The BBC is in talks to bring back the Daleks for its new Doctor Who series.
The enduring Daleks were voted television's most evil villains
Fans feared copyright problems between the BBC and the estate of late sci-fi writer Terry Nation, who created the Daleks, would prevent their return.
But a BBC spokeswoman said: "We are negotiating to feature the Daleks in the new series, but no deal has yet been made."
She also denied that actors had been cast to play the new Doctor Who and his assistant Rose.
Filming for the new series is due to begin in Cardiff this spring, for transmission on BBC One in early 2005.
Writer Russell T Davies told Teletext TV Plus that Dalek negotiations with Terry Nation's estate were "going well" and he expected "a positive result".
He added: "The estate is protecting an important property, after all, and I can appreciate why they are being so careful."
The BBC spokeswoman said: "Negotiations are going on all over the place about the monsters, including the Daleks. We are just waiting to see what comes out."
As Doctor Who's sworn enemies, the Daleks were voted the most evil villains on television in a poll of more than 3,000 GMTV viewers last year.
Actors Anthony Head and Richard E Grant and comedians Alan Davies and Eddie Izzard have been linked to the new Doctor Who role.