Raymond Cusick, designer of the Daleks, dies

Raymond Cusick designed the Daleks for the hit British science-fiction show "Doctor Who."

Every fan of "Doctor Who" knows the devious, destructive Dalek race. Thursday, the man responsible for designing the Doctor's genocidal nemesis died at age 84.

Raymond Cusick died in his sleep of heart failure, the BBC reported.

Cusick designed the Daleks nearly 50 years ago in 1963 for series one of the hit British science-fiction show "Doctor Who." The Daleks remain a staple of the show, menacing the Doctor from within iconic, tank-like machinery and incessantly issuing their famous command: "Exterminate."

The Telegraph reported that Cusick was certain of his design's effect even before it appeared in the fifth episode of the show.

"Before rehearsals started, the cast and other members brought their children along and they were shown the Daleks and talked to the Dalek operators," he told The Telegraph previously. "But then when rehearsals started the operators got into the Daleks and started moving, and at that point all the children screamed and ran out of the studio."

The design has changed little in 50 years.

Doctor Who Magazine tweeted its condolences when it learned of Cusick's death.

"It's with great sadness that we report the death of Ray Cusick – the designer of the Daleks," it said. "Half a century on, his iconic design lives on."

An actor and writer for "Doctor Who," Mark Gatiss, also tweeted, saying, "Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!"

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