Local sculptor speculates to exterminate this Hallowe’en

Local props design expert George Doherty working on his model Daleks for this year�"s Halloween Parade in Derry-Londonderry with the aid of the original BBC plans. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com
Local props design expert George Doherty working on his model Daleks for this year�"s Halloween Parade in Derry-Londonderry with the aid of the original BBC plans. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com

Science fiction fans are in for a treat this Hallowe’en when two exact replica Dr Who Daleks take part in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s ‘Out of this World’ celebrations.

The Daleks, whose ‘exterminate’ catchphrase is engrained in popular culture, are the handy work of local props design expert George Doherty who has successfully sourced the original BBC blueprint for the extra-terrestrial structures online.

George is building them to their precise specifications at the Arts Council NI Lottery funded Bluebell Arts Project’s Gasyard Centre base.

“The BBC issued the original blueprint to a class of sixth formers in North London who requested them in the early 80s and those were recently uploaded onto a DIY website,” explained Chamberlain Street resident George.

“As a prop maker it was a great opportunity to build a replica of such an iconic figure from the original plans.

“The instructions are five pages long and are illustrated with very precise diagrams and details on how to build it.

“There was a letter accompanying the plans that the cost of materials would be around £12 but, as you can imagine, over 40 years on this project will cost a bit more.”

George graduated from Art College in the early 1980s and spent close to 20 years making props in England for films and museums.

He specialised in life size models and his work has been exhibited in several high profile displays including London’s Imperial War Museum and the County Kerry Museum.

Despite his vast experience, he admitted that collating the raw materials for this project proved a challenge.

“Sourcing some of the materials was difficult,” he continued. “Particularly the flashing lights at the top of the head and a rubber skirting for along the bottom.

“The Phab Lab at the Nerve Centre have a high-tech laser cutter which meant they were able to tailor the materials to exact specifications and allow us to build a facsimile replica of the original Daleks.

“It will be on wheels and there is a seat inside the Dalek from where it can be steered in much the same way as the Flintstones moved their car with their feet but in the interest of safety it will be pulled along for the carnival.”

The Daleks can be viewed by the public at the Gasyard Centre’s Halloween Family Fun Day on Monday October 31 from 12am to 2pm where you can time travel with Dr.Who in his Tardis through the solar system visiting the moon and all the planets.

They will also be a prominent feature of Bluebell Arts Project’s performance in the parade later that evening at 7pm.

For more information on events happening in Derry and Strabane over Halloween, download the programme on http://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/halloween/Home