Saturday, 10 May 2014

Know Your Daleks - No.3

The Pertwee Years
The Daleks returned after a five year absence in Day of the Daleks (1972). Fans of Blue Peter had already seen the three colourful Daleks which were to appear in that story some weeks before. The new lead Dalek is gold, with black spheres. All the other Daleks on view are grey and black - a colour scheme that will continue through the remainder of the classic series Dalek stories.
Having only three props, one of which has such a distinctive colour scheme, spells doom for how the "army" which attacks Auderley House at the story's climax translates on screen.
These Daleks speak ver-y, ver-y, slow-ly...
The lights are more flush with the dome, and the bases are slightly higher than the Hartnell / Troughton ones.

The Daleks next appear at the conclusion of Frontier in Space - and they are the same three Daleks that were seen in the previous story - a gold one who is in charge, with grey / black minions. This is the last time we will see the Gold Dalek.

Frontier leads directly into Planet of the Daleks. The Daleks based on Spiridon are uniformly of the grey / black sphere variety - including the one that appears to be in charge. These Daleks are experimenting with invisibility. The Doctor and the Thals spray paint one black. If you look closely in a group scene in the command centre, you will see that one is a lot darker than the others. In fact, there are varying shades of grey amongst the half dozen props.

There's a new cutting tool attachment - much simpler than previous versions - and we finally get to see how the Daleks get round the problem of stairs - a hover disc.

This is a simple octagonal unit. There are lots of Louis Marx toy Daleks, last seen back in Evil of the Daleks, in the huge ice cavern.

The story's final episode introduces the Black / Gold Dalek which is described by Latep as being one of the Supreme Council. A refurbished Aaru Movie prop owned by Terry Nation, it is much taller than its underlings - due to the bigger base. There are large, jam-jar dome lights, and the eye-stalk is of  a different design (a household torch being used). An impressive addition to the Dalek ranks, sadly this is its only appearance in the programme.

A unique colour-scheme for the last of the Pertwee Dalek stories - Death to the Daleks. These are silver, with black spheres. Again, there is no differentiation for the leader. One of them has orange dome lights instead of clear ones.

This story sees the Daleks lose the use of their energy weapons. They replace these with projectile-firing weapons - machine guns, basically. One further innovation to look out for in this story is a change to the Dalek POV - point of view.

During the Hartnell and Troughton periods, whenever we got to see what the Dalek saw, it was simply a black mask around a circular image. Here, the director - Michael Briant - employs a silvered tube attached to the camera.
Next time, we take a detour to look at Dalek spacecraft through the years.


  1. Another nice wee piece Gerry, them coming. Do you ever attend any of the conventions at all Gerry?

    1. I have only ever been to one - the official Cardiff one in 2012. I would have tried to go to the big anniversary one, but tickets went on sale while I was on holiday. Always meant to go to more but just never got round to it. Working odd shifts - especially at weekends - doesn't help.

  2. I went to Dimensions in Newcastle 5 years ago and loved it, didn't get the chance to go again since due to work/family stuff though I am going to it this year. They used to hold them in November but have now changed to October, 4 Doctors there this year plus Katie Manning and more to be announced.