to be filmed on the stage at Ealing -THOMAS: Right.
- You know, and then slotted in later.
How much was studio based and location based? And was there a pattern in the episodes? -No.
-Not really.
It could be either, or.
I mean, in The Keys of Marinus, it was the model shots, which would have taken time to set up in the television studio.
We haven't got the time.
You know, we had three hours to do the shows.
-It's something I miss, actually, that we don't do is model work.
You know, when you look at some of the model shots from the classic series, like specifically Skaro, the Dalek city, you know, there's a quality to that that's quite unique, I think.
CUSICK: Really? McKINSTRY: Yeah.
-Well, we did our best.
Yeah, we tend to use a lot more CGI, don't we? A lot more computer graphics, and matte paintings, -and the sort of stuff now.
I think the model, I'm sure as it was when you were doing it -is very expensive, very expensive.
-Yes, we Yes, yes.
You know, we would try and do something, we've done a bit of it, but it's thousands of pounds, it's so labour intensive.
Whereas if you've got a couple of guys in a nice, warm room with a computer, -then it just tends to be a -Yes, we There was one model shot which we did in the studio, I remember.
We were doing some filming on Camber Sands down in East Sussex, and um, with the Daleks, and he wanted the Dalek to come out of the sand.
We tried to explain to him that, if you half bury this Dalek in the sand, there's a certain sort of suction that builds up, and it'd be impossible to pull out.
So I got Shawcraft to build a model Dalek about that size, we had a sand table in the studio -and it was operated from underneath.
-THOMAS: Right.
-And the Dalek rose up through the sand.
-THOMAS: The sand, yeah.
THOMAS: And you got away with it? CUSICK: It looked good.
And it is very often about getting away with it.
You take all sorts of risks but some of them pay off and some of them don't.
This is, basically, the art department room.
So we've got everything from concept artists.
Al, who is one of our model makers, set designers.
And we also have a storyboard artist here as well.
Yes, I've been I've been asked this, you know.
My art department was me and my assistant.
That was the art department.
See, and you made it look so easy.
Thanks for that.
(ALL LAUGHING) Make us look bad.
Uh, we've got some designs here for the Supreme Dalek.
So, what we were trying to do was kind of think back in a, and design in a, sort of, '60s vein, if you like, which is why you get, sort of, Sputnik ideas going on here.
All the bolting and everything.
So, those were the first sketches for the new Supreme Dalek.
And you can see here how it kind of developed.
THOMAS: 'Cause we're all obviously keen to retain that sort of '60s feel as Pete says, you know, without suddenly turning it into a sci-fi fest.
And you don't want to lose the actual Dalek feel to it.
It's very easy to, sort of, digress.
CUSICK: These things are unearthly.
They have powers of intelligence and construction and manufacture beyond human beings' understanding, you know.
So, if they wanted strength, they wouldn't have to make it look as though it's all riveted and bolted together.
-This is an earthly concept.
I mean, to them rivets and bolts are old fashioned, you know, archaic.
THOMAS: And some of these sketches, I think, are very much based on your original designs.
Yes, that was an initial idea, that a little, squat thing with arms that moved around in all directions, 360 degrees, all over.
-We couldn't afford it.
-Yeah, yeah.
Couldn't afford it.
And we just got you a little gift.
This an artist print wrapped in Gallifreyan text of the Dalek DNA, which we thought you might want to take away with you.
Here's the, uh Basically, portrays what we're suggesting is Dalek text.
Gracious me.
-And then, the Dalek DNA.
-I thought you might quite like that.
-Yes, it's lovely.
Thank you.