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The Dalek War Machine was the name given to the weapon (and what would become the first variant of Dalek drone armour) created by scientist Yarvelling of the original Dalek race to aid in their war with the Thals. After the explosion of a neutron bomb destroyed both sides' civilisations, the Dalek mutants retreated into the casings of the machines. After the last of the original race, Yarvelling and Zolfian, had both perished (COMIC: Genesis of Evil) the name Dalek Machine to refer to the species remained for a time (COMIC: Power Play) before simply Dalek became the commonly used term. (TV: The Daleks, COMIC: Duel of the Daleks et al.) The average Dalek War Machine was about five feet in height. (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks)

Eventually, as their technology improved, the Daleks modified their design beyond the Dalek War Machine created by Yarvelling such as the addition of slats to their weapons platform. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity, The Emissaries of Jevo et al.) These new and improved Silver Daleks (PROSE: Mission to the Unknown) more closely resembled the Mark III Travel Machines supposedly created by the Kaled scientist Davros (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) but which the Daleks knew to have actually been based on designs stolen from other scientists from whom Davros stole the credit. (PROSE: War of the Daleks) Indeed, at later points still, grey Dalek casings identical to Davros's creations became the most common type of casing used by Dalek drones. (TV: Frontier in Space, Destiny of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, etc.)

Hierarchy Edit

Initially the only type of Dalek casings, the War Machines as created by Yarvelling were soon established as the casing of the basic Dalek. As new Daleks were made, the originals became subordinate to the Golden Emperor, (COMIC: Genesis of Evil) Black Daleks, (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) and Red Daleks. (COMIC: Eve of War)

A typical job on Skaro for these Daleks would be a worker in the inventions factories. For example, the scientist Zeg (who notably had a name) originally had a standard Dalek War Machine for a casing, although he later improved it by turning its material into metalert. This made it effectively invincible as well as coloring it bright red.

Two Daleks of this type that had been biologically modified challenged the Emperor for the position: Zeg (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) and the One in a Million Dalek. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity) Both failed with both also being destroyed for their treachery.

History Edit

The first Dalek War Machines Edit

First Dalek Emporer 1

The first Dalek reveals itself to the last of the humanoid race. (COMIC: Genesis of Evil)

The first Dalek War Machine was presented by Yarvelling to minister Zolfian at a War Council meeting. The latter ordered mass production of the machines, believing them to be the perfect weapon to destroy any surviving Thals after the explosion of their neutron bomb. As the bombs were accidentally exploded prematurely, the Humanoid Dalek race mutated from the radiation and were forced into the casings of the War Machines as protection.

After two years, Yarvelling and Zolfian emerged from their bunker and discovered what their race had become. They rebuilt the war factory but both perished before they could make more machines to shield themselves from the radiation. After they died, the first Machine Dalek declared himself Emperor. (COMIC: Genesis of Evil)

Their first act under the new Emperor was to build the Dalek City and they achieved this feat in two months. As a safety precaution, the Daleks also magnetised the metallic sand surrounding the city, allowing them to pull it towards the city at will, covering it in a large dune that concealed it from unwanted visitors. (COMIC: Power Play)

Early days of the War Machine Daleks Edit

Shortly after these events, the planet was visited by a Krattorian spacecraft piloted by the slave-trader Kest. As Kest was here to mine the metallic sand, he soon uncovered the Dalek City, and the Daleks decided to take advantage of this to steal the secrets of space travel from him. Though the ship managed to escape Skaro, the Daleks were undeterred, and, in possession of its schematics, set about crafting spaceships of their own. (COMIC: Power Play)

A worker in the inventions factory, Zeg, discovered a stronger Dalekanium alloy called Metalert that would aid in their interplanetary travel. An Oquolloquox directly struck Zeg and he absorbed the sunlight and the Metalert which meant he was now resistant to immense heats and could feel some level of emotion. He challenged the Emperor and managed to survive acid, mercury and the gunstick of the feared Black Dalek but the extreme cold of liquid oxygen crushed him. (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks)


