The Great War was the name used by the Daleks to identify a series of galactic conflicts fought after the year 4000 which nearly resulted in the extinction of the Dalek race. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
Dalek expansion Edit
According to Gordon Lowery, Daleks disappeared from human space in the early stages of the 31st century, after an invasion of Earth. Although they stayed clear of human space in the years that followed, the Dalek Empire began a rapid expansion process at the start of the 36th century. In 500 years, they gained control of over 70 planets in the Ninth Galactic System and 40 more in the Constellation of Miros. (TV: Mission to the Unknown)
Following their failed invasion of Earth in the 22nd century, (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) the Daleks wanted revenge on the Doctor for his part their defeat. An assassination squad was sent from Skaro in a Dalek time machine to hunt down the TARDIS and eliminate the Doctor. Not only did the mission fail but the squad also ended up using all the Dalek Empire's supplies of taranium, which the time machine was powered by. The time machine was ultimately stolen and destroyed by Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, (TV: The Chase, PROSE: The Chase) crippling the Daleks' time researches. (PROSE: Mission to the Unknown) The Daleks gradually rebuilt their taranium supplies but only acquired enough to power their time machines. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
In the early 40th century, the Daleks returned to human space and slaughtered a garrison on Alpha Millennia. Six months later, a Dalek ship was sighted near Mars before vanishing again. These were the only records the Space Security Service had on the Daleks later in the century. The Daleks resurfaced again 70 years later with an attack on the Space Exploration Team compound on M5. Sara Kingdom, Mark Seven and Jason Corey, searching for David Kingdom, discovered the Daleks' plan to attack Earth again but the Daleks escaped into hiding again. (AUDIO: The Destroyers) The plot against Earth did not become known throughout the SSS ranks. (AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System, TV: Mission to the Unknown, The Daleks' Master Plan)
The Galactic Council Edit
- Main article: Galactic Council
In 3950, the same year he succeeded Amazonia as Guardian of the Solar System, (PROSE: Legacy, AUDIO: Neverland) Mavic Chen commenced a 50-year mining operation on Uranus to acquire an emm of taranium, intending to replace the Great Clock as a means of protecting the influence of Earth's empire. Sara Kingdom, having travelled back in time with the First Doctor, destroyed the Clock in 3999. Chen thus formed an alliance with the Daleks as part of another plan to protect Earth, (AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System) privately intending to betray them once his ambitions were achieved. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Chen and his underling, SSS Security Chief Karlton, became the newest members of the Daleks' Galactic Council, an alliance of several rulers of the Outer Galaxies all contributing resources to the war force. Other members included Malpha, Beaus, Gearon, Sentreal, Trantis, Warrien, Celation and Zephon, master of the Fifth Galaxy. Meanwhile, as the Daleks plotted in secret, a non-aggression pact was signed in 3975, bringing about a period of peace and prosperity in the galaxy. This lasted 25 years until the Daleks put their plans to strike at Solar System from Kembel into action. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Attempted invasion of the Solar System Edit
In 4000, the Daleks were at last sighted again in human space. The captain of a space freighter reported a brief sighting of a space vessel which the SSS identified as a Dalek spaceship. Marc Cory, with Gordon Lowery and Jeff Garvey, set off for Kembel, where Cory had a hunch the Daleks were operating. Cory uncovered the existence of the Great Alliance during its first meeting but all three men were killed by Dalek patrols and Varga plants. Before his death, Cory recorded a message intended to warn Earth of the alliance and the impending attack. (TV: Mission to the Unknown)
Six months later the SSS sent Bret Vyon and Kert Gantry to search for Cory on Kembel as the Council reconvened, with Chen attending for the first time and providing the alliance with his taranium. With the help of the First Doctor, they discovered the Daleks' plans to use the taranium to power a doomsday weapon called the Time Destructor which could destroy all the planets in the Solar System. The Doctor stole the taranium, leading Chen and the Daleks to pursue him both across the galaxy and through time until it was recovered in ancient Egypt, (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) although the Red Dalek in charge of the time machine was destroyed by the Egyptians who bombarded it with rocks. Yet this would be a small price to pay for the Daleks if their plans succeeded. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
Once the Daleks returned the taranium core to Kembel, they broke off the alliance, imprisoning the members of the Council who were still alive. The Doctor, Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom followed them back to Kembel and freed the surviving delegates, who fled back home to warn their civilisations and others of the Dalek attack, save for Chen who was convinced the Daleks were still his allies, but he was later killed by them. As the Daleks made their final preparations, the Doctor managed to get hold of the Time Destructor with the core in place and activated it, wiping out everything on Kembel, including the Dalek invasion force. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
