Coming from a place of logic and elegant economy; his story is the story of Doctor Who – of talented self-depreciating in house producers asked to craft far away worlds of limitless potential with the most meagre and humble of resources; week in, week out.
It’s a story that needs to be told.
And now, on the eve of his passing fans and media outlets have gathered to offer their condolences and thank one of the key figures in Doctor Who’s history – it’s just a shame that as the whole nation will be looking back and celebrating, he won’t be able to tell his humble tale once again.
John Freeman, former editor of Doctor Who Magazine, used his excellent Downthetubes.net – which also hosted a tribute by comic artist Nick Abadzis – to offer his thoughts on the plight of the creative working within the BBC during those early days:
This cursory acknowledgment of his work by his employers at the time is one I am sure many comic creators down the years can identify with.
Godspeed, sir. You will be remembered.
The Guardian has a lengthy, lovely tribute from Moths Ate my Doctor Who Scarf scribe Toby Hadoke. The admiration and love of early day minutia is typified in this passage concerning Cusick’s place in the legacy of the Daleks after those initial appearances:
Brendon Connelly of Bleeding Cool rightly singles out Cusick’s iconic design as one of the reasons why we are still talking about the show today:
The site also has embedded videos of his appearance on Doctor Who Confidential where he offered his recollections of designing the Daleks with then production designer Edward Thomas and designer Peter Mckinstry.
Needless to say, they’re well worth watching if only to watch him jokingly shake his head when Thomas can’t name one of the components on the RTD era Daleks.
BBC News has quotes from the man himself discussing his practical approach to creating a pop icon:
I then thought ‘Well, the operator’s got to sit down’, [so I] drew a seat, ergonomic height, 18in, got the operator down, and then drew round him. That’s how the basic shape appeared.
The obituary also contains an embedded interview with the original voice of the Dalek’s David Graham from Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan show where he praises ‘one of the most iconic designs of television sci-fi’:
Raymond Cusick passed away on Thursday 21st February of heart failure aged 84. He leaves behind two daughters and seven grandchildren.