The Twisted History of the Daleks

An Alternate Look Into Dalek History
Andrew Panero


The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The problem with Dalek history is right there in the second episode when Ian Chesterton asks the Doctor how it is possible the Daleks are there on Earth when they had both witnessed their destruction on Skaro.  “My dear boy!” exclaims the Doctor, “the Daleks we saw on Skaro are a million years in the future. These Daleks must be from the middle part of Dalek History.”

On the face of it this is an extraordinary statement, more so given that the Doctor should be so confident about something that seems so obviously wrong. When he first met the Daleks on Skaro they informed him that their own history was only 500 years long. So how could he speculate that they were a million years in the future?

Let us take the Doctor’s assertion - that the events in ‘The Daleks’ took place one million years in the future, literally for a moment. Given that the Daleks in that adventure had evolved out of the Dals five hundred years earlier, this would put the Dal/Thal war in the distant future.

Susan, in the BBC Radio Play ‘Whatever Happened to Susan’ repeats the Doctor’s view that everything in the first adventure will take place in the distant future. She also suggests that the Daleks were so infuriated with their destruction by Ian that they travelled back in time to Earth in the 22nd Century primarily because they were after him. I don’t buy this entirely, but like the time-travel idea; maybe the Daleks inadvertently travelled back in time instead. They could have hit a few wormholes on the way from Skaro to Earth, or had a fault in their FTL drives perhaps. Either way the Invasion of Earth would have occurred after the events of The Daleks by their (the Daleks) own time-scale, but before than on an absolute time-scale.

After the Doctor and company had destroyed the Daleks in the 22nd Century a few of there number who survived would have attempted to return to Skaro. However they returned to a much earlier time-period, again, this time during the middle of the Kaled/ Thal war.

Genesis of the Daleks

Just picture the scene, if you will, when the Dalek saucer crash-lands on Skaro. Only one Dalek survives, but it is dying. It is captured by Kaled forces and taken to their chief scientist, an eager Young Turk by the name of Davros. Before it dies it utters the enigmatic words ‘I am the future.’ Looking into its DNA profile Davros is shocked to find it bares many similarities to Kaled genetics. The technological sophistication of the creature’s life-support shell and spacecraft puts it well in advance of present Kaled and Thal science. Davros concludes that this strange being is indeed from the future and decides that its knowledge could be of use in the war-effort. He is particularly interested in the life-support technology as well the survival machine itself. The problem of genetic mutations amongst the Kaleds was as prominent for them as it would be for the Dals in the future.

Before Davros was able to conclude his studies, a Thal nuclear warhead destroyed his laboratory. Severely disabled by this event, Davros was able to use the insights he had gained from working on the Dalek machine to design and build for himself a mobile life support unit in the form of a chair.

Over the next fifty years Davros develops the basic Dalek design, with the added modification of solar-power slats to power his creations. Observing these events from a distance the Time-Lords are horrified by the imminent prospect of Dalek evolution taking place a million years earlier. This would open up the prospect of a Dalek dominated universe if this rewriting of history were allowed to continue. They therefore use the Doctor in his 4th incarnation to set back their development by a thousand years. The Daleks are hampered, but not totally thrown by this intervention. With the advances inherited from Davros they are able to devise time-travel technology and set off in pursuit of the being they know as the Doctor.
‘The Chase.’

The Daleks were surprised to detect the genetic signature of their shadowy adversary in the body of a snowy-haired old man. Ignorant of the time-lords’ ability to regenerate they assumed this was because their enemy had aged since their last encounter. They did not consider the possibility that this was in fact the doctor in an earlier incarnation.

Chasing the Doctor and his companions across time and space the Daleks eventually come to the planet Mechanus where they are destroyed in a battle with the fearsome Mechaniods.
Meanwhile, back on Skaro…

Death to the Daleks

The Daleks had used a quantity of the mineral Taranium in their prototype time machine. Unfortunately for them this particular mineral was in short supply on Skaro. There was plenty in the Earth Solar System, but by this time (the mid 24th Century) Earth was a major power in the Galaxy. However an opportunity for blackmailing the Earthlings into giving the Daleks access to Taranium came with the advent of a galactic plague.

