“Doctor Who” showrunner denies long-standing Dalek rumor

Russell T. Davies recently addressed a persistent rumor surrounding one of Doctor Who’s most iconic villains, the Daleks.

The Daleks, ruthless alien mutants encased in armor-like outer shells, debuted in 1963 as enemies of William Hartnell’s First Doctor. They quickly became one of the Doctor Who franchise’s most popular antagonists, clashing with each of Hartnell’s successors throughout the show’s classic run.

Despite their fan-favorite status, Daleks only made a brief off-screen appearance in the subsequent 1996 Doctor Who TV film, but played an important role in the series’ subsequent revival. Starting with the aptly named Series 1 episode “Dalek”, the villains have confused every modern incarnation of the Doctor, from Christopher Eccleston to Jodie Whittaker.

Article continues after ad

Whittaker’s successor, David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor, will also face off against the Daleks in an upcoming Doctor Who mini-episode being produced for BBC Children in Need. However, Davies recently revealed that Tennant’s own successor, Ncuti Gatwa, will not face the Daleks when he takes over the TARDIS in 2024.

“Doctor Who” showrunner denies long-standing Dalek rumor

Davies’ announcement surprised quite a few Doctor Who fans – not least because of a long-standing rumor about the Daleks. This rumor states that the BBC must include the Daleks in at least one Doctor Who story per year or the broadcaster will lose the rights to them.

Article continues after ad

But according to Davies, that’s simply not the case. The showrunner recently debunked the Dalek theory reply to a fan on Instagram and stated bluntly that the BBC had no legal obligation to keep Doctor Who’s deadly salt and pepper shakers in circulation. “This is nonsense, I’m sorry,” he wrote. “Completely untrue.”

As several Doctor Who followers later noted on social media, Davies is not the first showrunner in the franchise’s history to clarify things regarding the Daleks. Steven Moffat – who ran Doctor Who from 2010 to 2017 – also previously denied being forced to include the Daleks in the series.

Article continues after ad

Still, other fans expressed skepticism about both showrunners’ claims, citing the Daleks’ frequent appearances as evidence of a BBC mandate to use them in stories. Davies shrugged this off in a later Instagram response, arguing that there was “nothing strange” about Doctor Who’s most iconic villains reappearing throughout the series’ run.

Russell T Davies teases the return of the Daleks in the Doctor Who mini-episode

Whether fans believe Davies or not, the Daleks will still return soon thanks to the BBC’s Children in Need scene. The five-minute scene will air on BBC One and iPlayer on November 17, as detailed in a recent Instagram post by Davies, will take place on the Daleks’ homeworld of Skaro.

Article continues after ad

Davies’ contribution also highlighted the Children in Need scene’s other connections to Doctor Who continuity. This includes music by recurring series composer Murray Gold as well as content and tone, with Davies making it clear that the scene is not a parody of the franchise.

For the latest Doctor Who content, check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: dustinhuang@nytimas.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button