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Why Masterplan? - Nick Scovell speaks...

Wednesday 14th February 2007

Hallo reader. I shall be dropping the odd little article onto the Devious site from time to time to keep anyone who has an interest informed of developments for The Dalek Masterplan. Ashley already covers this side of things very thoroughly, as I am sure you are aware, but we hope my contributions may add a little extra to your loyal enquiries.

Yes, that does seem the pressing question. After having successfully transferred a seven part serial to the stage, why go mad and try to do a twelve-parter when the natural successor to The Evil of the Daleks was staring us in the face; namely The Power of the Daleks. Well, Power is a very similar style to Evil. Both being scripts by David Whitaker and both dealing with similar themes, Masterplan gave us a nice opportunity to contrast. Also, it would seem to be the more surprising of the choices so, naturally, I wanted to challenge myself as well as our team and our audiences. Also, it gave us more scope in thinking about what people will really be coming to see, and what you will more than likely be dropping in here to read about, the Daleks!

I love Daleks. My obsession with them can only be on a par with Ashley and Mr Briggs himself! I have lots of them (17 in total ? although none as big as Ashley?s!) and they tend to enter my mind during the course of a normal day at least a dozen times.

With Evil, we used five Devious Daleks, plus the spectacular newly built Emperor. I wanted a distinctive look for them in our productions(s) and Ashley and I had many enjoyable conversations about colour schemes for them. We settled, eventually, on the silver and green seen in the final show. Daleks had never been green before, as I am sure you know, and, combined with the hints on the design of the new series Daleks, it gave us a nice ?uniqueness? to the Evil force. We used two main ones and brought three others on at various points for impact. It showed that five, or possibly six, would be the maximum number that could be practically used on the stage of the New Theatre Royal. Valuable lessons learned from us, as well as our gallant Dalek operators ? Liam Bailey, Lorna Bailey, Andrew J Haslam, Helen Stoddart and Phil Cottril. Plus, of course, dear young Jon, who spent the whole of the second half inside the Emperor waiting to spin its head round and waggles its eye-stalk in the last five minutes of the show before taking cover as the prop exploded! I salute them all. It?s not an easy job, but such a vital one. We really managed to get them gliding around and make them look alive, a look I really wanted to achieve whereas for television they necessarily tend to be rather static and in close-up. Let ?em glide, I say!

So, our attentions are now firmly set towards Masterplan. It looks like the number of ?constant? Daleks will increase from two to three, plus we have an extra Dalek maker to join Ashley in the shape of Stuart Currie who will be making our glitteringly sinister Dalek Supreme. Naturally, colour scheme conversations have started to crop up already, as well as a few other ideas to make the Daleks in this next show even more memorable and doing a few unique things.

All this information is still to come. Keep checking the site. I hope I have whetted your appetites sufficiently for now?