It was one of the most controversial moments in recent Doctor Who history. In Victory of the Daleks, Matt Smith’s third episode, the copper coloured Daleks that had been a fixture of the show since its reboot in 2005 were replaced by brightly coloured models, dubbed the ‘New Paradigm’.
It’s fair to say that they never really caught on with fans – some dismissing them as ‘Teletubbies’ or ‘Power Rangers’. Now showrunner Steven Moffat has admitted the change was a “mistake”.
“Well I suppose if I’m completely honest – and it’s all my fault, no one else’s fault – I don’t think that was a great idea,” he told an audience at London’s Doctor Who Festival. “When I looked at them in person I thought ‘my god, the new Daleks are awesome. they’re so huge and powerful, they’re brilliant.’”
“But I learned a grave lesson: which is that when you put them on screen, of course, they don’t look bigger, they just make all the other Daleks look smaller.”
Following the reaction from fans, the old models made a comeback, with the New Paradigm Daleks stepping into the background. They were completely absent from this year’s opening episode The Magician’s Apprentice, which featured various models from throughout the tin-pots’ history, leading to speculation they had been dumped entirely.
According to Moffat, that isn’t the case, they’re simply taking more of an administrative role.
“So I revised my plans and I now consider them an officer class of Dalek,” he explained. “You do seem them about from time-to-time. It just became a little bit mad in The Magician’s Apprentice because there were so many different Daleks in there that I didn’t want to confuse the eye.”
“They haven’t gone away. We still have them. But that’s the answer. The answer to most questions I find is that I’ve made a mistake.”