Stating – accurately – that Doctor Who has defeated arch-enemies The Daleks “about 400 times,” making them, “the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe,” Producer Steven Moffat has officially given the tin cans a reprieve for upcoming episodes of the show.
Speaking with the UK’s Radio Times, and reprinted by BBC News, because nothing more important is happening in the world, Moffat continued that, “They aren't going to make an appearance for a while. We thought it was about time to give them a rest.”
Does that make us personally sad, as Doctor Who fans? Hell no. Even with the beasties being voted The Doctor’s scariest villains in a 2007 poll, they’re still giant tin cans with eggbeaters sticking out of them. Also, please point me to any episode of Who involving Daleks where he doesn’t beat them by just asking them what their plan is three times in a row, and then getting them to give up by explaining that he’s always beat them before. Basically, they are a terrifying race of cyborgs defeated by a poncy fop who makes them flinch first.
In summary: I’m pretty happy they’re going away for a while.
Now that I’ve lost every Doctor Who fan in existence, I’ll cop to the fact that I’ve often enjoyed the Dalek episodes of the show quite a bit, even if I find their actual threat level very low. Here’s a few of the best*:
1. Dalek (2005)
A little unfair, because this was the first Dalek episode I ever saw, but this solo effort that pitted one beastie against Christoper Eccleston’s Doctor was cheesy, exciting, and terrifying at the same time. But more than that, it was sad, as the last Dalek in existence battled the last Timelord in existence, and both finally figured out how to escape their very nature. It reintroduced the monsters in an efficient, exciting way for a new audience, and has so far, been unsurpassed by later episodes.
2. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (2006)
I’m a big fan of overwhelming odds, and pitting the Doctor against not just an entire army of Cybermen, but also the entire army of Daleks was a brilliant, over-the-top touch. Separately, the Doctor’s two metal adversaries aren’t very scary to a modern audience. Together, they made for a terrifying, overwhelming menace, and led to an ultimate sacrifice for the Doctor’s companion Rose Tyler that actually felt earned.
3. Victory of The Daleks (2010)
Okay, so this episode suffers from nearly every problem I have with a run-of-the-mill Dalek episode. But I can’t hate anything that pits Winston Churchill against aliens. Plus, The Daleks get fab rainbow makeovers! So mod!
So Who fans, will you miss The Daleks? Or will you be happy to see them go… Until they suddenly, shockingly return at the end of the next season, when it turns out Dalek creator Davros has been behind the Doctor’s adventures for the past two years? Spoiler warning? Maybe.
*From the last six years, because that’s when I started watching. Older fans, please chime in about how I didn’t list “Genesis of the Daleks,” and have no idea what I’m talking about.