9 January 1970
Vol 63 No 1577 (12-18 January 1970)
p23: Photo of the Controller and Macra, promoting The Macra Terror
Episode 2 (CHTV-3, 12/1/70)
GRAHAM LEAMAN, as the Controller, and a crab-like
creature called The Macra in Dr Who and the Macra Terror, screening from
CHTV-3 this evening.
15 June 1970
Vol 64 No 1599 (15-21 Jun 1970)
p10: Article in 'Television Notebook' section, 'The Demon Daleks' with a
photo of a Dalek, promoting The Evil of the Daleks Episode 1 (WNTV-1, 19/6/70)
The Demon Daleks
REMEMBER the daleks? Of all the enemies who have faced the intrepid Dr Who,
they were the most sinister. The silurians were larger and the cybermen were a
lot more human, but for sheer villainy the daleks took the cake. Whether
issuing orders in metallic, utterly unemotional voices, or moving soundlessly
through gleaming corridors, they always remained villains for the connoisseur.
A shop in London even started selling a line of dalek replicas - they squatted
in the living-room like malevolent dustbins, menacing visitors who dropped in
Dr Who fans will be delighted to learn that their favourite
series is to return to television. The bad guys this time are not giant crabs
or one-eyed monoids, but genuine daleks. In a seven-part series entitled The
Evil of the Daleks, the good Doctor has just as much trouble with the
creatures as ever. The series starts when he and Jamie see their ship Tardis
being driven away on the back of a lorry. They follow, and are lured to an
antique shop owned by Edward Waterfield, a specialist in Victoriana. Soon they
are back in 1867, in a manor-house owned by one Theodore Maxtible. There's a
Turkish wrestler called Kemel, and some very unwelcome visitors - the daleks.
It seems the enemy has decided that humans have some good points after all.
They set up an experiment in which human factors are injected into three new
daleks. The next stage of their plan is even more diabolical: they construct a
machine to transform humans mentally into daleks. When the three humanoid
daleks show undesirable qualities like playful friendliness, a sense of humour,
initiative and general unreliability, the dalek emperor orders that his
subjects pass through the machine and be dehumanised. Dr Who, however, manages
to interfere with the process, and things start to go a little haywire.
A professional child guidance expert once commented on the Dr
Who series: "It releases a child's aggressive impulses, and is
essen-tially moral, because right triumphs over might. When Dr Who defends the
human race, he tends to do it by brains, not brawn." The series combines
fantasy with fact, and the various terrors appeal to both adults and children:
Monsters are produced by a skilled production team who work with everything
from pots of glue to buckets of dry ice. Daleks are relatively simple to make;
they have rigid bodies which don't take long to construct.
Some of the other monsters, however, pose considerable techni-cal
problems. Costume designer Christine Rawlins designs torsos and heads for the
enemies of Dr Who. While she does all she can to minimise discomfort to the
actors, some costumes are rather hot and stuffy nevertheless. One veteran
monster who has played a cyber-man, a yeti and a silurian, had to stride about
in a silurian outfit of heavy rubber during several hours of filming. "You lose
weight pretty fast in some of these costumes," he said. "They are pretty wet
and slicky but you do get used to it eventually ... all I wanted afterwards was a
long soak in the bath!" Inside the cyberman suits the atmosphere is like a
turkish bath. They consist of a diver's wet suit painted silver, with a
fibreglass head that screws on from the back.
Apart from monsters, the workshop produces rockets, explosions,
computers, space helmets, control panels, weird foliage and many other pieces
of space equipment. Jack Kine, the man in charge of producing bizarre villains,
sums up what his team is attempting: "Our motto is 'anything that can be
imagined can be made' - it has to be! This place may look like a schoolboy's
dream, but it can be very hairy and hysterical."
If you watch the opening titles of Dr Who you could never mistake
the programme for anything else. There's the theme music for a start, which is
totally unlike that of any other series. Then there are dissolving graphics
that whirl about like eerie snowflakes to expose the credits. If the theme tune
sounds inhuman, there's a good explanation - no human plays a note. It comes
from Ron Grainer and the Radiophonic Workshop, and was constructed from basic
electronic sources. If computers ever learn to compose symphonies, this is what
they could sound like.