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Various Dalek ranks of the New Dalek Paradigm, all told apart by their casing colours (TV: Victory of the Daleks)

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[]


The Golden Emperor. (COMIC: The Rogue Planet)

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, (GAME: Dalek Attack) and one who ran the Imperial Daleks in Davros's absence, were also documented. (PROSE: The Restoration Empire)

Prior to mutating into the irradiated Dalek mutants, the Daleks had had a pacifist ultimate leader, Drenz, who ruled with ministers. After his assassination, he was replaced by Zolfian who took on the title of War Lord. (COMIC: Genesis of Evil) In the early days of the Daleks, the Black Dalek Leader was the direct second-in-command to the Emperor (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) as Warlord, (COMIC: The Secret of the Emperor) and the Dalek Emperor could alternatively be known as the Dalek Supreme. (PROSE: The Living Death, COMIC: The Dalek Tapes)

However, later on, the rank of Dalek Supreme was instead given to the Emperor's second-in-command; the Black Dalek used the title frequently, (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, etc.) and after its destruction, other Supremes were used by the Emperor as his second-in-commands. (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine, etc.) A Dalek Council of Supreme Daleks, plural, also existed in some eras, answering directly to the Emperor; (TV: Planet of the Daleks) according to some account, the Black Dalek arose as singular Dalek Supreme when it became the only survivor of the Dalek Council of multiplte Supreme Daleks, (PROSE: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) although this failed to tally with other chronologies of Dalek history. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks, COMIC: Bringer of Darkness, et alt.) During the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, the Renegade Dalek faction was led by the Supreme 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)

After the Last Great Time War, the function of Dalek Emperor fell behind. In the New Dalek Empire, a red Supreme Dalek was the ultimate commander. (TV: The Stolen Earth) 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, but the former only created within a timeline that was later negated, and overall both Emperors were short-lived. (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) However, following the Prime Minister going insane, the white Supreme Dalek took charge once more, with the first of each variant of the Paradigm as his closest advisors; (PROSE: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) he ultimately perished at the Siege of Trenzalore, which he had supervised personally from his mothership. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

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 Cult of Skaro. (TV: Doomsday)

The Cult of Skaro was a council of four elite Daleks created to think of imaginative strategies, formed during the Last Great Time War. (TV: Doomsday)

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)

Below the Emperor was the Dalek Supreme Council. (AUDIO: We Are The Daleks)

The Eternity Circle was a council of five blue and silver Daleks created by the Emperor to research temporal weapons during the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Engines of War)

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)

A large convocation of New Paradigm Daleks — led by the Supreme Dalek and the Dalek Prime Minister — was known as the Parliament of the Daleks. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)


Dalek Supreme Controller was the designation of Black Daleks during the 22nd century Dalek invasion, later Red Daleks, second to the Supreme. (AUDIO: "Death to the Daleks!")

The Dalek Inquisitor General served the Supreme Dalek during the Second Dalek War. Dalek X was the best known, if not the only, example. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

Dalek saucer commanders were designated commander of Dalek flying saucers. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)

Command Daleks oversaw facilities such as the Arkheon base. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

Alpha Daleks were high ranking units. Other designations were Beta Dalek, Gamma Dalek, Delta Dalek, and Epsilon Dalek. (PROSE: Resurrection of the Daleks)

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[]

The Astrodalek was in charge of studying the space around Skaro. (COMIC: The Rogue Planet)

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) Despite merely being standard soldiers, every Dalek drone still had a genius level intellect and was capable of committing genocide. (TV: Dalek) The basic Time War drones were bronze, while the New Paradigm incorporated both this design and another design for Drone Daleks. The latter design was larger and red in colour. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)

Assault Daleks were special Dalek drones equipped with laser-cutting arms and blowtorch to replace their plunger manipulator arms. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks, TV: The Parting of the Ways)

The Special Weapons Dalek was designed solely for combat, lacking the abilities of the standard Dalek. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

Marsh Daleks were designed solely for swamp combat. (COMIC: Monsters of Gurnian)

The Skaro Degradations were special Dalek forces used during the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Engines of War)

Non-Daleks servants and slaves[]

Several non-Dalek species worked under the Daleks under some form of enslavement.

Human-Daleks were humans altered with the Dalek Factor or Dalek DNA. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks, Evolution of the Daleks)

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), Taalyens (AUDIO: The Heart of the Battle) and Gralians (AUDIO: The Davros Mission) were all slaves to the Daleks.

The pig slaves were hybrids employed by the Cult of Skaro whilst stranded in 1930s New York (TV: Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks)

Through exposure to a nanocloud, other lifeforms could be converted into Dalek puppets. (TV: Asylum of 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[]

Daleks often showed their rank via colours. According to one source, gold Daleks were the highest, followed by black, red, blue, and grey. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)

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)

Dalek Jast's identification. (TV: Doomsday)

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)

The Death Squad Daleks acted as the "enforcers" of purity amongst the Daleks. In the 2021 Dalek civil war, the Death Squad was summoned to Earth, secretly by the Thirteenth Doctor, to deal with the Defence Drone Daleks. The so-called "New Dalek Army" had traces of human DNA (due to having been cloned by Leo Rugazzi, who was unaware of the Daleks' true nature), and was subsequently exterminated by the Death Squad. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)


The original Dalek hierarchy was established by the Dalek Prime shortly after the creation of the Daleks. Under the Dalek Prime came the original Dalek Supreme, also known as the Black Dalek, "from the paint on his casing", who served as the Warlord of the Dalek people. Below the Black Dalek were "dozens of minor ranks" including Red Daleks, who acted as "section leaders", as well as Red-and-gray Daleks responsible for transportation and the gray and blue "rank-and-file". (PROSE: The History of the Daleks)

Each Dalek saucer was put under the command of a Dalek saucer commander. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)

After the Dalek Prime transitioned to a static casing inside the Dalek City's Great Hall, pivoting to using Dalek Emperor as his main title, (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks, COMIC: The Secret of the Emperor) special Daleks with black domes began to act as both the Emperor's guards and lieutenants. By this point, (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) because the original Black Dalek was thought to be dead, a number of non-individualised Black Daleks had been introduced to the hierarchy, (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks) including a rank known as Black Dalek Leaders. (TV: The Evil 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)

A Dalek Council was also organised, of which a special black and gold Dalek was a member among others. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

Dalek taskforces were silver with black globes. (TV: Death to the Daleks)

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 Empire was obilterated by a clone of the Tenth Doctor. (TV: Journey's End)

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)

Eventually the New Paradigm chose to create a Parliament headed by a Prime Minister. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)

The Daleks on the recreated Skaro were lead by another red and gold Supreme Dalek. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice, The Witch's Familiar)

Parallel universe[]

In a parallel universe, the Daleks were led by the Mentor, the creator and leader of a faction of Daleks from that universe. (AUDIO: Dalek War: Chapter One)

Behind the scenes[]

  • 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.