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How is it the Daleks are even considered a threat? They aren't really very powerful and are rather slow and bulky. As war machines they are extremely ineffective when logically thought about. Can someone please explain this to me?

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    They show up, and everything that's not them dies. To most standard foes they're basically rolling/flying tanks with death rays, and very little stops them. There's plenty of examples of this in the series, although certain early appearances in the revival might give you the wrong impression (Nine's encounters with them were scarier than Ten's, overall. They get some mojo back with Eleven and Twelve).
    – Radhil
    Sep 11, 2017 at 0:32
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    Judging by results, Daleks clearly know what they're doing. Perhaps what you mean to ask is why does the show depict them in such a non-threatening way. Which wouldn't be a bad question, although the answer to that one is almost certainly out-of-universe.
    – Misha R
    Sep 11, 2017 at 1:13
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    It seems the easiest way to answer this question is to watch any given account of a Dalek in actual battle, ever.
    – Gnemlock
    Sep 11, 2017 at 8:13
  • Possibly related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/116303/…
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:57

1 Answer 1

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  • Nearly invincible. Every Dalek tank has a nearly impenetrable shield. While there are future civilizations shown defeating those shields with focused fire, that just means the five Daleks right behind the dead one have plenty of time to find targets. This is also setting aside their armor, nanotech repair, etc.
  • Always lethal. Daleks rarely take prisoners. Their primary weapon just kills, that's it. Everything that's not Dalek does not deserve to live. So anyone that stands against them... doesn't stand long.
  • More mobile than suggested. The standard Dalek rolling patrol does not move very fast (and that's the most common depiction in the old series)... but they are shown flying at decent speeds when deploying, and they have plenty of spaceships to get them where they need to go.
  • Flexible enough. The much mocked sucker arm manipulator appears to be able to interface with just about anything. Draw power, sucker it. Download info, sucker it. Crush a skull... you get the idea.
  • Numbers. Given enough time to get their technology deployed, and they can just clone new Daleks and slap them into new tanks. They are an endless army, even aside from the fact that they often just won't die.
  • They are literally space Nazis. Daleks primary drive is hate. There is no other purpose of a Dalek except to contribute to their war machine. They are engineered to think of themselves as the ultimate being, and everyone else as worthless scum that needs to be killed, unless as a tool for information or leverage.
  • Even the full might of the Time Lords could not defeat them. Their technology level is able to best just about every other combatant. They have time travel tech, although not as elegant as our hero's version. Gallifrey fell, for all intents and purposes, because despite being able to manipulate - and by the tales, weaponize - time, the Daleks were always more aggressive and more resilient than expected.
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  • They also have rather powerful spaceships and other weaponry
    – HorusKol
    Sep 11, 2017 at 4:54
  • I'd love to watch a Dalek versus the Rhinemettal 120mm smoothbore. Even with an impenetrable shield, it's going to fly like a billiard ball from the kinetic energy of the dart.
    – zeta-band
    Sep 12, 2017 at 19:21
  • @zeta-band bullets disintegrate because of the shield, the size or power seems irrelevant, you can barely blind them at their weakest point with thousands of hits (which would equal more total energy than a single shot from a 120mm bullet), they don't seem to be affected by kinetic energy, if you could just knock them over with force someone would have done it
    – Matt
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:15

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