A Dalek guarding prisoners Susan, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and the Doctor inside the Dalek City. (TV: The Daleks)

When the Doctor first encountered them, the Daleks were stranded in their city on Skaro, as their casings were powered by static electricity channeled by the metal floors of the City, preventing them from leaving it. They eventually found that the Thals had also survived what was known as the neutronic war. After discovering that they had become dependent on the background radiation to the point of the anti-radiation meds Susan Foreman gave them being lethal to them, the Daleks attempted to vent radiation from their nuclear reactors into the atmosphere which would have left them as the only living species on Skaro. The First Doctor and his companions led a Thal assault and deactivated their power, believing that he had wiped out the Daleks altogether in the process (the necessity of which crime he lamented, though he saw no other way). (TV: The Daleks)

The Doctor later theorised that they were able to return because the Daleks had other colonies on Skaro, which they did indeed, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth) although he had also temporarily believed the Daleks he encountered on 22nd century Earth were from a point in history prior to the supposed destruction of the City's Daleks. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) According to another account, the very Daleks who had faced the Doctor actually survived, and, having learned of the existence of life on other planets from the visitor, they vowed to conquer the universe and master time travel in order to regain their power. (AUDIO: The Lights of Skaro)

At a point where they had regained the ability to move freely outside their City, but still had not set out into space, the Daleks received a mysterious transmission which they feared might be a declaration of war. Shortly thereafter, Susan, having borrowed the Doctor's TARDIS happened to instead land in the petrified jungle on Skaro. Thinking she might be responsible for the message, or, at any rate, be able to decode it for them, the Daleks took Susan prisoner and brought her back to the City. As she stalled for time and food by decoding the message very slowly, one of the Daleks grew uncharacteristically fond of her, and even the others came to have a measure of respect for her.

Eventually, Susan realised the meaning of this message which had the Daleks so terrified: "peace and goodwill for all". She burst out laughing, startling and even terrifying many of the Daleks, who had never heard laughter in their lives. In the confusion, Susan took her chance to run off back to the TARDIS, and, despite the pleas of the lone Dalek she had befriended, she fled Skaro. The Daleks remained on a war footing for a while before finding the translation Susan had left behind and realising their error. (COMIC: The Message of Mystery)

Use in conquest of the universe Edit

War Machines were used to test out the Dalek Empire's first attempts at spacecraft which was eventually perfected in the Proto 13 design. These Daleks were also used as the invading force in their first interplanetary conquest, the Battle for Alvega. (COMIC: The Amaryll Challenge) These Daleks were also used in the invasion of Solturis with some of the force briefly occupying the city of Bulos before sustaining casualties and the Emperor being summoned back to Skaro. (COMIC: The Penta Ray Factor)

Rust plague fear

Dalek turns on Dalek out of fear of catching the rust plague. (COMIC: Plague of Death)

The reason for this was that a rust plague had accidentally manufactured a radioactive cloud of dust at a weapons factory that destroyed Daleks on contact. There was a brief state of panic with Dalek turning on Dalek out of fear of contracting the plague. However, it was soon discovered that the Black Dalek was the only carrier and when he was cured order was restored. (COMIC: Plague of Death) Whilst distracted with the aftermath of the plague, the Monstrons landed in an inactive volcano. Several Daleks in War Machine casings were sent to investigate but were destroyed by their force field. The Monstrons' robots, the Engibrains succeeded in entombing the Dalek City but one Dalek soldier also succeeded in sacrificing itself to set of the volcano where the Monstrons were hiding. Elsewhere, other War Machines gave some of their power to operate a magnet that rescued the Emperor. After this, repair work on the City began. (COMIC: The Menace of the Monstrons)