The Daleks were experts in biotechnology as well as master engineers. When the space-plague struck Skaro they tried to genetically re-engineer themselves in order to overcome the outbreak. However they found that in the process they needed a mineral called paranium, which existed in abundance on the planet Exxillon. The Daleks dispatched an off world task force (distinguished from the normal Daleks by their silver and black livery) to Exxilon in order to secure a quantity of the paranium and then to contaminate the source by use of a germ bomb. The Daleks would then be able to cure themselves of the plague and hold the Galaxy to ransom in the meantime.

On Exxilon the Daleks encountered the Doctor in his third incarnation and found themselves grounded due to mysterious power drainage. Forming an uneasy alliance with the Doctor and a party of Earth scientists the Daleks manage to extract a quantity of paranium to get back to Skaro. Forcing two of the earthmen to dynamite the power beacon at the top of the Exxilons’ city the Daleks restore power to their space ship. Galloway, one of the earth party, managed to smuggle himself on board the Dalek saucer and detonated explosives inside before the Daleks could gain enough height to use their germ missile. Sarah-Jane Smith and co. had already switched the paranium by this time so it was a simple matter for the Doctor to wish everyone well and get on his way. The Daleks on Exxilon were effectively cut off from Skaro from the moment they landed and were unable to even signal home before Galloway detonated his explosive charges. As a result the Daleks were still ignorant of the Doctor in his third incarnation.

They were also forced to go, cap in plunger as it were, to the Earth Federation and beg for assistance with the space-plague. The Earth Government screwed the Daleks royally with a deal that effectively neutralised any threat from them for two hundred years. The Daleks even had to agree to let the Thals re-settle on some of Skaro’s southern continents. Not only that, but the Daleks were forbidden to operate off world and a programme of outpost dismantlement was begun.

The Power of the Daleks

But it was impossible for the Earthmen to be everywhere and as the years passed by the Daleks began to secretly re-arm.  The Daleks devised special ‘species survival’ capsules, which utilised transcendent geometry similar to the Tardises of the Time Lords. Within these capsules were Dalek factory units and cryogenically frozen mutants in their thousands. A Dalek Army could be mass-produced in very short order, given access to the proper materials and power sources.

Although the Daleks were unable to launch these capsules from Skaro in the conventional way, they had been experimenting for some time with a time tunnel device powered by static electricity. The Daleks found that they could open up passageways in the fabric of space-time through which they could ship out these species survival capsules.  A number were launched, although without another time-machine acting as a fixed gateway on the other side the destination of any such probes was very unpredictable. One of them shot hundreds of light years off course and landed on the distant planet Vulcan where it lay buried in a mercury swamp for hundreds of years.

Later human colonists, who were apparently ignorant of the threat the creatures inside posed, excavated it. Lesterson, the colony’s chief scientist convinced the Colony’s leaders that the Daleks could be used as servants to the colony and marvelled at their technical prowess and obvious intelligence. The Daleks played along with this view, dependent as they were on the humans for energy and materials. By this time in their history Daleks had accumulated enough knowledge on human frailties to know how to manoeuvre them. The humans of this particular outpost were particularly ripe for manipulation, being bitterly divided and on the verge of civil war. The only fly in the ointment from the Daleks perspective was the appearance of the Doctor in his second incarnation. Even so the colonists were loath to heed the Doctor’s warnings about the dangers the Daleks posed, each party having their own agenda to which the Daleks Power seemed instrumental. Whilst the humans fought amongst themselves, the Daleks constructed an army within their survival capsule and prepared the way for the annihilation of all human beings. Only a last minute intervention by the Doctor prevented the colony from being completely destroyed.

The Evil of the Daleks

Stranded on Skaro with limited resources, the Daleks continued with their experiments in time-travel. The Emperor Dalek, a direct genetic copy of the first Dalek created by Davros, focussed his attention on the problem of humanity and how this relatively primitive species had managed to best the Daleks on so many occasions in the past. He began to see that the answer to this must lie in human nature itself; something about their psychology, which if unlocked could make the Daleks all-powerful. Alternatively, if humans themselves could be made more like Daleks, then they could be both eliminated as threat and greatly bolster the strength of the Empire.

Whilst the Emperor cogitated on these possibilities, his technicians made an important discovery. Monitoring the time-lines they discovered that primitive humans were experimenting with static-electric time-travel, six hundred years in Earth’s past. This meant that a doorway existed for the Daleks directly onto their enemy’s home world at a time when organised resistance would be impossible. However the Daleks had no interest in conquering nineteenth century Earth. The Emperor had bigger plans in mind, for which he needed a more efficient form of time-travel then offered by immediate Dalek technology.

