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The Daleks were the arch-enemies of the Doctor in the hugely popular BBC television series Doctor Who.

They were created by writer Terry Nation and designer Raymond Cusick and first appeared in the series in 1963.

Introduced in the fifth episode, the Daleks turned Doctor Who into an overnight sensation – but they were very nearly exterminated before they made it to the screen.

BBC exec Donald Wilson described Terry Nation’s original script as “one of the worst things I’ve ever read”, insisting “it can’t go out”.

Fortunately, the producers didn’t have any other stories ready to replace it – and the rest is history.

The Daleks were (and remain) perhaps the strangest entity in the universe – a malevolent race of gruesome creatures – the remains of the Dals, a race that was left mutated and immobile after a nuclear war – living inside 5′ 8″ laser-armed cylinders on wheels.

Davros built the machines, removed any ‘debilitating emotions’ from the mutated Dals and left a creature of pure hate. Their only goal is to wipe out anything which isn’t Dalek.

They managed to strike fear into the hearts of millions of races – which is puzzling considering their obvious inability to climb, meaning of course that all you had to do to escape one was to run up a flight of stairs.

And despite their extreme intelligence and resourcefulness, all you had to do to disable one was to throw a hat over its little stickie out eye thingie. These shortcomings were addressed in recent years, with modern-day Daleks having the ability to levitate.

Daleks also rarely have the element of surprise on their side, due to their habit of yelling out “Exterminate!” when about to kill someone.