Villain Countdown No. 2 – The Daleks

Everyone remembers their first Doctor Who, and as I acknowledged at the start, for me it was an absolute corker of a story that got me hooked – Genesis of the Daleks. I hesitate to say that it was the Daleks wot won it, but I did spend the next six months avidly drawing Daleks, a habit I haven’t quite grown out of …

Daleks

I think there is a real danger in overthinking the Daleks. For whatever reason their unique shape, their staccato voices and militaristic way of life are weirdly endearing – they are the enemies you want to appear. I don’t quite buy into Steven Moffat’s conviction that the Daleks have lost their fear factor because ‘You know that they are going to lose.’ I instead think, as with the Cybermen, they lost their fear factor when they stopped being the story, instead being subservient to a master (like Davros) or part of a bigger plot (like in The Time of the Doctor). Into the Dalek was a perfect example that the Dalek concept, untethered and untamed, still captures the imagination.

So why are they only number 2 in my countdown? I think it is because for all of the positives (and they have relatively fewer dud stories compared to my most favoured villains) they are like my drawing – slightly comical. Yes, I remember well the thrill of terror when I first watched Genesis of the Daleks, and enjoy with enthusiasm when one lone Dalek in the eponymous New Series episode single handedly takes out an entire base. But the Daleks aren’t really scary – they have a certain thrill that makes you appreciate and enjoy any adventure they appear in, provided they are well used, but scared … not really.

For a feared foe, we need to tune into my final villain review …

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