4/04/2012

D is for Dalek, part of the A-Z blogging challenge.

The Daleks were created by Doctor Who writer Terry Nation for the second episode of Doctor Who. They were incredibly popular and single-handedly catapulted the show into British pop culture. Here are 10 things that may surprise you about these cybernetic monsters.

1. The Daleks Are Pepper Shakers - In the original script, Nation specifically described the Daleks as not having legs. The designers spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they would move until one of them used a pepper shaker (or "pepperpot" in the UK) to demonstrate. The shaker not only solved the movement problem, but inspired the very shape and appearance of the Daleks.
2. The Daleks Are Ratings Gold - The Daleks made Doctor Who a household name almost immediately after airing. In fact, throughout the sixties, ratings drastically declined if the Daleks weren't in the episode.
3. The Dalek Show - For a brief period, Nation tried to spin the Daleks off into their own American TV series. The series would have been The Destroyers, about a special team called the Space Security Service whose sole mission would have been to destroy the Daleks. The pilot ultimately was unproduced, but was turned into an audio drama in 2010.
4. The Daleks Were Almost Banned - When Sydney Newman created the Doctor Who series, he distributed a memo that decreed no "bug-eyed monsters." He was furious when Nation created the Daleks, because he felt they violated his monsters rule. Despite his protests, the Daleks aired, and turned out to be the biggest hit of the show.
5. The Daleks Are Nazis - The Daleks were inspired by the Nazis. Their appearance represents the faceless, soulless brutality of the Nazis, and their xenophobia reflects the Nazis' determination to destroy anything unlike themselves.
6. The Missing Daleks - When the show was revived in 2005, the Daleks were said to be exterminated in a great war. The real reason was a dispute with the late Nation's estate over the rights to the character. When Rob Shearman wrote an episode to bring back the Daleks that ultimately became "Dalek," he wrote a version where a child-like alien creature escapes from captivity and wreaks havoc. When the Nation dispute was resolved, Shearman was able to change the alien back to a Dalek.
7. The Name "Dalek" - For years, Nation said the name came from the spine of an encyclopedia that read "dal-eks." He later admitted he was lying and just made up the word.
8. The Real Dalek - The word Dalek actually does exist. It means "distant" in Serbia Croatia. However, Nation says he was unaware of it until years after he wrote the script.
9. The Dalek-Bladerunner Connection - When the script was originally put into production, a young designer was approach to design the Daleks, but he wasn't available. That designer was Ridley Scott, who ended up as production designer and director of Bladerunner, Alien, and many other popular scifi films.
10. The Daleks Are Now Number Two - Every year, the Radio Times has held a poll of scariest Doctor Who monsters. The Daleks won the poll every year until 2008, when they were unseated by the newly-created Weeping Angels.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Dalek6388
TARDIS Index File

Related:
10 Things You Didn't Know About Doctor Who
Dalek Out Of 48,0000 Matchsticks
Buried in a TARDIS




This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For the next 27 days, we'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here azchallenge2012. To find out more about the challenge go here

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6 comments:

Dave said...

I don't think the time war and the problems with Terry Nation's estate are connected, although when it looked as though the new series wouldn't be allowed to feature the Daleks, Rob Shearman cheekily retitled his episode Absence Of The Daleks.

AlexJCavanaugh said...

He just made up the word - funny. Pepper shakers. Now that you mention it, that is what they look like.

TS Hendrik said...

I am such a sucker for anything to do with the Doctor and Daleks. I didn't know that it was a real word though. That is cool. 

Nigel Mitchell said...

I'm going to research the time war, make sure that's correct as well. Awesome trivia about the title, too, that's hilarious

Nigel Mitchell said...

It does, doesn't it?

Nigel Mitchell said...

I agree. Can't get enough Daleks.

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