Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 6


Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 30, 2005 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
699 votes

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Episode Summary

Location: Utah, Earth
Date: 2012
Enemy: Dalek
The Doctor and Rose find themselves in an underground museum in Utah in the year 2012. The museum houses all kinds of extra-terrestrial artefacts the only living exhibit being one of the Doctor's oldest enemies - a Dalek. But soon after, it escapes from its "torture chamber", and goes on a killing spree. Will Rose be one of the victims?moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • One of the best episodes for Christopher Eccleston.

    Here it is, folks: the episode that made Daleks badass again (and that is not a term I use lightly!). But before we get into the praise and snark a bit of history on the Daleks.

    First introduced in 1963 by the second serial of the show, appropriately titled The Daleks, these evil pepperpots catapulted Dr. Who into fame. In this verion of Dalek history, the Dalek planet of Skaro was once home to two races the peaceful and scientifically adanved Kaleds/Dals and the warlike Thals. After a terrible nuclear war between the races, the Dals were mutated and became the insane, Nazi-metaphor Daleks. These Daleks were more or less confined to their city because the motive power for their shells was electricity that had be conducted via metal walkways.

    The Thals were protected from mutation by radiation by (what else?) anti-radiation drugs. The Daleks, upon finding that these drugs would kill themselves, planned to use a neutron bomb to increase the radiation in Skaro's atmosphere. But the TARDIS crew convinces the Thals to fight against the Daleks and by the end of the serial, the Daleks were seemingly wiped out when their power source was destroyed.

    However, the popularity of the Daleks ensured the survival of at least a token few. They appeared again in 1964's story The Dalek Invasion of Earth and continued to appear with increasing frequency as the years went on. Because of their rather goofy design (they really do look like giant salt shakers with a toilet plunger attached), the apparent ease that The Doctor came to defeat them, and these facts combined with their apparent inability to manage stairs caused the Daleks to suffer through an identity crisis by the time the 1988 Remembrance of the Daleks came around (even though they were pretty badass in that story). To put it bluntly: the Daleks were no longer menacing. What the series needed if they were going to continue to have the Daleks as The Doctor's great foe was something to breath new life and threat into the metal-clad mutants.

    This should have been the last Dalek way for the iconic monsters to go out on a high note. It had such large shoes to fill (being the first Dalek episode of the NuWho) and it did so better than anyone could have imagined not only delivering a Dalek that was a threat again, but also some genuinely touching moments and a moral question that was actually followed through on. I give Dalek a 9/10 in terms of emotion, storytelling, and overall premise. There needs to be more episodes like this one!moreless
  • Dalek

    Dalek was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome, we meet the Doctor's Arch Enemy and Rose is put through a dilemma. I liked the way every thing played out and it was fun watching the Dalek on the loose. The ending was very sad as the Dalek requested it's own death. Rose has certainly become a great companion for the Doctor at this point. I look forward to watching the next adventure!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Dalek sad

    Having watched Doctor Who as a kid, I enjoyed the reboot it got with this series. I found the new Doctor a little annoying in the pilot, but he's starting to grow on me. I liked the first few episodes partly because they didn't ask me to take them too seriously, but this one did ask me to take it seriously, and I just couldn't. The idea of the stray, crashed dalek being revived on Earth was kind of cool, but it quickly degenerated into such over the top melodrama that it was uncomfortable to sit through. I put this one squarely on the writing; the actors were fine, the production values were fine, and the dalek itself had a nice modern polish on an old design, especially when it opened up to show its withered little body at the end...but if you're going to ask viewers to get emotionally invested as a dalek learns to empathize with its enemy then question its existence, it's just got to be better than this. This idea has been done before (the 'Hugh' episode on Star Trek Next Generation, the Starbuck/Cylon stranded together in the original Battlestar Galactica, the film Enemy Mine, etc.) but to much better effect. If you're going to cue a swell of violins while the Doctor and his companion emote over 'who is the real monster' in front of a sad, alien tank with its eyestalk cast down, you're wandering out onto some thin ice in my opinion. Kudos for the attempt, and the series is not bad, but this episode made me cringe and not in a good way.moreless
  • "Alright then, if you want orders, follow this one. Kill yourself. Why don't you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth. Why don't you just die!?" - The Doctor. "You would make a good Dalek."- The Dalek.moreless

    The Doctor and Rose take less than a decade trip into the future, following a distress signal from the last surviving Dalek of the Time War. Note: A Mondasian Cyberman head is in the glass case in Van Staunten's vault, probably refuged form one of their previous attacks on 20th century earth.

