B1 Intermediate UK 130 Folder Collection
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Last month we were chatting about the Cybermen. So it’s only fair that this month, we chat
about the Daleks.
Welcome to-
Welcome to Doctor Who: The Fan Show.
Hello, I’m Christel Dee and welcome to the Fan Show.
This month we are talking about the Daleks and joining me to talk about the Daleks is
the fabulous Nick Briggs who has been doing the voices for the Daleks since 2005 and before
that for Big Finish which you are also the executive producer of.
That’s correct yes, and since I was 5 although I wasn’t the executive producer of Big Finish
when I was 5 although it sort of feels like that sometimes.
Before we get stuck in, Nick, as a Dalek expert, would you mind going through the creation
of the Daleks for us.
Well, as Terry Nation, the writer was asked to write a script for Doctor Who and he was
a writer for a big comedian back in the day or comic actor back in the 60s, Tony Handcock.
People may have heard of Handcock’s half hour. And so Terry Nation I think really felt
that he had arrived as a big proper writer and you know, to be asked to write for something
like a kid’s TV show, he rejected it out of hand. But then he fell out with Tony Handcock
who is historically known to be a difficult person to get along with and they had a big
row and he
was sacked. And so he quickly said to his agent, you haven’t said no to that BBC gig
for kid’s have you? So he worked… I don’t know how quickly he worked but it was something
like a
script a week or something like that.
And in terms of the fictional world, there are kind of two origin stories for the Daleks.
We’ve got the first time we see them in 1963, The Daleks where they speak of a war
and mutation but we don’t actually see their creator, the concept of a creator isn’t
introduced until Genesis of the Daleks in 1975.
Yes, I mean, no one really knows when that first Dalek story was set. The idea was, that
we sort of assume that it’s very early on in their development somehow but that doesn’t
fit with what happened in Genesis of the Daleks. The bald truth is folks that it completely
contradicted everything that had come before however you can sort of make them fit and
go well, they didn’t mention Davros because of X, Y, Z so I don’t know. There’s a
theory that the first Dalek story is actually the last Dalek story.
That is the complete destruction of the Daleks.
Yes. How interesting.
That they’ve somehow retreated to their city and can’t go outside anymore and that
really is the end of the Daleks.
That’s given me chills just saying that.
But yeah, I’ve always been crazy about them. And they are of course, and I feel immodest
saying this and it’s nothing to do with me really, the reason why we’re still here
about Doctor Who now is because Doctor Who would not have survived without the Daleks.
Also strangely feeling immodest and again, nothing to do with me, I would also say that
every other Doctor Who monster is kind of an attempt to be as good as the Daleks in
one way or another.
I know more recently we’ve had crazier, weirder things which have stepped away from
that but certainly all of those Classic monsters, all of them wanted to sort of capture that
of implacable evil.
Well, it’s interesting because the creation of the Daleks was obviously inspired by the
Nazis which in 1963, they hadn’t been out of rations that long, the effects of the war
happened 20 years earlier, they were still feeling the effects of that and I think to
see that reflected on TV was probably quite a big thing.
Also, there is undeniably something fascinating and cool about the design.
But also on another level, they’re very British because they seem to be very… Heath
Robinson I think was the name of the design which is bits and pieces put together.
They look like household objects and radiators, don’t they?
Well, I think there’s a reason for that because they only had £50 to make each Dalek.
Although that was quite a lot of money in those days.
Quite a lot of money at the time.
I think the initial design was a lot more interesting if you look at the initial drawings
that they did but in the end they didn’t have enough money to make these props so they
had to
get a sink plunger and a whisk, well, not a whisk but you know, it looks like a whisk
and sort of just make do really.
Yeah, necessity being the mother of invention. Quite often, the best ideas come up when there
are no other options on the table and you know, the whole thing of sitting down and
planning something and rejecting loads of different ideas and trying to make it the
best thing, sometimes that just comes to nothing.
You just need someone to say let’s quickly do that because we’ve got no time and no
money so let’s just do it. And the Daleks are an example of that.
The other thing that works for me with the Daleks, the reason that I think they’re
so popular, one of the reasons is that they are…
it’s like your fridge suddenly shouting at you that it wants to murder you, you know
what I mean?
Because I think now if we create a villain, we often make them smooth talking and corporate
because those are our paranoia about the world being run by unelected
corporations, that sort of thing. That’s our preoccupation. In those days, their preoccupation
was goose-stepping soldiers taking over your city.
Well in contrast to the Cybermen which we spoke about last month, constantly trying
to upgrade and improve. The Daleks, in their eyes, are perfect so why would they change?
And I think, as you mentioned earlier, that’s one of the keys to their success really is
that they are so consistent, we know what we’re going to get.