This was a huge disaster for the Dalek Empire, as the Dalek Prime considered both the fleet and the Black Dalek lost on Kembel irreplaceable. Back on Earth, Karlton was awaiting word from Chen and for the Dalek invasion to begin, and he was concerned when this did not come to pass. He was then arrested by Senator Diksen and placed on trial for high treason with the sentence being execution. Chen and Karlton's parts in the attempted invasion had been exposed by Cory's recording which had been found on the body of Bret Vyon. SSS agents also set off for Kembel to arrest Chen, unaware of his fate or the planet's destruction. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
The wars Edit
With the Dalek plans exposed, the Great War began as several powers retaliated by declared war on the Dalek Empire over the course of the following millennium, which was exactly what the Daleks had sought to prevent by cutting out the heart of human space. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
One of the earliest shots fired in the wars was a minor victory by Space Security Agent Dryn Faber a very short time after the Kembel incident, when he successfully destroyed a Dalek drilling rig on the water planet of Antalin, costing the Daleks valuable minerals and chemicals they were in the process of mining. Faber was driven by the desire to avenge Cory's death, as they had been friends before the events on Kembel. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
As the Great War continued, the Daleks were overwhelmed. Many of the events that occurred over the centuries, particularly towards the end, were massive Dalek defeats as they were driven back on all fronts:
- A Thal offensive in Sector Seven resulted in the loss of 200 Dalek saucers.
- The Draconians annihilated half of the Dalek fleet along the Draconian frontier.
- The efforts of the Terran Federation saw six worlds liberated from Dalek rule.
End of the wars Edit
- Main article: Dalek Civil War
The Dalek Emperor ordered the Daleks to capture the Doctor so that they could force him to conduct research into the Human Factor. This would this unlock the secrets of the Dalek Factor which was to be spread throughout all areas of human history, giving all humans the mentality of a Dalek and preventing the Great War from ever happening. The Supreme Council was responsible for the task. Led by a Red Dalek, an emissary for the Council, the Daleks invaded Theodore Maxtible's house on Earth in 1866 and set up operations. They kidnapped Victoria Waterfield and forced her father Edward Waterfield to steal the TARDIS from Earth in 1966 to lure the Second Doctor and his companion Jamie McCrimmon to Maxtible's house.
The Daleks had the Doctor send Jamie to rescue Victoria so that his behavioural patters could be recorded, from which the Human Factor could be distilled. It was tested on three Daleks, which the Doctor named Alpha, Beta and Omega, and proved successful as they had the mentality of human children. With the experiment complete, the Daleks returned to Skaro after destroying the house, with the Doctor, Jamie, the humanised Daleks and others following them. There, the Doctor confronted the Emperor and learned of the Daleks' true plans involving the Dalek Factor. To thwarth the Daleks, the Doctor escaped captivity and infected many more of the Daleks with the Human Factor, and, like Alpha, Beta and Omega, they began to question the orders of their superiors which escalated into a full-scale rebellion. The Emperor Dalek's guards, the Black Daleks and the other remaining loyalist forces retaliated and the ensuing battle destroyed the Dalek City, seemingly taking the Dalek race with it and ending the wars. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
However, the Dalek Civil War did not end the Daleks as the Doctor predicted it would. In the end, the Emperor's forces proved too strong and the rebellion was crushed, (COMIC: Bringer of Darkness) although Alpha and several other humanised Daleks escaped and fled to the planet Kyrol where they began breeding. They ultimately destroyed themselves to prevent the telepathic parasite Kata-Phobus from feeding on them. (COMIC: Children of the Revolution)
Back on Skaro, the Emperor's forces began rebuilding, resulting in the emergence of a new command structure, involving grey Dalek drones which largely replaced replaced the silver Daleks, although not completely, (TV: Death to the Daleks) and Gold Daleks which outranked the Black Daleks. (TV: Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, PROSE: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks, War of the Daleks)
The Daleks built an automaton to assassinate Victoria Waterfield. Taking the form of her late father, it waited in the London graveyard where her mother was buried, expecting her to return there. However, by the time she did, a century of neglect, inaction and weather had crippled it, allowing the Doctor to easily destroy it. (PROSE: Father Figure)
Despite further encounters with them, the Doctor tried to deny the survival of the Daleks for a time (COMIC: Bringer of Darkness, PROSE: The Dark Path, AUDIO: Fear of the Daleks) but when he first encountered them in his third incarnation, by which point the new hierarchy was in place, he reflected on how he was wrong to believe that they had been utterly defeated. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks)
The crew of the Hank Morgan IV knew of the war with the Daleks but considered it ancient history by their native time period, during the war against the Wall of Noise. (AUDIO: The Anachronauts) By the far future, the Great War, as with other wars involving the Daleks, was considered a part of the First Segment of Time. (TV: The Ark)
After the Last Great Time War, from the Daleks' perspective, the New Dalek Paradigm began a war with humanity and the SSS during the 40th century, meaning they were already at war when the Great War began in 4000. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)
Alternate timeline Edit
- Main article: Harvest of Urbinia
In an alternate timeline created when the First Doctor's TARDIS collided with the Second Doctor's, the former became stranded on Urbinia and never arrived on Kembel. Without the Doctor's interference, the Daleks successfully developed the Time Destructor and embarked on a campaign of destruction and conquest against which resistance proved ineffectual.
