The Dalek drone was the most common variant of Dalek. (GAME: City of the Daleks, AUDIO: In Remembrance) They were used as the main "foot soldier", which led to them very occasionally being called warrior Daleks. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
The Thirteenth Doctor used the term "basic Dalek" in reference to the "normal Dalek soldier". (TV: Resolution) However, despite merely being the basic infantry of the Dalek race, every drone was still a genius. Additionally, in the absence of orders from higher ranking Daleks, drones were to revert to the Dalek directive: to exterminate all non-Dalek life forms. Thus, a single drone could still wage a war of genocide. (TV: Dalek)
At different points in their history, Dalek drones used several different kinds of casings, varying both in appearance, colour scheme and abilities.
Army of the Daleks
According to most accounts, the very first Daleks and their Mark III Travel Machines were created by the scientist Davros at the end of the Thousand Year War between his people and the Thals. These first Daleks were a group of drones. These Grey Daleks were large, dark grey, and possessed slats in their midsection. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) After the Neutronic war, (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) the Daleks retreated into the Dalek City, where, despite their original prototype casings being grey with slats, they came to adopt silver casings; in particular, the early silver casings lacked slats and were only powered only by static electricity, (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) which the Daleks grew to be dependent upon. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
According to another account, the Dalek casing was originally designed by the scientist Yarvelling under the name of "Dalek War Machine", being repurposed into a travel machine by the first, naturally-occurring Dalek. Even as this Emperor's progeny developed new forms of casings for the officer class, with the Emperor himself becoming the bulbous-headed "Golden Emperor", the original slatless Dalek War Machines continued to be used as the casings of the Dalek drones. (COMIC: Genesis of Evil, The Amaryll Challenge)
It was a group of Daleks on Skaro in silver, slatless casings who were the first members of the species the First Doctor encountered. They depended on static electricity from the floors of the Dalek City for power. (TV: The Daleks) The War Machine-esque Dalek soldiers seen in England during the 22nd century Dalek invasion had radio dishes mounted on their backs for external power and larger bases, (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) though some War Machine Daleks during the Daleks' initial expansion phase were seen to get about on alien soil without need of such appendages. (COMIC: The Amaryll Challenge)
At some point between the brief return of some of the Daleks' humanoid forefathers (COMIC: Legacy of Yesteryear) and the ill-fated rebellion of the One in a Million Dalek, (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity) the drones moved beyond the War Machine casings to instead use a new (TV: The Chase, etc.) silver casing (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) that had slats on their mid-sections. (TV: The Chase, etc.) Some Daleks in (TV: The Power of the Daleks) these silver casings (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) still needed reliable ways of powering themselves, (TV: The Power of the Daleks) but most could move under their own power on any terrain. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks, et al.)
Later, the Daleks readopted the gunmetal grey colour scheme used by the Mark III Travel Machines, with the Grey Daleks replacing the Silver Daleks as the most common Dalek drone, (TV: Day of the Daleks)
The Dalek drones were still identified by their grey casings at the beginning of the Second Dalek War of the 26th century (TV: Frontier in Space, Planet of the Daleks) but the casings were altered as the war went on. By the end of the war, some of the Dalek soldiers had a much heavier and more solid look with a distinctive bronze finish, an expanded base, larger cylindrical indicator lights, and a blue-lit eyepiece. These were the first Bronze Daleks. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)
During the Daleks' attempt to build the Time Destructor in 4000, (TV: Mission to the Unknown, The Daleks' Master Plan) Silver Daleks (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) served as drones. (TV: Mission to the Unknown, The Daleks' Master Plan)
The Daleks attempting to seize taranium on Exxilon had a silver and black colour scheme, (TV: Death to the Daleks, AUDIO: The Dalek Protocol) which was also the colours of the damaged Dalek casings used in Major McLinn's attempts to create fake Daleks for the Space Security Service. (AUDIO: The Trojan Dalek)
The gunmetal and black design again served as drones during the Dalek-Movellan War, (TV: Destiny of the Daleks) and the rescue of Davros in its aftermath (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks) in 4590. (PROSE: Resurrection of the Daleks) Some Bronze Daleks would also be employed against the Movellans. (TV: The Pilot)
During the Imperial-Renegade conflicts
During his time at Tranquil Repose, Davros genetically engineered an entirely new breed of Daleks from the Resting Ones - these mutants were completely loyal to Davros, and had distinctive white casings with gold sensor globes, neck grating and limbs. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)
Following the eruption of the war between these and the original Dalek Empire, these came to be known as the "Imperial" faction, now featuring all-gold appendages and white bases and - for the first time - the ability to hover under their own power. Meanwhile, the original Skarosian faction of Daleks retained Grey Daleks as their basic drones and came to be known as the Renegade Daleks, although they phased out the traditional gunmetal casings in favour of a battleship grey and black colour scheme.
