New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Screen-Accurate Asylum Daleks

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Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the Special Weapons Dalek Customs, this short feature includes a brief look at two of my best Dalek Asylum customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

‘Eggs’ Dalek

This Dalek is intended to represent the Dalek that Rory first encounters in the Dalek Asylum in the initial chamber shown in Asylum of the Daleks. This Dalek became infamous for attempting to say ‘Exterminate’ and simply repeating ‘Eggs’ over and over again, baffling Rory but giving the other Daleks enough time to wake up. I set out to create this Dalek as my first attempt to properly recreate a figure that had been seen on-screen. And whilst my approximation with this figure is hardly perfect, I feel I have at least achieved a striking resemblance with this attempt. The hardest part about creating this custom was accurately recreating the damage to the manipulator arm slot that this Dalek possessed, which I had to inflict using a hacksaw and a pair of pliers (applied with delicate and professional precision, of course) to eventually open up the housing for the manipulator arm ball joint and fill in the exposed gap with hot glue, giving it a finish similar to that of melted metal when left to dry and painted black. Finishing details like the weathering, the Dalek stamp and the oil and grit in the seams I achieved using Pro-marker pens.

Plunger Dalek

This Dalek is intended to represent another Dalek shown in the Asylum in the opening chamber shot of Asylum of the Daleks. This Dalek was much easier to modify than the Eggs Dalek, particularly since no drastic alterations needed to be made to the casing. However, Particular detail had to be given to the missing spheres which, as shown in the episode, show evidence of impact scoring combined with oil and grit residue. I painted this Dalek with a very thin grey overlay so that the oil-coloured marker pens would have a standout effect, particularly in the light.

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Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – More Destroyed Daleks

Custom Collection Tour - More New Series Destroyed Daleks

Classic and New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Davros Customs

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted Davros figures. Following the New Dalek Paradigm Customs, which represent the newest incarnation of the Daleks, this feature goes back to where it all began with tour of my collection of Davros figures. The few of these that are customs are made by me and are identified in the description, the rest are Davros figures as sold in various sets.

Genesis of the Daleks and Destiny of the Daleks Davros Figures:

Although neither of these are customs, I’m bundling these two versions of Davros in together since they’ve technically both appeared in my 1970s-era Dalek Customs Collection Tour, but putting them side-by-side also helps to point out the various differences between these two figures. The detailing on the heads is mostly correct, with the Genesis figure having paler skin and blue wires and the Destiny figure having a slightly altered face and red wires. However, I am at a loss to explain why the Destiny figure has such an odd colour scheme – the skin appears far too dark, and the chair is grey, which is an odd choice but at least this helps to make it stand out compared to the Genesis figure, particularly since they are the same sculpt. The detailing on the control panels is excellent, and overall these are very well-made figures.

Resurrection of the Daleks / Revelation of the Daleks Davros Figure:

My personal favourite of the traditional Davros figures, this version of Davros is actually the Revelation Davros, but he is essentially identical in both episodes save for some minor detailing so I never felt it necessary to purchase the other version. This Davros, like all the previous Davros figures, has a removable panel on his chair, although this is the only Davros figure in which this is actually relevant since this only occurs on-screen in Resurrection of the Daleks. Nonetheless, the Davros sculpt is very good, the new head is very accurate and overall it captures his spindly, hunched and withered appearance perfectly.

Remembrance of the Daleks Dalek Emperor Davros Figure:

Probably one of my favourite Dalek figures of all time, this version of Davros represents his final form at the conclusion of Remembrance of the Daleks, in which it is revealed that he was in fact the Imperial Dalek Emperor the whole time. This figure is near-perfect, with a great use of the Davros head sculpt with a newly formed body and external shell that perfectly captures how he appears onscreen. My only slight complaint with this figure is the paint applications to the Davros figure itself, since the wires and the paint stripes don’t quite line up properly, and in the episode Davros’ face was much more blackened around the mouth, making him look much more visceral in the show than ever before. Despite these minor flaws, this figure is still a crucial focal point of my collection and I am so glad that I bought it when I did, since prices have since skyrocketed to the point where this figure in the two-pack boxed set with the Destroyed Imperial Dalek can sell for as much as £150.

New Series Imperial Dalek Davros Custom Figure:

This is the first Davros figure in this Collection Tour that is actually a custom of mine, but it won’t be the last. This repainted New Series Davros figure is supposed to represent the transitional phase between Davros as the Emperor Dalek and Davros from the Time War, with a colour scheme inspired by his appearance in the Big Finish audio The Juggernauts. I used the hand of a Dalek Sec Hybrid figure to restore Davros’ old hand, since a genetic engineering genius like himself would certainly know how to graft a new hand onto his body rather than settling for a crude robotic replacement. The paint applications were particularly tricky, especially since it was white matt paint over a pre-existing black base, but after several coats it formed a solid colour. I used Humbrol metallic gold for the detail and matt grey for the suit of Davros himself.

New Series Time War Davros Figure:

When Davros returned in the New Series, fans were happy to see that continuity had been left intact with the installation of a new robot hand and improved life-support chair to match the newly upgraded Daleks. However, I feel like an element of what made Davros who he was was lost in the new design. Gone was the spindly, hunched and withered body of the original Davros, now replaced by a big beefy chair. His weak, pathetic Palpatine hand was now a stocky metal claw, and whilst the new Davros looks awesome, a crucial element of his character was lost in this new design, in my opinion. Still, the figure is excellent, a near-perfect recreation of Davros as we see him in The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End and an essential for any Dalek collector.

New Series Infirmary Davros Custom Figure:

This was another custom that was just so much fun to make. Customising a Davros figure is never a chore, particularly when there is a wealth of source material to go off of, and the version of Davros that we saw in The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witches’ Familiar essentially gave us an idea of what Davros had looked like had he appeared in the Dalek Asylum. A battered and beaten-up version of his Time War chair would have made a nice touch in the episode, but I recreated that here in an attempt to represent the damage inflicted on it by the destruction of the Crucible, an even which he barely escaped from alive. Although it is never explained how he escaped, whatever happened certainly took its toll on the Dark Lord of Skaro, since he appears sick and weak. I recreated this using glossy paints on his face to give him an ill look, black detailing to bring out the gaunt features and scuffing and detailing on the chair to make it look battered and weathered.

Next – Classic and New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Special Weapons Daleks REVISITED

Special Weapons Daleks Showcase

Bonus – Removable Davros Custom Figure:

That’s right, just like the episode, this Davros has a removable torso! Unfortunately I don’t have a legless Twelfth Doctor figure that I can shove inside, but that might be an idea for the future. In the meantime, this Davros is near-fully articulated. I had to sacrifice head movement to modify the figure to give him a more hunched-over appearance while in the chair (and also to make it so that he can actually look straight ahead while on the floor) but his other arm that I salvaged from a broken Auton figure is articulated, with a moving elbow. If positioned correctly he can prop himself up or lie helplessly on the ground. I made this custom using a hacksaw to cut the pieces to fit, hot glue and green paint to simulate his Kaled blood and various spare parts, wires and bits of plastic to either act as his mechanical innards or to adhere to his chair to give it the look of being held in the Skaro medical facility. Undoubtedly this is a custom that I am very proud of and I hope you enjoyed!

