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Tributes paid to Dalek designer from Sussex
The man who designed Doctor Who’s army of Daleks has died aged 84.
Raymond Cusick, who lived for much of his life in Horsham, came up with the pepper pot-shaped villains while working as a BBC designer in the early 1960s.
The race of mutants, which first appeared in the 1963, are one of the most iconic creations in TV and film history.
Mr Cusick is said to have come up with the design for the baddies after reading a short description in the show’s scripts.
His daughter announced that he died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 21, following an illness.
Paul Winter, from the Horsham-based Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said: “Ray did not receive any serious recognition for his work for many years, until Jeremy Bentham published his book Doctor Who: The Early Years.
“From that point his contribution began to be appreciated by fans and later on by the wider TV watching public.
“He was hoping to be a guest at our event last October, but ill health forced him to withdraw.”
Mr Cusick joined the army in his teens and went on to serve in the Middle East, Palestine, Cyprus and Egypt.
He returned to civilian life in 1948 and enrolled in art school.
After graduating he contributed to a number of TV shows before being drafted in to work on Dr Who, where he was asked to come up with a design for the alien race.
Speaking about the design in an interview with the appreciation society, he said: “I went out for lunch and remember sketching it out on a napkin.
“I explained how it was intended to move and to demonstrate this I slid pepper pot across the table.”
The show was essential family viewing for much of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s before going out of fashion for a number of years.
However, it was rebranded for a prime-time return in 2005 and is still one of BBC’s most popular programmes today.
Speaking of the return of the Daleks a few years ago, he said: “I have mixed feelings about the new Doctor Who. Like so much TV it is all very fast and made for people with low attention spans.”
In his later years, he took to writing about the Napoleonic wars and was a frequent contributor to magazines and periodicals.
He leaves behind two daughters and seven grandchildren.
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