Say Goodbye to the Daleks

Posted 11 Apr 2003 at 04:35 UTC by steve Share This

The BBC is shutting down the special effects department responsible for creating the Daleks, Marvin the Paranoid Android, and Kryton. They site lack of demand for physical special effects now that most shows are using computer graphics. In addition to cyborgs, robots, and androids, the department also created spaceships, aliens, dinosaurs, and even triffids.

Sniff, posted 11 Apr 2003 at 13:30 UTC by dude_plasma » (Apprentice)

So sad. First Red Dwarf, now this. What next? The dissolution of British comedy?

End of an Era, posted 11 Apr 2003 at 18:27 UTC by jeffkoenig » (Master)

I'm really saddened by this. When I was a kid, most of my paper route money went to buying Super-8 film and every science fiction movie making magazine that I could lay my hands on. I still have all of them.

I am amazed at the craftsmanship that went into some of the props in old science fiction movies, and still get a bit of a thrill when I can point out an Airfix part that was used in a space ship.

Super 8 movies, posted 11 Apr 2003 at 19:52 UTC by steve » (Master)

Me too.. I used to get everything from Starlog to American Cinematographer. We used to disassemble Estes rocket engines to make explosives that we'd use to blow up our model spaceships.

Cheesy Props, posted 11 Apr 2003 at 22:20 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I used to imagine how those guys must have to scoot around inside those Dalek upside down trash cans to make them move. Dr. Who was notorious for the budget sci fi, but it wasn't the props that really made the show as much as it was the adventure and story. I can't imagine that the group who made Daleks could stand up against Lucas or CGI for that matter since even a teenie weenie with a 3d card could make better props nowadays. I'll never forget an image seared into my mind of Dr. Who crashing through a styrofoam wall and notoriously pulling and hiding pieces from the camera to keep it from being more noticable than it was that it was styrofoam. I guess BBC has moved up from cheesy to less expensive cgi?

Exterminate!, posted 11 Apr 2003 at 22:39 UTC by motters » (Master)

Funnily enough I've been watching some old Dr Whos recently and they're really not bad considering the effects they had at the time. The stories are quite fun and some of them even contain what is sometimes called "hard science fiction" ideas. I only vaguely remember watching Dr Who the first time around, but didn't remember any specific episodes.

Episodes that I thought were quite good were:

Seeds of Doom - the first part of this is blatantly coppied from the 1950s B-movie "the thing", but after that it all gets completely crazy.

The Sontaran Experiment - this one looks like it was filmed in the pennines. Check out the ridiculous silver wobbly robot which seems to lasoo its victims. Awesome.

The Arc in Space - a 1970s special effects extravoganza. Rubbery monsters and an awesome green slug thing. Quite scary.

Robot - this episode is worth watching simply for the ridiculous hairdoo of the robotic scientist.

Day of the Daleks - going backwards and forwards in time to repel a dalek invasion. Some of the camera techniques used are quite modern in style.

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