I'm in a bit of a mood tonight; not sure why, but since we're talking about the underside of society (Whoniversally speaking) tonight, I imagine being in a bit of a mood isn't a total loss.
Day 13 – Your Favorite Villain
This one is easy. My favorite villains are Daleks.
Hold on there, don't roll your eyes. I said my favorite villains are Daleks. I have others that frighten me more, at least today, as an adult. And that's for another day. The Daleks have a place in my heart, though, one from which no other of the Doctor's opponents can dislodge them.
I think it's because they were the first creatures I remember seeing whose presentation gave me a frisson of excitement, wonder, and awe-filled terror - or at least a feeling that, while not terror, is the feeling that comes just before one is frightened to one's soul. It is the sense of waiting on the precipice, knowing that the next thing you see will never leave you, even though you will desperately want it to. And it will never matter to me that the Daleks couldn't deliver on that promise. The fact that they gave me the feeling in the first place is enough.
I still remember my eight year old self watching the faces of the First Doctor, of Ian and Barbara and Susan, as they looked into the broken shell of one of these Daleks, these mysterious robotic antagonists. I couldn't see what they were seeing, but the horror on their faces, the disgust, and the words they (and the Thals) used to describe the mutants who had done such irredeemable (irredeemable; that's an important word when it comes to Daleks) damage to themselves - soul deep damage, they seemed to suggest to me all those years ago - left a permanent impression.*
That kind of villain you don't get very often.
And their voices! Their inhuman, beautifully horrible, mechanical voices, so awful to listen to, and so difficult to stop listening to! They announced to the universe at large that They Are Not Us, and I loved their voices as they did it.
Then, when I got much older and the New Series introduced me to a damaged Dalek who couldn't live with itself when it became better than it was, and to the Emperor of the Daleks, who made its followers from the flesh of creatures it hated and feared, I became fascinated with the Daleks again.** They were irresistible objects of meditation to someone who plays repeatedly with the idea that no one is ever irredeemable (that word again) and that salvation is always there, in some form, for everyone and everything. (Reading Jacob's S1 recaps over at Television Without Pity didn't hurt, either.)
Daleks can be done wrong, I know. Or at least not done right, but the idea of Daleks will always provide me with something new to think about. And for that, they are my favorite villains.
And this gives me the chance to rec one of my favorite Dalek-centered fics: "Necessity" by kerravonsen . The link takes you to the story, over at Teaspoon. This is what I call a Dalek worth keeping around. The author is a talented writer, with technical abilities, an assured sense of language and emotional grasp, and blessed with the best kind of imagination.
Oh, wait: I should put what's come before, right?
Day 01 – Your Favourite Quote ✔
Day 02 – Your Favourite Classic Series Episode ✔
Day 03 – Your Favourite New Series Episode ✔
Day 04 – Your Favourite Doctor ✔
Day 05 – Your Favourite Companion ✔
Day 06 – Whatever Tickles Your Fancy ✔
Day 07 – Your Favourite Piece of Music ✔
Day 08 – A Who-Related Photo That Makes You Happy ✔
Day 09 – A Who-Related Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad ✔
Day 10 – A Who-Related Photo That You Took ✔
Day 11 – Your Favorite Season (Classic or New) ✔
Day 12 – Whatever Tickles Your Fancy ✔
* And I promise to try keep my remaining sentences from the rococo Jamesian imbalance of that one.
** Well, that didn't last long.