Doctor Who - Documentary s02e18 Episode Script

Daleks Conquer and Destroy

DALEK: Daleks conquer and destroy! Daleks conquer and destroy! Daleks conquer and destroy! Anybody who tried to examine what it was about these things, these, sort of, mobile pepper pots, which appealed to the audience.
And of course you can't dissect that.
If you could, you'd be right every time.
I think it was a combination of the thing, it was the voice, the language they used, the way they moved.
They were, sort of, vaguely comic as well as being frightening.
I think it's the combination of the shape and the voice, really.
" DALEK: Dalek design.
If you think about the way the Daleks look, I mean the designer, Raymond Cusick, did the most fantastic job.
Mervin Pinfield, who was Verity's assistant producer, suggested that I got cardboard tubes First of all, get a large cardboard tube for the body, and then other cardboard tubes for the arms and legs, and paint them all silver.
WellI said, "No.
" The clearest thing about a Dalek, which makes it look great, is that it has no legs.
It's the first monster, the only monster in Doctor Who, really, which works, which in no way replicates the design of a human.
But it makes it seem like it's a genuinely alien machine.
We all went down to look at it at Shawcraft and we said, "Yes.
Well done, Ray, this is brilliant.
" These, which were not expensive to make but they looked as though they were sensory.
They had that sort of mechanised what's-out-there feel.
Within the Dalek, you kind of sum up what people thought the future would be so you have domes and those kind of things.
TUCKER: The first crack at an alien monster they do, they get the design of the Daleks.
Quite a lot of the design decisions were borne out of lack of budget.
They used to beg, borrow, steal and use things in a way that perhaps were just not the way they normally were used, like the sink plungers, for example.
The idea was to be very dynamic and show that it could suck anything metal, cloth, human beings, actually pull them towards it by some magic grip.
Well, we had an old lavatory cleaner down the end of it.
That was all we could afford.
But I was pleased withthis.
I think Ray had done a brilliant job and I thought these worked very well.
That head, with the single eye stalk, turns independently of the body.
And I always love it when a Dalek trundles into a room and it's facing one way and that head just swings round.
And it's sort of a collision of kitchen utensils and household items and something that looks like it might be able to kill you.
For whatever reason, all the decisions made at the time turned it into an absolute '60s design classic.
And I remember going down to the producer's run on that particular Thursday, that first one, and everybody wanted to get in them, including me.
We all wanted So I just thought, "There's something happening here.
" (DALEK READING) I suppose it's a question of when they're moving well and when they're lit well.
MARTIN: The problem with photographing the Daleks was that you had to come in low or go in high.
They themselves are fairly immobile, these tiny people pushing on golden glow castors.
And you had to be there or there or swinging round them to give them a sort of dynamic that they themselves did not possess.
And with the ordinary image orthicon camera, if you tilted it more than 30 degrees, the stuff at the back of the tube fell onto the lens and you'd have to re-tube them and you'd have cost vast sums of money.
But I was determined to make it look as exciting as possible.
They weren't actually that manoeuvrable.
So they couldn't go terribly fast and they couldn't whip round very fast.
They're completely impractical and they're still scary.
SHEARMAN: You know The Daleks' Master Plan, they had them going through the jungle and they had all their flame throwers on.
I don't think I've ever seen a Dalek look quite so beautiful.
I think that that '60s design in that wonderful black-and-white setting, they looked like nothing on Earth.
They are genuinely astonishing creations there.
Best for me is the way they looked in Genesis of the Daleks.
I loved the colour schemes, which practically isn't a colour scheme, they're practically monochrome.
But they did look rather impressive as a silhouette with little details picked out in light.
And worst has to be the decision to show the Daleks hobbling across the top of the sand dunes in Destiny of the Daleks, every little jiggle and movement.
They probably made them from lightweight fibreglass so that the actors can walk them through an area where they wouldn't be able to glide.
And they look pretty ratty at that point.
They'd been stored fairly poorly.
I think they might have even had bits of Sellotape holding things on.
I remember seeing flaky bits on the side of them, and bits of the spheres missing and so I think that was a low point, really.
Eighties' Dalek colour schemes are an odd one, in that cream and gold does seem an odd choice for Dalek livery.
I know that they do sort of conjure up an imperial feel but more of a mint imperial feel.
In their final classic appearance in Remembrance of the Daleks, I think they really'd got the weight down and they look really solid.
