Fifty years ago today, the Daleks made their debut.
Written by Terry Nation, The Daleks saw the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan land on the irradiated planet of Skaro and met the peaceful Thals and the terrifying Daleks, horribly mutated creatures hidden away inside armoured machines – capable of exterminating the universe. These certainly weren’t the ‘Bug-Eyed Monsters’ Sydney Newman was so concerned about.
Their incredible popularity saved Doctor Who and Dalekmania swept the nation. Those little alien death machines, designed by Raymond Cusick, captured the imagination of… well, everyone! Fifty years on, you can still see why the Daleks are as popular as ever.
The following season, the Skaro menaces returned in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, framed by London iconography, and – after a brief sort-of-appearance in The Space Museum - appropriately concluded Ian and Barbara’s travels in time and space with The Chase.
Since then, they’ve appeared in fan-favourite tales like Genesis of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, and Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways, as well as the epic The Daleks’ Master Plan.
So, Kasterborites… Which is your favourite Dalek story?
Might you go for their big 2005 return, Dalek, in which a furious and reeling Ninth Doctor explained how he wiped out both the Daleks and his own race? Or perhaps the time-twisting Day of the Daleks? Is the colourful (and barmy) Destiny of the Daleks a contender? Or that chilling scene in Asylum of the Daleks when the Doctor is begging Oswin to open the door as his greatest enemy advances from all sides?
You could even go for a story that we may never see again: Mission to the Unknown, The Power of the Daleks or The Evil of the Daleks…
Or have more modern endeavours impressed you? Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday anyone? Victory of the Daleks? Don’t forget their brief but breath-taking appearances in The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang and the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor!
Oh, and of course, you might be a Peter Cushing fan…
Happy anniversary, Daleks. We love you. All together now – -