Monday, 19 February 2018

D is for... Daleks (Part 2)

The Doctor had thought that he had seen the final end of the Daleks, after witnessing the civil war which destroyed their city on Skaro. He was mistaken. During his exile on Earth in the late 20th Century, whilst working for UNIT, he was called in to investigate ghostly happenings at the country home of Sir Reginald Styles. The diplomat had claimed to have been attacked by a man who vanished into thin air. The Doctor and Jo Grant spent a night at the house and discovered that the attackers were guerrillas who had travelled back in time from the 22nd Century to assassinate Styles. Jo was accidentally thrown forward through time when she operated one of their time machines, forcing the Doctor to follow. He found himself on an Earth that had been re-invaded by the Daleks. They had used time travel to undo the defeat he had inflicted on them in his first incarnation. Only a handful of Daleks were on the planet, led by the Gold Dalek. Their law was enforced by human servants as well as the brutish alien Ogrons.

The Doctor was captured and subjected to a mind analysis machine to confirm his identity, as he was not known to the Daleks in this incarnation. The Daleks in this alternate timeline had no plans to mine out the magnetic core of the planet. They were merely using slave workers to harvest minerals. The Doctor was rescued by guerrilla fighters and from them he learned how this invasion had taken place. A war had broken out after Sir Reginald had apparently gone mad and destroyed a peace conference, and the Daleks had taken advantage of the planet's weakened state. The Doctor realised that it was not the diplomat who had blown up the conference, but the guerrillas themselves - one of them having been left behind in the 20th Century determined to carry out his assassination mission. The Doctor and Jo returned to their own time to stop him, but the Daleks decided to follow, so that their new timeline could be preserved. They burst into the house, but the Doctor had already evacuated the conference delegates. The guerrilla, Shura, detonated his bomb and blew up the Daleks. Seeing what would happen if they failed to agree peace, the delegates worked to ensure that the Dalek timeline never took place.

Some time later, after his exile had been lifted, the Doctor and Jo arrived on a space freighter in the year 2540. This came under attack by a raiding party of Ogrons. The human crew of the ship saw their attackers as Draconians, however. Earth and Draconia had fought a bitter war some years before, and both races now maintained a fragile peace along their shared frontier. Recently vessels from each side had come under attack - humans being raided by Draconians, and Draconians being raided by Earthmen. The Doctor realised that some third party was attempting to provoke a new war between the empires, using the Ogrons. The culprit was the Master, utilising a hypnotic device which made people see what they feared most. He had a base on the Ogron's home planet. When the Doctor visited this, along with the Draconian Crown Prince and the head of Earth's armed forces, he found that the Master was really working for the Daleks, led once again by the Gold Dalek. The Daleks planned to push the two empires into war with each other, weakening both. They had a vast army hidden elsewhere which would then move in to conquer both empires. After exposing this scheme, the Doctor called upon the Time Lords to guide the TARDIS to where the Dalek army was waiting.

The Daleks had a base on the jungle planet of Spiridon. The Doctor and Jo found that a party of Thals was present. Inspired by the indigenous race, the Daleks were experimenting with making themselves invisible, and the Thals were intent on stopping these experiments. The invisibility worked only up to a point, as the Dalek test subjects developed a sickness and died. The planet had a core of molten ice, and this had been utilised to freeze a vast army of Daleks in an underground chamber - the army which would be reactivated to take over Earth and Draconian space. A Dalek patrol shot the Doctor in the legs, disabling him temporarily. In the cells, he used his sonic screwdriver and a tape recording machine to fashion a device which would disable the Dalek guard. Whilst controlled lowering of the temperature could put the Daleks into suspended animation, rapid freezing was lethal to them. A couple of Daleks were pushed into pools of freezing ice and this killed them.

One of these casings was used by the Thal Rebec to help the Doctor's group break back into the Dalek command centre. Their plan was to use a bomb to break open a fissure that would flood the chamber where the army was stored. The Daleks decided to employ a bacterial agent to wipe out all life on the planet's surface, save for themselves and their Spiridon slaves who would be immunised against it. A friendly Spiridon named Wester sacrificed himself to expose the bacteria in the Dalek lab before immunisation could take place. The Dalek Supreme Council sent one of its members to the planet to oversee the reanimation of the army. It exterminated the base commander for its failure to capture or kill the Doctor and the Thals. The Doctor's plan worked, and the chamber was flooded with liquid ice. The base had to be abandoned, and the Thals stole the Supreme's spaceship to get back home to Skaro.

