Doctor Who: 50 Greatest Dalek Moments

Reliving the best moments of those pepper pots who've menaced the galaxy for time immemorial.

The Doctor. The TARDIS. The Daleks. These are the three fixtures in Doctor Who across its long and illustrious history. Genetically-engineered mutants housed in tank-like shells, the Daleks are the show's ultimate monster, forever plaguing the Doctor and, so the saying goes, sending young viewers flying behind the sofa with their inhuman design, their shrill voice and their lack of anything resembling compassion. Nearly as old as Doctor Whoitself €“ the Daleks debuted in the show's second ever serial €“ those pesky pepper pots have racked up a number of terrifying, entertaining and, yes, sometimes humorous moments across the thirty plus stories they have featured in. So please, without any further ado, use that sink plunger of an arm to click to the next page to start this countdown of the shifty Skarosians' very best moments. YOU MUST OBEY! OBEY! OBEY! OBEEEEY!

50. The First Exterminate €“ The Daleks

And there is no better place to start than in the Daleks' introductory story, funnily enough known as The Daleks. Although a throwaway scene in itself €“ some Daleks are having a good ol' chinwag in a corridor in their bunker €“ this moment from the fourth episode of the serial proves significant as it the first time the Daleks ever use their soon-to-be catchphrase 'exterminate.' Interestingly, in this story the Daleks never actually say 'exterminate!' when firing, here the word is used in the order 'they are to be exterminated.' By the Daleks' second story, the following year's The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Dalekmania had swept the British nation and the metal monsters returned with the saying in tow. Everyone now: 'Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!'

49. 'Hello Dalek...' €“ The Wedding Of River Song

Many Dalek stories in recent years have made great use of the hatred that the Doctor and the Daleks have for each other, and, more specifically, the fear that the Doctor can induce in them. He is their greatest enemy, the Oncoming Storm, the Predator of the Daleks. This relationship is well shown here in this early scene from the otherwise Dalek-free The Wedding of River Song. 'Imagine you're afraid, a long way from home and in terrible pain,' says the Doctor walking up to an unseen creature. 'Just when you think it couldn't get worse, you looked up and saw the face of the Devil himself... Hello Dalek.' You almost feel sorry for the poor thing...

48. Invisible Daleks! €“ Planet Of The Daleks

One of the great Dalek cliffhangers comes at the end of Episode 1 of Planet of the Daleks, which, rather confusingly, is not actually set on the Daleks' homeworld Skaro but on Spiridon. Accompanied by the Daleks' old enemies, the Thals, the Doctor uncovers the invisible creatures they are hunting down €“ Daleks. But not just any Daleks, invisible Daleks! The notion of invisible Daleks €“ they're deadly enough when you can see them, imagine what it would be like if you couldn't €“ is a great one, promising a brilliant use of the Daleks' unstoppability. The rest of the serial might not entirely deliver on this but that still doesn't detract from this thrill-inducing scene.

47. Amy's Hallucination €“ Asylum Of The Daleks

Something 2012's Asylum of the Daleks perhaps does better than any other Dalek story is to make the Daleks spooky. An excellent example of this comes when Amy, affected by the nano cloud that will eventually turn her into a Dalek, sees a group of strangely-moving people in the heart of the Asylum €“ a welcoming man, a couple dancing and a ballerina. The Doctor pulls her away from them and explains that those people aren't really there. With Amy's perception shifted, we see that the people are in fact Daleks. It's enough to give you goosebumps on your Dalekanium hemispherical globes.

46. Davros Lives! €“ Destiny Of The Daleks

After the end of Genesis of the Daleks, it seemed the Daleks' creator, Davros, had met his final end. However, several years later for the show, and a century later for him, he returned. Back on Skaro, the Doctor discovers the Daleks are searching the ancient Kaled bunker €“ their ancestral home €“ for something long lost. Beating the Daleks to it, he encounters a cobwebbed Davros in suspended animation. At the movement, Davros' sole hand starts to twitch. His artificial eye lights up. Davros awakens. Apart from being a creepy moment for one of Doctor Who's creepiest villains, this scene sets up Davros as a recurring enemy for the Doctor as well as the complex relationship he has with his own creations. Having dispatched him in the previous adventure, the Daleks are now calling upon their creator for help. This reliance yet independence from their 'parent' would continue across every subsequent Davros/Dalek story. When you think about it, Daleks are just stroppy teenagers, aren't they?
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