    This will be mentioned in the parallel Earth story Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel.

    The Doctor's ragefulness and hatred surface promently in this episode, showing that he'll do anything to keep a Dalek from killing people, even stoop to commeting murder against the Dalek.

    Hard to notice, but there is a joke about how the Doctor and Rose got into the Vault.

    "How did they get in? In true da (intruder) window."moreless
  • An epic enemy has everyone running for their life.

    The first time we see the Daleks in Nu Who, and for new comers who aren't familiar with this particular enemy we get introduced to them at the best. This is a great episode were you truly feel you have entered the Who-verse. Needless to say if the Doctor is terrified of these guys then I think we can assume they are bad news.

    They do a good job of making you want to empathize with the damaged Dalek. It has been tortured, bruised and even the Doctor looks down with disdain upon it. Yet, this episode really shows the danger the Daleks pose. It is good to see the Dalek use some creativity in its destruction demonstrating the intelligence of this enemy. It is also nice to see that stairs will not be a problem.

    Again we see that Christopher Eccleston's Doctor has a little darker side with the comment "you would make a good Dalek" striking a cord.moreless
Steven Beckingham

Steven Beckingham


Guest Star

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson

Henry van Statten

Guest Star

Anna-Louise Plowman

Anna-Louise Plowman


Guest Star

Nicholas Briggs

Nicholas Briggs

Dalek Voice

Recurring Role

Barnaby Edwards

Barnaby Edwards

Dalek Operator

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • The map of the United States on Van Stratton's monitor is missing Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

    • The fictional Geocomtex website lists under its Products section Node Stabilized (in Lupus and Nocens variants). Lupus is Latin for wolf and nocens for harmful or bad. Interestingly, they also offer Argentum Ordnance, otherwise known as silver bullets.

    • When the Dalek tells Rose, "I feel your fear," she replies, "What do you expect?" This is the same answer the Second Doctor's companion Victoria Waterfield gives a Dalek who makes the same statement in The Evil of the Daleks.

    • Look carefully on the wall behind the Dalek when it is chained up. On the displays there are three schematics of a Dalek. These images are taken from the blueprint schematics that appeared in The Doctor Who Technical Manual entries on Daleks. They are prominently visible when the Dalek speaks to the Doctor for the first time.

    • The Cyberman display has a sign that suggests that the head was recovered after the events in the Doctor Who story The Invasion. The head in the case is modelled on those seen in the Revenge of the Cybermen. Although based of the same design, the Cybermen heads seen in The Invasion are different in several ways from the head shown. One of the most noticeable differences is the handles on either side of the head. In The Invasion they are smooth, but in Revenge of the Cybermen they are ribbed.

    • This is not the first time in Dr Who history that a Dalek has been seen ascending a flight of stairs; one is seen doing that in the Sylvester McCoy story Remembrance Of The Daleks.

      It is, however, implied that they (Daleks) have a method of getting up stairs in The Chase.

    • The Daleks were originally created by Terry Nation.

    • This show perhaps has another salute to a previous era, with the Doctor getting to unleash some insults at a Dalek that can't fire. Jon Pertwee's Doctor also had the pleasure, when he found a group of Daleks unable to fire their guns in "Death to the Daleks." We also see a Dalek with unfamiliar emotions - something Patrick Troughton experienced in Evil of the Daleks.

    • In a good contrast to Tom Baker's Doctor, it takes the companion (Rose) to stop him killing the Dalek. Tom Baker's doctor argued against his companions to let them live.

