DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR [1963 / 1964] [Limited Edition Steelbook] [Blu-ray + DVD] [1963 / 1964 / 2023] [UK Release] The Daleks return… and this time in COLOUR!

Originally transmitted from December 1963 to February 1964, and on an alien world, the Doctor encounters the Daleks for the very first time in this newly-colourised edit of a classic adventure.

In the Doctor Who serial “THE DALEKS” (also known as “The Mutants and The Dead Planet”) we have Doctor Who [William Hartnell], his granddaughter Susan Foreman [Carole Ann Ford], and her teachers Ian Chesterton [William Russell] and Barbara Wright [Jacqueline Hill] where the TARDIS lands in an alien petrified jungle on planet Skaro and the travellers venture out on to the surface of a new world, where everything is dead, but beyond a petrified jungle they see a huge mysterious deserted metal city which Doctor Who is determined to explore, but before long the TARDIS crew all begin experiencing the early effects of radiation sickness. Doctor Who leads his companions into the metal city that isn’t as deserted as they first thought and where they discover danger at every corner and what will become his deadliest enemy, the mutant Daleks, who are malicious mutant creatures encased in armoured travel machines, and the Thals, beautiful humanoids with pacifist principles. They convince the Thals of the need to fight for their own survival.

The seven original 25 minute episodes have now been colourised and weaved together into a 75 minute blockbuster. With brand new sound and a new score that has been created by Mark Ayres. “THE DALEKS” has been gloriously updated, whilst ensuring the original classic story remains as thrilling as it was when it was first seen back in 1963.

This release also includes the original seven episodes on DVD in Black and White, as they were first broadcast plus a 15 minute exclusive featurette and all special features from the previous release.

Cast: William Hartnell, William Russell, Jacqueline Hill, Carole Ann Ford, Alan Wheatley, John Lee, Virginia Wetherell, Philip Bond, Marcus Hammond, Gerald Curtis, Jonathon Crane, Chris Browning, Katie Cashfield, Vez Delahunt, Kevin Glenny, Ruth Harrison, Lesley Hill, Steve Pokol, Jeanette Rossini, Eric Smith, Peter Hawkins [Dalek Voice], David Graham [Dalek Voice], Robert Jewell [Dalek], Kevin Manser [Dalek], Michael Summerton [Dalek] and Gerald Taylor [Dalek] 

Directors: Christopher Barry

Producers: Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield and Rex Tucker (uncredited)

Screenplay: Terry Nation written), David Whitaker (story editor), Sydney Newman (creator) (uncredited) and Donald B. Wilson (co-creator) (uncredited)

Composer: Ron Grainer (composer: title music), Delia Derbyshire (music arranger) (uncredited) and Tristram Cary (composer: incidental music)

Sound Department: Brian Hodgson (special sound) (uncredited), Jack Brummitt (        sound) (uncredited) and Jack Clayton (sound) (uncredited)

Make-up supervisor: Elizabeth Blattner

Costume supervisor: Daphne Dare

Visual Effects: Bernard Lodge (title sequence designer) (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department: Geoff Shaw (studio lighting) (uncredited), John Cura (tele-snap photographer) (uncredited) and John Treays (studio lighting) (uncredited),

Image Resolution: Blu-ray 1080i [Black and White + Colour] + DVD 480i / 1080i [Black and White + Colour]

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Blu-ray Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
English: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Audio
English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio [Audio Description]
English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

Blu-ray Subtitles: English

DVD Audio: English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio

DVD Subtitles: English

Blu-ray Running Time: 75 minutes

DVD Running Time: 170 minutes

Region: Region B/2 + PAL

Number of discs: 2

Studio: BBC Studios Ltd. / 2|Entertain

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ [1963 / 1964] It’s time to encounter the malicious mutant creatures the Daleks once again, but this time in a way you’ve never seen them before. As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of iconic series Doctor Who and “THE DALEKS” episode was one of the show’s most renowned tales is undergoing an out of this world update as it receives an artistic colourisation.

Originally transmitted in December 1963 to February 1964, the Daleks were introduced to audiences and soon became one of the Doctor’s most formidable and enduring foes. The story follows the very first crew of the TARDIS as they land in a petrified forest on an alien planet. Determined to explore, the Doctor Who [William Hartnell] leads his companions into the metal city, where they discover danger at every corner and what will become his deadliest enemy, the mutant Daleks.

The TARDIS has brought the travellers to the planet Skaro where they meet two indigenous races the Daleks, malicious mutant creatures encased in armoured travelling machines, and the Thals, beautiful humanoids with pacifist principles. They convince the Thals of the need to fight for their own survival.