The Imperial Daleks were eradicated by the Seventh Doctor's tricking Davros into detonating the Hand of Omega, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) with various forms of Grey Daleks continuing to serve the Dalek Prime's now-mostly-unified Dalek Empire. (PROSE: War of the Daleks) By another account, however, the Imperials survived and were victorious. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
The Restoration Empire
By another account, the Imperial Daleks were the victors of the civil war. Reorganising themsleves under the Emperor of the Restoration, the rebranded Restoration Empire patterned itself after the Dalek Empire's early days, the Dalek drones returned to the color scheme of the ancient Silver Daleks, albeit with bulkier casings similar to the Bronze Daleks. They were placed under the command of Grey Dalek leader. (COMIC: Defender of the Daleks, PROSE: The Restoration Empire)
Silver drones were also among the Time-Sensitive Dalek in the Dalek Time Squad that the Emperor sent back to the Dark Times. Being standard drones, they were not supposed to be independent thinkers, but River Song suspected they could be anyway. (PROSE: The Guide to the Dark Times) A drone survived the events in the Dark Times and sent a warning out to the universe. It was this message that had been picked up by the Emperor. The Daleks' involvement in the Kotturuh crisis had thus been a bootstrap paradox, as the drone's message was what had convinced him to send the Time Squad back at all. (PROSE: The Last Message)
Time War and aftermath
During the Last Great Time War, the Bronze Daleks definitively supplanted any forms of Grey Daleks and Silver Daleks as the standard for Dalek drones. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks, I Am a Dalek, Engines of War, TV: The Last Day, The Day of the Doctor, Dalek) By this point, the Bronze Daleks were armed with a swiveling mid-section that allowed the Dalek a 360-degree field of fire and a force field that fully disintegrated approaching bullets. The design also added a new feature to the eyestalk: if something was obstructing its vision (such as paint), a heat discharge could melt the obstruction. It was also able to regenerate itself by absorbing electrical power and the DNA of a time traveller. The manipulator arm was also able to crush a man's skull in addition to the technology interfacing abilities shown by earlier models. (TV: Dalek, The Stolen Earth) The four unique Daleks who comprised the Cult of Skaro had the built-in "Emergency Temporal Shift" functions. (TV: Doomsday)
The drone casings of the New Dalek Empire were identical to the bronze casings of the Time War Dalek Empire. One minor variation, the Vault Daleks (found aboard their space station the Crucible) possessed a specialised manipulator arm with eight "digits" but were otherwise identical. The mutants inside all the New Empire casings were grown from the cells of Davros' own body. (TV: The Stolen Earth) The New Dalek Empire was ultimately destroyed by the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor, however. (TV: Journey's End)
The Daleks restored
When the Dalek race was successfully restored using the Progenitor device, the first five individuals of the New Dalek Paradigm emerged. Their casings were larger than their predecessors' and the new drone was bright red, but other than the colours was otherwise no different from its superiors such as the Strategist and the Scientist Dalek. As with their fellows bar the Eternal Dalek, the sense globes on their base unit were coloured dark silver. (TV: Victory of the Daleks) While the design of the red Paradigm drone was initially mass-produced, (GAME: City of the Daleks, Return to Earth, The Eternity Clock; COMIC: The Only Good Dalek) the Prime Minister of the Daleks chose (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) to return to using the smaller bronze Time War model as the standard drone, with the larger red version being elevated to a higher position and given a more metallic burgundy colour. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks, The Time of the Doctor, Into the Dalek,; COMIC: The Dalek Project; PROSE: The Dalek Generation, Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
