Despite the fact it ended up leaking well in advance, Doctor Who put a lot into keeping the identity of its New Years Special’s villain — a battered, sinister and lethal “Recon Dalek” — a secret. Part of that secrecy? An incredibly British code name that was used on the set.
Speaking in the latest issue of Doctor Who magazine (via the Radio Times), Nikesh Patel — who played Mitch, one of the archaeologists who unknowingly uncovered part of the Dalek’s tentacled body in the episode — spoke of the absurd level of security required when it came to discussing anything to do with the real villain of “Resolution”.
Right down to the fact none of the scripts referred to it outside of a code name, apparently:
I got a call from my agent saying they’d love you to be in the Doctor Who Special. I asked them to send me through a script and it was a cracking read, but also a confusing read. It was a really tense horror thriller, but this buried, ancient tentacled evil was only referred to by a codename! As someone who’s not a die-hard Who fan, I thought, "That’s a step too far, surely?"
Patel didn’t reveal the name, but his co-star from the special, Charlotte Ritchie — Mitch’s poor fellow archaeologist Lin, who spent a good chunk of the episode under the Dalek’s thrall — took to Twitter to confirm that the most terrifying and lethal being this cursed Earth had ever witnessed... was called Kevin.
Exclusive: it was Kevin. Which took away a lot of the drama. No disrespect to the name. https://t.co/xZXA9BPRvb
— Charlotte Ritchie (@Charitchie) February 7, 2019
I don’t care what Davros would think of it, but my god, I kind of love Kevin the Dalek. No offence to any Kevins reading — you have a lovely name, I’m sure your parents are very proud. But when you attach it to a hateful alien pepper pot fascist, it just becomes absurdly hilarious. Fear the dread vanguard of the Dalek fleet: Kevin, and his associates, Bernard, Gary and Clive!
Doctor Who should lean into this and just remarket the Recon Dalek as Kevin the Dalek. I’d buy that action figure/Funko Pop/spoken-word album. Hail Kevin, first of his name, Dalek supreme!