A complex plan emerged, first of all a task force would be despatched to 19th Century Earth, homing in on the portal inadvertently opened by the meddling of Waterfield and Maxtible. Initial assessment by the leader of this incursion suggested that of the two, Maxtible demonstrated the qualities often found to be of most use to the Daleks-arrogance and ruthless ambition. Promising Maxtible the secret of turning base metal into gold the Daleks used him to get to Waterfield’s daughter. Once she was in their power, the Daleks forced Waterfield too travel forward a hundred years in time to await the arrival of the Doctor.

The second part of the plan involved trapping the Doctor. Following his appearance on Vulcan the Daleks had tracked his progress through space and time as they had once before. The Emperor was determined to neutralise the threat he posed to the Daleks and wreck terrible vengeance for all the upsets he had caused in the past. He had devised a way of securing the Doctor’s co-operation by taking away the one thing that mattered more to the Doctor than anything else- his Tardis.

The beauty of the Daleks plan was that all they had to do was sketch out in broad detail what needed to be done and let their coerced and co-opted human agents sweat over the details. Waterfield kidnapped the Doctor and his assistant Jamie and dragged them back to 1866. There the Daleks revealed themselves and demanded the Doctor perform a series of experiments to define the human factor. These experiments involved setting his assistant Jamie on a life-threatening obstacle course in which he would have to rescue Victoria Waterfield. On the way a Turkish wrestler, primitive mantraps and belligerent veterans of the Crimea, as well the Daleks themselves would oppose him. The resulting data from this bizarre series of experiments was fed into three positronic brains that the Doctor planted in the mutants of three dormant Daleks. The result was a success, in that the altered Daleks were humanised and became child-like and compassionate. However this was not the real intention behind all the scheming, as the Doctor soon found out.

The third and final twist of the Daleks plan involved trapping the Doctor on Skaro and forcing him to use his Tardis to help subdue humanity. His experiments on the human factor had revealed to the Daleks what the Dalek factor was. Rather than make Daleks into humans, the Doctor was to make humans into Daleks. In the process Dalek Factor was used on first Maxtible and then the Doctor himself. But although Maxtible was transformed into a human-Dalek, the Doctor having an alien psychology was able to overcome this brain washing. Pretending to be transformed the Doctor tricked the Daleks into introducing more of the human factor into their general population on Skaro. The result was massive civil war as the humanised Daleks fought with those loyal to the Emperor. The Dalek City was destroyed in the resultant conflagration.

For a brief period of time humanised Daleks and newly militarised Thals inhabited Skaro. The Thals buried their thousand-year hatred of the Daleks in exchange for technical information that helped them to develop interstellar flight for the first time in their history. However the brief period of calm was never going to last, as the humanised Daleks knew full well.
‘Frontier in Space/ Planet of the Daleks.’

During the Daleks experiments with sending survival capsules through the time vortex a number of off-world bases were established. One of these was on a not very promising planet inhabited by savage ape-like creatures known as Ogrons. Another was at a far more hopeful location, the ice-world of Spiridon, which easily fell to a small army of Daleks assisted by Ogron mercenaries.

Whilst one group of Daleks concentrated on the task of re-taking Skaro, another looked into the possibility of preparing an immense army of Daleks for one further go at Universal Domination.

Skaro was taken from the humanised Daleks in the late 25th Century. Most were exterminated, though a select few did escape in an old species survival capsule. These would later form a colony deep under the oceans of Kyrol, where they hid for hundreds of years.

The Thals hung onto the southern continents on Skaro, now more equipped than ever to face up to their old enemy. Only a small contingent of Daleks had arrived with their Ogron mercenaries, this suggested that their intentions were elsewhere. Thal intelligence soon discovered that the Daleks had taken Spiridon; a small expedition was dispensed to find out what the Daleks were up to.

After the Emperor’s destruction during the Dalek Civil War the Supreme Council of Daleks- consisting of section leaders from the surviving Dalek Outposts- now ran the Daleks. Signalling their rank through the more traditional Dalek means of Black and Gold colouration, these Dalek Supremes ruled the Empire more in the manner of a consortium. Discussion amongst Daleks was allowed under this ‘republican’ system, at least at the level of the Council itself. Thus they hoped to overcome the errors of the more fundamentally autocratic old order.

