Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

FYI: Daleks are robotic-looking menaces from outer space. Doctor Who is a television program. Some people take these things very seriously. That is all ye need to know.

When I first heard about the Campaign for Real Daleks (via a tweet from our friends at The Horror?), I idly thought that someone was trying to build, well, real Daleks. I know folks who are building model Daleks, even life-size, but "real" ones would seem a little dangerous. Doesn't stop people from owning other random forms of weaponry, though, so who knows?

But now I realize that the "realness" or lack thereof has to do with the fact that the Daleks are not monochromatic: they're not the classic black or grey, but have been redesigned, and are now in multiple colors. (Or "colours," as we see in the press releases and UK based fan sites).

Now, I remember how startled I was when I first saw Doctor Who and the Daleks (although the movie came out in 1985, I saw it in it 1983). This film was the first time that any manifestation of Doctor Who had appeared in color. I wrote in my original review that these "Daleks were shorter, unthreatening versions -- some classic black, but others bright red and baby blue." So while I understand fans not caring for the new design -- after all, I did put the word "unthreatening" right up front there -- the idea of Daleks being multicolored goes far back in Doctor Who history, and as much, if not more, claim to the status of "real."

As for the overall look, here's a gallery of various Dalek designs over the ages.

Two questions come immediately to mind: why can't I find sci-fi buffs who are screenshotting at the rate of Hindi film fans, so I can get a good picture of those colorful old-timey Daleks to show you? Similarly, I've found promo shots of the new Daleks, but nothing that places them as they actually appear in an episode, for comparison purposes. Dudes, get on this! And secondly, why don't I own a DVD of Doctor Who and the Daleks? That's truly inexplicable.

P.S. The best part of the online campaign is that it seems to have originated from a blog called "Meme-Free Zone." They add, "PLEASE pass this on as widely as you can." This stuff writes itself.


houseinrlyeh aka Denis said...

The lack of shots of the old multi-coloured Daleks can be easily explained through the fact that most fans of the Doctor seem to hate the films. I of course disagree there, but I've never been too fond of the first TV Doctor (always reminded me of an exceedingly mean physics teacher I once had), so Peter Cushing looks like a grand improvement to me.
Also, SF fans hate technology.

Filmi Girl said...

Alas, I'm too outraged over the crappy writing of "Series 5" to work myself up over multi-colored Daleks... ;D