- You may wish to consult
Great Warfor other, similarly-named pages.
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)
One historical account named it part of the Dalek Wars. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) The Second Great Dalek Occupation launched by the Dalek Empire later in their history (AUDIO: Return of the Daleks) was contemporaneous with the Great War's earlier stages. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
Dalek expansion Edit
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)
A subsequent invasion of Earth space (COMIC: Invasion of the Daleks) during the 25th century, (PROSE: Break-through!) was also defeated, (COMIC: Battle for the Moon) as was a more minor follow-up invasion, (COMIC: Masters of the World) in the 27th century. The latter invasion, however, at least allowed the Daleks to rearm and undo much of the damaged caused by collapse of the former invasion. (COMIC: The Mechanical Planet)
During another invasion, on Entropica, the Dalek Emperor, then designated Genetic Variant Two-One-Zero, entered into an uneasy alliance with the Doctor's companion Steven Taylor in order to escape the planet Shade, infested by Chaons. After returning to Skaro, Two-One-Zero became the Emperor. The Emperor had been intrigued by Steven's actions and resolved to study the Human Factor. (AUDIO: Across the Darkened City)
In the hopes of launching stronger invasions than their previous attempts, the Daleks tried to resume their time travel research. They gradually rebuilt their taranium supplies but only acquired enough to power their time machines, (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) though these were not always reliable. A later attempt by the Daleks to invade Earth in 2415 via time travel ended disastrously when the Emperor's time machine proved faulty and flew off course, leaving the rest of the invasion force leaderless. (COMIC: The Secret of the Emperor)
According to Gordon Lowery, Daleks eventually disappeared from human space in the early 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)
The SSS war Edit
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 for 70 years. (AUDIO: The Destroyers)
The Daleks themselves continued plotting an invasion of the solar system, occupying the small uninhabited worlds of Phergo, Dizmus and Lagum for use as launchpads in future invasions of larger planets. Detecting the Dalek build-up, leaders from Earth, Mars, Venus and Uranus (the "Big Four") called an emergency meeting which lasted 16 hours, during which an immediate attack on Skaro was suggested but quickly rejected. The meeting instead resulted in the creation of the top-secret Space Security Service. (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet)
In the following weeks, (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet) Sara Kingdom first encountered the Daleks (AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System) when she, Mark Seven and Jason Corey went in search of her brother, David Kingdom, after the Daleks launched an attack on the Space Exploration Team compound on M5. The SSS agents discovered the Daleks' plan to attack Earth again but the Daleks escaped into hiding again, and David was never found. (AUDIO: The Destroyers)
SSS spies were posted to Dalek-controlled planets, including Skaro, but it was six weeks after its foundation that the SSS received its first official call to action when Compuvac anticipated an impending Dalek attack, although its target was unknown. To delay the invasion, Sara was sent to divert the Daleks' attention to the barren planet of Barzilla. Sara's disinformation spread to Dalek spies, and the Daleks invaded the planet in search of mineral wealth. They instead fell into an SSS ambush and the entire force was destroyed. (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet)
Later, Sara was sent on a mission to rescue Professor Lomberg from Dalek-controlled Vara, before they could create a new non-corrosive metal for their casings based on Lomberg's formula. The metal works, attended by the Daleks' humanoid slaves, was destroyed when Sara and Lomberg tampered with the formula, further delaying the Daleks' ability to invade. (COMIC: Sara Kingdom: Space Security Agent)
In the face of continued defeat, the Dalek Emperor's authority was directly challenged by the Commander of the Red Extra-Galactic Squadron, who demanded more effective leadership. The Emperor had the entire Squadron obliterated for insubordination, but privately it considered that the Commander was right. Dalek Scientists were instructed to rebuild the Emperor's casing in an effort to iron out much of the imperfections that had allowed previous mistakes to happen. (COMIC: The Secret of the Emperor)
The Emperor's rebuilt casing came with telepathic abilities, allowing the Emperor to read the minds of the scientists responsible for Earth's defensive systems. Earth subsequently suffered surprise attacks on missile bases, spaceship launching ramps, radar tracking stations and arms dumps, all of which were hidden in top-secret locations. Fearing the work of a spy, the scientists contacted the SSS.
