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A Dalek time machine, sometimes called a Dalek time ship, was a type of time vessel used by the Daleks.


The first Dalek time machine was roughly comparable in abilities to a Time Lord TARDIS. It was dimensionally transcendent and created for the express purpose of chasing the First Doctor through time and space. It enabled the Doctor's companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright to return home. At first the Doctor refused, insisting it was too dangerous but he changed his mind. The Doctor instructed the pair to set the ship for self-destruction after it had transported them to London on 26 June 1965. (TV: The Chase; PROSE: The Time Travellers)

The Daleks and Mavic Chen used a time machine to pursue the First Doctor, his companions and the Monk. This machine tracked their targets with a space-time scope. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)

The Daleks used taranium to power their space-time craft. (PROSE: The Chase, Mission to the Unknown, The Mutation of Time)

Time scout ships were usually crewed of six Daleks and could be identified by their energy signature. (AUDIO: Energy of the Daleks)

Dalek time ships were used during the invasion of Gallifrey. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element)

By the time of the Dalek-Movellan War, the time machines were considered lost knowledge by the Daleks. The Kembel faction was dedicated to regaining that knowledge and succeeded in recreating a time machine, however it was stolen by the Tenth Doctor who used it to return to the post-Time War universe. (AUDIO: The Triumph of Davros)

Dalek time ships were able to be remotely controlled from their point of destination. When Davros escaped in one, the Seventh Doctor sent him to a planet of ghosts. (AUDIO: Daleks Among Us)

Behind the scenes[]

This craft has been referred to as a "DARDIS" in fandom, but the name cannot be substantiated easily. It was never used in any televised adventure, and neither does it appear in the novelisation of The Chase nor in Mission to the Unknown or The Mutation of Time, the two book novelisation of The Daleks' Master Plan. Instead, author John Peel, like scriptwriter Terry Nation, predominantly uses the phrase "Dalek time machine", with occasional use of the phrase "Dalek time ship" for variety.

According to Doctor Who Magazine, "the Daleks' time machine was referred to in stage directions as “the Dardis”". (DWM 272 page 24)

However, the name does appear within an officially licensed story: in the Sixth Doctor novel The Quantum Archangel, the Master is said to possess "the DARDIS core, stolen from Skaro itself". This is the full extent of the term's usage in the text, with nothing solidly tying this name to the Dalek time machines featured in The Chase. Dardis was also used as the name of Dr. Da's spaceship in Film Star Wins Oscar—Misses Premiere!, a 1965 parody of Dr. Who and the Daleks (the first Peter Cushing Dalek movie).

Likewise, the meaning of the acronym DARDIS remains unknown. It is likely a contraction of "Dalek TARDIS", or possibly an acronym for "Daleks And Relative Dimensions in Space".