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Doctor Who: So Are the "Revolution" Daleks Not REALLY Daleks?

So could the new Daleks that viewers see in New Year's Day's Doctor Who Festive Special 'Revolution of the Daleks" actually not be Daleks- at least the ones fans have gotten to know and love/loathe over the years? The new year kicks off with the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) locked away in a space prison, leaving Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and Yaz (Mandip Gill), as well as series-departing Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) to save the Earth from the machinations of the Doctor's arch-enemy. But the foursome will be facing another version of the Doctor's arch-enemies- one whose story dates back to the "Resolution." And that's where a theory that was posed by comes into play.

Doctor Who Special 2020: Revolution Of The Daleks - Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBCA
Doctor Who Special 2020: Revolution Of The Daleks – Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBCA

Their theory is that the Dalek casing left behind in "Resolution" was taken by the government and scientists for study to use for your typical shady military type stuff. Of course, they learn quickly that there's actually something inside each one that's actually operating the casing- so what do they do? Well, Jack Robertson (Chris Noth) and his scientist Leo Rugazzi (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) most likely found a little DNA in the casing so they decided to clone a version of the Daleks. This means that the Daleks we're seeing would be of a man-made variety and not really of the OG variety. Again, this is a theory on their part- but Stewart-Jarrett added it some legitimacy during an interview with Doctor Who Monthly magazine. "He's really excited about discovery and creation and science," Stewart-Jarrett explained. "And he's been cultivating this embryo which, unbeknownst to him, is an evil being."

As we mentioned in previous posts, something viewers should know about "Revolution of the Daleks" is that it's pulling double-duty: serving as both a stand-alone episode as well as a sequel to 2019's "Resolution (of the Daleks)." In fact, from what series showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens had to say, it sounds like a rewatching before "Revolution" might be in order. "I kept to using just one Dalek in 'Resolution' because they're powerful things singly anyway, so that's fun just to be able to give one that space. But also I was planning to bring them back in greater numbers for this episode," Chibnall revealed. "We knew that when we said goodbye to the Reconnaissance Dalek, when it was jettisoned out of the Tardis doors into a supernova at the end of 'Resolution,' that that would not be the end of it. Chris already had the idea of this return, that the next time we see the Daleks, it'd be straight into a sort of origin story for the version in our era of the series."

Doctor Who: So Are the "Revolution" Daleks Not REALLY Daleks?
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Leo Rugazzi – Doctor Who Special 2020: Revolution Of The Daleks – Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBCA

When it came to designing a new look for the iconic villains, Chibnall wanted to make sure that they went with a look that would be unique while still staying true to the Daleks. "We wanted something sleek, shiny and powerful, and slightly different from any Dalek you've seen before," he revealed. "There's always a pressure when you refresh any Doctor Who monster. But equally, that's part of the job and that's part of what keeps it new and interesting." That said, neither Chibnall nor Strevens are looking to replace what came before them. "You're never replacing what's gone before, you're just adding a new variant," Chibnall explained. "It's just this story is about these black and red Daleks, which light up at night and do all sorts of things." Strevens agrees, adding, "You want to contemporize them, and make them hold up to scrutiny under modern filming techniques, and to look as high-end as you possibly can. You can't stray too far from the classic design – but then what can you do within that? How can you make them feel different and relevant, and sexy, and lethal as well?"

Viewers last saw the Thirteenth Doctor at the end of season 12, where her fate was left hanging in the balance as she was locked away in a high-security alien prison with no hope of escape. In the upcoming New Year's Day special, Yaz, Ryan and Graham are far away on Earth and having to carry on with their lives without her. However, they soon discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek without the Doctor? Even with Captain Jack's help, the gang are set to face one of their biggest and most frightening challenges yet.

Doctor Who Special 2020 - Revolution Of The Daleks
Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBCA

Joining the special are Chris Noth (Sex and the City), who will be back as the disgraced Jack Robertson. Dame Harriet Walter (Killing Eve, Succession) will also be making her Doctor Who debut for the special, alongside television star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (The Trial of Christine Keeler). "We've crammed this year's Doctor Who special with an explosion of extraordinary acting talent. Where else would you get British acting royalty, a globally renowned US screen star, an (inter)national treasure of stage and screen, and one of Britain's hottest young actors — just in the guest cast," said series showrunner Chris Chibnall. "Put those together with Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole (and Daleks! Did I mention Daleks!) — and you get a cast to be exterminated for. And things will explode. Promise."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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