In the follow-up to the Classic Dalek Story list, Trenton Bless ranks the best pepper-pots New Who has to offer
Welcome back to Time Lord Tops! It’s time to rank the New Series Dalek stories. I wanted to wait to see if the Thirteenth Doctor got a Dalek story of her own. Sure enough, she did. A few rules for this list:
So, with that said, let’s begin!
Can anyone guess why this story is here? Go on, guess! Two words. Paradigm. Daleks. While I like the idea of a new Paradigm, the design is awful. They look like they tasted the rainbow! I have a catalog of Paradigm Dalek jokes because they are so easy to make. Plus the story wasn’t all that good, either. I mean, you had Daleks fighting with the British in World War II under Churchill. How do you screw that up? The Daleks won in this story, and everybody watching lost.
[Check out the Who Back When review of Victory of the Daleks!]
The premise here sounds a little goofy to begin with. The Cult of Skaro lands in the middle of Depression Era Manhattan and use pig monsters as henchmen to kidnap people to turn them into Human/Dalek hybrids. Also, Dalek Sec becomes… that ugly thing. Whoever thought that was a good idea obviously lost it. Tennant was good here, and I love Martha as a companion, but this is just gobshite as a Dalek story.
You promised us Classic Era Daleks. And you did nothing with it! This honestly was more about getting Amy and Rory back together after they were broken up for some reason. I like the idea of a place for insane, broken Daleks. But this just didn’t work. Heck, even that twist at the end was brilliant! But not a ton came of it. Just like how the Daleks forgetting the Doctor for a year meant nothing. So stupid.
[Check out the Who Back When review of Asylum of the Daleks!]
Basically a slightly better version of Asylum of the Daleks, with a whole other world of problems. Firstly, why do this to the Twelfth Doctor? Why change him from this darker, anti-social Doctor into someone who’s basically a Matt Smith clone? I really loved how distant Capaldi’s Doctor was in Series 8. Just imagine how amazing that Doctor would’ve been throughout his run, seeing him mellow out like the First Doctor did in the end. However, all is forgiven thanks to the scenes with the Doctor and Davros. Any scene between these two characters is always amazing, no matter who’s playing either!
Capaldi’s first Dalek story is his best. Being shrunk down and going inside a pepper-pot. There’s something that has never been done before. I really liked this idea. And they made it work. I liked Rusty, the Doctor being called a “good Dalek”, and quite frankly every bit of this episode. Except for maybe the scenes between Danny and Clara. Their romance was rushed. I wasn’t a huge fan. I just wish Danny went off with Twelve and Clara in the end.
“What? This story only gets a fifth place finish? FOR SHAME!”, I hear you cry. But let’s be honest, we all know that the Daleks would beat the Cybermen any day of the week. (And that’s coming from a Cyberman fanboy!) Plus we got millions of Daleks and Cybermen duking it out over London. That should be awesome! But instead we focus on the wrap-up of Ten and Rose’s story together. In all fairness, the focus was where it should’ve been. Unfortunately, that means the Daleks got shoved up against the Cybermen. There’s a reason these two factions haven’t met since. They aren’t really compatible.
This serves as the ambitious crossover epic of Doctor Who. All of RTD’s Whoniverse shows came together to make an epic two parter. Once again Davros was in his scenes with the Doctor, in particular the ending. Absolutely perfect. However, if it weren’t for the Next Time trailer, we would’ve had no idea what was going to happen at the end of Stolen Earth.
It wrapped up Tennant’s three full seasons as the Doctor in a neat little bow. But of course there was more to come.
When it came to this spot, I had to decide between Stolen Earth/Journey’s End and this story. In the end, I chose Resolution simply because it made the Daleks feel threatening again. I mean, yeah, a million Daleks are a major threat, but what about just one Dalek? A Dalek that can control humans to rebuild its casing from memory and spare parts? A Dalek that escapes and causes havoc from Sheffield to the GCHQ? Yeah, that’s threatening. The Dalek here was proper creepy. Best Dalek story we’ve had in a very long time. I would even go as far as saying this is Jodie’s best story to date.
[Check out the Who Back When review of Resolution!]
In 2005, we got two Dalek stories, and this is probably the best regeneration story we’ve had since the show returned. The Dalek Emperor was amazing, and even though the Ninth Doctor was only around for thirteen episodes, his whole era was wrapped up nicely. It even set up the next era and a spinoff, too. However, I can’t say it’s the best New Series Dalek story. As above, sure, a ton of Daleks can do a ton of damage, but what about just one Dalek?
Just one Dalek. That’s all it takes. Rob Shearman’s only TV Doctor Who script – he’s better known by Big Finish Fans – was simply fantastic! Every scene between the Doctor and the Dalek was brilliant, as was that scene with the two (presumed) survivors of the Time War. “You would make a good Dalek” is such an evocative line, and the Dalek going on a rampage was just what a Dalek should do. Shearman was also responsible for Jubilee, a Sixth Doctor audio story featuring the Daleks, which this one borrows some elements from. This is a great story that definitely earns the top spot.
[Check out the Who Back When review of Dalek!]
What’s your favorite Dalek story? Let me know in the comments below. At this stage I am open to suggestions for lists, so do let me know what you all want to see.
Do you wield a Sonic Quill? We're calling all Whovian Scribes who have a voice and are keen to get their ideas out there. Perhaps you write Doctor Who Fan Fiction, essays on the most obscure facets of the Whoniverse, or maybe you want to review the local stage adaptation of 'Blink'. Either way, if you'd like to join the ranks of our WBW Correspondents, get in touch and we'll chat.