Clive Lankford of Lancasters armourie talks to unitnews about constructing the Sycorax swords as featured in The Christmas Invasion.
As Clive explains, Lancasters are an established builder of swords with a proven history of supplying historical re-enactors and other specialists:
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“Our main customers are full contact re-enactors and have only recently started selling them for TV production although they have been used on stage for a number of years.
One of the reasons for our swords being used is we are the only company that put a limited guarantee on them not to break, we will only make a statement like this if we have tried and tested them to destruction.”
Clive explained to unitnews how the swords are made: “We use Chrome Nickel Molybdenum steel (commonly known as tank armour) this is a very expensive steel but it does last and we have to buy it a tonne at a time. We also have our own recipe for tempering them which is what makes them that bit more special
Given the punishment that we put them through and that ours last us around 4 years we have worked out that we put over 8 years full contact wear on them.”
Clive also explained the differences between the prop sword they made (see picture above) and the swords as seen on screen, “The latex on the pommel and quillion was added by the BBC props department. As it was not a standard blade length we had to ensure that we had it well balanced for the actors.
We made a prototype first which we are going to sell for charity with the funds are going to Great Ormond Street Hospital, the others were made to exactly the same size and standards.”
Normally a sword like this would sell for around �350 plus the latex work.
And for those fans who fancy themselves as The Doctor Clive has some good news: “We will be manufacturing a limited number of these blades which will all be numbered starting at number 5 they will also carry our armourers mark and a letter of authentication with a stand for them to be displayed.”