(Short Lived) Victory Of The Amicus Daleks

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Chris Morley gets colourful.

During our time devoted to non-canonical Doctors, it seems only right to examine his greatest foes and a design which has been featured & then scrapped not once but twice! Bigger & more colourful models first appeared in the two Peter Cushing Dr Who films of the early Sixties...

...before a resurrection of sorts in time for Victory Of The Daleks in Matt Smith's first series as the Eleventh Doctor in 2010.

Although implied to be replacements for the Russell T Davies-era design, that was of course their first & only appearance in the TV series, the thinking behind them seemingly inspired by their bulkier forebears. Each of the new boys that popped up following the activation of that Progenitor device had a different rank, denoted by their colour as you'll recall.

Both writer Mark Gatiss, who also appears as the voice of Spitfire pilot ''Danny Boy'', & showrunner Steven Moffatt clearly remembered something of the big-screen Daleks. As A Brief History Of Time Travel would recount,
"In particular, he (Moffatt) and Gatiss both thought in terms of the Doctor Who feature films from the mid-Sixties, which had starred Peter Cushing as “Dr Who” and had featured towering Daleks in a variety of Technicolor liveries.

They decided to introduce five different types of Daleks, each serving a different function. Gatiss named the white Supreme, the red Drone, the orange Scientist and the blue Strategist; Moffat contributed the yellow Eternal (although he had no particular plans for what this enigmatic title might signify)."
Though we're still no closer to actually finding out. So much for a triumphant rebirth for the race!
DOCTOR: Turn those lights off now. Turn London off or I swear I will use the TARDIS self destruct.
DALEK: Stalemate, Doctor. Leave us and return to Earth.
DOCTOR: Oh, that's it. That's your great victory? You leave?
DALEK: Extinction is not an option. We shall return to our own time and begin again.
DOCTOR: No, no, no. I won't let you get away this time. I won't.
DALEK: We have succeeded. DNA reconstruction is complete. Observe, Doctor, a new Dalek paradigm. The Progenitor has fulfilled our new destiny. Behold, the restoration of the Daleks. The resurrection of the master race.
Which, as the BFI remembered, had originally conquered retailers following its first appearance in the series & would prove a money-spinner.
"The Daleks were a merchandiser's dream. Their inhuman likeness was ubiquitous by the mid-1960s, appearing in books, comics, and newspaper cartoons; on pencils, toys, masks and bedroom slippers. Selfridges even designed a Dalek cake for Christmas 1965. Spotting a sure-fire money-spinner, producer Milton Subotsky acted quickly to secure screen rights to Doctor Who for his Amicus company.

According to Amicus historian Allan Bryce, Subotsky, a shrewd negotiator, persuaded the BBC and Dalek creator Terry Nation to let his company make a film version of the first televised Dalek serial, The Daleks, with options for two projected sequels, for the knockdown price of £500."

And while the films may hardly be fondly recalled, Gatiss was open regarding their influence on the New Paradigm.
"We talked at the first meeting about making them more like the Daleks from the 60s movies - which I've always loved. The sheer boldness of those colours and the size of them just get to you!

So we discussed the idea of a new "paradigm". A template from which future Daleks would spring. Then we had lots of fun coming up with the classifications: Drone, Scientist, Strategist, Supreme and the Eternal."
In terms of story, Gatiss couldn't resist a few nods to a sadly lost classic outing for the now redesigned bad boys - Patrick Troughton's first appearance as the Second Doctor, The Power Of The Daleks.

Consider also young Smith's love of dear old Pat & the remarkably similar strategy deployed by both sets of Daleks, old & new. Namely, passing themselves off as harmless servants before revealing their true intentions!
DALEK: I am your servant.
LESTERSON: It, it spoke! Janley, did you hear it? It can actually talk.
DOCTOR: It can do many things, Lesterson. But the thing it does most efficiently is exterminate human beings. It destroys them, without mercy, without conscience. It destroys them. Utterly. Completely. It destroys them.
DALEK: I am your servant. I am your servant. I am your servant. I am your servant. I am your servant...
And then their ancestors serve as soldier-boys against the Nazi threat.....
CHURCHILL: What do you think? Quite something, eh?
DOCTOR: What are you doing here?
DALEK: I am your soldier.
DALEK: I am your soldier.
DOCTOR: Stop this. Stop now. Now, you know who I am. You always know.
DALEK: Your identity is unknown.
A lick of paint & a quick redesign later & they're in business!

The reveal of their supposed plan leaves the man who learned much from the one who went before hoping to achieve the "final end" of the Daleks, as wished for by the similarly bow-tied one at the conclusion of his second battle with them in The Evil Of The Daleks.

Ironically the New Paradigm does appear to have seen its final end, barring a small cameo as the officer class during Asylum Of The Daleks, abandoned in favour of their forebears.

A hollow/brief victory?

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