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The Daleks

Arch Enemies of The Doctor

The evil, destructive Daleks are the Doctor's oldest, deadliest foes and most popular. Despite appearances they are not true robots, being a combination of living organism and technology. Initially they were designed as travel machines for the creatures inside, however over time creature and machine merged together.

The Daleks were created by writer Terry Nation, the brain behind much classic British science fiction. The story goes that Nation was working for comedy genius Tony Hancock when the BBC asked him to write for Doctor Who. Not wanting to be involved with a kids show Nation turned them down. Shortly afterwards Hancock and Nation had a "disagreement" and parted company. Finding himself without work Nation reluctantly took the job with the BBC - and gave us the greatest SF creation of all time.


The Daleks arose on the planet Skaro, created by the Kaled race in their war against the Thals. They were invented by the Kaled chief scientist the ruthless Davros. Although original plans were for the Daleks to be armoured travel machines for the Kaleds, Davros wanted to make them a race of their own fit to conquer the universe.

Today the original Kaled race has mutated and devolved to something akin to a lump of green slime inside the Dalek exoskeleton. In the words of the Doctor they are: "little green blobs in bonded polycarbide armour". This armour has taken various colours over the years but for many fans the outfits that looks best on a Dalek remains simple silver and basic black.

The Daleks exist solely to conquer and subjugate "lesser" creatures. Any who refuse to obey are ruthlessly exterminated. Unlike the Cybermen the Daleks lack any sublety and rely on simple brute force.

(Having said that, they did seem to have a less aggressive approach to Jo Grant / Katy Manning, at least so it seems from one famous photo!)

In the new Doctor Who series the Daleks were initially believed to have been wiped out in the great Time War but - like the proverbial bad penny - returned to once more threaten the Doctor.


As with all Doctor Who monsters the design of the Daleks has changed subtly over the years, however their appeal never diminishes. After they originally appeared in 1963 everyone wanted Dalek themed gits and the flood of merchandise led to what was known as "Dalek Christmas". Today people of all ages still buy all manner of Dalek toys, collectibles and more. Many models talk (or at least screech: "Exterminate") and make appropriate sounds, or failing that you can buy a voice changer for yourself. You can also buy Daleks operated by remote control or even life size versions.


Davros himself was crippled and travelled in what looks very like the lower half of a Dalek. Over the years he shed gradually more of his humanoid form and became ever more like a Dalek himself.

The relationship between Davros and the Daleks is long and complex. At times they have recognised him as their creator and hence their leader, at others they have schemed against him. Some Dalek factions follow not Davros but the Emperor Dalek - others refer to Davros as Emperor. There is a history of fighting amongst the different factions with various generations of Dalek considering themselves the true master race and the others inferior mutants. As companion Ace said: "They hate each others' chromosomes. War to the death."

At the time of writing Davros has not yet appeared in the new Doctor Who series.

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