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Due to their expansionist, warmongering tendencies, the Daleks were known far and wide across the universe, including on Earth, where, by the 21st century, accounts of them and their world existed not only as matters of historical fact, but as fictional antagonists and as "the stuff of legend", in much the same way as their ancient enemy the Doctor did.

With very few exceptions, the Daleks' reputation was a wholly negative one, with the old records of the Daleks on such a remote and derelict outpost as Red Rocket Rising identifying the Daleks as "the worst of them all". (AUDIO: Blood of the Daleks)

On Earth and among humans Edit

As real beings Edit

The Dalek Chronicles Edit

Silver Daleks with large headlamps

A photograph of some Silver Daleks printed on Earth in 2094. (PROSE: The Dalek Chronicles Found!)

Main article: Dalek Chronicles

In the 1960s, alien story-cubes containing the Dalek Chronicles arrived on Earth and were translated and illustrated by David Whitaker, Alan Fennell, Richard Jennings, Ron Turner and Eric Eden. The Chronicles featured a record of the Daleks' history, including their origins, a tale entitled The Archives of Phryne, and one of their conflicts with the Mechonoids.

These Dalek Chronicles were lost for decades and only found again in 2094, when a collected edition of them was at long last released in print to the public. A newspaper article was printed to report those news, illustrated with a photograph showing a platoon of Silver Daleks. (PROSE: The Dalek Chronicles Found!)

Information from the Vault Edit

In the mid-2010s, a BBC Radio documentary crew visited the remains of the Vault in Utah, (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests) where reclusive billionaire Henry van Statten had kept the Metaltron (a lone, insane Dalek) in captivity several years earlier only for it to eventually break out, killing hundreds of personnel. (TV: Dalek) In the resulting documentary, narrator delved into past recorded encounters between the Daleks and a mysterious individual known as the Doctor. (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests)

Government records Edit

Records were kept of the Shoreditch Incident which took place on Earth in 1963. These records were still available in the archives during the 22nd century Dalek invasion, when they were found by the Daleks themselves. On their basis, the Dalek Prime learned that Davros was fated to, at some point, go back in time to 1963 and accidentally destroy Skaro with the Hand of Omega; this knowledge enabled the Dalek Prime to initiate a complex gambit to trick Davros and the Doctor both so as to save the true Skaro and make it so that a decoy planet was destroyed instead. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)

During the Battle of Canary Wharf, footage of a bronze Daleks' base unit and sense globes were captured and shown by an emergency news broadcast shortly before it was interrupted by an attacking Dalek. (WC: Tardisode 13)

Patchy records of mankind's previous contacts with the Daleks were available on Red Rocket Rising, but were incomplete enough that Eileen Klint came to the conclusion that as impotent mutants who owed their reliance on casings to the aftermath of a nuclear war, they should be pitied rather than feared, and could be trusted as allies of humanity. (AUDIO: Blood of the Daleks)

UNIT Edit

UNIT, an organisation formed to protect Earth from alien threats in the late 20th century, was first known to have engaged the Daleks at Auderly House as they, led by Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, aided the Third Doctor in negating an alternate timeline in which the Daleks conquered Earth after starting World War III. (TV: Day of the Daleks) Over the decades, UNIT developed weapons to fight the Daleks. (TV: Battlefield)

During the Dalek invasion of Earth in 2009, UNIT bases across the planet were attacked and massacred by the Daleks. (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End) Later that year, Lethbridge-Stewart, now UNIT's special envoy, recalled taking on the Daleks in his day. (TV: Enemy of the Bane)

By the 2010s, UNIT classed the Daleks as "Code D". They had traced a potential Code D that crash landed in 1962, but lost track of it in Utah. Encountering a crashed Dalek, Kate Stewart recorded it as Code D. By that time, Colonel Vikram Shindi had lost several colleagues to the Daleks. (AUDIO: The Dalek Transaction) The dome of a Supreme Dalek was contained in UNIT's Black Archive. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Public memory Edit

