Don't exterminate the daleks, pleads MP

THEY may have tried to take over the world, achieve universal domination and - in the process - scared millions of children witless, but one MP has declared he is sad to see the back of them.

THEY may have tried to take over the world, achieve universal domination and - in the process - scared millions of children witless, but one MP has declared he is sad to see the back of them.

Because the fearsome Daleks - deadly cyborg enemies of nameless sci-fi hero “the Doctor” - will not be trundling across screens in a new series of a former TV favourite.

Thousands of fans were delighted to learn that the BBC had decided to dust off the TARDIS and regenerate the time lord classic programme Doctor Who, starring critically acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston.

Many were also pleased to hear that the doctor's new assistant would be played by heart-throb and former popstar Billie Piper.


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But news that the Daleks - the pepperpot-like, stalk-eyed megalomaniacs whose ruthless clamour for power led them through both time and space - could not be incorporated into the new programme for contractual reasons has been met with dismay.

Not least by fellow Doctor Who fan and MP for Colchester Bob Russell, who sat with his children as they grew up watching the villainous monsters being out-manoeuvred by a number of the doctor's incarnations.

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“Doctor Who without the Daleks is not going to be impossible, but it will be very difficult,” said Mr Russell yesterday.

“After the Doctor himself and the police phone box, the Daleks are the most obvious part.

“I think it is very regrettable. You have to bear in mind that the Doctor Who series is a massive income earner - it's a very successful international export.

“So there is a serious side to this, alongside the enjoyment that's gained from the programme.”

The politician first revealed his admiration for the show last year, when he hosted a gathering of Daleks, cybermen and other Dr Who adversaries in Parliament to celebrate the programme's 40th anniversary.

Yesterday he said that he would phone Elizabeth Sladen - who played opposite Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker as the doctor's screaming assistant, Sarah-Jane Smith - to see if she could help.

“Perhaps she can bring some peace and tranquillity to these waters,” he said.

The BBC has confirmed that the Daleks will not be appearing in the new series of Doctor Who after talks with the estate of Terry Nation - the writer who originally created the metal monsters - broke down over matters of editorial control.

However the programme's new writer, Russell T Davies, has been quoted as saying that although “disappointed” the Daleks are unable to return, a new enemy for the doctor has been created which will keep the show's viewers firmly where they belong - “on the edge of their seats.”

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