The Daleks. The most hated species, feared throughout the universe. Created by the scientist, Davros, to be war machines and to end the war between the Thals and the Kaleds on Skaro. Soon they spread across the universe, causing destruction and death wherever they went.
We can all agree that the Daleks are just as iconic to Doctor Who as the TARDIS and the Doctor himself. When introducing someone to the show for the first time, I always mention the Daleks and the Doctors seemingly eternal struggle to rid them from the universe. They just seem to run parallel with the show, from their first appearance in 1963 to the most recant episode, The Time of The Doctor in 2013, the Daleks always come back.
In 2005 with the new series that was set to reboot Doctor Who, the Doctor came back to our screens and so did the Daleks. It was no surprise that these 'metal pepper pots' were reintroduced in the episode Dalek, but for the new generation of whovians it was a first experience. For the generation who watched prior to 2005, the last time they had seen the Daleks was in the 1996 movie starring Paul McGann as the 8th incarnation of the Doctor. I was one of the new generations to see the Daleks for the first time.
The Doctor had landed in Utah, North America in 2012 with Rose by his side. Tracking down a signal, the TARDIS materialises in a museum of sorts, one that had collections of all things alien including but not limited to a Slitheen arm. Of course all was not what it seemed. We soon learn that the museum of alien artefacts belonged to one Henry Van Statten, a big headed, self-centred egotist that held no regard for anyone but himself and his collection. Most importantly his only living specimen, the Metaltron.
Observing that the Doctor has knowledge of alien technology, he sends the Doctor to see what he can make of this Metaltron. Little did the Doctor know that he would soon be faced with his long term foe, a Dalek. At first we see a look of pure astonishment on the Doctors face which is quickly replied by dread and he tries to flee the room in fear of what could happen next. Here we hear for the first time that bone-chilling metallic word ; "EXTERMINATE." A word that will forever be associated with the Daleks and one that always sticks in people's mind when Doctor Who is mentioned. The tables soon turn for our Time Lord once he realises that the Daleks weapon system was broken and couldn't actually do him any harm. The Doctor almost mocks the Dalek, taunting it with visible anger showing.
Throughout the first series of the reboot, we gained snippets of knowledge that since we last saw the Doctor as Paul McGann, a huge war happened. One we now know well as the Time War. In this episode a considerable amount of information about the war was released in light of meeting this Dalek.
Dalek: I demand orders!
The Doctor: They're never gonna come! Your race is dead. You all burned—all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race, wiped out in one second.
Dalek: You lie!
The Doctor: I watched it happen. I made it happen.
Dalek: You destroyed us?
The Doctor: I had no choice.
Dalek: And what of the Time Lords?
The Doctor: Dead. They burned with you. The end of the last great Time War. Everyone lost.
While the Doctor is angry and warns Van Statten of the dangers the lone Dalek could do and repeatedly suggests killing it, Rose has a completely opposite reaction. She shows sympathy and kindness towards the Dalek, Rose sees that it is hurting and shows compassion. Although she did not know what it was capable of at the time, Rose still took pitty. From this, my first impressions of the Dalek race was that they were pitiful, easily defeated creatures and not at all powerful. Oh was I wrong, the Dalek was cunning, and he tricked Rose just as he tricked me. With just one touch from Rose soon the Dalek began to repair itself and the demonstration of power and capability to destroy soon took effect.
Statten: What does it look like?
The Doctor: A nightmare. A mutation. The Dalek race was genetically engineered. Every single emotion was removed except hate.
This episode really showed off the Daleks capabilities and how they had evolved, I was quite impressed by them at the time, and I still am, however I will never forget seeing this episode for the first time and thinking that the Doctor would have his hands full.
With a demonstration of; Draining all the power not just from the facility but the whole eastern side of the United States and searching the Internet for signs of the Daleks, to killing many people at once by setting off the sprinklers and then killing them all with one shot thanks to the conductive properties of water. The Dalek was smart and could now elevate off the ground plus to top it all off, bullets could not harm him, shown by an almost Matrix style shot. He seemed unstoppable...
And yet, not entirely unstoppable. In an failed effort to kill Rose after she fell short of reaching the safety of the bulkheads in time, the Dalek realised a change, he couldn't kill Rose. The Dalek begins to feel fear as he is contaminated by Rose's human DNA. Forcing it to feel things that it didn't feel before, something completely not recognisable as pure Dalek anymore and requests freedom. Rose being the sympathetic person in the room, brings the Dalek to an area where he can feel the sunlight. Personally I felt this was a clever way to show what a Dalek was really like inside, so we could see this mutated creature that resided inside the metal casing. Could you have done what Rose did in this episode?
In the end, the Dalek is changing so much that it begs Rose to order it to self destruct. The Dalek sees itself as sick, having human emotions was an ailment and the only way to cure itself was to die. Reluctantly but understandably Rose lets the Dalek die by giving it the orders it wanted to hear. The Dalek saw all the hate, and it couldn't take it. It goes to show that no matter how evil a creature is, if they have the feeling of hate and fear, they cannot in fact deal with such horrors themselves.
To me this episode showed the might of the Daleks, and how easily they could destroy lives. If only one Dalek could kill two hundred men in one episode, what was an entire race capable of? It was a question I didn't want to know the answer to. Now we know the Daleks do come back with a vengeance several times since this episode and personally I don't think they will ever be eradicated!
What do you think of the Daleks and their return? Let me know in the comments! :)