Dalek (Doctor Who episode)

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161 "Dalek"
Doctor Who episode
Flying Dalek.jpg
The Dalek overcomes its supposed weakness.
Cast
Others
Production
Directed by Joe Ahearne
Written by Robert Shearman
Script editor Helen Raynor
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Mal Young
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code1.6
Series Series 1
Length45 minutes
First broadcast30 April 2005 (2005-04-30)
Chronology
 Preceded by
"World War Three"
Followed by 
"The Long Game"
Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"Dalek" is the sixth episode of the revived first series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who . It was first broadcast on BBC One on 30 April 2005. This episode is the first appearance of the Daleks in the 21st-century revival of Doctor Who; it also marks the first appearance of Bruno Langley as companion Adam Mitchell.

<i>Doctor Who</i> (series 1) 2005 season of Doctor Who

The first series of the 2005 revival of the British science fiction programme Doctor Who began on 26 March 2005 with the episode "Rose". This marked the end of the programme's 16-year absence from episodic television following its cancellation in 1989, and was the first new televised Doctor Who story since the broadcast of the television movie starring Paul McGann in 1996. The finale episode, "The Parting of the Ways", was broadcast on 18 June 2005. The show was revived by longtime Doctor Who fan Russell T Davies, who had been lobbying the BBC since the late 1990s to bring the show back. The first series comprised 13 episodes, eight of which Davies wrote. Davies, Julie Gardner and Mal Young served as executive producers, Phil Collinson as producer.

BBC One is the first and flagship television channel of the BBC in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution. It was renamed BBC TV in 1960, using this name until the launch of the second BBC channel BBC2 in 1964, whereupon the BBC TV channel became known as BBC1, with the current spelling adopted in 1997.

Dalek Fictional alien race featured in the Doctor Who universe

The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants principally portrayed in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. The Daleks were conceived by science-fiction writer Terry Nation and first appeared in the 1963 Doctor Who serial The Daleks, in the shells designed by Raymond Cusick.

Contents

The episode is set in Utah in the year 2012, in the underground bunker owned by Henry van Statten (Corey Johnson), a rich collector of alien artefacts. In the episode, the alien time traveller the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and his travelling companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) encounter the bunker's only living exhibit: a Dalek, which breaks loose and proceeds to start killing everyone in the bunker after repairing itself.

Corey Johnson is an American character actor largely active in the UK, best known for his supporting roles in Hellboy, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Captain Philips, The Bourne Ultimatum, Kick-Ass,Ex Machina, the Spooks episode "The Special" and the Doctor Who episode "Dalek".

Time travel in fiction Concept and accompanying genre in science fiction

Time travel is a common theme in fiction and has been depicted in a variety of media, such as literature, television, film, and advertisements.

Ninth Doctor fictional character from Doctor Who

The Ninth Doctor is an incarnation of The Doctor, the protagonist of the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Christopher Eccleston during the first series of the show's revival in 2005. Within the programme's narrative, The Doctor is a time travelling, humanoid alien from a race known as the Time Lords. At the end of life, The Doctor can regenerate his body, but in doing so gains a new physical appearance and with it, a distinct new personality.

Plot

The Ninth Doctor and Rose are drawn by a distress signal to a massive bunker beneath Utah in 2012, filled with alien artefacts collected by the bunker's owner, Henry van Statten. Rose is offered a tour of the facility by Adam Mitchell, a man who buys and catalogues artefacts for van Statten. Van Statten takes the Doctor to show him a living alien being, which the Doctor recognises as a Dalek, a race thought to have been wiped out in the Time War. The Dalek is very weak and unable to break its bonds, but when the Doctor attempts to destroy it, van Statten orders his guards to restrain the Doctor and return him to his offices. There, van Statten has the Doctor secured, noting that not only does he collect aliens, but also tortures them to gain information, and proceeds to invasively and violently study the Doctor's body to learn more about his physiology.

Rose Tyler Fictional character in the TV series Doctor Who

Rose Tyler is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. She was created by series producer Russell T Davies and portrayed by Billie Piper. With the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, Rose was introduced as a new travelling companion of the series protagonist, the Doctor, in his ninth and tenth incarnations. The companion character, intended to act as an audience surrogate, was key in the first series to introduce new viewers to the mythos of Doctor Who, which had not aired regularly since 1989. Rose became the viewers eyes into the new world of Doctor Who, from the companions perspective. Piper received top billing alongside Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant for the duration of her time as a regular cast member. A regular for all of series one (2005) and series two (2006), Piper later returned for three episodes of the programme's fourth series(2008) where she made a big comeback to the show and appeared in feature-length specials in both 2010 and 2013. In 2013, Piper played a different character for the 50th anniversary, using Rose's image in her 'Bad Wolf' form known as The Moment or 'Bad Wolf Girl' as the War Doctor called her.

Adam Mitchell (<i>Doctor Who</i>) Fictional character in the Dr Who TV series

Adam Mitchell is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, played by Bruno Langley. Adam is introduced in the first series of the programme's revival as the second television companion of the Ninth Doctor. However, unlike the Ninth Doctor's primary companion, Rose Tyler, who provided an effective human contrast to the Doctor's centuries-old alien, Adam was created to provide an example of an inept time traveller.

The Time War, more specifically called the Last Great Time War, is a conflict within the fictional universe of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The conflict pitted the Time Lords against the Daleks and culminated in the apparent mutual destruction of both races, caused by the Doctor.

Meanwhile, Adam has taken Rose to the Dalek. Rose takes pity on the weakened creature and touches its casing; the Dalek promptly absorbs her DNA and the remnants of time energy she has from travelling in time, and is able to re-energise itself. It escapes its bonds, kills several guards, and connects to the Internet where it learns of the fate of the Daleks and realises it is the last surviving member of its race. With no other purpose, it proceeds to target and exterminate all non-Dalek life forms. Van Statten is forced to release the Doctor to help stop the Dalek, but the Dalek refuses to cooperate, and continues killing all those left in the Vault.

The Dalek's open casing, as shown at the Doctor Who Experience Doctor Who Experience (3998733122).jpg
The Dalek's open casing, as shown at the Doctor Who Experience

The Dalek tries to kill Rose but it cannot, having found compassion embedded in itself from Rose's DNA. The Dalek is urged to kill van Statten, but Rose instead convinces it to spare his life. The Doctor arrives and prepares to kill the Dalek but Rose stops him, convincing him that the Dalek has developed emotions. However, the Dalek is unable to cope with these emotions, and, now aware of the hopelessness of its situation, it asks Rose to order its own self-destruction. Rose agrees, and the Dalek implodes.

Van Statten's assistant Goddard takes over the bunker, planning to wipe van Statten's memories and to fill the bunker with cement. Rose offers Adam to travel with her and the Doctor since he will have no job after this.

Production

Conception

Rob Shearman, the writer of the episode, had his first encounter with the revived series of Doctor Who in 2003 after he created the Sixth Doctor audio Jubilee . Executive producer Russell T Davies drew heavily on Jubilee to create "Return of the Daleks" for his pitch to the BBC, a story which Davies hoped to recreate the menace shown by the Daleks in their 1963 debut The Daleks . The adventure changed the setting from the alternate Earth in Jubilee to 2012 Utah, with the lone Dalek featured being held captive by businessman Henry Van Statten, a caricature of Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates.[ citation needed ]

Sixth Doctor fictional character from Doctor Who

The Sixth Doctor is an incarnation of the Doctor, the protagonist of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Colin Baker. Although his televisual time on the series was comparatively brief and turbulent, Baker has continued as the Sixth Doctor in Big Finish's range of original Doctor Who audio adventures. Within the series' narrative, the Doctor is a centuries-old Time Lord alien from the planet Gallifrey who travels in time and space in his TARDIS, frequently with companions. At the end of life, the Doctor can regenerate his body; in doing so, his physical appearance and personality change. Baker portrays the sixth such incarnation, an arrogant, flamboyant character in brightly coloured, mismatched clothes whose brash, often patronising personality set him apart from all his previous incarnations.

Russell T Davies Screenwriter, former executive producer of Doctor Who

Stephen Russell Davies, better known as Russell T Davies, is a Welsh screenwriter and television producer whose works include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming, Casanova, the 2005 revival of the BBC One science fiction series Doctor Who, and the trilogy Cucumber, Tofu, and Banana.

<i>The Daleks</i> 1963 Doctor Who series

The Daleks is the second serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on BBC TV in seven weekly parts from 21 December 1963 to 1 February 1964. Written by Terry Nation and directed by Christopher Barry and Richard Martin, this story marks the first appearance of the show's most popular villains, the Daleks, and the recurring Skaro people, the Thals. In the serial, the First Doctor, his granddaughter Susan Foreman, and her teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright land in an alien jungle and are captured by the Daleks, a race of mutated creatures who survive off the radiation that remains in the atmosphere after a nuclear war they waged with their enemies. As the group attempt to escape the Daleks, they discover more about the planet and the ensuing war and attempt to broker peace.