A terrible space plague began to spread across the galaxy. The only known cure was derived from the mineral parrinium, which could only be found in substantial quantities on the planet Exxilon. A Marine Space Corps vessel from Earth landed there, only to find itself disabled by a power drain. The same thing happened to the TARDIS when it arrived. There was a city on the planet which had an energy draining beacon - a remnant of a once great space-faring civilisation which had now degenerated into barbarism. A Dalek ship then landed - and it was also affected by the energy drain. They claimed that the space plague was also affecting their colonies. The Daleks found that their weapons were useless. Their other systems operated as they used psychokinetic power. The Daleks were forced into an uneasy alliance with the MSC crew and the Exxilon natives to mine the parrinium. However, the Daleks substituted their energy weapons for mechanical projectile firing ones, enabling them to take over. For target practice, the Daleks employed small models of the TARDIS, such was the impact the Doctor had had on them over the years.

These Daleks had distinctive silver and black casings, and their commander did not have any distinguishing features to denote rank. The Daleks sent two of the marines to blow up the beacon, whilst others pursued the Doctor, who had broken into the city to sabotage it from within. They planned to load sacks of the mineral onto their ship and take off once the beacon had been destroyed. From space they would then fire a plague missile onto the surface, making it impossible for anyone else to land and get a supply for themselves. The Daleks would then be able to blackmail infected worlds into submission. The beacon was blown up, but one of the marines - a man named Galloway - stowed away on board their ship when it took off, armed with one of their bombs. The ship was destroyed before the Daleks could launch their missile. Sarah Jane Smith and one of the marines had already substituted the mineral for bags of sand.

The Daleks later embarked on a long war against the robotic Movellans. Each side had programmed their battle computers to the point of stalemate. To break the logical impasse the Daleks decided to return to Skaro, which they had long abandoned, in order to seek out their creator - Davros. He had not been exterminated by them, but had managed to put himself into a protective stasis. The Movellans sent a unit to the planet to abduct Davros - to prevent the Daleks from getting him and to make use of him themselves. Romana was captured by the Daleks and forced to join one of their slave labour squads, which were mining their way down to the level of their old city where Davros' body had been left. The Doctor recalled a shaft that would get them to the level first. Davros was reanimated but taken captive by the Doctor and the Movellans. They were unable to get him out of the city, however, and when the Daleks began executing prisoners the Doctor was forced to leave him behind.

The Daleks provided Davros with information about developments which had taken place whilst he was in hibernation. The Doctor realised that the Movellans were as much a threat as the Daleks, and had to fight against both. He put an army together from the freed slave workers, to attack and seize control of the Movellan spaceship. Davros decided to blow this up, ordering the Daleks to surround its hull with bombs attached to their casings in a suicide mission. The Doctor forced Davros to detonate the explosives prematurely - destroying all of the Daleks. Davros was then taken away in a cryogenic chamber by the slaves in the captured Movellan ship - to stand trial for his crimes against all sentient races.

When all of the first five incarnations of the Doctor were attacked by a time scoop, to be deposited in the middle of the Death Zone on Gallifrey, the First Doctor was reunited with his granddaughter Susan in a strange metallic labyrinth. Here they encountered a lone Dalek. The Time Lords of the old times had staged war games in the Zone, but the Daleks had never been used as they fought too well. This specimen had been brought here by President Borusa as part of his scheme to gain immortality. The Doctor and Susan lured the Dalek into a cul-de-sac where it was destroyed by the ricochets from its own weapon.

In their war against the Movellans, the tide turned in favour of the robot race as they developed a virus which attacked the Daleks' systems. Decades had passed since Davros had been reanimated on Skaro, and he was now held captive on a space station, frozen into immobility. The Dalek Supreme employed an army of mercenaries led by Commander Lytton to attack the station and free their creator, so that he could help them find a defence against the virus. Lytton employed replicants - clones who had been imprinted with some of the memories and the personality of their originals, but who were conditioned to obey him and the Daleks. Some cannisters of the virus were hidden on present day Earth, in an old warehouse by the Thames in London. The Doctor became involved after the TARDIS encountered a time tunnel linking the warehouse with the Dalek spaceship in the future.

