The designer of Doctor Who’s most famous cyborgs, the Daleks, has died, at the age of 84. Raymond Cusick, from Horsham, West Sussex, created the pepper-pot villains and also developed their sinister gliding motion. Despite the fact that the armoured cyborgs have become an integral part of the Doctor Who legacy – along with their notorious catchphrase “exterminate!” – Cusick has previously revealed that the process of designing them wasn’t exactly an easy one.

According to the Daily Mail, Cusick said that the original Daleks “rattled like an old biscuit tin” and pneumatic wheels had to be added to them to stabilise them. The ‘pepper pot’ design had been decided on after he was showing one of the programs special effects experts, Bill Roberts, how he envisioned the Daleks moving around: he picked up a pepper pot and moved it around the table, explaining “it’s going to move like that – no visible means.” Mr Cusick died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday evening, his daughter confirmed. He is survived by two daughters and seven grandchildren.

Cusick’s death comes in the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who. A planned Doctor Who movie, reportedly entitled An Adventure In Space and Time will detail the origins of Doctor Who, according to Entertainment Weekly. League of Gentleman actor Reece Shearsmith has been cast in the role of Patrick Troughton. Fellow LoG star Mark Gatiss is onboard as the screenwriter. 

Doctor Who

Raymond Cusick designed the iconic Dalek cyborgs