Thursday, 17 May 2007

Genesis of the Blog

"Ah, welcome..."
"What's going on? Don't you realise how dangerous it is to intercept web browsing?"
"Oh come now, not with our techniques."
"I will not tolerate this continued interruption. What ever it is I won't do it, I refuse."
"Daleks... tell me more."

Well, maybe that's not quite how it happened, but what am I doing here you ask me?

As you can see from my details to the right, I am a die-hard Doctor Who fan and have been for many years. Back in 2005 I was introduced to someone who builds Daleks in his spare time and uses them at various events. Stuart, for 'tis his name, is a member of the Dalek Builders' Guild, who all help each other with their builds.

2005 was also the mega-successful return of Doctor Who to out TV screens after way too long. As part of the merchandising of the franchise (my God, it's a franchise now!) an exhibition of props mostly from the new series was created on Brighton Pier. As part of the launch publicity, Stuart was invited along with one of his Daleks - in fact it was his main Dalek called Dylan (see the master head above).

I was invited by a friend of mine who knows Stuart along to the event and we hit it off. I even, after everything had finished, got inside Dylan and had a play. Despite being cramped I must admit that I did enjoy it, for all of the two minutes that I was in there.

Me with Phil CollinsonMe (left) with the producer of Doctor Who, Phil Collinson (right) and Dylan (in the middle) at the publicity launch of the Brighton exhibition - May 12, 2005.

Click on the image for a larger version in a new window.

Later that year, I was responsible for helping to organise a stand at a recruitment fair. Can you see where this is going? Using the theme of 'Out of this world jobs', I managed to get Stuart to come along with Dylan. People could then come to our stall, have a photo taken with a Dalek, which was then printed onto a template with all the recruitment details. Needless to say, ours was a very popular stall. Even more so as Stuart also did some turns inside Dylan, trundling around and insulting people!

So the story continues. In early 2006, Stuart let me know that there would be a production of "Evil of the Daleks" at a local theatre. It was being organised by a gentleman by the name of Nick, who had been responsible for previously staging "The Web of Fear" and "Fury from the Deep", both of which had been very successful. Stuart wanted to know if I'd be interested in going, which was in hindsight a silly question!

In October 2006, Stuart was helping with promoting the play at the local shopping centre by appearing as Dylan, so I went down to support him. It was there that I met Nick, who I remembered had done a couple of the Big Finish Doctor Who audios. We got chatting, I wished him all the best for the show and said that I'd be there on the last night.

The end of October rolls round and I head off the to theatre and thoroughly enjoy seeing a 'lost' story that I've only ever seen the surviving episode and listened to the BBC CD of. As I was with Stuart, I came along to the after show party and talked to several of the cast and crew, including Nick - who had played the Doctor. Being a sad fan boy I think I gushed just a little too much, but he was very kind and thanked me for my praise.

As a result of the success of the Daleks in the shopping centre they were asked back for the Christmas lights switch on - not to do them, but to be about as a draw. I'd asked Stuart if I could have a go as Dylan and he agreed. Stuart did the first hour and then I took over. Nervous doesn't come into it, but I soon got into character by being rude hidden away inside the casing. I had a fantastic time and it was all over too soon. The bizarre thing about this was the date... November 23 - the birthday of Doctor Who! Stuart told me that Nick was planning something, which was an adaptation of "The Dalek Masterplan" for October 2007 and seeing as how I'd been a good Dalek maybe I should contact him.

Me as Dylan in the shopping centre - November 23, 2006.

Click on the image for a larger version in a new window.

I dropped Nick a note and basically gave him my CV of being a Dalek (well, one appearance!) and how much I'd love to be in the play. Shortly afterwards nick got in contact with me and offered me the part of Dalek Two in the play.

That's it - I'm now an official Dalek in Doctor Who!

So dear reader, you are still asking what is this blog all about? It's going to be my way of letting you know how the show is going, my thoughts on it, behind the scenes info, trailers and, most importantly, what it's like to be a Dalek.

That's my Dalek life.