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BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973 (1972)

1972-12-07 New Scientist.jpg

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Did you think that the Daleks' days were over? Did you perhaps dare to hope that their dreary electronic monotones would never be heard again? Well, bad news for parents, good news for their little exterminating angels. The Daleks are in full bleep at the BBC Design Group's exhibition, TV Special Effects, which opens in the Science Museum today. Not only Daleks for their delight, but a recreation of the Tardis (Dr Who's Time And Relative Dimension Space Craft—you dum-dum) entered through the Police telephone box. It's equipped with control panel, three computers, moving lights and pulsating Perspex and you can view space-scapes and mad monsters through the windows. There is even a do-it-yourself push-button panel for Dr Who-littles to make their own patterns of flashing lights, standing by for testing to destruction... .

Also in the fun and mystery category is the haunted water mill. Its huge cogged wheels echo those in the real beam engines just outside the entrance in the main museum. However, dressed with roughcast and ivy, blue lights and running water, weird howls and ghastly dolls, it provokes a sense of wonder at the resources of the BBC's Visual Effects Department, if nothing else.

The exhibition seeks to explain as well as to amaze. Special effects are explained by diagrams and models. If you want to know—and who doesn't?—how the bullet hole appears in the victim's sleeve, or where the gore comes from when his throat is cut, this is the place to find out. Dioramas display scenic effects from some recent successes like War and Peace, Dad's Army and Z-Cars. Less fiction prevails on the way out with maths teaching models from the Open University and a spot-lit reproduction of Tutankhamun's golden death-mask.

What isn't shown though, is how much designers depend on the camera to create illusion. The sets have been built with more solid flesh and detail than would be needed in the studio, because they have to bear closer scrutiny than on a 19-in screen. For example, the cardboard Tardis with painted buttons, has been replaced by a purpose-built plastic job with three-dimensional knobs. Yet the exhibition is that much more glamorous for such attention, and would make a great holiday treat for any little monster-fan. The only drawback is one of cost. At 25p per adult, and 15p per child for a fairly small show, it looks as though BBC Enterprises are saving up for a separate bid for the fourth channel.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Mirzoeff, Judith (1972-12-07). BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973. New Scientist p. 600.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Mirzoeff, Judith. "BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973." New Scientist [add city] 1972-12-07, 600. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Mirzoeff, Judith. "BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973." New Scientist, edition, sec., 1972-12-07
  • Turabian: Mirzoeff, Judith. "BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973." New Scientist, 1972-12-07, section, 600 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973 | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/BBC_TV_special_effects_Science_Museum_until_10_June,_1973 | work=New Scientist | pages=600 | date=1972-12-07 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=BBC TV special effects Science Museum until 10 June, 1973 | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/BBC_TV_special_effects_Science_Museum_until_10_June,_1973 | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2017}}</ref>