Daleks began as fairly straight-forward allegories for Nazis. It was a depiction shaped by Terry Nation’s youth during the second World War, and one which was understood by all watching – the dark days of the 1940s weren’t so distant a memory in 1963, after all.
This allegory forms part of the central tension of the Daleks as not just monsters, but villains. The Daleks aren’t mere clunky sci-fi robots; they’re a representation of the worst of us. Of hate and prejudice and a very specific human evil. It’s this aspect to them that has made the Daleks last for so long, and why they resonated so well with audiences in the 1960s.
However, in recent years, this allegory hasn’t quite held the same meaning. And that’s understandable; the way we perceive Nazism has changed a lot since the 1960s. Accordingly, the allegory that the Daleks form doesn’t hold quite the same impact anymore – which means that one must consider what Nazis represent now, and update the allegory accordingly.
The idea of the Daleks as an allegory for the Nazis has always fascinated me; even moreso in recent years, as the way in which we understand Nazis in society has begun to change.