The Supreme intended to capture the Doctor and his companions in order to create replicants of them. These would be sent to Gallifrey to assassinate the High Council of the Time Lords. The replicants were unstable however, their old personalities sometime breaking through. The Supreme did not trust Davros - and the feeling was mutual. The Kaled scientist feared that he would be killed once his usefulness was over, and so he began to modify some of the Daleks to obey him. The Supreme found out and sent a squad to exterminate him, but Davros released some of the virus into the space station. Unfortunately, the virus affected his life support systems as well. The Doctor used the virus to attack the Daleks who had been sent to the warehouse, and the Dalek spaceship was blown up when a replicant named Stien activated the station's self-destruct mechanism after his conditioning had broken down. Other replicants had already been left on Earth to undermine the planet, but the Doctor was sure that they would also be unstable and would be quickly found out.

Davros had managed to survive the Movellan virus and had escaped from the Dalek ship in an escape pod. He found himself on the planet Necros, where he infiltrated the Tranquil Repose funeral complex to begin experiments to create a whole new race of Daleks which were loyal only to him. These had a white and gold livery. Previously, Daleks had employed transolar disc platforms in order to fly, but Davros' new race of Daleks could now levitate on their own. For genetic material, he used the bodies stored in the complex. These new creations were mentally conditioned whilst held in glass Dalek casings.

Davros lured the Doctor to Necros in order to get his revenge on him. Two of the complex's personnel, Takis and Lilt, were unhappy at what Davros was doing and so secretly contacted Skaro to reveal the scientist's whereabouts. A squad was despatched by the Supreme to capture him and bring him back to his homeworld to stand trial for crimes against his own creations. Davros was seized and taken to the Dalek ship, which took off just before the assassin Orcini used a bomb to blow up Tranquil Repose - destroying the new race of Daleks.

Once on Skaro, however, Davros managed to turn the tables on the Supreme. He took over, once again creating a whole new army of Daleks with their white / gold livery. The Supreme and his supporters were forced to go on the run as rebels. Davros wished for his creations to have the same mastery over time travel as the Time Lords, and to this end he travelled to Earth in the 1960's to search for the Hand of Omega. This stellar manipulator device had been used by the early Gallifreyans to power their time travel experiments, and it had been removed by the Doctor and hidden in the London of 1963. Davros had made himself Emperor of the Daleks, the remains of his body now enveloped in a domed casing. The Supreme and its faction also travelled to Earth to take possession of the device.

The Supreme allied itself with a local fascist organisation, and enslaved a young girl to their battle computer - psychically linked to itself. The Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation, had planned for the Daleks to get hold of the Hand, as he hoped that they would use it prematurely and destroy themselves. He had not reckoned on two rival Dalek factions arriving to battle for it. The Imperial Daleks were victorious, partly due to their deployment of the powerful Special Weapons Dalek, which had fearsome firepower. The grey rebel Daleks were destroyed. The Doctor then goaded Davros into activating the Hand. It flew back to Skaro, where it turned the sun supernova - wiping out the entire solar system. The Hand then returned to the Dalek command ship - destroying it as well, though Davros was able to flee yet again in an escape pod. The Supreme was left as the last survivor of its race, and the Doctor talked it into self-destructing.
At some undetermined point the Daleks colluded with the Master to enable him to steal the Doctor's body for himself. A trial and execution were staged on a reconstructed Skaro, and the Doctor was given safe passage to come and remove his old adversary's remains to take them back to Gallifrey.

Appearances (Part 2): Day of the Daleks (1972), Frontier in Space (1973), Planet of the Daleks (1973), Death to the Daleks (1974), Destiny of the Daleks (1979), Resurrection of the Daleks (1984), Revelation of the Daleks (1985), Remembrance of the Daleks (1988).
Cameos: The Five Doctors (1983), Doctor Who - The Movie (1996).

  • There are two schools of thought regarding when the Davros stories take place in terms of the Dalek timeline. Some believe that they take place after all of the Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee stories - which is why he is never mentioned. The other school of thought is that the Doctor changes things when he is sent to Skaro by the Time Lords in Genesis of the Daleks. The infighting Davros engenders means that the Daleks never get round to forming their great space empire, and also that their emergence into the universe is put back by 1000 years - so the old timeline never happens.

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