“Vote Dalek!” commanded the tin-pot dictator on the front of this May 2005 issue of Radio Times magazine – and readers obeyed, in their droves.
The striking cover featuring Doctor Who’s first and deadliest foes has been named Cover of the Century by the Professional Publishers Association’s (PPA) following a public poll which saw it take 38.5% of over 36,000 votes, to beat off competition from nine other acclaimed magazine covers of the last 100 years.
The winning design was inspired by the iconic moment from 1964 Doctor Who story The Dalek Invasion of Earth when the Time Lord’s most famous foes cross Westminster Bridge. It heralded the return of the Daleks to TV screens 41 years later, after a 17 year absence, just as Britain was preparing for a General Election.
The result of the vote was announced at the PPA’s centenary celebration event in central London on Thursday night.
Radio Times Art Editor and avid Doctor Who fan Paul Smith, who designed the cover, said: “It’s a great honour to win such a prestigious award. Radio Times always tries to go that extra mile, and this particular cover was certainly no exception. It’s a good example of the imagination and craft that makes Radio Times stand out from the crowd.
“We managed to reveal the new look Daleks, and combine two very different major television events of that week, into a striking and dramatic re-imagination of an already familiar moment, and that’s a rare opportunity.”
The award comes in the same week that Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary, with Radio Times continuing its long association with the sci-fi show with a special interactive issue featuring a choice of 12 collectable covers, one for each of the Doctors who have appeared over the last 50 years. Incredibly, it is also the 50th time Doctor Who has graced the cover since its first appearance in 1964.
Radio Times Editor Ben Preston said of the winning design: ”This cover definitely hit the bullseye with millions of readers and visitors. It’s striking, topical and witty and is in a rich tradition of memorable Radio Times covers.”
Radio Times would like to thank everyone who voted for the cover. The Daleks are thought to have mixed feelings about the whole thing…
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