Crowdfunded film telling history of the Daleks put on hold because of copyright issues

Filmmaker Victor Lewis-Smith is understood to have temporarily shelved plans for the Doctor Who film

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Filmmaker and TV critic Victor Lewis-Smith has put his plans for a Doctor Who film about the Daleks on hold.

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The Undiscovered Daleks, as it was to be called, is understood to have hit various snags including copyright issues according to sources close to the project.

Promising to feature never-before-seen outtakes of the lethal machines from Skaro, and stories galore about their antics, the project has been a labour of love for Lewis-Smith who is a huge fan of the Daleks. In fact his home in northern France has two of them acting as sentry by the doors… 

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The film needed to raise £250,000 within 25 days of launching last month but the crowdfunder page says it has not been successful. However it is understood that, even before the deadline had elapsed, the production faced what one source said were “copyright issues”.

It is thought that Lewis-Smith, a veteran programme maker as well as a critic who produces programmes for his company Associated Rediffusion, remains keen to return to the idea.

Telling RadioTimes.com about his excitement for the new venture he said: “Throughout my career, the BBC have commissioned hundreds of programmes from me. And still are. But there’s one proposal they have always rejected. That’s the unexpurgated history of the Daleks. Why? What secrets about the Daleks do they want to keep hidden? Only by crowdfunding will I be able to make The Undiscovered Daleks and tell the full story behind these sinister pepper pots.”

The film promised to disclose details include a story about the Queen’s supposed interest in the Daleks. Another promised snippet was a montage of all the times the Daleks have quoted Shakespeare since they first appeared in the show in 1963.

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Lewis-Smith’s most recent project was the critically acclaimed The Undiscovered Peter Cook on BBC4 which presented a gold mine of never-before-heard or seen material from the legendary comic.