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Published on April 30th, 2005 | by Brian A Terranova

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Daleks: Rebirth

Daleks. When you think about it they really are ridiculous. For instance, they can’t pick things up, they need slaves to do that. They talk about their superior technology yet one has to wonder how they built it. Do they get a bunch of humans, tell them what to do, then kill them so know one knows how to work it but the Daleks?

Ok so in later years they have been able to walk, or float, upstairs whereas before they would have only been able to conquer the first floor of the White House or Buckingham Palace. From there it’s off to the nearest pub for a pint while they sort out how to get the Humans to come downstairs for their extermination.

The Fourth Doctor put it best in “Destiny of the Daleks” when he said, “If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us.”

Actually they really are very child like as well. They are easily frightened of the dark and start to scream and freak out when you cover their eyestalk with a towel or a jacket. They also have a fear of being alone, as the last Dalek on Earth in “Remembrance of the Daleks” is proof of. Realizing that it was the last Dalek it had such a massive panic attack that it self destructed, or self disintegrated.

Perhaps they would have been better suited as intergalactic janitors. The only race with built in plungers and yet they have no bathrooms.

But then we love them don’t we. I for one wouldn’t miss an episode with the word Dalek in the title. Funny, we love the most evil race in the entire universe and they can’t even give us a hug in thanks.

Let’s look at the other side of things now.

If you were in the street and saw what appeared to be a one man tank coming at you yelling “exterminate!” in today’s world you would most likely run for the high heavens screaming for your Mommy.

They don’t care about compassion or sympathy so you couldn’t plead for your life. That is unless you could offer up some juicy secret information that will screw over your fellow man to save your own butt.

Not to mention that voice. For prolonged periods of time to one not used to listening to them, they could sound very annoying. On the other hand if you were in a prison being interrogated by one of them that voice would be bone chilling.

Also their weapons are very scary. They can paralyze your legs temporarily or permanently. They could scramble your insides with a laser beam. This shocked the heck out of me the first time I heard them say that’s what happens when they kill someone. Sounds awful. But then so are they. They have bombs, laser cutters, different setting for their laser arms ranging from “stun” to “blow things up”, and they even have Special Weapons Daleks for all those formal black tie battles.

Interestingly enough Doctor Who might not have survived so long had it not been for the Daleks. A creation that almost didn’t make it to our TV sets because someone thought they were a bad idea. But then fate stepped in and a legend was born. Had they not been aired as they had, Doctor Who may have been no different then any other nameless one season TV show.

As ridiculous as the Daleks could be, when you look at them and break them down, they are still important to the success of Doctor Who. So much so that for all of the New Series efforts to make the new show “a new show” they still had enough sense to get the Daleks back for it’s re-launch.

Interesting that.

The new series will be the same old Doctor from Hartnell up to and including McGann. But is that all that will remain the same?

With all the rumors that were floating about the place over the new design of the Daleks and all the fan criticism, before seeing anything concrete, it’s hard to keep an open mind.

We have come to expect certain things from the Daleks over the years. One thing for sure would be their voice. I can tell all reading this that at least one episode of the new series will have the voice exactly as we remember it. This is due to the fact that actor/writer Nicholas Briggs is voicing them, something he has done for Big Finish Productions since they began creating new adventures for the Doctor and crew back in 1999.

As I said before the Daleks are childlike but more so, in a way, they are like our children. It’s hard for us to accept that they want to leave home and start a name for themselves without us standing behind them saying how proud we are.

Every fan by now has seen the shot of the new Gold Dalek, but we have seen gold Daleks before. We have seen the big head lamps before. So where is the change to make things “new”? Personally I think that we have grander things coming our way. The picture of the Gold Dalek looks more like it was taken by someone standing on the set then by a lucky fan. So was this picture leaked to us on purpose so that we wouldn’t get suspicious about the “new” look? Or is this it, have the Daleks been updated to look just as we remember them? A little sleeker, a bit more metallic perhaps, but otherwise still how we know them.

Of course the speculation of the “Spider Daleks” is once again running around everyone’s minds, but for a show with all new ideas could this really be it? Only time will tell.

The fact remains that for all the efforts of the new show to branch out and stand on its own two legs, there were three element they could not abandon.

The Doctor, the TARDIS, and of course the Daleks. So really, what’s changed?

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Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.




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