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Dr. Who and the Daleks

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TLS introduces the man behind the Daleks:

The man who invented the Daleks was Terry Nation, a chain-smoking, socialist spiv who might himself have been invented by Martin Amis. Described by the Guardian in 1966 as looking like a “Welsh James Bond”, Nation was, according to his friend Roger Moore, “a great bloke”. Raised in Cardiff during the war, “when bombs were dropping and men were trying to kill me”, Nation spent his afternoons at the cinema, watching science fiction films, rather than at school. At home he read novels by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, whose plot lines, Alwyn W. Turner shows, reappear in Nation’s television scripts. Growing up with a loathing of class pretensions, Nation would repeat a joke about a man being able to trace his ancestry all the way back to his parents.

The Daleks, he writes, are “the only great popular myth to have been created specifically for television” and he goes a long way towards unlocking their appeal. Terry Nation himself said that he couldn’t understand what children liked about them; when the critic Nancy Banks-Smith tried to explain to him at the time that these shell-less creatures encased in metal bodies were symbolic of the destructive power of motor cars, “he couldn’t see it. I was very sad really, so I didn’t explain to him that the TARDIS was, in fact, a television set”.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Posted in entertainment

Tagged with , ,

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