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The Daleks

597 of 1173 nominations


The Daleks

Is this an icon?


The Daleks

The very thought of Dr Who without the Daleks is like – well, Dr Who without his TARDIS. Arch-enemies from the first time they appeared together on the cult TV show in 1963, the Doctor has frequently defeated them.

Reminiscent of malevolent pepperpots, the Daleks were created by the prolific TV and film writer Terry Nation (who also wrote scripts for Tony Hancock, The Avengers and Blake’s 7) and the BBC designer Raymond Cusick. Nation is said to have consciously based the Dalek concept on the Nazis. Despite difficult negotiations with Terry Nation’s estate, they returned, to the relief of fans, to British TV screens in 2005 when Dr Who was revived.

Despite 21st-century technical sophistication, their movements are still largely controlled by a human operator inside the casing, although the dome and eyestalk are controlled remotely these days. The Daleks have a life of their own, spawning films, comic strips, books and a whole range of Dalek paraphernalia, not to mention an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, their own postage stamp, and even the odd Dalek-themed porn movie.

To read more about Daleks and other manifestations of evil, click here. 

Photo: Joe McIntyre



Your comments

The Daleks are instantly recognisable - they have been a staple of our culture since 1963. They have entered the English dictionary - you can describe people as Daleks. There is a huge popularity for these science fiction creatures and their desire to exterminate all life. Their shape is iconic - show a person a picture of a Dalek and they will recognise it instantly.

David Harper

A truly icon development that has spanned many lives from their conception, both my own from seeing the "first" Dr Who/Dalek episode through to the amused study of my own childrens reaction. They "did" hide behind chairs and sofa's. My grandchildren are now massive fans, the circle expands out through time enveloping other countries.
John Potter

Why English rather than British? Is the BBC an English organisation these days? I'd have thought that anyone paying a T.V license would be entitled to be included in this.

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My nomination is the garden shed.