Daleks. When you think about it they really are ridiculous. For instance, they can’t pick things up, they need slaves to do that. They talk about their superior technology yet one has to wonder how they built it. Do they get a bunch of humans, tell them what to do, then kill them so know one knows how to work it but the Daleks?
Okay so in later years they have been able to walk, or float, upstairs whereas before they would have only been able to conquer the first floor of the White House or Buckingham Palace. The Fourth Doctor put it best in “Destiny of the Daleks” when he said, “If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us.”
Daleks are really very child like as well. Easily frightened of the dark, they start to scream and freak out when you cover their eyestalk with a towel or a jacket. They also have a fear of being alone, as the last Dalek on Earth in “Remembrance of the Daleks” is proof of. Realizing that it was the last Dalek it had such a massive panic attack that it self destructed, or self disintegrated.
Perhaps they would have been better suited as intergalactic janitors. The only race with built in plungers and yet they have no bathrooms.
But then we love them don’t we? I for one wouldn’t miss an episode with the word Dalek in the title. Funny, we love the most evil race in the entire universe and they can’t even give us a hug in thanks.
Let’s look at the other side of things now.
If you were in the street and saw what appeared to be a one man tank coming at you yelling “exterminate!” in today’s world you would most likely run for the high heavens screaming for your Mommy.
They don’t care about compassion or sympathy so you couldn’t plead for your life. That is unless you could offer up some juicy secret information that will screw over your fellow man to save your own butt.
Not to mention that voice. For prolonged periods of time to one not used to listening to them, they could sound very annoying. On the other hand if you were in a prison being interrogated by one of them that voice would be bone chilling.
Also their weapons are very scary. They can paralyze your legs temporarily or permanently. They could scramble your insides with a laser beam. This shocked the heck out of me the first time I heard them say that’s what happens when they kill someone. Sounds awful. But then so are they. They have bombs, laser cutters, different setting for their laser arms ranging from “stun” to “blow things up”, and they even have Special Weapons Daleks for all those formal black tie battles.
Interestingly enough Doctor Who might not have survived so long had it not been for the Daleks. A creation that almost didn’t make it to our TV sets because someone thought they were a bad idea. But then fate stepped in and a legend was born. Had they not been aired as they had, Doctor Who may have been no different then any other nameless one season TV show.
As ridiculous as the Daleks could be, when you look at them and break them down, they are still important to the success of Doctor Who. So much so that for three modern era producers have brought back the Daleks in their first run of episodes.
Back in 2005, fans were excited by the leaked shot of the new Dalek, but other than the big head lamps what was really “new”? The picture of the Dalek looked as though it was snapped by someone standing on the set than by a lucky fan. It might even have been intentionally leaked so that we wouldn’t get suspicious about the “new” look?
A new look that basically improved the classic Dalek, making it more formidable, a little sleeker, a bit more metallic perhaps; but otherwise still how we know them.
We have come to expect certain things from the Daleks over the years. One thing for sure would be their voice. I can tell all reading this that at least one episode of the new series will have the voice exactly as we remember it. This is due to the fact that actor/writer Nicholas Briggs is voicing them, something he has done for Big Finish Productions since they began creating new adventures for the Doctor and crew back in 1999.
Since 2005, Doctor Who’s designers have regularly deviated from the traditional Dalek design while ensuring the old design remains front and centre. Human/Dalek hybrids, New Paradigm Daleks, and even the ramshackle DIY effort that faced the Thirteenth Doctor… there’s always a real Dalek nearby.
The Doctor, the TARDIS, and of course the Daleks. So really, what’s changed?