New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Paradigm Dalek Customs

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the New Series Dalek Supreme Customs, this feature includes a tour of my collection of New Dalek Paradigm customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

New Dalek Paradigm Drone Custom Figure:

When the New Dalek Paradigm first emerged from the Progenitor in Victory of the Daleks, they were not very well received. But why is that? Maybe it was the terrible design choices. Maybe it was the shoddy flat studio lighting. Maybe it was the fact that they were all painted to look like plastic toys. We may never know. What is certain, however, is that this repaint of the Dalek Drone that I did over 2 years ago is far superior to the original design. For a start, the paint is less glossy and more metallic-looking, and the silver spheres add to the metallic effect. I used Humbrol paints for this entire custom, and the shiny effect really does the figure justice. Ridiculous design aside, at least the colouration is fixed now, and I think it is a great improvement.

New Dalek Paradigm Strategist Custom Figure:

Like the Drone figure, the Strategist suffered problems of not appearing to look quite right in Victory of the Daleks. Admittedly, of all the Paradigm Daleks, the Strategist was one of the better-looking ones, but the plastic-looking props were just a laughing stock. When the Paradigm Daleks returned in Asylum of the Daleks, they were given a fresh, metallic paint job, and honestly if they had had this in their first appearance it could probably have made them look a lot less like oversized toys. Speaking of toys, a figure of this new metallic Strategist was made, but as I mentioned in my Asylum Customs Collection Tour, it was packaged with the Eleventh Doctor in a box set that has doubled in price since its release. As such, I decided to repaint my blue Dalek Strategist to resemble this new colour scheme, and like the Drone the metallic Humbrol paint and silver spheres really adds to the design, making it look a lot more like a proper Dalek.

New Dalek Paradigm Eternal Custom Figure:

This may not look like much of a custom, because technically it isn’t – the only alteration I made to this Dalek Eternal figure was a slight repaint of the strange ‘back hatch’ that they included on the reverse of the Dalek. I actually liked the Dalek Eternal, if only we had known what on Skaro it was for, particularly since it will probably never appear again unless Chris Chibnall is feeling particularly adventurous. What I don’t like is the weird back hatch – what was that for? What was any of this for? Was this even a real episode?
My head hurts. Let’s move on.

New Dalek Paradigm Scientist Custom Figure:

Ah, the Scientist. Undoubtedly the most forgotten of the now universally-forgotten Paradigm Daleks. Of all the Daleks in the New Paradigm, the Dalek Scientist has appeared the least out of all of them, only appearing on TV in its debut episode, Victory of the Daleks, making it the only Paradigm Dalek to never appear on TV outside of this episode. The Eternal appears briefly in The Pandorica Opens alongside a Drone and a Supreme, and the Strategist shows up alongside more Drones and Supremes in Asylum of the Daleks, but the poor Scientist is left out completely. Fans of the colour orange need not despair, however, as Scientist Daleks do appear in the ‘Adventure Games’ series, but that doesn’t change the fact that this Dalek is just ugly. I did my best to try and make it look interesting – adding more black detailing to the dome, midsection and spheres – but honestly, any colour would have worked better than orange. Even brown would have worked better than orange, at least then the Scientist Daleks could better resemble what they truly are.

New Dalek Paradigm Supreme Custom Figure:

I may have gone a bit too far in a few places. Nonetheless, this is my completed Paradigm Supreme, with a reference to the Cushing Movie Daleks thrown in too, how about that. Realistically, the major problem with the Paradigm Dalek Supreme wasn’t that he was white with black detail – which is probably the most boring colour scheme ever for a Dalek Supreme – the problem was that they got the colours the wrong way round. And this may have been intentional, they could have been going for a ‘reversal’ of the norm with this Supreme, to show that the New Paradigm is different to the old order, but it didn’t come across that way, since the white was far more prominent and most of the black was neutered by various greys. Overall, the Supreme Dalek is my least favourite of the New Dalek Paradigm, simply because it is probably the most boring Supreme Dalek to date. As such, I tried to make this custom seem as elaborate and intricate as possible, with various whites, golds, silvers, blacks and a nice metallic sheen as icing on the cake. Whether or not it is an improvement over the original or a nonsensical mess is up to you.

New Dalek Paradigm Black Supreme Custom Figure:

Just when my Paradigm Supreme seemed secure with its fancy flamboyant colour scheme and vintage Humbrol smell, a new contender to the throne emerged. This is essentially an alternate Paradigm Supreme, throwing the base white out of the window and opting for the more traditional black and silver design seen in Remembrance of the Daleks. Whilst I am very fond of my white Supreme custom, I must admit that this is a much cooler looking design, and probably what I would have gone for if I was in charge of choosing the Dalek Paradigm colour schemes. The black is a matt, making this one of the few of my Paradigm customs to be in a matt paint job, but for these colours it works. The metallic silver gives it the authentic look and the matt helps the detail to stand out, just like how it does on Classic Supreme Daleks. It’s almost as if things were perfectly fine how they were and the New Dalek Paradigm was totally unnecessary…

New Dalek Paradigm Classic Custom Figure:

I made this custom out of a spare Dalek Drone out of sheer curiosity, I didn’t think that the colour scheme would work on a Paradigm Dalek sculpt and honestly, I was probably right. But I kept it the way it was just as a template to see how other Classic Dalek colour schemes might work on a Paradigm Dalek, particularly the Death to the Daleks and Genesis of the Daleks colour schemes. If I ever get any more New Dalek Paradigm figures, I might consider expanding my collection of ‘Paradigm Daleks in Classic Colours’ but for now, this figure stands alone. The silver and blue design was based on the newer versions of the 1960s Daleks seen in Series 9, although I kept the eyestalk the same Paradigm yellow as the others.

 New Dalek Paradigm Geneticist Figure:

For anyone who took my advice from the Dalek Supremes Custom Collection Tour or found and watched this short but brilliant animation independently this Dalek will be strikingly familiar. For those who haven’t seen The Dalek that Time Forgot, go and watch it, because it is amazing. It’s entirely non-canon and in places a tad ridiculous but it is a fantastic example of what Doctor Who fans can do with some 3-D rendering software, a solid script and a lot of free time. It exists in four parts, making up a 20-minute long mini-episode, and the first part can be found here.
In the meantime, without giving too much away, this Geneticist custom is a representation of a Paradigm Dalek variant that shows up in this animated short and it has the creepiest voice of any Dalek I have ever heard, as well as a creepy claw-like appendage. I have not recreated that detail on this figure, and there are some slight changes to bring it in line with my other Paradigm Daleks but overall it is a mostly-faithful recreation using matt green Citadel Paint and metallic silver for the detail.

