I have a theory about why the daleks hate the doctor so much…
They hate the doctor because they always believe that they are the supreme beings in the universe; they’ve effectively won the time war, seeing as the Parliament and their home planet survived.
But every single time, the doctor thwarts them. Do they abandon their beliefs? No.
There’s nothing else to them other than being supreme. The doctor constantly stands in the way of their perfection. Without him, they’d be happy, but with him, their beliefs are constantly being challenged.
Furthermore, even if they killed him, that would be violating their own codes of beauty.
In “Dalek,” the titular Dalek says that the Doctor would make a good Dalek.
In “Into the Dalek,” the titular Dalek tells the Doctor he is a good Dalek.
Let’s break this down, because these two lines and the difference between them fascinate me.
I. Why the Doctor is like a Dalek
This one is easy. The Doctor hates. He has, in his long lifetime—particularly as a result of the Time War—grown to hate the Daleks. Hate them enough that he could destroy them, hate them enough that he’s prejudiced against the very idea of just one of them ever turning good.
To the Daleks, of course, hatred is their only morality. They don’t know anything else. Three Daleks in New Who have pointed out the similarity between their hatred of all other life and the Doctor’s hatred of them: the lone Dalek (“Dalek”), the Dalek prime minister (“Asylum of the Daleks”), and now the wounded Dalek.
II. “You would make a good Dalek.”
This is also easy. The Ninth Doctor shows a vehement hatred of the Daleks. “You would make a good Dalek.” His hatred would make him fit right in with the most fearsome species in the universe.
III. “You are a good Dalek.”
Wham. By this time, the wounded Dalek has some sense of morality. The Doctor calls him a good Dalek, by which he means that the creature is a moral Dalek. The Dalek says that he is not and tells the Doctor that heis.
This Dalek doesn’t mean what the first one did. He doesn’t mean that the Doctor would make a fine, rampaging, hateful killer. He means that the Doctor is like the Daleks but moral. He means that the Doctor hates, but acts as a moral person anyway.
They’re both brilliant, beautiful lines. The first line is harsh and unforgiving, even emotionally manipulative (to throw the Doctor off as the Dalek conquers the base). The second is actual praise (a farewell to someone who tried to save this Dalek). And while I’ve always loved the first line, I definitely like the second better.
It’s a line that really makes you think, from an episode that made you think. And, really? That’s definitely beautiful.