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Mark Gatiss on the resurrection of the Daleks

A Dalek
  • Posted at 10:52am
  • 16 April 2010
  • by PaulJones-RT
  • 17 comments

*SPOILER ALERT*

Interviews by Nick Griffiths.

This Saturday teatime the Doctor's deadliest enemies shrug off total annihilation to return once more - bigger, badder and, er, more colourful than ever…

Mark Gatiss is the man tasked with resurrecting the Daleks to face Matt Smith's new Doctor - along with a certain historical figure - in the new episode, Victory of the Daleks.

"My brief from Steve [Moffat] was, 'Churchill versus the Daleks'…" recalls Gatiss. "The weird thing about the Daleks is they sort of belong in the Second World War, being so heavily Nazi-influenced. So the idea was to do a bank holiday war movie in 45 minutes."

So what's it all about? "Essentially the plot is that the Doctor turns up and he and Churchill are old friends. Churchill says, 'I've got something to show you, it's our new secret weapon.' And it's a Dalek. Khaki-coloured with a Union Jack on it."

Of course, Daleks being Daleks, there's a diabolical scheme behind their apparent dedication to the British war effort: they're planning a comeback - complete with a brand new look.

Gatiss explains: "The Daleks have a sort of time capsule, called the progenitor, which literally restores their original genome, so they become 100 per cent pure old-fashioned Dalek again. They're reborn in a new [whispers] six-foot-tall form."

"In the script, I wrote - and it's never changed - 'Big b****rs, bigger than we've ever seen before'. The eye stalk is level with Matt [Smith]'s eyeline and you go, 'Woah! They are big!'"

Sounds scary! And yet… the all-new Daleks will be available in a range of friendly colours - red, orange, yellow, blue and white. Couldn't that ever so slightly hamper their capacity to induce terror?

Nick Briggs, who voices the Daleks, has a strategy. "They're so brightly coloured and bouncy and delightful, they almost look good enough to eat. So I plan to counter that with a more vicious voice. I want them to sound really whips-and-chains-in-the-cupboard, pure hatred and pure anger."

Briggs had better be on good form - Gatiss has promised that one Dalek will be delivering the line 'Would you care for some tea?'!

**

Just how excited are you about the return of the Daleks? Post a comment below and let us know.

Comments

  • Posted on 18 April 2010
  • at 10:24am
  • by TWF

Why couldn't they have kept the old deseign of daleks, and added the bright colours? Then you would keep the old faithful reasonably happy, and get in the Dulux advert.


  • Posted on 18 April 2010
  • at 9:29am
  • by gazza

My very first thought: the new Daleks look a bit like the 'Birt-Speak' cartoon in Private Eye...

The central section looks like the dash board of a Vauxhall Corsa...

Why do they need a big lump on the back? Are the small mutant creatures inside now carrying around their own PortaLoo?

They're rubbish...


  • Posted on 18 April 2010
  • at 1:18am
  • by Who-ray!

Oh dear, oh dear, Oh my giddy aunt!

Hand on heart I wanted so much to love the new Daleks. Daleks, WWII, Spitfire fights in space, the new Dr... However, sadly what I watched was terribly static. I have started to think about the action packed 45 min RTD adventures, as good old retro TV! I feel that the Miss Pond has nothing to do and this is a shame as we have now got used to the assistants (Rose, Martha, Donna and Wilf for example) taking an independent, active role/part of the story telling.

I like the idea of the Daleks reinventing themselves: Drone, Scientist, Strategist, Eternal and supreme, but even they, with their logical thought processors, would not have come up with Dalek Lego, and thinking that will terrorise the universe, and for crying out loud, 'clashing colours!' "Exterminate!" OMG more like "Redecorate!" What missing from the hierarchy list? Designer Dalek. It's their TV-eye! They can only see in blue! Boys, you need to get colour TV-eyes!

I guess that is all part of a new story arc, the development of the new Dalek Empire and new hierarchy. I would consider (now you just need to hold this thought for a mo or two) a Dr Who special, without the Dr, to develop this bread of Dalek and see them build their new empire (with Lego). And yes, I am thinking of the fantastic Dalek Chronicles comic strips, which is possibly what the production team are thinking of too, that may convince me that these are the Daleks.

I hope the new Daleks, become the 'Dalek Council' with individual identity and independence as in the Cult of Skaro, and we then see offshoots of their ranks with their colours incorporated into a more sombre colour casing.

If you take a mo to look at the BBC Dr Who website and see the original concept design sketch for the new Dalek, I would have been quite happy for that design to have been used, which is not too different, but it is the slight modification that does make the difference. Oh well, at the end of the day and after a month or two I am sure I will love them as I do the others.


  • Posted on 18 April 2010
  • at 12:47am
  • by JoGGer

A great episode but just too much crammed into too little time. Bring back the episodic 25 minute format. And get rid of that Murray Gold music! If youre changing everything why not a new style of music.Its one thing which is really in need of an overhaul. I much preferred Dud Simpson's music which was far more memorable.

