I donated a memory to Steve Berry’s amazing charity book ‘Behind the Sofa’ (http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9780575129450), a memory about my first glimpse of the newly discovered Day of Armageddon, the second episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan. Steve liked it, he said, but wondered if it needed a bit of context to explain just why I loved the ‘Dalek Delegates’ so much. Would the average reader really understand?
It made me think, because to be perfectly honest, when put on the spot, I wasn’t entirely sure of the reason myself. Was it a love of the innocence – almost naivety – of a form of science fiction that made things futuristic by putting the word ‘space’ in front of them, a universe where every member of a race had the same characteristics and stood for the same things? Yes, that’s probably some of it. But even more, I think, is the mystery. The unknowable, the answer that can never be discovered, that’s frustrating. No one will ever know the solution to the Mystery of Edwin Drood. But the merely unknown – well, that’s compelling. Perhaps this was part of the appeal of Doctor Who to many of us who grew up in the pre-video era. Doctor Who was a quest, as we searched for information on stories broadcast before we were born. Now we have access to almost everything that exists, we don’t have that impetus any more – or do we? Well, yes, we do. Because some of our stories are still missing…
Across the years, many of the mysteries have finally been solved, often with little fanfare. The recent discovery of Airlock – a Rill! An actual moving Rill! – and Underwater Menace Part Two (with its revelation that we don’t actually get to see Professor Zaroff’s pet octopus), was greeted with excitement, but there was less fuss made about pictures of Cassandra from The Myth Makers, or the astonishing revelation of what a visible Visian really looked like. Jonny Morris’s (@jonnymorris1973) discovery that Varga plants could actually be seen on screen in Day of Armageddon passed many by. Yet, for me, these were astounding discoveries!
Season Three is the Bermuda Triangle of Doctor Who. There are no telesnaps (photos taken during the television broadcast) for the seven stories between Galaxy 4 and The Celestial Toymaker, and only ten of the 33 episodes survive. We’re incredibly lucky that there is a relatively large number of publicity shots for Mission to the Unknown featuring the ‘Planetarians’ – especially considering these amazing aliens only appeared in three scenes in the entire episode. The wealth of images is due to this being the last story overseen by original producer Verity Lambert, who features in several of the shots.
The photos of these aliens – who were assumed to appear in both Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks’ Master Plan – summed up Sixties’ Doctor Who, with their combination of huge creativity and sheer mystery. Every image showed the stunning work of costume designer Daphne Dare and makeup superviser Sonia Markham, clearly demonstrating the creativity and imagination that contributed so much to early Doctor Who. But at the same time… we didn’t even know the character’s names. They symbolised the ultimate Doctor Who ‘unknown’.
Over the years, assumptions had been made about the shadowy figures, some based on the memories of those who had been lucky enough to watch the stories in the mid-Sixties. Various names were suggested, eventually being pinned down to Trantis, Malpha, Sentreal, Beaus, Gearon and Warrien for Mission to the Unknown, although no one was ever quite sure who was who. Celation and Zephon joined in The Daleks’ Master Plan, and Sentreal and Warrien vanished. The costume of the character ‘Celation’ was a complete mystery until a photo was published in DWM 272 in 1998 (a photo of a ‘Screamer’ aka Vampire Bat of Desperus was also featured in this highly exciting issue). But it seemed nothing short of the discovery of more missing episodes would really help us solve the Planetarian puzzle.
Then Day of Armageddon, the second episode of The Dalek Master Plan, was discovered in 2004 and it didn’t solve anything. It featured a number of completely different aliens! Suddenly the mystery became much, much deeper.
‘Fan wisdom’ had proved to be unreliable. Did we even know that the names that had been bandied about were correct, let alone assigned to the correct alien? In most cases, no. So what information could be trusted? Could anything previously written about the Planetarians really be relied on? Now, I’m no Pixley or Bignell, but I wanted to find out what we really knew. What were the FACTS! With deerstalker hat on head (and enlisting fellow fans Jim Sangster (@Monster_Maker), Toby Hadoke (@TobyHadoke), Simon Guerrier (@0tralala) and Peter Ware (@PercyIvorWoo) to be my trusty sidekicks – er, don’t tell them I just called them that – as well as having the Mycroft-esque Andrew Pixley on hand to dispense knowledge and wisdom), I set out to become a Delegate Detective.
