Doctor Who - Documentary s02e19 Episode Script

Daleks Beyond the Screen

DALEK: Daleks beyond the screen.
When I was passing Verity Lambert's office one day, she called me in, she said, "Look at this.
"This mailbag full of letters, "all for the Daleks.
They want more Daleks.
" I said, "Well, that's extraordinary.
" "And," she said, "BBC Enterprises" That's before Worldwide, "are planning to make Dalek tea towels "and Dalek soap on a rope.
"And," she said, "I've heard there's gonna be a feature film.
" "Gosh.
" I thought.
You know, um It was at that point that I met my boss in the toilet and I said to him, you know, I explained to him all about these tea towels and soaps on ropes and things.
And I said, "It all smells of merchandise, of money.
"And films.
" You know, I said, "Is any of this money coming my way?" I got an answer the following week, and that was, "No.
" (CHUCKLING) On Saturday, I and some girlfriends used to go and have lunch in expensive restaurants.
We were in a restaurant one day, and I was with a girlfriend and we It was late.
It was, like, 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, and there was only one other table in the restaurant and they were sitting next door to us.
And we got chatting to them and introduced ourselves.
And I, when I said my name, this man said, "You have made me a millionaire.
" And this man was Walter Tuckwell, who'd bought the rights.
I was earning £ 1,600 a year at the time, you know.
And this man had been made a millionaire from the Oh, by the way, I never got one single piece of merchandise from Doctor Who.
We'd already made miniature ones to come up out of the sand.
Shawcraft were ready to actually manufacture the small ones, and were dying to do it.
There was no opening made for them.
And, actually, they ceased to make them, ceased to be interested and went out of business.
They gave the franchise to somebody else and lost thousands upon thousands.
(DALEK READING) I would say, literally hundreds, I think, of Dalek merchandise products are out there.
I mean, from across the years as well, not just recent series.
We've got everything from bottle openers and hot water bottles to action figures and dress-up kits, which are my personal favourite.
They had Dalek models, a Dalek game and I think there was a Dalek comic book.
I think they had a Dalek suit.
That Christmas I remember going into the shops and seeing, and being ashamed, that there was a Dalek suit made out of PVC with sort of hoops.
NICHOLAS BRIGGS: I was really annoyed when I was a kid that I didn't get one of those Dalek suits.
I wasn't allowed big, expensive toys.
It's a shame, isn't it? I was scarred by that.
I probably wouldn't have ended up doing the Dalek voice if I'd been allowed to have a Dalek suit, 'cause I would have got it all out of my system then.
Early Daleks, the first toys that they attempted to market, were rubbish.
They were really, really badly made, badly constructed, inaccurate, and they weren't the models that they should have been, could have been.
These are Louis Marx Dalek Rolykins which came out in 1965, which was the boom year for Dalekmania.
MIKE TUCKER: You could roll them across any flat surface.
Weirdly, also accompanied in the same range by Rolykin Batman and Robin.
Here we have the Cherilea Dalek, which were called Swappits 'cause you could pull their heads off, eventually.
You could swap them around, so have a yellow middle and a blue top.
(CHUCKLING) And a black top and a slightly strange off-green colour.
Along with the Dalek, they also produced a companion Mechonoid.
The Daleks sold in vast quantities, whereas, obviously, the Mechonoids didn't.
So I think it was soon dropped, and later showed up as Space Pods where they'd been cannibalised.
This is a Selco spinning top, slippers, Dalek meteorite storm, Dalek jigsaw, jet bombers coming over and Daleks exterminating them.
This is a Dalek book.
Again, part of the explosion of all the merchandise which came out at that point.
You can see, here you've got this strange insignia on the top, and you've got markings here as well.
And that would have been something only used in the studio to identify one Dalek from another.
And in the photographs given to the people doing the book, in this great rush, they thought it was actually part of the design itself.
So you have here indications of the haste with which Daleks just sort of exploded outwards.
MATTHEW SAVAGE: Generally, they'd have a piece of graphic on them somewhere.
I thought that always, kind of, felt like their serial number or barcode.
So one of the things we thought we'd do is put a piece of Dalek graphics under the eyepiece, so when they'd look at each other and their eyes lined up they could see who they were talking to.
This, I believe, was from War of the Daleks, which was a board game.
I quite like the way the head moves.
(IMITATING DALEK VOICE) Exterminate.
(LAUGHING) Don't know how weird that is.
This is the Dapol Dalek.
It's probably pregnant.
I certainly had a Dapol Dalek toy, which looks a bit unsophisticated compared to the new toys.
