Cynicism of the Daleks?

The new look Daleks were unveiled with a collective “oh” earlier this month, as Doctor Who fans were brought face to face with a new style of travel machine that wouldn’t look out of place in TV21 comic.

New Daleks in Doctor Who - too spongy?Some have even suggested that the redesign is wholly financially motivated. According to Private Eye:

…in return for investment in this year’s series, Worldwide suggested that a new Dalek would come in very useful – and in return it is getting nothing less than a full set of entirely redesigned models in dayglo colours. The red, blue, yellow, orange and white Daleks – collect ’em all because your kids are going to nag you to death to do so! – will be unveiled in this Saturday’s episode and will appear in shops soon afterwards.

At a recent screening, the unveiling of the chunkier, clunkier and frankly less frightening nu-Daleks was watched in silence – until, at the end, one audience member put his hand up and asked: “Are they actually finished, or are you going to replace them with some better CGI?”

Meanwhile, the BBC has found itself again responding to concerned Doctor Who fans this month (that’s three times if anyone’s counting), this time in relation to the Daleks redesign, seen in Mark Gatiss’ Victory of the Daleks.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘The scripts always come first and the coloured Daleks were in the script. This is not new, we have had different colour Daleks on the show before.

‘The script specified the colour of the Daleks.’

As you may or may not know, Doctor Who is a huge money-spinner for the BBC. The Private Eye article suggests that the new Daleks have been introduced because kids across Britain already have a black Dalek or a red and gold Supreme Dalek – but they shouldn’t forget that a new generation of kids are now starting to watch the show.

However, money seems to be the focus of the article, with several references to BBC cost cutting. According to a “show insider” fans should:

“Look out for some amazing found-at-the-back of the cupboard monster cameos towards the end of the season.”

We assume this means some reused costumes – hardly anything new in Doctor Who and certainly not since 2005. However it is worth noting that the Eye article also refers to a some disappointment in the Doctor Who upper echelons that the series (like other BBC dramas) was subjected to a budget cut while BBC Marketing were given £1 million to create the 3D cinema trailer…

(With thanks to Ian)

Update

Speaking of Daleks, it seems that the Green Party have attempted to put the iconic aliens to “cynical misuse,” apparently using red, blue and yellow Daleks in a recent election campaign video, which has since been withdrawn following objections from the BBC.



Christian Cawley

About

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


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