How Did Chris Chibnall Keep the Return of the Dalek Race in Resolution a Secret?

What did you think of Kevin’s Doctor Who return in the 2019 New Year’s Special, Resolution?

The tin-pot star took a while to really make his mark on the episode, and appeared in a particularly tentacly guise before – you do realise we’re talking about the Dalek right?

To keep the television return of the Doctor’s most frequent foe a secret from the wider world, the sole Dalek in Resolution was referred to as ‘Kevin’ whenever it appeared in the script.

Nikesh Patel, who played archaeologist Mitch in the episode, and had to hold his nerve when his New Year’s Eve romance Lin was possessed by the Dalek creature, was completely fooled by the use of a codename. Patel told Doctor Who Magazine:

“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?’”

His co-stars, including the Thirteenth Doctor herself Jodie Whittaker, stuck to the script as professional actors should during read-throughs, meaning Patel only realised he was facing one of the universe’s most deadly foes when filming began:

“In the read-through, Jodie [Whittaker] stuck with the codename. Although with hindsight she did it with a wry smile.”

Thankfully, Patel’s delayed recognition of the Dalek did not hinder his chances of survival, with both actor and character making it through the episode without being exterminated.

The actor later went on to reveal on Twitter that after accepting the role, he came close to asking director Wayne Yip whether the villain of the episode was really called Kevin, but wasn’t brave enough to do so. And somehow he survived against a Dalek.