The Dalek City (TV: The Daleks), City of the Daleks, (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks) Kalaann, (PROSE: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) or Mensvat Esc-Dalek in the language of its inhabitants, (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks) was the main home of the Daleks on Skaro, (TV: The Daleks) though they likely came to possess other colonies on the planet. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth, AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
At the time of the Thal-Dalek battle, the Dalek City was composed of sections including 1, 2, 3, 11 and 15 and levels including 1, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 13. For surveillance purposes, rangerscopes, laser scopes, vibrascopes and videoscopes were used. (TV: The Daleks; AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
Though some accounts dated the Dalek City to before the Thousand Year War, (TV: The Daleks) another held that shortly after their creation from the ashes of their humanoid forefeathers, the Dalek mutants spent two months rebuilding a city for themselves (COMIC: Power Play) in the Plain of Swords, or Vekis Nar-Kangji in the Dalek language. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks) To conceal the city from potential threats, the metallic sands of the desert surrounding it were magnetised, allowing the Daleks to pull the sand over their city within minutes, hiding it beneath an immense dune. (COMIC: Power Play)
Human historians, who largely discounted the history of the Humanoid Daleks, believed that the Dalek City, named as Kalaann, had been built in the immediate aftermath of the Thousand Year War. As the city became a target for what remained of the Thals, the Daleks detonated a neutron bomb, only for its radioactive fallout to trap them in their city for over five centuries. The name "Kalaann" was (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) very similar to Kaalann, which one account dubbed the capital city of Skaro. (GAME: City of the Daleks)
According to Bernice Summerfield, the city had grown out of the ruins of the Kaled bunker, though she was reluctant to call it a city, noting that the lack of social architecture made it more comparable to a factory than a city. (AUDIO: The Lights of Skaro) The Time Lords believed that the Dalek City had originally been the Kaled City. With the city having survived the Thousand Year War relatively intact, the Time Lord records read that the Daleks had simply claimed their ancestral home. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) The First Doctor theorised that the city had originally been a large fallout shelter that had ballooned in size over the centuries since the neutronic war. (TV: The Daleks; AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
The Daleks beneath
At the time of the First Doctor's visit to Skaro, the Daleks lived not in the city itself, but rather below it where they thought they were shielded from radiation. (TV: The Daleks) Beneath the city, on a level that appeared on no blueprints, lay the incubation level, where new Daleks were grown in aqueous solution drawn from the Lake of Mutations. In the event of a hostile incursion, autonomic protocols would seal off this level, holding the embryos in a state of suspended animation. Also on this level resided the ruling Dalek Supreme who ruled from a large nutrient tank and monitored activity via the videoscopes. Having plans to spread out across Skaro but still dependent on their casings, the Daleks carved out a network of tunnels beneath the planet's surface leading out from the incubation level to reach other parts of Skaro. One such tunnel ran to the nearby petrified jungle. (AUDIO: Return to Skaro) By another account however, the City's ruler at the time was the Glass Dalek.
Beneath their city, based from the Master Room, (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks) the Daleks monitored the drop in radiation outside and made plans to leave their casings and venture outside once more when the radiation had dropped to a safer level. The entire city ran on static electricity transmitted through metal floors, which the Daleks of this era of Skaro history required to power their casings. As a consequence of this dependence, the Daleks were unable to leave their city. They were unaware that a group of Thals had also survived the neutronic war. (TV: The Daleks) One historical account speculated that this had come about when the Daleks deemed inductive static power, despite its limitations, to be a more efficient means of power distribution than the one Davros had designed. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)
When the First Doctor first arrived on Skaro, he and his companions discovered the city during their explorations of the petrified jungle. Wanting to explore the city, the Doctor bluffed that fluid link K7 had run dry and claimed that they would need to investigate the city for mercury. As the quartet explored, they were found by the Daleks and imprisoned. Believing them to be Thals, the Daleks demanded the anti-radiation drug, sending Susan Foreman out to collect a sample that Alydon had left for the travellers. When Susan collected the drug, she spoke to the Thal who informed her that his people would soon be coming to the area in search of new food sources. Confident that she could convince the Daleks to render aid, Susan promised to help.
