Forget Rose, Donna or even Captain Jack, because there’s a group of Doctor Who characters even more esteemed by former showrunner Russell T Davies than those he created – tinpot terrors the Daleks.
During a session at the Radio Times Festival on Friday, Davies was asked to name his favourite character on the sci-fi series, and replied: “I can’t pick a favourite character because I loved writing them all, but I used to love writing the Daleks. And I think there are so many untruths said about them.
“In the old days, they used to say ‘oh it’s terrible to write Daleks, because their speech is so rapid.’ I think Daleks are the cleverest things in the world, and they’re sharp with it. They have such contempt for every other life form, and they’re so sarcastically contemptuous. I love that about them.”
Davies went on to describe one of his favourite Dalek moments in his time on the series, taken from the final episode of Christopher Eccleston’s run as the Doctor.
“One of my favourite bits was in the Parting of the Ways, where they don’t know what the Doctor will do,” he said. “They turn to Rose, and say ‘you know the Doctor, you know what he’s gonna do. Predict! Predict!’ And then he attacks them and Rose says ‘oh my God, you’re gonna kill him!’ And the Dalek turns around and says ‘you have predicted correctly’.”
“It’s that intelligence thing – that Dalek is so clever! You can dangerously write them as tanks or just one-note monsters, and they’re clever. Every single Dalek is cleverer than all of us put together.”
Davies also reflected on his time in Doctor Who as a whole, discussing his enduring memories of the series with Radio Times columnist Alison Graham.
“I don’t miss the workload – the workload was absolutely enormous,” he said. “But I don’t want to dwell on that, because that’s not the memory of it in the end. The memory’s just joy.”
Doctor Who is on BBC1 tomorrow (Saturday 26th September) at 7:45pm