Dalek ‘invasion’ bid thwarted by stairs

(l-r) Adam Littledyke, Casye Sanderson, Dr Who author Daniel Blythe and Tina Lee, stand next to a full size darlek at Don Valley Academy's Dr Who 50th celebration event. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Adam Littledyke, Casye Sanderson, Dr Who author Daniel Blythe and Tina Lee, stand next to a full size darlek at Don Valley Academy's Dr Who 50th celebration event. Picture: Andrew Roe

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It is a problem Doctor Who knows all about – and now Don Valley Academy too has found out Daleks don’t do stairs.

One of the iconic monsters was the star attraction at the school when its library held a big event to mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s longest-running science fiction series.

But the school was forced to switch part of the event out of its upstairs library and into the main hall after it was discovered that the base of the Dalek was too wide for its lift.

The remote controlled Dalek was brought in by Rob Hull, a parent of a pupil at the school, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for his huge collection of model Daleks.

The library has been decked out for the anniversary, complete with giant cut-out monsters including Cybermen.

For the celebration day, the school was also visited by South Yorkshire author Daniel Blythe, who has been commissioned to write Doctor Who novels by the BBC.

He told pupils about the 50-year history of the show, which was first broadcast in November 1963.

School librarian and event organiser Lyn Hopson said: “One of our parents, Mr Hull, has the world record for model Daleks, so he brought a full-size remote-controlled one in for us. It was great to see it talking in the hall.

“It was a weird situation having a talking Dalek in the hall, trundling around under its own steam.

“But we had to have it in the hall as it was just too broad for us to get it into the lift to get it up to the top.”

Pupils at the school have also been designing their own monsters to mark the anniversary, drawing them and writing up a back story to go with them, detailing information such as the planets the creatures come from. There is to be a prize for the winner.

Mrs Hopson first watched the sci-fi series when Jon Pertwee was the Doctor. Her favourite was David Tennant.

She said the most popular monsters among the children included the modern Weeping Angels, although some said they liked Zygons, which have not been in the show since 1975.

But it was not just the pupils enjoying the event.

Teachers later queued to be photographed with the Dalek.

Famous faces over 50 years of the famous sci-fi series

Doctor Who was first shown on November 23, 1963, with William Hartnell then playing The Doctor.

Since then Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith have played the role.

Peter Capaldi is due to take over later this year.

Over its 50 years, the show has also seen some of Doncaster’s finest actors taking on roles.

Brian Blessed was among the stars in the 1986 serial Trial of a Timelord, playing an alien warlord, alongside Colin Baker. Keith Barron, from Mexborough, starred in the serial Enlightenment, with Peter Davison.