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


Dean Rose Talks us Through the Making of...
Episode 11 - The Abandoned Planet






Oh goody! An easy start! That was my first impression of The Abandoned Planet. The end of Escape Switch provided me with the luxury of a few seconds of moving footage. Unfortunately, I then had to tackle the less easy parts.

For the section of the story where Steven and Sara enter the Dalek city, I decided to use a bit of artistic licence and combined Dalek city images from 'The Dead Planet' (as I still refer to it) with model photos of the delegates’ spaceships. This gave the impression of a landing pad just out beyond the city. This seemed to work well and gave a naturally eerie Dalek feel to the recon especially when accompanied by the soundtrack for these sections. When Steven and Sara find the Dalek control room, I had the opportunity use one of the empty set photos, which until now had always had Daleks pasted onto them. This is only shown for a few seconds. The communication equipment that Sara finds and uses was taken from The Chase. In The Chase Vicki uses the same piece of equipment aboard the Dalek ship to communicate with the Doctor. Screen grabs from The Chase were used and Sara pasted over Vicki to cover her up. These mix very well with authentic set photos that show the same piece of equipment.

The Doctor provides Steven with a 'power impulse compass' to help find the Dalek City. No original photos of this device are known to survive but a couple of older fans recall it looking like a handheld 'archeos jukebox' or 'multi-meter' type device. I made up a 60s-looking device in Photoshop and added an animated needle to add a tiny bit of movement to the compass.

A few of the Kembel jungle scenes were taken almost directly from screen grabs from The Ark. This made a few of the scenes quite quick to reconstruct. This is especially true of shots showing Steven in the Jungle, which were used directly as screen grabs.

As Steven and Sara watch Chen's Spar take off from Kembel, the ship explodes. My first attempt to recreate this involved zooming out a transparent layer of an explosion cloud over the model. This worked well but I was constantly looking for a nice video overlay to represent this explosion. Then one evening I was watching Prof Winston's BBC series "The Human Mind", which for some reason showed a very nice clip of an explosion on a pure black background – perfect for a video overlay. Unfortunately, everyone that I asked about the programme had not taped it, so I put out a plea on the message board. Soon afterwards, Steve Hatcher (one of our dub sites) very kindly sent me a recording of the programme from which I could capture the explosion. This worked very well as an overlay and added a bit more movement and detail to this scene.

Near the end of the episode Steven and Sara duck into some bushes as a Dalek glides past. This scene was originally done with a cut out layer of a Dalek gliding past but was later replaced with one of Stuart's animations showing the Dalek moving its head as it moves past the camera.

The end of the episode features the entrance to the Daleks' underground base. Stuart reviewed an early draft and commented that the cave entrance could be improved and volunteered to help. I gave him the go ahead to do so and to my amazement quite literally a couple of hours later an email arrived containing CGI images of the new base entrance. Stuart was so fast that I questioned whether he had already made them up… but he said that he hadn't (I still don't believe him).