Daleks' Architecture and Ship Designs
Michael James Valdivielso
This article will focus on Dalek architecture and
ship designs. This sounds harder then is looks as much of Dalek architecture
is a mixture of Dalek and native influence.
The Dalek City on Skaro, when first seen in 'The Daleks',
even impresses the Doctor. It is a clean city, made from metal, with
towers and domes, wide streets and structures of unknown purposes.
Once inside we find nuclear reactors, water purification plants and hydroponic
Even the inside is made of metal, allowing the Daleks
to use the city itself as a giant power grid. The hallways seem to
be designed for one way traffic, being only wide enough for one Dalek.
The hallways seem to link to round rooms, hubs or roundabouts, allowing
Daleks to make U-turns if needed.
Elevators allow the Daleks to have access to all levels
of the city and the surface, of course.
Cameras and other sensors allow the Daleks to see
and detect all movement within the city and along the city's borders.
All the equipment within the city was designed to be handled by Dalek grippers.
In other words the city was designed by Daleks, for Daleks - even down
to the doors.
A later glimpse of the same city, in 'The Evil of
the Daleks', shows a city that has become even bigger (as it is my understanding
that the system of caves that the Doctor used to access the city last time
are now partly surfaced with metal) and the city has also become more advanced,
having an Emperor that has now been linked to every part of the city via
huge computer systems, nutrient pipes and power cables.
Another example of a Dalek City is seen on Earth,
during the second invasion of the planet. Huge, white buildings that
look as impressive and interesting as houses made from kids' building blocks.
These buildings were factories, prisons, offices and living areas.
In them human slaves lived and worked next to Ogrons and Daleks. The
city is a hybrid, which is plain to see. It is also different by the
fact it is mostly ABOVE ground.
The prison, for example, has a slopping ramp that
acted as a hallway.
This would allow the Daleks access to the cells - if they don't mind
the drop to the cell's floor from the ramp! There are some steps
inside the buildings, but they are few and far between, yet outside there
are walls, rubble and stairs making the Ogron guards a must for the Dalek
Why make the buildings of Earth more human-friendly
than Dalek-friendly UNLESS it was human slaves who designed and built the
cities in the first place? Or maybe the Daleks didn't care because
they didn't have to HAVE or NEED access to most of the areas within the
walled compounds? Is this a true city or just a base?
Dalek bases usually have two functions. All
are military in nature, with spaceports and ground troops aided by long
range detectors. The second function is usually scientific in nature,
either developing more advanced weapons or biological agents to be used
Dalek Bases, like in the 'Planet of the Daleks', are
mostly underground and are copies of Dalek cities (small copies to be sure,
but copies). In fact, in 'Planet of the Daleks' the doorway, with the
huge statues, suggest that either the Daleks were using an alien temple/ruin
as part of their base OR the Daleks put artwork outside their base's entry
points. As the latter idea is baseless and cannot be proven, we must
go with the first suggestion, that Daleks are willing to use local buildings,
ruins, temples and so on, when setting up their own bases. Why?
Because if an enemy scout were to fly over the base they would see alien
architecture NOT Dalek architecture. On the other hand the one-eyed
look of the statues suggest that the natives cut the stone statues to look
Dalek-like or the statues were cut while under Dalek direction.
In the 'Daleks' Invasion of Earth' they have a small
base at the mining area. The base seems to be nothing but a small control
center for directing the work at the mine and for controlling the Dalek
forces on the planet. The Daleks spend much of their time on patrol
either in the streets of the major cities, like London, or in their flying
saucers in the skies of Earth.
Dalek Saucers are of the basic UFO design: a
disc of steel. Most of the Saucers, such as 'Destiny of the Daleks',
'The Dalek Invasion of Earth', 'Death to the Daleks', 'Bad Wolf', and 'Parting
of the Way' seem to use some kind of antigravity or, if I may take a word
from the Kzin novels, reactionless space drive. Dalek Saucers seem
to be the 'mule' of the Dalek Space Forces.
One saucer, from 'Planet of the Daleks' does seem
to use rockets for takeoffs and landings AND has a different design then
other saucers. It could be using rockets for many reasons. Maybe
they are more reliable and are more useful for clearing a landing area on
planets where the jungle or forest rules the landscape.
The design is smooth, shaped like a top from a bottle.
Could the design be the Daleks' attempt at tricking or deflecting enemy
radar? Or was it just designed to carry more cargo and Dalek warriors
to protect Dalek Leaders?
