Sunday, 6 June 2010

Caption Competition No. 45. Daleks

I'm not going to wait for the scoring this week. The points don't matter. This week's subject produced a superb crop of cartoons here. Last week's winner, Noel Ford - a cartoonist of God-like proportions - opted for a captionless competition, the theme being Daleks. Readers of this blog will know of my mild infatuation with Daleks ever since their first appearance on the goggle-box in 1963, so I was determined to do something a little bit special, if I possibly could. Whether I did or not I'll leave to others.
Having got a subject I could drool over, my imagination suddenly shut down and buggered off. At moments like these I always find it best to find time to stare out of the window and allow my mind to wander. Idea number one came up from the murk quite slowly. There has always been a comedic link between Daleks and stairs, possibly started by a Birkett cartoon in Punch magazine. A group of Daleks have assembled at the foot of some stairs. The caption is "Well, this certainly buggers our plan to conquer the universe."
The late Douglas Adams apocryphally incurred the wrath of the Terry Nation estate when he alluded to the Daleks' inability to climb anything but a slope during his stint as Script Editor on Doctor Who during the Tom Baker years.
So, what was my idea? A fallen, weeping Dalek at the foot of some stairs being observed by a group at the top.
Yeah, well. That was the first idea. Next I thought about Daleks behaving like humans, but in their own setting. If you are going to invade a planet, you would have to assemble somewhere wouldn't you. What if there were a planet Skaro equivalent of Heathrow airport? I envisaged Daleks going about Dalek duty-free shops while a huge notice board showed cancelled and delayed flights to Earth and Gallafrey, respectively. And that's as far as that thought went.
It was now Friday evening and I had pretty much resigned myself to drawing up the fallen Dalek gag-in-inverted-commas. Suddenly an unbidden image of dissolute Daleks popped into my head. What if they were has-beens? Why would they be has-beens? Some of the most scary Doctor Who stories were written by Stephen Moffat: Blink with David Tennant (almost in a peripheral part) and the recent two-parter, both instances involving the Weeping Angels. All I needed to do was add a disdainful Doctor walking past et voila.
I had a lot of fun drawing this one and the subject matter seemed to lift everybody's game. As you will have seen by now, this week's competition produced a vintage crop of cartoons. Sod the marking, it has been a good week.


  1. Mild?

    Can't let this week's episode go by without a comment - despite Cheesy moment (typical Richard Curtis soft-rock bit) - I thought it was not a bad episode. I like the moments that suggest a storm coming (ok, hardly "Bad Wolf" but not bad).

    Anyway - one or two of the cartoons seem to be very good - one or two, though, seem a bit obscure. What's the red skinny one lying down in a box about? I didn't get the "Easy Rider" one either.

    Ah well, I'm not a cartoonist. A different breed I here.

  2. Actually, sorry and all that, but I can't let this one go. The Weeping Angels are okay - I liked the one-off in a previous series - but they are going to have to work pretty damned hard to make them as scary and iconic as the Daleks.

    Best moment in recent years? Well two, really. The first time Christopher Eccleston was thrown into a room with the "last surviving Dalek" (sic)- and secondly when the aforesaid Dalek said, "You'd make a good Dalek". So, Weeping Angels, shove that one up your . . .

  3. I meant "hear" - English teachers, eh!

  4. Dave, the red skinny one in the box is a marital aid.
    Vincent weeping in the Musee D'Orsay had me welling up. Curse you, Richard Curtis, you know exactly which buttons to press.

  5. Your one was good Brendan, as was Paul's; my top 2. Very good week again with the usual mix of simple to clever ideas. There's always one idea that goes a bit too far each week ha ha! Boobs seem to appear each week too, but that's fine of course :)

    The best cartoons I think generally are ones where your eyes move around the picture and you pick things up gradually until you get the whole concept.

    This week's one is going to be good too I imagine!