WHO’S WHO? – MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN
Six names are mentioned in the camera script for Mission to the Unknown, the planets Gearon, Trantis, Malpha, Sentreal, Beaus and Celation. (One further name has been erased – the rehearsal script had also included ‘Zephon’.) Only one of these names is assigned to an actor in the credits: Malpha played by Robert Cartland. Non-speaking ‘Planetarians’ are played by Johnny Clayton, Pat Gorman, Sam Mansary, Ronald Rich and Len Russell. Further paperwork lists Ronald Rich as playing Trantis.
With no further information, it was necessary to compare visuals of the aliens with the actors.
(Addendum: Many thanks to Jon Preddle (@JonPreddle) for providing this photo of Len Russell, pictured here in the Adam Adamant, Lives episode The Terribly Happy Embalmers, and enabling me to complete the Mission line-up!)
Crazy-paving face is definitely Robert Cartland so this is unquestionably Malpha (described in a contemporary issue of the Daily Mail as ‘lattice-faced Malpha’ – not, as DWM rather confusingly believed, ‘lettuce-faced’). Make-up supervisor Sonia Markham remembers that “Malpha’s make-up, which included a ‘bladder’ – rubber head-covering cap, was off-white with a reddish-brown design, I would have covered his head and face with whitish panstick and then drawn the design with the brownish greasepaint stick”.
So CRAZY-PAVING FACE = ROBERT CARTLAND = MALPHA = FACT!
6’8” actor Ronald Rich, perhaps best known as Hans in You Only Live Twice, is clearly recognisable as the ‘duvet-headed’ alien. We know he played Trantis.
So DUVET-HEAD = RONALD RICH = TRANTIS = FACT!
These are the only names we know for certain.
Sam Mansary is a black actor, and checking out his other appearances (eg The Beast Must Die), he closely resembles the figure in the space suit. Paperwork for Day of Armageddon lists the space-suited character as Beaus. Characters did change names between stories, so we can’t say for sure this character is Beaus, but it’s a reasonable assumption.
So SPACE-SUIT = SAM MANSARY = FACT! = BEAUS = BEST GUESS!
Comparing images of actor Johnny Clayton with photos of the alien with latex spikes on his face makes it clear they are one and the same. Recollections from contemporaries tentatively link the name Celation with this character, so let’s assign the name for now.
So SPINEY-FACE = JOHNNY CLAYTON = FACT! = CELATION = BEST GUESS!
Thanks to Jon Preddle’s comparison here, I think we can say with a fair degree of certainty that Len Russell is playing the egg-headed alien. But which of the remaining aliens is this, Gearon or Sentreal? Gearon reappears in Day of Armageddon, but the costume is listed as ‘New creature as discussed’. We could argue that Masterplan Gearon looks most like egg-head so that’s the most likely fit. But then we could also argue that Masterplan Gearon is all-black, like Mr Christmas Tree, so maybe he was the original Gearon. My inclination is to go for the egg-head, but we just don’t know.
So let’s go for EGG-HEAD = LEN RUSSELL = (almost certainly) FACT! = GEARON = ASSUMPTION
For actors, that leaves Doctor Who regular Pat Gorman as Mr Christmas Tree. As the character ‘Sentreal’ doesn’t reappear in The Dalek Master Plan and the Christmas Tree is by far the most outlandish of the aliens, we could assume they are one and the same – but again we just don’t know.
But by a process of elimination we’ll go for MR CHRISTMAS TREE = PAT GORMAN = (almost certainly) FACT! = SENTREAL = ASSUMPTION
And we may never know if these are the right answers – because there may not be definitive answers! The most interesting evidence comes from actor Ronald Rich, who told me ‘I remember all the actors and characters were interchangeable’. So, unless there actually were name plates (see below) each alien may never have been assigned a particular name at all…
WHO’S WHO? – DAY OF ARMAGEDDON
Listed in the cast list for are Zephon (played by Julian Sherrier) and Trantis (played by Roy Evans). Celation and Beaus are mentioned in the dialogue. Paperwork for ‘Wardrobe, Hair and Make-up Requirements’ lists Zephon (Julian Sherrier), Beaus (Gerry Videl), Trantis (Roy Evans), Gearon (Jack Pitt), Malpha (Brian Edwards), Celation (Ian East).
Zephon, thankfully, is entirely unmysterious. His costume is described as ‘Head is covered in fungoid & seaweed (faceless)’. And not only do we definitely know who played him, the character actually introduces himself to Mavic Chen. Oh, why couldn’t the rest of them do that? FACT!
The costume of Beaus, played by Gerry Videl (aka Gerry Vidal aka Gerry Videll in various Masterplan paperwork) is described as ‘space suit and helmet amended as discussed. Face to be blacked’. We therefore know who this is, too. FACT!
