To celebrate, this week's Friday Fiver lists our picks for the top five Dalek stories from Doctor Who's entire run - 1963 to 2012 inclusive! Did 'The Chase' make it in? Is 'Resurrection' an underrated classic? Read on to find out...
> Doctor Who: Ten teasers about 'Asylum of the Daleks'
'The Daleks' - first aired from December 21, 1963 - February 1, 1964
'The Mutants', 'The Dead Planet' - whatever you want to call this Terry Nation seven-parter, you can't deny its brilliance. The first four episodes are wonderfully claustrophobic and climax with one of the best cliffhangers in the show's history, as Ian (William Russell) realises that he has left a vital TARDIS component in the Dalek city. The three that follow - in which the Doctor, his companions and the alien Thals embark on a dangerous quest - are perhaps not quite as strong, but still make for a terrific adventure, full of peril and derring-do.
'The Power of the Daleks' - first aired from November 5 to December 10 1966
It may have taken Patrick Troughton a few weeks to find his feet as the second Doctor, but there was nothing shaky or uncertain about David Whitaker's fine scripts for this 1966 tale, which saw the newly-regenerated Time Lord land on the planet Vulcan with companions Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills), only to uncover a fiendishly complicated Dalek plot. A creepy atmosphere and terrific supporting cast help 'Power' rank among the greatest Dalek stories. It's a real shame that the BBC opted to wipe the vast majority of early Doctor Who serials - only stills and/or film fragments from this six-parter still exist.
'The Evil of the Daleks' - first aired from May 20, 1967 - July 1, 1967
This epic adventure, again written by David Whitaker, was Patrick Troughton's second outing with the Daleks and was originally intended to be the monsters' swan-song. Though their popularity would eventually see these plans reversed, 'Evil' would have made a fine farewell for the Daleks - it's an expertly-crafted seven-parter packed with action, humour and some truly memorable moments - Daleks playing trains, anyone? It's just a shame that, like 'Power' before it, the story - save for episode two - was wiped from the BBC archives, with only audio recordings and telesnaps remaining to remind us what a brilliant piece of work 'Evil of the Daleks' really is.
'Genesis of the Daleks' - first aired from March 8, 1975 - April 2, 1975
The idea of dramatising the creation of the Daleks seems like such an obvious one that it's difficult to believe it took Doctor Who 12 years to get there. But when the show did finally explore the race's origins, it did so with gusto, introducing the iconic mad scientist Davros - played impeccably by Michael Wisher - and unleashing some of the series's most iconic moments. Who can forget the amazing scene in which the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) contemplates the fate of the Daleks and whether or not he has "the right" to destroy his greatest foes once and for all...
'Dalek' - first aired April 30, 2005
The bubbling lumps of hate made their big comeback in this action-packed Christopher Eccleston instalment. We've enjoyed plenty of the Daleks' post-2005 appearances, but they've arguably never been as effective as in this epic reintroduction. Robert Shearman's script brilliantly highlights and then undercuts everything you think you know about the evil pepper-pots... Think their plungers are funny-looking? You won't when it sucks your face off. Think a Dalek can't go up stairs? One word - Elevate. 'Dalek' is, as the Ninth Doctor might say, fantastic - a delight for casual viewers and hardcore fans alike.
Do you agree with our picks? Name your favourite Dalek episodes below!