The set of Doctor Who must be an incredibly exciting place, especially when the Daleks are around, right? Well, maybe not all the time. Take a look at this photo from the filming of The Dalek Invasion of Earth:
That’s Murphy Grumbar, one of the Dalek operators for that story, along with Robert Jewell, Gerald Taylor, Nick Evans, and Kevin Manser. Grumbar didn’t just wheel around in Daleks either. Here he is sitting in a less confined space, operating a Mechanoid for The Chase:
Murphy Grumbar’s full name was Peter Murphy Grumbar, and he was there right at the start of the history of the Daleks, credited as Peter Murphy for his first job as Dalek operator and also for The Dalek Invasion of Earth. His last time inside a Dalek was for Death to the Daleks, in 1974, which saw another, presumably accidental, variation on his name in the credits: Murphy Grunbar. He also appeared as Arcturus in The Curse of Peladon and uncredited as a Gel Guard in The Three Doctors and a Functionary in Carnival of Monsters. He had few television credits to his name apart from Doctor Who, all of them minor roles (i.e. characters with descriptions rather than names!). As one of the contributors to the early years of the show, who died before the era of DVD special features, any attempt to find out more about this man who was having a boring time inside a Dalek results in very little information at all. Perhaps one day he will be a worthy subject of one of Toby Hadoke’s excellent “Looking for…” documentaries. RP
Read next in the Junkyard… Unusual Doctor Who Photo #7: Skeleton Man
Thank you for this information on one of the many (of what Sylvester McCoy called) unsung heroes of Dr. Who for playing the monsters in all those very trying costumes including the Daleks.
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