The anatomy of a Dalek

The anatomy of a Dalek

The image of Mr. Les Daleks from the last post has been re-posted by Tumblr user Cakes Jason (surely a made up name) who was also kind enough to follow this humble printmakers blog. After following his re-blog link I discovered this great cut away image of the anatomy of a Dalek. I’m a sucker for cut aways and diagrams as much as I am a for Daleks and Dr. Who paraphernalia. But this image in particular struck a cord with me.

In true Time lord style, lets travel back to the Christmas of 1977 when Marks and Spencer, the most quintessential of British retailers, produced a book entitled ‘The Dr. Who and the Daleks Omnibus’.

Back then it was a ritual that once a week, mum and I would go to M&S to do a spot of shopping in the food hall, and it being the run up to Christmas (or ‘the day after my bitrthday’ as I like to call it) I would always be on the look out for that one item that I just needed to unwrap come Christmas morning. Over the years there have been many such items. There was the Pink Panther car with ‘Dynamic Power’, the Smith Corona Typewriter (in Robins egg blue) and The Goodies’ Book of Criminal Records. With the aid of pester power I was able to obtain each of these items and with a little ‘can I have’ and ‘I reeeealy need need this’, the Dr. Who and the Daleks Omnibus was destined to be mine come Christmas morning.

During the few weeks that followed Christmas I remember reading this book from cover to cover, over and over again. If memory serves, the Omnibus contained art by Frank Bellamy, famous for his tenure on the Eagle magazine and the revamp of it’s flagship strip, Dan Dare. There was some truly beautiful art between the pages of this book yet despite the wealth of classic Who imagery I found myself coming back, time and again, to this Anatomy of a Dalek cut-away diagram. Having studied it closely for hours on end I probably considered how I could build a Dalek in our own back yard.

Stumbling across this image again after so many years reminds me how great this internetery contraption can be. Finding something that triggers memories which have long since been buried can often be a total joy.

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