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Film, TV & Animation
Terry Molloy talks about I, Davros
Terry Molloy: I, Davros
As Davros, creator of the Daleks and nemesis of the Doctor, returned to our TV screens in 2008 for the first time in 20 years, Norfolk-based actor Terry Molloy talks about his time playing the most evil creature in the universe.
In what promises to be a gripping climax to season four of Doctor Who starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, the Daleks are back.
For the first time fans of the latest incarnation of the cult show have met Davros - creator of the Daleks - and renowned as one of the most evil creatures in the universe.
Davros as played by Julian Bleach
In the concluding two episodes of season four of the 'new' series - Davros is played by Julian Bleach. The storyline marking the character's return to the show for the first time in 20 years.
Davros might be a new face to some, but he has a long association with Doctor Who. Created by writer Terry Nation, he first appeared on our TV screens in 1975.
The role starred Michael Wisher at the time, playing opposite Tom Baker's Doctor in a story called Genesis Of The Daleks.
Davros then featured in number of storylines and last appeared on our TV screens in 1988 in Remembrance Of The Daleks.
In 2006, the story of the genetic scientist's early life was revealed in the four-part audio drama I, Davros - starring Norfolk-based actor Terry Molloy in the title role.
As Davros, the arch-enemy of the Doctor, Terry took on the role after Michael Wisher and worked on the classic show for three seasons in Resurrection Of The Daleks, Revelation Of The Daleks and Remembrance Of The Daleks.
The sixth Doctor and Davros
During his seven years with the show, Terry starred opposite Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in the role of the Doctor.
In an interview with BBC Norfolk, first published in November 2006, Martin Barber asked Terry about recording I, Davros and what is was like to live with one of the most evil characters in the universe!
MB: Fans of the new Doctor Who series have met the Daleks, but for some Davros might still be an unknown quantity. Who is he?
TM: Davros is linked seminally with Doctor Who and the Daleks, as he created them.
A Kaled scientist from the planet Skaro, where the Daleks originated, he was responsible for genetically re-engineering the Kaled race into a form which required a travel machine, the outer casing for the Dalek.
Davros was blown up in his bunker and the result is the crippled individual you see on your screens, ranting, raving and demanding better killing machines.
MB: Did you have any concerns about taking over such an established character in the series? He was played originally, of course, by Michael Wisher.
TM: No. One of the essences of Davros, and when I saw the initial tape of Michael in Genesis [Of The Daleks] was that the character is very much created through the voice.
I'd worked a lot in radio, so I thought this is something I can take on.
Starting from Michael's original voice I could see where he was going [with the character]. When I got the mask on I realised how much his voice was informed by having to work very hard through the mask.
You were having to say things very slowly in order to make the mask move, then you bring the voice down a little, add some psychosis and before you know where you are [Davros voice] Davros has appeared and will DESTROY THE DOCTOR!
MB: In many ways, your radio approach to the portrayal of Davros has come full circle with the audio work you've done with Big Finish.
TM: Big Finish, bless them, kept Doctor Who going in the lean years if you like. Between 1989 and the new series with Chris Eccleston, when we then got to a point when fans like Russell T were in a position within the BBC to actually bring it back.
Cast members of I Davros
Big Finish maintained it [Doctor Who] through doing a lot of audio adventures and within that we started to explore more the depths of Davros.
The great thing with I, Davros - is that we've been able to explore Davros' transition from a youth of 15 [played by Rory Jennings who starred in The Idiot's Lantern], right up to Genesis Of The Daleks which is the first appearance of him on television.
So you see his progression as a young man through Kaled society, to becoming the chief scientists of the Kaleds and his final triumph in actually producing the Dalek.
And the end, without giving too much away of the fourth episode, is the Dalek saying his first words.
MB: At which point did you realise that Davros was such a big part of the Doctor Who legacy?
TM: By the time we got to Revelation, which was the second one, I realised there was the potential for beginning to expand the character and find more than just the Hitler-esque character that people had been initially introduced to.
Martin Barber and Terry Molloy
I thoroughly enjoyed playing it and Doctor Who was a fantastic show to be on.
Big stars were queuing up, it was very much a show to be in – and it’s happening again with the new series.
MB: How did you react when you found out the Daleks were coming back.
TM: I thought it was fantastic. In a way you can't have Doctor Who without the Daleks.
They've become part of Doctor Who history and I was delighted with what they did with them.
I thought when Rob Sherman put together Dalek, he didn't reinvent them, but expanded who the Daleks were. The fear when Eccleston turned round and saw that Dalek was excellent.I, Davros was first published September to December 2006, by Big Finish Audio
last updated: 03/07/2008 at 10:38