Under this system the Gold Section Leaders (as the new middle hierarchy were called) were allowed a great deal of freedom. One section continued to pursue chronological interventions- it was this group that re-invaded Earth in the 21st Century by manipulating the time lines to create a temporal paradox. (‘Day of the Daleks’).

However the main focus of the Supreme Council’s machinations were on the contemporary Galactic scene. During the last century or so the Terran Federation had been involved in a prolonged rivalry with its reptilian counterpart, the Draconian Empire. War had broken out between the two-sides already, ending in an uneasy truce along a vast interstellar frontier. The Daleks, more or less dismissed by both sides as a redundant force, watched these developments with interest.

Then in 2540 the renegade time-lord known as the Master turned up on Skaro. He was immediately arrested and brought before the Supreme Council for questioning. The Master assured the Daleks that he could be of great assistance to them in provoking a war between the humans and the Draconians. He had a device that manipulated brain waves, so that whomever it was directed at would see that which they most feared. So when he arranged for Ogron ships to start attacking vessels belonging to both sides, the humans saw Draconians and the Draconians saw humans. No side saw who was really to blame.

War was imminent between the two sides when the Doctor’s Tardis materialised on an Earth vessel. Both the Doctor and his assistant, Jo Grant, saw the vessel boarded by Ogrons. However when the Earth authorities arrived they did not believe this and accused them of being spies for the Draconians. Then the Master made an appearance, in the guise of the ‘Commissioner From Sirius 4’ and kidnapped Jo Grant. In the meantime the Doctor ended up on a penal colony on the moon. The Master busts him out and they all escape in a police ship; however this in turn is captured by the Draconians and taken to their home world. There the Doctor succeeds in convincing the Draconians that the attacks on their shipping are down to the Master and his schemes. However the Master is rescued by his Ogrons and takes Jo Grant with him to the Ogron Home World.

The Doctor follows with representatives of both the Terran and Draconian Empires. The Master also holds the Doctor’s Tardis, (a gambit familiar ‘The Evil of the Daleks’) as well as his assistant. When they reach the Ogron planet they discover that the real perpetrators of the plot are the Daleks, who aim to invade the Galaxy in the wake of an interstellar war. Once again they have the doctor in their power, however once more they fail to exterminate him. The Doctor manages to escape, although is injured by the Master in the process. He uses the Tardis’ telepathic circuits to contact the Time Lords and get them to direct his ship after the Dalek saucer.

Thus the Doctor arrived on Spiridon and came into contact with the group of Thals who had become stranded there after their space ship crashed. These Thals had arrived intending to stop the Daleks by any means necessary. However they soon found out that they’d bitten off more then they could chew when they find out an invasion force of 10,000 Daleks is being held in stasis deep underground. Working with the Thals the Doctor foils the Daleks plans again and again.

Back on Skaro a saucer carrying one of the Supreme Council is dispatched to Spiridon. Concerned that their ancient enemy was alive and working with the Thals again, the Dalek Supreme intended to supervise the activation of the Dalek Army personally. The Base Commander on Spiridon is exterminated for his failure to capture the Doctor and the command given to defrost the Daleks underground. However the Doctor manages to detonate explosive charges near the wall of the chamber, which causes the Daleks to be buried in millions of gallons of freezing ice water.

Returning to the surface the Doctor bids a fond farewell to the Thals. They remembered him from his (to them) earlier visit to Skaro during the Kaled/ Thal war. However the Doctor had yet to experience that visit yet and assumed (remarkably) that they were referring to his visit with Susan, Barbara and Ian.

The Thals steal the Dalek Saucer and return to Skaro. This turned out to be a fatal error on their part and for all the Thals who lived on Skaro. The Daleks quickly realised that one of the flagships of their fleet had been stolen by their old enemies and were quick to see this as an opportunity for more death and destruction. They activated the ships destruct mechanism just as it landed on the Southern Continent of Skaro. An immense fireball a thousand miles across devastated the Thal territories and irradiated the entire planet once more. Those that did survive faced the wrath of Dalek hover bout patrols, which scouted up and down the length of Skaro even as the fires still burned in the Thal homeland.

Destiny of the Daleks

Soon after this the Daleks themselves abandoned Skaro as the Draconian and Terran Empires united against them. They fled to one of the nearer Magellanic Clouds where they hoped to build a new empire a long way from the reach of their enemies. However they soon made new enemies, this time of a race of androids known as the Movellans.

