Original was written on 29th November 2015.
Last month I took delivery of a full size NSD Dalek after waiting after they made it at their workshop. The director, Ian Clarke, was very helpful on the telephone and gave me the options. I stuck by my intention of getting a slightly dirtied looking bronze version with voice and lights. When the delivery day came I was extremely excited by the prospect but after going to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, earlier in the year and witnessed the size of the base I was slightly concerned whether it would fit through our internal doors. I asked Ian and he said someone called Toby would be delivering it and would install it. I knew who Toby was from watching the new version of ‘Day of the Daleks’. That is a Jon Pertwee story from 1972 that reintroduced the Daleks after a long time off the screen. It also was a tremendous story regarding time travelling loops also known as the bootstrap paradox recently perfectly updated with an excellent story called ‘Before the Flood’ with Peter Capaldi. When the ‘Day of the Daleks’ was brought out as a special edition in 2011 it included new footage and CGI effects. Nicholas Briggs performed updated Dalek voices (as the originals did not sound right) and this is where Toby comes into it. Toby Chamberlain made and performed the Dalek in the newly filmed sections. His eye for detail even helping with the Ogrons by using a costume that Toby created himself.
My reason for buying a Dalek that is officially licensed stems for the fact it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that the accuracy and detail is right. There are quite a few fans that make their own and I have seen to good ones. I am especially impressed with those that are built for charity where people sit inside. The only aspect that I am not interested in is using it. It is there as a work of art. This is both in atheistic quality and within literature as one of the UK’s most long running science fiction villains. You will see from one of my previous blogs that Dalekmania swept the nation in the 1960’s. This is something that was unheard of with television before and, to such an extent, since. It is only cinema that can provoke so much attention now. This usually comes from films such as Star Wars of the Harry Potter franchise to name only two. One must remember these came after Doctor Who since the program is the longest of its type in the world.
When Toby turned up with his partner Wendy I left him to it. They are both a lovely couple. Toby was an oracle for all things prop orientated. He has had so much experience in the field that one is excited to hear the stories. Well, there was an unforeseen issue. My internal door was too small for the skirt section (by at least 4 inches or so). I had measured it but I was going off the old style daleks. Thankfully this is where This Planet Earth and Toby really show what they are like as a company and as representatives for BBC licensing. Toby agreed on the phone with Ian, the director, that he would create a bespoke skirt section which will be built in 2 sections. I was incredibly impressed at the help and liaising with me that was done. Nothing was too much trouble. Considering that they came all the way from Slough and would have to come back, well what more can I say. Meanwhile Toby left the top section with me to mess about with and generally enjoying looking and working next to. Seemingly Toby also said that they would have to spray a whole new dalek as the colour’s have to match. It would take around a month for him to return due to the Doctor Who festival. I don’t mind as I am just pleased that the work is so good, high quality and made by artisans of their field. I can’t wait for the new delivery now. Peter Capaldi’s second season is keeping the spark going. Steven Moffett is making a fine job of coming up with great stories that one gets lost in. Peter reminds me of my Doctor, Tom Baker, in so many ways. I have just watched episode 11 ‘Heaven Sent’ and it is one of the all time classics in my book, on a par with Genesis of the Daleks for me.
So, in conclusion, This Planet Earth and Toby Chamberlain made my year. Next year will be a concentration on beekeeping for me but always knowing I have a piece of Sci Fi culture close at hand is as good as it gets.
Here is a link to This Planet Earth where you will find full-scale Doctor Who replica props. I highly recommend them to any fan.