Longtime fans of Doctor Who will know Big Finish for their ongoing range of audio dramas featuring past Doctors, which they’ve been doing since 1999. In recent years they’ve given us a number of nice treats, including new adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble and a series of box sets following the exploits of John Hurt’s Doctor during the Time War.
But their upcoming audio drama “Order of the Daleks” sees – or rather, hears – Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor going up against an iron-framed stained-glass Dalek with a trident instead of a plunger. Big Finish director Jamie Anderson brought in designer Chris Thompson to render the Dalek for the cover art:
My main thought process was to create a “Gothic” Dalek and replace all the flat surfaces with glass designs. My initial sketches had palisades, crowns, spikes and other gothic elements, but we decided to dial a lot of these back for story reasons. In the episode itself these Dalek casings are made by very primitive monks so the focus needed to be on the stained glass and not the metal elements.
The cloister style neck slats and the claw holding the eye did remain to add a bit of character.
The glass was the tricky part and I felt that getting a good design here was important, as it in itself could mean something. The slats on the skirt represent the seasons of the planet, the eye on the chest represents the mutant inside, the dome is entirely decorative. We decided to omit the ear lights as a way of making the design even more primitive.
Take a look at the cover art for “Order of the Daleks”, which features a different angle of this gorgeous creation below.
Of course, this isn’t the first glass Dalek in Doctor Who lore – the Sixth Doctor previously encountered a more traditional-looking Dalek made of glass in the 1985 TV serial “Revelation of the Daleks”. Personally we think Big Finish’s stained-glass Dalek looks a lot more impressive, but here’s the “Revelation” glass Dalek for comparison’s sake.
“Order of the Daleks” launches this November but can be pre-ordered from Big Finish’s website now.