Behold! The resurrection of the Daleks!
Not content with vandalising the theme tune, and disposing with anything resembling decent writing (if you thought the second episode, The Beast Below was bad, just wait until you see the total pig's breakfast that is Victory of the Daleks), new show-runner Steven Moffat has decided to put his own stamp on an icon.
The Dalek, designed by Raymond Cusick, is a design classic that's largely gone unchanged since 1963, and has become firmly embedded in popular culture. The Moffat redesign - which comes just five years after the sympathetic, ballsy Russell T Davies enhancements - is all wrong on several fronts.
Most disturbing is the pointless bloating of the silhouette. The skirt section is clumsy and out of proportion. To the rear we have some additional detailing, the purpose of which is unclear. Notice that all of the BBC's official photos are full frontal, or facing up. There are no shots of side views (like the screenshot above, via Cathode Ray Tube) or rear views.
The bumper section at floor level is weird. I always liked the 60's movie versions with their chunky bumpers, but the ones on the 2010 versions are all wrong: too big, and once again out of proportion. The shoulder section is ugly too. It harks back to the very original 1963 model, stripping away the slats added in later episodes, but the front is square and blocky, as if some one's stuck it on at the last minute.
Moving up to the "neck" area, the black grille section is horrible: overly simplified and plastic-looking.
Worst of all is the sheer size of the things. One of the key selling points of the original Daleks was their size. Is there someone - or something - inside? The new monstrosities aren't only fat and bloated, they're too tall. Daleks are meant to be squat. Perhaps Moffat's Cybermen will be midgets, just for the sake of it.
The colours are cute, but pretty pointless, and counter-productive. Cartoonish, ill-judged and insensitive to their heritage, Moffat's Daleks are the latest misfire in a franchise that's rapidly losing its way.
Title quote: "Many desperate acts of design (including gradients, drop shadows, and the gratuitous use of transparency) are perpetuated in the absence of a strong concept. A good idea provides a framework for design decisions, guiding the work." Noreen Morioka