Next – Classic and New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Davros Customs

Davros Showcase

Bonus – Stone Dalek and Dalek Ironside Figures:

Admittedly, Series 5 is one of my favourite eras of Doctor Who. Yes it has its flaws, the Paradigm Daleks being among them, but I have fond nostalgic memories of this brief period of calm between the confusing mess that was the Russell finales and the confusing mess that Matt Smith’s era became. The iconography of this Series is among my favourite in Doctor Who too – the return of the St. John’s Ambulance stamp on the TARDIS, Amy and the Doctor’s original costumes, the Smilers, Sunflowers, the Pandorica – it represents a simpler time for me, a time roughly when I was in my third or fourth year of secondary school. However, two elements of Series 5 that I absolutely adore when it comes to Dalek lore is the Ironsides and the Stone Dalek.

Let’s start with the Ironsides. Everything about them, from the concept to the execution, is just awesome. Since they use the Russell-era design of the Daleks, they aren’t dragged down by the Paradigm’s clumsy shape, and the military green with the little Union Flag beneath the eyestalk is such an amazing idea. I remember watching the trailer for Series 5 before it aired and this imagery had my mind racing with speculation – why were the Daleks on our side? Was this a trick, or is this a real scenario? Is it a parallel universe? Who is controlling the Daleks, and how did they survive? Will the Daleks kill Hitler? The possibilities were endless. And, for the most part, although this may be an unpopular opinion, I really liked all of the parts of Victory of the Daleks that included the Ironsides. They had a sneaky plan, they were not acting like normal Daleks, and it reminded me of the Daleks from Power of the Daleks – clearly a huge inspiration for most of this episode. Overall, they are probably in my top 5 Dalek designs. I wish they hadn’t gone out like wimps, though, I wanted to see them fight their way out in one final Dalek Civil War, with the Russell Daleks desperately attempting to hold their own against the upgraded Paradigm Daleks, to no avail. Ah, what could have been.

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And the Stone Dalek was the primary antagonists of one of my favourite Moffat finales, The Big Bang. Ignoring the ludicrous premise, this episode is a great romp, and it is often overlooked as a standard ‘Dalek episode’ since it doesn’t have ‘of the Daleks’ or the word ‘Dalek’ in the title, but it is essentially a Dalek episode – Amy, River and the Doctor spend most of the episode trying to escape this strange zombie-like Dalek as it chases them around a deserted museum, and it actually managed to kill the Doctor… well, sort of. Auton Rory vs the Stone Dalek is awesome, and what is arguably the best thing about this Dalek for me is that, be it either the prop in the show or the figure itself, it actually looks like a Dalek made of stone, rather than a plastic prop painted and detailed to resemble stone. I hope we get wacky Dalek ideas of this irk in Chibnall’s Doctor Who and less of the wacky Dalek ideas like most of the others we’ve had in Moffat’s era.

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New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Dalek Supremes

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the previous look at miscellaneous New Series Dalek Customs, this feature includes a tour of my collection of New Series Dalek Supreme customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

Planet of the Daleks Standard Dalek Supreme Custom Figure:

The first of my New Series Dalek Supremes doesn’t actually use the base model of the Supreme Dalek seen in The Stolen Earth et al. but instead is simply a repaint of a standard Dalek made to resemble the Supreme Dalek from Planet of the Daleks. Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Wasp’, this custom was created long before many of my other customs, and certainly long before I had properly learned how to use metallic gold paint properly, so this custom simply uses a bright, almost neon-looking Humbrol yellow instead. Regardless, the end result is so striking that I have never felt the need to repaint it, instead simply keeping it as a rare insight into what my Dalek customs were like back before I had a clue what I was doing.

True’ Planet of the Daleks Supreme Custom Figure:

After learning how to make metallic paint work, I eventually tried a second attempt to create a New Series version of the Planet of the Daleks Supreme Dalek, this time using the sculpt of a New Series Supreme instead of just a standard Dalek. The results are incredible, this is one of the customs that I am most proud of, particularly since the Supreme sculpt is not a type of Dalek that I am used to painting. I was able to use a translucent coat of purple paint on the lights so that when light is shined through them, they seem to glow purple, which gives it a fantastic effect. Just like my Classic Planet of the Daleks Supreme, this custom took a long time to make, particularly since metallic gold over matt black required a lot of coats before it came out properly. Nonetheless, it was a fun and rewarding process, and definitely a custom that I would recommend to anyone with the skill and necessary sculpt available.

Damaged Alternate Supreme Dalek Custom Figure:

This was a very impromptu custom after I found someone selling a purposely burnt Supreme Dalek figure on ebay. I must reiterate how much I loathe this process, it is as unimaginative as it is disrespectful, but I had to buy this simply because it was so cheap, and Supreme Daleks are hard to come by. Thankfully, the figure had not been burned too much, and I happened to have some spare parts left over from my previous customs which I used to repair this one, whilst giving it a new coat of paint and some added detail to make it look as if this Supreme Dalek had just returned from a particularly vicious front-line assault and is now receiving medical attention. The combination of Red and Black on this sculpt looks great and overall I am very happy with the results.

Black and Silver Alternate Supreme Dalek Custom Figure:

This Dalek is partly inspired by the animated short The Dalek that Time Forgot, which can be found on Youtube via this link.
This short four-part series explores a potential backstory to the New Paradigm Daleks that takes none other than Dalek Caan from the depths of the Dalek city on Skaro all the way into the Time War. I won’t spoil the actual plot here, but at one point this variant of the Red Supreme Dalek seen in The Stolen Earth appears, if only briefly:

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To recreate this awesome design I used black Citadel Paint and silver Humbrol for the metallic detail. I would highly recommend watching The Dalek that Time Forgot, as it also includes another great recoloured variation on a Dalek design that I have made a custom of, that will appear in a future edition of Customs Collection Tour…

Imperial Dalek Supreme Custom Figure:

Although Librarian-Bot has rendered his version of the Imperial Dalek Supreme as black with gold trim, I always thought that the Imperial Dalek faction would never have a Dalek in their ranks that breaks the standard colour scheme. Think about it. All of the Imperial Daleks that we see adhere to the same gold and white livery, even the Special Weapons Dalek, which is clearly not cared for much going by its battered appearance. Davros himself changes the colour of his wheelchair for the first and only time in order to accommodate this new Dalek colour scheme, which he didn’t even do in the New Series. So, when it came to deciding what colour scheme to use for my final spare Supreme Dalek figure, the choice seemed clear – an Imperial-style Supreme. This proved more of a challenge that was probably necessary, since I couldn’t actually take this figure apart – that meant I had to paint it as one entire unit, which was difficult, particularly since it required so many coats. However, the end result is near-perfect. To recreate this custom you will need white matt Citadel Paints and gold Humbrol, although those two do not mix particularly well so, like me, you may want to swap out the metallic gold for a matt Citadel Paints equivalent instead.

Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Paradigm Dalek Customs

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Bonus – Asylum Dalek Supreme Custom Figure REVISITED:

Whilst this is technically cheating since this custom has appeared before in my New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour of Dalek Asylum Inmates, it is worth bringing up again here just to reiterate the sacrifice this figure made so that these other Supreme customs might live. As I explained in the Asylum showcase, most of these Supremes (aside from the burnt one) came from the same job lot, and they were all broken. Most were missing the eyestalks, gunsticks and manipulator arms and all of them had something wrong with them. However, by pure chance and a little bit of improvisation, I was able to save all of the Supremes and restore them to their former glory. All, it seems, except one… this one. Whilst he has since gone on to form a crucial centrepiece of my Dalek Asylum display, this Supreme Dalek Figure will forever remind me of the sacrifices that had to be made to make these customs, and so it is for that reason that I feel that it would be wrong to not include him again here, alongside his brethren. Whilst he has missed out on the chance to rule over a Dalek faction, or serve as a second-fiddle to Davros or some other higher Dalek power, this Supreme Dalek will forever rule over the insane and wretched inmates of the Asylum, until a day comes where I find the parts to repair him.

New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Other New Series Dalek Customs

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the tour of my New Series Daleks with Classic colour schemes, this feature includes a tour of my collection of miscellaneous New Series Dalek customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

Red and Black Alternate Dalek Drone Custom Figure:

This is essentially a New Series Dalek painted with the same colour scheme as the Drone Dalek from the New Dalek Paradigm. Since I am not particularly fond of the Paradigm Dalek design, I used this Dalek to test whether the colour scheme of the Drone Daleks would work as a standard Dalek colour scheme, and in all honesty, it does. I could well imagine this being a standard Dalek drone, possibly led by a more brightly coloured Commander, proving that it was the design of the Paradigm Daleks that was lacking and not necessarily the colour scheme. I might one day go back and re-paint this custom to account for the metallic colour scheme of the updated Paradigm Daleks seen in Asylum of the Daleks. This is more than likely a high-ranking Dalek, perhaps a fleet commander or tactician for High Command.

Blue and Black Alternate Dalek Sec Custom Figure:

Dalek Sec had a colour scheme that both looked awesome and also paid homage to the classic Black Supreme Daleks of the Classic Series. However, had Russell taken a different route, what could have been? Early concept art for both Dalek and Doomsday suggest that originally the New Series Daleks were going to don a variety of different colours, from red to green to this muted blue and black design. Whilst I really like this colour scheme, admittedly, it probably wouldn’t have showed up very well on camera – the blue would have just blended in with the black and made the whole venture pointless. However, as a figure, it looks very nice, and to achieve this look I actually painted the spheres and details white before going over them using a glossy blue pro-marker pen. Like the previous custom, this Dalek is probably a member of a high-ranking cabal within the Dalek Empire, possibly as a planetary overseer.

Red and Black Alternate Dalek Sec Custom Figure:

Just like the previous custom, this figure represents ‘what could have been’, a potential alternate Dalek Sec if his colour scheme hadn’t simply been black. Unlike the previous custom, however, this was not inspired by concept art but instead by an awesome render of a Dalek that I had seen online. I believe the creators of this render are called D M Multimedia and several of their renders have inspired customs of mine, including the Red Dalek Drone above. This Dalek possibly holds the rank of Field Commander, which was the rank held by Dalek Sec before the Emperor appointed him head of the Cult of Skaro.Dalek Render

Check out more renders by D M Multimedia here!

New Series Dalek Zeg Custom Figure:

Those who have read my Expanded Universe Dalek Customs Tour will know that I am particularly fond of Dalek Zeg, the creator of Metalert, who has a wholly unique colour scheme as a result of his experiments. It was impossible for me not to translate this awesome livery into a New Series variation, and the results are spectacular. I had to make a few slight changes to the scheme to get it to fit right, mostly to account for the slats and the chunky base, but overall this is definitely one of my favourite customs, and quite an easy one to do too, all you need is a spare New Series Dalek, some burgundy Citadel Paint and metallic gold or bronze paints from any supplier. New Series Daleks are particularly fun to customise since you don’t have to feel bad about painting over a Classic Dalek either.

Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Dalek Supremes

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Prototype Time Controller/Eternity Circle Dalek Custom Figure:

This is another custom, similar to the Comic Dalek Emperor from my Classic Dalek Customs Tour that didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped it would. Still, for the sake of completion, I include it here simply because it has great potential, but I really don’t know what to do with it. Originally it was supposed to be a prototype for the New Series Time Controller figure, and it does use a colour scheme that more closely matches the description of the Daleks of the Eternity Circle, but I don’t know what I was going for with the red and the end result looks like a Dalek that has adorned itself in the Union Jack. Speaking of which…

Bonus – Patriotic UK Flag Dalek Custom Figure:

I had to, I mean, have you seen the official Dalek Union Flag RC design? It’s an abomination. The stripes on the flag just stop past the midsection, the spheres are white on a blue background (when the emphasis should really be on the red, sorry Scotland) and it doesn’t even come loaded with the Dalek national anthem, ‘God save the Supreme’. Shoddy work, lads. Look, mine actually has a Union Flag in a place that makes sense:

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It might need a few more coats but it’s getting there.

 

New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Daleks with Classic Colour Schemes

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the Time War Dalek Customs, this feature includes a tour of my collection of New Series Daleks with Classic Dalek colour schemes. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

Classic 1960s Dalek Custom Figure:

This was actually one of the first Dalek customs that I ever did. And nearly 4 years later, it still holds up. Back in the early days I was stuck using Humbrol paints only, so the finish is a bit off – particularly since the paints I was using then were nearly 20 years old. Regardless, this is still a good custom, and although I lost the eyestalk (or re-purposed it for another custom) I was apparently able to cobble together a replacement out of Lego to compensate. Overall, this is still one of my favourite customs.

Death to the Daleks-style Custom Figure:

I am actually surprised that the New Series doesn’t branch out much in terms of colour schemes of its Daleks in the way that the Classic Series did. If Death to the Daleks had been made today, they would have used standard bronze Daleks and the story would have few memorable features. As it is, the Death to the Daleks colour scheme actually looks really good on the New Series Daleks, especially with a metallic finish. I used Humbrol paints for this custom, and the midsection required a lot of re-coats, but overall it was well worth it for how it turned out.

Destiny of the Daleks-style Custom Figure:

Although the scene in Destiny of the Daleks in which Davros straps bombs to a squadron of Daleks and tells them to blow up the Movellan ship despite previously stating that a Dalek would never destroy itself is one of the most ridiculous and embarrassing things in all of Classic Dalek lore, the design of the Destiny Daleks with the bombs actually translates really well to the New Series sculpt. By painting the slats to be the bombs it gives the illusion that this Dalek was originally a 60s slatless Dalek before being strapped up with plastic explosives and sent on its merry way. I used a very light shade of grey Citadel Paint along with Humbrol red and yellow to give the base of the Dalek a matt effect but giving the bombs a shiny gloss, thereby differentiating between the body of the Dalek and the bombs.

