Saturday 26 February 2011

I think I like the new Daleks..

A recent visitor to this blog suggested that I am a bit too negative about the BBC Wales series. Well, I am going to surprise everybody by offering some faint praise to the New Dalek Paradigm designs in the last season. I would venture to say that they are one of the few decent things in the last Dr. Who season.

I don't think they are perfect. They are a bit too large. I think the small size of the Daleks in The Daleks reflected their freakiness better than the bigger versions we have seen since The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

Part of the appeal of the new Daleks is the obvious homage to the Daleks in the Cushing movie. Those films might not have been Doctor Who, but those Daleks were cool. The other more obscure influence is of course the Marx Dalek toys that were sold in all good toyshops back in the 60s. Such was the nostalgic appeal of the Marx toys that you could buy remakes of them by Dapol back in the 90s wilderness years. I had one myself. I suppose my liking for this ridiculous Sixties design betrays me as being hopelessly nostalgic. But how can one separate a liking for the Daleks from nostalgia?

Part of the appeal of Daleks is that they are both silly and frightening at the same time. Nobody working in science fiction television today would come up with a design like the Daleks. Yet they have lasted for nearly fifty years. The RT Davies brass Daleks went a long way to restoring the terror and violence of the Daleks, but aside from the flying saucers, allowed them to lose a little of their Sixties kitsch. With their bright and bold colours, the new Dalek paradigm are full of it. They look like vacuum cleaners or fire extinguishers. Nevertheless, we can be sure that when they start exterminating people they will chill the blood as ever.

Having been utterly disappointed by the dreadful Christmas special and the absurd season 5 finale, The Big Bang, I can only hope that in the next season we will see an all-action Dalek adventure with the fab new Daleks.


  1. I don't like the new designs myself, the colours are too bright and as you said, too large.
    And the way they came out reminded me of the power rangers.
    Oh well. I wonder if the rumour I heard that Moffat would give the new Cybermen a make over is true, or that he will bring back the older Cybermen. Not that I dislike their 2006 design.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Are you that Australian person?

    I can't stand the new series Cybermen; they look far too much like robots. Part of the horror of the Cybermen ought to be the mystery as to how much human flesh is left of them.

  3. I am indeed the Australian person, hehe.
    That too bothers me, I like the designs as they are, but I generally just think of the new Cybermen as robots anyway. You can't really take them seriously.
    I love the early Cybermen appearance in Tenth Planet, Moonbase, Tomb and Wheel in Space.
    I understand the need to make take away any personality and emotion from the new Cybermen, but it means they appear more disposable and less menacing.
    Just my two cents.

  4. Thanks. It's nice that you are returning to the blog, but it would be helpful if you could leave comments under a name or a nickname, so I don't get you mixed up with any other people who post comments as 'Anonymous.' I get a lot of people posting as 'Anonymous' on my other blog and it can get confusing.

  5. In truth, the BBC Wales series has given very little in establishing good uses of the new Daleks aside from the Cult of Skaro (which I liked a lot- before they turned their attention to musical theater in Manhattan). I enjoy the Bronze Daleks of the RTD era in design, but they were so useless in their adventures.
    Aside from a re-designed look, we need better Dalek stories. Sure, the paradigm Daleks look more menacing, more 'alien' and more powerful, but unless they have something cool to do, it's all for nothing. I have high hopes for a great Dalek adventure in 2012.

  6. I think that some of the New Daleks are scarier than any Dalek that has appeared before. Specififcally, the Strategist, the Supreme, and to a lesser extent the Drone.
    The less scary ones are Sunshine Flower(Eternal) and Pumpkin Patch(Scientist). I don't have a problem with the Eternal Dalek's color, except it isn't really menacing, maybe if it was gold?. The Scientist is just awful. Orange is NOT a Dalek color. Period.
    I think it would be better if the Scientist was a faded green and the Eternal was gold.
    However, the red of the Drone, the blue of the Strategist, and the white of the Supreme work far better.
    My only problem with the design is the hunchback. It doesn't really work well and was completely unecessary. However, I got over that a long time ago.
    I like the new size just as well as the shorter Daleks of the past. I think the new neck section works well, and the eye appears menacing. The whole thing looks like a one-man tank, exactly what I've always thought of Daleks.

  7. At first I wasn't too sure about them, but after the epic Series 5 finale, any doubts I had were erased, and the new Daleks, like the new Doctor, became my favorite out of any Dalek seen before, and I can't wait to see them in "Assylum of the Daleks".

    1. I'm glad you like them. But I'm not getting my hopes up about Asylum of the Daleks. I suspect yet another disaster.

    2. After watching it and rewatching it a couple times, I felt it was a fantastic story, though I feel the bronze Daleks took too much of the spotlight from the Classics and New Paradigm