THE DESIGNER of the notorious Doctor Who villains the Daleks, Ray Cusick has died, aged 84.
Cusick passed away quietly in his sleep on Thursday, his daughter told the BBC.
"It's with great sadness that we report the death of Ray Cusick - the designer of the Daleks," tweeted Doctor Who magazine. "Half a century on, his iconic design lives on."
Doctor Who actor and writer Mark Gatiss also paid his respects on Twitter.
Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) February 23, 2013
The extraterrestrial race of mutants fast became the iconic villains in the cult science fiction series Doctor Who, thanks to screenwriter Terry Nation who wrote them into the script almost 50 years ago.
Considered some of the scariest fictional baddies on TV at one time, the Daleks were designed by Cusick half a century ago.
Famous for their aggressive robotic commands such as EX-TER-MI-NATE and their unique design, the Daleks were mutant alien beings encased by studded armour with strange arm attachments such as flamethrowers and suction cups that rotated while they appeared to glide over the ground.
A series of events are due to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who later this year. It's a great shame that Cusick was exterminated by old age before he had chance to celebrate that date. µ