The Overseer was a Dalek created during the Last Great Time War. Designed as an expert in genetic manipulation, he was assigned as leader of the Dalek base on the Ogron homeworld, where he performed various experiments on Ogrons, ranging from inserting Ogrons into previous moments in the Daleks' timeline to gather data, to extracting Ogron brains and installing them into stolen Battle TARDISes to bypass their isomorphic controls.
Despite his high intelligence, the Overseer's nature as a Dalek born from a fusion of many different races, combined with his highly aberrant personality, meant he was both despised and feared by the other Daleks. After his attempted experiment on the Eighth Doctor and the Twelve failed, allowing the two Time Lords to escape, the Overseer was exterminated by his subordinate Daleks, who deemed him "an insult to the Dalek race".
The Overseer was created during the Last Great Time War to serve as the leader of the Dalek base on the Planet, the homeworld of the Ogrons. In addition, he was designed as an expert in genetic manipulation, and was tasked with performing various genetic experiments on Ogrons, whose simplistic biology meant they could easily be experimented on to great depths. However, the Overseer initially lacked sufficient data to begin experimenting, and so began slightly modifying the timeline of the entire Dalek race by inserting Ogrons into Dalek missions where they were not previously used. (AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons) These included the Third Doctor's encounters with the Daleks at Auderly House on Earth in the 20th century, (TV: Day of the Daleks) and their attempts to start a war between the Earth and Draconian Empires during the 22nd century. (TV: Frontier in Space) The Eighth Doctor would eventually remember both versions of these events, recalling both encountering and not encountering Ogrons during these adventures.
After gathering enough data from these edits to the Daleks' timeline, the Overseer began experimenting on Ogrons directly. He created a number of "crab gods" that ate the Ogron "rock gods", allowing the Daleks to easily capture Ogrons from the Ogron camp near to the Dalek base for experimentation. The Overseer performed several experiments on the Ogrons, including duplicating the biologies of other lifeforms onto Ogrons, attempting to make Ogrons immune to the effects of temporal fallout, and, ultimately, extracting Ogron brains and integrating them into the telepathic circuits of several stolen Battle TARDISes to bypass their isomorphic controls, thereby allowing the Daleks to use them as highly dangerous time machines in the Time War. On rare occasions, the Overseer would be allowed to experiment on captured Time Lords, but as the majority of Time Lord prisoners were sent for interrogation, he rarely had any material to experiment on.
When an Ogron with the biology of the Eighth Doctor was discovered on Gallifrey in the Doctor's TARDIS by the Fifth Tamasan, he was sent, along with the Twelve, to locate the Eighth Doctor, who was travelling with Bliss. Together, the four travelled to the Planet and broke into the Overseer's laboratory in the Dalek base; when they attempted to escape, Bliss and the Ogron, nicknamed "Doctor Ogron" by the former, escaped up a ventilation shaft, but the Doctor and the Twelve were captured and detained in the Overseer's lab.
Eventually, the Overseer returned to his lab, following a long meal of offal. He had an Ogron wired into a transfusion booth and attempted to duplicate the Doctor's biology onto it, whilst also performing a deep-range scan on the Twelve, with the intention of refining his experiments on the Battle TARDISes to create Time Lord-TARDIS hybrids. However, the presence of the Twelve's previous incarnations in her head caused the Overseer's machinery to malfunction, granting the Twelve enough time to break out of her handcuffs and acquire one of the weapons in the lab, damaging the Overseer's gunstick and forcing it to flee. When the Overseer called for reinforcements, two Daleks arrived and stated that a task force from Dalek Command would soon arrive. The Overseer questioned them as to why they had gone against his orders and called a task force, and the two Daleks claimed that the Overseer had failed as the base's leader and was an abomination. The Overseer angrily argued that he was "a genius" before being exterminated by its subordinates. Following this, the taskforce, after receiving no transmissions from the Overseer, took command of the Dalek base on the Planet before it was destroyed by a temporal grenade. (AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons)
Due to his hybrid biology and specialist expertise, the Overseer's personality was highly aberrant to those of traditional Daleks. He often spoke in a calm, purring voice, although he notably lacked the rigid speech patterns of other Daleks, frequently using casual, humanoid dialect.
The Overseer was highly egotistical, regarding himself as a genius that "[got] results", and regarded his work on Ogron TARDIS hybrids as works of beauty. He thought little of the Ogrons that he experimented upon, insulting their intelligence, frequently getting impatient with them, and talking to them in a patronising manner. The Overseer also possessed a sense of humour, referring to the highly painful scan he performed on the Twelve as "somewhat... invasive", and also became frustrated when the Twelve's regenerative dissonance nearly destroyed his machinery.
Notably, the Overseer possessed knowledge of the Bible, due to him containing the memories of a human cleric within his genetics; in this regard, he expressed a slight degree of sadism, noting how the cleric continued to pray for his freedom, but would never receive it. (AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons)
The Overseer had a black Dalek casing, with his dome sporting a red eyestalk lens and very short luminosity dischargers. The Overseer's weapons platform notably featured several long-range extendable claw manipulators, including from the ball joint where a suction arm was found on traditional Daleks; the Overseer's weapons platform also featured a spherical scanner, with a blue light, on his left-hand side. (AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons)
Behind the scenes
- Nicholas Briggs used a smug voice which coincidentally sounded like his portrayal of Tobias Vaughn. (BFX: The Eighth Doctor: Time War: Volume Two)
- The image of the Overseer on the cover of AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons is a modification of a promotional shot of Dalek Sec.