We don’t have an image of Gerry Videl. An actor ‘Jerry Vidal’ is an extra – one of the ‘Men in Market’ – in All Roads Lead to Rome, the second episode of The Romans, but is it the same man and which face fits? An actor ‘Gerry Vidal’ plays ‘Maltese Mike’ in an episode of The Bill (see screengrab, right). Are they all the same man?
Celation’s costume is not described on the documentation for Day of Armageddon, but the spotty man is clearly played by Ian East so there’s no problem assigning the name to the face. FACT!
Roy Evans, as Trantis, is described as ‘Costume as cutaway but with arms. Black wig, face to be very pale and translucent’. This is our first ‘hang on a minute…’ moment. All Doctor Who fans know lovely Bert the miner from The Green Death, so it’s easy to see that the man with pointy teeth is Roy Evans and therefore Trantis. But the armless costume in Mission to the Unknown was not worn by ‘Trantis’ but by the spiney-faced alien. So Trantis has definitely changed identities between stories – but nevertheless, for this episode, pointy teeth = Trantis = Roy Evans is a FACT!
Malpha, played by Brian Edwards, is described as ‘Honeycomb man (As in cutaway)’. So Malpha, at least, remains relatively unchanged between stories. Crazy-paving face = Malpha = Brian Edwards is a FACT!
That leaves Gearon, played by Jack Pitt. The description of ‘New creature as discussed’ doesn’t give us any pointers, but by a process of elimination Gearon has to be the PVC-clad alien. FACT!
WHO’S WHO? – THE MASTER PLAN CONTINUES…
Several of the Representatives reappear in later episodes of The Dalek Master Plan. Sadly we have very few visual representations of any of them.
ZEPHON reappears in Episode Three, Devil’s Planet, where he is killed by the Daleks. He is again played by Julian Sherrier, and the still of him with Mavic Chen (the only known image of the character prior to the discovery of Day of Armageddon) was taken at the time of this episode, so we know his appearance hasn’t changed. FACT!
TRANTIS reappears in Episodes Four and Eight, still played by Roy Evans, and as far as we’re aware appearing the same as he did in Episode Two. BEST GUESS!
CELATION reappears in Episodes Eight and Eleven, now played by Terence Woodfield. The picture of a ‘spotty man’ from Episode Eight is clearly played by Terence Woodfield (he pops up only two stories later as Maharis in The Ark),
and documentation from Episode Eleven refers to him as ‘As Episode Eight. No hair, black blobs’, so it’s fair to assume he appears the same in both. A FACT and a BEST GUESS!
GEARON and BEAUS reappear in Episode Eleven, still played by the same actors with costume/makeup listed as ‘As Episode Two’. So again, we can assume they appear the same. BEST GUESS!
MALPHA reappears in Episode Eleven. He is once more ‘Honeycomb man’ and he is ‘as episode two’ – but he is now played by Bryan Mosley. This is the ONLY Representative/actor combination for which we have no visuals whatsoever. However we can assume that the make-up/costume is very similar to that of the previous incarnations of the character, and we know what Bryan Mosley looks like thanks to his many years as Alf Roberts in Coronation Street, so we can get an ARTIST’S IMPRESSION!
PLANETARIANS OR DELEGATES?
The members of the Dalek alliance are commonly referred to as either Planetarians or Delegates. But which is correct?
In the publicity for Mission to the Unknown (see The Beasts from UGH, below), they were referred to as Representatives.
In the cast list for the Mission to the Unknown camera script they are referred to as ‘Planetarians’. The word ‘Planetarian’ is not used in dialogue or in any other camera script.
A round-up of all the terms used in the camera scripts for Mission to the Unknown and The Dalek Master Plan (both in dialogue and in direction) finds:
Members/Members of the Galactic Council/Council: 14
So we should be calling them the Representatives!
THE BEASTS FROM UGH
A press release from 6th August 1965 was headed The Beasts from UGH. “At a secret meeting of UGH (United Galactic Headquarters) held on the planet VARGA (sic) on August 6th and convened at the command of the Daleks, a resolution was unanimously passed by the six great powers of the outer galaxies (Representatives of the planets GEARON, TRANTIS, MALPHA, SENTREAL, BEAUS and CELATION) that EARTH should be totally destroyed.” It goes on to refer to “This single Dalek episode”. So was ‘The Beasts from UGH’ the original story title? No. A publicity photo of the characters, also dated 6th August 1965, is labelled “DR WHO – ‘Mission to the Unknown’. A meeting of the United Galactic Headquarters with the Daleks, preparing their Master Plan. A scene from ‘MISSION TO THE UKNOWN’.” By the time of broadcast, there are no references to UGH.
