Emperor of the Daleks! was a 1993 multi-Doctor comic story in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. Its publication ran across the landmark 200th issue of DWM and the part which appeared in that issue was originally printed in full colour, a highly unusual occurrence in the magazine at that time.
Narratively, the story was remarkable for the fact that it brought together the Sixth and Seventh Doctors, Davros, Abslom Daak and Bernice Summerfield. It, therefore, relied heavily on established continuity and demanded the reader have a fair grasp of Daak's backstory, which had been printed in the magazine ten years earlier. More significantly, the story acted as a prequel to Remembrance of the Daleks, branching Davros's story between Revelation and Remembrance.
As confirmed by footnotes, the story also attempted to retcon the events of the earlier comic Nemesis of the Daleks. Written to take place after the events of Remembrance of the Daleks, it featured a Davros who had wholly lost himself to the persona of Dalek Emperor. Emperor of the Daleks! instead implied that Nemesis featured the Daleks prior to Davros's resurrection and that the Emperor in it was simply the Dalek Prime, although this failed to tally with some lines of the earlier story.
When Davros is placed on trial by the Golden Emperor on Skaro only to be rescued by the Sixth Doctor and Peri, it is only the first move in the Doctor's masterplan to end the Daleks by pitting two factions against each other in a Dalek Civil War. This scheme catches up with the Seventh Doctor and Benny long after it has, in his subjective perspective, paid off, with the Golden Emperor transmatting him, Abslom Daak and a few other old friends to Skaro in the hope of finding Davros…
With his rebellion against the Golden Emperor's Empire on Necros crushed, Davros is placed on trial by the Emperor in the Dalek Court Room on Skaro, being charged with "perverting the destiny of the Daleks". Davros retorts that under the Emperor's rule, the Daleks have strayed from the ideal he had set out for them, thinking more and more like machines instead of advancing and evolving. Some of the Daleks in attendance are swayed by the argument, and, talking among themselves, note that many Scientist Daleks believe that with Davros on Skaro, he should be learned from rather than exterminated. Outraged, the Emperor reasserts that the Daleks are not under Davros's command and sentences him to extermination anyway.
However, the execution is forcibly staid when an asteroid crashes into the Dalek City. This provides just the distraction the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown needed as the Doctor's TARDIS materialises elsewhere in the City. Using a technobot attached to a Dalekanium wire like a balloon, the Doctor activates a computer virus which overrides the Daleks' control of their casings, forcing them to sing "Jingle Bells" instead of exterminating Davros. He then uses another, remote-controlled technobot to lead the liberated Davros to the TARDIS. Davros, who had initially assumed the escape plot was being carried out by Daleks loyal to him, is baffled to realise the Sixth Doctor is saving his life, but accepts his offer to hide in the TARDIS for a few minutes. Moments later, a Dalek patrol break through, forcing the TARDIS to dematerialise with Davros inside — all according to the Doctor's plan.
Back in the Court Room, the Emperor declares Davros not only an inferior being, but a traitor to the Dalek race for consorting with the Doctor. New evidence comes to light which proves that the Doctor arranged for the asteroid-fall with the help of some Thals, and that the whole escape plan was orchestrated in every detail. The Emperor decides to use Abslom Daak, the Daleks' "other greatest enemy", in a ploy to destroy the Doctor and Davros both. When the Black Dalek objects that Daak is believed to have died at the Deathwheel, the Emperor angrily contradicts him, explaining in veiled words that Time can be rewritten if it means the Daleks' survival.
As he is about to die on the Death Wheel, sacrificing his life to destroy the Daleks, Abslom Daak finds himself transmatted to a featureless council chamber where he is greeted by three robed elders. They tell him that he is back on Earth and that they saved him from death because they need him. Pointing out that Taiyin still sleeps on the planet Hell in need of medical attention, they persuade him to let them send him there to find the Doctor (now in his seventh incarnation and travelling with Bernice Summerfield).
Indeed, the Doctor and Benny have just landed on Hell, where the Doctor explains that he must go to plan out "a little surprise" for the Daleks. They soon come across the motley camp of Harma, Salander and Vol Mercurius, whom the Doctor believed to be dead, but who were revived by the medicine of the native Helkans. With them, Daak finds Taiyin's cyrogenic freezer-unit. Having interpreted his human benefactors' request as an order to abduct the Doctor, he seizes the Seventh Doctor while swearing on Taiyin's transparent coffin that it is only for her that he is doing this. Before Benny and Mercurius can make any headway with convincing Daak that he is being unreasonable, the entire camp is transmatted to the same hall where Daak found himself in the beginning.
