Flying saucers or space saucers (PROSE: Birth of a Legend) were the most common spaceships used by the Daleks from their early history, through the Last Great Time War and beyond, proving to be an integral part of the Dalek war machine.
Classes and variants
Classifications of Dalek saucer included warship, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Time War) battleship, (TV: The Pandorica Opens) base ship, command ship, (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer) command saucer, (PROSE: The Jeopardy of Solar Proximity) scoutship, (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek) battle cruiser, Survey Ship, (COMIC: The Dalek Project) mothership, (COMIC: Outrun) harvest ship (COMIC: Harvest of the Daleks) and mega-saucer. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
The Dalek saucers of the Last Great Time War and beyond were bronze like the contemporary basic Daleks. As recognised by the Ninth Doctor, the average Dalek saucer had a complement of more than 2,000 Daleks. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) These saucers were armed with missiles and energy weapons. (TV: The Parting of the Ways, The Stolen Earth, Victory of the Daleks)
The Dalek Emperor resided in a much larger Dalek Flagship. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) Other Dalek saucers were much smaller and could be maintained by a single Dalek. (TV: The Stolen Earth, Victory of the Daleks)
The Daleks began to research space travel when a Krattorian ship piloted by a slave-owner Kest landed on Skaro. Interested in seizing the ship for themselves, they began examining it. Kest's escaped slaves Sala and Astolith managed to steal the ship, killing Kest and leaving Skaro. However, by then the Daleks had learned enough about spaceship operation to begin the construction of their own spacecrafts. (COMIC: Power Play)
Research was delayed when the Daleks encountered the problem of metal fatigue. They needed a material that could withstand more heat than their own casings. When Dalek scientist Zeg accidentally discovered such a material in metalert, he claimed it would suit their needs but a power struggle resulted between him and the Dalek Emperor. Zeg was destroyed in a duel but the Emperor decreed they would improve on the metalert experiments, allowing them to resume to space travel program. (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks)
The Daleks built prototype ships such as Proto 1, 4, and 9. Proto 13 had a flying saucer design and was successful in take off, space flight, and entering/exiting hyperspace. It became the standard Dalek ship. (COMIC: The Amaryll Challenge)
The Daleks used saucers when invading planets, including during the 22nd century Dalek invasion of Earth. Each saucer was under the command of a Dalek Saucer Commander. They were all caught in the upshot of an explosion when their base in Bedfordshire blew up. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, only one saucer was known to remain operational, being docked in a London sewer. Though a surviving Dalek bargained with Dalek collaborator Marcus Bray for passage to the saucer, Bray wound up killing the Dalek, later making his way to the saucer in an attempt to contact the Dalek Fleet.
With the saucer's antenna damaged, the message failed to send. Following Bray's demise, David Campbell suggested that Susan Foreman use the saucer to escape the anti-alien environment of Earth but she refused, setting the ship to self-destruct. (AUDIO: After the Daleks) In the years that followed, numerous saucers were dismantled by humanity, with Susan and David visiting some and learning how to fly one. (AUDIO: To the Death) Saucers were also used during the Daleks' second invasion thirty years later. The captive Eighth Doctor was transported across the Atlantic onboard one, which was shot down by a resistance submarine which did not know he was onboard. (AUDIO: Lucie Miller)
To foil the Daleks’ occupation, Lucie Miller crashed a saucer into the time engine the Dalek Time Controller planned to have installed at the Earth’s core, creating a time warp which wiped out the occupying Dalek forces. (AUDIO: To the Death) In 2223, a Black Dalek led a single saucer to London to establish a base for a new invasion of Earth. The Daleks were defeated by the Master, enabling Lila Kreeg and Vienna Salvatori to use Yellow Brick technology to send the saucer into the Time Vortex with the Master onboard. (AUDIO: Vengeance)
The asymmetrical Daleks used a golden, saucer-shaped space craft with a hatch at the top. This craft was taken by the Second Doctor, John and Gillian after they destroyed the Daleks. (COMIC: Attack of the Daleks)
Second Dalek War
The saucers were a huge part the Dalek Empire's war effort during the Second Dalek War of the 26th century. At the very beginning of the war, the Supreme Dalek's saucer, a Councillor-class craft, was stolen by a group of Thals who used it to escape Spiridon, causing the Supreme Dalek to send for a rescue craft. (TV: Planet of the Daleks, PROSE: Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks)
The Exterminator was a supreme Exterminator-class flagship belonging to the Dalek Inquisitor General, Dalek X, which contained over 500 Daleks. When the Exterminator was destroyed at the end of the war on the planet Hurala, the Dalek fleet was pushed right back from Earth-Space. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)
