Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

The Only Good Dalek

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2010-11 SFX p128.jpg

  • Publication: SFX
  • Date: Nov. 2020
  • Author:
  • Page: 128
  • Language: English

Action station

Writer: Justin Richards

Artist: Mike Collins

Publisher. BBC Books 128 pages £12.99

ISBN: 978-1-84607-984-9 OUT NOW!


Given that the history of Doctor Who comics stretches back 46 years, it's rather staggering to realise that this is only the second stab at an original graphic novel (the first, fact fans, was 1994's The Age Of Chaos, published by Marvel UK and co-written by one Colin Baker). The storyline sees the Eleventh Doctor and Amy arriving at a space station, where, in the hope of gaining an edge in a century-old human/ Dalek war, researchers are striving to unlock the secrets of Dalek technology...

It's something of a strange hybrid. The TARDIS lands in a recreation of a petrified forest from the Daleks' home planet (shades of "The Time Of Angels"), there are appearances by Skaro's deadly Varga plants, the Daleks' Robomen slaves and their monstrous pet the Slyther, and the Earth forces are decked out in Space Security Agent uniforms - all references to the William Hartnell era. But the tone is very much of the '80s. This is Doctor Who as script editor Eric Saward envisioned it: action-orientated fare crammed with shoot-outs and explosions, and boasting a high body count. There's little room for humour, emotion (other than anger) or, for that matter, female supporting characters.

As in 1966's "The Power Of The Daleks" and last year's "Victory Of The Daleks", the tale features pepperpots who appear to have been tamed, but can't really be trusted. But the most intriguing plot element is the creation of a non-aggressive "good Dalek" through genetic engineering, a concept with echoes of not only Eccleston encounter "Dalek" and Troughton tale "The Evil Of The Daleks", but the Fourth Doctor's mission in "Genesis Of The Daleks". Sadly, this winning idea feels under-used, with the Doctor never forced into difficult ethical territory.

As for the art by Mike Collins (a regular on Doctor Who Magazine's strip), it's a little hit-and-miss. Likenesses tend to be strong in close-up (perhaps when they correspond to publicity images?) and a little iffy elsewhere, and the overall quality is puzzlingly inconsistent, with some panels looking slick and others more like rough sketches. All in all, this debut effort from BBC Books doesn't quite live up to its landmark Status.


  • Action! - 45%
  • Hartnell references - 30%
  • Dalek deviousness - 20%
  • Ogrons - 5%
  • Laughs - 0%

The station Commander is named Tranter, possibly in homage to Jane Tranter, responsible for bringing back Who in 2005.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (Nov. 2020). The Only Good Dalek. SFX p. 128.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "The Only Good Dalek." SFX [add city] Nov. 2020, 128. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "The Only Good Dalek." SFX, edition, sec., Nov. 2020
  • Turabian: "The Only Good Dalek." SFX, Nov. 2020, section, 128 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Only Good Dalek | url= | work=SFX | pages=128 | date=Nov. 2020 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Only Good Dalek | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024}}</ref>