Variations of Evil
The second Interalia Theatre production I was involved in was Doctor Who: The Dalek Masterplan. It was a lot harder for producer Rob Thrush and director Nick Scovell to acquire the licence from the BBC on this occasion due to the success of the television series. The BBC is very protective of its flagship programme, which is understandable. Doctor Who had become so popular with audiences of all ages worldwide. Preparations for Masterplan began immediately after the last showing of Evil of the Daleks. Nick was keen to have production week in the same October slot.
A New Main Theme
The sinister tone that the Doctor Who theme used for the previous play created was nothing like the epic adventure story that Masterplan was. Speaking with Nick about the differences between Evil and Masterplan, we knew that a new theme would be needed to set the cinematic nature of this epic tale. Our thoughts were to create something that was better than Murray Gold's theme for the television series without it sounding too similar. This was difficult! The original 1963 theme elements created by Delia Derbyshire were used over a lot of staccato articulation, which was used to build on the existing bassline. Keeping most of the instrument articulation short and sharp gave a big impact into how the theme sounded. Mixing was a key element to the success of this theme and adding a spoken choir at the end of the theme singing "Dalek War" assured its popularity. The theme for Masterplan has been considered the most cinematic version to date and I'm honoured that fans regard it so highly. The amount of fans asking to use this theme for various projects has been staggering! If you've watched a few fan made Doctor Who title sequences on Youtube there is a high possibility one of those incorporates my rendition in some way.
The music composition was a lot easier this time around because the majority of material was already laid out in the previous play. The Dalek theme established in Evil of the Daleks was a bit too dark in tone for Masterplan and because of the adventurous nature of the story it needed a little variation. This also allowed many different ways in which the theme could be used throughout the score. Strings were avoided as much as possible and pushed back while brass and percussion was brought forward giving a much brighter feel.
Badges I designed for the run of the show and mini-con. Green for crew, orange for cast and blue for guests.
Behind-the-scenes with guests Barnaby Edwards, Terry Molloy, Nicholas Briggs and Rob Shearman.
The stage adaptation of The Dalek Masterplan was another success and played to sell out audiences. Like Evil of the Daleks, this play was so popular that people were again turned away due to space. The production gained positive reviews from many sources; however fans were disappointed with the time destructor reveal and felt it wasn't as good as the brilliantly hidden Dalek emperor the previous year. This was in part due to the design. There were plans to adapt the lost Doctor Who story Power of the Daleks for the stage the following year to complete the trilogy. This was to be written again by director Nick Scovell although because his Doctor had regenerated into Nicholas Biggs' Doctor at the end of Masterplan, it is unclear if Briggs would continue the role. Unfortunately the licence for the third instalment could not be obtained from the BBC and the year of 2008 at the Theatre Royal went by Dalek free. However, discussions then turned to a fan-film version of Power instead.
From Stage to Audio Drama
Having met Nicholas Briggs during the read-through for The Evil of the Daleks, our conversation turned to the officially licensed Doctor Who audio adventures made by Big Finish and how I would like to work for them. It was a few months before the read-through for The Dalek Masterplan, when I was asked to audition for Big Finish. I sent my audition just before production week on the play and with chats continuing during the run, which resulted in me working on the official Doctor Who audio adventures, Nick told me about a story that had been in the pipeline for a few years. The first story I would work on, Masters of War, was already recorded...
Based in Nottingham, UK