In 4000, the First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom stole a Dalek saucer to escape the planet Mira. Thousands more were part of the invasion fleet the Daleks planned to use to wipe out the solar system. They were destroyed by the Time Destructor. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
After the Dalek war, a Dalek saucer travelled to the planet Exxilon in search of parrinium. All of its power was taken by the Exxilon City. When the power was restored, the ship took off. It was destroyed by Dan Galloway, who had stowed away on the ship with a Dalek bomb, which he detonated. (TV: Death to the Daleks)
During the course of the Daleks' Great War, Thal forces destroyed 200 Dalek saucers in the Seventh Sector, and the Draconians destroyed half of the Dalek fleet along the Draconian frontier. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks) Following the outbreak of the Great Civil War, the Humanised Daleks led by Alpha used a saucer to flee Skaro. (COMIC: Children of the Revolution)
The Daleks used a saucer to destroy Earth satellites during the Cold War, hoping the Americans and the Russians would blame each other and the conflict would escalate. The saucer landed at the bottom of the ocean, sealed within a pressure dome, where it was to wait until the Daleks saw the perfect moment to strike. However, it was infiltrated by the Doctor who contacted a submarine, the HMS Pandora, and ordered it to fire on the ship. The Daleks died as the ship flooded. (COMIC: The Threat from Beneath)
The Imperial Daleks loyal to the Emperor Dalek used saucer-shaped battle cruisers and shuttles. On Spiridon, Davros' Rebel Daleks' fielded their own distinctly shaped mothership and shuttle. After Davros successfully usurped the Emperor Dalek (COMIC: Emperor of the Daleks!) his Rebel Daleks became the new Imperial Daleks while the former Imperial Daleks became Renegade Daleks. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
Among the images seen by the Eighth Doctor in a Tomorrow Window was a ruined city, with many buildings on fire and a Dalek saucer hovering overhead, with Daleks below scanning the ruins. (PROSE: The Tomorrow Windows)
Led by the Emperor, the Daleks launched a fleet of over a thousand Dalek Saucers into the Time Vortex. These forces were stopped by the Eighth Doctor, who left them trapped in the vortex. (AUDIO: The Time of the Daleks) The Time Lords later made a deal with the Daleks that allowed them to leave the Time Vortex. (AUDIO: Neverland)
At a point when the Emperor anticipated the Time War on Skaro, the Main Saucer saw to the extermination of the Mechanoids on Magella, on the orders of the Dalek Commander who would later be named Dalek Sec. (PROSE: Birth of a Legend)
In the timeline created by temporal fluctuations caused by the Tenth Doctor's actions in the Dark Times, (PROSE: The Guide to Dark Times) the Emperor led a fleet of Dalek saucers to invade Islos (WC: The Archive of Islos) but they were forced to retreat back to Skaro by the Entity. (WC: The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy) The Emperor and Strategist travelled to Mechanus in a saucer, damaging it by flying it through the orbital defences. (WC: Planet of the Mechanoids) After the Mechanoids defeated the Entity, they returned to Skaro aboard it, crashing due to the damage it had sustained. (WC: Day of Reckoning)
The Emperor created a Dalek Time Squad to investigate the temporal fluctuations (PROSE: The Guide to Dark Times) and they travelled back to the Dark Times in a Dalek saucer after the Eighth Doctor connected its engines to his TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Enemy of My Enemy) The saucer was used during the Battle of Mordeela and to explore the Dark Times. After completing their Symbiont, the Time Squad used it to attack Gallifrey. An explosive in the saucer's engines was detonated by the Eighth Doctor, forcing it into the Time Vortex. (PROSE: All Flesh is Grass) He continued to sabotage the saucer, eventually resulting in it breaking apart in the Vortex. (AUDIO: Mutually Assured Destruction)
The Last Great Time War
As noted in the Time Lords' Dalek Combat Training Manual, a new generation of Dalek saucer with increased firepower was built for the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) During the war, the average saucer contained over two thousand Daleks each and were small and bronze, the same colour as the drone Daleks of that time, as they had been in the Second Dalek War. (TV: The Parting of the Ways, PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) In addition, they held multiple Dalek Attack Ships. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) The flagship was the same colour but many times larger and contained both Dalek drones and the Emperor's Personal Guards. (TV: Bad Wolf)
Bronze, saucer-shaped motherships, a design recognised by Abslom Daak, were used during the Time War. One such mothership crashed on the planet Veestrax and was found by the Eleventh Doctor after the war. (COMIC: Outrun) Another model of saucer was the mega-saucer, several of which were deployed into the fateful battle of Seramiphius V. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
In the year A10%?, a Dalek saucer was sent to Marinus, where the Daleks intended to erase the Voord from reality. However, the Voord were defended by the War Doctor, who deployed a chronic tripwire which accelerated the evolution of the Daleks within the saucer, reducing them to dust. As a result, the saucer crashed on Marinus' surface. (COMIC: Four Doctors)
