No Daleks: marketing nightmare for the BBC, aesthetic boost – though I have plenty of faith in the new Dr.Who team, it’s rare to find writers who know how to tell a good Dalek story. The original 1964 Dalek yarn is painfully slow to watch now, and the best of the later ones – Genesis, the origin story with the introduction of Davros – was a story that could only be told once. The stories before that had settled into a dalek-army-thwarted-by-Doctor pattern, on a succession of drab alien planets or future Earths. The stories afterwards shoe-horned Davros in* and were driven by fans-only Dalek politics. The problem, as Genesis demonstrated, is that as the scripts got more sophisticated human fascists become more interesting than pepperpot fascist allegories: the frightening thing in that story is how tiny (if crucial) the difference between human and dalek is. The new series is better off without them.

*(Revelation Of The Daleks, with Colin Baker, is really good, yes. But its goodness has almost nothing to do with its having Davros or the Daleks in. Or the Doctor in, for that matter.)

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