I’ve been re-watching Star Trek recently, and something that stands out to me is the uniform colours. Call me a nerd (no, please, do, it’s a compliment where I’m from), but the uniform colours is the visual link to the Starfleet internal structure. You’ve got commanding officers, who wear gold, medics, who wear blue, and scientists, who wear red. And yet, the rank insignia is on the sleeve in almost the same colour. That’s no way to organise the military.
And it got me onto thinking about the New Dalek Paradigm. ‘Cause when you think about it, it is genius. For years – FOR YEARS – the Dalek command structure hasn’t had much clarity. Generally, the Daleks had a basic colour scheme, and the ones telling them what to do had another one. E.g., the Black Dalek. Of course, Classic Series Dalek hierarchy never made much sense until the black ones were introduced with Davros, and then things just got bland. So redesigning the Daleks to have an obvious colour ranking was a smart move. And I’ve come to the conclusion that, to say they’re based on the movie Daleks (which were only in so many colours as a marketing gimmick), the reason the new Daleks aren’t popular isn’t because they’re different colours – it’s because the colours are too bright and cartoonish, and the cases are too bulky and stupid. No doubt about it, they’re hideous. They’re maybe the worst change Doctor Who‘s ever had, and that’s saying something.
So I decided to propose what should be. I took the best Dalek design and gave them a colourised ranking system, without the Teletubby-ness. I chose the versions introduced with Tom Baker, because they’re like the originals, but darker, then coloured them according to the plan layed-out in the series. Except I made the colours more subtle, to see what it would look like. This is what I got:
Click for a close-up. It’s obvious how I did it. It was just tinting and multi-layering. You can even see the fuzzy edges where I removed the background, and the dome lights are distorted. But I think this is a real winner. They don’t like ponies, or Power Rangers, or whatever other comparisons people want to give. They’re darker, and look as if the colours are for military purposes, rather than marketing. And the designs are still what Daleks are supposed to look like. But the clarity’s still in-effect: each colour corresponds to a specific role. Only here, it isn’t to their detriment.
Is this is an improvement? Have I made it worse? Feel free to indifference.