It's a tubby Dalek.
SHEARMAN: This would be a cute Dalek you could give someone without any fears that it would actually exterminate them.
Dapol Daleks got so mad that I did actually curb my habit of buying Dalek toys.
When you could buy them, that were done out in the Stars and Stripes or Union Jacks or chrome, I just stopped.
In those days, there was no big quality control.
Nowadays we've got important BBC people who look at all these things.
I think the thing that is hard to get right about a Dalek is exactly the right proportions.
The Louis Marx ones are so completely off in their proportions.
Especially the top half, which all just kind of squashed into sort of a truncated, flattened-down version of what the Dalek's head should be.
It was completely the wrong shape.
Looking back on those Dapol toys, they're not They're not exactly correct Daleks, which is a very polite way of saying it.
It's great when you work on something When we were working on the new Doctor Who, we didn't realise that the toys were, A, going to be made, and B, take off as much as they have done.
When we're talking about Daleks specifically, we don't want to do anything that makes them look too cute and cuddly because that's not what You know, that's not their character.
I think one of the reasons that you know that they're working again is when you have small children not only turning up at shops and picking the Daleks off the shelves and saying, "Will you buy me this?" But the fact that they know, "Oh, that's Dalek Thay, I haven't got that one.
" I was given a new series Dalek and I use it to frighten my cat now, because if you press the button on top, out come Nick Briggs' voice.
I have my voice-activated Dalek at home.
And, you know, I quite like sort of shouting "Dalek!" to him and when he shouts, "Yes!" Such a thing never existed when I was young and it just blows my mind every time I look at them.
I just There's part of my brain that is just dancing with joy that such a thing actually exists now.
(DALEK READING) In the '60s, they created Dalek comic strips and Dalek books, like the TV21 here.
And every week it had this Dalek strip, beautifully-drawn Dalek strip on the back here.
I was quite a big fan of the Dalek comics from the '60s.
The stories, I think, would take place on their home planet and would involve the day-to-day life of being a Dalek.
So you did get to see, sort of, working-class Daleks, middle-class Daleks and upper-class Daleks.
This is one of my favourite pieces.
It had all these wonderful monsters in it that you wanted to see in the TV series.
And you really wanted to see a Dalek being squashed by one.
You can see whole fleets of them flying around in space on their discs and, yes, come screaming out of the sky, blowing stuff up.
It was spectacular and epic.
On the screen, inevitably, they get beaten.
And, in the books, they are the heroes.
Here you've got a news report about the Daleks invading a planet, you know.
"The World Security Council met in Washington to discuss the plea, "but informed sources claim that no help will be sent at present.
" (LAUGHING) That's nice, isn't it? These people have said they're being invaded by the Daleks and the World Security Council met and went, "No, we'll just leave it.
" The Daleks are very different in the comic strips, I think, because they are the heroes.
You don't have to have them defeated by the Doctor.
So you can have the Daleks versus the rogue planet or the Mechonoids, and actually cheer when the Daleks win.
And particularly the Emperor.
The Emperor in the comic strips is such a fantastic character.
Yeah, the Emperor became the central character, really, throughout the entire run of the strip.
Yarvelling created the Daleks in the aftermath of this terrible war on Skaro.
In the TV21 strip, they found it necessary to create the origin of the Daleks.
The Daleks in the comic strips have names.
Dalek Zeg.
And, weirdly, it does work.
Dalek Zeg's a fantastic character.
Again, a Dalek that you really cheer for in that story.
Wasn't he subjected to something or other that made him faster, stronger, meaner? I think the Dalek Emperor didn't like the fact that Zeg was a bit of an upstart and had delusions of grandeur.
It's a very sweet little story, really, until you realise that actually it The first new Dalek, the first Dalek that has conscience, if you like, is tried to be exterminated by every single one of his fellows.
So, actually, you suddenly realise it's a really sad, little story.
And, eventually, the other Daleks tried to kill him, and it took a lot of killing.
(DALEK READING) When they brought Doctor Who to the stage, you have to have the Daleks involved, because in the public's eye, the Daleks are as important as Doctor Who.
The first Stage play, The Curse of the Daleks, didn't even feature the Doctor.
WOMAN: Remember, remember the Dalek December.
MAN: With Paris in ruins and London in ember.
In times of the future, when fears are abating, don't try to forget them, the Daleks are waiting.
They thought, "While he's making the TV series "we can't have him in the stage show, "so let's do a story that's just got the Daleks doing their Dalek thing.
" That the Daleks are waiting.
One day we will rise again.
