The Ironside Project was a ruse created by the Daleks. It was designed to lure the Eleventh Doctor to them, trick him into delivering testimony to identify them as Daleks and enable them to activate the Progenitor. The Project was a complete success, and the New Dalek Paradigm was the outcome.
The Ironsides were a pair of standard Dalek drones. They had themselves painted khaki-green with the Union Flag in place of their recognition code as part of their plot. They sometimes had covers put over their luminosity dischargers to better hide from opposing forces while undercover and had army utility belts housing useful battlefield accoutrements strapped to the weapons platform of their casings, obscuring their slats. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
A single Dalek Saucer and its crew of three Daleks survived the fall of the New Dalek Empire, (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) and fell through time to 1941. They acquired an original Progenitor device, which could create new Daleks, but the device did not respond to them because it did not recognise them as Daleks. The three decided to trick the Doctor into proving to the Progenitor that they were, indeed, Daleks.
They created Edwin Bracewell, an android that was programmed to think of itself as a British scientist who constructed a pair of robot war machines, and provided him with charts and testing results realistic enough to take to the British Army to use in their war with the Nazis. Two of the three Daleks posed as Ironside prototypes. Bracewell rolled out a war-designed variant of the Dalek and put them into key points within the Allied Forces. When not used in battle, they did small tasks such as providing tea to keep up their ruse as just being advanced robots. Winston Churchill informed the Eleventh Doctor of the Ironsides.
When the Doctor arrived a month later, he was furious to discover that the Ironsides were Daleks. When his attempts to convince Churchill of the truth failed, the Doctor confronted the Ironsides directly and declared that he was the Doctor and they, the Daleks, were his enemies. This was recorded by the Ironsides and sent to the Progenitor, which accepted the identification and the Daleks' command to create the new Daleks.
The Ironsides immediately dropped their ruse, revealed Bracewell as an android by blasting off his hand, killed two soldiers, and returned to their ship in orbit. They were followed by the Doctor in the TARDIS. The Doctor confronted them and held the Daleks at bay with a "TARDIS destruct mechanism," actually a Jammy Dodger. The Daleks revealed their intentions and created five new Daleks. The new Supreme Dalek decided that the trio of older Daleks were "impure." The three Daleks accepted this and allowed themselves to be disintegrated by the new Progenitor Daleks, who went on to establish the New Dalek Paradigm. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
Encountering the "Bronze God", Churchill recognised it as a Dalek through his experience with the Ironsides. Indeed, he initially referred to the "Bronze God" itself as "Ironside" (AUDIO: Living History).
Doctor RV Singh wrote about the Ironside Project in various essays. When his essays were rediscovered in the 1960s he disavowed them as a childish prank, however shortly before his death in 2010 Singh swore to a colleague of Maxwell Grey that they were actually true. (PROSE: The Mandela Effect, Or Monsters on the Streets of London)
Behind the scenes
- In the real world, an Operation Ironside was planned and executed by the Allies from 1943 to 1944.
- The name "Ironsides" was the name of the members of Oliver Cromwell's cavalry of the New Model Army in the English Civil War.
- According to non-narrative The Dalek Handbook, the Ironsides were the Daleks who survived the War in the Medusa Cascade. This was eventually made canon in Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe.
- Action figures based on the Ironside Dalek, including variants with and without covers over the luminosity dischargers, were released by Character Options. The covered ear variant has lighter coloured paint than the original.
- Ironside Daleks are among the Dalek enemies used in the Doctor Who: Legacy mobile game.
- Green Daleks in the video game The Doctor and the Dalek bear resemblance to the Ironside Daleks.