The familiar robotic tones of the Doctor’s greatest foe returned on Tuesday to herald the New Year, and the majority of fans were impressed with just how scary the Daleks remain — even when there’s only one of them in a homemade makeshift casing…
(Warning: mild spoilers ahead for Doctor Who’s New Year’s Day special!)
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In the special episode, starring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, an ancient Dalek is brought back to life by an unwitting pair of archaeologists. Without its iconic metal casing, the squid-like creature is vulnerable, and will utilise whatever — and whoever — it needs to rebuild its armour and, of course, set out to destroy the human race.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) January 1, 2019
Viewers were on the whole suitably impressed with the “terrifying” Dalek, with one fan dubbing it the “scariest incarnation of the Daleks” in the show’s history.
— iRosz (@RA1013) January 2, 2019
I genuinely feel like this is the scariest the Daleks have ever been. Like it's hard to show how terrifying and devastating they're supposed to be, but this episode did it. #DoctorWho
— SYFY FANGRRLS (@Syfyfangrrls) January 2, 2019
“This is the scariest episode of Doctor Who I’ve seen in a LONG time,” Emma Drury tweeted.
This is the scariest episode of #DoctorWho I’ve seen in a LONG time.
— Emma Drury (@emmadrury_) January 1, 2019
“That was the scariest Dalek ever!! Superb,” another viewer posted.
That was the scariest Dalek ever!! Superb #DoctorWho
— Babs (@BabsSheKing) January 1, 2019
What a phenomenal episode. My favourite of the series. That is the scariest the Daleks have been since 2005. #DoctorWho
— DrLord16 (@SalamiSandwich4) January 1, 2019
The reality of the Dalek’s squid-like form also served to creep a number of viewers out. “Tis a fact that the scariest thing about a Dalek has always been what it really is on the inside,” David Kidd commented.
— David Kidd (@davidpkidd) January 1, 2019
“I’ve got to give Chibnall props for making the Daleks the scariest they’ve been in years. The mutant scenes are genuinely some of the most grotesque in all of Doctor Who,” Johnny Kilroy posted on Twitter.
Upon rewatch, I was definitely being too harsh. Also, I’ve got to give Chibnall props for making the Daleks the scariest they’ve been in years. The mutant scenes are genuinely some of the most grotesque in all of #DoctorWho. pic.twitter.com/34rq9sEbiA
— Johnny Kilroy (@Johnnykilroy29) January 1, 2019
Although, of course, if there was one scene that truly shook the nation to its core, it was when the Dalek successfully shuts down Britain’s Wi-Fi on New Year’s Day…
The scariest part of #DoctorWho was when the Dalek shut off the Internet
— Jess (@lilsciencequeen) January 1, 2019
i have to say, the scariest part of that whole episode was when the wifi went down. don’t think i’m gonna be able to sleep tonight #DoctorWho
— loren (@lorenisathot) January 1, 2019
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in 2020