Published on April 22nd, 2005 | by Christian Cawley
Doctor Who Press Pack Phase 5
Possibly the one we’ve all been waiting for…
Press Pack 5 is available on the BBC Press Office pages, and covers interviews with Dalek voice Nicholas Briggs, scriptwriter Robert Shearman and guest Bruno Langley.
Robert Shearman discusses his shock at being asked and the development of the Dalek as a character:
“To be honest, I was staggered, I assumed Russell T. Davies would want to handle such a key episode, but he gave it to me and I was absolutely thrilled to get it.”
He also recalls how his wife inspired him to develop the long-time foes of the Doctor: “…My wife…wasn’t impressed because, as she remembered them, they weren’t anything to be that afraid of, and in a way she’s right. So the way I approached it was to focus more on the creature inside the machine, to make it a proper character who elicits our sympathy at first but then displays all its evil and cunning.”
The Dalek itself seems to be in a bit of a sorry state, trapped in an underground bunker beneath the Salt Plains of Utah.
“What Russell has done so well is humanise the series and make it more emotional. So to have the Dalek as the Doctor’s biggest foe, it needed at least some of the depth of character that the Doctor now has in Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal. When we first encounter the Dalek, it is in a wretched state – isolated, imprisoned, tortured – but it still unnerves the Doctor…People seem to have high expectations. I hope, in the nicest possible way, they manage to traumatise a whole new generation of viewers!”
The interview with Bruno Langley meanwhile is reveals a couple of important plot developments…
Adam, who gets to travel in the TARDIS in episode seven, takes a shine to The Doctor’s time-travelling companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper).
“Obviously she’s a very pretty girl and Adam hasn’t seen any girls for a long time,” says Bruno. “He’s a bit nerdy and takes pride in showing Rose all the artefacts that he has been working on.”
Furthermore, Langleys character Adam is on hand to witness the Dalek take to the air…
Historically, the feared Daleks have never managed to get up stairs but there is a shock in store for viewers this time round as they’ve made some modifications.
And it is Bruno’s character Adam who sees the results for the first time. Says Bruno: “Adam says: ‘Big alien death machine defeated by a flight of steps’ then the Dalek says: ‘Elevate’ and starts to fly…”
Big Finish stalwart Nicholas Briggs is the voice of the Dalek, and he too is keen to underline the Dalek as an individual…
“The Dalek in this story in very much a character. That might sound ludicrous as people tend to think of Daleks as machines that go round shouting orders, but there is a living creature inside the machine and he strikes up a real relationship with the Doctor and Rose.”
He also reveals that the scenes with the Dalek were recorded in real time, with his voice emanating from the Dalek rather than being added later.
The famous harsh, metallic sound of the most evil creatures in the Doctor Who universe is created, as it was in previous series, by speaking through a device called a ring modulator, invented by Bob Moog of synthesiser fame.
The original Press Pack can be viewed here