I made an impulse purchase yesterday. Not so impulse that I hadn't considered it before but circumstances aligned themselves in such a way that I couldn't resist any longer. I'm now the proud owner of a foot-tall remote controlled Dalek.

Brits love Daleks. We have for forty years. Yes, they look like they fell out of a Fifties B-movie. Yes, their motivation is one-dimensional - woe betide anyone that stands in the way of their plans for universal domination. Yes, they sound exactly how you'd expect mechanized villains to sound and if you run up stairs they can't follow you. (I imagine many parents being grateful for that flaw when their kids have Dalek nightmares. I hope they gloss over the fact that one Dalek could probably level an entire building, regardless of how many staircases it has.) In short, they're completely risible but the concept works because it's so O.T.T, not in spite of it.

Doctor Who is ultimately a light entertainment show and that can be problematic for people who like their drama 100% serious. But scratch the surface and, with Daleks, you'll find a lesson in National Socialism. Inside the metal contraption pictured above is a living breathing organism so horribly mutated through generations of chemical warfare that it needs this apparutus to move and communicate. (Science Fiction 101: Daleks aren't robots.) Next it was genetically stripped of its compassion and humanity, brainwashed to believe that all other forms of life are inferior and given a set of deadly weapons.

So: pure evil? Indubitably. But Luke 23:34 also springs to mind. And lo, this did pass for children's programming in the year of Our Lord nineteen-hundred-and-seventy-five. Genesis Of The Daleks is out on D.V.D. in April.

Yesterday I met with the Marketing Manager of a well-known retail chain at their new Bristol store and, when the business chat was done, I slipped into Fan Boy Mode and browsed for cool shit. A Dalek looked at me; I stared it back. I told myself £35 was too much for an executive toy and the novelty would wear off in a day. Marketing Manager Man offered me staff discount and I came close to cracking. When he said I could have a third off £30-worth of comics too I mentally applied that saving to the Dalek (because I would've bought Daredevil and The New Avengers at full price) and the deal was sealed. Amazing how we justify the things we want to ourselves, eh?

It's been a day now and the novelty is wearing off. But my father loves my mass-murdering mutant toy too and asked if I'd leave it when I move out next month. When I hesitated he told me to consider it his birthday present and I agreed. If the novelty hasn't completely worn off by then it's clearly a better product than I first thought and I'll happily pay full price for a replacement.

Then all I need is a cat. A contented Dalek pet needs something to chase.


Blogger Candace said...

OMG I am SO freakin' jealous! I highly coveted Oliver's Dalek in Coupling. I can't believe you can just walk into a store there and get Dr. Who stuff. How cool is that?!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly out of the loop on this one.

I also must have missed the "I'm moving out next month" business too!

Well, it looks amusing. Definitely needs a cat.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Kat: It's coming to the Sci-Fi Channel Fridays at 9 from March 17th, though beware that the first couple of stories aren't the best (but the jokes are still good) and the two leads have strong regional accents. Good luck, people of America! I'm intrigued to see how the show fares in that slot.

Blogger Faltenin said...

I want one too!!! I can just imagine zooming it round the office going EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE!

Can I have mine with a wifi webcam in the nozzle please?

Blogger Brad said...

You are such a geek.


Anonymous Tone said...


Check out
They do cats. Looks like they might even lend you one for a bit, see how you go. I'll come play with it to help :0)



Blogger Candace said...

I have THE COOLEST cat resource for you!!!!

Somebody at work showed this to dh and now we all desperatly want one!!


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