Author: Derek Metaltron
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 2,871
Author's Summary: Across ten incarnations the Doctor has faced a enemy who has cost him friends and allies, planets and stars, his very home world. They are the Daleks, and these are ten tales of how he has learnt to hate them.
Characters/Pairings: The Doctors (1st to 10th), various companions and supporting characters, Davros and the Daleks
Recced because: I'll admit to something of a fannish obsession with the Daleks. Not so much the Daleks as we see them most of the time on screen, but the idea of the Daleks. Because it really is a great concept, and a fantastically horrible one when you really think about it. Which I have, probably a bit too much. The thing about the Daleks, however, while I obviously reject vehemently the idea current in fandom that it's possible to see them too often in the series, is that they rarely live up to the power of the concept in their TV outings. Often they fill a role that could be played by any generic aliens and/or robots with a bit of a search-and-replace on the script. And that, I often find, is where good fanfic comes in.
Whether the Daleks obsess the rest of you as much as they do me or not (I suspect not, in most cases!), they do occupy a unique place in the history of Doctor Who, both in-universe and in terms of the lifespan of the series itself. They're the original Who monsters, and still the benchmark against which new pretenders are measured. Even the Cybermen, probably the second most iconic Who monsters, were originally an attempt to find "the next Daleks". And in story terms, the Doctor already had an ultimate archenemy - he knew it and perhaps more importantly they knew it - long before the Master ever showed up and started telling people to obey him. I'll be very disappointed if they don't play a prominent role in the 50th Anniversary story.
And this excellent fic meditates upon that idea, the pivotal and perhaps unique role the Daleks have played in the Doctors lives, through examining the way the Doctor reacts to them. I don't think it's unwarranted to talk, as the fic does, about the Doctor hating the Daleks. Look at Nine's spitting fury in the new series episode Dalek for Exhibit A. We perhaps don't like to think as fans about the Doctor hating anybody, he's meant to be better than that and to hold himself to a higher standard - and the fic explores that as well. As much as the Doctor has been subjected again and again to the Daleks' ingrained evil, their murderous and destructive deeds again and again, he still doubts that giving in to hating them, and doing to them what that implies, is something he should be doing. It's the same moral dilemma posed by the famous scene from Genesis - does he have that right? Does feeling for them what they feel for him make him as bad as they are? This fic examines that idea through the eyes of all ten Doctors extant at the time it was written, and comes back to that essential truth about the Doctor and his relationship with his greatest enemies. As much as they've done, and as much as he's seen of that, as much pain as they've caused him, at the end he is better than they are, in moral terms, so he'll always have that doubt, and always hold back, and end up always having to fight them again.
It's a fic I really like, anyway. Please go and read it, and please leave some words for the author.
He is the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
They are his mortal enemies, armour plated mutants originating from Skaro. Bred to hate. Built for war. Determined to conquer and destroy.
And since his very first encounter with them, he has learnt to fear and hate their kind. For what they did. For what they do. For what they might yet become.
But he is the Doctor, heroic and kind hearted. He does not choose his hatred lightly.