During her childhood, Adelaide Brooke was witness to the stolen planets in the sky and the Dalek invasion in 2009. While remaining at home as her father looked for her mother, Adelaide spotted a Dalek outside her window, which in turn looked back at her before leaving the planet. Though her parents were never seen again, Adelaide survived the ordeal, which she talked about only to her daughter Emily Brooke, who then told her daughter Susie Fontana Brooke. The Tenth Doctor was aware of this as he discussed it with Adelaide shortly before her death on 21 December 2059. Adelaide explained to the Doctor that she decided to follow the Dalek that night, not for revenge, he cited it as the moment which led Adelaide to begin the journey that took the human race all the way out to the stars, which would be continued by her descendants. (TV: The Stolen Earth)

By 2009, many people had become aware of alien life through the Cybermen and the Daleks. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic) When Clyde Langer admitted to his father that he fought aliens, Paul used the Daleks as a frame of reference. (TV: The Mark of the Berserker)

As noted by the Twelfth Doctor in propaganda broadcasts to an occupied Earth in the late 2010s, the Daleks were among the menaces to humanity whom the Monks took credit for defeating. (TV: The Lie of the Land)

The Human Empire Edit

By the year 200,100, people such as Rodrick were aware of the Daleks but believed them to have all disappeared thousands of years prior. Jack Harkness, a Time Agent from the 51st century, recalled that the Daleks vanished out of time and space at a point when they were the greatest threat in the universe. As the Ninth Doctor revealed, that had left to fight the Last Great Time War against the Time Lords, which Jack had thought to be a legend. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)

As works of fiction Edit

Doctor Who and related works Edit

Just like the flesh-and-blood Doctor, the televised and cinematic Dr. Who faced Daleks in several of his adventures, most notably three feature films where Peter Cushing played the part of the Doctor, two of which featured the Daleks. Daleks: Invasion Earth was one of those films. (PROSE: A Visit to the Cinema, The Day of the Doctor)

In an account that gave no indication the Doctor was ever real, the Daleks had appeared by 1964 in the main TV series. (PROSE: The Thief of Sherwood)

Novels by Sarah Jane Smith Edit

Main article: Doctor (series)
Main article: World War Skaro

After she ceased being a companion of the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith published a number of books adapted from her experiences as a time-and-space-traveller, which were billed as science-fiction novels on Earth.

Among these were her very first published sci-fi novel, World War Skaro, published a few years after her 1983 journalistic coverage of UNIT's crackdown on COBRA (PROSE: The Roving Reporter) as well as Dalek Dawn, a part of her Doctor series in which a fictionalised version of the Doctor was featured as main character. (PROSE: Moving On)

Time Surgeon Edit

Main article: Time Surgeon

A comic-book series entitled Time Surgeon surfaced in the 21st century, based on Internet rumours about the Doctor's life. In one story called Day of the Deathroids, fearsome and exceedingly Dalek-like androids called the Deathroids were featured. The story saw them ally with the Minister to eradicate the Time Surgeon. They were capable of shooting plasma-blasts, shouting "Eradicate!" when doing so. (COMIC: Invasion of the Mindmorphs)

As a myth or legend Edit

Recon scout defeated

Art depicting the defeat of the Reconnaissane Dalek at the Battle of Hope Valley. (TV: Resolution)

One Dalek's ship crash-landed in ancient Britain in 55 B.C.. The native Britons, believing it to be a deity, named the Dalek the "Bronze God". It encountered Winston Churchill and Kazran Sardick when the Eleventh Doctor took them back in time in the TARDIS. Ultimately, it was destroyed when its ship exploded. (AUDIO: Living History)

A Dalek was deposited at a fort in Roman Britannia of 305 AD due to time travel experiments, (AUDIO: The Time of the Daleks) where it proceeded to engage the soldiers, who referred to it as a "metal demon", stationed there in a brief skirmish before being quickly overwhelmed and killed. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear)

The defeat of a reconnaissance scout Dalek by human armies in the 9th century at the Battle of Hope Valley had passed into legend as the defeat of an "impossible foe" by the early 21st century when the trisected Dalek awakened and was defeated once and for all by Team TARDIS. Art of the Battle existed with the Dalek clearly visible. (TV: Resolution)

