MEMORY LANE: Walking dalek wasn’t meant to be

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A HARTLEPOOL sci-fi enthusiast revealed his re-boot of one of TV’s most iconic characters 25 years ago this week. ANDREW LEVETT takes the Memory Lane Tardis back to October 1989.

His creation could stand - and walk – as well, as it was a Dalek with legs.

Paul, from Duke Street, in the town, was hoping to keep one step ahead of Hollywood designers with his innovative creation.

According to the Mail’s report, on October 31, 1989, Paul “has transformed television’s most infamous alien from its “legless” state into a more frightening “limbed” model - and gained the seal of approval from BBC chiefs.”

The Doctor Who programme’s special effects department approved the design by Paul, 36 at the time, and asked him to create a model.

Sadly, 1989 was the year the show was taken off the air by the BBC, not to be revived until 2005.

The Mail report continued: “News that the Doctor’s time journeys are set to come to an end left Paul believing that his creation, made of screw tops, plastic and dowelling, was set to be kept under wraps forever.”

But Paul’s hopes were rekindled by plans for a Hollywood film featuring the Doctor.

“I intend to send sketches of the Dalek to the film producers and explain the situation,” Paul explained.

“I’d love to be able to make a real living out of it. I had some guns accepted for a John Pertwee show in 1970 and have had various items used in Doctor Who.

“But I’d love to see this dalek on the screen – even if only in the background.”

The film was made, starring Paul McGann as the Doctor, and released in 1996. Although the Daleks are not seen on screen, they are heard condemning the Master to death during the film’s opening sequence, with their trademark cry of “exterminate”.

We think the idea of Daleks with legs was also exterminated but if you know differently please get in touch.

Contact Andrew Levett by emailing andrew.levett@jpress.co.uk or write to him at Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.

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