After consuming the drug, the travellers managed to overpower a Dalek and escape their cell, having Ian Chesterton operate the casing to flee to the city's upper levels where they saw the Thals being lured into a trap. After warning the Thals, save their leader Temmosus, the travellers fled with the Thals back to the jungle only to realise that they had left the fluid link in the city. Ian Chesterton convinced the Thals that the Daleks might still attack them and the need to mount an assault on the Dalek City.
With Barbara Wright, Ian led a party to infiltrate the city from the rear while the Doctor and Susan were recaptured by the Daleks and chained in the Master Room from which the Daleks intended to flood further radiation into the atmosphere. Alydon led another party to rescue them, joining with Ian and Barbara's. In what would become known as the Thal-Dalek battle, the Thals overpowered the Daleks in the Master Room and dealt a critical blow to the City's main power source, disabling it and all the Daleks. (TV: The Daleks)
When Ace attempted to use an omega device to time lock Skaro, she wound up fracturing the planet's timeline, trapping herself in the Dalek City not long after the Thal-Dalek battle. When Bernice Summerfield found herself in the city, she encountered several temporal ghosts of the Daleks who had fought in the battle before the alterations to time resulted in those who had become trapped with her restoring power to the city and eventually reactivating a Dalek. The lone Dalek attempted to continue the plan to further irradiate the atmosphere only for Bernice and the Seventh Doctor to summon its future self to it. Horrified that its future counterpart had abandoned the goal of leaving its casing, the two versions of the Dalek opened fire on each other, restoring the natural flow of time on Skaro and leaving the city dead once again. (AUDIO: The Lights of Skaro)
After the Daleks were defeated in the early Thal-Dalek War, the Thals briefly moved into the city, spurred on by the Doctor to study and appropriate Dalek technology; (TV: The Daleks) a few generations later, a Thal City had been constructed, with the Dalek City empty but for the occasional Thal scientific team coming to salvage more of the Daleks' technological secrets. It was on one such excursion that the Thal scientist Tryana discovered the Dalek Supreme, held in suspended animation by autonomic protocols, who manipulated her into returning power to the City. Though claiming to Tryana that only two of the next generation of Daleks had been activated, the Supreme covertly activated more units and had them extend the tunnel to reach the Thal City.
After the Doctor and his companions returned to Skaro thanks to the fast return switch — fifty cycles after their original trip from their subjective perspective — Susan Foreman was convinced by the enterprising Thal boy Jyden to sneak into the City. Exploring, the two, along with the search party that sought them out, found their way to the incubation level where they met the Supreme. After sending a pair of false emissaries to the Thal City, the Daleks revealed their renewed intention to destroy all Thals, the only way they could fathom of achieving peace, only to be forced to retreat back to their City by the Doctor.
