Monster of the Day #37

Talk about the British invasion!  The greatest monsters TV ever gave us? Let the arguments begin.

  • Ericb

    And they are monsters and not robots! And you’re right, they were a very clever idea (completly non-humanoid aliens but since they had to travel around in those mini-tanks they could actually be realized with 1960s technology). Neccessity really is the monther of invention. Davros was a misstep though.

  • sandra

    I think the Daleks were humanoid, originally.

  • Yep! Daleks were humanoid, but mutated into little squishy monsters that are now secreted inside their armor.

  • David Fullam

    Helz to the yeah!

  • John Nowak

    Thinking hard on the subject, I would agree that the Daleks are the best monsters serial TV’s ever given us. Most of the obvious contenders are, well, aliens and not monsters.

    “Monster” is here defined as something that makes the kids hide behind the couch.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Daleks are great, and the ironic thing is that they almost never got to the screen in the first place. The producers didn’t like the story, and only okay’d the production when another planned story fell through.

    I disagree about Davros, though, I thought he was magnificent. I can win any argument simply by talking like him.

    “Yes…we could go to Burger King, if you don’t mind My TOTAL DOMINATION OF YOUR ONION RINGS, FROM WHICH YOU WILL NEVER RECOVER!”

  • The Daleks are great.

    I’m also partial to Steven Moffat’s creation, the Weeping Angels, which were pretty brilliant. Any statue you see might be a monster, and it can only move when you’re not looking.

  • Ericb

    Davros was fine in the first story he was in but they ruined him by making him impossible to kill. He just kept comeing back and back and back …

  • Daleks are the greatest alien race, period.

  • Gamera

    Yeah, Davros was great in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ but I hated the way afterward they brought him back, over and over and over…
    Did the Daleks ever appear again on the original series without Davros after ‘Genesis’? They stand well as villians on their own without having to be Davros ‘muscle’.

    One of the few reinventions of classic monsters I like is the Daleks on the new series. I suppose they’re really only an upgrade to the levitating Dalek from the age of the 7th Doctor but still I kinda like the new levitating ones mixed in with the ‘normal’ ones. At least it killed the old ‘run up a flight of stairs to escape’ joke…

  • BeckoningChasm

    the old ‘run up a flight of stairs to escape’ joke

    That was, in my opinion, Sylvester McCoy’s best moment.

  • BeckoningChasm

    No, the Daleks didn’t appear again after “Genesis” without Davros being around somewhere. What made the relationship between the two interesting (at least in my view) was that neither side trusted the other and both constantly jockeyed for dominance. The Daleks only sought him out when there was a problem they couldn’t solve (by shooting) and he actually created a secondary race of Daleks designed to be subservient to him.

    In the earlier seasons of Doctor Who, the Daleks appeared over and over again; once they showed up in Pertwee’s “Day of the Daleks” after a long absence, he fought them a number of times. By then, I think the writers were running out of things for them to do, so Baker only met them twice and those who followed him only one time apiece.

  • JJ Gauthier

    There is no argument.

    All who disagree will be exterminated.




  • Re: Davros coming back again and again to diminishing results, see Galactus, the Borg, etc.

  • Rock Baker

    Pretty spiffy. Art deco monsters, you gotta love em’. Come to think of it, the Daleks and Kronos could be in the same universe.

  • Yes, they could be sold in some stylish Swedish monster store.

  • In the long run, Davros proved more of a liability to the tales than an asset. After Genesis of the Daleks, in all future Dalek stories, as soon as Davros shows up the story loses steam. They almost overcame him in the latest Davros episode by making it clear he was a servant, not a master, but still. The Daleks don’t need Davros, or important “personalities” to make their point.

    But I do love the Daleks so much that i am forced to pedantically point out that their humanoid ancestors were named the Kaleds.

    I managed to show my son the episode “Dalek” from the first season of the new series without letting him know it was named Dalek or what the monster was. He was blown away when it showed up.

    Another high point was when they occupied Earth and we see Daleks in Germany saying “exterminatieren! Exterminatieren!” We laughed hard at that.

    Cybermen were not up to snuff really, but at least they are better than the Borg for the simple reason that you can recover from being Borg. Once a Cyberman, you never go back.

  • Rock Baker

    Happily, Image DVD released the two features with Peter Cushing in full color and scope. One wishes they’d continued making Dr. Who movies with that character. Tho I may find myself in a minoirty by saying that (I’m finding that happening a lot really) since most fans seem to prefer the series with its long and rich history. One thing I like about the Cushing films was that you can hit the ground running without needing a gigantic backstory. I also happen to be fan of Peter Cushing, so there’s that as well.

  • The Cushing films are often derided by fans of the series, but I thought they were reasonably decent early Brit SF works. They are totally taken from the TV show, but Cushing, or course, is terrific.