Those new daleks are okay although they chug along like bubble cars. I suppose I'll still be struggling to make shelf space for the inevitable range of multicolour figures when they're released though. I think for sheer power the clawed blue and silver daleks from the oft berated Peter Cushing films are still unbeatable. Nice to see Mark Gatiss paying some overdue homage to the two films.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 11:03pm
  • by Stephen Frizzell

These new colour super-daleks reminded me of watching the various teams competing on Jeux sans frontiers many years ago. Only thing missing was Eddie Waring and David Vine/Stuart Hall!


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 10:03pm
  • by Barry

Yikes! What odd-looking Daleks. I LOVED the war-time green Daleks (and the homage to 'Power of the Daleks'!), however the new multi-coloured design just looks odd. The paint job looks like plastic and the vents look like rubber - nothing like the merciless killing machines of old - they look hilarious. Please bring the old ones back - if you're going to re-design the Daleks do it subtly like they have with previous re-designs. Watching DW Confidential it sounds like the new team decided to make the change for change's sake which is never a good idea.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 9:56pm
  • by pete

So the daleks have changed, yes their bright & they seem to have a hunch back but its a new series & its bound to take time for us to get used to all the changes. The movie daleks where bright & the original tv ones changed constantly, the daleks can not die as a race, or whats the point. Davros has died a number of times but hes bound to be back in the future, as must the master, the time lords, cybermen etc. The continuity errors in the classic series were sometimes massive but it didn't stop my enjoyment. Its a sci-fi adventure just go with it.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 9:21pm
  • by G.Lewis

I loved the new design of the Daleks when one first appeared back with Chris Eccleston in "Dalek", they looked nasty and very updated and combined with Nick Briggs voice, they worked well....but the newer design from "Victory Of The Daleks" are rubbish, they look about as malevolent as a gang of teletubbies. Sadly, the new look spoiled an otherwise excellent episode written by the talented Mark Gattiss.Does anyone else think that Steven Moffat is trying to bring in a bit of the Peter Cushing Dr Who style from the 60's (ie. The Tardis Interior and now the new look Daleks)? Just a thought.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 7:57pm
  • by free4

I was right the new daleks are rubbish even worse now I have seen them fully, you can even see right through the neck in some scenes. Spoiled the whole episode for me looks like the beeb just wants to milk as much out of them with merchandising as they can.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 7:54pm
  • by Sam

Having seen the new Daleks, I am not very impressed. Yes the Daleks change appearance, but surely they don't become like Dalek versions of the American children's show 'Power Rangers'. And the reason for the return of the Daleks - one ship survived was a bit of a boring excuse. Donna destroyed all of them because they were all linked to Davros - so that excuse was a bit low-level. Let's hope the next sight of the Daleks is more believable, and they retain a suitable colour and appearance.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 7:32pm
  • by chris Davey

I was really disappointed with tonights episode, it felt a bit panto to be honest. Multi couloured Darleks didn't really do it for me and it felt like a nothing episode to introduce a future story line. Hoping for better in the future, thought last week was great!


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 7:17pm
  • by Chris Edwards

The worst Dr Who for some time - Daleks look like 80's sports cars - no story - at least the new Dr Who of whom I wasn't sure saved it from absolute rubbish. Is this what we can expect ? I may stop watching watching after 45 years..........please improve.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 5:27pm
  • by Allys

I too am glad to see the Daleks return. They were the monsters of my childhood-not that I was ever particularly terrified of giant pepper pots-and probably my favourite Doctor Who monster by far. A new look is never a bad thing, the added height would certainly make them more intimidating too. We always new that they would be back though-they are just the baddie that is absolutely impossible to kill and no matter how many times you think that the Doctor may have managed to do it properly this time, he never has.


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 11:38am
  • by allan

No more doctor Who, what, where or whatever! This franchise died peacefully some time back, let it stay that way. This now constant dressing up of a tired old idea belongs back in nineteen seventy something at tea time with a packet of digestive biscuits and some of mum's fairy cakes. The formula is basically the same, but you can't dress up the old corpse indefinitely before it starts to pong. Heat up last night's dinner by all means, but last week's lunch should be consigned to the bin. Go into rehab. Rehab is outside the front door, colloquially known as the real world. If you're under eighteen, ignore this and enjoy your childhood, over eighteen I refer you to the above. Move on!


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 10:18am
  • by Paul

Question…

The khaki coloured military Dalek has a military belt around its mid-rift with ammunition pouches.

How does the Dalek open the pouches?

A bendy or jointed plunger?


  • Posted on 17 April 2010
  • at 1:09am
  • by Scott Ampleford

I do like the new dalek design, very retro, very bulky and agressive, the wider shoulder section even reminds me of the special weapons dalek in the classic story "Remembrance Of The Daleks". But I still cant help but feel like they've messed with the original design too much.


  • Posted on 16 April 2010
  • at 7:43pm
  • by Lewis Bateman

I think that its a good idea to have a new look for the darleks, because if you look at the older Doctor Who versions, you can see there form change over time, and i'm also looking foward to there explanation to how they came back, after the half Doctor Killed off there race.

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