The Dalek Dissenter

One day I’m going to get a couple of postcards and send them to Russell T. Davies, care of the BBC. Davies is, as I understand it, a very difficult man to get postal mail to, but that’s okay. If my postcards never even make it to him, they’ll be seen and read, and ideas do travel. That’s all a meme is, really.

One postcard is going to say, “What if everyone on the planet had a Near Death Experience, all at once?” I dreamed that happened, once. It was pretty amazing.

The other postcard will say, “What would a Dalek dissenter be like? What sort of circumstances could cause one to exist?”

[info]wlofie and I talked about this some tonight. What got me thinking of it was the Doctor Who TV Movie (yes, [info]spc476, the one that never existed) as it pertains to The Master, who is rumored (remember how rumors go) to be making a comeback this series. If the TV Movie is taken as canon, the TARDIS ate him, so I’d like to see how he recovers from that.

Anyway, at the beginning of the TV Movie, The Master is being tried on Skaro for his crimes. They don’t actually say that it’s the Daleks who have him on trial, but when his execution is carried out, there’s a faint chorus of “Exterminate!” going up in the soundtrack. Of course, Skaro is the home world of the Daleks, but without that little hint against the music, one could think it was the Kaleds or the Thals or some later colony holding him on trial.

But why would Daleks try an alien? Any non-Dalek is mere vermin to be eradicated for the purity of an all-Dalek universe. They’ve been known to form brief and unfaithful alliances before, but they were brief and unfaithful because you don’t take pestilential critters seriously. You exterminate. So, again, why would they try the Master? Why would Daleks apply justice to vermin?

Turning that question around – well, just who would the Daleks try? The obvious answer is – another Dalek. Only another Dalek would deserve the level of respect that application of justice implies, that the individual concerned is a being whose innocence or guilt matters.

[info]wlofie pointed out that this is a kind of sketchy premise, too, because Daleks are hypersensitive to inferiority, to flaws, to anything that indicates weak genetic traits. In the episode where The Doctor and Rose encounter a Dalek in Van Staten’s alien museum, the creature, upon feeling things that Daleks don’t tend to feel, declares itself a freak and an aberration, then self destructs. Wouldn’t any Dalek that did something other Daleks didn’t approve of likewise be branded defective and tossed into the incinerator?

Well, maybe. But what if the offending Dalek was being ever so much more Dalek than the ruling Daleks? What if the non-compliant creature were misbehaving in a way that other Daleks could not possibly refute, but were forced to acknowledge as entirely Dalek-like (Dalekish? Dalekoid?)?

Say, for instance, that whoever is Supreme Dalek for the moment underwent some kind of aberration itself and did something like, oh, forming a faithful alliance with a very plainly inferior species for little to no Dalek benefit. Rank and file Daleks fall into line because obedience is their second strongest compulsion. But say that one Dalek recognizes that they should be exterminating. It becomes a dissenter, and not one that can be brushed aside as defective, for it is pushing to do what Daleks do best, wholesale genocide.

So, would such a thing stand trial? I’m thinking maybe so.