    I think even the TV showe takes less backstory than we usually give it credit for – fans of course want to insist tnat all new viewers understand all 47 years of Who history before they dare dip into a tale.

    But my experience is that all I need to do is show a new viewer an episode and almost everyone immediately figures out what’s going on, who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, and follow along with the plot. People are often much smarter than long-term fans give them credit for.

    When I watched the first-ever episode of the Doctor Who revival, my son and I were very excited when we identified the moving mannequins as obvious Autons. This resonated to us on many levels – we realized that the new Whovians had done their homework, to return to such a famed, but little-used enemy; and also that the new show understood its roots. My wife and daughter-in-law enjoyed the show too, though they had no idea who the Autons were. And didn’t have to know, really – the show explained it all just fine.

  • GalaxyJane

    This is such a haunting scene too. Apparently, as was done in recent years for “28 Days Later”, they got the shots of Daleks patrolling a deserted London by filming at something like 5 AM on a Sunday. Simple and very very effective, this scene always gives me chills, no matter how silly some of the recent Dalek stories have become.

    I will admit that, while I don’t particularly care for the Peter Cushing Who movies, I did like the new show’s recent shout-out to the gorgeous technicolor color scheme of the movie Daleks.

  • fish eye no miko

    GalaxyJane said: “I will admit that, while I don’t particularly care for the Peter Cushing Who movies, I did like the new show’s recent shout-out to the gorgeous technicolor color scheme of the movie Daleks.”

    o/~ “Go, go Dalek Rangers, Exterminatin’ Dalek Ra~angers!” o/~

    And of course, the Daleks delivered one of the best verbal smackdowns of all time:

    Cyber Leader: “There are five million of us. How many are you?”
    Dalek Sec: “Four.”
    Cyber Leader: “You would destroy the Cyberman with four Daleks?”
    Dalek Sec: “We would destroy the Cyberman with one Dalek.”

  • Jimmy

    If I were to be really pedantic I could point out that a dalek did turn up in one story from the original series without Davros from after ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ as a single Dalek did turn up briefly in ‘The Five Doctors’ but it was hardly a Dalek story.

    I like the Daleks well enough but I can’t help but feel the new series is overusing them. It seems like they have to turn up every year and they were the main threat in three out of four of the series finales so far. Particularly after the goofy last outing I think it is time to give them a nice long break.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    I remember these guys scaring me as a kid. Not their appearance or voice, which I loved, but the first time they described what their rays were doing to those poor screaming bastards they shot. MAN that disturbed me, even more than the screaming.

    Love these guys.

  • Marsden

    How about:

    “Identify yourselves.”
    “No, you identify yourselves”
    “Daleks do not answer to anyone!”
    “You have identified as Daleks.”

    I love that. Absolute arrogance. A great monster choice, Ken. I’m a huge Who fan in general and Daleks in specifically. Davros was ok for “Genesis of the Daleks” but that was something of a retcon, before the word was invented, he was never mentioned before that. And I have a very hard time believing the Movellans defeated the Daleks, virus or not.

    The revival Daleks to seem to be very impressive but I’m not sure I like the colorful ones they just brought out.
    As soon as they start yelling “Exterminate!” and killing everyone I’m sure I’ll be fine.

  • Toby C

    I’ve only seen Davros in Genesis, Remembrance, and the Season 4 final, so I can’t comment on whether he was a detriment to the other stories. But one of my favourite Dalek moments involves Davros:

    Davros: Become all-
    Doctor: -powerful! Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable power! Unlimited rice pudding! Et cetera! Et cetera!”

    Actually, this is in general one of my favourite serials, because of this scene, the stair climbing scene, Ace’s Crowning Moment of Awesome, and the line “Your species have an amazing capacity for self-deception matched only by its ingenuity when trying to destroy itself.”

    I can’t say I like the new colour-coded Daleks much, but I think it helps that he won’t constantly be encountering the supposed “last” of the Daleks every time.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Well, it’s good to know no one is threatening to take away my positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor of the Greater Milky Way Davros Fan Club.

  • John Nowak

    Davros was absolutely terrifying in Genesis of the Daleks, the cliche of “mad megalomaniac scientist” picked up, dusted off, and made visceral instead of comical. It is one of the very few times that “Ironically destroyed by the creature he himself created” feels less like an eye-roller, and more like a Greek Tragedy.

    Davros creates his image of the ultimate race, and it immediately kills him as unworthy of life. So the fates have decreed.

    Sadly, it’s diminishing returns since.

  • Dan Coyle

    I dearly hope Moffat, who’s finally rehabbed the Daleks into something other than a Davies Ex Machina, is not tempted to bring Davros back. Because he really diminishes the Daleks at this point.

  • There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also.