Three months after the First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Katarina arrived on Urbinia, the Dalek Fleet attacked the neighbouring planet Baralda and wiped it from existence. The Dalek Supreme issued Urbinia with an ultimatum, stating that the population was to surrender and submit to slavery or the Time Destructor would destroy the planet as shown with Baralda. Chancellor Atrias complied and fled but the Doctor took charge and organised an evacuation effort from Kiria City, which suffered preliminary Dalek bombardment, beginning the Harvest of Urbinia.
The Daleks made planetfall in the midst of the chaotic evacuation. All other Urbinian cities surrendered after the Daleks intercepted the escaping ships. Kiria continued to resist, spurred on by the First and Second Doctors and Captain Parlos, but ultimately the Dalek ground forces surrounded the space port. The Dalek Supreme deployed the Time Destructor after Urbinia's failure to submit. However, the Second Doctor repaired his TARDIS and returned to the moment of the initial collision to prevent it from happening. The First Doctor landed on Kembel and the original timeline was restored. (AUDIO: Daughter of the Gods)
Behind the scenes Edit
- The only direct reference to the Great War is in the prologue to the novelisation of The Evil of the Daleks by John Peel, although the connections to the other stories referenced in the article are made clear. This helps place the previously undated Dalek Civil War sometime during or after the 51st century or even the 52nd by stating the events of The Daleks' Master Plan took place over 1000 years prior, although an exact year is not given. It creates a link between the two stories that was not made in the televised versions.
- In John Peel's War of the Daleks, the Draconians are briefly featured in one of three interludes in which a small fleet enters into battle with the Daleks and is destroyed. It is certainly possible that Peel intended this to be an event of the Great War given that he often drew connections between his novelisations and original stories. However, it is left ambiguous. The interlude could just as easily take place in another Dalek conflict the Draconians took part in such as the Second Dalek War of the 26th century. The Human Interlude included in the article featuring Dryn Faber, on the other hand, has its time period of the early 41st century shortly after the events of The Daleks' Master Plan made clear.
- The magazine Doctor Who: Battles in Time regularly featured two-page spreads depicting various Dalek conflicts, titled Dalek Wars. Each conflict was accompanied by a "source" text and a search-and-find activity. Some of them date their events concurrently with the Great War:
- Issue #45: 'The Rise of the Daleks' by Exissa Canoomidid details a battle between a lost Dalek scout party and giant rock creatures in the Temple of Haskavarr, taking place in the strategically important Canis Major Dwarf galaxy in the year 4203.
- Issue #25: 'The Wars at the Ends of the Worlds' by R K Datoo details the Dalek attack on Graelliscy, which had been a human colony since the 45th century. The Daleks attacked in 4826 during their "unending march through the universe." Initially the attack was repelled but after retreating and reassessing the situation, the Daleks attacked again. After their victory, they proceeded to massacre every human on the planet.
- Issue #35: 'The End of the Daleks' by Dokktor Whit-Arkker, written 100 years after the end of the Dalek Civil War, expands on said conflict and also claims it was part of a larger struggle between humanity and the Dalek Empire taking place in the build-up to the climactic events of Evil. After the crushing defeat of the Seventh Dalek Armada at the famous Battle of Gurnian, it became clear that the Daleks were losing. Consequently, they began their gambit with the Human and Dalek Factors to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but their efforts ultimately led directly to the civil war. Afterwards they vanished from the galaxy but the Emperor was rumoured to have survived.
- In the novelisation Mission to the Unknown, which was adapted from the TV story Mission to the Unknown and part of The Daleks' Master Plan, the disappearance of the Daleks from human space followed a conflict with the Movellans, and not an invasion of Earth.