This led Ian Chesterton to seemingly destroy the Dalek City once and for all, and its inhabitants with them, by overloading their power systems rather than cutting them off, causing a huge explosion. The Thals, however, now understood how persistent the threat of the Daleks was, and knew deep down that they would return once more. (AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
Early days of the Dalek Empire
Performing hypnosis, the Master showed Victoria Waterfield the Dalek City on Skaro during the period before the Daleks had first left the planet, offering her a chance to destroy them with the Darkheart. (PROSE: The Dark Path) Before the Daleks turned to interstellar war, the Dalek City existed for centuries as a storehouse of "wonderful inventions". (COMIC: The Message of Mystery)
Shortly after the first Dalek Fleet had left Skaro, a breakaway faction known as the Exterminator Daleks proposed abandoning the idea of space expansion until the Thals had been properly wiped out. The Exterminator, ruled by an emperor of their own, took control of the Dalek City until a Thal commando managed to infiltrate the city and exterminate them. (PROSE: The Dalek Problem)
In the aftermath of the rust plague, (COMIC: Plague of Death) the Dalek City was destroyed by the Monstrons and their robotic Engibrains during their brief conquest of the planet Skaro. However, the Monstrons had failed to destroy the Daleks themselves, only trapping them underground; they managed to free themselves whilst another Dalek, taken prisoner by the Monstrons at an earlier stage of invasion, sacrificed itself to set off a volcano and exterminate the Monstrons with it. The Daleks then set about rebuilding their city. (COMIC: The Menace of the Monstrons) Reconstruction was complete ahead of the cold war between the Daleks and the Mechonoids. (COMIC: Eve of War)
During the 25th century Dalek invasion, Earth agent Jeff Stone managed to infiltrate the Dalek City, bringing a great wealth of information of Dalek culture, society and biology back to Earth. (COMIC: City of the Daleks)
The Great Civil War and aftermath
During the war between the Humanised Daleks and the Daleks ruled by the Emperor Dalek, the Second Doctor, having visited the Dalek City before, knew how to navigate its winding corridors. Fighting between the two groups of Daleks devastated the city, ending the Great War. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks, PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks, COMIC: Children of the Revolution)
After the Civil War, the Daleks rebuilt the Dalek City and introduced a new command structure involving Gold Daleks which outranked the Black Daleks. (TV: Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, PROSE: Day of the Daleks)
Under the Dalek Prime
Following the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, the Dalek Prime controlled the Dalek city and it had a spaceport. The city contained a war room where the Daleks could monitor their numerous battle fronts while elsewhere on Skaro there were industrial facilities for their war machine. A brief but destructive war broke out in the city following Davros's staged trial, between the Daleks loyal to the Dalek Prime and those who found Davros a worthier leader for the Dalek nation. As anticipated by the Dalek Prime, who had allowed the conflict to break out to root out Daleks of wavering loyalty, his side won, though Davros somehow survived the ordeal. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
The Restoration Empire
By another account, the Imperial Daleks had been the victors of the Civil War, a former Supreme Dalek crowning itself as the new Emperor, with the Dalek City becoming the capital of the Restoration Empire. (PROSE: The Restoration Empire)
Following several temporal fluctuations (PROSE: The Guide to the Dark Times) caused when the Tenth Doctor poisoned the Kotturuh in the Dark Times, (PROSE: The Knight, The Fool and The Dead) the City was attacked by the Entity after it pursued the Daleks from Islos. With the Daleks' defences failing, the Emperor was forced to order an evacuation of Skaro, including the City. (WC: The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy)
After defeating the Entity by allying with the Mechonoids, (WC: The Deadly Ally) the Daleks were chased back to their city by the Mechonoids. Having appeared weaker than they were, the Daleks lured the Mechonoids into a trap, leading to the Mechanoid-Dalek battle in the city's main courtyard. The fighting came to a halt when the Dalek Prime Strategist used a beam projector to teleport the Mechonoids to the Entity's dimension. As the Daleks began repairing their city, the Entity spoke to them one last time to taunt them of a coming threat. (WC: Day of Reckoning)
When the new threat, the Hond, attacked the Daleks, the City had been rebuilt. After being recruited for his aid, the Tenth Doctor was shown around, being led into the Vault of Obscenities by the Prime Strategist. By analysing a Hond scout who had breached the city, the Doctor reconfigured the Daleks' weapons to free the Hond from the pain that they had suffered from all their lives, ending their crusade. With the help of the Thirteenth Doctor, the Tenth Doctor was able to escape the City before he was exterminated. (COMIC: Defender of the Daleks)