In Mission to the Unknown, a Dalek reports that ‘The emissaries from the seven planets will arrive as arranged’. Later, when the Planetarians have pledged their allegiance, the Dalek Supreme says ‘The seven great powers of the outer galaxies are one.’ But Malpha replies: ‘We six from the outer galaxies, joining with a power from the solar system… The Daleks. The seven of us represent the greatest war force ever assembled.’ How to explain the discrepancy? Two other lines of dialogue hold the key. In Day of Armageddon, Zephon tells Chen ‘without my help [the Daleks]’d have never got the co-operation of the Masters of Celation and Beaus’. Celation and Beaus were members of the alliance in Mission to the Unknown, so Zephon must also have already been a member. In Mission to the Unknown, after Malpha arrives, the Dalek supreme announces: ‘With the arrival of our ally Malpha we are enough. The meeting can now begin.’ He doesn’t say they are all there, just that there are enough of them for the meeting – a Dalek quorum. When the Dalek talks about the ‘seven great powers of the outer galaxies’ he is including their other ally, Zephon, who is still to arrive, but when Malpha talks of ‘we six’ he is referring only to those who are present at that time.
(We face a further problem in the camera script to The Abandoned Planet. Celation, Malpha, Gearon and Beaus are in the cast list. Gearon is murdered by Chen early in the episode – but after that, the running order lists in several places ‘Celation + 3 other Reps’, ‘Celation, Malpha + 2 other Reps’, despite only Beaus being left to be an ‘other Rep’. It’s almost certainly just a mistake – no other actors/extras are listed in any documentation we’ve come across – but wouldn’t it be nice to think that Sentreal had popped back again for the final meeting of the Galactic Council?)
NAMES OR PLANETS?
Names or planets? The camera script for Mission to the Unknown makes it clear that Gearon, Trantis, Malpha, Sentreal, Beaus and Celation are the names of planets, and references to ‘the masters of Celation and Beaus’, ‘the master of Malpha’ etc. support this. Zephon – who is not in Mission to the Unknown – is referred to as ‘Zephon, Master of the Fifth Galaxy’ and ‘Representative Zephon’, but also as ‘Master of Zephon’, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that Zephon is also a planet name. Why Mavic Chen is the sole representative to be known by his given name instead of as ‘Earth’ is unclear. Perhaps the outer galaxies have different naming conventions.
THE OUTER GALAXIES:
Which galaxies do the Representatives represent?
Zephon is master of the Fifth Galaxy (he has had his authority over the Fifth Galaxy challenged by the planet Fisar and the Embodyment Gress (sic) – so Fisar is presumably another planet in the Fifth Galaxy).
Trantis is in charge of the largest galaxy, the Tenth.
Mavic Chen is supposed to have been in negotiation with the Fourth Galaxy regarding mineral rights. It is reasonable to assume that the master of the Fourth Galaxy is one of the representatives, so Chen’s story would be backed up if checked, but we don’t know which one.
It is never revealed which galaxies are controlled by Sentreal, Celation, Beaus, Malpha or Gearon.
For many years, fans assigned the following names to the six known aliens: Trantis (spiney-face), Beaus (Mr Christmas tree), Malpha (crazy-paving face), Gearon (egg head), Sentreal (space suit) and Warrien (duvet head). This was (apparently) based on a fan’s memory of name plates shown in front of each character in the broadcast episode Mission to the Unknown. (Celation was assumed to have not appeared until The Daleks’ Master Plan.) We now know from documentation that this assignment of names is not wholly accurate.
Were there really name plates? The camera script says ’At intervals around the table are lecterns. On each of these is a card bearing the name of a planet… Behind each lectern stands an emissary of that world.’ However we know that camera scripts do not necessarily represent what appeared on screen. There are no cards visible in any of the stills, and none of the production team or cast spoken to remember them (but equally they aren’t certain they weren’t there).
Was there a Warrien? We know that one of the six Mission to the Unknown aliens is Celation, giving us six names for six characters, with no space for an extra called Warrien. That seems conclusive. But…
An issue of the DWAS fanzine TARDIS assigned the name Warrien to Mr Duvet Head, as did Issue 60 of Doctor Who Monthly (in reply to a young Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg), who is possibly the best speller known to man and definitely did not write ‘ressembled):
Were these based on the same ‘fan memory’? I’ve not as yet tracked down the issue of TARDIS, but have been told it was earlier than the DWM mention – so was the Matrix Data Bank answer based on the earlier TARDIS letter? Or did either come from a separate source? We don’t know. But perhaps the source was this: fan and researcher Tim Worthington (@outonbluesix) has information that there may have been a list of Delegates – including Warrien – printed in a Sixties’ sci-fi newsletter pre-transmission! What newsletter? Again, we don’t know, but it may possibly have been the newsletter of the William Hartnell Fan Club. So, if this is true, where did the name originate? It may, of course, just have been a mistake. But perhaps it was a name used in an early outline, later changed to something else. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in Doctor Who.
