Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Copyright of the Daleks

From the Freelance, the newsletter for NUJ freelances, November 2013 online edition

A "Complaints Manager Dalek" in the window of a vintage hifi shop in Hornsey Road, North London. Photo copyright Matt Salusbury, Daleks created by Terry Nation/BBC

NOVEMBER 23 sees the fiftieth anniversary of the broadcast of the first Doctor Who episode. Freelances will no doubt be interested in the details of one of the lesser-known aspects of Doctor Who's genesis all those years ago - the Copyright of the Daleks.

Under normal circumstances, most secondary rights and neighbouring rights on a Doctor Who script written for the BBC should have stayed with the BBC. In-house BBC designer Raymond Cusick - a staffer - got nothing beyond his usual salary for designing the Daleks. Years later, he got a retrospective goodwill payment of a few hundred pounds (in 1980s money) for his Dalek designs.

The case of the scriptwriter who created the first Dalek series, however, was a very different matter. Read on...

Terry Nation - The Man Who Invented the Daleks - book review for Fortean Times

Curse of the Daleks - Nation and Whitaker's forgotten children's matinee Daleks stage play from the height of Dalekmania in 1965

Father of the Cybermen - Dr Kit Pedler, the man who invented Doctor Who's Cybermen, also from Fortean Times