The Doctor is a time-traveling Time Lord who visits other planets and places saving lives, so it's only natural that he's built up a massive fan base over the years. However, he has also amassed an extremely large collection of enemies to go with them. The most notorious monster of them all is of course the Daleks.
The Daleks are the Doctor's worst enemies, and he theirs. They have been battling it out for years and it's only through the Doctor's cunning and compassion that he has been able to best them almost every time. In case the Doctor doesn't show up one day though, here are 10 facts everyone should know about the Daleks.
10 They're Not All Bad
Daleks are the evilest beings in the whole of creation. They were designed to hate anything and everything that wasn't Dalek, and this lead them to commit some truly unspeakable acts, up to and including genocide. Surely there isn't any chance for them to change their ways?
However, even a race as despicable as the Daleks have been known to show a softer side (although maybe that's laying it on a little thick). The first Dalek introduced in the new series spared Rose Tyler after being infected with her humanity and who could forget Rusty, the Dalek who absorbed the Doctor's hatred for the Daleks and proceeded to attack its own race.
9 They Were Originally Humanoid In Appearance
Before the Daleks were mutated beyond recognition and confined to an evil existence inside a metal casing, they looked exactly like humans. They even went by a different name: Kaleds. Basically, the Kaleds had been fighting an endless war with another race (the Thals) all across their home planet, Skaro.
In order to gain the advantage and win the war, a Kaled scientist by the name of Davros designed a casing that would protect the inhabitant while simultaneously packing some serious firepower. However, Davros decided ultimate victory would only be achieved through complete and utter hatred for other races and so he removed every other emotion. Thus, the Daleks were born.
8 They're Almost As Old As Doctor Who Itself
It's hard to tell exactly how long the Daleks have been around for in the world of Doctor Who. However, they made their first appearance on our television screens in 1964 in only the second Doctor Who story ever broadcast.
It's a testament to their seemingly unending popularity that the Daleks have lasted as long as they have, with their most recent appearance being in the New Year's Special earlier this year. With rumors going around that they will also make an appearance in Season 12, we can be quite certain that that wasn't the last we'll see of the Daleks.
7 They Didn't Start The Time War
The Time War was the worst war in the history of the universe and it led to many species and civilizations being wiped out and erased from time. It didn't affect lower races but for the more advanced beings, it was a cataclysmic event.
With the Daleks being the evil, hateful beings that they are, one would reasonably assume that they attacked the Time Lords first, probably for looking at them funny or something. Interestingly, it was the Time Lords who fired the first shot; fearing that the Daleks would wipe out the entire universe, they sent the Doctor to Skaro to eradicate them before they were even created. As mistakes go, that's a whammy.
6 Humans Can Be Turned Into Daleks
This one is just creepy. It's not normally done, but when the Daleks are desperate, they will go to any lengths to ensure their survival, including risking their 'purity'. In fact, the Daleks changed themselves so much that in "Victory of the Daleks", the progenitor refused to recognize them as pure Dalek.
In the season 1 finale, the Emperor of the Daleks used human contestants of gameshows to create a new Dalek army that despised their own existence and in Season 3, the Cult of Skaro experimented more fully, eventually creating a human-Dalek hybrid. The saddest case however was that of Oswin Oswald, who became a Dalek purely because the Daleks needed her incredible technical skills.
5 They Are The Only Monster To Face Every Incarnation Of The Doctor
In this instance, we're talking about onscreen appearances only, so apologies to the amazing team at Big Finish! The Daleks first faced off against the First Doctor in "The Daleks" and were such a worthy adversary that the production crew kept on bringing them back to fight the Doctor and his friends.
The Daleks even made a brief return in the 1996 television movie starring the Eighth Doctor, although not in an adversarial capacity. When the new series began in 2005, it only took them 6 episodes to bring back the Daleks, who also featured heavily in the Season 1 finale. It's now basically a rite of passage for a new Doctor to face off against his greatest foe, which seems oddly fitting.
4 They Were Inspired By A Pepper Pot And A Ballerina
This is kind of hilarious but the evilest death machines in the known universe were based on pepper pots and charming dancers. The iconic shape that the Daleks are known for was inspired by the pepper and salt shakers you get at restaurants. It shouldn't work, but it really does.
The next question when originally designing the Daleks was how would they get around. Adding visible wheels to the Daleks would look really weird and, more importantly, it would detract from the pure evil of the creature. A ballerina gliding across the stage in a long dress proved to be the key - hide the wheels and so the Daleks would simply glide around.
3 The Cult Of Skaro Were The Only Daleks To Have Names
The Cult of Skaro were a group of four elite Daleks created by the Emperor to think outside of the proverbial box and ensure the survival of the Dalek race. What makes this group of Daleks so remarkable is that they were given names to instill a sense of individuality, something that goes against everything Dalek.
Daleks Sec, Caan, Thay and Jast made a big impact in their debut story, causing the Doctor and Rose to be separated for eternity. They raised the stakes even higher on their return in Season 3, but it was in Doctor Who's fourth season where their tenacity really shone through, as Caan managed to enter the Time War to rescue Davros.
2 There Are Different Ranks Of Dalek
The Daleks are basically a huge army of soldiers, waiting to go into battle to destroy the whole universe. However, even armies have ranks. Most of the usual Daleks we see are drones or foot soldiers. They are the lowest rank of Dalek but even they have the ability to wipe out entire races.
Higher ranking Daleks are those such as the Supreme Dalek, who generally leads a faction of Daleks, but not the whole race. Then, there are those Daleks who are infinitely more powerful like the Emperor Dalek, the Dalek Prime Minister, or the progenitor Daleks.
1 The Dalek Mutant Can Survive Outside Of Its Casing
Despite what many fans believe, the casing that is usually described as a Dalek is just its protective shell. The actual Dalek creature looks a bit like a really gross space octopus with one eye (which is probably why it hides away all of the time).
Believe it or not, the Dalek creature can actually survive outside of its armored tank. In the new series, this was first seen in "Dalek", where the mutant revealed itself to bathe in sunlight. Recently, the Dalek creature was separated from its casing in "Resolution" with much more satisfying consequences as it enabled the Daleks to be portrayed in a slightly different manner.