(DALEK READING) When there was talk back in the '90s of, "Oh, they're gonna come back as Spider Daleks or Aqua Daleks or" I said, "Why muck with it?" I think it will still stand up really, really well.
And what's been delightful is that there's a entire generation of 10 year olds who love them.
Which means that that decision to keep them as they looked in the 1960s was absolutely the right decision.
Russell always said, "We're going to be doing a Dalek and you have to keep all the elements "because otherwise you may as well do something else.
" One of the first things Russell said to us was, "You need to make this the most Daleky Dalek "that's ever been seen.
Find all the bits that you like, "whether they be from the film, the TV series, the comic strips, "the books, whatever you find that you think has worked, "put them on the new Dalek.
" Well, I was very keen to do a claw at some point 'cause I really love the claws that they'd had in the movie Dalek.
TUCKER: It's a real mish-mash of everyone's favourite bits of the Dalek.
The most difficult thing about redesigning them was looking at the textures we applied so it looked like a proper metal tank as opposed to something that was made in the prop shop.
One of the things Russell was very keen on from the word go was he said, "They need to look like they're made out of copper and bronze.
"Copper and bronze.
" Always kept saying, "Copper and bronze.
"They need to look solid, they need to look heavy.
"They need to look like they have been machined.
" SAVAGE: There were lots of surfaces on the original design that really didn't have much going on, so we would add things like shut lines and rivets and the kind of things you'd find on machinery.
It was a complete collaboration in terms of "no one knows a Dalek better than Mike Tucker.
" I was building these when I was 10 years old out of cardboard and ping-pong balls.
It was sound because we hadn't altered anything, so we're really standing on the shoulders of giants, in terms of what we did.
The first time I saw the Dalek I had worked on, my first reaction was to run.
And then I kind of grew up and I was just immensely proud to have worked on something which I've loved all my life and it's such a huge part of everybody's childhood.
(DALEK READING) The voices were always brilliant.
It doesn't look like it could be living and then this really horrible voice comes out of it and you suddenly think, "Oh, my goodness!" Where are the time travellers? This is something that anyone can copy.
The little kids were going around with their arms stuck out.
(IMITATING DALEK) "Exterminate.
" The Daleks sound like petulant, panicky children.
DALEK 2: Embark at once! Embark, yes! Embark! The Daleks almost feel like they're pretending they have no emotion.
These are robots, if they are robots at all, sometimes it feels like they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
These humanoid, ex-humanoid-type were in a panic because they were in a shell.
You've got that wonderful Peter Hawkins high-pitched Dalek voice that goes up and up and up and you always feel like that, in some ways, they're just on the verge of just losing it.
And I think, to a certain extent, everyone else has impersonated him.
David Graham did a fantastic job adding that sort of creepiness and, sort of, I don't know, just slightly weirdness or both.
(IMITATING DALEK INTELLIGIBLY) You know, it was dangerous and kind of like, "This Dalek's mad.
" DALEK: Why have I not been informed of this? I know that Peter Hawkins had established the Dalek Supreme (IMITATING DALEK SUPREME) had this maniacal really high voice, which is quite painful to do.
For the dynamics and for creativity, we had to rely on trying to make these differences of the Daleks, the stupid Dalek, the fearful Dalek They were all fearful but some had a sort of Nazi edge to them.
And this thing of obeying and some didn't want to obey.
BRIGGS: There's the Dalek in The Chase that is given all these instructions, isn't it? You know, the Dalek commander saying, (IMITATING DALEK) "Go and do this, go and do that.
" And he's going, (IMITATING DALEK) "Yes.
" (LAUGHING) And then he doesn't go and do it and the Dalek Commander says DALEK: Well, see to it.
Sorry, I forgot, I forgot.
"I was just saying 'Yes' a lot.
" TUCKER: When you go back to some of the Hartnell stories, you are aware that the first Dalek voices sound very strange indeed.
You see what we forget now, we think that the Dalek voice is a particular thing, and it should sound a particular way, and really, you know, it wasn't in those days.
DALEK: We are the masters of Earth.
We are the masters of Earth.
They seem in Dalek Invasion of Earth to have switched off the ring modulator or the mix of it is very low so what you've got, is that, (IMITATING DALEK) "We are the masters of Earth", which would probably sound a lot better if it had a bit of ring modulation on it.
DALEK: We are the masters of Earth.
We are the masters of Earth.
There is a Dalek that sounds proper in Dalek Invasion of Earth and it's when it's the point of view of the Dalek when he's overheating, when they've done something to it.
