Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks by Chris Chibnall (BBC, 2021) Despite impressive credits elsewhere, Chris Chibnall has always seemed a little at sea when scripting Doctor Who. His writing here is clunky, the emotional moments forced (and overscored). It doesn’t help that the Daleks have outstayed their welcome by half a century.
The Black Archive #30: The Dalek Invasion of Earth by Jonathan Morris (Obverse Books, 2019) A bit light on actual analysis but nevertheless an impressive piece of research, comparing different iterations of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (both televised and film versions at script, broadcast and even novelisation level) to establish who was responsible for which elements.
Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward (BBC, 2019) At last, lagging thirty-five years behind the TV serial, former Doctor Who script editor Eric Saward has novelised Revelation of the Daleks. If only he’d spent some of that time learning to write! This is BBC-endorsed beige-wallpaper fan fiction without the heart.
Dr. Fourth by Adam Hargreaves (BBC Children’s Books, 2017) The Fourth Doctor is well drawn and characterised. Sarah Jane is less becoming (a generic pink ball) and the inclusion of a no-hoper Dalek is incongruous even within the unfolding romp. Still, this captures the frivolous sangfroid element of Tom Baker’s era.
Doctor Who: Order of the Daleks by Mike Tucker (Big Finish, 2016) The people at Big Finish seem very chuffed with themselves for having thought of Daleks with stained glass panelling. Fair enough; it’s a nice image. But it’s also the only original idea on show (so to speak) in this run-of-the-mill audio adventure.
Doctor Who: The Enigma Dimension by Nicholas Briggs (Big Finish, 2017) John Hurt and Jacqueline Pearce in a story with big ideas. What can go wrong? Answer: the Daleks—Doctor Who’s greatest folly—gone inexplicably viral. Fine acting notwithstanding, the Time War boils down to yet another tiresome harangue by demented pepper pots.
Nemesis of the Daleks (Doctor Who graphic novel #15) (Panini, 2013) [Collecting comics from 1990] For all that these comics are visually evocative and constitute an impressive editorial achievement when the strips could have been cut altogether, the stories themselves are mediocre, featuring (if at all) a companionless Seventh Doctor as either passive bystander or omnipotent wizard.
The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation by Alwyn W. Turner (Aurum, 2011) Turner exhaustively researches Terry Nation’s life, shows how the Daleks developed both along- and inside British culture of the 60s and 70s, and contextualises the infamous pepperpots within the broader scope of Nation’s work, from which scrutiny their creator emerges somewhat diminished.