The successes emboldened the Emperor enough to lead a Dalek force to invade Earth itself, but Sara confirmed that the SSS knew that the Emperor had been rebuilt. Professor Dodds devised a "Cloud Machine" to interfere with the Dalek instruments. Its success gave the SSS an chance to launch a preemptive strike against the Daleks which drove the fleet into retreat, although the victorious SSS knew they would yet return. (COMIC: The Brain Tappers)
The Galactic Council Edit
- Main article: Galactic Council
Although the SSS continued to keep the Daleks at bay, (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet, COMIC: Sara Kingdom: Space Security Agent, The Brain Tappers) their ability to do so was later hampered by a corruption which spread through their own leadership, with the traitor Mavic Chen at the very top. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
In 3950, the same year he succeeded Amazonia as Guardian of the Solar System, (PROSE: Legacy, AUDIO: Neverland) Chen commenced a 50-year mining operation on Uranus to acquire an emm of taranium, (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) intending to replace the Great Clock as a means of protecting the influence of Earth's empire. A future 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. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) Their plot remained secret, with planning proceeding on Kembel, a hugely hostile planet which most travellers from civilised systems tended to avoid. (TV: Mission to the Unknown)
Although SSS agents like Sara knew that the Daleks were active and planning to invade the Earth, the agency and its records on recent Dalek activity were subordinate to Chen and Karlton. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System) SSS efforts were later diverted to fight against the Sontarans in the Sulgrave Asteroid Belt. (AUDIO: The Sontarans) Earth forces had no idea they were threatened by an impending Dalek attack, let alone one assisted by Chen and Karlton, right up until the attack was due to commence. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
In 3975, a non-aggression pact was signed, bringing about a period of peace and prosperity in the galaxy. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) Yet, in 3984, the Seventh Doctor told Bernice Summerfield that a "massive Dalek war" was to start in "about thirty years time". (PROSE: Legacy) The peace 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 declaring 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)
Earth accumulated a number of allies to help aid in the fight against the Daleks, including former members of the Daleks' Great Alliance, who turned against the Daleks after their betrayal. Despite their initial setback, the Daleks committed to an attack even without the Time Destructor. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) Fighting began around the 4010s, (PROSE: Legacy) and grew to span galaxies, though Earth and its allies were initially able to keep the Daleks at bay. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)
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)
The Galactic Federation was quickly torn apart by the Dalek invasion, falling apart in the 4010s and forced to re-evaluate itself in the aftermath. King Tarrol of Peladon had previously severed his planet's ties with the Federation, and so it was spared from an attack, (PROSE: Legacy) though the ties were reasserted around 4035. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Account of the war in universal history Edit
According to one historical account, the Daleks were able to penetrate the solar system, and attacked Mars and Venus, (PROSE: The Whoniverse) two of the original targets of the Great Alliance. (TV: Mission to the Unknown) The attack of Venus was thrown back by a fleet of rockets from Hyperon which were resistant to their fire power. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) The Fourth Doctor told Davros this took place in Space Year 17,000. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
The attack on Mars was defeated by a virus that attacked the insulation on cables in their electrical systems. The virus may have been related to the Movellan virus, although it affected them different, and the Daleks eventually discovered an antidote. The twin defeats drove the Daleks back from the solar system, but the war continued elsewhere in the galaxy.
Smaller theatres opened in Earth's outlying colonies and dominions, while resistance movements emerged on the Frontier Worlds. The same source claimed that the war against the Combined Galactic Resistance constituted another theatre of the conflict. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) However, the Daleks involved in this conflict seemed to come from a later period of their history. (TV: Into the Dalek)
After decades of fighting, the war "did not so much end as peter out", but most of Earth's colonies remained secure and humanity was granted a period of respite in which to recover until the Daleks returned.