Remembrance of the Daleks-style Renegade Dalek Custom Figure:

It can often be hard to decide what to do with ‘Damaged Dalek Thay’ figures, particularly since there are so many of them out there. Most of the ones I have acquired over the years ended up as spare parts for Asylum customs, but this one in particular is unique in that I actually incorporated the damaged back panels into a non-Asylum Dalek custom. The idea behind this is that a lone Renegade Dalek, after surviving the events of Remembrance of the Daleks, hides itself away in the Shoreditch area and waits for the Doctor to return. In the meantime, it crudely repairs any damage to the casing, explaining the missing back panels. Aside from the paint job itself, which I am very pleased with, I am particularly proud of the ‘rust’ effect that I included on the backside of this Dalek custom, since it differentiates it from a standard damaged Thay and gives it character.

Remembrance of the Daleks-style Imperial Dalek Custom Figure:

Another colour scheme which, in my opinion, translates extremely well to the New Series sculpt is the iconic white and gold Imperial livery. This stands to reason, as the colour scheme of the New Series Daleks was partly inspired by the Imperial Dalek design, and I would not be disappointed if any tie-in Eighth Doctor novels or audio-books featuring the Dalek Civil War have this crossover design on the cover. However, much as I like the colour scheme itself, as a custom it proved difficult to make. I lost count eventually, but I believe this custom required around 12 individual coats of white paint to completely cover the bronze and form a nice, even coat, and even then there are still some imperfections. Nonetheless, the final result looks great, and I am a huge fan of this design on this type of Dalek.

Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Other New Series Dalek Customs

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Bonus – New Series Movie Dalek Custom Figures:

Although it looks ridiculous, I could not resist painting a few New Series Daleks in the classic technicolor Peter Cushing Movie style livery, even if it was just two of them. Overall, all things considered, they actually look quite nice, particularly since the enlarged lights and thicker base actually resemble the Movie Daleks more than the standard Classic Series Dalek sculpt does.

New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Time War Daleks

Welcome to the next phase in this tour through my collection of custom-painted New Series Daleks. Following the Expanded Universe Dalek Customs, this instalment includes a tour of my collection of New Series Time War Dalek customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

Cult of Skaro Set Custom Eyestalk Fix:

One of my favourite addition to Dalek lore that the New Series brought to the table was the concept of the Cult of Skaro. Not only were they led by Dalek Sec, one of the best Dalek characters in all of Doctor Who, but each individual Dalek had its own name and personality, and individual voices and ID tags to match. This set, based on their first appearance at the end of Army of Ghosts and in Doomsday, includes three bronze Daleks with unique ID tags, the black Dalek Sec and the Genesis Ark. I actually got two of these sets when they were cheap, and that was how I was able to bolster the ranks of my New Series Dalek collection, so overall it is a great set for army building. The Genesis Ark is great too, the figure includes about as much detail as you can pack into a practically featureless postbox-like design. One slight problem I had with both of the sets that I bought was that none of the Daleks inside had their eyestalks painted. I don’t know if that was just a quirk with the sets I bought (possibly why they were going cheap?) or if this is a widespread issue, but it meant I had to paint on most of the eyestalk details with cyan paint, except for one or two which I left as ‘inactive’ eyestalks for some of my Asylum customs. Overall, a great set, although it is hard to come by nowadays.

Series 3 Cult of Skaro Figures and Open Dalek Sec Custom Figure:

One of the strangest elements of Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks was how quickly the Cult of Skaro was discarded after appearing in just one other episode before it. Although their Final Experiment made for some interesting Dalek ideological conflict, the overall result was disappointing as this episode killed three out of the four Cult members and left Dalek Caan with just one more appearance before he would die too. However, one good thing that did come out of this episode was that we finally got to see a Dalek mutant in its full form, since Dalek Sec opens his entire casing to engulf Mr Diagoras. I created this custom using a spare Dalek Sec, and although it does not open in exactly the same fashion as Sec does in the episode, it still gives the same effect. This custom was quite difficult to make as it required precise hacksaw cuts, plastic framework glued in place to keep the parts steady and a lot of hot glue to bring it all together. The final result, however, is a custom that I am very happy with.

Other Dalek Time War Figures:

Since figure sets were made for almost every Dalek episode between 2005-2010, there were a lot of Time War era Dalek variants out there to collect. I particularly like the unique sculpts of the claws featured on both the Vault Dalek and the Assault Dalek, but the one that takes the cake for me is the awesome Red Supreme Dalek, especially since he recently reappeared in The Magician’s Apprentice. 

Dalek X Figure:

Another odd collectable of the early era of Character Options Doctor Who toys was this cool RC Dalek found in a two-pack pitted against a standard Dalek. Whilst later releases of this set would replace the Gold-and-Black ‘Supreme’ Dalek with Dalek Sec, there were a lot of these sets made back in the day so there are plenty floating around. Interestingly enough, the Tennant-era novel Prisoner of the Daleks canonises this design as the fascinating ‘Dalek X’, a particularly brutal Supreme Dalek from before the Time War who commanded the Dalek flagship, the Exterminator. It’s a great design and a valuable addition to the collection.

Dalek Saucer Pilot Custom Figure:

Whilst this custom may at first glance resemble Dalek X, upon closer inspection it becomes clear that this is a homage to the Saucer Commanders seen in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. These Daleks feature briefly in the 50th Anniversary Special Day of the Doctor, piloting the fighter pods seen attacking Gallifrey in the Time War sequences. However, this is not the only manifestation of these New Series homages – in the Fighter Pod 3.75 inch set, the ‘Dalek Pilot’ included actually features this design, which I have painted here on an up-scaled 5 inch Dalek figure.

Temporal Weapons Dalek Custom Figure:

Featuring in the War Doctor novel Engines of War, the Temporal Weapons Dalek is terrifying in its implications. Anything or anyone hit by this Dalek’s cannon is erased from history, meaning that if you get hit by this thing, you were never even born. Although the cover of the novel portrays the Temporal Weapons Dalek as a standard bronze Dalek with a Special Weapons Dalek cannon, I decided to be a bit more creative with my custom, and so I used a spare Dalek X figure and modified the front using the oversized gunstick of a Dalek Bubble Bath dispenser (yes, they actually make those).

Dalek Time Controller / Eternity Circle Commander

Also featured in the Engines of War novel is the Eternity Circle, an order of Daleks tasked with preserving the Dalek timeline. It makes sense, therefore, that among their ranks would be a Dalek Time Controller, who are specific Daleks bred to be able to track timelines and see the universe in a way that few other lifeforms who are not Time Lords can barely even dream of. I based this design on a variant of the Dalek Time Controller created by Big Finish, although there have been several variations on the design.