The Last Great Time War
The City still served as the Daleks' main base during the Last Great Time War; after the Cult of Skaro was formed by the Dalek Emperor, they headed to the secret Strategy Chambers of the Cult of Skaro, a special area of the city secluded from the roaming grounds of other Daleks. (PROSE: Birth of a Legend)
Beyond the Time War
Though the Cult of Skaro originally believed their entire planet was "gone… destroyed in a great war", (TV: Daleks in Manhattan) the planet was later "brought back" by the New Dalek Paradigm, (GAME: City of the Daleks, TV: Asylum of the Daleks) and the Dalek City with it. It had been fully restored to its former glory when a dying Davros returned there to finish his life "with his children", (TV: The Magician's Apprentice) before hatching a plan to extend his life and strengthen all the Daleks on Skaro using regeneration energy stolen from Twelfth Doctor. Davros had brought with him Colony Sarff, a gestalt entity composed of sentient snake-like beings, whom he named "head of security" for the City whilst he resided there. The Dalek City's sewers were, by this point, fairly full with the resentful elderly Daleks too decayed to steer their casings anymore and who had been dumped there by the newer generation. (TV: The Witch's Familiar)
Davros's scheme to steal regeneration energy from the overly compassionate Time Lord had been anticipated by the Twelfth Doctor, who let him go through with the theft. This was due to a fault in Davros's plan which the Kaled scientist had failed to anticipate: channelling regeneration energy into "every Dalek on Skaro" meant that the rotting Daleks in the sewers would also be rejuvenated. The millions of rabid, insane Dalek mutants soon tore up through the floors of the Dalek City, hungry for vengeance on the newer generations, and destroyed them alongside the City. (TV: The Witch's Familiar) However, many historians believed that the City would be swiftly rebuilt, as it had been before. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) Indeed, when Missy sent a postcard to the Doctor from Skaro, she included a picture of herself in front of the City. (PROSE: Postcards from the Universe)
At the time of the Thal-Dalek battle, the Daleks in the city all inhabited uniform silver and blue Dalek War Machine casings, save for the pure black Dalek Supreme. New Dalek embryos were grown in the incubation level. (TV: The Daleks; AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
During the era of the Great War, the city was ruled by the Dalek Prime, inhabited by Silver Daleks who were commanded by the Emperor's Personal Guard. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) A Red Dalek also lived in the city, acting as an emissary. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
Following the Last Great Time War, the Daleks of the Dalek City came in multiple casings from across Dalek history. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar) Among them were numerous bronze Daleks, (TV: Dalek et al.) their contemporary Black Dalek, (TV: Army of Ghosts et al.) a Renegade Dalek and an Imperial Special Weapons Dalek. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) They were led by a red Supreme Dalek, identical to the late leader of the New Dalek Empire. (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End) Also present were a minority of silver Daleks, two War Machine Daleks, a contemporary Elite Guard Dalek, and a slatted silver Dalek. They were distinguished from earlier silver Daleks by their light blue middle sections and flashing blue eye lens. Another oddity was a mostly silver Dalek with a Time War-era base unit. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar)
Behind the scenes
Although Mensvat Esc-Dalek and Kalaann, remains the only other name given to the Dalek City in sources which this Wiki chooses to deem valid, it is not the only name ever proposed for the city: The Dalek Handbook states that the city was named "Kaalann", a name used for the Dalek City featured in the video game City of the Daleks. Nevertheless, and although dialogue in that game suggests that this city is indeed the same as the original Dalek City (the Eleventh Doctor says of Kaalann, "last time I saw it, it was in ruins and the Daleks had fled"), the link is not formally established. As Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth and Return to Skaro raise the possibility of other Dalek settlements on Skaro, Kaalann itself could also be one of these alternative settlements.
The seemingly-empty and decaying Dalek City was featured as one of the settings in the animated webcast prequel to Return to Skaro, A return to Skaro for the First Doctor..., which is not currently considered a valid source for in-universe pages by this Wiki due to having been labeled a trailer.