Doctor Who: The Davros problem – How the villain was used too much…then too little

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Doctor Who

Time War 4 is Davros’s first full appearance in a Doctor Who story since 2015. Why is the character being used so little these days?
Image Courtesy Big Finish Productions

It could be argued that Davros was used too much in Doctor Who during the Classic Series. But, with just two appearances in the New Series, is the exact opposite now true?

With the recent release of Doctor Who box set The Eighth Doctor: Time War 4, we’ve been pretty Davros crazy at Doctor Who Watch the past couple of weeks. Whether we’re looking back at the early years of the Dalek creator with I, Davros, or exploring what makes the character so appealing and complex, we’ve been keen to write plenty about this iconic villain. Particularly as it’s been so long since we’ve last heard from him – both on and off the screen.

It’s strange to think about, but it’s already extremely close to five years since we last saw Davros on TV – specifically, in the Peter Capaldi two-parter The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar. It’s surprising knowing that it’s been half a decade already since we last heard from such an iconic character.

But perhaps what’s even more surprising is that Davros has hardly appeared in the expanded universe, at least in recent years. In books, comics, and even audios, Davros has barely popped up at all. This is extremely surprising, especially when compared to the Doctor’s other arch-enemy the Master. Just this year alone, the Time Lord villain features in as many as four separate releases from Big Finish – with most of the incarnations appearing in the fiftieth anniversary special Masterful next year!

So what gives? Why has Davros appeared so little in recent years? Well what’s interesting is that in the Classic Series, the reverse was extremely true. At least, if you stay focused on the Dalek stories from his first appearance onwards.

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