Then later on, when they did Seven Keys to Doomsday in 1974-5, I think, they'd got a new Doctor in, but he had to face the Daleks.
DALEK 1: Has the Doctor been found? DALEK 2: Not yet, Your Majesty.
You know, if you're gonna show the Doctor at his best on stage then who do you get? The Daleks.
Same thing happened with The Ultimate Adventure in the '80s, you know.
It's almost It's a no-brainer, really.
The Daleks have to be in it.
Quite why they used Daleks on stage, I have no idea.
'Cause I cannot think of a more awkward or cumbersome thing to try and get on stage, if you tried, particularly when I saw Ultimate Adventure.
The stage had a rake, so the poor actors inside of it were constantly stopping themselves, trundling downstage and ending up in the orchestra pit.
DALEK 1: Exterminate him! DALEK 2: Exterminate the Doctor! DALEKS: Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate! Rather than sitting there and when the Daleks go on stage going, "Wow, the Daleks have arrived!" (CHUCKLING) I sat there and went, "Oh, they got the shape slightly wrong, "and the base isn't quite at the right angle at the front.
" So I got more bogged down with the fact that the props weren't actually accurate to the TV show, more than, "We've got Daleks on stage.
" Having done the Dalek Empire series on audio, it feels more dangerous than Doctor Who.
Because you always know that the Doctor must succeed.
That's the deal with the audience.
And we love that, that's fantastic and it's reassuring.
In the way that the Daleks are reassuringly bad, the Doctor is reassuringly good.
But to just experiment with the Daleks being let loose without that reassurance of success, without that reassurance that the Daleks can be defeated.
And, in a way, the Daleks are never defeated in Dalek Empire.
You know, they It's largely a story of them winning, but, of human beings retaining great courage in the fight against them.
I really did like the scenes between Susan Mendes and the Dalek Supreme, where the Dalek Supreme was trying to get Susan Mendes to work for him.
DALEK SUPREME: Do you take pride in what you have done? Answer.
The Dalek Supreme was toying with Susan Mendes's ideas of hope, that if she stayed alive and worked for the Daleks there was hope that she could defeat them one day.
And yet the Dalek Supreme thought, "Yeah, but you never can", you know.
And there was all this going on.
And funnily enough when I was doing Dalek, the first one in the new TV series, Russell T.
Davies was chatting to me on the phone about, you know, the burning intelligence of the Daleks.
And he said, "It's like those scenes with Susan Mendes in Dalek Empire.
"We need to get that sort of feeling across, "I know you know how to do it 'cause I've heard it before.
" (DALEK READING) All our great baddies in history, all are ludicrous in some way.
Like we know that Hitler was ghastly but he was kind of short with a stupid moustache.
And we have always mocked the most evil things in our history.
And the Daleks, because they're not real, they're even riper for that kind of satire, really.
Well, I have a theory, 'cause I've spent this afternoon going through all the Private Eye old issues, looking at various cartoons of Daleks which date, sort of, right back to the '60s.
And my theory is that they're very easy to draw.
Not only are they easy to draw, but they're easy to do kind of basic gags with, because Daleks have, and this is something about the way cartoonist minds' work, they have large circles on them which look a bit like boobies and they have sticking-out things that go like that when they get excited.
Apart from that, I think they're a good, sort of, cartoon shorthand.
You've got yourself your desert islands and you specific things you can always use.
Daleks are quite easy to draw and you get the message of what a Daleks is doing.
It's Even though we know, we all know, as Doctor Who fans, that they are not robots, they're a kind of shorthand for a robot.
So it's very easy to get a joke out of them by making them suddenly be subverted in that way.
You can have them suddenly chanting that they need chocolate biscuits, because the whole essence of what a Dalek is, ultimately, of course, could never actually lighten up and have a break.
They're best when they're barking orders.
And for some reason, "Exterminate!", it works if it has several syllables in it, which is why you've got cartoonists and comedians doing, I don't know, "Expectorate!" But it kind of works with this, sort of, management speak, which is where you ram in five syllables where one would usually do.
It works perfectly for the Daleks' voice.
The Daleks don't bother communicating with the people they invade, they just kill them or tell them what to do or starve them or make them work, you know.
So, the Daleks are a good metaphor to use for saying that someone is really rubbish at their very responsible job.
And it was actually Dennis Potter, the playwright and celebrity psoriasis sufferer in his speech at the Edinburgh Television Festival in 1993, who referred to John Birt as a croak-voiced Dalek and an alien who was, kind of, coming in and invading the BBC with his strange new ways.
And somehow it was just one of those things, though he didn't actually sound very much like a Dalek, and he tends to wear Armani suits rather than Dalekenian armour, it just suited him perfectly.