Calling all Delegate Detectives! Were you a member of the William Hartnell Fan Club? Do you have a pile of early TARDISes lying around? Any help tracking down the origins of Warrien would be gratefully received!
And here’s another mystery that new-recruit Delegate Detectives may be able to help with:
Trusty sidekick Toby Hadoke relates the story of some of the Representative costumes being spotted in the window of a theatrical costumier! Is this true? Are they still there? It’d be nice to know…
Has the Third Doctor borrowed a space helmet from Beaus to go spacewalking in Frontier in Space? It certainly appears so!
Kevin Stoney was given a brown skin tone (as well as pulled-back eyes and slanted eyebrows) so he would look what the script of The Nightmare Begins described as ‘clearly part oriental’. Paperwork for Day of Armageddon has Beaus as ‘Face to be blacked’ and for The Abandoned Planet as ‘Blacked up’. As it appears that Gerry Videl was not a black actor, this was presumably done to make the character look similar to the one played by Sam Mansary, a genuine black actor, in Mission to the Unknown.
THE MYSTERY OF MR BEARDY
For years, debate raged (at least it did in my house) about the identity of a shadowy figure on the outskirts of a photo printed in the Radio Times dated 7th October 1965. There was Duvet-head, there was crazy-paving face – but who was that mysterious stranger standing beside them? All that could really be seen was that he appeared to have bushy hair and a beard. Was he one of the actors not in their full costume? Could he even be a new, previously unsuspected Planetarian? No. Recently discovered photographic evidence showing a clearer image of a character in the same costume in the same position strongly suggests that this is just a very blurred picture of the spiney-faced delegate played by Johnny Clayton. Spookily, the blurring made his facial-spikes appear beardlike and his hair expand!
Within the fiction, is it possible to explain the interchangeable delegates? Of course! As they are known by the name of their planet rather than a personal name, there’s no real reason to assume that these are the same characters throughout – they’re just characters associated with particular planets. Day of Armageddon marks the Seventh meeting of the Galactic Council; there’s enough time between Mission to the Unknown and Day of Armageddon for the original Planetarians to have gone home and been deposed by one of their fellows. Sentreal, of course, has left entirely. There’s also no reason why any given planet, let alone any given galaxy, should be populated by aliens who all look very similar. Perhaps Trantis’s Tenth Galaxy contains both duvet-headed men and pointy-toothed aliens, and rulership changed hands between stories. Perhaps creatures who look a bit like the pointy-toothed alien but with facial spikes are found in the galaxy ruled by Celation, as are several varieties of spotty men.
And why should these aliens even come from the planet whose name they’ve taken? Zephon claims to have been responsible for recruiting the masters of Celation and Beaus (thus delivering ‘three galaxies for the price of one’), but they may have become the masters of Celation and Beaus after the fact. (Significantly, according to Steven, Celation and Beaus flee Kembel together: “There’s the ship of Celation and Beaus”. Sounds like they’re off home first, before splitting up and heading off to defend their separate galaxies against the Daleks. Or, they’re just very good friends.)
So, perhaps the Daleks recruited a bunch of power-mad conspirators and then assigned them planets, later replacing them by some other power-mad conspirators who in some cases came from the same or similar-looking races. ‘You, with the duvet on your head! You will take charge of the planet Trantis. No, you were rubbish. You there, the one with pointy teeth, we’re going to give you a go at subjugating Trantis instead! But don’t make a mess of it, like your spiney-faced brother did earlier with the planet Celation before we replaced him with the bald man with chocolate buttons all over his body.’
Of course Celation’s appearance changes again between Day of Armageddon and Volcano – but just watch him move in Day of Armageddon. That’s an alien who comes from a world with very different gravity to Kembel. Who knows how his features and spots may have shifted over time, subject to such forces?
And Malpha – well, we don’t know how different he looked in his Episode 11 appearance, so we just can’t speculate. Oh OK, let’s speculate anyway. For all we know, the inhabitants of Malpha may regenerate. We’re talking about a series where William Hartnell will one day come to look like Matt Smith. Surely that proves that, in fiction, anything is possible…