The bearded leader of the robed elders tells the Doctor that, being at a "crucial stage" of Earth's war with the Daleks, they need his "specialist knowledge" of the Daleks and of their creator Davros. Tipped off by the way in which the questions they ask already assume that the Doctor knows where Davros has vanished, the Doctor pulls the bearded elder's head off his shoulder, revealing him to be a robot under Dalek control. As the holographic disguises around them fall away, revealing they are standing in the Council Chamber on Skaro with the Golden Emperor in attendance!
Abslom Daak immediately begins to hack Daleks apart with his chainsaw, despite the Doctor's feeble and altogether-perfunctory injunctions not to. The Emperor orders that the humanoids be taken alive, leading the Daleks to only shoot to stun. The Doctor additionally notes that the computer virus he left when he visited the City in his last incarnation is still active, impairing the Daleks' marksmanship. This buys him enough time to remember how to exploit the virus to allow him to open a hatch in the middle of the floor, leading into a service duct. Although initially reluctant, Daak is persuaded to follow them by the Doctors' loudly insisting that they're going to go looking for Taiyin.
While they're crawling through the tunnels, Benny convinces the Doctor to tell her what's going on. He tells her about his earlier self's visit to Skaro and explains that his knowledge of Davros's hideout is the reason the Emperor has not tried to kill him yet. Soon, all the humanoids emerge into a small chamber where Taiyin's body lays on a slab. It is, however, a Dalek trick: as soon as Daak touches her, a noxious gas begins to rise out of the perverted cadaver's mouth, knocking out all the intruders.
After the Golden Emperor enters to find them unconscious, declaring victory, they all wake up inside a Dalek containment unit — save for the Doctor, who has instead been brought to the Dalek Interrogation Centre, where the Emperor and the Black Dalek are interrogating him about Davros. When asked why he saved Davros, the Doctor tries to bluff that he did so simply because he enjoyed Davros's company, showing them a mental image of the Sixth Doctor having a pleasant conversation with Davros. Not fooled for a minute, the Emperor inflicts a jolt of pain on the Doctor and orders him to at least tell the truth about where Davros is hiding. Accepting this, the Doctor gives them the coordinate of the planet where he took Davros all those years ago.
The Emperor orders the Doctor to lead a Dalek task-force to his exact location on this planet. To motivate him not to betray the Daleks by leading them into a trap, the Emperor beckons in the Doctor's humanoid companions — from Benny to Salander — who have all been outfitted with headbands that make them into puppets for the will of the Psyche Dalek, no better than Robomen: only if the Doctor cooperates will their free will be returned to them.
Aboard the flagship of the five-saucer Dalek task-force, the Seventh Doctor and the Black Dalek review the coordinates and talk about the mission. The Doctor gets the Black Dalek to open up somewhere about its true feelings on Davros — all the darker, as it turns out, for being mixed with a certain admiration for Davros's understanding of Dalek biology: the Black Dalek views Davros as an aberration and a danger for thinking himself superior to the Daleks despite understanding them perfectly. The Black Dalek also talks about the planet and how a tactical advance of the Dalek Empire was reversed there some time ago, without the Daleks ever figuring out what had happened.
As the Doctor, the Daleks and the brainwashed humanoids prepare to land and walk out into the alien environment, the Doctor tries to speak reassuring words to Benny, although he doesn't know if they're conscious. Psyche Dalek Three, overhearing the conversation, notes that this behaviour is illogical, as, according to its sensors, they are in fact not aware of their surroundings, but the Black Dalek warns it not to underestimate the Doctor. Finally, they land. Upon venturing out of the ship, the Daleks ask the Doctor if there are any native intelligent lifeforms on the planet. With a knowing smile, the Doctor answers that they are, but the Taskforce is unlikely to see them.
Instead, the Daleks are soon attacked by moving vegetation, only saved by Abslom Daak. When the Daleks begin systematically burning all plants in their path as a result, the Doctor notices a tear in the corner of Benny's eye and reassures her that "it won't be long now". Soon enough, the exploring party comes across a pyramid-like structure with Davros at its summit. Davros demands the surrender of the Taskforce, declaring himself the Daleks' new leader, while the Black Dalek orders the exact opposite. Revealing that it has, from his point of view, been a whole year since the Sixth Doctor deposited him on this world — and that he has spent it altering and reconverting the four million Dalek drones who were lost on this world all those years ago into a new race of Daleks, loyal to him only. For this planet's name is Spiridon, where the Third Doctor buried this Dalek platoon in ice so very long ago!
The Black Dalek opens fire on Davros, but, at such a distance, misses. In retaliation, Davros orders his white-and-gold Daleks to fire on the Grey Daleks. The Black Dalek orders the Psyche Dalek to make the humanoid captives fight, intending to use them as cannon fodder to cover a Dalek retreat, but the Seventh Doctor jams the Psyche Dalek's transmitter by covering it up with the sheet of tinfoil-like foldable metal on which Davors had inscribed the plan to his hideout.
