Steven Clark, 51, says he invented Davros for a competition run by the now defunct TV Action magazine in 1972. Entrants were asked to create a comic-strip villain, and Mr Clark claims he invented the name Davros and sent in a drawing of the character along with a handwritten essay called The Genesis Of The Daleks: The Creation Of Davros.
His drawing – a pencil sketch coloured in with felt pens – showed a ‘half-man half-Dalek’ with an additional eye in the centre of his forehead, a headset, epaulettes, a withered left hand and finger-like switchgear on the Dalek base.
Father-of-three Mr Clark, from Ashford, Kent, has now launched High Court proceedings to try to prove the BBC and its commercial arm BBC Worldwide have been using the character without his permission for nearly four decades.
If this is true, he deserves some sort of recognition. “Genesis of the Daleks” is generally thought to be the point at which Terry Nation returned to form after several relatively lacklustre scripts, and if he had help – or at least drew some inspiration – from a 13 year old fan, he should at least have acknowledged the fact.
(Of course, it may all turn out to be a scam… In the meantime I will try to dig out those old scripts for “Space Trek” I once sent to Gene Roddenberry*.)
*OK, I admit I nicked that joke. So sue me.