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Henry van Statten was the CEO of the American corporation GeoComTex and a collector and exploiter of alien technology. He was the billionaire owner of the Internet in 2012. As head of GeoComTex, Henry van Statten had enough influence to sway the course of the next presidential elections.
Van Statten had been collecting extraterrestrial artefacts on the grey market for years, buying bits and pieces of alien technology at auctions and then reverse engineering them to create "new" technologies which he would then exploit commercially. He claimed to "own" the Internet, and said that broadband was derived from technology scavenged from the Roswell crash. He kept these artefacts in a private collection, inside a bunker called the Vault more than fifty floors below ground in Utah near Salt Lake City. (TV: Dalek)
Sometime before 2012, van Statten acquired a living but unresponsive Dalek, who had survived the Last Great Time War. He called it a "metaltron". Van Statten tried to make the Dalek talk through torture but all it did was 'scream'.
In 2012, the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler arrived in the Vault in response to a distress signal, unaware that the signal came from a Dalek. They were quickly captured by van Statten's guards. At this time, Diana Goddard, van Statten's personal assistant, and Adam Mitchell, a scientist, worked for him. Learning the Doctor was alien, van Statten examined his Gallifreyan physiology. He had plans to make use of his binary vascular system in a marketing venture, branding it as his own creation through a patent. When the Dalek freed itself, he gave the Doctor free rein to deal with it. By the time events came to a conclusion, two hundred GeoComTex personnel had died and the Dalek had self-destructed. Goddard took charge at this point and van Statten got a taste of his own medicine: she ordered van Statten to be taken away, mind-wiped and dumped on the streets, "somewhere beginning with an 'S'," due to him causing the death of 200 personnel. (TV: Dalek)
Intelligent, arrogant and selfish, van Statten treated his employees as though they were expendable human livestock, to the point of mind-wiping them when they left his employ so they could not betray his secrets. He also displayed no concern for their safety and even when there was a deadly Dalek on the loose, he ordered them not to cause any damage to it and was willing to let them die just to keep the Dalek in one piece. Eventually he decided to help the Doctor stop the Dalek but only did so to protect himself, telling the Doctor that the only reason he was helping was because he didn't want to get killed. Van Statten had a wry, dark sense of humour and treated other humans, and aliens especially, as things he could use to amuse himself or turn to his advantage. The Doctor mentioned Davros, the Dalek creator, to him and secretly compared them, calling Davros "a genius, a man who was king of his own little world" and telling van Statten, "You'd like him". However van Statten was not entirely heartless and apologised to the Doctor when they thought that Rose Tyler had been killed. He claimed that he wanted to touch the stars, unaware of how detrimental his treatment of alien life and artefacts had really been so far. (TV: Dalek)
Behind the scenes
- In an early draft script for Dalek, van Statten's character was called "Will Fences", as a parody of Bill Gates.
- According to Russell T Davies' The Writer's Tale, the original script for The End of Time had Henry van Statten name-dropped as a billionaire like Bill Gates and Joshua Naismith.
- In the online game The Last Dalek, which presents an alternate version of the events of Dalek, van Statten does not appear, but he has an entry in the Dalek's memory files. He is described as; "Male subject. Age 40. American. Effortlessly powerful. Always with a glint in his eye. The sort of man that won't allow himself to be bored for a single second. Consider potentially dangerous."
- According to The Doctor: His Lives and Times, van Statten was dumped on the streets of Sacramento.
- Henry shares some similarities with Nigel Rochester from Jubilee, which Dalek was adapted from: Both of them are collectors of alien technology, both of them own a Dalek which they torture in an attempt to get it to talk, and both are betrayed by a woman whom they hold in their confidence.