The Daleks (/?d??l?ks/ (About this soundlisten) DAH-leks) are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants principally portrayed in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. The Daleks were conceived by science-fiction writer Terry Nation and first appeared in the 1963 Doctor Who serial The Daleks, in the shells designed by Raymond Cusick.
Drawing inspiration from the Nazis, Nation portrayed the Daleks as violent, merciless and pitiless cyborg aliens, who demand total conformity to their will, and who are bent on the conquest of the universe and the extermination of what they see as inferior races.
In the programme's narrative the Daleks were engineered by the scientist Davros during the final years of a thousand-year war between his people, the Kaleds, and their enemies the Thals. With some Kaleds already badly mutated and damaged by nuclear war, Davros genetically modified the Kaleds and integrated them with a tank-like robotic shell, removing their every emotion apart from hate. His creations soon came to view themselves as the supreme race in the universe, intent on purging the universe of all non-Dalek life. Collectively they are the greatest enemies of Doctor Who's protagonist, the Time Lord known as "the Doctor". Later in the programme's run the Daleks acquired time travel technology and engaged the Time Lords in a brutal Time War affecting most of the universe, with battles taking place across the whole of history.
The Daleks are the show's most popular and famous villains and their returns to the series over the decades have gained media attention. Their frequent order to "Exterminate!" has become common usage.