shayvaalski said: The latest Doctor Who episode got me thinking--do Daleks have wizardry? Did something go terribly wrong with their choice?
It’s funny, but this came up late last year. WTH, I’ll just copy & paste the response here. (Adding that they were a species created by someone, i.e. Davros — via genetic manipulation — and so the Choice dynamic is going to shift significantly. Davros certainly went wrong with them, for a start…)
(Pausing for a moment to wonder about the wisdom of coaching people in the fine detail of crossovers. :) …Oh well. The Doctor, or someone very much like him, has already been over on my side of the fence: why not a Dalek or so? …And if I was ficcing something like this, I’d naturally want to do it right. And if the author’s constantly just wandering absently around Tumblr, there’s no harm in asking, I guess…)
…It would certainly be the unlikeliest-seeming damn thing one could hope to run across. But the Powers that Be are inveterate gamblers, and have sometimes in the past made inroads into species that would have seemed even less promising. (You have to wonder sometimes if there are conversations in the Powers’ after-hours lounge that start out with, “I bet I could turn even one of these guys.” “Oh come on, now. Not a chance.” “Wanna bet? Watch me.”)
Nor, even as a bet, could this project be considered a waste of precious energy. After all, every wizard is considered to be the solution to a specific problem or set of problems. The Powers would very likely consider that the problem uniquely posed by the state of the Dalek species — and the mess it makes of every other species it comes in contact with — is one that could possibly best be solved (or at least, some sort of solution started) by a wizard working at it from the inside, knowing it best because they share in it. Any kind of success in dealing with the Daleks by any means besides outright destruction would be considered less entropic and therefore worth the gamble.
…The difficulty in working out the odds on the success of such a project is considerable. Daleks as a concept have gone through a truly crazy number of retools and retcons, and even in TV canon (I set aside events in the novels, etc., for the moment, as screen canon is in most universes held to trump written or recorded material a la the output from Big Finish) there’s all this ducking into the Void and emergency temporal shifting going on. It becomes difficult to tell whether they have any emotions except hate left to them. Not a lot to work with there, it would seem. Except then you run into characters like the Daleks involved in the Cult of Skaro — mutants of mutants, as it were, and all of whom seem to have more going on with them than just yelling EXTERMINATE and shooting things.
…Anyway, on the YW side of the two canons involved, the Powers have already twice pulled off a similar subversion of what seems a wholly corrupt/corrupted species (in TBONWM and then later in WAW). And the issue that it all turns on is choice: an individual being’s choice to go a different way from the way everyone else is going. Regardless of their emotional lives, Daleks have apparently retained their individuality. This could be the single element that would make successfully offering the Wizard’s Oath to a Dalek possible. But on what grounds, I have no idea whatsoeffingever.
There’s this to think about, though. The Daleks are mutants. And you could make a case, from their history — however torn up it’s been by the winds of Time — that the mutations are not completely stable. All you need is for an individual to unexpectedly appear who’s concealing one new mutation that manages to go undetected by the other Daleks around it, one that perhaps displays late enough in life not to be sussed out and snuffed out in its early stages: this being a Dalek that has some other emotions in play, that is not just a ball of hate… or can fight the hate to a draw. That would be the Powers’ opportunity. The question remains, always, what the individual will do with it, or make of it, in the event. And whether it wll survive its Ordeal. But still: a gamble at least as worth taking as the rare and dangerous late-onset Ordeal in humans.
I have other things to be doing at the moment and I don’t want to even start getting into the concept of what the Dalek recension of the Oath would look like. But it would depend, as it always does, on the mindset of the individual. As would the results. When it comes to what mortal beings will actually do, even the Powers that Be hold their breaths…