    • The Dalek has been on Earth for over 50 years. So when it arrived, McCoy's Doctor was battling some other Daleks around London with Ace.

    • The Cyberman head has a sign on the glass case reading: Extraterrestrial Cyborg. Specimen incomplete. Recovered from Underground Sewer, Location London, United Kingdom, Date 1979.

    • Christopher Eccleston is credited as 'Doctor Who', as opposed to 'The Doctor'.

    • Henry van Statten's helicopter is called "Bad Wolf One."

    • In World War Three, the world is shown extraterrestrial life and the aliens are even present in the museum, so why is Adam still theorizing about life on other planets? Shouldn't he and the world already know of that fact?

      ANSWER: At the end of World War Three Mickey shows the Doctor a newspaper where the entire alien invasion scenario has been debunked as a hoax. Seems the government likes to keep a wrap on these things, which I believe is part of the premise of the upcoming Torchwood series.

    • The enter key on the keyboard is of a British keyboard layout (a vertical reverse-L shape) and not a US enter key (horizontal rectangle). It's probably hard to find a British keyboard around Salt Lake, Utah.

    • If the lock to the "cage" has a billion combinations, and a Dalek can calculate a thousand billion combinations in one second, why does it need over 10 seconds to crack the lock? Probably because it can calculate a trillion (thousand billion) combinations in a second, but it takes slightly longer to enter them.

      Also take into account that the lock most probably has a limit/threshold to how fast one can work it without overloading and frying the circuits and most probably locking themselves in. Might not be an issue for someone with human or Earth-computer speed, but could certainly be an issue for someone like the Daleks, hence the extra time needed to clear the locks.

    • Why hasn't Henry got any information on the Doctor? Even if all information about his visits is no longer available on the Internet, there are surely other sources for a Time Lord that has specimens of at least three of the Doctor's enemies in his museum.

    • It doesn't really matter how fast the Dalek can calculate the combinations, it would still be limited by the speed at which the lock's CPU can process the combination data being sent to it by the Dalek as well as any delay inherent in the communication media, buffer and protocol used by the lock panel IO device itself. Unless the Dalek can somehow enhance the whole device to work faster, but if it had the ability and technology to do that, it wouldn't need to calculate any combination it would just be able to access the door unlocking part of the system directly.

    • If Van Statten needed to close the bulkheads straightaway before the power loss occurred, then how does the Doctor reopen them without delay when the Dalek insists he does? It requires a great deal more power to lift a concrete & steel block from its frame than it does to drop it after all!

    • With regard to the lock combination thing again. Any security system worth its salt (and that facility would presumably have the best) would stop accepting codes after too many incorrect ones have been entered, this is pretty much standard for security software even today. No security system of the future would be written so badly as to just allow millions of combinations to be sent one after the other so quickly. The Dalek should really never have been able to get out as the door panel should have blocked after 3 or 4 bad codes were entered. (Would have made the episode rather dull however)

  • QUOTES (39)

    • (Diana Goddard orders Van Statten's men to take him away)
      Henry Van Statten: What the hell are you doing?
      Diana Goddard: Two hundred personnel dead and all because of you, sir. Take him away, wipe his memory and leave him by the road someplace.
      Henry Van Statten: You can't do this to me! I am Henry Van Statten!
      Diana Goddard: And by tonight, Henry Van Statten will be a homeless brainless junkie living on the streets of San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento… Someplace beginning with S.

    • Dalek: Why do we survive?
      The Doctor: I don't know.
      Dalek: I am the last of the Daleks.
      The Doctor: You're not even that. Rose did more than regenerate you. You've absorbed her DNA. You're mutating.
      Dalek: Into what?
      The Doctor: Something new. I'm sorry.
      Rose: Isn't that better?
      The Doctor: Not for a Dalek.
      Dalek: I can feel. So many ideas. So much darkness. Rose, give me orders. Order me to die.

    • Rose: I'm begging you, don't kill him. You didn't kill me.
      Dalek: But why not? Why are you alive? My function is to kill. What am I? What am I?

    • Dalek: (to the Doctor) What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?

