Due to their highly militaristic culture, the Daleks operated under what was nominally a rigid hierarchy. Its structure evolved extensively over time, incorporating numerous systems of government, honour systems and rank branches.
Command structure Edit
The Daleks were typically led by the Dalek Emperor, the overall leader of the Dalek Empire and Skaro. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks,The Parting of the Ways) The original Emperor was the Dalek Prime, the first Dalek of all time. (COMIC: Genesis of Evil, PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks) However, this was not always the case; during the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, Davros, the creator of the Daleks, was installed as Emperor of the Imperial Daleks, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) and other Emperors, such as one who was favourable to Davros, were documented. (GAME: Dalek Attack)
In the early days of the Daleks, the Black Dalek was the direct second-in-command to the Emperor. (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) Later on, the Supreme Dalek became the Dalek Emperor's subordinate, functioning as a high-ranking general in command of major operations or planetary occupations. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) However, in the absence of a Dalek Emperor, Supreme Daleks would often take command. In the New Dalek Empire, a Red Supreme Dalek took command. (TV: The Stolen Earth)During the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, the Renegade Dalek faction was led by two successive Supremes instead of an Emperor, (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks) though the Eighth Doctor learned that this was on behalf of the Dalek Prime. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
With the creation of the New Dalek Paradigm, the Dalek race was reorganised into a colour-coded caste society; the leader of this first batch of Daleks was the white Supreme Dalek. (TV: Victory of the Daleks) Later, two New Paradigm Dalek Emperors were encountered by the Doctor; one blue, and the other purple. (GAME: City of the Daleks, The Eternity Clock) Eventually, the Parliament of the Daleks was created, led by the Dalek Prime Minister. This Dalek mutant was housed inside an immobile transparent tube, and outranked even the New Paradigm Supreme Dalek. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
The Dalek Time Controller was given strategic command over all Dalek missions involving time travel. (AUDIO: Patient Zero) At one point, the Dalek Time Controller was among the ranks of the New Dalek Paradigm and outranked even the Supreme Dalek in certain cases. (PROSE: The Dalek Generation)
The Dalek Emperor had a squad of black-domed Daleks as his personal guard that usually protected and served it. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) Some versions were equipped with two gunsticks. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
The Volatix Cabal were a secret Dalek society who operated during the Last Great Time War. They were created by the Daleks for possessing a talent that no Dalek could possess: creativity. (COMIC: The Organ Grinder)
The Dalek Scientific Division were high-ranking, their needs overrode all other orders and concerns in at least two missions. (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine, Return of the Daleks) Daleks Scientists were referred to as being silver and green. (The Dalek Tapes) The Scientist Daleks of the New Dalek Paradigm are ranked by their orange colour scheme. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
Prior to the Time War, Gold Daleks were the high-ranking class and able to take the role of the Supreme Dalek. (TV: Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space) Black Daleks commanded planetary invasions and Dalek operations, (PROSE: War of the Daleks) being a rank broadly equivalent to that of Supreme Dalek. (PROSE: Special Daleks) Red Daleks were the lowest capable of independent thought, allowing some measure of independent action. Beneath them were the Blue Daleks, the equivalent of non-commissioned officers. Lastly, were the grey Dalek footsoldiers. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
Following the Time War, the New Dalek Paradigm was led by a white Supreme Dalek. The Eternal Dalek was coloured yellow. Strategist Daleks, including Chief Strategists, were coloured blue. Scientist Daleks were coloured orange. Lastly, the Drone Dalek was coloured red. (TV: Victory of the Daleks, COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)
Low ranking Daleks Edit
The Spider Daleks were slightly larger than the Dalek drone, with eight legs. They were more manoeuvreable than standard Daleks, but more vulnerable at their joints. The Thals believed that this design had been abandoned for centuries. Giant-sized versions, known as Striders, were ten times larger than the standard Spider Dalek. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
The Marine Dalek was a torpedo-shaped Dalek designed to operate underwater. It had eyestalks in front and gunstick and a grappling arm parallel to its bodies. It was larger than a Dalek drone. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
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 basic Time War drones were bronze, while the New Paradigm incorporated both this design and a designs for superior Drone Daleks, which were larger and red in colour. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
Non-Daleks servants and slaves Edit
Several non-Dalek species worked under the Daleks under some form of enslavement.
Robomen were slaves under heavy mind control, (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) A robotic duplicate of the First Doctor was sent to kill the original. (TV: The Chase) According to one account, the Movellans were servants to the Daleks, the war against them having been hoaxed. (PROSE: War of the Daleks) Dalek duplicates worked for the Daleks. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks, AUDIO: The Genocide Machine)
The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe was part of the Daleks' plan to alter the minds of the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire, (TV: The Long Game, Bad Wolf)
The Exxilons (TV: Death to the Daleks), Spiridons (TV: Planet of the Daleks), Klims. (COMIC: The Dalek Revenge) and the Taalyens. (AUDIO: The Heart of the Battle) and Gralians (AUDIO: The Davros Mission) were all slaves to the Daleks.
