Sunday, January 06, 2013

30 Day Doctor Who Challenge - Day 4: Favourite villain

This question put me in mind of that wonderful scene in Remembrance of the Daleks where Ace knees Grange Hill's Mr Bronson and when the Doctor asks what's wrong, she smiles "stomach ache."

Of course, Michael Sheard wasn't playing Mr Bronson, but the headmaster of the primary school where all the action was happening. Sheard had a habit of playing Doctor Who baddies over the years, but to be fair to him, he was usually possessed by something. In this case, he was being controlled by the daleks, the real villains of the piece. 

That story was also the one where the dalek followed Sylvester McCoy's Doctor up the stairs. 

You can tell that I'm not going to deviate far from the daleks here. I know it's unoriginal, but they are brilliantly nasty with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I'm not so fussed about the new brand of primary coloured jobs introduced in Victory of the Daleks, especially the hippy sounding eternal. They may well have disappeared into the crack in time, though. That episode, though, written by Mark Gatiss, was brilliant. The sight of an "ironside" solicitously asking "Would you care for some tea?" was pure genius.

Even off-screen, the daleks dominated the show, being the root cause of Nine's dark bitterness. In chocolate, those are good qualities. In a solitary timelord, not so much.

The way the dalek story has developed over the years, from the Cult of Skaro to the most recent Asylum of the Daleks shows that there is still a whole load of potential for them in the future. 

It was fun meeting Annette Badlands, who played Margaret Blane, the Slitheen in 3 episodes in the 2005 series. She's so pleasant and kind in real life, but I watched Boom Town the other night and loved the scene where she's eating with the Doctor, and the one where she lets the journalist go. The idea that our town halls and Whitehall and international organisations may be run by power crazed aliens intent on destroying the planet is an interesting one. 

I guess I also have to mention the eponymous Robot from Tom Baker's first story. He was my first Doctor Who villain and I saw him at the Doctor Who Experience in 2011. 

The Vashta Nerada scared the living daylights out of me, as did the Weeping Angels when they took over "Bob". 

The Silence also have potential for further development, too. They are proper creepy and the idea that you can have a villain you can't remember is a good one.

I loved that, when the series first came back, the first story was based round the Nestene Consciousness, a clear nod to the Pertwee stories Terror of the Autons and Spearhead from Space. Anna and I saw some autons at another Doctor Who exhibition in Newcastle in 2010.

But for me, the daleks are the foremost Doctor Who villains. Whether you watch Doctor Who or not, you generally know what a dalek is. That has to be a sign of success.

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