    • (Rose is confronted by the Dalek)
      Rose: What are you waiting for?
      Dalek: I feel your fear.
      Rose: What do you expect?
      Dalek: Daleks do not fear, must not fear. (shoots wildly twice, missing Rose completely) You gave me life. What else have you given me? I am contaminated!

    • (The Doctor believes Rose has been killed by the Dalek)
      The Doctor: I could have killed that Dalek in its cell. But you stopped me.
      Henry Van Statten: It was the prize of my collection!
      The Doctor: Your collection? Well, was it worth it? Worth all those men's deaths? Worth Rose? Let me tell you something, Van Statten, mankind goes into space to explore, to be part of something greater.
      Henry Van Statten: Exactly! I wanted to touch the stars!
      The Doctor: You just want to drag the stars down and stick them underground beneath tons of sand and dirt and label them. You're about as far from the stars as you can get. And you took her down with you.

    • The Doctor: Alright then, if you want orders, follow this one. (pause) Kill yourself.
      Dalek: The Daleks must survive!
      The Doctor: The Daleks have failed. Why don't you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth. Why don't you just DIE?

    • Dalek: I fed off the DNA of Rose Tyler. Extrapolating the biomass of a time traveller regenerated me.
      The Doctor: What's your next trick?
      Dalek: Dalek: I have been searching for the Daleks.
      The Doctor: Yeah, I saw. Downloading the Internet. What did you find?
      I scanned your satellites and radio telescopes.
      The Doctor: And?
      Dalek: Nothing. Where shall I get my orders now?

    • The Doctor: If the Dalek gets out, it'll murder every living creature. That's all it needs.
      Henry Van Statten: But why would it do that?
      The Doctor: Because it honestly believes they should die. Human beings are different and anything different is wrong. It's the ultimate in racial cleansing. And you, Van Statten, you've let it loose!

    • (Rose, Adam and De Maggio run up a flight of stairs to get away from the Dalek)
      Adam: Great big alien death machine defeated by a flight of stairs.
      De Maggio: Now listen to me. I demand that you return to your cage. If you want to negotiate, then I can guarantee that Mr. Van Statten will be willing to talk. I accept that we imprisoned you, and maybe that was wrong. But people have died. And that stops right now. The killing stops. Have you got that? I demand that you surrender. Is that clear?
      Dalek: Elevate.
      (The Dalek begins to ascend the stairs)

    • Dalek: They torture me, but still they fear me. Do you fear me?
      Rose: No.
      Dalek: I am dying.
      Rose: No, we can help.
      Dalek: I welcome death. But I am glad that before I die, I have met a human who was not afraid.

    • The Doctor: You don't just collect this stuff, you scavenge it.
      Henry Van Statten: This technology has been falling to Earth for centuries. All it took was the right mind to use it properly. Oh, the advances I've made from alien junk. You have no idea, Doctor. Broadband? Roswell. Just last year, my scientists cultivated bacteria from the Russian crater and do you know what we found? The cure for the common cold. Kept it strictly within the laboratory, of course. No need to get people excited. Why sell one cure when I can sell a thousand palliatives?
      The Doctor: Do you know what a Dalek is, Van Statten? A Dalek is honest. It does what it was born to do for the survival of its species. That creature in your dungeon is better than you.

    • Diana Goddard: (about the Dalek) It's been on Earth for over fifty years. Sold at private auction, moving from one collection to another. Why would it be a threat now?
      The Doctor: Because I'm here. How did it get to Earth? Does anyone know?
      Diana Goddard: Records say it came from the sky like a meteorite. It fell to Earth on the Ascension Islands, burned in its crater for three days before anybody could get near it. And all that time, it was screaming. It must have gone insane.

    • The Doctor: The metal's just battle armour. The real Dalek creature's inside.
      Henry Van Statten: What does it look like?
      The Doctor: A nightmare. It's a mutation. The Dalek race was genetically engineered. Every single emotion was removed. Except hate.

    • Adam: The thing is it's all true. Everything the United Nations tries to keep quiet. Spacecraft. Aliens. Visitors to Earth. They really exist.
      Rose: (who knows all this anyway) That's amazing.
      Adam: I know it sounds incredible, but I honestly believe the whole universe is just teeming with life

    • (The Doctor confronts the Dalek)
      The Doctor: What the hell are you here for?
      Dalek: I am waiting for orders.
      The Doctor: What does that mean?
      Dalek: I am a soldier. I was bred to receive orders.
      The Doctor: Well, you're never going to get any. Not ever.
      Dalek: I DEMAND ORDERS!
      The Doctor: They're never gonna come! Your race is dead! You all burned, all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race wiped out in one second.
      Dalek: You lie!
      The Doctor: I watched it happen! I made it happen!
      Dalek: You destroyed us?
      (The Doctor walks away from the Dalek)
      The Doctor: I had no choice.
      Dalek: And what of the Time Lords?
      The Doctor: (pause) Dead. They burnt with you. The end of the last great Time War. Everyone lost.

    • The Doctor: So you're just about an expert in everything, except the things in your museum. Anything you don't understand, you lock up.
      Henry Van Statten: And you claim greater knowledge?
      The Doctor: I don't need to make claims. I know how good I am.
      Henry Van Statten: And yet I captured you. Right next to the Cage. What were you doing down there?
      The Doctor: You tell me.
      Henry Van Statten: The Cage contains my one living specimen.
      The Doctor: And what's that?
      Henry Van Statten: Like you don't know.
      The Doctor: Show me.
      Henry Van Statten: You wanna see it?
      Rose: Blimey, you can smell the testosterone.

    • Adam: Mr. Van Statten owns the Internet.
      Rose: Don't be stupid. No-one owns the Internet.
      Henry Van Statten: And let's just keep the whole world thinking that way, right, kid?

    • Henry Van Statten: We're hidden away with the most valuable collection of extraterrestrial artifacts in the world and you just stumbled in by mistake?
      The Doctor: Pretty much sums me up, yeah.
      Henry Van Statten: Question is, how did you get in? Fifty-three floors down, with your little cat-burglar accomplice. Quite a collector yourself. She's rather pretty.
      Rose: She's gonna smack you if you keep calling her 'she'.

    • Assistant: On behalf of all of us, I want to wish you a very happy birthday, sir. And the President called to covey his personal best wishes.
      Henry Van Statten: The President is ten points down. I want him replaced.
      Assistant: I don't think that's very wise, sir.
      Henry Van Statten: Thank you so much for your opinion. You're fired. Get rid of him (Van Statten's men grab the Assistant and take him away) Wipe his memory, put him on the road someplace. Memphis, Minneapolis… somewhere beginning with M. (Diana Goddard moves forward to take the Assistant's place) So, the next President. What do you think? Republican or Democrat?
      Diana Goddard: Democrat, sir.
      Henry Van Statten: For what reason?
      Diana Goddard: (pause; she answers uncertainly) They're just so funny, sir?

    • Van Statten: I swear I just wanted to hear you talk!
      Dalek: Then hear me talk now. Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

    • Dalek: Then I shall follow the Primary Order. The Dalek Instinct. To destroy. To conquer!
      The Doctor: What for? What's the point?! Don't you see, it's all gone, everything you were, everything you stood for.

    • (Alarm goes off)
      Rose: If someone is collecting aliens, that makes you Exhibit A.
      The Doctor: (grins sheepishly)

    • The Doctor: If you can't kill, then what are you good for... Dalek? What's the point of you? You're nothing!

    • Dalek: (to The Doctor) You would make a good Dalek.

    • Dalek: You destroyed us!?

    • The Doctor: (Referring to alien object Henry van Statten is holding) I really wouldn't hold it like that.
      Goddard: Shut it.
      The Doctor: Really though, that's wrong.
      Adam: Is it dangerous?
      The Doctor: No, it just looks silly.

    • Dalek: You are an enemy of the Daleks, you must be destroyed.

    • Dalek: I am in pain.

    • Rose: (Watching the Dalek being tortured) It's being tortured. Where's the Doctor?