The script went through several changes. The story itself was initially called "Creature of Lies", and Van Statten was originally called Hiram Duchesne. For a short period of time, Adam was the villain's son, but Shearman decided against it.[ citation needed ] The most notable change to the script happened when the Nation estate, holders of the rights for the Daleks, blocked the use of the Daleks due to the BBC licensing them out too much. The changed story contained an alien akin to a child who kills for pleasure, which eventually evolved into the Toclafane from "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords".[ citation needed ] [1] Finally, the BBC were able to secure the rights from the Nation estate, and at the same time gave the episode its final name, "Dalek".[ citation needed ]

The Sound of Drums episode of Doctor Who

"The Sound of Drums" is the twelfth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 23 June 2007. It is the second of three episodes that form a linked narrative, following "Utopia" and followed by "Last of the Time Lords".

Last of the Time Lords episode of Doctor Who

"Last of the Time Lords" is the thirteenth and final episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 30 June 2007. It is the last of three episodes that form a linked narrative, following "Utopia" and "The Sound of Drums".

Filming

The episode was placed in the third production block, along with "Father's Day" and "The Long Game", the latter taken out due to delays in special effects creation. The episode's placement in the series was intentional so as to stave off an anticipated mid-series drop in viewership, although the BBC suggested that the episode be the premiere.[ citation needed ] Filming of the episode began on 25 October 2004 at the National Museum Cardiff, [2] before moving to the Millennium Stadium the following day, where most of the episode was filmed. Most of the filming finished on 3 November 2004, with pick-up shots completed at the show's studio space in Newport throughout the remainder of the month.[ citation needed ]

Fathers Day (<i>Doctor Who</i>) episode of Doctor Who

"Father's Day" is the eighth episode of the first series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, first broadcast on 14 May 2005 on BBC One. It was written by Paul Cornell and directed by Joe Ahearne. It was one of three Doctor Who episodes that year to be nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

The Long Game episode of Doctor Who

"The Long Game" is the seventh episode of the first series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 7 May 2005 on BBC One. It was written by executive producer Russell T Davies and directed by Brian Grant.

National Museum Cardiff main site of the national museum of Wales

National Museum Cardiff is a museum and art gallery in Cardiff, Wales. The museum is part of the wider network of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. Entry is kept free by a grant from the Welsh Government; however, they do ask for donations throughout the museum.

Critical reception and awards

Before the broadcast, media watchdog organisation Mediawatch-uk complained about certain elements of the episode, characterising Van Statten's chaining and invasive scan of the Doctor as a "sado-masochistic" torture scene. Mediawatch also objected to Van Statten's invitation to Adam and Rose to "canoodle or spoon, or whatever you British do" as inappropriate sexual language. [3]

When it was released on DVD, British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the episode a 12 rating, because of the scenes where the Doctor is seen to torture the Dalek. [4] The BBFC stated:

"We are concerned about role models for children using the sort of tactics that Doctor Who used against the Dalek. If that was transferred into the playground it would be something we would want to tackle." [4]

Reception to the episode was positive. The episode's overnight ratings was 7.73 million viewers, 46% of the audience share, a figure that was finalised to 8.64 million viewers. [5] [6] The Times stated that the episode was an "unqualified triumph". The Guardian commented that "Shearman's script bamboozles expectations", and the episode "should hopefully show 2005's kids what was always so wonderful about the iconic tin-rotters.". The London Evening Standard found the lack of surprise (namely, calling the episode "Dalek") the only disappointment, and Daily Mirror simply stated that "for 30 pant-shittingly wonderful minutes, BBC1's new Doctor Who was the best thing on telly. Ever." [7] In 2010 Den of Geek placed the episode as number 2 in their list of the Top 10 Dalek stories. [8]

The episode was nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form along with other Doctor Who episodes "Father's Day" and "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances". The stories came third, fifth, and first, respectively. [9]

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References

  1. "50 Fascinating Doctor Who Almosts..." SFX . 7 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  2. "Walesarts, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  3. Lyon, Shaun (25 April 2005). "Weekend Series Coverage". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  4. 1 2 "Under-12 ban on Dalek torture DVD". BBC News . BBC. 16 May 2005.
  5. Lyon, Shaun (1 May 2005). "Dalek Overnight Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  6. Lyon, Shaun (13 May 2005). "Mid-week Series update". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  7. Lyon, Shaun; et al. (1 May 2005). "Saturday Series Press Roundup". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  8. "Doctor Who: The Top 10 Dalek stories".
  9. "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form". 2006 Hugo Award & Campbell Award Winners. 26 August 2006. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2006.