With series 9 of Doctor Who debuting last weekend, many Whovians who aren't as well versed in classic Doctor Who stories may be wondering about the history of Daleks, Davros, and Skaro. Luckily, I spent much of my time in college getting Doctor Who DVDs in the mail from Netflix (Netflix was once a company that mailed you DVDs. Remember that?!) and consuming anything Dalek-related.
There's hours upon hours of Dalek-related material to sink your teeth into, if you've never visited classic Doctor Who before. These stories will not only give fans a better appreciation for the iconic Who villain, but it will also give a bit more insight into what's going on in the opening of series 9 of the show.
5. The Daleks (1963)
In the second story of the new science-fiction drama on BBC, Doctor Who, the most iconic villain of the series arrive, the Daleks. Their popularity soared even though the villains were crudely constructed and laughable in appearance.
The first Doctor (William Hartnell) travels with Barbara, Ian, and his granddaughter Susan to the planet Skaro where they meet two races of beings: the Daleks and the humanoid creatures the Thals. The Thals and the Doctor team up to take on the Daleks.
This was where it all began and luckily, it's a pretty fantastic episode to boot. Viewers get a lot of the original mythos of the Daleks and their war with the Thals, which is not just a throw-away story. It's something that comes back in future episodes. Unfortunately, there's no good video available that hasn't been turned into a weird fan trailer.
4. Revelation of the Daleks (1985)
Colin Baker's run as the sixth Doctor is overlooked and treated pretty poorly by Doctor Who fans, but there's actually some great stories within his run such as "Revelation of the Daleks."
The Doctor and Peri head to the planet Necros where the recently deceased rich freeze their bodies in the hopes that one day science will discover the cure for death. However, it's revealed that Davros is behind it all and using the dead bodies to create a new breed of Dalek, which he will use to conquer the universe.
This story is part of the Dalek Civil War story which took place over the course of years and the moment where Davros got his own army of Daleks, since the rest of the Daleks don't take his orders anymore. It's a dark and twisted story, and not what fans would expect from the Doctor who wore the multi-colored jacket.
3. The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964)
A year after the introduction of the Daleks, they returned and invaded Earth, with only the First Doctor (William Hartnell) to stop them. The Daleks proved to be incredibly popular and that warranted a pretty big story.
The Doctor, Susan, Barbara, and Ian head back to London, but it's actually the 22nd century. Everything is quiet, too quiet. It turns out that the Daleks have invaded Earth and only the Doctor can stop them from ruling the planet.
It's a pretty big story not only for the second season of this show but for the second appearance of the Daleks. They've taken over Earth and there's even this level of humans who are serving the Daleks as well. On top of that, this is the last story with Susan travelling with her grandfather, The Doctor.
Enjoy the Doctor leaving his grand-daughter behind... forever.
NOTE: They are briefly reunited in "The Five Doctors." But seriously, the first Doctor was a bit of a jerk.
2. Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
As far as the classic series goes, "Remembrance of the Daleks" was the last appearance of the Daleks and Davros. What happens in this episode follows the events of Genesis, Destiny, Resurrection, and Revelation of the Daleks. Remembrance is essentially the final part of the Dalek Civil War story arc.
The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) returns to 1963, where the show started, and discover the Daleks searching for Time Lord technology that the Doctor left on the planet years ago. The Doctor and the military team up to stop the Daleks from creating their own time-travel technology. All of this is happening while a Dalek Civil War is taking place.
This story is steeped in Doctor Who mythos. The story features a lot of lasts: the last Dalek story, the last time Skaro was a planet, and the last time the Doctor working with the military made sense. It's also a good segway to what the Doctor would become later in the season: a creepily powerful Time Lord who may be something greater than just a guy with a TARDIS.
1. Genesis of the Daleks (1975)
Having "Genesis of the Daleks" is a no brainer. Not only is it the best Dalek-related story, but it's one of the best Doctor Who stories from the classic years. This story is also the first appearance of Davros, the villain who created the Daleks.
The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is sent to Skaro, the home planet of the Daleks, by the Time Lords and tries to convince Davros not to create the iconic Who villain.
This is one fantastic tale and there's numerous moments where the Doctor is ready to change the course of history. His choice to destroy the Daleks rests on him and connecting two wires (pictured above), and while most Doctor Who stories have a bit of whimsy and fun to them, this story leaves all of that behind and gets a bit gloomy. This is a much watch story for any fan.
Want more Daleks? Check out those five stories from the classic Doctor Who television series. What are some of your favorite Doctor Who and Dalek moments?