Daleks Exterminate Imperialism

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“Exterminate”: Imperialism and Racial Purity in Doctor Who Remembrance of the Daleks, a four-episode serial in the twenty-fifth season of the classic science fiction show Doctor Who, pits the Doctor against one of his deadliest foes: the Daleks. For the purposes of this response, I will focus on the fourth and final episode, which depicts this alien race, despite having the somewhat comical appearance of oversized pepper shakers, as a hyperbolic analogy for the ideologies of imperialism and racial purity. Racial superiority goes beyond ideology for Daleks; it is instinctual. Genetically engineered to lack all emotions except hatred, the Daleks are compelled to kill any non-Dalek species that feels emotions until only their “untainted” society remains. It is evident from their battle cry of “exterminate” that they view other species as vermin, allowing them to justify using humans, like the young girl, as mind controlled slaves. When one adds the fact that the Daleks are foreign invaders and that one faction is called Imperial Daleks, the comparison to imperialism is glaringly …show more content…
The most obvious evidence for this is, again, their “exterminate” catchphrase, but Aaronovitch also cleverly shows it through the alliance of one Dalek faction with Ratcliffe’s fascist group, who wish to cleanse their country of outsiders with the Daleks’ help. Additionally, the episode is set in 1963, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, and thus compares the Dalek racial war to that of the real-world struggle against racism. The most impactful comparison comes when Mike tells Ace “It’s just that you have to protect your own, keep the outsiders out just so that your own people can have a fair chance” (“Remembrance of the Daleks: Part Four.” Doctor Who. BBC, 26 Oct 1988). Here, he connects the Dalek hatred of outsiders to human racism in a manner that feels reminiscent of modern day arguments against

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