Attention all Whovians. A brand new Dalek design has been leaked ahead of the upcoming Doctor Who special this winter, and it's causing quite the commotion online. The image, which was shared on Twitter, features a darker colour palette than the bronze incarnation introduced in 2015, plus features never before seen on a Dalek.
Since the Dalek is one of the most iconic characters in TV history, it's no wonder it has provoked some strong reactions from fans already (we hope producers read our character design tips before updating the Dalek).
A photo has been leaked online of the new Dalek design from the upcoming festive special, Revolution of the Daleks. What are your thoughts? pic.twitter.com/v31IImwYmxJune 17, 2020
Created for the festive special, Revolution of the Daleks, the thirteenth Doctor will be familiar with the basic design of the newest Dalek. It seems to be based on the Recon Dalek the Doctor labelled as "junkyard chic" during the New Year's Day special of 2019. That Dalek had a casing fashioned out of scrap metal, and though it isn't clear if the latest model has done the same, it appears to have mostly the same set feature set, with just a few alterations.
The image, shared by the Twitter account Doctor Who Page, shows the dome as being large and bulbous, much like 2019's Recon Dalek (above) and the neck design is similar to that model, too, abandoning the more common three ring structure for a junk-neck ring. But, as well as the standard sense globes, the casing has long vent-like markings – a feature not seen before, which has an unclear purpose. The Dalek is also a dark silvery grey rather than rusted, which could, of course, be the colour of the Recon Dalek under all that rust.
Fans on Twitter are almost resoundingly against the new design, with comments ranging from the simple (and frequently uttered) "I hate it", to more nuanced analysis:
It's funny how a slight change in proportions can make it look so wobbly and unbalanced. There's a graceful menace to the traditional Dalek shape. This one looks like a gawky teenager.June 18, 2020
Many of the critics are calling the design flimsy, leading Phillip M Jackson to put his Photoshop skills to 'fix' the design:
That's way better 👍June 18, 2020
However, photos of on-location filming of this Doctor Who special have already been shared on Twitter and, mysteriously, they contain a destruction (the collective term for a group of Daleks, if you didn't know) of the bronze Daleks used since 2015, facing off against a blown-up Dalek that looks very similar to the model in question. See the tweet below.
Wow! So many Daleks on Clifton Suspension Bridge! 😱 @bbcdoctorwho #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/kxUpIVzVXlOctober 23, 2019
What does this mean? Does only one rogue Dalek exist of this new design? Will there be some sort of Dalek civil war, as the title suggests? Your guess is as good as ours. While you're waiting to find out, you could explore which Dalek designs we judged the greatest of all time (pre-2015, we must add, but that covers most of them).