FACT No.9: Origins of the Toclafane
Nobody can accuse Russell T Davies of not planning ahead. In 2004, when (along with other episodes) the script for ‘Dalek’ was being re-drafted, at one point it became apparent that they may not be able to get the rights to use the Daleks at all. In this event, Davies and writer Robert Shearman drafted a new version of the script, replacing the lone Dalek with a captive metal sphere that was then only known in the script as “Sphere”.
Shearman describes how Davies proposed the replacement monster idea, drawing a simple circle of the Sphere on paper, saying: “I’m bringing this forward from what I imagined the end of Series Three might be.” Shearman says, “At that stage we hadn’t shot anything of Series One, so this was Russell with his long-term plan which he would never otherwise discuss.” The idea was that it would have housed a “remnant head”, with a “childlike sing-song voice” and was a future evolution of the human race that had destroyed the Time Lords (this was the plan for the ‘Sphere’-version of the Time War). The lone Sphere was to have fallen through a rift above Utah and held captive by Henry Van Statten.
Later, of course, they gained the rights clearance from the Terry Nation estate to use the Daleks, eventually resulting in the episode ‘Dalek’ we know and love today, but the “Sphere” (originally planned as a Series Three finale enemy) remained where it had initially been planned. It went on the become the Toclafane, aiding the John Simm Master in his conquest of planet Earth. The idea of the Sphere falling through a Rift became the millions-strong swarm of Toclafane flying through the Paradox Rift (see below) – the cliffhanger ending of ‘The Sound of Drums’.
With thanks to Robert Shearman and Doctor Who Magazine. Source: DWM-449.