Red Daleks were bred for intermediate roles between the less intelligent Blue Daleks and the Daleks that served as their immediate superiors, the Black Daleks. Unlike Blue Daleks, they were capable of independent thought, allowing some measure of independent action. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
Like Black Daleks, they were capable of holding the rank of Supreme Controller. (AUDIO: "Death to the Daleks!") The original Red Dalek was destroyed during a pursuit of the First Doctor. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) a
Early Dalek Empire
The low-ranking Dalek scientist Zeg, hit by cosmic rays, saw his ordinary Dalekanium casing transmuted into nearly indestructible Metalert. This Metalert was red in colour, making Zeg one of the first, if not the first, Red Dalek in Dalek history. The Golden Emperor ultimately lured Zeg to his death, but the Daleks subsequently learned the secret of Metalert. (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks)
The Red Dalek Leader (COMIC: Eve of War) was the only intentionally-created Red Dalek of the early conquest Empire, usually called just "the Red Dalek". (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest, PROSE: The Mutation of Time) He was a trusted advisor to the Emperor, third-in-command alongside the Emperor and the Black Dalek Leader. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity) The Red Dalek was aboard the Emperor's ship when the Daleks first travelled into the Sol System ahead of the invasion. (COMIC: Return of the Elders)
When the Daleks made an alliance with the Outer Galaxies in the year 4000 and planned to destroy the Solar System with the Time Destructor, the First Doctor interfered and replaced the Time Destructor's Taranium core with a fake one. Upon learning of the Doctor's deception, the Daleks contacted Skaro and the Dalek Prime sent the Red Dalek to Kembel in a Dalek time machine. They pursued the Doctor's TARDIS to ancient Egypt and successfully recovered the core but the Red Dalek did not survive the mission, being destroyed by rocks in a fight between the Egyptians. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
Although "the Red Dalek" referred to the specific individual, (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest) there were other Daleks with partially red casings in early Dalek history. Storm-Blast Daleks were red. (COMIC: City of the Daleks) Some Daleks were also covered with red lead to resist corrosion on planets with humid environments, like Venus. (PROSE: Red for Danger) During the Second Dalek War in the 26th century, a Dalek Supreme with a red casing led the attack on the Cathedral of Contemplation. (AUDIO: Out of Time)
With the Red Dalek having died during the Time Destructor mission, and the Black Dalek believed likewise, (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) although the latter had actually survived, (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) plural Red Daleks and Black Daleks were introduced to the Dalek hierarchy. The failure of the Time Destructor plan led directly to the Great War which lasted over a millennium. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
According to the Dalek Combat Training Manual compiled by the Time Lords during the Time War, the Gallifreyans had done "meticulous research" into the Dalek conflict against the Space Security Service, mentioning that they had discovered how "a red Dalek leader" had served as a high-ranking officer during the campaign, along with a red domed-subordinate. Nevertheless, the text did not clarify if the Red Dalek Leader was the officer in question, or merely another Dalek that had attained the rank. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)
There was a squadron of Daleks named the Red Extra-Galactic Squadron. When its commander denounced the Emperor for military failures and demanded a new Dalek take its place, the Black Dalek obliterated the whole squadron. (COMIC: The Secret of the Emperor)
A Red Dalek, leader of the Thaleks, tortured Jesic and Murgat. The word exterminate told by Jesic caused the entire facility to crumble. The Red Dalek and the Thal-Daleks were killed by the collapsing. (AUDIO: Brotherhood of the Daleks)
The Emperor tried to win the Great War by blackmailing the Second Doctor into discovering the human factor and, by extension, the Dalek factor. A Red Dalek, acting as an emissary for the Supreme Council, oversaw the experiment on Earth in 1866 and returned to Skaro with the other Daleks upon its completion. Other Red Daleks were also present in the Dalek City at the time but the Doctor believed them all destroyed along with the rest of their race when he ignited a civil war against the Emperor's Black Daleks and the rebelling Daleks reconditioned with the human factor. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)
After the surviving humanised Daleks settled on Azhra Korr, the First-Born, Alpha, acquired a red casing, although his role and his title were more like that of the Dalek Prime on Skaro. (COMIC: Children of the Revolution)
Post-Dalek Civil War era
Post-Imperial-Renegade Civil War era
Many Red Daleks, among other ranks, were present on Skaro shortly after the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War when the Dalek Prime placed Davros on trial. Like all other ranks with the exception of the Dalek Prime's elite Gold Daleks, the Red Daleks were divided in loyalties - some were loyal to the Dalek Prime while others supported Davros. Davros's supporters were believed to have been wiped out in a brief but devastating battle which erupted when a Black Dalek supporting Davros attempted to assassinate the Dalek Prime. (PROSE: War of the Daleks)
During the Dalek Empire's invasion of Mutter's Spiral a Red Dalek was Supreme Controller of the sector of the planet Celatron. The Dalek Supreme was its direct superior. (AUDIO: "Death to the Daleks!")
