"Metaltron" was the name given by Henry Van Statten to a bronze Dalek soldier that fought in the Last Great Time War, and survived after falling through time to the Ascension Islands on Earth. Damaged, he passed through several collectors of alien technology, eventually becoming a living specimen in van Statten's Cage in 2012.
Fighting in the Time War
A typical bronze Dalek drone fought in the Last Great Time War, being fielded during the Fall of Arcadia. It was told that it would be among the first casualties and that the Doctor would be there, with the Commander telling it to fear him. During the battle, the Dalek found itself alone after its comrades were destroyed and glimpsed the War Doctor in the smoke. Taken over by fear it fired aimlessly, missing him entirely. (PROSE: Dalek) The Dalek survived the fall of Gallifrey, falling through time and landing on the Ascension Islands in 1961. (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters)
A prisoner on Earth
Insane and screaming, he passed through several collections in the 20th and 21st centuries. (TV: Dalek) By 2012, he was in the possession of billionaire Henry van Statten, who bought him for one million dollars (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters) and kept him in the Vault. Lacking any idea on his name, van Statten called him a "Metaltron". The "Metaltron" was kept locked in the Cage, restrained by tensile steel chains attached to stabilising pillars. He instructed another of his staff, Simmons, to make the Metaltron talk. The last person to touch it without any gloves "burst into flames", according to what Simmons said. Although tortured, all he did was scream. (TV: Dalek)
Facing the Ninth Doctor
With the intention of reaching other Daleks, he sent out a distress signal which was detected by the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. Initially unaware of the source of the distress signal, the Doctor came to face-to-face with him. Having thought all of the Daleks destroyed, he was shocked to find one alive. He moved his gun to exterminate the Doctor, but had insufficient power to do so. After a hostile and bitter conversation between them about the end of the Time War, the Doctor attempted to murder the Dalek, pulling a lever which sent electricity through his casing. The Doctor was stopped by van Statten, who ordered two guards to "get him out", pulling the Doctor out the room. Simmons managed to turn the electricity off before the Dalek was destroyed. Henry van Statten was pleased to know what the "Metaltron" was really called.
Upon meeting Rose, who had not witnessed the exchange between the Dalek and the Doctor, he seemed to be a harmless victim. Rose, in an attempt to comfort him, touched the right part of the Dalek's dome (to the left of the eye stalk, from Rose's perspective). As she did so, he absorbed artron energy and DNA from her. He used this to regenerate himself and escape the Vault. He then downloaded all the data available on the Internet and killed Simmons, Bywater, De Maggio, and numerous others. He pursued both Rose and Adam Mitchell through the GeoComTex facility and killed 200 of van Statten's security.
However, the Dalek found himself ultimately unable to kill Rose or van Statten. The human DNA that he had absorbed from Rose had given him emotions, (TV: Dalek) "infecting" it with the "human factor". (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) Rose took the Dalek to the roof, where he blasted a hole in the ceiling and opened his battle armour to feel the sunlight. The Doctor then appeared, armed with an alien energy weapon, with the intent to kill the Dalek. Upon seeing the Dalek able to feel, the Doctor lowered the weapon at Rose's request.
Considering all the new emotions to be "sickness", the Dalek asked Rose to order him to self-destruct, preferring death to a life with emotions. She refused at first, but eventually gave the order, and he destroyed himself. (TV: Dalek)
This was the first time the Doctor had found a survivor of the Time War. Although he believed that this was the last Dalek, he would soon find out how wrong he was. The Dalek Emperor himself survived, when his heavily-damaged flagship was flung through time before the time-lock occurred. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) Likewise, the four-member Cult of Skaro survived aboard their Void Ship, having in their possession a prison vessel loaded with millions of Daleks (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday)
Rose would later recall her restoration of the "Metaltron" Dalek with her touch when the Cult of Skaro demanded that she open the Genesis Ark. She explained to Mickey Smith that the Dalek was broken and dying but when she touched him she brought him back to life, as the Daleks had evolved to use as a power supply the background radiation one "soaked up" from travelling through time in the TARDIS. (TV: Doomsday)
Van Stattan mysteriously disappeared, (PROSE: The Whoniverse) as his employees wiped his memories and dropped him off elsewhere in the world to punish him for the Dalek massacre. (TV: Dalek) At that time, a rumor that he had a Dalek in his collection had spread. Its origin of falling down to the Ascension Islands was also rumored. Though UNIT could find no trace of the Metaltron when they cataloged van Statten's collection, (PROSE: The Whoniverse) they were aware of its existence, classing it as a Code D, but lost track of it once it was relocated to the Vault. (AUDIO: The Dalek Transaction)
Later human historians included a brief mention of this Dalek and its tragic fate in a book looking back on the history of the Dalek Empire. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) An account of the history of N-Space recounted that van Statten was rumored to have the Dalek. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) A Time Lord author later noted that the Metaltron had been the first Dalek to be seen after the Time War and disproved the belief that they had been rendered extinct at the Fall of Gallifrey. (PROSE: A Brief of History of Time Lords)
While he was a prisoner, the "Metaltron" refused to speak when Henry van Statten's staff were torturing him, although he did scream. He was enraged by the appearance of the Doctor and tried to exterminate him, but couldn't because his gun had been damaged. The Dalek demanded to be ordered what to do, ironically using orders himself in an attempt to receive them. However, he also begged to be shown pity when the Doctor attempted to destroy him, despite the Doctor coldly pointing out "you never did".
After absorbing Rose Tyler's DNA, the Dalek started feeling human emotions for the first time. Although he gunned down van Statten's staff, he was unable to kill Rose out of mercy. As Rose observed, he began to doubt and question himself. Although he initially wanted to kill Van Statten out of revenge for his suffering, he let him survive on Rose's plea. He also craved freedom. He felt sickened and declared its own life 'sickness', begging for Rose to order him to self-destruct. When she reluctantly gave the command to end his misery, he asked if she was frightened, hinting affection and compassion for Rose Tyler, the only person who'd treated him with kindness.
After failing to kill the Doctor during the fall of Arcadia, the Dalek became obsessed with killing him, killing the death of one expert examining it after hearing him being called "Doctor". It later wondered that killing the Doctor had been the only thing it had wanted for itself. (PROSE: Dalek)
Behind the scenes
The first Dalek seen in the revived Doctor Who television series, the Metaltron was depicted by a prop which was created specially for use in Dalek. The prop which originally portrayed the Metaltron would be reused on several occasions, first returning among the Emperor Dalek's army in Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways.
- This Dalek also acts as the player character in the online game The Last Dalek. It presents an alternate version of the events of Dalek. In the game, the Dalek fights through the Vault, faces van Statten's forces and eventually the Doctor, who is exterminated by the Dalek. The game is completed when the Dalek finds and destroys the Doctor's TARDIS.
- In The Day of the Doctor, as Gallifrey vanishes and the Dalek fleet is destroyed, one Dalek seems to survive as it spins off from the explosion. Although this would be consistent with the general backstory of the "Metaltron", there is no clear indication that it is the same Dalek.
- Rusty, a Dalek captured by the Combined Galactic Resistance was similar to "Metaltron" in the sense that he is presented as a potentially moral Dalek. In the end, Rusty instead hones in on the Doctor's hatred of the Daleks to fuel his rampage against his own race in the time of the New Dalek Paradigm.
- The Metaltron was adapted from a Dalek in the audio story Jubilee, on which Dalek was based.