I’ll just leave this here, shall I?
That centrepiece is a pepper mill, and no, it wasn’t bigger on the inisde. And yes, it’s all gone now. Sorry.
I’m an easy person to buy presents for, because if you stick a Doctor Who logo on it, I’ll lap it up. This year, my parents got me a sweatshirt emblazoned with ‘CLASS OF GALLIFREY 1963’ or something similar. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law gave me a lenticular jigsaw puzzle, and a set of Dalek fridge magnets. And here they are.
The lighting isn’t brilliant (despite my best efforts) but there’s Davros, second along, and that’s the weird one from ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ on the top row, sandwiched between the Pertwee Dalek and the Ironside model from ‘Victory of the Daleks’. Bottom row there are a couple of sixties classics, a 2005 contemporary design, the stupid New Paradigm one and – holy smoke, it’s a Dalek with legs.
Those of you who know your Fourth Doctor will recognise this from ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. The dynamite attached to the exterior is a dead giveaway; it comes from a sequence in which the Daleks wander round a quarry and then explode. It is not a great story, renowned perhaps more for the debut of the second Romana (and that notorious regeneration scene) than it was for anything of any substance. Terry Nation was quite the one for bombs and twisted ankles but he didn’t like to see his creations mocked, and I never did find out what he made of the scene in which the Doctor climbs up into an air vent, before taunting the disgruntled Dalek that’s pursuing him with the words “If you’re supposed to be the superior race in the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us?”.
Small wonder that Douglas Adams (who, as I understand it, did the lion’s share of the rewriting) gets screen credit. ‘Destiny’ is the first story of Adams’ reign as script editor, in a series that also includes ‘City of Death’ and ‘The Horns of Nimon’, about which I blogged extensively a while back. Still. Legs? On a Dalek? What’s going on?
Well.Gareth searched, and found this.
It looks like the sort of silliness you’d get in a Spike Milligan or Victoria Wood sketch, but it’s definitely a production still. “On rough terrain,” explains a person in a Doctor Who Facebook group I frequent, “this was the only way the people inside could maneuver them, the camera angles tried to hide it.” It’s certainly true: if you watch the story, the moving Daleks are typically shot from one of the quarry’s lower levels, hiding the fact that they’re actually waddling along the sand. Location work is all very evocative, but it’s a pain in the arse if you have wheeled vehicles, which explains why K-9 was always down for maintenance.
That’s all very well, but it doesn’t really explain why it’s featured on a fridge magnet. Was it an in-joke? Someone who put it in because of a secret love for ‘Destiny’, something that’d get the fans talking and people like me blogging? That would be nice, but the truth turns out to be as ridiculous as a simple production error. The owners of The Who Shop (Barking Road, Upton Park), whose integrity is apparently beyond reproach, have this to say: “We pointed it out to the production company when these were released, that it was from a rehearsal shot but ‘since it was from an official BBC source it must be correct’. In short, they couldn’t care less.”
So now you know…