On December 21, we celebrate International Dalek Remembrance Day, a way to honor the most iconic of sci-fi villains, Doctor Who's Daleks. The villains first appeared in the first classic Doctor serial "The Daleks" in 1963, becoming instantly popular and saving the show from cancellation.
While the #DoctorWho TV show is where they are best known, remaining a staple of both the classic series and the revival, over the years the Daleks have made a few appearances outside of the show.
1. 'Dr. Who And The Daleks' (1965) And 'Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.' (1966)
Dr. Who And The Daleks, starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Who, was a film made to help introduce Doctor Who to an American audience. Based on the original "The Daleks" serial, the film made a number of changes, such as portraying Dr. Who as a regular human scientist, and Ian Chesterton (an intelligent school teacher in the original) as a bumbling idiot. One thing that was not changed, however, was the portrayal of The Daleks, who remain as scary as ever.
A second film, based on the serial "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," was released the following year. Like the previous film, a number of changes were made, including the replacement of Barbara and Ian, and the omission of a romantic subplot for Susan, portrayed as a child in the film as opposed to a teenager. Again, The Daleks remained untouched.
2. 'Look Out, Chuckie!'
Creatures that look suspiciously like #Daleks appear in the background of "Toy Palace," a Season 2 episode of Rugrats, a popular '90s cartoon. Gabor Csupo, one of the animators of Rugrats, is a big Doctor Who fan, explaining the unusual cameo. Since spotting the Dalek reference, fans have made other connections between The Doctor and Rugrats' lead character, Tommy Pickles. Like The Doctor, Tommy is the brave, mostly unquestioned leader of his friends, and also like The Doctor, is rarely seen without his screwdriver.
3. Dalek Vs. The Robot, 'Ted 2'
In a scene towards the climax of comedy sequel Ted 2, a chase between Ted and the film's villain occurs through the halls of San Diego Comic-Con. As the usual chaos ensues, a brawl is triggered between a Dalek and Lost In Space's robot. While the ongoing brawl is returned to a few times throughout the chase scene, it is not very exciting, considering all they can do is continually bump into each other.
4. Dalek-Themed 'Adult Films'
Yes, they have happened. It's best not to dwell on it. Enjoy the innocent parody cartoon above instead.
5. 'I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek,' By The Go-Gos
With the holiday so close, this festive tune seems the best way to end. Sung by The Go-Gos, "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek" was released in 1964, with the band hoping to capitalize on the Dalek's extreme popularity at the time. It features wonderful moments, like children hugging a Dalek under the mistletoe, and feeding it sugar spice. Sadly, this would be unlikely to go well in real life.
Since the Doctor Who revival began, the song has been rediscovered by #Whovians, and enjoys a lot of play in Who-loving homes over Christmas.
Here's a special holiday message from the current Doctor and cast:
Happy International Dalek Remembrance Day! What are your favorite Dalek moments?