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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Dalek veteran makes comeback bid
John Scott Martin
Scott Martin played Daleks alongside seven Doctor Whos
Veteran Dalek actor John Scott Martin has offered to step into the costume again for the 2005 Doctor Who series.

The 77-year-old, who played the Doctor's arch villains from 1964 to 1980, said he would be happy to reprise the role if asked.

"I really enjoyed doing it before," he told BBC News Online. "I would happily run around as a Dalek again."

The Daleks will return to the BBC One series after negotiations with the estate of sci-fi writer Terry Nation.

Robotic voice

Scott Martin, who has also appeared in I Claudius, Little Shop of Horrors and Ali G Indahouse, was one of four longstanding actors to play Daleks.

The role required them to squeeze into a wooden or metal costume, then scuttle around to simulate the Dalek gliding on three caster wheels.

Actors spoke the Daleks' lines in rehearsal, but their famous robotic voices were usually dubbed onto the scene after filming was complete.

Daleks
We had to believe that the Dalek was not a human being, yet it was still a being. That's not to say it wasn't really nasty
John Scott Martin
"The device that changed my voice was obviously at the front of the costume, so if a scene required another actor to stand close to the Dalek, their voice would also sound robotic," said Scott Martin.

The heat of the costume meant that inside the Dalek's terrifying shell you would find the actor dressed in only a T-shirt and swimming trunks.

"It could be difficult at times and I'm not as fit as I used to be, but I'm sure I could do it again," Scott Martin said.

A BBC spokeswoman said Doctor Who producers had yet to decide whether Daleks would be fully automated or operated by actors in the forthcoming series.

"As we have just secured the rights to use the Daleks we have not begun work on the episodes in which they will appear," she said.

Added personality

Nevertheless Scott Martin said: "I always thought playing a Dalek was as interesting as playing a cow in a pantomime - there was potential to put some personality into it.

"We had to believe that the Dalek was not a human being, yet it was still a being. That's not to say it wasn't really nasty."

And despite enjoying playing Daleks alongside Doctor Who actors from William Hartnell to Sylvester McCoy, Scott Martin refuses to name a favourite.

Instead, he adopts a Dalek voice and says: "There is no favourite. The Doctor must be exterminated."


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