Maybe the saucer, which does look slightly larger then the basic saucer,
has extra armor for space combat (the Daleks' version of a 'Tiger' saucer)?
Maybe the extra weight of more armor and weapons requires
the saucer to help the antigravity engines with rocket engines during takeoffs
Dalek Battle Cruisers:
In 'Resurrection of the Daleks' we first see a Dalek
Dark, effective looking, with powerful weapons and bright engines, the
cruiser looks like a very deadly war machine. The hull even seems
worn and the tactics used by the Dalek crew, to hit-and-run again and again,
seems to suggest a good knowledge on space combat. The fact that this
ship is what remains after the Daleks have been defeated is somewhat impressive.
The cruiser seems able to handle the human space station without any problem.
The second Cruiser we see was made by Davros and his
Doctor explains to the humans that the ship had weapons much more powerful
and deadly than nuclear weapons and that it can see a sparrow from orbit.
The fact that Davros has won his war against the Rogue/Gray Daleks suggests
that the White Cruiser is MUCH more effective in combat than anything the
Daleks had built before that (even if it looks like it was designed by
blind bees). Unlike the first Battle Cruiser, Davros has designed
his ship to also use some kind of rocket-engines.
The Dalek Shuttle, the only one we ever see or know
of, appears in 'Remembrance of the Daleks'. It looks like a smaller
version of Davros' White Cruiser. Very functional, very simple looking,
it has massive ground defenses (but has nothing to protect it from an attack
from above) and looks like a boy's locker room inside. One Dalek,
attached directly into the controls, is all that is needed to run the craft.
This suggests that either the Mothership would keep
the skies clear of enemy craft OR some kind of escort-fighter might be
available during planetary invasions. Otherwise the Shuttle would
be helpless during the unloading and loading stages of any ground assault.
Seems to be a BIG fault in the shuttle design. It also seems to use,
like the Mothership, rocket-engines for landing and takeoff. Has
liquid fuel become so cheap that the Daleks have decided to replace other
types of engines with rocket engines both small and large ships?
Dalek Time Machines:
Time Machines come in many forms and shapes.
The most advanced time device I've noticed are those used in 'The Day of
the Daleks', which are so compact and fool-proof that even the HUMANS can
use them. Yet this is after thousands of years of development.
Their knowledge of time travel at this time even allows them to snatch people
out of the Space Time Vortex itself using a 'Magnetron'.
The first few time devices seem to take the form of
a time tunnel. The first require a power source and focusing device
on both ends of the tunnel, such as 'The Evil of the Daleks', but later
versions only require one device at one of the tunnel's entrances such as
in 'Resurrection of the Daleks'. I can see such a 'Time Corridor'
(as the Daleks called it) being useful in spaceships, as they can be used
to land troops EVEN before the defenders know the Daleks are on the way.
In-between the first time tunnels and the later time
tunnels are Time Machines that look very much like a Time Lord's Tardis.
Sleek, crisp and clean looking, the Daleks' Time Machine can even FOLLOW
other machines thru the Space Time Vortex, such as in 'The Chase' and 'The
In 'Doomsday' the Black Dalek escapes into time, to
escape being sucked into the void. Is it a Built-In Time Device of
One thing to note, in 'The Power of the Daleks' the
capsule the Daleks are found in seems to be bigger on the inside than the
outside. Is this just an advanced escape pod or an experimental time
machine gone haywire?
In 'Army of Ghosts' and in 'Doomsday' we are shown
a Void Ship, a ship designed to travel outside of time itself. While
it can be seen it has no mass, no weight, gives off no heat nor can an energy
source be detected. It is visible to the human eye but that seems to
be it. Until it decides to open, entering time and space once again.
There is no way to prove if the Daleks designed the
ship or not. If form follows function than it could be that all Void
Ships look alike. How many can it hold? How long can it travel?
What level of science is needed to create one?
BC=Dalek Battle Cruiser
B=Dalek Base (Science or Military)
T=Dalek Time Machines
The First Age: Pre-Space Travel
The Genesis of the Daleks
Army of Ghosts
The Second Age: Space Travel
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Day of the Daleks(target)
The Space Museum(?)
The Power of the Daleks(?)
The Third Age: Time Travel
The Evil of the Daleks
Day of the Daleks(source?)
Frontier in Space
Planet of the Daleks
Death to the Daleks
Mission to the Unknown
The Dalek MasterPlan
Destiny of the Daleks
Resurrection of the Daleks
Revelation of the Daleks
Remembrance of the Daleks(source) BC/SH/T
The Long Game
Parting of the Ways