Meaning, of course, he had no ability to understand comedy or drama or imagination whatsoever.
And we started to get sent in all these examples of the most extraordinary Birt Speak, or management speak and nonsense and gobbledygook that was going round the BBC at the time.
This is from a memo which was about how people should arrange their offices.
"I shall be on site during the next six to eight weeks to manage and install "a new filing/storage system from which you all may benefit.
"This may incorporate some reconfiguration of desking.
" Has there ever been a more Dalek-like phrase than, (IN DALEK VOICE) "Reconfigurate desking!" "Richard Sambrook, the director of BBC Global News says, "'We created this pan-divisional post to enable us to communicate "'a unified and compelling global news message around the world.
"' And thereafter to drill out the core of the world and steer it off into space.
"The corporate breakthrough advisor" (DALEK VOICE) will align breakthrough more closely with business needs, support the existing network of advisors and facilitators, work with business unit heads and other managers who want to develop their use of team-based problem solving.
These are not human words, these are alien words.
The BBC is best symbolised by Tom Baker's Doctor Who.
Sort of, slightly shambolic, aware of his role, kind of winking to camera and doing a bit of business, occasionally.
And something people are quite fond of.
This kind of new culture and this new management, it was seen as a sort of sinister, very untraditional alien way, alien thing coming in and threatening cuddly, old Auntie Beeb.
(DALEK READING) Kids love lists of facts and background information, so they In the books, particularly, they invented all this stuff about the Dalek creed and what the Dalek stood for, and then suddenly, "Oh, the Dalek language.
" And various weird words that the Daleks would use, which, of course, they never did.
SHEARMAN: Terry Nation says that he translated these things from alien cubes he found in his garden.
He went to David Whitaker's house and he helped him out a bit.
I find that quite funny.
I find it also very funny 'cause it implies that everything else in Doctor Who isn't like that.
You know, that Bill Strutton with his Zarbi didn't find Zarbi cubes, but only the Daleks stuff is actually real.
"What enemies do the Dalek have? (CHUCKLING) "The Daleks consider every living creature in the universe "to be their enemy.
" "Did you know that the colour red is unknown on the planet Skaro? "The Dalek sees through a colour-corrected electronic eye.
"When it was constructed, red was not included in its perception range.
" (CHUCKLING) "So that the new red Dalek in the new series" All the Daleks are there going, "Who's saying that?" (LAUGHING) There's a map of Skaro in which you learn that one of the continents is called "Darren", which is great, 'cause I had a friend at school called Darren.
And I found out that he was (READING) That's really good, isn't it? BRIGGS: "'J' is the forbidden letter of the Dalek language.
"To proceed a word with this letter is a great insult! "For example, J Galkor, 'cause 'Galkor' means 'Follow me, I'm your guide.
' "So, 'J Galkor' would mean, 'Follow me, weakling, I am your guide.
"' I love the fact that the Daleks have one word that means, "Follow me, I'm your guide.
" (SWEETLY) "Galkor.
" (ANGRILY) "J Galkor.
" "How long does it take the technicians to build a Dalek? "Roughly three months, they are very complicated mechanisms.
"Three months is quite a short time when you consider what goes into making one.
"Over 9,000 different components and 11 miles of wiring.
" "What sort of weather do they have on Skaro? "Before the neutron war against the Thals, "the climate was very temperate.
"Since then, however, the planet has become a virtual desert.
" "How to say goodbye to a Dalek" is very good.
The Dalek word for farewell is "zyquivilly.
" That means goodbye.
Presumably that's what you say as it shoots you.
"Do they have any entertainments? "In a way, yes.
Parades of strength, "displays of new weapons, mock battles, etc.
"Television programmes that deal with the glorious history of the Daleks, "and micro-books that tell the fictional stories of the universe "when the Daleks have conquered it.
" It's quite nice that in all Dalek spaceships they have a little plaque on the wall, just to remind the Daleks what they should be doing.
"And then you realise what Dalek really stands for.
"'D', Destroy without pity, 'A', Attack without fear, "'L', Live without conscience, 'E', Eliminate without worry (LAUGHING) "'K', Kill, kill, kill.
(SOFTLY) "Kill.
" (LAUGHS) And then, "The Daleks are supreme, "the Daleks are supreme, the Daleks are supreme.
" I love the way they've got all that written on one plaque, you know.
Just writing it once would have been enough, they could just come back and read it three times.
(LAUGHING) But no, it's actually written there three times! But, I mean, there you are, that absolutely sums up the Daleks.