Ever since their encounter with the Mechaniods the Daleks had been especially wary of contact with other cybernetic life forms. Their fears turned out to be well founded as the Movellans proved every bit as ruthless and determined as the Daleks themselves. Pretty soon, after the initial skirmishes were over and both sides had gained considerable data on each other, an impasse was reached. Both sides relied on deductive logic in order to plan their battles; this meant that as one side’s battle computer worked out a move the other side’s would work out a counter move. So for the most part the two mighty battle fleets hung poised in space, crunching numbers as they weighed up the options.

Realising that the problem lay with their reliance on deductive reasoning the Supreme Council debated the matter long and hard. At one point it was suggested that if the problem lay with their mechanical reasoning then maybe the results from the experiments with the human factor should be looked into once more. However, the Daleks remembered that this had led to a civil war that had nearly destroyed their empire once before; there had to be a better way. Searching through their computer archives they found had a humanoid creator, Davros, and there was a possibility that he could still be alive. Although a thousand years had passed since they had exterminated him the Daleks still considered it possible that he may have found a way to survive. Desperate as they were to end the stalemate with the Movellans it seemed that anything was worth a try. A task force was despatched to Skaro with orders to find Davros. The Movellans also sent a task force after them, to gather intelligence and thwart the Daleks efforts to uncover Davros.

In another one of those amazing coincidences the Doctor (in his 4th Incarnation) arrived on Skaro with his latest travelling companion, the Time Lord Romana. Unaware that he was once more on Skaro the Doctor and Romana started to explore the remains of an ancient city, which appeared to be in the process of being excavated. Separated from each other the Doctor ends up in the Movellan ship where he learns where he is once more on Skaro with his old enemies. He gradually realises what it is that the Daleks are up to and leads a party consisting of Movellans and escaped slave workers from the drilling to where Davros’ remains are hidden in the bunker.

The life support system in Davros’ chair had managed to keep him alive in a kind of stasis; he immediately found himself taken prisoner when the Doctor revives him from this sleep. The Daleks started executing prisoners in order to force the Doctor to hand Davros over. This he is forced to do, but he manages to escape by wiring up Davros chair with an explosive device.

The Doctor returns to the Movellan ship to find that Romana has been captured and that the Movellans plan to use a ‘nova device’ to burn off Skaro’s atmosphere. Disrupting the Movellans circuitry with a dog whistle the Doctor is able to free Romana and reprogram the Movellans. The slave-workers are freed and the Daleks attack with explosive devices strapped to their carapaces. However the Doctor saves the day (again) by capturing Davros and forcing him to set off the explosives early. All the Daleks are blown to bits and the freed slaves put Davros into cryogenic suspension, until he can be brought back to Earth for trial.


There is no doubt that this must have been a devastating blow to the Daleks, who were forced to continue their stalemate with the Movellans for another fifty years. The deadlock was broken in the end by the Movellans use of a virus to attack the organic component of the Dalek machines. This soon spread amongst the Dalek fleet and thousands died as a result. The Daleks retaliated by introducing their own virus- a computer one- into the Movellans’ system. This turned the Movellans it came into contact with insane and they turned on each other, destroying themselves entirely within a matter of weeks.

A small remnant of the Dalek fleet retreated to Skaro to consider their options. Barely a thousand Daleks had survived the war; those that had were often in a terrible state of repair. Not only that but hundreds of planets in the Magellanic Clouds were off limits because of the Movellan Virus. The surviving members of the Supreme Council met to debate their options.

If anything the Movellan War had left the Daleks more bitter and fanatical. As well as needing to find a cure for the Movellan virus they believed that the time had come to finally put paid to their oldest surviving enemy. Recent developments with their time-travel technology had improved their ability to travel to specific points in time without a receiver device to home in on. They had also learnt how to not only track the Doctor but also how to trap his Tardis in a time-corridor.

There was another aspect to the plan, one that involved the destruction not only of the Doctor but of his home world as well. The Daleks planned an assault on Gallifrey that would leave them as the undisputed masters of creation.

The Resurrection of the Daleks

Davros had been moved to a deep space holding facility after his trial on Earth in the late 28th Century. There he remained for ninety years in a state of suspended animation, conscious all the while of every painfully dull second. During this time he developed a healthy loathing of human beings and plotted their extermination endlessly. He also brooded over his prodigal sons- the Daleks- and what would be the best way forward for his creations. He had been deeply hurt when the First Dalek had refused to obey him, almost more hurt than when he subsequently exterminated him moments later. Whatever else happened Davros realised he would have to bring the Daleks more directly under his control; otherwise they would betray him again at a moments notice.