    • Adam: It's useless. It's just like this great, big pepperpot.

    • Adam: Are you and the Doctor ...?
      Rose: No. We're just friends.
      Adam: Good.
      Rose: Why is that good?
      Adam: (Smiling) It just is.

    • Simmons: What you gonna do? Sucker me to death?

    • The Doctor: (About the Dalek's creator) By a genius. By a man who was king of his own little world. You'd like him.

    • The Doctor: (Referring to a Cyberman head) The stuff of nightmares reduced to an exhibit . . . I'm getting old.

    • The Doctor: It must've fallen through time, the only survivor.

    • The Doctor: That thing down there is going to kill every last one of us!

    • The Doctor: What's the nearest town?
      Henry van Statten: Salt Lake City.
      The Doctor: Population?
      Henry van Statten: One million.
      The Doctor: All dead.

    • The Doctor: That thing killed hundreds of people.
      Rose: It's not the one pointing the gun at me.
      The Doctor: I've got to do this, I've got to end it. The Daleks destroyed my home, my people. I've got nothing left.

  • NOTES (16)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: October 4, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation: Short Form.

    • In an early draft of the script Van Statten's character was named 'Will Fences' in joking allusion to Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Russell T. Davies later changed it to Henry Van Statten, a name he had also used in his series Mine All Mine.

    • The working title for this story was Creature of Lies.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 8.63 million.

    • The corridors seen in Van Statten's base were filmed in the Millennium Stadium, as was the room where the Dalek was chained up, the stairs and the large bay in which the Dalek is fired upon from all angles before setting off the sprinklers.

    • The museum scenes were actually filmed in a seldom used room within The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

    • As a tribute to Robert Shearman's Big Finish Audio episode of Doctor Who called Jubilee (on which this episode was based), the props department created some Jubilee Pizza delivery boxes which were intended to be seen in the background, but never ended up with a clear shot on screen. The box can be seen on the Inside Goecomtex gallery on the BBC website.

      The work wasn't entirely a waste of time though, as the Jubilee Pizza company reappears throughout Doctor Who spin off series, Torchwood.

    • In early drafts of the episode, Van Statten had a wife, and Adam was their son. At the suggestion of Russell T Davis, writer Robert Shearman wrote the wife out of the episode as her inclusion was getting in the way of the Dalek storyline. They also felt that it didn't work having Adam as Van Statten's son.

    • For the first time, the Dalek sucker is actually used as an offensive weapon, covering and conforming to its torturer's mouth and nose before drawing in with powerful suction. Normally, the most the sucker has ever been used for offensively was to push a target and hold them against the wall while they shot them with their gun stick at close range.

    • According to the BBC's web site the Cyberman's head in Van Stattan's museum was recovered from the sewers of London from the story "The Invasion". However the Cyberman helmet for this story was actually used in "Revenge of the Cybermen".

    • The Cybermen make their first appearance this season, though only in the form of a Cyberman's head in a glass case. The Cybermen return in the second series in four episodes entitled Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel, Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.

    • Two of the alien artefacts that appear in the alien museum are a Slitheen's arm and a Cyberman's head.

    • This episode was accompanied by a special Dalek issue of the Radio Times. With the issue promising "The Dalek is back - bigger and more brutal than ever. But will this new-look metal meanie have a whole new generation screaming "Ex-ter-min-ate"?"

    • It has been suggested that the Daleks didn't appear in the series until midway through to provide a "hook" for people who hadn't been impressed by the series up until then to tune back in.

    • Robert Shearman who wrote the story based it on his Doctor Who Audio adventure "Jubilee", which featured the Sixth Doctor and his companion Evelyn encountering an imprisoned Dalek being tortured by its captors.


    • Henry Van Statten: [to Adam, about Rose] Hey, Little Lord Fauntleroy, I got you a girlfriend.
      Little Lord Fauntleroy is the central character in the children's book of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), originally published in 1886.

    • Adam: When I was eight I logged onto the US Defence System, nearly caused World War Three.
      A reference to the film "War Games" in which that happens.