It's going (IMITATING DALEK) And it's like you're inside the Dalek.
DALEK 1: We'll exterminate them at zero range.
DALEK 2: Exterminate them.
The Day of the Daleks, yes.
DALEK: Whoever is operating the time machine is an enemy of (IMITATING DALEK) "Whoever is operating the time machine "is an en-e-my of the Daleks.
" (NORMAL VOICE) It's terrible, isn't it? The actors doing it sort of almost believe if they talk into the right machine, it will just make them sound like Daleks and that makes them feel strangely undynamic.
(IMITATING DALEK) "Oh, yes, they are things that speak like that.
"It was a bit like that, wasn't it?" (NORMAL VOICE) They might have said looking round for a bit of advice, and everyone going, "Yeah, probably.
" DALEK 1: Whoever is operating the time machine is an enemy of the Daleks.
All enemies of the Daleks must be destroyed.
Exterminate them.
DALEK 1: Exterminate them.
DALEK 2: Exterminate them.
DALEK 1: Exterminate them.
DALEK 3: Exterminate them.
DALEK 1: Exterminate them.
DALEK 3: Exterminate them.
DALEK 1: You are the Doctor, you are an enemy of the Daleks.
Now you are in our power.
You will be exterminated.
DALEK 1: You will be exterminated.
DALEK 2: You will be exterminated.
If you get the Dalek voice right, it sells so much.
I was talking to Dick Mills, who worked for the Radiophonic Workshop, and I was asking him all these stupid fan-ish questions about the Dalek voices in different stories and why they were slightly different.
"Mmm, that's an interesting choice for that one and" And he said, "Oh, we never wrote it down.
"We never wrote the setting down!" I was appalled.
DALEK: Unimportant.
And it is quite amazing the effect that a slightly different setting on the ring modulator has.
(LAUGHING) Honestly.
(DALEK READING) Dalek dialogue is a hard thing to judge because it works most of the time by not being very dynamic.
What you saw was what you got.
And they were very straightforward, I mean, not a very wide vocabulary of which the word mostly used was "exterminate".
And then you put something in which sets people's teeth on edge.
MAN: Kill him! SHEARMAN: I think the best Dalek dialogue I've ever heard is Power of the Daleks.
DALEK: Why do human beings kill human beings? The Daleks, who are gonna wipe them all out, at least are true to what Daleks are.
And that thing when they say, "I am your servant", and they talk over the Doctor when he's trying to tell people that they're nasty and it's just going, "Yes, I'm really nice, oh, yes" That's very disturbing that the Dalek would be that cunning.
No one believes it, they think the Daleks will do the vacuuming for them and the shopping.
(LAUGHING) (IMITATING DOCTOR) They'll secretly poison the orange juice.
We're so used to the fact that most of what the Daleks say is so functional, that when they leap out from that, it sounds terrific.
The Chase is extraordinary because it's got a comedy relief Dalek in it and the first time I saw it, I couldn't quite believe it.
DALEK: Oh Er BRIGGS: I quite like it when the Daleks say unusual things.
It's something that Russell T.
Davies spoke to me about before Dalek.
He said the thing he was keen on is the burning intelligence of the Dalek.
And you need to always feel that as well as all the killing, as well as all the ranting, it's in there and it's thinking things over.
TUCKER: The Daleks in the sewers, from the Helen Raynor two-parter set in Manhattan, where one of them looks over his shoulder to make sure they're not being watched, and it's the two Daleks having a private conversation about their boss.
I thought that was inspired.
And that's another one of those moments when they say, "Oh, yeah, by the way, we have been thinking about this.
" The hardest thing, seriously, about writing for a Dalek was my fear that, after all these years of them being off-screen, that there would be no reason why a child watching the show in 2005 would find them, in themselves, very impressive.
Sorry about that.
And it was trying to get that Dalek dialogue right, that you had all the "exterminates" but also the fact that there was actually a genuine, cunning creature inside.
My favourite Dalek line of all, I suppose, and it's a little bit egotistical of me because I said it, was DALEK: You would make a good Dalek.
(IMITATING DALEK) Rather than, "Oh, I'm confused by such order.
Should I blow myself up? I do not know.
" At that point, he just sort of goes, "Yeah, you're actually just like me, aren't you?" Which is just the worst thing that can be said to you by someone you hate! My favourite scene in that and also the way that Nick Briggs does it is the scene where he talks to Rose and he doesn't do the Dalek's staccato.
He talks like a creature, he talks like a human being inside a Dalek case, saying that he's in pain and wants some comfort.
