I’m in Love With a Dalek (and Why You Should be Too)

Doctor Who Matt Smith with Dalek
Doctor Who Matt Smith with Dalek
A Dalek in its true form
A Dalek in its true form

There are few things that bring back warm childhood memories for me like watching the BBC Science Fiction series “Doctor Who” on television. This show, which first aired from 1963 to 1989, was a regular after school treat for me in my younger years. So imagine my surprise and childlike glee in 2005 when I discovered that it was back on television – updated, revived, and better than ever! Now whenever the show is on you had better believe that I am glued to the television with popcorn in hand. Let me explain why you should do the same.

The quick and “dirty” synopsis of this show is that Doctor Who is a Time Lord, the last remaining member of a race of alien beings who can travel back and forth in time as they choose. Instead of dying when injured, “The Doctor” (as he is called on the show) simply “regenerates” into a new body. This explains why over the years there have been 11 different actors playing the lead character, with each transition actually written into the show, usually at the end of a season.

The Doctor likes to roam around in his time machine called “The TARDIS” with a companion or two that he meets while on his adventures. This gang of happy time travelers randomly goes back and forth between the past and the future, between Earth and other planets, rescuing whomever they find from sure destruction. And who do they always eventually run into? At least 2 or 3 (maybe more) times a season? The Daleks!

The Daleks have got to be the coolest Arch Villains on television. They too were around when the show first appears in the 60’s, and they have only gotten better (I mean meaner!) with age. Even though they at first appear to be robots, the Daleks are actually a genetically engineered race of beings with an eerie resemblance to squids that live inside the robot-like casing for protection.

Whenever The Doctor is being confronted and almost vanquished by some unknown foe, you can count on the Daleks to show up out of the blue yelling their trademark war chant of “Exterminate, Exterminate, EXTERMINATE!!”

Why is it when this happens that an uncontrollable smile always breaks out on my face? These are the enemies that you love to hate because they bring such comic relief whenever they appear. Recently they managed to re-invent themselves by emerging from their uniform gun-metal grey and pewter casings into individualized Crayola colored casings of red, white, Neon yellow, and Day-Glo orange. Upon witnessing this, I actually found myself unexpectedly yelling at the television “You Go Daleks!”

There is no way that I can fit into one article all of the reasons that I love a show and a set of characters that are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world. All I can tell you is that there is a reason that this show has been on for so long. And if you don’t know what it is, then you owe it to yourself to find out.

So take t from me, and watch the show this season. Or as the Daleks would say, "Obey, Obey, OBEY!!!

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