As a complete unknown Edit

By 2012, Henry van Statten, CEO of GeoComTex who claimed to own the internet, acquired an alien specimen which he christened "Metaltron", that had crashed to Earth fifty years prior. It was only through the Ninth Doctor that van Statten and Diana Goddard learnt that the Metaltron was a Dalek, which the Doctor believed at the time to be the last survivor of its species following the Last Great Time War. A commander of van Statten's security personnel ignorantly described it as a "tin robot". The Dalek itself searched for others by downloading the entire Earth's internet, scanning satellites and radio telescopes, only to find no trace of the Daleks. (TV: Dalek)

The fact that Amy Pond, who came from 2010, failed to recognise the Ironsides as Daleks came to the Eleventh Doctor's concern as he recalled their brief theft and invasion of the Earth in 2009. (TV: Victory of the Daleks) He later found reason to believe that the memory of this event, among others, had been erased by cracks in time. (TV: Flesh and Stone)

Bill Potts, from 2017, did not recognise the Daleks she encountered when the Twelfth Doctor brought her into the Dalek-Movellan War. (TV: The Pilot)

On 1 January 2019, a lone Dalek was not recognised by any of the humans it encountered in England. (TV: Resolution)

Other realities Edit

The Fourth Doctor once theorised the absence of the Daleks in some alternate universes as an explanation for realities in which the Krotons, Quarks and Ogrons respectively emerged as dominant powers. Indeed, a leader of the Ogron Confederation of Planets was unfamiliar with the Daleks. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension)

In one alternate timeline, the Daleks were peace-loving academics, with Skaro being the universal centre of civilisation, philosophy, democracy and art. The Time Lords of this timeline were on good terms with these Daleks. (PROSE: The Ripple Effect)

In an alternate timeline created when they seized the Eye of Time, the New Dalek Paradigm invaded Earth in the year 1963. The Daleks' appearance was recorded in an issue of the Daily Times, dated 20 July 1963, before humanity was overrun and exterminated. This timeline was ultimately negated by the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. (GAME: City of the Daleks)

In the year 2059 of an alternate timeline created by the erasure of Rani Chandra's friends in 2009, she recalled to Adam Lloyd that people were already aware of aliens back then through the Cybermen and the Dalek, but were yet to know "everything". (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic)

On Skaro and in the Thal diaspora Edit

Prior to the Daleks' reemergence Edit

The peaceful farming Thals originally encountered on Skaro by the First Doctor and his companions, and who would end up briefly reclaiming the Dalek City after the apparent deaths of all its residents, had not encountered the Daleks since the Neutron War. They remembered the Dals of old as great thinkers and philosophers, and still possessed centuries-old artwork depicting an ancient Thal soldier attacking a defenceless humanoid Dalek, from which the Doctor deduced that the Thals must originally have been the warlike oppressors, and the Thals their victims. (TV: The Daleks)

Shaping Thal culture Edit

After the Daleks grew into a fearsome space power, the Thals who survived, either on a reclaimed Skaro or elsewhere in the universe, grew to see opposing their ancestral enemies as their one purpose in the cosmos, becoming militaristic once again. (TV: Planet of the Daleks) All Thals were raised with the extermination of the Daleks as their one great directive, and they would now do almost anything to fulfill it. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)

In other cultures Edit

Rhodia Edit

Andrea Quill, the last survivor of the Quill of the planet Rhodia and guardian of Rhodian Prince Charlie Smith, was aware of the Daleks, (PROSE: The Stone House) as well as their Time War with the Time Lords of Gallifrey. In contrast, Charlie, who was himself the last surviving Rhodian, was unfamiliar with the Daleks, mistaking one for a robot. (AUDIO: In Remembrance)

During the Doctor's childhood Edit

The Eleventh Doctor once reminisced about a fairy tale he loved as a child, around a thousand years earlier. It was entitled The Emperor Dalek's New Clothes. (TV: Night Terrors)

On Gallifrey and among Time LordsEdit

As the enemy in the Last Great Time War Edit

The first incarnation of the Doctor, a Renegade Time Lord who fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, first encountered the Daleks on Skaro with his granddaughter Susan Foreman and human companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. There, the Doctor and his companions helped the Thals to defeat the Daleks, who intended to exterminate them. (TV: The Daleks) After "delaying" the Dalek conquest of Earth, (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) the Doctor was recognised as an enemy of the Daleks, who developed and sent their own time machine to pursue the TARDIS. (TV: The Chase) One account suggested this to be the first skirmish in the Time War. (TV: The Chase, AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests)