Daleks in War Machines were posted on the space station orbiting Oric. One of them was affected by the Mechanoid's suspicion ray and turned on the other Daleks working there. They were also on board the Dalek flying saucer that destroyed the Mechanoid ship. (COMIC: Eve of War) In preparation for the approaching war with the Mechanoids, War Machines were sent to explore the cosmos in search of new technology. They constituted the ground force that invaded Phryne with some Phrynians escaping in the hope of overthrowing them some day. (COMIC: The Archives of Phyrne) Later, the Emperor ordered all Daleks to use their brain power to think of a solution to the rogue planet Skardal being set on a collision course with Skaro. (COMIC: The Rogue Planet) The Daleks in the City attempted to apprehend the Zeros robot 2K before he escaped. The missile on the ship that he escaped in destroyed Skardal. 2K also persuaded the Mechanoids the cease hostilities with the Daleks. (COMIC: Impasse)

Some War Machine Daleks were installing some new defences on Skaro when a Terrorkon attacked them. Several Daleks were destroyed before the creature was finally subdued by an electric eel. The Emperor vowed to explore Skaro and learn of its dangers. (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest) After this, others encountered a race of sand creatures before destroying them (COMIC: Legacy of Yesteryear) as well as another patrol destroying the Zomites, a race of intelligent insects, with the help of the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright whom they let leave Skaro alive for their services but warned them never to return. (COMIC: The Daleks Destroy the Zomites)

Flower Daleks

The Emperor questions Daleks decorated with flowers on their motives. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity)

Whilst on routine patrol, the Daleks discovered one of their humanoid ancestors that had awoken from suspended animation in the mountains who they exterminated, believing them to be an intruder on the planet. Once they discovered the truth, some War Machines teamed up with Zet to track down Lodian, who knew the location of Earth. They finally caught up with him, but he exploded his escape vessel instead of allowing the Daleks to conquer Earth. (COMIC: Legacy of Yesteryear) Later, it was discovered that through an accident in manufacturing, a War Machine had human qualities. It led a brief revolution and gained some followers before being destroyed by the Emperor. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity)

At a time in their history when they knew of the planet Earth, a pair of War Machines tested their new Earthmen Detector as they stalked the Doctor, Ian and Barbara. However, the device went off at the exact moment that a cat passed it, leading them to believe that it was defective. The Daleks left to destroy the useless artefact. (COMIC: The Daleks Are Foiled)

Phasing out of the Dalek War Machines Edit

After this, the Daleks' technology improved and they modified their design away from Yarvelling's creation to reflect this, such as the addition of slats. (TV: The Space Museum, COMIC: The Emissaries of Jevo et al.) This design, known as the Silver Dalek, more closely resembled the Mark III Travel Machines that Davros presented to the Kaleds as his Daleks (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) and in rare cases they moved further away from this design, such as the discs attached to the back of casings during the 22nd century Dalek invasion of Earth. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, AUDIO: Masters of Earth) Indeed, some time later, Grey Daleks striclty identical in exterior appearance to Davros's original Travel Machines replaced the Silver Daleks as the normal form of Dalek drone. (TV: Frontier in Space, Destiny of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, etc.)

Persistence of War Machine Daleks Edit

Although most Daleks alive at later points in the species' history operated various forms of Mark III Travel Machines rather than the original Dalek War Machines, (TV: Planet of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, Victory of the Daleks, etc.) Daleks in War Machines still existed in the universe.