Joining forces with them and braving Skaro's many dangers, they launch a two-pronged attack on the Dalek city. The Daleks are all killed when, during the course of the fighting, their power supply is cut off. At the time of the programme’s making, the seven episodes were collectively known by the Doctor Who production team as “The Mutants.” The Daleks regard the Thals, sight unseen, as hideous mutations but, in a twist worthy of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, the Thals look like us!

It’s time to encounter the Daleks once again, but this time in a way you’ve never seen them before. As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of iconic series ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ is one of the BBC Television show’s most renowned tales is undergoing an out of this world update as it receives an artistic colourisation.

What we get to view in ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ where we find William Hartnell’s Doctor Who coming up against a brand-spanking-new, iconic villain. We’ll give you three guesses which one. The new, 75-minute “blockbuster edit” has been fully colourised by a team led by fan Rich Tipple, who told the BBC it was a The new, 75-minute “blockbuster edit” has been fully colourised by a team led by fan Rich Tipple, who told the BBC it was a “huge honour” and a “personal dream come true” and a “personal dream come true.”

The edit also features a new original score by composer Mark Ayres. “The original is a masterpiece of 1960’s television drama and this new version stands on the shoulders of the pioneering spirit of 1960’s Doctor Who,” executive producer Phil Collinson said of ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR,’ “It was an enormous responsibility” to work with “television heritage.” “You have to approach it with the respect it needs, but make it work for a 21st Century audience.”  

It’s been a good couple of years of “THE DALEKS” and now, on the BBC programme’s 60th anniversary, we now have this brilliant brand new colourised omnibus Blu-ray edition. How wonderful is that, after all these years after its first broadcast, what is arguably the most important story in Doctor Who’s long history should still attract this kind of care and attention.

When it was first announced, it was a huge treat in those pre-home video years to enjoy the likes of “The Green Death” and “Genesis of the Daleks” again. But that was vastly underestimate the ambition of video editor Benjamin Cook, who didn’t so much cut the episodes together as strip them down to their individual parts and reassemble them from a whole new set of plans. 

Russell T Davies said in the Doctor Who Magazine that the editing would prove to be more controversial than the colouring, and he was probably right. “THE DALEKS” episodes now rattles along at a relentless pace, with the swift editing we’re all used to in the modern era but would have been unthinkable when the story was made. I found myself laughing at the production team’s gall in coming up with such a wholesale reimagining, though it surely won’t have been to everyone’s taste.

It’s a shame that there wasn’t room for the Magnedon, Doctor Who’s very first alien creature, and some moments of character and charm that weren’t strictly necessary to the story, such as the food machine sequence, were sacrificed. I could have done without retconning touches like the cloister bell and mention of Kaleds, but I will allow that most people watching would have expected to hear “EXTERMINATE!” a few times, even if viewers of the original didn’t. I rather liked some of the more audacious touches, such as the Daleks cunningly writing Susan’s note, though I wish there’d been room for a new scene where a Dalek clutches a marker pen as another one criticises its handwriting.

When “THE DALEKS” made it on to the big screen in the 1960’s, the posters promised it was a chance to see them IN COLOUR. It was a message the team behind this colourisation seemed to have taken to heart, because boy, was this colourful. Barbara’s blouse was so vibrant a shade of pink it’s a wonder the first Dalek to appear in the series wasn’t blinded, and I couldn’t take my eyes off those vivid yellow and red dials on the control panels. Colourisation technology has clearly come a long way since those early 1980’s efforts, but I don’t think it’s unfair to say it’s not yet at the point where anyone watching this would think it was filmed in colour.

But what an achievement by Rich Tipple and his team, who have slaved for long hours using techniques which, though assisted by software, still largely have to be done manually. We’re used to seeing colour photos of 1960’s silver and blue Daleks, but it was glorious to see them moving and interacting, and of course doing their usual exterminating.

In conclusion, we got a tantalising glimpse of “The Keys of Marinus” and “The Web Planet” and lots of other 1960’s stories in colour, including The Beatles’ Top of the Pops appearance. Can they really be planning to do them all? I’ll certainly be in anticipation if they do. Although full credit must go to those behind ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ colourisation and the final tributes have to be paid to the cast and crew of the original Doctor Who, who against all the odds, in the face of low expectations and working in the most unfavourable conditions, came up with a production that caught the public’s imagination in a way few programmes ever do. 

This release of ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ also includes the original seven episodes on bonus DVD shown in the original Black and White, as they were first broadcast, plus a 15 minute exclusive featurette and all special features from the previous release. Plus, with a brand new sounds and music score created by Mark Ayres.

Unfortunately, not all seven episodes have been coloured for this release; it’s just a 75-minute edition, as the full thing would’ve taken at least a couple of years to produce and the production team has started work on another serial by now instead. Smart money is on a Second Doctor Who series with the character the Doctor [Patrick Troughton] story. But most of all, ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ has been updated, with extra material too. By the way, the Doctor Who “THE DALEKS” episodes were originally transmitted from December 1963 to February 1964 “THE DALEKS” introduced one of the Doctor Who’s most formidable and evil enduring foes. 

At the time of the announcement of the colourisation, Phil Collinson, Executive Producer on Doctor Who “THE DALEKS” episodes, said: "It's been my absolute pleasure to spend these past 12 months working with such a talented team to breathe new life into this classic adventure – a story that is literally the foundation stone of all that Doctor Who has become.” "The original is a masterpiece of 1960’s television drama, and this new version stands on the shoulders of the pioneering spirit of 1960s Doctor Who."

But immediately the scale of the challenge was clear. Colourising a six decade year old black and white television serial is a massive enough task. But more than that, taking seven 25 minute episodes and cutting them down to a mere 75 minutes. Despite the high quality and passion of everyone involved, would it risk leaving the viewers not with a story more accessible to younger viewers than ever, but an unintelligible mess?

Fortunately, nobody needed to have worried. It’s not perfect, by any means, for reasons we’ll come to. But like the Ninth Doctor in “The End of the World” and it’s a miracle that it exists at all, let alone plays out with such style. Purists of course, won’t be happy regardless. They’ll ignore their DVD that still sits on its shelf, and the original still being on iPlayer. Even this upcoming Blu-ray release will make sure to include both. But to be honest, this isn’t for them anyway.

The first important thing to consider is that this new colourisation, at a technical level is a marvel, especially the delicacy of the shading on every cheekbone, the sheen on every Dalek casing, even the accurately distorted and faded reflections in every metal surface, makes clear that this is one of the most ambitious impressive colourisation projects ever attempted.

It’s doubly impressive when you consider just how manual a process it is even today. After all, they were not joking about the individually shaded cheekbones. The ears of anyone talking about AI and just pressing a few buttons are surely ringing with the hollow laughter of actual colourists. So hats off to the Colourists Team Rich Tipple, Timothy K. Brown, Scott Burditt and Kieran Highman. Plus, Peter Crocker and Paul Vanezis the Picture Restoration team for performing their wonderful pure magic.

Ultimately, however, if we craved perfection, or more precisely universal agreement on how we would have done it, we wouldn’t be Doctor Who fans. Especially as the first of its kind ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ is an amazing technical marvel and absolutely bristles with creative energy and imagination. As for the younger generation Russell T Davies’ team is most directly aiming to get watching? Well, who can say for sure? Certainly the closing moments of ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ holds a promise of many more colourful adventures to come. Well we can only hope for more future adventures to come. There may be a handful of lessons to be learned, but overall it’s an astonishing success. Moreover, it promises even greater things to come.

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Blu-ray Image Quality – BBC Television and the Colourisation Team presents us the brilliant ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ and of course the 1963 episode “THE DALEKS”  with a wonderful 1080i image and of course was broadcast with a 1.37:1 aspect ratio and is all done very well. The colourisation ranges from sequences that look originally shot on colour film to some over garish moments but on a whole they have gone for the bold and colourful look of 1960’s American sci-fi television. However overall this is a fantastic piece of art and I have watched this a few times now. The Blu-ray experience of “THE DALEKS” in colour is so much better than with streaming on I-player. “THE DALEKS” is a fun and groovy 1960’s kitsch colourized revamp of the original Seven of the original 25 minutes episodes and the extensive restoration work done on the original 16mm tele recordings and the new Dalek laser effects are very good. At a technical level it’s a marvel. Also the delicacy of the shading on every cheekbone, the sheen on every Dalek casing, even the accurately distorted and faded reflections in every metal surface, make clear that this is one of the most ambitious impressive colourisation projects ever attempted ever, let alone in the WHONIVERSE.  

Blu-ray Audio Quality – BBC Television and the Colourisation Team brings us the brilliant ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ and of course the 1963 episode “THE DALEKS” with a wonderful 5.1 DTS-D Master Audio experience and of course the Title music by Ron Grainer with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop they have now been able to produce  a brand new music score by Mark Ayers that really enhances the episode of “THE DALEKS” and of course when the Daleks fire their death laser ray, with this new soundtrack it really makes their death laser ray even more scary. Overall, it fills the soundscape in a much more 21st century Doctor Who way. In doing so it creates an underpinning of drama or emotion to scenes like Susan’s return quest to the TARDIS or the final battle. For the most part this works wonderfully and “THE DALEKS” has never sounded pacier or more dramatic.  So overall, waiting for the release of ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ was well worth the wait.

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Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: The Making of THE DALEKS IN COLOUR [2023] [1080i / 1080p] [1.37:1 / 1.78:1] [11:36] With this featurette, at the start we get to meet Russel T Davies who says he was so very keen to get involved with the project of DOCTOR WHO – THE DALEKS IN COLOUR because it was 60 years overdue and to show us Doctor Who fans what we have missed when we had to watch the original BBC Television series in Black and White and that he feels the wait was worth it for the younger generation in 2023. We are informed that sadly there was no interview with William Hartnell on playing Doctor Who and to be asked “what was your biggest regret in being Doctor Who,” and again sadly there was no interview on that subject, but luckily there was an interview with William Hartnell’s widow Heather Hartnell for the Doctor Who Magazine and theDoctor Who Magazine is a magazine devoted to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Launched in 1979 as Doctor Who Weekly, the magazine became a monthly publication the following year and Heather Hartnell said that William Hartnell said to her, “That it was his greatest regret, is that the Doctor Who episodes he was in, were in black and white, because the costumes and the props and the sets were in such beautiful colours and the audiences never got to see them,” and that is why Russell T Davies and the colourist team were keen to bring out the Blu-ray release of ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ so that the younger generation in 2023 can see what they have been missing in such a ground breaking BBC Television series that has been loved by generations when “THE DALEKS” was first broadcast in 1963. Rich Tipple spoke to Phil Collison on how it would be done to turn “THE DALEKS” from Black and White into colourisation and eventual they came up with a plan of action and someone had done some previously sample test colourisations of an episode from “THE DALEKS” and were wondering if they could adopt this process to bring Doctor Who and “THE DALEKS” in 2023, and with a big behind-the-scene Doctor Who colourisation team fans, they were very keen to come on board and get behind the colourisation process and they had to get one or two colourisation people from the other side of the world to come and work in England and of course there was Rich Tipple and Scott Burditt who actually liked in the UK, but the other person they brought over was Kieran Highman who was in fact Australian and again all were very keen to start work on colourisation of “THE DALEKS” 1963 episodes and go into great detail on how the colourisation process works, by first colour in its basic form, then process the background in colour, and on top of all that they do the foreground elements, and when they have done that, they then start painting in the details like the lights on the Daleks main body and then from there you can start grading the image like the studio lighting and that way you bring everything together and you then can step back and realise it is a job well worth doing. We also find out that in the BBC archives they have loads of colour photos from “THE DALEKS” 1963 episodes and of course this is how they were able to do the full blown job of the colourisation of “THE DALEKS” 1963 episodes, but sometimes they had to guess where to colour a certain scene with care and they say the inside of the TARDIS was painted a special green and in black and white it would look a bright white colour, and so they decided that the inside of the TARDIS would be a white colour, because it was it was a battered old Police box, and of course now the “THE DALEKS” is now in colour, and also they wanted to do the best job ever in the colourisation process to honour the massive fans of Doctor Who. On top of all that they also wanted to give it an upgrade in the audio presentation and a brand new upgraded sound track mix and bring in Mark Ayres, because all they had was the original mono audio mix, so they thought upgrading the audio mix so it can be presented to a modern audience, and they feel again it is in honour to the massive Doctor Who fan base. They were also able to insert some new scenes from the original “THE DALEKS” episodes and completely brand new dialogue by Russell T Davies and was recorded by Nick Briggs the current voice of the Daleks and on top of all that, they have the original voice of the Daleks and that person is David Graham who is now 98 years old and really enjoyed shouting into a microphone of the voice of the Daleks and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and of course the episodes were aired in 1963 and 1964 and of course in a year later they brought out the movie adaptation of the same scenario storyline, and they also in another year an American comic book was brought out of a re-working of “THE DALEKS” storyline. They think Doctor Who is a totally amazing 60 year cultural phenomenon to have endured so long and to also be reinvented itself over a 60 year period and it is now great to look back to the start in 1963, and that we are still enjoying. Doctor Who and the adventures of the TARDIS is for future generations of fans of Doctor Who, but most of all, they were working with the BBC television heritage and of course the Doctor Who episode “THE DALEKS” finally got the colourisation it deserved and they feel it has been cared for, and looks more attractive, and that has to be good for everyone, and so to the end of this brilliant featurette, we get to see and hear the prophetic words said by the actor William Hartnell as Doctor Who where he says, “I might just say this to you, always search the truth, my truth is in the stars and yours is here,” and at that point this wonderful and insightful featurette comes to an end and it is a definite MUST view. Contributors include: Russell T Davies [Writer and Executive Producer], Benjamin Cook [Editor], Phil Collison [Executive Producer], Rich Tipple [Lead Colourisation Artist], Kieran Highman [Colourisation Artist], Mark Ayres [Additional Music, Sound Design and Mix], Timothy K. Brown [Colourisation Artist], Scott Burditt [Colourisation Artist], Peter Crocker [Picture Restoration Team] and Paul Vanezis [Picture Restoration Team]. As an added bonus, we get to view some scenes from the colourisation of “THE DALEKS.”                           

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DVD Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: Doctor Who: “THE DALEKS” [1963 / 1964] [480i] [1.37:1] [170:44] In “THE DALEKS” the Doctor takes his   granddaughter Susan Foreman [Carole Ann Ford], and her teachers Ian Chesterton [William Russell] and Barbara Wright [Jacqueline Hill] and the TARDIS time machine and lands in an alien jungle of the ravaged planet of Skaro, where they meet the pacifist race of the Thals, and are eventually captured by the evil mutant Daleks, a race of mutated creatures who survive off the radiation that remains in the atmosphere after a nuclear war with their enemies the Thals. When the Doctor interferes, the Daleks learn information vital to their survival and hatch a plan to wipe out the Thals. But, with the Doctor's help, the Thals start an attack that hopefully wipes out the Daleks completely and at the same time, they discover more about the planet and the ensuing war, and attempt to broker a peace. The Doctor's non-humanoid adversaries caught on immediately with the British public, as was obvious from the serial's massive ratings. “THE DALEKS” episodes cemented Doctor Who's position on the 1963 / 1964 BBC1 Television schedule. “THE “DALEKS” episodes made for a fascinating watch. The episodes we get to view are as follows: The Dead PlanetThe SurvivorsThe EscapeThe AmbushThe ExpeditionThe OrdealThe Rescue.

Special Feature: Creation Of The Daleks [2006] [480i / 1080i] [1.37:1] [17:11] With this featurette, we get to view this very special documentary looking at the genesis of the Dalek monsters which would quickly become icons in their own right. From Terry Nation's script, through to the visual design of the creatures and their unique rasping voices, the concepts behind the Daleks are also explored. We get to hear about the long process of how the Daleks were originally conceived and Sydney Newman initially did not want “bug eyed monsters or creepy crawly and usual nonsense” from outer space appearing in Doctor Who and eventually Sydney Newman was shown some illustrations of the actual Dalek creature and Sydney Newman was totally furious, but was explained in detail how these creatures had evolved and that they were once very intelligent creatures and their brains had become extremely large and their bodies had shrunk and had to live in an encased metal object to support their massive big brain and of course over time the Daleks built their machine and eventually Sydney Newman approved of the final design, which we get to see in the Doctor Who “THE “DALEKS” episodes with the BBC Television series. Richard Martin explains how THE “DALEKS” episodes came together, like for instance the Script Editors who found the authors and eventually the first draft of the script came to fruition and David Whitaker was the original script editor who was assigned to the Doctor Who Team. Verity Lambert says that David Whitaker introduced her to Terry Nation [Screenwriter and Novelist] and asked him what he thought of the Doctor Who synopsis and said it sounded like a very good idea, as Verity Lambert thought Terry Nation was a very good ideas man who of course came up with the outline of Doctor Who and of course the Daleks and Terry Nation was excellent and also a very intelligent man and Raymond Cusick asked Terry Nation about what he had written in the script, and said that people entered a white featureless room and they walk along a white featureless tunnel and Raymond Cusick said to Terry Nation “Why is everything white” and Terry Nation said “I couldn’t think of anything else to say” and also said to Raymond Cusick “Now it is up to you to design the sets.” They now talk about the Planet Skaro which is the Seventh Galaxy and nine galaxies away from Earth, and is the home world of the Thals, of the Kaleds, and infamously, of the Daleks. The latter came to be during the Thousand Year War between the Thals and the Kaleds because of their actions of the Kaled scientist Davros which was decimated by a Neutron Bomb and of course the Daleks retreated into the Dalek City which was of course was Atomic Bomb proof and of course the Daleks became very angry about their isolated situation and of course they were hopelessly unnaturally mutated like a sort of blob, and using their unnatural mutation and used the radiation to their advantage living underground and also hated everyone else who were not like the Daleks. Subsequent attacks on the planet caused by the Dalek presence would nearly destroy it, but eventually, Skaro was remade by the Daleks and became the centre of the Dalek Empire once more. Originally the Daleks were described as having an eye on a stalk and moving around on a round base, and with arms like callipers or claws or something like that, and slowly they started doing drawing designs that the Dalek case was cylindrical and had an operator inside the metal casing sitting and they eventually came up with four designs and eventually four Daleks were built for £250.00 sterling and of course this doesn’t sound a lot of money, but in 1963 that was a lot of money, and they were built of plastic to make them as light as possible and they were made at Shawcraft (Models) Ltd in Uxbridge, Middlesex and was based at Heston Airport, Hounslow and was the freelance company commissioned to fabricate the original Dalek props for Doctor Who and of course the two Dalek movies throughout most of the 1960’s. We get to meet Michael Summerton who was an English actor from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who began his career as one of the original Dalek operators in Doctor Who for “THE “DALEKS” episodes, but before all this happened Michael Summerton was asked to go to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and got to see the first half of the Dalek porotype and was asked to test the Dalek porotype for movability in all directions and by the end of the trial Michael Summerton was totally exhausted. But they talk about the Daleks rubber black plunger that was attached at the end of the metal armature and also a magnet was attached beneath the black rubber sucker so that it could carry metal trays, but they also said about the Daleks rubber black plunger, that it was really a rubber toilet plunger as that is all they could afford at the time. They talk about a scene when one of the Daleks cuts through one of the metal doors and this was done with an oxy acetylene welder type of apparatus that was devised by the people at the Shawcraft (Models) Ltd in Uxbridge, Middlesex and on top of that, they talk about the gauze near the top of the Dalek and they had the type of gauze so the Dalek operator can clearly see through the gauze and they had a switched attached to a battery so that the operator could flick the switch to make the two lights to flash on off rapidly that was at the top of the Daleks and the reason for the two lights to flash on off rapidly is because this was the hurried decision, because the director said when the Daleks originally had no two lights on the top of the Daleks, and because that situation the director did not know which Dalek was speaking, and that is how the two flashing lights were fitted onto the top of the Daleks. But Michael Summerton says that he thinks why actors were hired to operate inside the Daleks because they had to read the script and learn where they had to move around the studio set. But the main reason the people who were inside the Daleks had to be a certain size and have a muscular ability and Michael Summerton said they did not wear much clothing, which was a T-shirt, underwear and sneakers because it was very comfortable with those items they wore and they also said one of the Dalek operator named Gerald Taylor and they said he was a total natural Dalek operator and was also very agile and would respond very quickly to any kind of commend given to him. Another Dalek operator named Kevin Manser who was an Australian actor and they say he was exceptional, but most of all, they say all the Dalek operators also did a really excellant job. Now we get to meet Brian Hodgson who worked on a children’s BBC radio series entitled “Sword From The Stars” and he had created a polite robot, who was like a butler and created the voice of the butler and was the first foray into a “ring modulation” and is a signal processing function, an implementation of frequency mixing, in which two signals are combined to yield an output signal and it turns the sound on and off many times a second and may also be used in music synthesizers and as an effects unit and in turn of course it was used for the Daleks voices. Then we get to meet David Graham who is an English actor and is best known for voicing the Daleks in Doctor Who “THE “DALEKS” episodes and David Graham says that they came up with different ideas for the Dalek voices and eventually they finally settled on the Dalek voice we get to hear in the Doctor Who “THE “DALEKS” episodes and when they picked up the script, they had an instinct and an intuition about the way you are going to approach the Dalek voice, and of course they originally had nothing to go on and eventually they felt they were creating something that was totally new and totally fresh and unique, and he also said we wanted to create the Dalek voices that were menacing and totally evil, and to actually frighten people, and especially children. But the way they got the Dalek voice is that they got hold of an old fashioned microphone that was used to report from football ground matches via a radio BBC broadcast, and what you did was put the microphone point blank against your mouth so your voice is slightly confined, and they really praised Peter Hawkins [1924 – 2006] who was a brilliant British actor and from the 1950’s to 1980’s was one of the most sought-after voice artists for television and he of course was one of the Dalek’s voice and tended to go for the higher pitched Dalek voice. But of course audiences were totally intrigued what was exactly inside the Dalek machine, and when we see the Dalek hand appear from under the Thal cover, in fact it was a rubber gorilla glove and it was the assistant floor manager under the Thal cover revealing the Dalek hand. But of course at the time they did not know whether the Doctor Who TV series would be a success it was, and of course they were totally overwhelmed and honoured in creating something totally unique and inventive for a British BBC Television series that has now lasted for well over 60 years and on top of all that that the Royal Mail issued the Royal Mail Doctor Who 44 pence Dalek Signature Stamps for the Royal Mail Millennium Series 1999 and an unusual keepsake treat for all Doctor Who fans! But the Royal Mail also decided to celebrate the 50th Anniversary issued stamps of different Doctor Who actors who appeared in the world's longest-running British television science fiction series and at the time of the launch it was held in London with former Doctor Who actors like Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Paul McGann in attendance. On top of all that of course children immediately caught on with the craze of the Daleks in a massive way and especially saying in a Daleks voice “EXTERMINATE!” especially in the school playground and of course everyone who worked behind-the-scenes on the BBC Television series “THE “DALEKS” were really appreciated and overwhelmed by the publics massive adoration towards the BBC television series “Doctor Who” and at that point this fantastic “Creation Of The Daleks” featurette comes to an end and is definitely a must watch featurette. As an added bonus, we get to view a few clips from the BBC Television series “THE “DALEKS.” Contributors include: Sydney Newman [BBC Head of Drama 1963], Richard Martin [Director of “THE “DALEKS” episodes], Verity Lambert [Producer to Doctor Who 1963 – 1965], Raymond Cusick [Production Designer for “THE “DALEKS”], Michael Summerton [Actor and Talent Agent], Brian Hodgson [BBC Radiophonic Workshop] and David Graham [Dalek Voice Artist].

Special Feature: Image Gallery [1963 / 1964] [1080i] [1.37:1] [5:33] With this featurette, we get to view some amazing wonderful black-and white and colour images from the Doctor Who “THE “DALEKS” BBC Television series and includes the Daleks Photo Gallery images, Behind-The Scene images and the Commentary Recording images, and while viewing these images, we get to hear the amazing BBC Radiophone Workshop composed music score. With thanks to Barry Newberry [Production designer for “THE “DALEKS”], BBC Photograph Library, Doctor Who Magazine, Derek Handley [Doctor Who actor] and Tony Clark [Artist, Illustrator and Animator] who ran the art department of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in the early-1980’s].

Special Feature: Audio Commentary with Gary Russell, Verity Lambert and Christopher Barry [Audio only] [2006] [480i] [1.37:1] [24:20] With tis featurette, we get to hear this special audio commentary with British Freelance Writer Gary Russell, English Television Producer Verity Lambert and British Television Director Christopher Barry and are here to talk about the 1963 section of Doctor Who and the episodes 2, 3 and 4 of “THE DALEKS” and start to mainly talking about the general background information about the BBC television series, and they say with the second episode there was a problems with the sound with the microphone up in the gallery where the director and other assistants were, especially with the headphones which eventually got resolved. They say that the video recording of the “THE DALEKS” episodes was very basic video tape, whereas the much more future episodes were on film and they also felt the Dalek city underground steel rooms were very claustrophobic, but despite this, it helped with the spooky atmosphere of the drama unfolding and they also felt the spooky lighting was really good which was done by the very professional John Treays [Studio Lighting] and they felt very lucky to have a very experienced person on-board. Gary Russell asks Verity Lambert what she remembers of the idea of setting up of Doctor Who and “THE DALEKS” episodes and especially Terry Nation coming on-board with the plot of the series and Verity Lambert says we nearly did not get to make Doctor Who, but when Terry Nation sent her the first draft of the script, that is when they thought what Terry Nation had written was really terrific and especially great praise by David Whitaker [Television Writer and Novelist 1928 – 1980], but then the script was sent to Donald Wilson [Scottish Television Writer and Producer 1910 – 2002] and his work included co-creating the science fiction series Doctor Who in 1963 and who thought the Terry Nation script was really terrible and did not want to make the Doctor Who series, but Verity Lambert informed Donald Wilson that it was the only script they had available at that moment in time, and over a period of time it finally got the go head and of course the Daleks were about to become totally historic and the Daleks would not of happened if another script had been produced and Donald Wilson had to apologies for his very negative response to the Terry Nation script. Verity Lambert says she use to liaison with Terry Nation a great deal and felt he was a very good thriller writer and was very pleased how the Daleks became so famous and Terry Nation also became very rich on the back of the Daleks. Gary Russell asks if the shooting of “THE DALEKS” episodes was difficult, and Christopher Barry talks about the initial problem in knowing which Dalek was speaking and of course that was solved when they installed on the top of the Daleks two flashing lights, they also felt the sets were really brilliant and they had a serious problem when shooting had finished each time, because several of the crew had to physical remove the TARDIS into storage and of course when shooting resumed had to bring back the TARDIS back into the studio and found this situation very tedious and very exhausting. Gary Russell asks Christopher Barry of the setting up of the Daleks voices and they had to make you think the Daleks were not of human origin and Terry nation described in his script what the Dalek robots was to look like and it is like what we see in “THE DALEKS” episodes, and over time they finally felt that when they started to do the recordings of the episodes they felt they had got the Daleks performances just right. Gary Russell asks Verity Lambert was you surprised with the Daleks massive success and Verity Lambert says that she was totally astonished by the fantastic massive success and also felt it was a very good thriller serial and had no idea it would take of like it did, and when they had rehearsals with the Daleks, everyone wanted to get inside a Dalek and felt there was something quite attractive and very appealing that way, and because of the success, they had to bring back the Daleks for future Doctor Who episodes and felt they were well worth bringing back, because they had other Doctor Who serials in the pipeline and had some really interesting future storylines that would include the Daleks in future Doctor Who episodes, and of course they asked Terry nation again to produce more scripts. Gary Russell asks Christopher Barry what he did before Doctor Who and says became a trainee at Ealing Studios and worked on the film ‘The Ship That Died of Shame’ [1955] as an assistant director to Basil Dearden, and then Christopher Barry subsequently joined the BBC as a production assistant in 1955, but before that Christopher Barry also worked on other television episodes like “Compact” [1962], “Poldark” [1975], “The Onedin Line” [1977], “All Creatures Great and Small” [1978 – 1980] and “The Tripods” [1984]. But in 1963 Barry was asked by producer Verity Lambert to be one of the initial directors of the BBC's new science fiction television series Doctor Who. Christopher Barry's work on Doctor Who went on to cover the longest span of any director during the original run of the series, overseeing episodes until 1979. Christopher Barry also says that when he became a full blown director working on Doctor Who felt it was a very exciting project, but had no idea how long Doctor Who would run for and was something totally unique and quite different that he had never done before, and approached Doctor Who with great enthusiasm, but at the same time found the series technically difficult and very challenging, but despite this, Christopher Barry thoroughly enjoyed doing Doctor Who. One other person they give great praise to was Associated Producer Mervyn Pinfield who they felt was absolutely fantastic and a very technical wizard and was always very enthusiastic and was involved with the opening Doctor Who titles and was also very helpful and would easily come up with some kind of solution. Verity Lambert and Christopher Barry was asked about Production Designer Raymond Cusick and also about Director Ridley Scott and some of his pre-filming, but Verity Lambert said that she did not get to work with Ridley Scott, whereas Verity Lambert thought Raymond Cusick was totally brilliant coming up with different sketches for the Daleks and was really great to work with, and Verity Lambert also says they were totally terrific. Garry Russell says to Christopher Barry, do you remember when recording one of the episodes of “THE DALEKS” when the news came through that President Kennedy had been assassinated and of course they were all totally shocked and of course they still had to get on with recording of the particular “THE DALEKS” episode, and the next day they ideally wanted to broadcast that particular episode, but instead they broadcast that particular “THE DALEKS” episode the following Saturday. They now talk about first scene with the actor playing the Thal in the Petrified Forest while watch Susan heading for the TARDIS and Gary Russell thought the flashing lightning effects in the Petrified Forest was really good. They also comment that the sound engineers were really excited to be working on Doctor Who and felt it was very experimental and innovative, on top of all that, some of the other directors were very keen to come and direct some new episodes for Doctor Who and they talk about the cliff hanger at the end of each Doctor Who episode and Verity Lambert says that you have to have a cliff hanger to make people be very keen to watch the next episode of Doctor Who on a Saturday evening and Verity Lambert also says that is what Canadian film producer Sydney Newman insisted on. At that point sadly, the brilliant and very informative audio commentary come to an end.                            

Finally, ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ [1963 / 1964] in summing up, for all the changes made in this new edit, it’s still possible to marvel at what they achieved. That sense of danger, that the travellers are in the most desperate peril, was never quite the same after those early stories. The mystery of just who the Doctor is, and the wholly justified feeling that he can’t be trusted. And of course the Daleks with their menacing, calculating and malevolent and were about to secure the TV programme’s future. ‘DOCTOR WHO: “THE DALEKS” IN COLOUR’ is a totally definite highlight of  this very extra special Blu-ray release of the Doctor Who and its history, and enables us to enjoy this landmark story all over again. Overall, I cannot recommend this Blu-ray release very much and I am of course very excited to see what the future of holds for hopefully more colourised Doctor Who black and white BBC television series, and for this first attempt, this is a really excellent and amazing start. Very Highly Recommended!    

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso
United Kingdom

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