A fleet of Dalek saucers in the Tantalus Spiral were forced to retreat by the Fifth Time Lord Battle Fleet. The War Doctor and Cinder investigated inside one of their saucers on the city of Andor on Moldox. (PROSE: Engines of War)
On the final day of the Time War, ten million Dalek saucers (TV: Dalek) surrounded Gallifrey and launched their biggest attack ever. The saucers bombarded the planet from orbit and deployed countless Daleks and Dalek fighter pods to invade the surface. During the Fall of Arcadia, several saucers managed to breach the city's airspace and deploy their forces. After the city fell, the saucers turned their focus to the Capitol of the Time Lords itself. Although the Capitol was badly damaged, the sky trenches held. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) Dozens of Dalek saucers were shot down during the battle, and crashed around the Capitol. (TV: The End of Time)
At the end of the War, "all thirteen" incarnations of the Doctor froze Gallifrey in time, causing the Dalek fleet firing on the planet from all directions to blast itself apart, although everyone would believe they all burned with the planet. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
After the Time War
The Emperor's flagship survived and fell through time to about the 2000th century. The Dalek Emperor built two hundred ships of his fleet and created half a million new Daleks to rule. They attacked Earth, distorting entire continents with their attack, but were all destroyed by the Bad Wolf. (TV: Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways)
The New Dalek Empire used saucers with a modified appearance in their 2009 invasion of Earth. Though the Daleks themselves could fly and had personal weaponry, smaller versions of the saucers served as fighter craft. (TV: The Stolen Earth) The Dalek ships were destroyed by the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor along with the Crucible and the Daleks of the Empire. (TV: Journey's End)
The restoration of the Daleks
A ship survived the fall of the New Empire (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) and fell through time to 1941, acquiring a Progenitor. This ship hid behind the Moon. When the three surviving Daleks on board were confronted by the Eleventh Doctor, they used a beacon on the ship to activate all the lights in London, leaving it vulnerable to the German Blitz. Enhanced Spitfires were sent to destroy the beacon. Two were destroyed by the Dalek defence guns mounted around the saucer, but the Eleventh Doctor disabled the ship's shields and the dish was destroyed. The new Daleks escaped in their ship through a time corridor. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
A single Dalek saucer was used by a platoon of Daleks to recover their lost Time Axis from the SS Lucy Gray. The ship was fired into the sun. (GAME: Return to Earth) The Dalek ship escaped by making a random jump several hundred years into the past. The Daleks attempted to force the Doctor to fix their ship by attaching his TARDIS to their ship; the Doctor escaped and used his TARDIS to fling their ship into a black hole. (GAME: Evacuation Earth)
Dalek saucers were used in the attack on Station 7 when the Daleks conducted a search for "the Abomination". They disguised their saucers as asteroids which they discarded when the attack began. All were destroyed — save one, which was used by an SSS officer to travel home — when caught in a deliberate volcanic eruption. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)
When the Daleks joined the Alliance formed to imprison the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica to save the Universe, many Dalek saucers were part of the Alliance fleet which arrived at Stonehenge in 102 A.D. The Doctor stated that a typical Dalek battle fleet contained a minimum of twelve thousand ships. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
A fleet of Dalek saucers waited above Earth in 2106 when the New Dalek Paradigm invaded London using a piece of the Eternity Clock. The fleet was lead by a Dalek Flagship owned by the Dalek Emperor. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
A contingent of Daleks - in Survey Ships Sigma, Delta and Epsilon - sent on a mission through human history to learn how humans fought war were caught in a Vortex storm and were stranded in 1908, with Ship Delta being destroyed. Still proceeding with their plan, they were foiled by the Eleventh Doctor and the combined armies of the First World War in 1917 and Ship Sigma was sent crashing to the ground. One hundred years later, some archaeologists discovered the saucer underground and accidentally powered it back up. The Eleventh Doctor arrived just in time and connected the ship to a power line, overloading the reviving Daleks and their ship. (COMIC: The Dalek Project)
When the Doctor, Amy and Rory were captured by Dalek puppets, several saucers were present around the Dalek Parliament. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks) The Parliament was based out of a flagship named the Nacrana Va Hateen which roughly translated to "The Highest Authority". (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
On the Dalek Foundation world of Carthedia, the Eleventh Doctor assumed the Daleks would not fire on him and the Blakely children while they stood close to a Dalek saucer, as they risked damaging it. The Doctor was proved wrong as the Daleks opened fire on them, tearing the saucer apart in the process. The Daleks continued to pursue the Doctor across the Sunlight Worlds in other saucers and the Dalek Time Controller retreated in one when it was attacked by Jenibeth Blakely. (PROSE: The Dalek Generation)
