Terry Nation, creator not just of the Daleks but also ‘Blake’s 7’ and ‘Survivors’, talks about the inspiration behind one of the most famous sci-fi monsters of all time:
“I’d grown up watching movies and was always vaguely disappointed because I knew the monsters were people, they were dressed-up people. So my first requirement was to make my monster non-humanoid. I didn’t want it to look like somebody dressed up in a funny costume, so I had to eliminate the legs. And I’d been to a concert of the Georgian State Dancers, and these ladies had these long skirts that went right down to the floor and they appeared to glide, you couldn’t see their feet at all.
“And I thought that was the sort of movement I wanted to achieve. And then the voice, it had to be a non-humanoid voice, coming out of a computer. I made a few mistakes. It would have been easier had I given them more manipulable hands. When they wanted to pass things to one another, it caused terrible problems. So basically with those requirements, that’s how the Daleks evolved.
“You land their ship, the TARDIS, on a planet, and from that moment on everything on that planet is your creation. If the rocks talk, fine, that’s my planet. If the creatures have twelve eyes, that’s what happens on my planet. So you have this wonderful freedom to do almost anything you want.