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Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – New Series Daleks with Classic Colour Schemes

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Bonus – Daleks vs Cybermen / Exodus Ark Custom Figure:

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By far one of the best things to come out of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who was the concept of a Dalek-Cyberman War. Long had fans waited for a confrontation between two of Doctor Who’s most iconic villains, and for many it was over too soon. My personal theory is that since the Void Ship can cross between parallel dimensions, technically the Cult of Skaro that hid inside could have come from any dimension, or any other dimension’s Cult of Skaro could theoretically come into our universe at any time, with a new, possibly different version of the Genesis Ark that contains a whole new army of Daleks… but again, that’s just a theory…

Classic Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Expanded Universe Customs

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted Classic Series Daleks. The previous instalment featured the 1980s Dalek Customs, and this one includes a tour of my collection of Expanded Universe Dalek customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

1960s Peter Cushing Movie Dalek Custom Figures:

Lets face it, everybody loves the colour schemes of the Daleks in the Peter Cushing Movies. There’s something about the garish technicolor craze of that era that makes these Daleks particularly appealing, whether it be the mismatched globes of the Supreme Dalek, the surprisingly awesome-looking standard Daleks or the stark, bright red of the  Commanders. These customs were a joy to make, particularly since the Saucer Commander figures that I used as a base for these are so cheap and easy to get hold of, if I wanted I could probably do customs of all the other Cushing Movie Daleks too. For these customs I used a combination of various Humbrol and Citadel paints, and detailed using a thin paintbrush and Sharpee pens. The trickiest one was the Supreme, who required alternating gold and silver spheres, two colours which are difficult to paint with while maintaining a metallic finish. Overall, however, I am really pleased with these three and they remain a centerpiece of my collection.

 Dalek Zeg Custom Figure:

For those who are unfamiliar with Dalek Zeg, he appeared in a 1965 comic called Duel of the Daleks, published by City Magazines. The comic depicts Zeg, a Dalek inventor, accidentally discovering Metalert, the material used to make the casing of Dalek Sec, that fuses with Zeg and makes him almost invincible. He challenges the Dalek Emperor for supremacy, and after attacking a Black Dalek he is ultimately destroyed by the Emperor after being doused in liquid oxygen in a final duel for leadership of the Daleks. His unique and iconic design is similar to the Daleks seen in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, as well as the Dalek Movies, but his red and gold decor makes him a striking figure. Zeg is one of my favourite customs, particularly since the finish I used on him has set perfectly with hardly any imperfections.

War of the Daleks Red Dalek Supreme Figure:

When Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989, several scripts that were intended to be produced as part of the unmade ‘Season 27’ and beyond were instead adapted into novels. One of these is War of the Daleks, although the plot was heavily altered from its original form. When it was originally conceived, War of the Daleks was intended to be the finale of the Dalek Civil War arc, and would actually introduce two new Dalek factions to fight the pre-existing Imperials and Renegades. One of these factions was a group of Daleks led by a Red Dalek, which had long been a staple of Dalek command structures in the comics and the novels, but had never appeared onscreen before. Had the story been produced, this is an idea for what I think the Red Dalek Supreme could have looked like. I took inspiration from the Red Dalek Supreme seen in the New Series, which is one of my favourite Dalek colour schemes, and used a Gold Dalek as a base in order to retain the solid gold without needing repaints.

War of the Daleks Blue Supreme Figure:

Unlike the Red Supreme Dalek, this Blue Supreme Dalek is actually based on a pre-existing Dalek design, albeit not one that has appeared in any episode, comic or novel. The design in question originates from none other than the War of the Daleks tabletop turn-based game, which in itself adapted its story from the unmade War of the Daleks episode. Although it is not clear what role this Dalek plays in the board game, in the unmade episode this Dalek would have served as the Supreme for the fourth faction of Daleks, which presumably would have been blue too. I have loved this design ever since I first found the War of the Daleks Gallery page, and so it seemed fitting that it now exists in figure form. I used matt Citadel Paints for this figure, since the figurine in the board game had those palette choices too, and I used a Gold Dalek as the base, although hardly a trace of gold remains on this Dalek custom.

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Alternate Resurrection of the Daleks / Madame Tussauds Dalek Figure:

This is an odd custom because it is essentially trying to be two Daleks at once. I set out to make a custom of the Madame Tussauds Dalek, an oddly incongruous Dalek prop that featured at Madame Tussauds despite not matching any Dalek shown on screen. However, I just don’t like the design, I have no idea why it was created, and it doesn’t make any sense to me. Instead, I decided to adapt the Tussuads design and create a cross between a Dalek from Destiny of the Daleks and a Dalek from Resurrection of the Daleks, but I still really like the way this one turned out. The colour works so much better with black, and in the right light it comes out as really light turquoise, which gives it a nice look on my shelf. Whilst its origin story may raise an eyebrow, this is probably one of my favourite Dalek customs.

Terry Nation’s Red-top Dalek Figure:

After the Peter Cushing Movies wrapped, Terry Nation kept several of the props, but put little effort into keeping the colour schemes intact, leading to many of his Daleks becoming mismatched. This problem was made even more complicated when he started painting over certain Daleks, creating orphaned parts. Whilst he did give us the excellent Planet of the Daleks Supreme using parts from Movie Daleks, the result was a rag-tag collection of leftovers, one of which was the infamous Red-top Dalek. This odd variant came about totally by accident, when Nation put several of his Daleks out for promotional shoots and, for whatever reason, included this Dalek with the pack, leading to it featuring in some of the promotional material for Dalek episodes at the time. Not only that, but some writers and artists took this to mean that the Red-top Dalek actually existed in the lore of the show, and he started appearing in various Dalek comics and games as a sort of second-in-command to the Supreme Dalek, even getting his own figure in the 60s. All-in-all, it was impossible for me to not create this custom since it is so simple – all that is required is an Emperor’s Guard Dalek and a Saucer Commander base, with mismatched red and blue LEDs for the lights and some slight repaints to the dome and skirt.

Next – New Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Time War Daleks

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Bonus – Comic Emperor Dalek Figure:

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Since I had a Dalek Zeg custom, the logical next step was to attempt to create an Emperor Dalek custom from the comics, with the bulbous gold head and tiny lower section. Unfortunately, the end product wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for…
I do intend to someday go back and correct this figure, possibly using fibreglass and better paints to complete the effect, but until then it will have do.

 

Classic Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – 1980s era Daleks

Welcome to the next instalment in this tour through my collection of custom-painted Classic Series Daleks. The previous instalment featured the 1970s Dalek Customs, so this one includes a tour of my collection of 1980s Dalek customs. All of these customs are made by me unless stated otherwise in the description.

