Space Writing

It’s been a jolly exciting Delegates time recently, with some stunningly gorgeous Mirrorpix photos coming to light:

Now, looking at these, and this lovely one in particular:Delegatemachinea question occurred to me. (Well, two questions, the first being ‘What is that machine actually for?’ There’s no mention of a machine in the script, but look at them standing around it! They lurrrrrve that machine. It must be awfully important. Beaus and machi-ine sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. etc.)

Ahem. As I was saying, a question occurred to me. Have a look at this page of the camera script:Missionscript1
See the bottom paragraph? “A document is passed from lectern to lectern, and each man is signing it.” We know from Day of Armageddon that special space writing was all the rage in the year 4000 (see 2.02 onwards here):

BUT HOW CAN SPINEY-FACE AND MR CHRISTMAS TREE SIGN A DOCUMENT? Mr Spiney does do a fairly good line in hands-free pointing – as in this photo – MissionUnknownso he could possibly have grasped a pen somehow, but Mr Christmas Tree has no such powers. My hope is that he etched a signature with his hideous laser-beam eyes (just look at those eyes and tell me that you can’t imagine deadly laser beams shooting out from them). Of course, what probably happened is that either the action was omitted or those characters just happened to do it off camera. But, you know, laser-beam eyes. Wouldn’t that have been great?


5 thoughts on “Space Writing

  1. johnnyspandrell

    Hi Jac,

    Am loving the devotion to the delegates you’re displaying here. Please never give it away. A couple of questions:

    In the fourth of those Mirrorpix shots, I was surprised to see Trantis (Duvet Head)’s nipple. As if helmet aside, his costume was body painted on. Surely not though – when you look at the other shots, it looks like he’s wearing a kind of spacesuit affair. What’s going on?

    Secondly, have recently listened to Master Plan for my own blog (, to sneak in a plug) and here’s my real question about the delegates: why do the Daleks need them? They need Chen for the Taranium, but what do the others bring to that big circular table?

    Over to you,


    1. Jac Post author

      Thank you for the Delegate love! And on to the questions. Qu 1 is, thankfully, quite easy – his top is made from see-through PVC with pin-stripes, so depending on the angle, and because the pics are in B&W, it can either look like he’s just wearing a stripy top, or, er, he’s flaunting himself a bit.

      Qu2 is less easy to answer, because I think the real answer is ‘it doesn’t make any sense’, but that doesn’t mean a vaguely plausible theory isn’t possible… Note the way that no one seems entirely sure if the plan is to destroy the universe or to rule it – I suggest that’s because the Daleks are basically lying to the Delegates and haven’t quite got their stories straight. In fact we know as far back as Day of Armageddon that the Daleks have been lying: ‘When he has served his purpose, he, like the others, will be eliminated’ says the Black Dalek of Chen. There’s definitely not going to be any sharing out of the universe.

      So what is this ‘purpose’ that Chen and the others are there to serve? There might be two reasons for roping in the Delegates. One, they’re preventing opposition. If the Delegates are on the inside, they won’t be outside fighting against the Daleks. ‘The universe can be taken by surprise because of your greed,’ Steven says to the remaining Delegates at the end. And the combined galaxies could be a force to be reckoned with – the surviving Delegates head off to mobilise a force to defeat the Daleks and don’t seem to see it as a totally lost cause.

      But the other reason is, as you say, that the Daleks really do need the taranium. Karlsen says the only reason Chen was admitted to the Galactic Council was due to superior knowledge of mineralogy, and he’s put his finger on it. OK, so possibly the Daleks could have got the taranium through violence, but much easier to let someone else do all the work and then just hand it over. Chen says he has arranged for 50 years of secret mining to get this amount of taranium. Now on the surface that seems very unlikely – not least because Chen doesn’t look old enough – but perhaps it’s the literal truth. Perhaps the Daleks have had these plans for that long, and Chen was part of them. Perhaps they’ve assembled the Galactic Council to lend verisimilitude to their story to Chen – despite his arrogance, he might be unsure about handing over the most valuable substance in the universe to the Daleks, so the presence of the other Delegates ‘proves’ that they do intend to share power with their allies, they’re not just going to nick his taranium and exterminate him and conquer his planet. Except they are. Whoops.

    1. Jac Post author

      What a wonderful thought. Perhaps it’s yet another version of Celation! Or a representative of the planet Blinkyblonkflashinglights.


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