The world lost a great designer this month, Ray Cusick died on the 21st of February. Anyone who visits my studio is instantly greeted by his most famous design the Daleks! Much in the same way as people collect variants of Mini Coopers I collect Daleks believing them to be equally as iconic a design from the 1960’s and their development over the last 50 years can be seen lined up along the shelves. The instantly recognisable design was devised while Cusick worked as a designer at the BBC. When asked to design an alien race for Terry Nation’s Dalek scrip, legend has it that he picked up a pepper pot and moved it around the table indicating that the creature would move much the same way with no visible means of propulsion. Thus the Daleks assured their place in popular culture. I had the pleasure of meeting him before the series returned and I recall him discussing how he never received royalties for the design and that he had requested that he be at least recognised as the designer. His work was finally recognised when the Daleks returned to our screens in 2005. On hearing such sad news reporting “Dalek Designer Dies” and “Doctor Who's Dalek creator Ray Cusick dies” at least he finally received his credit as his design lives on.
© Arfon Jones
2013. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.