Resurrection of the Daleks Supreme Dalek Figure:

Since most of the Daleks from this era are only available in expensive and increasingly rare box sets, I created this custom of the Dalek Supreme from Resurrection of the Daleks using a Gold Dalek for the base. The black Citadel paint is easy to apply but the part that makes this custom tricky is the white paint, which requires several coats to form a solid colour. The finished product could pass for the original, however, particularly since I adjusting the finer details with black Sharpee pen and covered the brush marks with a glossy finish. Overall, the design itself is not one of my favourites but this custom was very fun to make.

Resurrection of the Daleks / Revelation of the Daleks Standard Dalek Figure:

Although I did not paint this Dalek, I bought it broken and had to reconstruct several pieces from spare parts. Thankfully, the distinctive reshaped eyestalk was present and intact, giving this Dalek the unique character of a Resurrection-era Dalek, but it could also pass for a Renegade Dalek from Revelation since both designs are practically the same. Although I much prefer the later Renegade Dalek design, I do like the orange lights and larger eyestalk of these figures, and the gloss paint that the props had in these stories gave them an eerie metallic sheen.

Revelation of the Daleks Necros Dalek Figure:

This Dalek figure started out as an Emperor’s Guard, and although that means it technically has the sculpt of a 1960s Dalek, the colour scheme that I applied with white Citadel Paint and Gold Humbrol Paint gives it the distinct look and character of a Necros Dalek, as seen in Revelation of the Daleks. What sets this Dalek apart from its Imperial successors is the black trim around the base and eyestalk, the classic light design and the differently shaped lower section. Due to the paint applications I used, this Dalek has the look and texture of porcelain, which was an intentional decision to give it more character and to better resemble the odd set design seen in the episode.

Remembrance of the Daleks Renegade Dalek Figures:

Unlike their Imperial Dalek rivals, the Renegade Daleks seen in Remembrance of the Daleks have a much more mismatched and nonstandard colour scheme, with some having more black and others featuring totally different neck or eyestalk designs. This is due in part to the fact that the Renegade Dalek army seen in Remembrance was actually just every preexisting Dalek prop that the BBC still had at their disposal, repainted and repaired to form a fairly consistent colour scheme. Due to the damage of years of wear and tear, given that some of these props had been in use for well over a decade, the Renegade Daleks have an authentic battle-hardened rebel look about them, whilst also looking presentable without appearing too shabby. An interesting quirk of these two standard Dalek figures is that the one with the black slats was the original Renegade Dalek release featured in the Remembrance of the Daleks box set, but it is not screen-accurate as it lacks the grille design between the slats. After receiving feedback on the design, Character Options re-released the Renegade Dalek in a two-pack with the Seventh Doctor, this time with a slightly altered paint job (removing the black slats) and adding the grille feature.

Remembrance of the Daleks Imperial Dalek Figures:

The Imperial Daleks featured a totally new sculpt of the props used in Remembrance of the Daleks, that were vac-formed so that they could be mass-produced. The new design included a steeper lower section, a new sculpt for the lights, manipulator arm and eyestalk, a diamond pattern below the slats and a brand new paint job reminiscent of the Necros Daleks but now with a predominance of gold and white on the casing. Oddly enough, these figures do not accurately capture the look of the Imperial Daleks seen in the episode, as the sculpt used is the same as other Daleks (so it lacks the more vertical lower section) and, for some reason, the eyestalk is painted blue, just like the post-2005 Daleks. This hardly matters, however, since they look incredible regardless – unfortunately they are quite rare now and I have only been able to acquire two, as well as the destroyed Imperial Dalek featured in my Asylum Customs Collection Tour. The centerpiece of  my Imperial Dalek collection is the Emperor Davros, which is a fantastic sculpt of an iconic and unique design.

Remembrance of the Daleks Imperial and Renegade Special Weapons Dalek Figures:

Remembrance of the Daleks only features one Special Weapons Dalek, which was in itself a stand-in for a much more elaborate concept – a mobile Dalek weapons platform that stalked the streets on hoverpads and blasted anything in its sights, Human and Dalek alike. However, budgetary limitations forced the writers to improvise, instead creating the concept of a singular Dalek that had the firepower of an entire army, and the iconic Special Weapons Dalek was born. Although only one was made in the end, another idea that was floating around at the time was to have several Special Weapons Daleks, some working for the Imperials and some loyal to the Renegades. I have captured the spirit of that concept in this unique Special Weapons Dalek custom, painted in Renegade livery to give some much-needed firepower to the Renegade Dalek cause. This was a fun custom to do, since I had never painted a Special Weapons Dalek before, and it was only possible thanks to a very lucky job lot I bought on ebay that had not one but two Special Weapons Daleks included, one broken, to add to the preexisting two that I already had, one from the Remembrance of the Daleks box set and one from the talking Dalek range.

Next – Classic Series Dalek Customs Collection Tour – Other Classic Customs

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Bonus – Dalek Battle Computer Custom Figure:

One of my most ambitious customs is this recreation of the Renegade Dalek Battle Computer as seen in Remembrance of the Daleks. Despite lacking its occupant, who I have replaced with the Dalek mutant from the Genesis of the Daleks set, this custom looks very nice and I am really pleased with how it looks, although it may require some touching up here and there at some point in the future.

 

Why the Daleks? – “The Daleks are awesome, no matter what anyone says.”

A question I’m asked often by friends and family alike is, ‘Why the Daleks?’ In fairness, it is a valid question. To any average Joe the Daleks are frankly laughable, both in their design and their execution. They look like dustbins and are often described as such, they shriek impotent threats and inaudible screams of malice, often directed at nobody in particular, and their episodes range from pretty good (Remembrance) to downright awful (Asylum). And if the tone of this introduction seems somewhat pessimistic, that’s because any Dalek fan is aware of the never-ending uphill battle of not only trying to convince non-whovians to watch Doctor Who, but also trying to convince just about everyone that the Daleks are a viable threat, a well-crafted villain and an essential part of British culture. It’s like being the only person in town who likes Marmite, or the Star Wars prequels, or Tommy Wiseau. I could be shown a list of a hundred viable reasons why the Daleks aren’t cool, but I would never be swayed. But the question remains: Why?

Dalekmania – Britain and the Daleks

For one, whether we like it or not, the Daleks are embedded in British culture. Show a Dalek to anyone in England and they would be able to tell you immediately what it is, no matter where in the country they lived or worked, and there are very few fictional icons that have such universal recognition. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Dalek imagery has permeated into every corner of the English-speaking world, and perhaps beyond. One must remember that the Daleks are old, they turn fifty-four this year, making them older than Darth Vader and Spock, giving them an edge over their franchise rivals. Any Brit who isn’t even a tiny bit proud of the Daleks is ignorant of how much of an impact they have truly had on the world, despite everything. As far as British iconography goes, there is nothing that can top the Daleks.

