Obit of the Day: The Father of the Daleks
In the fifth episode of the of the first season of the BBC television series Doctor Who, audiences were introduced to the Daleks. A race of alien cyborgs (mechanical bodies hosting a living brain) the Daleks would become one of the most feared and beloved villains on the series. The idea came from writer Terry Nation who wanted a Nazi-like group of robots who had only one goal in mind - the destruction of all who were unlike them.
Raymond Cusick was given the task of creating the creatures. He started by making sue there was room for a modified tricycle and a person to ride it. Then he built the rest of the robot around it.
With little money, Cusick used whatever he could find to build the creatures including a plunger which became one of the Daleks’ arms. He wanted to light the dome of each Dalek with a bulb and a car battery - but it was decided that the batteries were too expensive. (Later the lights were put into the dome to make it easier to figure out which Dalek was speaking,)
For all of his work Mr. Cusick was given a one-time bonus of £100. He would stay on the show until 1966, quitting because of the horrendous hours (He would say that they worked “25 hours a day, eight days a week” for “buttons”.)
Raymond Cusick died on February 21, 2013 at the age of 84.
Sources: The Telegraph, The Guardian, and Wikipedia
(Image of Ramond Cusick and his Daleks is courtesy of the Telegraph and copyright Mirrorpix/Alamy)
Previous Doctor Who posts on Obit of the Day:
Roy Skelton - The voice of the Daleks
Caroline John - Was Dr. Liz Shaw, companion to the third Doctor
Nicholas Courtney - Played Brig. General Lethbridge-Stewart and was on the show for 40 years
Elisabeth Sladen - Sarah Jane Smith, companion to the third and fourth Doctor and later had her own show The Sarah Jane Adventures