Daleks used casings seen throughout their history on Skaro, which had been remade and become the center of their empire. (TV: The Witch's Familiar) Dalek drones in bronze casings, sliver casings, and at least one grey casing were present at Dalek control in the rebuilt Dalek City. When the now-dying Davros wished to see the Doctor again, the Twelfth Doctor, Missy, and Clara Oswald were brought to Skaro, with Missy and Clara soon being brought to control and seemingly exterminated by the various Dalek variants, (TV: The Magician's Apprentice) but they actually escaped using their vortex manipulators. (TV: The Witch's Familiar) The Daleks then "destroyed" the Doctor's TARDIS, (TV: The Magician's Apprentice) but, due to the Hostile Action Displacement System, she survived. (TV: The Witch's Familiar)
Afterwards, Dalek drones spread through the city to locate the Doctor, with a bronze drone and a Special Weapons unit finding Davros without his life support chair in the Dalek City infirmary. The drones and other units in Dalek control had been expecting Davros to enter, only to see the Doctor had stolen their creator's "chair", protecting him via its force field. After the Doctor threatened the various Daleks, only to be bluntly told Clara was dead, Colony Sarff brought him back to Davros, who truly planned to use the Doctor's regeneration energy to prolong his life and make the Daleks on Skaro Dalek-Time Lord hybrids. As the two spoke in the infirmary, Missy and Clara were in the sewers, with the Time Lady using a dwarf star alloy brooch to damage a drone's casing. Thus, the decaying Dalek sewer mutants killed the drone, letting Missy put Clara inside to pretend to be the drone. While they were in Dalek control, however, regeneration energy flowed into every Dalek on Skaro.
Leaving Clara behind in the casing that she was unable to properly speak out of, Missy used a gunstick to save the Doctor, and the hybrid Daleks were soon attacked by the rising decaying Daleks, now energised from the Doctor's regeneration energy. After freeing Clara from her casing and leaving Missy, the Doctor reassembled the TARDIS with his sonic sunglasses, escaping the Dalek City as the decaying Daleks continued to destroy it. Elsewhere, Missy ran through the city until she surrounded by several Dalek drones and an Emperor's Personal Guard, but she told the Daleks she had a "very clever idea". (TV: The Witch's Familiar) Indeed, Missy stayed on Skaro for sometime (PROSE: Postcards from the Universe) before finally making her escape from the Daleks. (PROSE: The Liar, the Glitch and the War Zone)
The recon scout
Behind the scenes
A red Drone Dalek's prop, along with that of a white Supreme Dalek, appeared on an episode of Top Gear when James May hosted a race between two free runners and a motorcyclist through the BBC Television Centre.
All five archetypes of the New Dalek Paradigm feature in The Lego Batman Movie, appearing among the inhabitants of the Phantom Zone, alongside many famous villains from a number of fictional franchises. Like the others, they are unleashed upon Gotham City by the supervillain known as "the Joker" at the climax of the film, only to be defeated and sealed back inside the prison dimension. Their one line is the exclamation "Exterminate!", actually a piece of archive audio originally recorded by Nicholas Briggs for The Parting of the Ways.
- New Paradigm Drone Dalek is one of Dalek enemies used in the Doctor Who: Legacy mobile game.
- Depending on the player's progress, "Standard Dalek" is a potential rank for the Metaltron to attain in the video game NOTVALID: The Last Dalek.