DALEK: Do you fear me? And it's quite startling, I think particularly if you only know Daleks of old, to suddenly hear a Dalek which sounds like it isn't one at all.
Like it's all been a bit of a joke.
That all this time, all these Daleks out there, racing around and shooting people, have been sort of acting up for each other but, deep down, they actually can talk just like you and me.
I felt that, somewhere, there was a moment when you could have almost felt sorry for a Dalek.
(DALEK READING) The bizarre and interesting thing about the Dalek death ray, which is such a big thing about the Daleks exterminating people, blasting them into oblivion, is that it really didn't exist, tangibly, until 1975.
What we actually got was a tube with some ribbons goinglike that and then you cut to a shot of someone with a negative effect.
TUCKER: And as a kid, I loved it.
It meant that if you were drawing scenes of Daleks shooting little stick men, you could colour them in with all the wrong coloured felt-tips and that's an exterminated person.
It's just a simple, little video effect but it's quite disturbing really.
I loved some of the deaths in The Dalek Invasion of Earth outside the saucer there where the Daleks went, "Kill him", instead of "Exterminate" because "Exterminate" was really invented by the media.
The Daleks did say "Exterminate" right from the beginning but they didn't really It wasn't a chant, it wasn't a war cry.
The most agonising thing ever is to be shot by a Dalek in Genesis of the Daleks.
The actors were really encouraged to really look like it was a painful way to go.
The death of Ronson in episode four, it is the best extermination ever.
DALEK: Exterminate! Exterminate! RONSON: No! No! DALEK: Exterminate! No! No! He goes black.
The actor, James Garbutt, he has his mouth open in a funny way.
Instead of the darkness you usually see in someone's mouth, you just get this sort of horrible white and it's just And all the other Kaleds watching around have to shield their eyes from the glare.
It is quite ghastly.
This one goes on forever.
They keep on having to shoot him and he staggers around and there's this wonderful crack, crack, crack noise as he falls around.
I wrote to Jim'll Fix It, soon afterwards, seriously, asking whether I could be killed by a Dalek, at one point, on screen, not in Doctor Who, I mean, anything.
Jim'll Fix It, Casualty, anything that would have had me on, and they didn't write back, for which I'm still quite angry.
My favourite was in Death to the Daleks, when suddenly they had machine guns.
(FIRING) (SCREAMING) DALEK 1: Primitive weapons moderately efficient.
I can remember watching that as a kid and thinking, "That's such a good idea.
Daleks that actually shot bullets "and they have a little TARDIS for target practice.
" DALEK 1: Target model destroyed.
DALEK 2: Substitute weaponry functioning satisfactorily.
Absolute moment of genius for me.
In Destiny of the Daleks, there's this interminable scene where they exterminate some extras who look about as bothered of being shot by a Dalek as they would about the idea that they might be missing Grandstand.
TUCKER: The supporting artists being shot seem to be quite happy about it.
Smile and then look around for a comfy sofa to land on.
They genuinely, after they get shot, sort of just sit down.
(SARCASTICALLY) It was a siesta gun, not a death ray.
On the other side of the scale, you get some Dalek exterminations which are a bit overdone.
So you get Del Henney in Resurrection of the Daleks as Colonel Archer being shot and doing a sort of strange disco dance as he goes down.
He's really into that death.
We can't take it very seriously.
It looks like he's having just a bit too much fun.
I know that seems like a very obvious point to make, but because they were the first, they became quickly the iconic ones.
Every robot that's been done since is so deliberately trying to avoid being Daleky, that, as a result, they always fail.
What is it about these things? FORD: People now do align them with the Hitler salute-type thing, with the arm going up, "Exterminate".
But it's just a composite of so many things.
They're a total package of a fantastic idea very clearclearly portrayed.
That fear, that mechanised quality that makes the Daleks one of the great horror stories that children love to be frightened by.
BRIGGS: You know that they are bad.
You know they will do terrible things and that also inspires the Doctor to be, because they are so bad, it inspires the Doctor to be more heroic so it makes the good guy, who we love, even more lovable and admirable.
But they It's the certainty of them.
You can play around with the idea of what a Dalek story can represent.
Because they are such iconic figures, they actually don't ever snap when you bend them.
It's brilliant that way.
There's something about these things which has an appeal.
I had no idea it was going to be that good, or that people were going to respond in the way they did, but there was just something about them.
It's an absolute icon.
Something which is going to go down, has gone already down, in history.