Dalek Cival War

Dalek War Machines during the Dalek Civil War (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)

Some with a dark dome were part of the chase after the First Doctor and its assault on Mechanus, (TV: The Chase) some existed among both the Humanised Daleks and the Emperor's Personal Guard during the Dalek Civil War (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) and among Spiridon's forces. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

An insane Dalek in a War Machine was among the inmates of the Dalek Asylum when the Eleventh Doctor and his companions were sent there by the Dalek Prime Minister of the New Paradigm. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks) An empty Dalek War Machine was an exhibit in the Space Museum on Xeros. (TV: The Space Museum)


London's Super Guardian (TV: Dalek Attack)

Dalek War Machines were present in 2254 on Skaro when the Seventh Doctor was sent there to retrieve a Time Ring stolen by Davros and the Dalek Emperor, even though most of the Daleks present were of later types, including advanced redesigned Daleks that scarcely even resembled the original models and a gigantic version of the War Machine. (GAME: Dalek Attack)

Station 7 had records of the Dalek War Machine during humanity's 41st century conflict with the New Dalek Paradigm. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)

Even after the Last Great Time War, several silver-colored Dalek War Machines with blue sense globes were among the inhabitants of the Dalek City when the Twelfth Doctor was called to Skaro by a dying Davros, one also sporting a black dome. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice) These Daleks were destroyed when rejuvenated Daleks from the sewers attacked them. (TV: The Witch's Familiar)

Undated events Edit

Daleks in War Machines used the nerve machine to remotely paralyse the First Doctor whilst he was within the TARDIS. After determining the Doctor's affliction using the telepathic helmet, Ian Chesterton left the TARDIS and found the nerve machine. By upsetting the mechanism, Ian ruined the nerve machine and thus set the Doctor free. (COMIC: Dr. Who and the Nerve Machine)

The Doctor and Ian rescued a scientist who was captured by the War Machines because of an invention he made that they wanted. When telling them of what happened, a Dalek spotted them. Thinking quickly, Ian threw his coat over the Dalek's eye and the trio all made their escape. (COMIC: Rescued from the Daleks)

On one planet, the Doctor and Ian constructed a ray gun, which the latter used to successfully destroy DK3. As a result, the Daleks fled the planet in their Dalek flying saucers. (COMIC: The Defeat of the Daleks)

Behind the scenes Edit

Design changes Edit

Altered Dalek design

Ron Turner's first iteration of Dalek drone, significantly different to his later work. (COMIC: Eve of War)

Despite the term "Dalek War Machine" only referring to the design of Yarvelling's original creation, the design has still evolved over the years. Different artists had slightly different ways of illustrating the Daleks. For example, in The Dalek Chronicles the design was fairly consistent under Richard Jennings and then was changed significantly under Ron Turner, who, after his first stories as artist eventually brought it back to more closely resembling Jennings' work. Additionally, Eric Eden for his one story (namely The Archives of Phryne) to base his Dalek designs of that on those from Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. which resulted in yet another design. War Machine Daleks of the Dalek Movies type were later seen among the Daleks inhabiting Skaro in the Seventh Doctor video game Dalek Attack.

The other consideration is the fact that The Daleks was initially broadcast in monochrome. Comic stories of the time took advantage of this fact and made the Daleks more colourful than the props used. However, when the original model reappeared on televised Doctor Who in 2012 and 2015, the comic redesign was ignored and the props were based on the original props used in 1963. This resulted in a different, yet equally valid design.


A typical Louis Marx friction toy

For the production of The Chase, some of the slat-less props from the first Cushing movie were loaned. Model shots of The Evil of the Daleks and Planet of the Daleks used the Marx Toys version of the Dalek War Machines.

Other matters Edit

This model is known in some fan circles as the Mark I Travel Machine, a term used in the Big Finish audio story Guilt to refer to a prototype travel machine built by Davros before he settles on the Mark III Travel Machine. This is alluded to, though not quite confirmed, in the comic story Regeneration of a Dalek (which is, besides, not considered a valid source on this Wiki) where the Dalek War Machine-type casing of the titular Dalek bears the inscription "Mk. 1" on its weapons platform. Doctor Who: Figurine Collection, meanwhile, used the name "Skaro City Dalek" in DWFC 19.

A Dalek resembling an original model from The Daleks is one of two that featured (in a copyright-shady situation) in the 2003 film Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

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