Doctor Who: BBC Really Wants to Feed Into Your Dalek Death Fetish

For this week's Doctor Who compilation video, the BBC has resorted to a compilation of Dalek murders. For a kid's show. "4 Deadly Dalek Exterminations!" Only four Dalek exterminations? Does whoever cut these videos together think these are the best "murders by Dalek" in the modern era of Doctor Who? Because the show has had dozens of murders committed by Daleks since the 1960s. The show's longest serials, "Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "The Chase," ran for more than 6 episodes each and featured the Daleks as the Big Bad, slaughtering their way through Time and Space.

Doctor Who: BBC Releases Compilation Video of Dalek Exterminations
Look! It's Daleks from "Doctor Who"! Credit: BBC America

So we have the DIY Steampunk Dalek from Chris Chibnall's first special slaughtering a whole army, the lone Dalek from Russell T. Davies' first season, written by Robert Shearman, slaughtering a whole army, the 11th Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Missy (Michelle Gomez) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) in the craftiest fake-out and stand-off against the whole Dalek army from Steven Moffat's run, and Rory's (Arthur Darvill) narrow escape from an awakening army of Daleks… which isn't really any extermination at all, is it? They're stretching it now.

Look, you have to be a special kind of genius to screw up Daleks and how they kill people, and fortunately, none of the showrunners is that special kind of genius. Daleks are made for pulp thrills They are a legacy from World War II – their creator Terry Nation made them stand-ins for Nazis, their voice is a spoof of the British stereotype for what they felt Nazis sounded like, and their current voice actor Nicholas Briggs is now the standard-bearer. Daleks have become the ultimate Science Fiction metaphor for Nazis and all genocidal armies. Daleks are the deus ex machina of Doctor Who. Are things getting dull? Throw in Daleks!

With Doctor Who, Everything Comes Up Daleks

It is a general rule in storytelling that if a story threatens to become dull, throwing in a guy waving a gun, ninjas, vampires or Daleks immediately makes everything better. In fact, if you do all of those at once, it would probably end up as The Ultimate Doctor Who Episode EVER! Don't you want to see Daleks fight vampires and ninjas, even at the same time? ESPECIALLY at the same time! You know, deep in your darkest heart, you want to. Considering that 80% of British TV dramas are cop shows, it's a wonder there hasn't been a series called The Dalek Killings featuring earnestly angst-ridden British coppers investigating murders by Daleks. Surely that's an instant ratings winner? Easily 10 million viewers right there! The BBC paid Terry Nation's estate for the license to use Daleks, why not use it to the hilt?

Meanwhile, enjoy this 10-minute Dalek Snuff Video!

Doctor Who is on HBO Max in the US. For now.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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