But fear not, citizens. The robot is fictitious.
Since last May, Green and Nesbitt have been working together to build a model Dalek, the robo-antagonist from the popular British science-fiction television show Doctor Who. And while those unfamiliar with the show might not understand all the fuss, Green said that for a pair of men who grew up watching Doctor Who, the project was a great stroll down memory lane.
“As soon as Nesbitt told me about this idea, I said, ‘Wow, we have to do this,’ ” said Green, noting that he’s been watching Doctor Who as long as he can remember. “I grew up with this as a kid, and building this thing really took me back to when I was four or five, so it’s been pretty amazing.”
The idea for the project came from Nesbitt, who stumbled across a Dalek-building website – www.projectdalek.co.uk – that featured blueprints and tips for construction. Right from the get-go, Green said he was hooked on the idea of owning a heartless Doctor Who villain.
“This project really had total nerd value,” said Green, who said he’s seen almost all of the series’ 700-plus episodes since its inception in the 1960s. “We looked at the website and thought, ‘How cool would it be to have one of these things sitting in your living room?’ Then we got started.”
Work began last May, with Green and Nesbitt scouring their homes and communities to find the various parts – including a toilet plunger, paint roller and old Christmas ornaments – needed to pull the villainous robot together.
Construction took the better part of 12 months and cost around $1,500 in total. Now standing about five feet, six inches tall, and being large enough to fit the six-foot Green inside, the gold Dalek features movable weaponry, a wheelchair motor and even a voice modulator so the machine named Auric can say the villain’s signature catchphrase – “Exterminate!”
The Dalek is operated manually by a person sitting inside, and both Green and Nesbitt said they’ve been getting a mix of amazed and puzzled glances from people who have seen their handiwork around town.
The two men describe themselves as big Doctor Who fans, saying that while many unfamiliar with the show might not recognize the robot, the Dalek is a television icon in the U.K.
Doctor Who, which has been running on-and-off since 1963, is one of the most popular sci-fi series in the U.K., and has seen airtime on TVO, CBC and SPACE channel in Canada. As one of the series’ chief villains, Daleks have their own cult following in Britain, having even featured on a 1999 U.K. postage stamp.
While Green and Nesbitt don’t expect many Canadians to know what a Dalek is, Green said he hopes to use it at various conventions and functions around the region, including a block barbecue near the corner of his Queen Street South and Charles Street West computer store Friday at 11 a.m. in support of the local foodbank.
And though Daleks have been known to leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake on Doctor Who, Nesbitt promises that this Dalek will be used for good.
“I don’t think it will be used for evil,” he joked. “We hope to use it for conventions and charity, if possible.”
The local Dalek’s completion also comes just as the current season of Doctor Who is ending, as the SPACE channel will be airing the season finale July 24. That will also be followed by an interactive live show featuring an expert panel, never-seen-before interviews and a live web chat for fans. For more information, people can log on to http://www.spacecast.com/.