Redesigning a classic Doctor Who monster is a tricky business, with any major changes liable to incur the wrath of fans – and when it comes to Daleks, standards are even higher.
Remember the colourful New Paradigm Daleks from 2010? So unpopular were they that despite having a whole episode dedicated to their introduction, they were quietly shuffled off stage left after a couple of appearances.
Now with a new Dalek episode coming to Doctor Who this winter, Whovians will be eager to see what series boss Chris Chibnall has in store for the Doctor’s greatest villains.
Today, they might have got their answer. A new image has leaked online of what appears to be the new-look Daleks created for festive special Revolution of the Daleks, with the design featuring a darker colour palette and more streamlined look compared to the “bronze Daleks” mostly used since 2005.
While some fans had previously spotted this Dalek during filming in Bristol, there was a less clear look at the finished design, which can be seen in all its glory below.
A photo has been leaked online of the new Dalek design from the upcoming festive special, Revolution of the Daleks.
What are your thoughts? pic.twitter.com/v31IImwYmx
— Doctor Who Page (@dwpageofficial) June 17, 2020
When contacted by RadioTimes.com about the image, the BBC declined to comment but it doesn’t seem out of the question to think that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this design when Revolution of the Daleks swings around.
Though of course, this isn’t quite the first time we’ve seen a Dalek like this in action. Back in 2019 New Year’s Day special Resolution, Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her friends faced off with a similarly svelte ‘Recon Dalek’ that had been destroyed, and which managed to fashion a casing for itself out of old parts and scrap – clearly, this black Dalek is just the finished, fresh-off-the-assembly-line version of the same design.
There are a few aesthetic differences – what appear to be small vents along the sides, less prominent orbs and a generally more gilded finish help the new model stand out – but generally speaking, it looks like the Recon Dalek look is here to stay.
Unless of course, this is its big entry and exit. Back in 2019, a fan managed to film what appeared to be a Doctor Who shoot on the Clifton Suspension bridge involving the Daleks – at the time, it was our first hint that the Thirteenth Doctor would be facing them again.
Reportedly, the scene saw a lone black Dalek – which resembles the same design as this leaked image – facing off with and subsequently destroyed by a larger group of bronze 2005-era Daleks. So what’s the big idea? Would Doctor Who really introduce a new Dalek design, only to have it destroyed by the Skaro status quo a moment later?
— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) October 23, 2019
Well, maybe. It could be that, like the new Paradigm Daleks, this design is being exterminated ahead of time, or that it was never intended as a full replacement, just standing alongside the usual bronze baddies as an addition. Or this could all be part of the Dalek “revolution” the title alludes to, and we could be seeing two rival factions battling for supremacy of, er, the West Country.
Either way, it’s looking like Who fans are in for more Dalek fun than ever this winter. If nothing else it means more collectible action figures, right?
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide