As Doctor Who fans across the world gear up for the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the BBC sci-fi classic, it has been revealed that one of the great creative architects of the series, Raymond Cusick, passed away on 21st February at the age of 84.
London-born Ray found himself at the BBC in the late 1950s following a string of careers such as engineering, the military and even teaching and was a staff designer at the Corporation when he created the iconic design of the Daleks for Terry Nation’s seven-part Doctor Who serial variously known as ‘The Mutants’ and ‘The Daleks’. The Daleks became a phenomenon and sealed the success of Doctor Who for years to come; Ray, being on the BBC payroll, received just his salary and nothing in royalties despite promises from Nation as the Daleks became more and more successful. The BBC did eventually recognise Ray’s contribution to the popularity of the Daleks by awarding him a small ex gratia payment for his services. Ray continued to design for Doctor Who until 1966 but his long career also saw him work on productions such as Z Cars, The Forsyte Saga, the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Out of the Unknown, The Pallisers and The Duchess of Duke Street. His last recorded TV credit was as ’production designer’ for the first episode of the BBC legal drama Black Silk in 1985. Ray appeared on the ‘special features’ of several Doctor Who DVD releases and in 2008 he visited the BBC’s Cardiff studios to inspect the updated Dalek designs for the twenty-first century version of the series for an episode of BBC3’s Doctor Who Confidential.
Raymond Cusick, who passed away in his sleep from heart failure, was a widower and he leaves behind two daughters and seven grandchildren.