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

 
 

Dean Rose Talks us Through the Making of...
Episode 4 - The Traitors

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Traitors was actually the episode that I started work on last of all. The reason being that I decided to start with the most difficult episode first which was, episode 7 - The Feast of Steven. I then worked forward through the episodes. By the time I'd completed first drafts of episodes 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12, Derek, who had started at episode 6, had also completed drafts of episodes 1 and 2 and was working on episode 3. So I turned my attention to the next available episode, which was episode 4. This was quite refreshing as I had the chance to work with Katarina and Bret Vyon for a change.

A lot happens in this episode. The characters of Karlton, Sara and Daxtar are introduced and the characters of Kirksen, Katarina, Daxtar and Vyon are bumped of. Producing convincing composites is hard enough at the best of times, but composites of dead people are very difficult to do. Luckily Stuart was at hand to help and he seems to have a natural flair for making composites of dead or dying characters earning him the moniker Stuart "I see dead people" Palmer.

The camera script outlined a few potential problematic scenes for this episode. The first of these was finding something suitable for the death scene of Katarina and Kirksen. As you can imagine, the odds of finding a scene from another film or TV programme showing a Trojan woman floating in space are quite remote! Production documentation described this scene as being shot on a high-speed camera (e.g. slow motion). The actors were filmed jumping on a trampoline against a large back projection showing images of the moon, which presumably was to represent the planet Desperus. I imagine that originally this scene had a similar feel to the dissemination chamber transfer sequence seen in episode 5 as this was filmed in a similar way. We tried all manner of ways of representing this scene, including trying to use cut-outs of Katarina bobbing up and down, but this just looked ridiculous. However, one promising initial test was created using a full-length composite (there are no full length photos or images) of Katarina and Kirksen animated in Mediastudio. This was further refined by using a floating astronaut image for Kirksen, over which was pasted long scruffy hair. For Katarina, Stuart enhanced an early recon test version by creating a new Katarina figure using his Poser software. The final death scene works pretty well considering the limitations.

Another image that I was keen to try and animate was the identity projection of Bret Vyon, which is viewed by Chen, Karlton and Lizan. Production documentation hints that this was originally filmed by having Nicholas Courtney sit on a revolving stool. The film was then projected onto a large screen to give the impression of a 3D identi-kit. For an actor who is so well established in the history of Doctor Who, Nicholas Courtney is surprisingly difficult to obtain clear, useful images of, especially without his moustache. I had learned about how to perform simple optical illusions on 2D images to give the impression of it being a 3D image and was keen to try this on the Vyon projection. Obviously it would not be possible to perform complete rotations of Vyon but I was keen to get a small amount of movement into the image. The first problem was finding a clear forward facing image of Nicholas Courtney. After a considerable amount of searching a suitable screen capture was found from a Randall and Hopkirk episode. A bit of work in Photoshop tailored him a forward facing SSS uniform. The rotation effect was produced by simply splitting the image in half and stretching one half whilst compressing the other. The illusion is destroyed if the image 'rotates' too far (a bit like looking at two halves of an image on adjacent faces of a cube).The final effect worked surprisingly well.

The beginning of episode 5 - Counter Plot provided material for closing moments of this episode. The end of this scene was edited so that it faded to black (as Sara moves forward) so to avoid the 'real' episode caption, whilst simultaneously providing a background for the reconstructed 'next episode' caption. I particularly like the end of this episode as I feel it works very well as a cliffhanger.