Archive for the ‘Experimental Daleks’ Tag

The “Stolen Earth/Journey’s End” Supreme Dalek   Leave a comment

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at how the Supreme Dalek might have looked in this story…

Peter McKinstry, the current designer who has been working on Doctor Who for several years now, initially produced several sketches of how the Supreme Dalek might look. We ended up with the now familiar Red Supreme Dalek (which will probably never appear on-screen again) :

However, some of McKinstry’s initial sketches looked very different. These are the alternative Supreme Daleks –  those that so nearly might have been…

# 1 The Bunny Supreme or perhaps The Horned Dalek?

#2 The “Go-Faster” Supreme…?

#3 The “Umbrella” or perhaps “Chinese Hat” Supreme…?

#4 The “Pin Head” Supreme?

#5 The Goldfish Bowl Supreme?

(Possibly a slight influence from the TV21 Emperor here?)

#6 Darth Dalek? Dalek Vader? Samurai Dalek?

Despite my inability to resist giving the above designs silly names,  I do rather like some of them, perhaps not as the Supreme Dalek itself but at least as worthy enough Dalek variants working on some mysterious project or other – and indeed Mechmaster has included some Daleks inspired by some of McKinstry’s didn’t-quite-make-it designs in his excellent “Dalek Second Empire” comic-strip (see the links menu).

Here is Peter McKinstry’s original concept sketch which can be seen (along with tons of his other fascinating designs) on his really quite visually stunning website here

But the story doesn’t quite end here…

Another design by Peter McKinstry was given a fuller treatment as concept art, and in this one we can see elements that found their way into the final version of the Red Supreme Dalek, some foreshadowings of the “New Paradigm” Dalek design, as well as perhaps some inspiration from the “Special Weapons Dalek” – and some features that have never (yet) appeared on-screen…

The two side-views above show this Red Supreme Dalek with a gun and with a sucker arm. The front view below shows that this design featured only one appendage at a time…

McKintry’s idea would appear to have been to have had retractable arms/weapons that could appear and disappear inside the casing as required :

Here is his original concept artwork – again from his own site here

Personally I think the above design, if for example the domes had been done in gold and so on, looks as good as the finished version which did make it to TV.

The final version of the design drawn by Peter McKinstry was produced very faithfully for the screen :

I do still think that as good as the blood-red colouring looks, the design would have been even better in the more traditional “Supreme Dalek” colours of Black and Gold – but it certainly made a strong contrast to the standard gold Daleks it commanded.

Perhaps the biggest shame is that the design got very limited screen time and even then the Supreme Dalek didn’t really do much. With the destruction of this Supreme Dalek  (and the rest of the Dalek fleet) in the “Stolen Earth/Journey’s End” story, followed by the seeming end of the “Time War” design of Daleks and the coming of the infinitely inferior New Paradigm Daleks with their White Supreme Dalek, this design will probably never be seen on-screen again. Shame really.

Here’s Peter McKinstry’s original artwork (again from his website)

I have mentioned a couple of times that I’d have rather seen the Supreme Dalek in Black and Gold rather than Red and Gold. To end with, here’s a very rough idea of how that might have looked, using Peter McKinstry’s design with a different colourscheme…

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Dalek Redesign – alternatives…   2 comments

One of the things that irritates me about the “New Dalek” design is that almost anyone familiar with the Daleks could have done a better job… and I really do mean that…

It is a moot point as to whether a redesign was needed, but accepting that the production staff thought it was a good idea, is the design that we got really the best they could come up with?

Personally, I’m not a professional designer, just a Dalek fan with a PC, but I thought “I could do better than that” – so I tried it.

Here’s what I came up with. First I started by taking a drawing of a “traditional” Dalek….

….then I started playing around in an art package that’s now ten years out of date… This took me about an hour or so, in between emails.

Mr Pepperpot's Dalek Design
Mr Pepperpot’s Dalek Design

Now, I’m not saying that my design is any better than the original, I know it has a few flaws, and I won’t be offended if you don’t like it –  but all modesty aside I do think it is rather better than this…

It is perfectly possible to play around with the dimensions of a Dalek and still have it look like a Dalek. For example, here’s a variation on my design to make it wider; it still basically “works” because regardless of the precise dimension it retains an overall Dalek shape :

On the other hand, if you simply don’t give a hoot whether or not the overall shape resembles a Dalek you can forget about relative dimensions, deform the geometry and produce something like this :

Which is pretty close to what we’ve currently got…

By all reasonable criteria a totally untrained bloke sitting in front of a PC, drinking a cup of tea and doodling on screen shouldn’t be able to design a Dalek that looks even a tiny fraction as good as anything the BBC can come up with. So it is really rather sad that in my not-so-humble opinion it is quite so easy to produce something better than the “New Daleks”…