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April 7th, 2011 14 comments

The Man Who Invented The Daleks

The Man Who Invented the Daleks – The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation
Alwyn W. Turner

The first biography of the writer behind Britain’s most popular and successful villains: The Daleks

Terry Nation was one of the most successful and prolific writers for television that Britain ever produced. Survivors, his vision of a post-apocalyptic England, so haunted audiences in the Seventies that the BBC revived it over thirty years on.

Blake’s 7, constantly rumoured for return, endures as a cult sci-fi classic. And his most fearsome creations, the Daleks, ensured and at times eclipsed the success of Doctor Who.

Indeed, almost half a century after their first appearance, new additions to Dalek mythology continue to top the Saturday-night ratings, while the word itself has entered the Oxford English Dictionary, passing into the language as the name of the most famous race of aliens in fiction.

But while his genocidal pepper pots brought him notoriety and riches, Nation played a much wider role in British broadcasting’s golden age. As part of the legendary Associated London Scripts, he wrote for Spike Milligan, Frankie Howerd and an increasingly troubled Tony Hancock. And as one of the key figures behind the adventure series of the Sixties – including The Avengers, The Saint and The Persuaders! – he turned the pulp classics of his boyhood into a major British export.

Like Arthur Conan Doyle before him, Nation was frequently bemused by the appeal of his most famous creations, and similarly cavalier toward them. Now, The Man Who Invented the Daleks explores their curious and contested origins, and sheds light on a strange world of ambitious young writers, producers and performers without whom British culture today would look very different.

Alwyn W. Turner is the author of a number of acclaimed books on modern British culture, including Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s, Rejoice! Rejoice!: Brtain in the 1980s, Halfway to Paradise and The Biba Experience.

The Man Who Invented the Daleks is published by Aurum Press on
25th May 2011 at £20.00

Do you intend to buy this book?…

Categorised under: Autobiographies and biographies, Books


  • Dalek caan

    April 11th, 2011 - 4:31am

    my friends dad was good friends with Terry N.


    April 10th, 2011 - 9:25pm

    BLAKES 7!!!!!. 😀

  • McGann is still the Doctor.

    April 10th, 2011 - 12:46pm

    Apparently the man who gave the ICONIC DALEK DESIGN in the first place, was just a mere stage-hand on the set of (BBC) Dr Who the Daleks, back in 1963. He was never named or recognised for that, Mr Nation, as great as he was, ignored the fact that it was someone else that conceived thaqt design. 😮

  • DoctorWho2011

    April 10th, 2011 - 8:15am

    very good man who invented these daleks the old daleks from the classic are better then the new ones i would like see the new daleks fight the old daleks that would brill 💡

  • forever dalek 1323

    April 8th, 2011 - 8:04pm

    pepper pots 😆 😀

  • who crazy!

    April 8th, 2011 - 6:58pm

    Nice one Terry Nation. Nice writer but I like Robert Holmes best.

  • chas

    April 8th, 2011 - 9:27am

    i might get this

  • Jason doctorwhoone

    April 8th, 2011 - 7:18am

    Agree with me or disagree, but ive never felt it right to actually call Terry Nation the ” creator ” of the Daleks, because he mearly thought them up, their name, what their background, what they are all about etc. It was really offcourse Raymond P. Cusick who really created the Daleks, he was the man who really designed them, and i feel so damn sorry for Raymond because he barely got sod all for his help in creating Sci-Fi’s greatest of all evil, while Terry got all the credit.

    • biggest doctor who fan ever!

      April 8th, 2011 - 7:58am

      Well I Think That This Should Be A Double-sided book with Terry on one side and Raymond on the other side…………………..

    • booboo

      April 8th, 2011 - 9:52am

      Which ever way you look at it Terry nation was a brilliant writer but totally agree on the initial lack of recognition for Ray Cusick for the design, something that thankfully these days has been corrected

    • Dalek Sec

      April 8th, 2011 - 11:21am

      i feel the same way! Terry Nation is brillant, but the whole look of the Daleks was aboult genius, so inventive that even star wars copied a more robitic shorter verion of one!

    • Jason doctorwhoone

      April 8th, 2011 - 11:32am

      Ahhh yes, R2-D2. Now that you mention it, i wounder what Daleks would look like if their Domes where similar to fellow Astromech Droid R5-D4 ? [ accidently called an R2 Unit by Luke Skywalker in A New Hope ] –

    • Rooners

      April 8th, 2011 - 2:34pm

      Funny you should mention Star Wars…this artist has already flagged this….

    • Jason doctorwhoone

      April 8th, 2011 - 4:13pm

      Ha Ha, thats a great drawing 😀

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