By now the Daleks were ready to proceed with their plan. They reluctantly decided that they needed Davros’ help to find a cure for the Movellan virus, therefore an assault squad was prepared to bust him out of jail. The Daleks had developed a way of duplicating humanoid life forms, which had helped them to rebuild their base on Skaro. Amongst these duplicates was a mercenary called Lytton who had some very interesting intelligence for the Daleks. He had been on board the space station where Davros was being held during his time freelancing for the Terran Empire. He knew that the place was run down and with poor defences and that fail-safe systems were crashing continuously. Only a small squadron of fighters was on standby- no match for a well-armed Dalek battle cruiser.

Meanwhile the Tardis, containing the Doctor (now in his 5th regeneration), Tegan and Turlough had been trapped in the time corridor. It emerged at one end of the corridor in some rundown London docklands in 1984. The Daleks had stored their specimens of the Movellan virus there for safekeeping. Although this may seem a little bizarre it may well be explained by their need to avoid the virus from escaping and wiping out what few Daleks were left alive. Storing something in another time zone many light years from home makes sense if that is the lowest risk option. Why the Daleks chose London in 1984 is another question, it seems that this was also where they hoped to begin their infiltration of human society with genetic duplicates.

The virus capsules had been uncovered by builders and reported to the army, as they were assumed to be unexploded ordinance of some kind. The Doctor bumped into the army squad sent to defuse these alleged bombs as well as a man called Stein, who had recently escaped from the Daleks.

Meanwhile at the other end of the time corridor-somewhere in the late 29th century- the space station was under assault by a combined force of Daleks and duplicate humans. Although initially repelled by explosive devices, the Daleks used a bio-weapon in the form of a toxic gas to storm the remaining airlock. The crew were all but wiped out in the attack and Lytton and his men pressed onto the detention cell to free Davros.

Davros had always known that his creations would come for him, sooner or later, although even he was shocked to discover the nature of their defeat at the hands of the Movellans. He agreed to help them, but made it clear from the beginning that it would be on his terms. He told Lytton that he needed to stay on the space station in case he should need to go into stasis again. The mercenary was not happy with this and remonstrated with the Supreme Dalek on the battle cruiser. The Supreme Dalek instructed Lytton to go along with Davros for now.

Davros was far too canny to trust his fate to his ruthless creations; he planned now to begin building an army loyal to him alone. During his brief period of time out of stasis on Skaro he had managed to secure a phial of Dalek nanobots. These tiny creatures were used by the Daleks to secure the compliance of their genetic duplicates- a logical development of the Dalek Factor. Davros had managed to keep the phial concealed within his chair and had later worked on them in secret during the course of his trial on Earth. He had hoped to use them in an escape bid by changing his guards into compliant slaves; however the opportunity never arose for him to be alone in a room with a suitably stupid guard. Now he went about creating those very conditions. He began by forcibly injecting one of the duplicates- Kiston- with the nanobots. Having successfully converted one slave, he gradually began to convert others. Next he tried an altered version of the nanobots on two Daleks, whom he requested for his experiments. The results were all to his liking.

Meanwhile the Supreme Dalek ordered Lytton to go along with Davros for now; they had other matters to attend to. The big one was the imminent capture of the Doctor and his companions, for they would be essential for the next step in the Daleks’ strategy.

Stein, who tricked the Time Lord into coming with him through the Daleks’ time-tunnel, captured the Doctor. Stein was outed as a duplicate and in a fit of spite the Daleks revealed their master plan to the Doctor. First they would drain him of his brain waves, for analysis by Davros and Dalek High Command. Then they would send duplicates of himself and his companions to Gallifrey, where at the Daleks’ signal they would assassinate the Time Lords Government.

However the Doctor managed to find a weak spot in Stein’s conditioning, some random memories of the Terran Constitution, which he used to good effect, levering Stein away from his allegiance to the Daleks. Having over-powered the guards and reunited with his companions and the only survivor from the space station, the Doctor returned to the Tardis. There he decided that he needed to make sure the Daleks would never again become a threat to the Galaxy. Once before he had the opportunity to destroy them at birth, he greatly regretted not having the boldness to do that back then. He would rectify that error now by eliminating Davros.

