The Red Lines Page

September 30, 2010

Dalek design

Filed under: Articles,friends,Uncategorized — Peter A @ 10:05 pm

Today’s Daily Telegraph runs a story “DIY Dalek blueprints from 1970s published online”. They refer to correspondence republished by Shaun Usher that the BBC sent out to people asking for construction details.

What the article doesn’t reveal is that the “blueprints” were reproduced from their original source using a revolutionary technique known as “photocopying”. The construction instructions came from a Radio Times Special published in 1973 to commemorate that year’s tenth anniversary of Doctor Who. The production office simply made a copy of those and posted them out to people who asked.

Interesting to see that something published 37 years ago is a story worth repeating today. As my pal Jonny Morris (no, not that one, the other one) tweeted, “The ‘Dr Who newsworthiness’ threshold is set pretty low nowadays, isn’t it?”

The original blueprints

But no need to rely on the Telegraph’s heavily abridged instructions. Here are scans of the original article from my own copy of that 1973 Radio Times Special.

My own design

I’m a bit of a Dalek designer myself, as these splendid examples clearly demonstrate. Well, if I’m honest, I had a bit of help from my son.

However, any serious Dalek designer should not miss the opportunity to look at Project Dalek, which describes itself as “an online information resource aimed at anyone interested in building a Dalek”. It contains showcases, plans, and references that would make Davros weep.


And speaking of Davros, has anyone else noticed the worrying similarity between Johnny Morris (no, not that one, the other one) and Davros?


  1. I’ve got a biscuit cutter just like that.

    Comment by neil f — October 1, 2010 @ 10:36 am | Reply

    • Yes, they’re designed so that you can use them with one hand.

      Comment by Peter A — October 1, 2010 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  2. […] Dalek design September 20102 comments 4

    Pingback by WordPress 2010 assessment « The Red Lines Page — January 2, 2011 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

  3. […] no not Daleks again“, also on Facebook, testify. Back in the 1970s, the BBC published plans for how to build a Dalek in the Radio Times Tenth Anniversary Special, an article illustrated by Dan Dare co-creator Frank Hampson. While editor of Doctor Who Magazine I […]

    Pingback by WebFind: Recreation of a Shawcraft Dalek – — April 22, 2020 @ 9:11 am | Reply

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