Doctor Who: the 10 worst Dalek stories

Sometimes Doctor Who's deadliest foes really aren't worth a trip behind the sofa…

The worst Dalek

1. Doctor Who (1996)In which the Daleks are voiced by that man who did the voices to the Chipmunks. Seems to be based entirely around a thread from the 20 year-old Frontier in Space , wherein the Daleks end up putting the Master on trial. And then get in touch with the Doctor to collect the remains. Confusing and overly-wallowing in mythology, this is the only example that most Americans have of the Daleks. Saddening for that fact alone.

2. The Five Doctors (1983)Rubbish appearance by lone Dalek as part of Terrance Dicks’ attempt to shoehorn every Doctor Who cliché into a 90-minute long shoe. Result: shoe too small and Fake Hartnell and an unrecognisably aged Susan defeat Dalek far too easily. As a note, imagine if RTD had dealt with the Doctor meeting Susan again after all these years? In retrospect, it is breathtakingly poor writing that Dicks didn’t try to make more of the emotion that should be involved in this.

3. Day of the Daleks (1972)In which the Daleks rely on monkeys to help them conduct some sort of master plan that left a watching audience confused and bored. Poor attempt to drag the Daleks into the 70s.

4. Planet of the Daleks (1973)Slightly confused “Can I have my paycheck please?” rewrite of ‘The Daleks’ by the writer of the same, Terry Nation. Reuses most of the plot elements of the original in a lazy rehash that totally fails to redeem the Skaro residents in a way that was required after the previous year’s effort. Still, he did redeem himself vastly with ‘Genesis’.

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5. The Chase (1965)Daleks shouldn’t be used twice in a season, no matter how popular they are. After the excellent Dalek Invasion of Earth, this time they’re reduced to terrorising Dracula, the Marie Celeste and Peter Purves in a manner of disguises. Featuring a guest appearance from the Beatles. One is amazed that the Daleks didn’t end up in a silent comedy battling the Keystone Cops or the cast of Carry On.

6. The Daleks’ Master Plan (1965)In which the Doctor briefly escapes the Daleks and ends up battling the Keystone Cops. And a member of the Carry On cast. Epic adventure that works well in theory (and in John Peel’s hefty – for the time – novelisation), but feels overly padded on screen. The Daleks are, admittedly, very good and genuinely threatening in places, but it all just feels a little bit too much like overkill by this stage.

7. Destiny of the Daleks (1979)Battered and bashed looking Daleks fight it out with Boney M in a quarry. After the wonderful Genesis, this was a serious let-down. First mention of “Oh look, they can’t climb stairs!” too. Davros brought back to life for little reason at all except to try to, in turn, drag life into this sorry tale.

8. Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways (2005) In which we finally see the massed millions of Daleks that we’d always dreamed of. And then see them blasted into atoms because a tow-truck is able to lift up part of the TARDIS console. Dodgy plot device that manages to make the Daleks look pretty damn feeble. All of the good work of ‘Dalek’ undone in a stroke. Fans hoped that the next time, the Daleks would be more impressive.

9. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (2006)In which the massed Dalek army is turned into cannon fodder. Again. In these two episodes, we see more Daleks than we’ve ever seen before. Well, since ‘Bad Wolf’, anyway. See them blast the Cybermen to bits in a CGI frenzy, and then see Deus ex-Machina in action as they then disappear into a parallel universe. Once again, RTD manages to make the Daleks less threatening and more vulnerable to the Godlike Doctor than ever before.

10. The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End (2008)Again, massed millions of Daleks with a ridiculously complicated plan get blasted into smithereens by another somewhat ropey plot device. Huge and epic it tried to be, but failed miserably. Please RTD, leave the Daleks alone! Can kids really be scared of an army that can be destroyed and brought back at will?

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