The Making of The Daleks' Master Plan
By Derek Handley & Dean Rose


Derek Handley & Dean Rose Talks us Through the Making of TDMP...
The Introduction & Special Features











Since the reconstruction teams started around seven years ago, The Daleks' Master Plan has been one of the most eagerly anticipated reconstructions. Indeed, the reconstruction by Harold Aachatz of the The Nightmare Begins was one of the first recons to be circulated. Although this was a very brave attempt, it highlighted for everybody how difficult this story would be to tackle well with such a limited amount of original material surviving.

We began gathering source material for this reconstruction around 1997. One of the first pleasant surprises was how clear the surviving audio recordings were, and how many different copies were available. Prior to this we had only heard multi-generation copies of Richard Landen's recordings, which even then were in quite reasonable condition. David Holman's copies, however, were much superior to these, and Graham Strong's recordings of the latter episodes even better. With so many different sources it was a relatively straightforward process to piece together the best bits from them all.

There turned out to be a surprisingly large amount of original photos taken for DMP. However, most of these originated from the story designers and very few featured material that could be used directly. There were around fifty pictures taken of the Pyramid model that featured in episodes nine and ten, but with episode ten surviving, these were largely redundant! Most of the official BBC publicity pictures taken originated from episode three, but amazingly the only Dalek to feature in these is very much in the background.

A few months after we started on the reconstruction, we were contacted by Chris Petts, a professional 3D animator, who offered to help out with the reconstruction. Chris had already created some 3D Dalek models and the Dalek control room from Mission to the Unknown. Chris's Dalek models looked great, but after several pages of critical observations to correct small details they looked even better!

Chris provided us with a selection of still Dalek images with accompanying image mattes to allow us to easily copy and paste the Dalek images onto any background. Chris eventually built up four distinct models for the Daleks in the story with details like the old and new style arm boxes included, and even one with the repaired neck ring, which featured prominently on one of the original Dalek props.

Chris's CGI Daleks are used throughout the reconstruction and without them we would have been unable to achieve anywhere near as much variety and clarity in the pictures used.

A second 3D modeller, Stuart Palmer, contacted us some time after this offering us his help. Stuart, a keen amateur modeller, sent through an image he had created of the alien delegates assembled around the conference table and renders of the interior of the Dalek time machine. Although not up to Chris's professional standard, Stuart's work showed much potential and as Chris was having trouble finding enough time to support us as much as he'd have liked to, we asked Stuart to start on some modelling too.

Another element of the reconstruction process introduced for this story was a new, more accurate font for the opening episode titles and closing credits. Having tried in vain to find a commercially available electronic version of the exact font used, we turned to other means. The original title captions were prepared using 'Letraset' transfers. A search through an old Letraset catalogue soon located the exact typeface originally used 'Grotesque 7'. Similar 'Grotesque' fonts were available in electronic form, but did not match completely. We therefore scanned in each letter from the catalogue and created our own 'Hartnell' font using font creation software. By superimposing the newly created font over screen grabs from existing episodes we were able to tweak the character spacing and size exactly to fit the original typeface.

Special Features

The introduction to both tapes from Kevin Stoney was filmed a few years ago, when we interviewed him for The Invasion recon.

The Jean Marsh interview was filmed in October 2001 at Tenth Planet bookshop. Jean was there for a signing session and our friends at Tenth Planet very kindly closed the shop for ten minutes for us to film an interview with her.

We did try to get Nicholas Courtney to record an introduction to the tape and to narrate the mini-documentary feature. He had agreed to help out, but unfortunately other commitments meant that he simply could not spare the time. As a backup, we arranged for Edward de Souza, who had previously helped so much with Mission to the Unknown, to record the narrated features for the first tape introduction and Stuart's 'Destroyers' feature.