Before the Black Dalek can exterminate the Doctor for his betrayal, invisible Spiridons begin sowing chaos in the ranks of the Grey Daleks, smashing them against each other. The Doctor manages to jolt Benny out of her hypnotic daze, with her sharing that she had been focusing on her memory of Rebecca to hang on to some amount of individuality even when under Dalek control (this being the meaning of the syllable "Re… Re…" she had earlier been muttering under her breath). As Abslom Daak finds a new appreciation for Benny, the humanoids dart out of harm's way.
Meanwhile, at the pyramid, Davros's Daleks, who outnumber the Dalek Emperor's by orders of magnitude, gain the upper hand. The Black Dalek orders the saucers still in orbit to fire on the pyramid, but Davros has prepared for this eventuality, and the shields around the pyramid instead reflect the energy back at the Dalek ships, destroying them. On the Doctor's order, Salander, Vol Mercurius and Harma go sabotage the Taskforce's shuttles before they can return to them. When the last of the shuttles they get to threatens to take off before they can disable it, Mercurius tears off his robotic hand, actually "a one-shot electro-scrambler", which causes the saucer to explode upon take-off. He then asks Benny if she'd consider going on a date with him later, only for her to reveal that she's already set a date with Harma.
Meanwhile, the Doctor finds the Black Dalek, who tells him that Skaro has been alerted about the Doctor's treachery and that "Davros will not succeed". The Doctor, however, retorts that it is in order within his own plans for Davros to, indeed, succeed. The Black Dalek is baffled at the suggestion that the Doctor is working for Davros, to which the Doctor instead explains that he has intentionally sparked a civil war between Dalek factions in an effort to wipe out both, which he despises equally.
The conversation is interrupted by a warning shot to the Black Dalek's casing from one of the white-and-gold Daleks, flanking Davros himself. The Doctor asks Davros if he has kept his end of the bargain struck all those years ago between him and the Sixth Doctor: has he given a conscience to the Daleks of Spiridon? Davros states that, of course, he has double-crossed the Doctor again, finding his Daleks' increased combat power sufficient to ensure their supremacy over their Skaro-dwelling cousins. He explains that he plans to head to Skaro himself and depose the "false" Emperor, replacing him as the new Dalek Emperor.
To ensure that the Doctor does not prevent this, Davros reveals his capture of his travelling companions, threatening to "personally dissect" Benny if the Doctor doesn't grant him use of the computer virus and surrender the location of the Hand of Omega.
Davros and his new Daleks head for Skaro with the Seventh Doctor and his (bound) humanoid companions on the command deck with Davros, who taunts the Doctor about his last self's gullibility in having believed for one moment that Davros would try to make the Daleks less aggressive and murderous, and, therefore, in Davros's view, less efficient at gaining and keeping power, by "giving them a conscience".
After an exchange of fire meant to distract the Skaro Daleks from the real attack, Davros's Daleks activate the Doctor's computer virus in a new sequence which prevents the Daleks from activating their weapons systems, and, when the Dalek attempts to destroy the virus, causes their own casing to explode. Moments after being told these news, the panicked Golden Emperor, fighting for control of his own travel machine, watches the Dalek who brought the news to him implode.
An hour later, Davros's mothership lands in the ruins of the Dalek City, littered with the immobile, smoking casings of dead Daleks. When Abslom Daak mentions his intention to escape into the City and look for Taiyin's body, Benny angrily berates him for still harping on about "the corpse thing", telling him that he has mourned her long enough and should get on with his life — beginning with trying to get himself, the Doctor and the rest out of this alive.
Minutes later, Davros, flanked by two of his Daleks and followed by the Doctor and his othe prisoners, enters the Dalek Court Room to find the Golden Emperor still alive and active, albeit battered. Though exhausted and damaged, the Emperor announces that he has "defeated" the virus at last and that Davros will be exterminated. Davros, however, informs "the Upstart" that his Imperial Army and space fleet have been utterly annihilated and that it is "no longer needed", before ordering its extermination.
When Davros turns his attention to the Doctor and his retinue, however, Daak reveals that the Doctor unlocked all the prisoners' chains "hours ago". Casting his aside, he slices Davros's two Dalek bodyguards in half, also damaging Davros' chair with the same blow. Announcing that the virus will soon cause the City's central power core to self-destruct, the Doctor summons the TARDIS using his Time Ring. Forcing Daak to come with them despite his obvious wish to explode with the Daleks, the time-travellers depart just in time to avoid the explosion of the City.
The Doctor and company get some rest at the Existentialist's Bar on the planet Paradise, where the Doctor tells Benny what she had yet to figure out about the future of Davros, his Imperial Daleks, and the Hand of Omega. He also expresses hope that Daak is now over his obsession with Taiyin, an opinion seemingly borne out by Daak's own thoughts as he sips his drink through a straw: he seems to have developed an infatuation with Benny, instead! Leaving Benny's table, the Doctor meets up with another patron of the Bar, the Sixth Doctor, who asks him if everything has gone according to plan. The two drink a bittersweet toast to "the future".
