Eve of War, reprinted as A Fresh Start in The Amazing World of Doctor Who and as Eve of the War in The Dalek Chronicles, was a The Daleks comic story written by David Whitaker.

This was the first story to feature the Mechanoids in comic form and as an explicit enemy of the Daleks. Additionally, this story was also notable for its change of artists mid-way through the story, resulting in differences in style of Daleks, ships and all style and painted elements of the story. The Daleks' design shifted from one based on their appearance in the first Dalek story The Daleks to a design similar to the Dalek film (Dr. Who and the Daleks) released the year this story was first published.


A new chapter in Dalek history begins. Following the Monstron attack, the Daleks have rebuilt their city with new defences to warn them on any future invasion. With the threat of the rust plague and the Monstrons over, the Dalek Emperor orders the Daleks to resume their conquest of other planets with the next target being Oric as it contains valuable minerals. As it is further away than Alvega or Solturis, the Daleks are building a refuelling station when one of the Daleks comes under attack from a cloud in space. It goes insane and starts seeing other Daleks as its enemies and begins killing them. Watching from a cloaked spaceship, a Mechanoid reports to its leader Menoid that their "suspicion" ray is successful and they wait for a rebellion among the Daleks to begin.

The rogue Dalek is restrained as the Red Dalek Leader says their radardroves have detected enemy messages in their space. They uncover the Mechanoid ship and destroy it. However, the Mechanoids return with two more ships. They melt the Dalek's flying saucer, killing the Red Dalek within. The Mechanoids issue a warning to the Daleks and say that they are to stay out of Mechanoid skies. Soon they plan to attack Skaro.

Back on Skaro, the Emperor Dalek extracts information about the Mechanoids from the Dalek affected by the "suspicion" ray. As other Daleks begin to question who the Mechanoids are, the Emperor has the rogue Dalek's through patterns analysed and they receive information on their new enemies. The Emperor orders new weapons and defences to be built and begins mobilising the Dalek forces. War is coming.



  • Dalek sound scans can listen for things approaching up to 100,000 AUDs away from the North and South.
  • Videoscopes also watch for things around Skaro.
  • The Daleks use H20 ballast in their saucers to blow the cloud hiding the Mechanoids' ship away.
  • Mechanoid Interceptors can travel at lightspeed.
  • The Mechanoids use force field protection on their ships, rendering the Daleks' weapons useless.
  • Mechanoids are totally machine and have powerful positronic brains.
  • Washington has revealed that following TV 21's report of the disappearance of Fireball through the time barrier, a World Government official has examined secret records dating back to 1966. Records recount the appearance of a strange spacecraft matching the description of Fireball landing in Washington. Investigations are continuing.
  • Marineville reports that contact with Stingray has been lost. Excessive amounts of electricity in the atmosphere is being blamed for the failiure of the automatic sea map to locate the craft.
  • MPs have evacuated ground and first floor offices as the London flood level reached thirty feet around Big Ben. Britain's Prime Minister announced that he would be instructing their representative in the World Senate to raise the question of why nothing has been done to re-establish stable weather.
  • County police investigating reports of gunfire on the road to Creighton Mansion have revealed that a man was seen running from a wrecked car into the surrounding woods. Police with tracker dogs are combing the area.
  • Washington has revealed that the world's top scientists will be meeting in Paris to discuss the state of the world's communications systems. They will attempt to check the rising amount of electronic particles in the atmosphere which are interfering with communications. This was first noticed at Marineville, who are still unable to trace Stingray.
  • The editor of the popular children's comic TV 21 has announced that he received a letter of apology from the World Government in Unity City. It was prompted by the World Government's refusal to accept TV 21's time machine report concerning the disappearance of Fireball XL5 after the ship's "dramatic" return to 2066 confirmed the report to be true.


  • The regular artist, Richard Jennings, left the series mid-story but still contributed to The Dalek Outer Space Book.
  • Ron Turner, who finished this story, didn't become the regular artist until after the next story. He had a number of previous commitments and at the time had no experience in providing art for a colour comic.
  • The change in artist mid-story causes slight continuity issues. The colours and shape of the Red Dalek, as well as other Daleks become simplified and their shapes change. Mid-battle, a flying saucer becomes topped with a giant Dalek head.
  • This is the first of the Mechanoid story arc. Dalek-Mechanoid combat was previously shown in the television story The Chase and the comic story The World That Waits.
    • In The Chase, the Mechanoids were said to be robot servants built by humans for colonisation purposes but they were forgotten after interplanetary wars ended the Earth Empire's expansionist phase. In this story, the Mechanoids are an independent species. The most often-cited theory is that Mechanoids became their own species over time after their abandonment (an idea alluded to in Daleks!, where the Mechanoids boast of being capable of advancing as a species unlike the static, reactionary Daleks), although other possibilities exist.
  • This story was reprinted as A Fresh Start in The Amazing World of Doctor Who, with new narrative boxes linking each part replacing the introductory "The Daleks by Terry Nation" image and the closing Stop Press! messages.


External links[]