As I’ve grumbled about before, my main problem with the New Paradigm Daleks isn’t how they were designed but how they were eventually built.
The designer of the New Daleks, Peter McKinistry, produced concept sketches that were certainly a departure from the “classic” Dalek design, but nevertheless at least looked like Daleks -
While I don’t actually think McKinstry’s concept design is an improvement on the earlier models, I also really don’t have any real problem with it. I’d have actually quite liked to see these on screen, at least for a few shows, and the sketches are about a thousand times better than the monstrosities that actually got built. But one of the things that puzzled many fans about the new design has been the inclusion of a “back panel” in the new Daleks’ casings. What on Earth Skaro is it there for?
Some of the concept artwork not published by the BBC but reproduced recently in “Doctor Who Magazine” sheds a little light on the subject… McKinstry was allowing for the possibility of the hatch opening up to produce various new additional weapons, arms and equipment. Here’s his concept sketches (note the movie-style claw arm rather than standard sucker) :
It seems however than the BBC couldn’t run to the budget for this – which is a shame not only because is missed an opportunity to show the Daleks doing something new and interesting, but also because it makes the whole rear-hatch idea pointless. With the Daleks as-built the hatch really looks like a total eye-sore – but it seems it is currently an eye-sore without a function.
Peter McKinstry comments :
“…The idea for the back section came from being asked to give the Dalek something new and completely their own, to set them apart.
…So the idea was to give them something that would provide new surprising Dalek weapons or apparatus for the future. there were a few suggestions like this, inverting the bumps was one, or making the bumps transparent and having them lit from inside to show peeks of the Dalek inner workings and blob guts, but they went with the back idea, so I hope they use it in a future script otherwise its a pointless addition….”
So far we haven’t seen any sign of the hatch opening… unless it does it really is going to be pointless…