Four days after the explosion on the Dalek City, Davros wakes up inside a new casing, hailed as Emperor by his Imperial Daleks. He realises that his memory was damaged by the blast: he cannot recall what happened since his trial with any accuracy, although he does remember being curious about something called "the Hand of Omega" and tells his aides to investigate it. Jubilant at finally becoming the Emperor of the Daleks, Davros then vows that his next confrontation with the Doctor will be final, and that he will set the Daleks on the path to becoming Masters of Space and Time.
- Seventh Doctor
- Bernice Summerfield
- Sixth Doctor
- Peri Brown
- Abslom Daak
- Vol Mercurius
- Emperor Dalek
- Black Dalek
- Special Weapons Dalek
- Psyche Dalek Three
- Bernice Summerfield mentions her "poor old mum" when trying to convince Abslom Daak that it is unreasonable to carry around the frozen remains of the loved ones that one has lost.
- Benny wrote a thesis on Ice Warrior humour.
- Within the false memory projected by the Seventh Doctor to the Dalek Prime, the Sixth Doctor compares Davros to Josef Stalin.
- After the Seventh Doctor's computer virus causes the Dalek City to explode, Benny remarks that "Ace would be impressed".
- Benny tells Abslom Daak that his wife "is a dead girlfriend. She has ceased to be!".
- An Ice Warrior joke is "Ick hishack ock Akthel?!/Bisht… bisht… hasssthh…?", translating to "Why did the Akthel cross the road?! Perhaps… perhaps because it wanted to…?".
- The Seventh Doctor compares the subroutine in the computer virus which allows him to open a hatch into the City's service ducts right in the middle of the Dalek Council Chamber to Sesame Street.
- An Alpha Centauran worked as a bar attendant at the bar the Doctors, Benny and Ablsom Daak go to.
- The Sixth Doctor notes that although there used to be some Thals on Skaro, they'll "have relocated by now".
- Harma uses the expression "…or we are all skiffled yeng toads" as an apparent Martian equivalent to such Earth expressions as "…or we're all toast".
- Davros claims that under the Golden Emperor, the Daleks have made "recent advances in bio-wetware circuitry.
- Holding onto a Dalekanium wire allows the Sixth Doctor and Peri to survive a blast of Dalek gunfire.
- Technobots are used by the Daleks to move information across the City when the Dalek City's "landlines" are damaged or otherwise occupied.
- The Ice Warrior Harma mentions not having heard the joke quoted by Benny "since the Hatcheries".
- The story picks up plot threads from the television stories Planet of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks and the comic story Nemesis of the Daleks and also acts as a prequel to Remembrance of the Daleks from Davros' point of view. The apparent reason for Davros's forgetting most of the adventure by its end is that he did not seem to be familiar with the Seventh Doctor's visage in Remembrance of the Daleks.
- The Sixth Doctor mentions a "mattress in Perivale" to the Seventh Doctor, a reference to Survival. However, in that particular story, the Doctor landed on an abandoned sofa, not a mattress.
- Immediately upon the reveal of Davros's new race of Dalek created on Spiridon, a caption box refers to them as "Rebel Daleks" while the Daleks loyal to the Golden Emperor are called "Imperial Daleks". With Davros declaring himself the new Dalek Emperor, the terminology used for most of the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War was instead that Davros's white-and-gold troops were the Imperial Daleks, while the Dalek Prime's Daleks were the Renegade Daleks. Not until PROSE: War of the Daleks, set on the other end of the Civil War's timeline, would the Dalek Prime's Daleks again be referred to as Imperials and Davros's as the renegades or rebels.
- The Sixth Doctor remarks that he got the dalekanium wire from Frobisher. (COMIC: The Shape Shifter et al.)
- Benny claims to have done a thesis on Ice Warrior humour. (PROSE: Legacy)
- The Daleks mention events that took place on planet Hell involving Abslom Daak, including his apparent death. (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks)
- The Sixth Doctor pointedly refers to the Hand of Omega in front of Davros, and reveals that he knows where it is. He later tells Peri that he was planting the seeds for a masterplan of which he won't live to see the completion, at least in his present incarnation. In turn, the Seventh Doctor later says, after leaving Davros crippled but alive and in charge of his own faction of Daleks, that he was setting Davros up for events that have already happened as far as the Doctor is concerned, though they yet lie in Davros's future. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- Davros gains an army of Daleks and ends up in a different casing. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer - Synopses of all the Abslom Daak comics
- NZDWFC - Guide to the Abslom Daak comics with synopses