However the Doctor proved no more able to eliminate Davros then he had been able to destroy the Daleks in their infancy; his old enemy played for time as the Doctor stood poised over him ready to squeeze the trigger.

But other forces were looking to destroy Davros as well. The Supreme Dalek had been monitoring the Kaled scientist’s activities since they had revived him on the space station. Predictably Davros seemed more interested in finding ways of taking over the Daleks then in finding a cure for the Movellan Virus. The Supreme Dalek ordered Lytton to destroy the Daleks converted by Davros, although he did not trust Lytton any more then the Dalek creator. This particular duplicate had been demonstrating alarming evidence of independent thought lately and was obviously unreliable. The Supreme Dalek sent a detachment of Daleks down the time corridor to make sure that Lytton and his men died as well.

Frustrated by not being able to kill Davros, the Doctor returned to the Tardis, which he took back to 1984; there he found both factions of Daleks and Duplicates fighting it out in the abandoned warehouse. Using one of the capsules of Movellan virus he killed all of the surviving Daleks. In the confusion Lytton escaped, to take his chances in late 20th century Earth.

Meanwhile on the space station Davros was surprised when a Dalek execution squad crashed through into the laboratory. Before they are able to carry out sentence they too are destroyed by the Movellan virus that Davros managed to have brought to him. However there was one more irony left in store for Davros when the virus began to attack him as well. ‘I am not a Dalek!’ he exclaimed in fury as the virus began to devour his innards.

The final stroke of this disastrous operation was the turning of Stein, who despite his conditioning managed to make his way to the self-destruct chamber of the space station and initiate a core meltdown. The resulting explosion destroyed space station and battle cruiser as well.


With the loss of so many valuable resources in this latest debacle, the remaining Daleks were confined to Skaro for the next few decades. With no native population to enslave they relied increasingly on their duplicating technology. They also made advances on biomechanical link ups with sentient species; this enabled them to utilize the non-rational thought processes of other species in their battle computer simulations.  Also, during the time in which they had held the Doctor captive they had gained valuable information on the time lords. This was held in the Doctor’s brain wave patterns that had been backed up on the system logs recorded in the destroyed cruisers flight-log. (The so called ‘black sphere recorder’ as it was sometimes dubbed). This indicated that the Doctor had left a valuable Time Lord artefact on the planet Earth sometime in the late 20th Century.

However before they could act on this new intelligence, they received a call from somebody purporting to be an employee of the Tranquil Rest facility on the planet Necros.

Revelation of the Daleks

Davros it seemed had not died in the explosion that destroyed the cruiser and space station. He had escaped and had made his way to the planet Necros, where he worked under the guise of the ‘Great Healer’ at the Tranquil Repose centre. There the recently deceased were held in a state of cryogenic suspension, waiting for medical science to find a cure for their ailments. However, Davros was secretly building an army of Daleks using the genetic material of selected cadavers as the organic component within the shells.

When the Dalek Supreme Council heard of this there was a split in their ranks; one party wanted to blow up Necros straight away, so appalled were they by the prospect of abomination- Daleks who were not Daleks. Some members of the council were more pragmatic arguing that Davros should be captured alive and the new Daleks reprogrammed to serve the Supreme Dalek. At the end of the day it was the pragmatists who prevailed.

A snatch squad was assembled and despatched to Necros, where they encountered the Doctor in his sixth incarnation. Davros had lured him there with the intention of making him into a Dalek, a kind of perverse revenge for all the trouble he had caused him. Failing to recognize him, the Skaro Daleks detained Davros but foolishly failed to disarm the Doctor and his new allies. With the help of an explosive charge brought by the assassin Orcini the new Daleks are destroyed.  The Skaro Daleks returned with the ageing Kaled scientist to their mutual home world.

The Trial of Davros

For what happens next we must go outside the realm of the Daleks’ televised adventures into the world of speculation. Now the concept of a Dalek trial seems pretty strange when one considers that the nature of due process seems to pass them by most of the time. The notion of a trial suggests that in Davros’ case at least this wasn’t so and it would be fairly absurd to suggest this arose out of any sentimental attachment to their creator, as they’d already tried to kill him twice before. The most obvious explanation would be that they would need to satisfy themselves that Davros was of no further use to them before executing him. Possibly the divisions that I have suggested already existed in the Supreme Council were already well embedded by this time, with one side impatient to see Davros dead and the other wanting to see if their creator could restore the Daleks power.

