Monday, 21 July 2014
Know Your Daleks - No.8
The Smith Years.
The last instalment of this handy guide to the Daleks ended with the entire race being wiped out - again... How would they be brought back for Series 5? Very badly, it turns out.
Things start out well with the introduction of the Ironsides. Basically bronze Daleks in khaki camouflage, and with webbing pouches and a little Union flag where the name tag is usually to be seen. I like the little blackout covers for their dome lights. The Daleks have invented a robot copy of Prof Bracewell and programmed him to believe that he invented them. At least I think it is a copy of a real person. Would Churchill employ someone with no history so close to his war cabinet - no matter how good his ideas?
Actually, it isn't clear where the Ironside Daleks have come from. Are they survivors of the Emperor's fleet (from Parting of the Ways), or are they survivors from the destruction of the Crucible? The Progenitor does not recognise them as Daleks - they need the Doctor's oral testimony that they are who they claim to be. This might be explained if they were Emperor survivors - as they had human DNA traces. However, the Crucible Daleks came directly from Davros - a Kaled - so surely recognisably Dalek?
Depends on what you think of Davros. In Destiny, the Movellans described him as a "Kaled Mutant" - so perhaps not pure Kaled.
Once the Doctor has (quite clumsily) shouted out that the Daleks are indeed Daleks, the Progenitor activates. Apparently there used to be lots of these little pepper-pot things, but now this is the last one. The Progenitor creates a whole new bunch of Daleks - the New Paradigm - and this is where things start to go awry.
The Dalek is a design classic. The New Paradigm take that wonderful design and trash it. Instead of war-ready, bolted, bronze bodies, they now look like they are made of plastic. The profile is all wrong - they've now gone hatchback. There are 5 new Daleks - each of a different colour. The Supreme is white, the drone red. The others (Plastics, Tins and Mixed Paper & Cardboard) are yellow, orange and blue.
Reaction to the new design was not mixed. It was fairly heavily anti. It is to be noted that they have been shoved into the background of late, with the RTD bronze Daleks dominating the last few stories they have featured in.
The Paradigm make a brief return as part of the Pandorica Alliance.
The white Supreme casing then appears in The Big Bang now transformed into a stone Dalek. Earlier petrified by the unravelling of the Universe, the light from the Pandorica animates this museum exhibit.
Series 6 only features a cameo from one of the New Paradigm, at the beginning of The Wedding of River Song.
And so we come to Asylum of the Daleks. More Daleks than you can shake a Perigosto Stick at. Just a shame we don't really get to see the classic series models. The Asylum is populated mostly with bronze Daleks. There's the odd New Paradigm. Classic models such as the Special Weapons and RTD's personal copy of a 1970's version just don't get any screen time. Biggest disappointment is the Intensive Care Unit - where we are specifically told that these are the Daleks which have encountered the Doctor. Despite having versions of the real thing to put on show, they're all bronze ones. The "Oswin Dalek" is yet another bronze model - with a big chain draped over it.
Bronze Daleks make up the bulk of the Parliament. The New Paradigm Daleks have had a respray - the paintwork is now metallic so they look less like they are made out of plastic.
The Prime Minister is simply a Dalek mutant in a glass tank.
As we are back into the Time War, only the bronze Daleks are to be seen in Day of the Doctor. One thing of note, however, is the pilots of the flying gunships. They have black domes - like the Emperor's personal guards of the Eccleston finale.
When the Radio Times put Doctor Who on its cover early in December 2013, the Doctor was pictured standing in the doorway of the TARDIS flanked by New Paradigm Daleks. When we got to see the last Christmas Special, however, it was more bronze versions which predominated. Time of the Doctor also featured a new Dalek weapon - a massive version of their own exterminators.
And that's the story so far. The recently released trailer for Series 8 shows that the Daleks will be back fairly soon. And guess what? It'll be the bronze ones yet again...