Sci-Fi Storm

Former BBC designer Ray Cusick, designer of the Daleks, 1928-2013

by on Feb.24, 2013, under Obituaries, Television

Ray Cusick, the former BBC production designer who was credited with designing the penultimate Doctor Who villains, the Daleks, passed away at the age of 84 after a short illness, according to his daughter.

The infamous “pepper pot” design he came up with did in fact come from a pepper pot – in a 2008 Confidential special he explained that while talking with special effects expert Bill Roberts over lunch, who would build the design, he demonstrated how the Daleks would move by gliding – by picking up the pepper shaker from the table and moving it. But then the design had practical aspects too, since there would be an operator inside, “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.”


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