During the era of the Restoration Empire, Red Daleks were among the dormant army in the Fifth Galaxy which was awoken by the Dalek Prime Strategist. (WC: The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy) The Red Daleks were compromised by the Entity, the very enemy the Strategist had awoken the army to fight against, and turned against the Dalek Empire. Although he could have chosen to take command of them to go against the Emperor, the Strategist had them destroyed by the normal Daleks. (WC: The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy)
During the Last Great Time War
Towards the end of the Time War, the casing of the Eternity Circle's Predator Dalek was vermillion with black globes. The 'Spider' variant of the Skaro Degradations had a similar colour scheme. (PROSE: Engines of War)
A race of Daleks newly created from Davros' cells after the Time War were led by a red Supreme Dalek (TV: The Stolen Earth) of the Time War model, (COMIC: Ambush) later destroyed by Jack Harkness. (TV: Journey's End) An identical Supreme Dalek led the Daleks in the reconstructed Dalek City on Skaro when, with Davros's help, they sought to become Dalek-Time Lord hybrids. It was still present in the city when regenerated, decomposing Dalek mutants attacked the place. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar)
In the New Dalek Paradigm, the red Drone Daleks were initially the lowest ranked. (TV: Victory of the Daleks) The later failures of the Paradigm caused the Paradigm's style of casing to be promoted to an officer class by the Prime Minister of the Daleks while the active infantry returned to the style used in the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) Several Red Dalek commanders were present in the Parliament of the Daleks overseeing their Bronze Dalek subordinates when the Eleventh Doctor was abducted to deal with the Dalek Asylum. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
Red Daleks and Black Daleks, identical in shape to the basic bronze Daleks, occupied the Starbane when the Twelfth Doctor and Lumpy arrived with the intention of destroying the vessel along with the Orb of Fates. A Red Dalek explained to the Doctor that Lumpy's capture by the Cybermen was engineered so that the Doctor would hand over the Orb of Fates and the Starbane to the Daleks. All of these Red Daleks were killed when the Starbane exploded. (GAME: The Doctor and the Dalek)
Behind the scenes
- Dapol, which produced a range of toys based on the classic series of Doctor Who, released several original red Dalek variants which did not appear on-screen.
- W008-5 was red with black details (eyepiece, neck grille, slats, manipulator arm, gunstick and sense globes).
- W008-6 was red with silver details (eyepiece, neck grille, slats, manipulator arm, gunstick and sense globes).
- W008-7 was red with gold details (eyepiece, neck grille, slats, manipulator arm, gunstick and sense globes).
- W008-9 was designed similar to the Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Red Dalek but with a claw manipulator arm and a gunstick of different mould.
- A "Millennium Dalek" (W008-M3) had a sparkly red body with a golden neck grille, slats and sense globes.
- Both Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., the remakes of The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Who, feature a Red Dalek. In the first film, it is the second-in-command to the Black Dalek, and in the second film it appears to act as the Dalek saucer commander while the Black Dalek and Gold Dalek command the invasion. They were the first ever Red Daleks to be seen on colour film but the show itself would not feature a Red Dalek until The Stolen Earth in 2008.
- As a pre-Time War rank, Red Daleks have never appeared on the TV series. The closest they came to this was being included in John Peel's novelisations of The Daleks' Master Plan and The Evil of the Daleks, the original serials of which were in black and white.
- The Doctor and the Dalek featured the first use of "Red Daleks" as a rank in revived series media.
- Red or partially-Red Daleks feature on the covers for The Dalek Outer Space Book, the DWM special release of The Dalek Chronicles, the novelisation The Mutation of Time and the Main Range audio story Brotherhood of the Daleks.
- A Red Dalek with a hoverbout was seen on the loading page of a video game Dalek Attack.
- The concept of a Red Dalek, at least for later fans and story writers, was based on a misunderstanding that some of the Black Daleks in 60s serials were red, due to the black and white film. This either originated with, or was compounded by the various annuals and comics depicting red-coloured Daleks. This was not resolved until colour set photos became available in the early 2000s.
- In Dalek Hack, the player has the option to turn a Dalek's casing red, shaped identically to the bronze Dalek but matching the Drone Dalek of the New Dalek Paradigm.