Tuesday, 9 April 2019


DALEKS copyright BBC TV and the Estate of TERRY NATION

When The DALEKS appeared on the back page of TV CENTURY 21 #1, cover-dated 23rd January 2065 (no, that's not a misprint), their appearance wasn't quite the same as it was on television's DOCTOR WHO.  They were thinner, with a rounder base and, if anything, they were perhaps even more sinister looking than their TV counterparts.  (The Dalek ROLYKINS seem to have been based on the comic's visual representation.)  RICHARD JENNINGS had established this look in The DALEK BOOK (which went on sale in 1964), and as he was also the artist (at least to begin with) on the comic's back page, it was only natural that he continued in the same vein.

The top picture introduced the strip for the first six issues of its 104 episode run, changing to the picture below with #7 (though it changed again before the series ran its course).  As you can see, the same layout was kept, but the Daleks now better resembled their television incarnations.  Had readers commented on the disparity, or had the BBC (or TERRY NATION) requested a more accurate rendition?  Honest answer - don't have a scooby.  To be fair, though, despite the intro pic, their shape in the actual strip had started to 'fill out' in issue #5, so #7's updated pic was just playing 'catch up'.  The look of The Daleks changed again when RON TURNER took over, and though he was reasonably faithful to RAY CUSICK's design to begin with, he eventually developed a more personal, stylised interpretation based on the movie Daleks (but not exactly the same).     

I loved the strip, and tended to think of The Daleks as the good guys, often cheering them on in their diverse adventures with a variety of foes.  TV21 never seemed quite the same to me after the metal-cased mutants departed the comic, and I sometimes wonder if the title could have better resisted its slow slide into decline had the little rascals hung around for longer.  Nobody can say for sure of course, but The Daleks had a huge fan base, and it's entirely possible that when the scions of SKARO left, a lot of readers left with them.

Were you a fan of the strip back in the day, and if so, what are your views on the matter?  Did you lament their departure, or were the GERRY ANDERSON strips the main draw for you?  If you can remember (or if you can be bothered), let loose in the comments section.  It's there to give you a voice, so speak up at the back there.

And below is a 'side-by-side' picture to enable you to make a better comparison.


Colin Jones said...

The current No.1 song is called "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi, who is related to former Dr. Who Peter Capaldi. Nothing to do with TV21 but I thought I'd mention it :)

Kid said...

Of course, singers and groups only have to sell about 10 copies of their latest single to reach #1 now, CJ, don't they? It's not like it was in my day. Bah, humbug!

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