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.

Davros

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

March 19, 2009

A lemon tree

Filed under: friends,writing — Peter A @ 7:56 pm

Watson: I say, Holmes, what’s that plant over there with all the yellow fruit?

Holmes: A lemon tree, my dear Watson.

Congratulations to Andy Lane, who has been commissioned by Macmillan Children’s Books to write a three-book series of teen Sherlock Holmes novels.  They will take Holmes from a 14-year-old schoolboy to a university student, and reveal how he develops his famous deductive skills.

World rights for the titles were obtained by Macmillan from Robert Kirby of United Agents, who was representing both the author and the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle separately.

The first case will be one that Conan Doyle referred to but never related: The Colossal Schemes of Baron Maupertuis, in which Holmes uncovers a series of murders during his stay with eccentric relatives in Surrey after his soldier father is unexpectedly posted to India. The first novel will appear in Spring 2010.

Andy promises “a doomed love affair for later in the series” to explain Holmes’s adult difficulties with women, and will show how Sherlock picks up his skills as a violinist, boxer, and fencer. “I wanted this to be as authentic as possible, trying to imagine the boy who might become the famous man,” said Andy. “It’s a great privilege to be authorised by the Estate to re-imagine Sherlock Holmes.”

There’ll be further information at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next week.

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