Review: Doctor Who: Books: The Raymond P. Cusick Signature Collection

Cusick pb F 100Telos Books, out now

A look through the majority of Ray Cusick’s work on the early days of Doctor Who

Mention the name Raymond Cusick, and chances are the average fan will immediately think of Daleks, but quite possibly not realise the extent of Cusick’s contributions to the early days of Doctor Who, from The Daleks to The Daleks’ Master Plan. This beautifully-presented set of photographs and text will hopefully rectify that situation.

After a brief scene-setting introduction by Stephen James Walker, the book follows Cusick’s Doctor Who career in chronological order (since he took no photos on the set of the third story, The Edge of Destruction, that’s not represented). There are a lot of pictures here which haven’t been printed previously, with many of them taken during rehearsals (so Hartnell is wigless, or indeed in some shots from The Daleks, completely out of costume). Colour pictures of those early days are always eye-opening, and since Cusick often frames the shots to include the paraphernalia of the television industry, you get a real sense of scale. (Look at the shots on Marinus or from The Sensorites for classic examples of this.)

Cusick provides insights into the creation of the various looks in short paragraphs accompanying many of the spreads, making this book an invaluable tribute to a designer who never really received the acclaim in his lifetime that he should.

Verdict: Even more than Telos’ earlier Barry Newbery collection, this deserves a place on the bookshelves of fans of Doctor Who – old or new. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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