A Dalek belonging to the TV writer and producer Russell T Davies is among more than 30 that will be appearing in the opening episode of the new series of Doctor Who when it returns later this year.
In March, the BBC confirmed that, following a two-year gap, Doctor Who’s most iconic adversaries, the Daleks, were returning to the long-running science-fiction drama series.
Over the last 50 years there have been many different types of Daleks – from the original 1960s silver-grey ones to the newest multi-coloured variety, which were introduced in 2010, in Victory of the Daleks by Mark Gatiss.
The new story – dubbed by Digital Journal as All of the Daleks, and written by the show’s head writer, Steven Moffat – will see all versions of the them appear together for the first time.
Speaking to Benjamin Cook in Doctor Who Magazine, the show’s new executive producer, Caroline Skinner, said, “We’ll have more physical Daleks [. . .] than ever before in the history of Doctor Who [. . .] between 20 and 30 real ones.”
However, as the BBC doesn’t actually own most of the Dalek props, producers have been on the look out for those that are housed in Doctor Who exhibitions or are in private hands. One such is owned by Moffat’s predecessor as showrunner, Russell T Davies. Davies’s grey-and-black Dalek usually resides at the writer’s home in Manchester, but it was recently dispatched by his partner, Andrew Smith, to Cardiff to take part in filming for the eagerly anticipated episode, which will star Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.
Davies, who was responsible for relaunching Doctor Who in 2005, has not written for the show since stepping down as showrunner in 2009, despite Moffat wanting him to do so. However, the 48-year-old writer has written for Smith’s Doctor, in two episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the spin-off drama series that starred the late Elisabeth Sladen.
Russell T Dalek
Confirmation of the appearance of the “RTD Dalek” on set in Cardiff was made by Skinner – who was responsible for producing the critically acclaimed BBC 3 science-fiction series The Fades prior to moving on to Doctor Who. Posting a photograph on Twitter, Skinner commented that, “Russell’s Dalek has arrived on set – I’m talking her through her part!”
Many of the other Daleks in the episode have been supplied by the Doctor Who Experience.
Meanwhile, earlier this morning, the Sun – a British tabloid newspaper – offered to lend its Dalek to the BBC. The “Sun Dalek”, a gold-and-black variety, appeared with Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in a 1972 story, The Day of the Daleks, which was written by their creator, Terry Nation. The Sun acquired the prop in 2004 to use in their “‘Bring Back The Daleks’ crusade”.
However, Doctor Who’s brand manager, Edward Russell, said that filming had now been completed on the current Dalek story: “We're not looking for any more Daleks. Kind of the Sun to offer theirs but we've completed all those scenes.”
Indeed, according to details revealed byDoctor Who News, filming has now moved on to episode five – also written by Moffat – which will see the return of anotherDoctor Who alien race, the Weeping Angels, and the departure of companions Amy and Rory Pond (played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill).