One of the new daleks for the Evil play is, well, new. It was the original intention to refurbish the existing stock although examination of one of the original Devious props (the second one, used initially at Sullington for the scene in which Bradley the Doctor and Phillip first meet the daleks) meant it needed a lot of work.
This prop has definitely suffered over the years in storage and generally being bashed about a bit. It was last used in the May 2004 filming marathon along with 8 other daleks. It's middle was partly clad with aluminium sheeting and its slats were steel rather than the usual plastic. Despite these differences it was painted the same and generally fitted in well. However the inside was a little cramped and the base was falling apart. This base was one of the split bases designed so that the whole dalek could be packed into an estate car.
Now however this dalek wasn't going to be one that was going to the play. So what would happen to it? A shame to leave it to get into a worse condition...
- and so Ashley decided that a wee bit of restoration was in order. If it made the grade then it was going to the play - if not, well there's always another from the set. This was his own extra challenge to get the one in the worst condition up to scratch.
So, salvaged from this old dalek was going to be the dome, neck rings (2 of the 3), parts from the middle and the 56 hemispheres (now to be detatchable). New parts were going to be the base, wheelset and middle section.
So, here's the new base section (along with another being prepared for another of the set)...
And here's the inside, showing the amount of room the operator now has...
The picture above shows the inside of the base - without the intended knee protectors which allow the operator to turn effectively. The seat is also from the original dalek although it has a new integral wheelset and can be detached accordingly for transport - thus the dalek will now break apart into SIX sections! Blimey. Actually this base wheelset has had some extra strengthening added to allow for the famous scene in Evil of the Daleks where The Doctor hitches a ride on the back (or front) of the "humanised" daleks during the storyline. This isn't the only dalek to receive this strengthening of the base. It was felt this was needed as these daleks are stage props rather than ones built "for show" ie they need to be functional.
The new middle section has actually been salvaged from the back of the back garden! Originally one of 3 extra middle castings made for the Control Room set it used to house a "dalek brain" which sat above it all red and nasty! To keep the local wildlife wary it has been left at the top of the garden behind the shed. The rest of it had it's slats and mesh removed ready for sanding smooth again ready for a new paint job.
Here it is having been undercoated (is that a word?) hanging from the ceiling where it had been painted to prevent fingerprints etc (this is not in the house itself!!!). Also are the two new bases being painted...
And next we have the top coat of paint (with a further coat possible)...
Of course at this stage we're not showing you the colours so here is the dalek with an old spare�black dome but shown in black and white. Also we will be a little sketchy about the actual number of daleks being provided!
Sorry for that but it's best to keep a few things secret until the play...! However the keen eyed dalek experts among you will already be working out the final designs perhaps based on what you see here - the middle section rings for example suggest a particular arrangement But you'll never be sure as we're not going to show what happens next in that area of the design, and so the detective work will have to get sharper as we will be more discreet in what we show here on these pages! Somehow we want to keep the interest in the build and to keep showing new images without giving too much away - a difficult task but we'll give it a go.
After all - we have started not with a blank canvas but with a set of Devious daleks although Ashley in conversation with the "Evil" team of Nick and Rob has said he is happy to make ANY changes...
The dalek shown above still has the old neck rings and of course needs the balls and dressing to add - the dome of course is also not the final one - for a start the lights will be different and the eyestick isn't the real one.
So the daleks progress as construction techniques move with the times!
More Devious daleks are being delivered to Ashley's over the coming weeks to enable further refurbishment to continue.
And the old bits left over....?
Well we're not sure yet - Ashley has an affection for the old split base design and so may retain the elements as flats in storage once the balls have been stripped off. As for the middle the lower shoulder needs replacing but theoretically could still be used in something - after all this is a vintage "Comic Relief" dalek seen by 9 million viewers!!!