The Daleks don’t just form part of Britain, they also represent it. At heart, the Daleks are personified by raging impotence, they hate the universe and want desperately for it to just go away and leave them alone, and yet despite their claims of supremacy and ultimate power, their enemies continue to defeat them simply by surviving. Any post-imperialist British politician can sympathise with this stance, it mirrors how most Imperialists must have felt following the collapse of the British Empire, and in many ways any Powellite, Tory or Nationalist can relate to the Daleks. In the modern era, their link with Britain has changed but remained strong – the Daleks in the modern day are struggling desperately to stay relevant in a world that has moved on from them, and to many they seem almost comical in their futile attempts to cling to power. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the world’s view of the Daleks very much mirrors Europe’s view of Britain right now, and speaking of which…

Tinfoil Pepper Pots – The World vs The Daleks

In a world of cinematic superheroes, awe-inspiring CGI Death Stars, Lord of the Rings, and over 60,000 years worth of youtube videos, is there even any room in pop culture for the comparatively whimsical Daleks? I’ve already discussed how the Daleks must struggle to captivate their audience in the modern day, but even to a die-hard Doctor Who fan the Daleks can seem stupid. They trundle about, shout ‘Exterminate’, shoot their gun (usually missing their target) and get blown up. But what makes that so different from anything else on TV? For an example, let’s take the Stormtroopers from Star Wars. They are one of the most popular and well-celebrated fictional military forces of all time, and yet at any point following the opening sequence of A New Hope, they’re about as threatening to the viewer as Bob Ross in a Cookie Monster onesie. Their heads are disproportionately large, their aim is comically bad, and their armour looks like cheap plastic, and this is from a production with a budget hundreds of times larger than anything Doctor Who had seen at the time.

And yet, two years earlier, Doctor Who gave us Genesis of the Daleks, the six-parter that reaffirmed in the minds of the British public the idea that the Daleks are a nightmare, a metallic monster that deals death to dozens of innocents, all while the Stormtroopers couldn’t even catch a bin on wheels and a gold-plated diplomat in a desert. And it is true that both have experienced ‘villain decay’ over the years, to the point where during the 1990s both were appearing on comedy sketches, and Star Wars has since totally redesigned the Stormtroopers (in a manner similar to Doctor Who’s treatment of its primary villain 10 years prior) or ditched them entirely in favor of CGI robots or other stand-in soldiers. Doctor Who, however, stuck to its guns, and although the Daleks were heavily redesigned in 2005, they deliberately kept in those comical design choices that could have easily been eliminated, like the plunger. Is that a good thing? Well…

Victors of the Longevity Game

Of course it is. Any self-respecting remake of a classic work of art sticks to the design choices of that era, regardless of the consequences. Apart from anything else, deviation from classic designs invokes fan backlash of Vesuvian magnitude, just look at the new Marvin, the new Kryten, or the redesigned Covenant in Halo. Whilst the Daleks have undergone serious updates since 1963, the base design has remained the same, and they occasionally call back to their roots, bringing classic designs back in homage to the bygone eras of Doctor Who. In a way, part of what makes the Daleks so great is that they relentlessly, shamelessly and stubbornly continue to deal out death and destruction on-screen in the same way that they did 54 years ago.

Despite everything, it’s not even as if Doctor Who revolves around the Daleks. The show does not need the Daleks in every series in order to be successful, and nothing has proven this more than the fact that all of the best post-2010 Doctor Who episodes have almost all been non-Dalek episodes. That is by no means to say that there are no Dalek episodes, just that the show maintains a healthy balance of keeping the Daleks in the show and yet not leaning on them for success, like some other franchises do with their main villains. Out of the 275 Doctor Who stories, merely 40 or less actually feature the Daleks, and even fewer have them as the main villain. In many ways that is a testament to the type of show Doctor Who is, it doesn’t exist simply to tell one story, or even one set of stories – it crosses genres and styles of storytelling in a way no other show does – and the Daleks form just one part of a much greater pantheon, and have done for over 50 years.

So… Why the Daleks?

Alright, I’ll stop beating about the bush. Now that I’ve set the scene, here are just some of the reasons why I think the Daleks are so cool. Here goes.

  • They’d definitely beat any other sci-fi race in a fight, hands down. They are so overpowered that the SpaceBattles forums, that deals in using community-based input to attempt to decide who would win out of sci-fi races from various franchises, often bans Daleks from discussions for being too overpowered and coined the phrase ‘Dalek-stomp’ as a one-word dismissal of anyone trying to post races that could beat them. Yes, I’m serious.
  • The music. Their classic-era episodes had some good soundtracks, particularly Genesis and Remembrance, but Murray Gold has composed some truly awe-inspiring pieces of music to accompany the Daleks that rivals any John Williams score in the ears of all true Doctor Who fans.
  • The sound effects, throughout their existence. The gunstick effect is always a feast for the ears, and the shrill, shrieking voices still strike fear into the hearts of children even today, like an electronically enhanced recording of the worlds most overbearing drill sergeant who also wants to kill you. Also, the Dalek heartbeat is one of the most ambient tension-builders in the history of television.
  • The extermination effect – when it actually gets used its always cool to see, and usually its being dealt to some poor innocent bystander, a desperate soldier or sometimes even the Doctor himself, creating the constant fear that no-one is safe from the Daleks. They have no mercy or pity, and the extermination effect shows that – the skeletal negative effect momentarily removes all individuality and humanity from the victims, showing just how weak even the most morally empowered force is when compared with the Daleks.
  • The CGI, and again, I’m serious. From something as simple as the plunger forming a surgical mask to crush a man’s skull, to the intricately designed swarms of endless Dalek assault squads pouring out of the mothership to attack Earth, CGI always seems to treat the Daleks surprisingly well, given the circumstances. Then again…
  • The practical effects, from both the classic and the modern era. Doctor Who is a show forged in fire, or rather, trial by fire, in that adversity mires production around every corner. As the previously mentioned A New Hope shows us, however, that usually ends up with creativity tested to its limits, and aside from a few missteps in the classic era, this is definitely true of most Dalek stories. From an excess of TNT to a prominent use of silly string, the practical effects are a treat.
  • The morality of it all. As anyone who has read my previous Dalek articles, I am truly fascinated with the morality surrounding the Daleks. All the best Dalek episodes deal with this concept, but the best thing is that there is so much more to be explored, and so much more to learn. 2015’s Dalek two-parter was packed full of brand new Dalek lore that fits in nicely with pre-existing Dalek mythology, and that’s what good Dalek stories in the future should hope to do. (I’m looking at you, Asylum of the Daleks.)And, finally:
  • The foil. No, not tin foil, I mean they exist as the perfect foil for the show’s main character, the Doctor. Any good villain should show us the worst aspects of their hero yet still strive to be villainous, and this is definitely true of the Daleks. Nothing hates more than the Daleks, nothing kills more than the Daleks, and that is the perfect foil for the epoch of morality that is the Doctor.

Thank you for reading this opinion piece on the Daleks, I hope that some of what is written here has swayed you to the Dalek cause, or at the very least has given you some appreciation for the supreme beings in the universe.

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