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

 
 

Derek Handley Talks us Through the Making of...
Episode 3 - Devil's Planet

 

 

 

 

 

The opening titles for this episode ran over a close up of the Spar's take off countdown dial. Set pictures provided a great close up of the dial, but it really needed some movement on the dial for the shot to work. I sent the close up of the dial to Chris and he animated the dial movement.

The shot of the Spar flying through space was not a CGI animation. In fact the original Spar spaceship model still exists in private hands and I was able to go and film the original model for this brief shot. I made up a 'space' background from a large piece of black card perforated with random holes and backlit to simulate stars.

Most of the existing BBC publicity pictures come from this episode. These, together with the existing lengthy clip, made most of the scenes aboard the Spar relatively quick to reconstruct. I even had a set shot showing the interior of the Spar airlock I could use.

This was the first episode to show the Dalek control room. Again, there were several set design pictures available from this episode that I was able to use as backgrounds. To give a little more movement to these scenes, we decided to overlay the video effects seen in other episodes into the Dalek monitors. Aligning the video effects over the correct positions was quite tricky, especially when the picture pans or zooms, but the end results are worth the effort.

The scenes on Desperus were another nightmare. When I started I had just three pictures showing the criminals, and none showing Kirksen's face clearly. Although I found the actor, Douglas Sheldon, in other series, he didn't have the straggly beard or wild hair needed. I had to make up composites of his face grafted onto somebody with the appropriate hair and beard, but these didn't look too convincing. Fortunately, a few months before the recon was finished I managed to track down a fourth picture from this part of the episode that did show his face!

The scene of the convicts sleeping was almost impossible to recreate without any suitable reference pictures. I once again turned to Stuart to see what he could do with CGI. Just two days later he sent a variety of images to use!

Stuart's next task was a shot of the Spar's landing leg and access ladder with the swampy Desperus landscape in the background. I sent him pictures of the landscape to use that I had made up from photos of the Skaro swamp from the first Dalek film.

The next hurdle was the shot of the criminals approaching the Spar across the swamp. This was originally seen as a film insert of three burning torches bobbing towards camera shot in a darkened studio and overlaid onto an image of the planet surface. I had been searching for years for a suitable shot to use, but had been unable to find anything. We decided to do the only thing possible to recreate this shot Dean made up some sticks wrapped in cloth and fuel and we went out into the park behind my Dad's house one night to film three torches approaching the camera. Warning don't try this at home! Dean very nearly set fire to a tree! This shot was then superimposed over another modified picture of the swamp from the Dalek film.