Many newspapers and interviews on Blue Peter and Newsround described this episode as the first time the Daleks had the ability to climb stairs. This was incorrect. In 1988 fans across Britain witnessed an Imperial Dalek ascend a flight of stairs, as the Doctor then hammers frantically on a cellar door in a daring attempt to escape a blast from the Dalek's gun.
Unlike the iconic scene in Remembrance of the Daleks, the levitating Dalek in episode six of the 2005 series was CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). The Daleks were back and they were here to stay, and a few weeks later fans were treated to their return in the season finale Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways.
This episode also introduced us to Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) who would only stay for one adventure, The Long Game (which I will be reviewing next week).
The story was a great spirit of an adventure, giving insight to what would happens when Dalek DNA is 'contaminated' with human DNA. It played heavily on the dark side of both human and Dalek nature.
Even though Daleks have been exterminating everything living thing in sight for 50 years, it still felt right to see a brand new feature introduced – the Dalek has a 360° view of its surroundings. This was shown to us in a frightening and disturbing scene that involved Henry Van Statten's security staff being slaughtered by the Dalek in question.
We were also reunited with a sense of mystery surrounding The Doctor. We know where he's from, and we know what species he is, but what has happened to the planet Gallifrey? And what was the Time War? This would soon become a crucial theme for the series, and the Doctor's background. How fitting it is for the Time War to be fought between the Daleks and the Time Lords.
The Doctor and the Daleks were back, and the magic of the show was certainly back and more powerful than ever!
With an array of talented actors, Dalek was a fitting story for the Daleks return. It featured Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the story's antagonist and many fans will recognize his name from Big Finish Productions (where he writes, directs and sometimes stars in their Doctor Who audio adventures).
Briggs is the voice for the Daleks, Cybermen and other alien or robotic characters throughout the Big Finish works, but there is another familiar name from Big Finish – Barnaby Edwards. Edwards is a regular on Doctor Who as a Dalek operator.
I am also aware that Russell T Davies wanted to connect his series with the Big Finish productions, hence the casting of Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Daleks and, later in 2006, the Cybermen. Many viewers with a sharp eye will also recognize the corridors as those of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Therefore I give this story a 10/10 ruthless Daleks! Next week: The Long Game.