I think the changes in the Daleks are always detectable because they are, well, sort of
monotone in everyway so when those bumps occur so when they become a bit emotional,
or they’re very devious, you notice it more because it was coming from quite a flat level
in the first place. I mean, they changed their design from the first story to the second
they have them big bumpers, that sounds weird, but it’s to go over curbs and things. And
then they put the slats on instead of the hoops around the sides so they’ve evolved
design a little but the essential Dalek-ness as never gone away. Even with the new paradigm
Daleks which I know a lot of people didn’t like, they may not quite a have been the same
silhouette but it was still the same thing. You could absolutely tell that it was a Dalek.
If you go what’s that you’d go, well it’s a Dalek obviously because it’s got the dun
and the dun and
dun, you know and that’s it, you’re done. And the bumps, you know, that is the essential
aspects of it.
But all of them, I guess, the key thing with the Daleks is the racial purity thing which
is interesting because when we get to the 80s, we get to Remembrance where you have
the two, opposing sides, the Dalek civil war, almost and so you start to get these different
divisions of Daleks.
And you know, Ben Aaronovitch who wrote Remembrance of the Daleks was very keen on when he was
tackling that to go back to the origins, like come on, they are the Nazis, let’s do
the racial purity thing. And I think there is also a tendency, historically not to sound
to socio-political for extreme groups to split because they become so dogmatic about what
thing, they start to disagree with each other on small points of ideology and I think that’s
what Remembrance of the Daleks is about. You know, from the outside you think well
you’re all nasty and we’re all going to die as a result of your civil war so what’s
the difference for us.
They’re all fundamentalists really.
One thing is, the Doctor because he is essentially an optimist, even though he has his moments
of extreme pessimism, I think he’s always bizarrely surprised by the Daleks
never changing. I think he goes, argh, they’re really bad aren’t they and you feel like
the Daleks are going to go duhhhh, you know.
But yeah, that’s what we love about the Doctor, because he has hope and there is no
hope for the Daleks but he always entertains… that’s certainly something I’ve explored
some of
my Dalek scripts for Big Finish, that the Doctor goes I just would hope you will offer
me the opportunity of changing.
Because of the things we haven’t mentioned about the Daleks is that they’re really
clever. They have a fierce intellect. They can solve lots of problems.
They’ve done some really clever stuff, they just use it all for the wrong thing. It’s
so sad.
Well, interestingly, the invention of the Time War that Russell created in 2005 gave
them a whole new lease of life really.
The whole business of the Time War is Russell looking at old Doctor Who, Classic Doctor
Who from the point of view of a very creative writer, reinventing it and going what’s
evidence here. The Doctor was sent by the Time Lords to stop the Daleks being created
but he failed. The Dalek are never going to let that go. Inevitably there’s going to
be some huge
conflict between them and he had seen in other Dalek stories that the Daleks could time travel
and so they were cruising for a… yes.
It was bound to happen. It was a really smart thing to do and I remember when Rob told me,
we think of it as normal now but it was a radical, different idea.
I had no… it took me two seconds to think it was brilliant after he told me. That’s
a huge… that’s fantastic.
Well, it is huge. And not just the Daleks but having the Doctor as the last of his kind,
particularly in that story, you have supposedly the last Dalek and the last Time Lord.
And you have both of them in the room together and I think what is really highlighted is
their similarities and how similar they are which the Doctor hates.
Because the Dalek says we are the same and the Doctor will not have that.
And the Daleks, if you look at the Classic series, you know, they were clearly the most
popular, important Doctor Who monster, some people they’re not quite to their taste,
even those who may not like the Daleks, Doctor Who fans who don’t like the Daleks, I’m
sure there aren’t many of them, they can’t deny that they are big and that they are
successful. And you know, Russell was just sort of saying well let’s say that then,
that they are the biggest enemy of the Doctor, that had never actually been said before but
know, he hung a lantern on it.
So, Nick.
You know what I’m going to ask you.
What are you going to ask me?
Can you teach us how to do a Dalek voice.
Ah well, to order to do that I would… oh! Look what’s down here.
It’s a ring modulator. Yes, you may have heard of one.
Right, and here is the microphone.
You should be able to hear… more or less that’s just my voice coming through now
and then you can just start to add a bit of modulation and you’ll here it sort of fluttering
and you’ll hear it… there, there. And so if you want to say you will be exterminated,
especially in that sort of rising, manic way, it’s sort of…
So do you want to have a go?
Okay! Let’s do it.
Angry Dalek, yeah?
Angry Dalek.
Pretty good. Pretty good.
I think you have to find your voice with this.
You do.
It would help if you were connected to headphones so you could hear it very intimately.
Waraghgh? What’s that?
Well, thank you so much Nick for taking to us about the Daleks. And if you would like
to hear an extended version of this discussion, you can do so as a podcast on iTunes and
SoundCloud, links below. To subscribe, click here. And for a virtual tour of the set of
The Power of the Daleks, you can click here! Bye!
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The Daleks Review ft. Nicholas Briggs - Doctor Who: The Fan Show

130 Folder Collection
xdyiwz445936 published on January 26, 2017
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