The Doctor meets his greatest foe…again!
After the Doctor and Rose stumble upon the last Dalek in the universe, captive in the cellar of a museum. We discover that the Doctor is the one who destroyed both the Daleks and the Time Lords–he is a doomsday weapon, alone in the universe. This is part of the reason he is so angry when we first meet him.
As the Doctor confronts the Dalek, taunting it and urging it to kill itself, it states plainly, “You would make a good Dalek.” This stops him short, and the audience realizes (even more impactful for those who have seen episodes from early series of the show) that the Doctor’s obsession with eliminating the Daleks has progressed too far. When Rose becomes trapped behind a sealed bulkhead, it becomes clear that innocents have fallen victim to this vendetta.
The Daleks are a bit more souped up in this new series. I have recently watched their initial introduction, in the 1st Doctor‘s serial “The Daleks” (only the second storyline–the Daleks have been around the longest of any Doctor Who bad guy!). The way that the Doctor and his companions escaped: literally throw a coat under them. The Daleks, at that time, were powered by static electricity charges. They could only move due to the friction by moving around on metal. Therefore, when the connection is broken, the Dalek becomes helpless. Also, because they are large, dustbins which slide around, stairs can stop them. That is, until Russell T. Davies puts a stop to that: now they can fly, and the menace, unbelievably, is heightened.
We also get to see a Dalek’s existential crisis, trying to find out what it is, what its purpose is. It’s a poignant re-introduction of this well-loved and well-hated enemy of the Doctor’s to a new generation of fans, while holding true to what the show had done before. It’s really excellent and touching.
“It’s not working! The great space dustbin; how does it feel?”
“Great big alien death machine. Defeated by a flight of stairs.”