News broke today that former BBC designer Ray Cusick has died after a short illness, aged 84. His daughter, Claire Heawood said that Cusick passed away on Thursday at his home near Horsham in West Sussex.
Raymond Patrick Cusick was born in London, and planned to be a civil engineer, but then joined the army. After a stint stationed in Palestine, Cusick planned to take up teaching instead. Having taught art, he then took an interest in design and joined Granada Television. This led to a move to the BBC as a staff designer, which included being assigned to the fledgling Doctor Who. Here, he was to come up with the design of the Daleks, which are one of the key elements that made the fifty-year old programme the success it has become.
Unfortunately, Cusick had always played second fiddle to Dalek creator,Terry Nation – as a salaried Corporation employee, he was not paid royalties, whilst the writer became a millionaire. Cusick (pictured in 1964) only ever wanted to be credited as the designer.
Besides his contribution to The Daleks, Cusick was production designer on The Edge of Destruction, The Keys of Marinus, The Sensorites, Planet of Giants, The Rescue, The Romans, The Chase, Mission to the Unknown, and The Daleks’ Master Plan.
The designer’s final work for the BBC was on their Miss Marple series (1987), and in June 2008, Cusick appeared in the Doctor Who Confidential episode, Friends and Foe.