As for Davros himself, it has to be remembered that he had spent his entire life plotting and conniving. Maybe he was able to persuade some of the council that whatever happened he should be allowed to continue with his work. What we do know is that at some point Davros was able to get his way and start on his modifications to the Dalek Genome. We know also that this in turn gave rise to a new race of Imperial Daleks and that as a result of this civil war broke out on Skaro.

The Second Dalek Civil War

Given the absolutist ideas embedded in both sides of their own innate superiority, it would be no surprise to find that no quarter would be spared or given. More than any other Dalek conflict, civil war would be a fight of total annihilation. Daleks did not have much tolerance for disagreement or ways of negotiating such a disagreement.

Davros’ Daleks were in essence an entirely different species, with alien DNA and cybernetic implants to augment the basic Dalek mutant. One could quite imagine the horror and loathing that arose in the original Daleks and the realisation that this war could quite easily lead to their extinction. Like a psychotic father figure their creator had arisen from the grave to murder his sons and usurp their succession.

Davros himself was also changing, his genetic structure breaking down rapidly. During his stay on Necros he had cloned himself a new body, but this cloned body was itself disintegrating and no further duplicates could be made viable. Ever since his encounter with the Movellan virus Davros had suspected that his long-suffering body was evolving into a more Dalek like creature. This would make sense, given that his experiments all those centuries before had revealed the same outcome.
Being a canny strategist he also saw that this could work to his advantage. His original Daleks had never been able to obey him because they saw him as different and therefore inferior to themselves. This time round he would be one of them, but would also be their unquestioned leader, first among Daleks.

Davros had a new travel machine designed and built to house the decaying remnants of his human form; he was now the second Emperor Dalek.

Remembrance of the Daleks

At the end of the civil war on Skaro a group of the original Daleks- now dubbed ‘renegades’ by the Imperial Daleks, escaped down a time-corridor to late 20th Century Earth. They had managed to track the Time-Lord artefact known as the ‘Hand of Omega’ to the year 1963 in central London. With this device the renegade Daleks planned to defeat their enemies and have for themselves the power of the Time-Lords.

Many centuries before the Doctor had left the ‘Hand of Omega’ on Earth for reasons which are not entirely clear, it seems unlikely that this had anything to do with the Daleks, as at this stage the Doctor was yet to meet them. However, several regenerations later he was to remember this action, and he must have also realised that the Daleks knew of it as well. However, he was obviously not aware of the events on Skaro, as he was surprised to find two groups of Daleks chasing after the ‘Hand of Omega’ at the same time. The ‘Hand’ was in fact a sophisticated device for engineering stars and had been used by Omega millennia before to create and capture a black hole so that the Time-Lords could master time and space.

The Imperial Daleks pursued their enemies down the time-corridor in a giant battle cruiser. Both sides employed human agents on Earth to help them, the Renegade Daleks using a human child to interact with their battle computer and give them that intuitive edge they normally lacked. However they were no match for the heavy weaponry that Davros’ Daleks deployed to destroy them.

The Doctor was quite happy to let the Imperial Daleks take the ‘Hand’ as he had laid a trap for them. In a final confrontation with Davros he tricked the ‘Emperor’ into using the device on Skaro’s sun. The result was a supernova that wiped out the entire Skaroian system and caused a feedback pulse that destroyed the Imperial Dalek battle cruiser in Earth orbit. Davros managed to escape before this conflagration, but where he would go from a low Earth orbit in the 20th Century is still a mystery.


The destruction of Skaro at this point presents a problem for Dalek historians. From what the Doctor says during the final stages of ‘Remembrance’ it would seem that this occurred somewhere in the 30th Century. Surely Skaro must have still been around in the 40th Century when the Dalek Master-Plan was due to take place? To this end they have argued that Skaro couldn’t have really been destroyed and have postulated various theories as to its continued existence. I disagree; the Daleks are conceived of as essentially a space-travelling species and had already abandoned their home world once before. Pockets of Daleks could survive almost anywhere, in environments where humanoid species would find it hard to get a foothold- remote moons, asteroid belts, in the upper atmosphere of gas giants. So it is perfectly feasible that the Daleks would have survived and would have gone on to pose a threat long into the future.

Article © 2005 Andrew Panero/Visagraph Films International.