During the Siege of Trenzalore, several saucers were present but by the end, only The Highest Authority remained, the others apparently destroyed or having retreated. When the Doctor was granted a new regenerative cycle, the final burst of energy from his first regeneration in the cycle obliterated the saucer as it descended on the Doctor to try to kill him before he could regenerate. (TV: The Time of the Doctor, PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
A saucer chased the Combined Galactic Resistance ship piloted by Journey Blue and her brother, attempting to destroy it and kill the two. The Twelfth Doctor succeeded in rescuing Journey, but her brother died. After "Rusty" turned evil again, he sent out a distress signal from the Aristotle and the saucer docked with the ship, dispatching boarding Daleks to slaughter the crew. At first they were successful, but the efforts of the Doctor and Clara Oswald turned "Rusty" against his own kind once more and he slaughtered the other Daleks on board the Aristotle. "Rusty" then ordered the saucer to retreat, telling the crew that the humans had activated the Aristotle's self-destruct. Fearing destruction and believing their mission accomplished, the saucer retreated with "Rusty" joining it to continue his campaign against his species. (TV: Into the Dalek)
An ancient saucer-shaped Dalek harvest ship, believed by the Twelfth Doctor to have been taken "out of mothballs" for the Time War, kidnapped children for unknown reasons. (COMIC: Harvest of the Daleks)
In 2021, the Thirteenth Doctor broadcasted the Reconnaissance Dalek's signal throughout the Time Vortex, attracting the attention of a saucer full of thousands of Death Squad Daleks to Earth. As the Doctor planned, the Daleks detected the impure new Daleks and dispatched forces around the world to destroy them. The Doctor sent Jack Harkness, Ryan Sinclair and Graham O'Brien to destroy the ship using explosives that Jack possessed. As the three men planted the bombs, Jack Robertson betrayed the Doctor to the Daleks. Warned of this, the Doctor lured the Dalek forces outside of the ship into her spare TARDIS and set it to implode and teleport into the heart of the Void, destroying the Death Squad Daleks. Once the Daleks were aboard the TARDIS, Yasmin Khan signaled Jack who used his vortex manipulator to teleport himself, Ryan, Graham and Robertson off of the ship. As they teleported out, Ryan detonated the bombs, destroying the Dalek saucer. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)
Dalek flying saucers were equipped with particle beam cannons, (TV: Victory of the Daleks) magnetise beams to trap escaping ships, (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) missile launchers (TV: The Parting of the Ways) and a hypnosound device to make targets see what they most fear or desire. (TV: Frontier in Space)
Some Dalek saucers could destroy entire planets with ease. Davros threatened to destroy Earth with his killcruiser. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) The Dalek saucer known as the Parliament of the Daleks was able to destroy the Dalek Asylum planet with a barrage of missiles once its force field was taken down. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
Behind the scenes
- Dalek flying saucers first appeared in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The DVD release of the story featured a new and more convincing CGI special effects version of the saucer as an alternative to the original. On the same DVD they also appeared in the entire story's title sequence at the beginning of part one.
- Dalek saucers featured prominently in the action of The Dalek Chronicles comics and other print-based Dalek stories.
- While the saucers do not appear in the original version of Day of the Daleks, they were added into the Special Edition DVD release. The same ringing sound effect used in The Dalek Invasion of Earth is used here.
- The interior of the flying saucer seen in Victory of the Daleks was not specially made for the show - it was in fact filmed in the storage room of an empty cigar factory.
- A Dalek flying saucer (post-2005) appears in the online game Doctor In A Dash as one of three enemy ships, along with a Slitheen craft and a Judoon rocket, that race along with the Doctor's TARDIS (the player) to find a Space-Time Manipulator. Like the other enemy ships, the Dalek flying saucer can fire energy weapons to immobilise the other ships temporarily. Assuming the player completes the game, the Tenth Doctor claims the Space-Time Manipulator and destroys it to prevent it falling into the wrong hands.
- The theatrical film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (based on The Dalek Invasion of Earth) featured a Dalek command craft, the front section of which resembled a saucer. A drawing of this "saucer" appeared on the cover of the Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth novelisation even though the book's content drew from the television version.
- The Doctor Who website featured an image, a modification of one depicting the Dalek Fleet over Earth during the Battle of the Game Station, of multiple Dalek saucers engulfed in flames over a burning planet, consistent with one account of the fall of Gallifrey.
- A LEGO version of a Dalek Saucer appears in LEGO Dimensions, in which it serves as the setting of the boss battle against Sauron.