Ogrons were mercenaries employed by the Daleks on various occasions, (TV: Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space) as were Werelox, (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom) and Dalek Troopers. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
Visual distinctions Edit
In the early days, the majority of Daleks were silver with blue "bumps", with mid-ranking Daleks (like the saucer commanders) being partially black and the commander a black Dalek Supreme. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
During the Last Great Time War and in the New Dalek Empire, almost the entirety of Daleks shown were of the same colour; the Supreme Dalek in the latter was marked out by being red with golden trimmings, while Dalek Sec of the Cult of Skaro was black. All of these Daleks used symbols, located below the eyestalk, for identification (TV: Dalek, The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan, Evolution of the Daleks, The Stolen Earth, Journey's End), and in the Second World War, displayed a Union Flag. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
The restored Daleks sported bright colours, with each colouring showing their role: the Supreme was white, the strategist was blue, the scientist was orange, and the drones were red. The yellow Dalek was given the title of "Eternal" and was the only one to have black orbs instead of silver. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
Daleks ranks were often established by their genetic purity. In The Parting of the Ways, the Dalek Emperor created his new army out of human DNA, which caused them to not only obey but worship the Emperor as the only pure Dalek.
When the New Dalek Paradigm was created from pure Dalek DNA found in the progenitor, both they and the impure Daleks which created them believed the new race was superior due to their genetic purity, and that any impure forms must be destroyed. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
This hierarchy for the most part remained unchanged until the defeat of the humanised Daleks at the end of the Great Civil War, after which the Daleks were able to restore order and rebuilt. A new hierarchy was established. The Dalek Emperor remained the overall ruler, but black Supreme Daleks were replaced with gold Daleks (TV: Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space)
By the time of the Dalek-Movellan War, black Daleks were once again in command of the grey drones. With both the Daleks and the Movellans at a logical stalemate, the Daleks went in search of Davros to gain his aid in resolving the situation. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
Davros was displeased to learn that the Daleks were taking orders from a Supreme Dalek instead of him. He built his own Daleks to oppose those of the Supreme Dalek and declared himself the Dalek Emperor. A civil war between Davros' white and gold Imperial Daleks and the "Renegade Daleks" loyal to the Supreme Dalek and the Dalek Prime broke out. The latter side claimed victory. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, PROSE: War of the Daleks)
During the Last Great Time War, Dalek soldiers had bronze casings and were led once again by the Emperor. Davros also took part in the war but was supposedly killed during the first year. (TV: The Stolen Earth)
Following the near-destruction of both the Time Lords and the Daleks, the surviving Daleks attempted to rebuild their race. The Cult of Skaro tried twice but were foiled by the Doctor on both occasions. The Cult's leader, Dalek Sec, had a completely black casing while the other three — Thay, Jast and Caan — had the standard bronze, although they were more than just soldiers. In the end, Sec was overthrown and Caan replaced him. (TV: Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks)
Caan, the last of the Cult, escaped from the Doctor back into the Time War, where he rescued Davros but lost his sanity due to breaking the time lock. Davros rebuilt the Daleks from his own cells and created the New Dalek Empire. The leader was a Supreme Dalek with a unique red and gold casing. (TV: The Stolen Earth)
The Dalek race was finally restored fully after the only survivors of an encounter with the Doctor came across a Progenitor device. The restored Dalek race was led by a white Supreme Dalek. Drone Daleks were red, strategists were blue, scientists were orange, and the Eternal Dalek was yellow. (TV: Victory of the Daleks
These Daleks also had an Emperor which was blue, but when the Eleventh Doctor prevented the Daleks from taking control of Skaro, no Dalek became the Emperor and so the Supreme Dalek likely continued to lead the Daleks full-time. (GAME: City of the Daleks) however a new Emperor Dalek existed during the New Dalek Paradigm's invasion of Earth in 2106 using the piece of the Eternity Clock. this Emperor was coloured purple and able to form itself into a sphere. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
Parallel universe Edit
Behind the scenes Edit
- The Dalek Tapes, a feature in the Genesis of the Daleks DVD, has golden Daleks as members of the Supreme Council, followed in rank by black (Dalek Supreme), partially black, silver (scientific corps), and grey. The Dalek Handbook states that the Black Daleks used to be the highest command until the civil war, and a Supreme was always taken from their ranks; after the war, the Supremes and their Council were gold-and-black, the Black tier was replaced with the golden Commanders, and the standard Daleks were grey-black, with a group commander picked from their ranks.
- According to the non-narrative source The Dalek Handbook, Black Daleks acted as Supreme Controllers during planetary invasions and other missions of high importance, and were part of a tier of Dalek commanders. Dalek workers and soldiers were distinguished by their grey casings.
- According to the non-narrative source Aliens and Enemies, the Dalek Council was a governing body under the Emperor.