Geek Trivia

Which Sci-Fi Antagonists Were, Allegorically, Nazis?

Battlestar Galactica's Cylons
Doctor Who's Daleks
Star Trek's The Borg
Star Gate's Replicators
A Former Japanese Military Base Is Now Overrun By Tame?

Answer: Doctor Who’s Daleks

The Daleks in the Doctor Who universe are mutants from another planet, hell bent on the domination and destruction of every other creature and race in the universe. They’re also based, none too loosely at that, on Earth’s own 20th century scourge: the Nazis.

Writer Terry Nation was heavily involved and highly influential in the Doctor Who franchise and is the direct author-father of the Daleks. He drew on his childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Denmark to craft the terrifying vision of an unyielding ultra-authoritarian antagonist for Doctor Who to face off against. In a 1978 interview with Starburst magazine, he answered a question about the origin of the Daleks and who they were based on:

[…] I suppose you could say the Nazis. The one recurring dream I have – once or twice a year it comes to me – is that I’m driving a car very quickly and the windscreen is a bit murky. The sun comes onto it and it becomes totally opaque. I’m still hurtling forwards at incredible speed and there’s nothing I can see or do and I can’t stop the car. That’s my recurring nightmare and it’s very simply solved by psychologists who say you’re heading for your future. You don’t know what your future is. However much you plead with somebody to save you from this situation, everybody you turn to turns out to be one of ‘Them’. And there’s nobody left – You are the lone guy.

The Daleks are all of ‘Them’ and they represent for so many people so many different things, but they all see them as government, as officialdom, as that unhearing, unthinking, blanked-out face of authority that will destroy you because it wants to destroy you. I believe in that now – I’ve directed them more that way over the years.

Image courtesy of the BBC.