Davros, the creator of the Daleks, is a recurring staple of Doctor Who, and after his first appearance in Genesis of the Daleks he has become almost as iconic as his creations. As both a collector of Dalek figures and a creator of Dalek customs, I eventually got round to building a collection of custom Davros figures, designed to depict Davros in his various appearances across Doctor Who media, particularly Big Finish audios. Although the general appearance of Davros has remained consistent throughout his appearances in the Classic Series and the New Series, the specifics of Davros’ design have altered over time, particularly has the character has been portrayed by multiple actors over the years. Also, Davros is represented as having multiple additions or modifications to his life support chair, particularly in the Big Finish audios. As such, I tried to make these customs as diverse as possible, so that I wasn’t just making the same figure over and over again.
The result of this is an eclectic collection of Davros figures made from a variety of different materials and spare parts, including a large number of spare Dalek skirts, although I was short on both Classic Series bases and spare parts from pre-existing Davros figures, meaning that there was a fair degree of improvisation involved in the creation of these figures, particularly the ones depicting Davros in the Classic era.
Custom Davros figure from Davros
Although the Big Finish audio simply titled Davros makes no mention of physical changes to Davros’ chair during the events of the story, those who have listened to it will know that during the story Davros gains considerable influence over ‘Trans Allied Inc’, an intergalactic corporation that he intends to use to collapse the galactic economy. I created this custom to represent Davros allied with TAI, including a computer systems interface installed on the side of his chair and the infamous projectile injector that Davros wields during this story. I made Davros using an Auton figure, and I made the face particularly grotesque by adding quantities of hot glue to reflect Davros’ desiccated state in this story.
Custom Davros ‘Great Healer’ figure
Though it may seem hypocritical to dissect the design quality of the ‘Great Healer’ prop from Revelation of the Daleks after unveiling this monstrosity, I created this custom in an attempt to re-imagine the ‘Great Healer’ as less of a disguise and more of a false deity, incorporating aspects of the Dalek design into an artificial figurehead for a species that was completely ignorant of the Daleks’ intentions. The false Davros head inside is made using the head of an Auton, and using an intricate system of decorative wires one can move the head left and right. I constructed the housing using pieces of Dalek, plastic frames from a Warhammer set and pieces of an old phone charger. The figure is draped in sheets adorned with symbols, intended to be offerings from adoring worshipers, which I created using masking tape and permanent marker.
Custom Davros figure from Revelation of the Daleks
Despite the existence of a Davros figure for Revelation of the Daleks, I always found Davros’ appearance in that story to be somewhat lacking, particularly after hearing some of the Big Finish audios. The production team missed a trick by not showing some of the physical decay or damage that both Davros himself and his life support chair would have acquired by that point, and I created this custom to show some of the ideas that could have been present in Revelation of the Daleks. For one, Davros’ chair is much more battered and missing quantities of its control console – not only that, but Davros himself looks worse for wear, as I have emphasised the deformed face on this custom to illustrate Davros’ decay. I created the Davros figure from an old Pig Slave figure from Series 3, and ironically the Dalek skirt came from a Dalek Sec figure.