The account also attributed the Dalek Plague and the the expedition to Exxilon to the aftermath of this period. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) However, the plague and the Exxilon Gambit were attributed by other accounts to have taken place much earlier during the time of the Third Dalek War. (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters) The book seemed to be offering a more general and not-necessarily linear account of the Dalek Wars, framing the Time Destructor gambit as the starting point. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) A third historical account of Dalek history noted the difficulty in condensing the events into a precise chronology, given the Dalek possession of time travel technology. (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests)
Continued fighting Edit
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
Over 1,000 years after their defeat on Kembel, Dalek computers predicted that the wars would eradicate the Dalek race in as little as 80 years if the defeats continued. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
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 thwart 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. As the war stretched into the 41st century, the Eleventh Doctor gained the trust of the crew on Station 7 by claiming he had worked with Bret Vyon and Sara Kingdom. The SSS were impressed by his credentials and remarked that, based on his apparent youth, he must have been fighting Daleks from a young age. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)
The Twelfth Doctor held a copy of "the Daleks' master plan" on a VHS tape in the TARDIS. The Daleks had lost their own copy centuries prior, and the Doctor knew they would very much like to get it back. (PROSE: Twice Upon a Time)
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
Establishment of the Great War in John Peel's novelisations Edit
The first and most direct reference to the Great War, and the one from which the name comes, is from the prologue of John Peel's 1993 novelisation of The Evil of the Daleks. It is this prologue which establishes the bridge between The Evil of the Daleks and The Daleks' Master Plan, with the latter having said to have taken place over 1000 years prior, although an exact year is not given, narrowing down the end of the conflict to around or after the 51st century.
The Great War, with its culmination in the Dalek Civil War, serves as the sort of concluding event in Peel's interconnected series of Dalek novelisations, which also included The Chase, Mission to the Unknown and The Mutation of Time (Peel also novelised The Power of the Daleks but this instalment remains largely standalone).
The novelisation of Evil has the Daleks think of the conflict as "their Great War", which could imply that the name refers to a periodisation encompassing numerous Dalek conflicts which ultimately bled them dry, rather than being a singular war fought non-stop for a thousand years, similar to the Hundred Years' War in the real world.
Given the interconnected nature of Peel's Dalek novels, it is possible that he depicted a battle of the Great War between the Daleks and Draconians in the "Draconian Space" interlude in War of the Daleks. However, the dating of this segment 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. On the other hand, the "Human Space" interlude featuring Dryn Faber clearly takes place shortly Master Plan.
The novelisation Mission to the Unknown vaguely attributes the disappearance of the Daleks from human space in the 31st century to a conflict with the Movellans, while the original televised version claims the Daleks invaded Earth.
The Great War in other stories Edit
Peel's novelisation is not alone in asserting that the events of Master Plan sparked a war. Legacy, The Anachronauts and The Whoniverse also make references to fighting breaking out in the wake of the Kembel incident. Daughter of the Gods does likewise, though in an alternate timeline, as does The Only Good Dalek, though with the Daleks having apparently altered the timeline somewhat.
The Whoniverse doesn't necessarily follow the chronology established by Evil, even saying that the war lasted "decades" and not over 1,000 years, and suggesting the Dalek Civil War took place before the events on Kembel. It also seems to mark the period of the Great War to the beginning of the Dalek Wars as a whole. In addition, it seems to encompass the Dalek invasions of Mars and Venus, (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) the war against the Combined Galactic Resistance (TV: Into the Dalek) and the Exxilon Gambit (TV: Death to the Daleks) as parts of the post-Kembel conflict. Into the Dalek takes place post-Time War, but like The Only Good Dalek, there may be time travel involved. The Exxilon Gambit has been established as taking place in an earlier period of history. Too avoid too much confusion, this article clarifies that the information in The Whoniverse stems from an in-universe history book, subject to its own internal inaccuracies.
The Dalek Handbook, which this wiki does not consider a valid source, also claims Evil takes place in the aftermath of Master Plan but makes no mention of any war and still dates Evil to the 41st century, with the Daleks continuing to experiment with time travel.
Battles in Time Magazine Edit
Doctor Who: Battles in Time magazine regularly featured two-page spreads depicting various Dalek conflicts, titled Dalek Wars. These are considered invalid sources by this wiki. 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.