By the end of their second incarnation, the Doctor, via a Thought Channel, cited the Daleks as the "worst of all" the evils he had fought as he stood trial for defying the Time Lords' non-interference policy. Conjuring an image of a Dalek, the Doctor described them as "a pitiless race of conquerors exterminating all who came up against them" as he condemned the Time Lords' inaction. Ultimately, the Time Lords accepted his plea that there was evil in the universe that must be fought, and that he still had a part to play in that battle, resulting in his forced regeneration and exile to Earth. (TV: the War Games)

It was further suggested that, (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests) after the Third Doctor helped negate an alternate timeline in which they successfully conquered Earth by starting World War III in the late 20th century, (TV: Day of the Daleks) the Daleks were brought to the attention of the Time Lords, who accepted the Doctor's plea to guide the TARDIS to Spiridon, where the Doctor neutralised the Dalek army in 2540. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

Ultimately, the Time Lords forsaw a time in which the Daleks had destroyed all other life forms and become the dominant creature in the universe. Sent by either a Time Lord from his own era (PROSE: Lungbarrow) or one from a future point when Gallifrey was threatened by Daleks, (AUDIO: Ascension) the Fourth Doctor was given a mission on Skaro during the Thousand Year War with certain objectives:

  • If possible, to avert the creation of the Daleks
  • Otherwise to alter their development and make them less aggressive
  • To find some intrinsic flaw or weakness to exploit in the Daleks

The Doctor did not avert their creation, but he believed he might have set back Dalek history for a thousand years, but a serious side effect of this was that the Daleks were alerted to the concept of life on other worlds and time travel early, and that they now knew that aliens from the future had tried to avert their creation. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) This attempt created hostilities in the Daleks towards Time Lords and would eventually lead to war. (WC: Monster File: Daleks, AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests) The Eternity Circle even considered this act the very beginning of the Time War, (PROSE: Engines of War) while Rojan considered it to be an early event before the War escalated. (PROSE: The Stranger) The Eleventh Doctor himself referred to it as the "first shot." (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone)

Records in the Doctor's TARDIS Edit

The Doctor themselves kept memorabilia from their face-offs with the Daleks in their TARDIS. As early as a short time after their first regeneration into the Second Doctor, the Doctor possessed a piece of Dalek technology as one of the treasures in a trunk inside his TARDIS. (TV: The Power of the Daleks) The Eleventh Doctor would later attempt to parade a Dalek eyestalk as a "proof of courage" when trying to establish relations with some of the alien ships stationed above Trenzalore at the dawn of Siege of Trenzalore. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

Daleks' Master Plan

Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart quizzically holding the Daleks' master plan VHS tape.

Most strikingly, by the end of their twelfth life, the Doctor owned a VHS tape containing a copy of "the Daleks' master plan", even though the Daleks themselves had lost their own copy centuries earlier. The Doctor casually speculated that the Daleks would do almost anything to get this video document back. (PROSE: Twice Upon a Time) The tape was briefly held up in confusion by Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart as he explored the TARDIS control room in utmost bafflement. (TV: Twice Upon a Time, PROSE: Twice Upon a Time)

OthersEdit

Following the Last Great Time War, the Nestene Consciousness recognised the "mighty" empire of the Daleks. (PROSE: Revenge of the Nestene)

Behind the scenes Edit

Invalid sources Edit

The Doctor Who Fun Book Edit

DalekTARDISTotemPole

A Dalek-flavoured totem pole. (NOTVALID: Who Was 'Ere!)

Several parodical stories in 1987's The Doctor Who Fun Book presented contradictory looks at the production and fandom of Doctor Who, at different "levels" of metafiction, including references to the Daleks.

In NOTVALID: Who Was 'Ere!, for one, a North American Totem featuring a Dalek as one of the creatures in the carvings (as well as a police box) is cited as one example of the Doctor's meddling in human history, taken to be suggesting that the Doctor visited America before Christopher Columbus. Meanwhile, NOTVALID: Dalek Invasion of Ealing 1987 concerned itself with the Daleks seemingly exploiting their own Earth reputations as characters in BBC productions, wreaking genuine havoc on Ealing under the pretense of some BBC filming (with John Nathan-Turner in attendance).

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