The Red Dalek Leader, (COMIC: Eve of War) also known as simply the Red Dalek, (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest, PROSE: The Mutation of Time) was the earliest known Red Dalek, ranked as one of the most important Daleks in the early era of the Dalek Empire. He was third-in-command to the Golden Emperor; the Emperor, the Black Dalek and the Red Dalek ruled the Dalek City together, and were often seen as a trio. (COMIC: The Dalek Trap, Shadow of Humanity, Return of the Elders)
The Red Dalek often oversaw construction projects, both in the Dalek City and on satellites beyond Skaro. (COMIC: Eve of War, Shadow of Humanity) He met his fate on Earth in the 26th century BC, during a rare case of being assigned to active combat duty by the Black Dalek. After his destruction, the Egyptians erected the Great Sphinx statue to mark the place of its burial — and make sure he would stay dead. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Behind the scenes
As reported by the Space News Agency on 26 June 2065, the Red Dalek and the Black Dalek participated in the planning of the Dalek invasion of Alvega in the control room of the Dalek City on Skaro. (PROSE: Daleks Seek New Conquests) This conquest was to ultimately go awry, although the Daleks were undeterred in their quest to subjugate the rest of the universe. (COMIC: The Amaryll Challenge)
Meeting the Mechanoids
The Red Dalek was in charge of the construction of the Sky Seven Space Station when the Mechanoids made their opening volleys in their war against the Daleks. The Red Dalek Leader spared the life of a raving mad Dalek because he correctly believed it was tied to the detected transmissions of alien signals. He located and exposed a camouflaged Mechanoid Interceptor and destroyed it before it could flee. Two more Interceptors arrived, both protected by force fields. He ordered the Daleks to retreat but his Dalek flying saucer was melted as he screamed about the heat and light. However, the saucer's screw survived the attack, which the Mechanoids only intended as a warning shot; they crew were called back to Skaro so that the infected Dalek could be analysed in the Dalek City. (COMIC: Eve of War)
Taming the Terrorkons
Following the destruction of Skardal, the Red Dalek and the Dalek Emperor witnessed the Terrorkons run rampant. The Red Dalek suggested they simply kill off the Terrorkons, but the Emperor told him the Terrorkons were part of the city's defence system and simply had to be constantly outwitted. When a lone Terrorkon stole a missile powerful enough to destroy the city, the Emperor took the Red Dalek with him to stop it. Reaching the caves in the mountains through the pipe systems, they found the missile activated and close to detonation. The Red Dalek defused the missile. (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest)
Overthrowing the One in a Million Dalek
When the "One in a Million Dalek" with human emotions began to interfere with normal construction activities, the Red Dalek showed the Dalek Emperor the halted jungle-clearing effort, highlighting that the clearing machines had been designed by a Dalek gun; it was the Emperor who showed the Red Dalek how all this had seemingly been done for the purpose of protecting a single flower from destruction.
The two were joined by the Black Dalek Leader, who brought even more pressing news from the City; soon, the Daleks faced an actual civil war. Retreating to the Emperor's chambers, the Red and Black Daleks and the Golden Emperor held council. The Red Dalek seemed intrigued by the One in a Million Dalek's ideology, according to which the Daleks should protect beauty. Yet this was overruled by the Emperor, who convinced the Red Dalek that the Once in a Million Dalek merely wished to become Emperor itself, and that the rebel's brain was diseased. Shortly thereafter, the Emperor made the One in a Million Dalek's partisans turn on it, ending the crisis, though the incident increased Dalek hostilities towards humanity. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity)
Surveying the Starmaker crash survivors
After the human spaceship known as the Starmaker crash-landed on Skaro, two of its survivors, Tom and Jennie, were brought to the Dalek City by the Black Dalek. The Red Dalek greeted them on arrival as the Black Dalek told the humans to "obey all Dalek orders". Jennie called the Daleks "horrible things" under her breath, prompting Tom to advise her to pretend not to be horrified, out of diplomacy; the Red Dalek overheard them and ordered them to be silent. A few minutes later, Tom and Jennie tried to make a run for it as they passed over a walkway. The Red Dalek ordered them exterminated, but the two humans managed to outrun their pursuers. (COMIC: The Road to Conflict)
Capturing Commander Morais
The pair were brought to the Gold Dalek, who gave them the task of acquiring the doranium beneath Skaro's surface, a task which carried the threat of exposure to plasmoral constrictive gas. They discovered a cliff made of the substance in the Valley of Rocks, but rather than let the Daleks have it, Don short-circuited the electric charges in the doranium and together they escaped back to their ship. (COMIC: The Dalek Trap)
On the flagship with the Dalek Fleet
During the abortive 2060s Dalek invasion of Earth, the Red Dalek joined the Black Dalek at the Emperor's side on the flagship of the Dalek Fleet massing in the solar system. However, the invasion was prevented by the Elders, an ancient race with powerful mental abilities. (COMIC: Return of the Elders)
When the First Doctor stole the Time Destructor's Taranium core in the year 4000 and replaced it with a fake, the Red Dalek was sent by the Dalek Prime from Skaro to Kembel in a Dalek time machine. He met up with the Black Dalek, relaying the Emperor's latest orders to him.
Once his message was delivered, the Red Dalek was placed in command of a squad of Daleks tasked with pursuing the Doctor's TARDIS and retrieving the core. Mavic Chen answered to the Red Dalek when they landed on Earth in ancient Egypt, c.2500 BC. Although the squad successfully retrieved the Taranium core, the Red Dalek was destroyed by the Egyptians who bombarded him with rocks, taking out his gunstick and eyestalk and damaging the casing beyond his ability to move. The Egyptians buried the Dalek beneath a mound of stone. Chen and the rest of the squad returned to Kembel. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) He was among numerous Daleks lost in the attack. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
The Egyptians were reluctant to leave the pile of rocks on the site of the Great Pyramid lest it displease the spirit of the Pharaoh Khufu, but neither did they want to release the Dalek. To placate the Pharaoh, Khepren decided his masons would carve the rocks into a Guardian of the Pyramid, inspired by the legend of the Sphinx. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time)
Much as, following the believed loss of the "original" Black Dalek on Kembel, greater numbers of low-ranking Black Daleks were introduced to the Dalek hierarchy, (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks) a formal Red Dalek rank was introduced at a subsequent stage. The Red Daleks were outranked by Black Daleks and Gold Daleks but displayed a significant level of intelligence and autonomy. (PROSE: War of the Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks) The rank lasted beyond the Last Great Time War, being reinstated by the New Dalek Paradigm distinct from the red officer-class drone. (GAME: The Doctor and the Dalek)
The Red Dalek was capable of sparing seemingly "impure" individuals if they seemed to be of strategic value. (COMIC: Eve of War) However, he had some difficulty spotting said strategic value; for instance, the Red Dalek had to be told by the Emperor that the Terrorkons could not simply be exterminated because such a thing would damage the Dalek City. (COMIC: The Terrorkon Harvest)
The Red Dalek seemed upset at being termed a "horrifying thing" by Jennie. (COMIC: The Road to Conflict) Indeed, the Red Dalek displayed some interest in the idea that the Dalek race could be improved by adopting a crusade to protect beauty. However, his loyalty to the Golden Emperor remained steadfast, and thus he was all too easily convinced by the Emperor that the One in a Million Dalek was a diseased and self-serving mind, to be exterminated. (COMIC: Shadow of Humanity)
During the Egypt mission, the Red Dalek's weaknesses in command and diplomacy were exposed by the uneasy ongoing alliance with the domineering Mavic Chen. The Red Dalek displaying a mixture of overconfidence and a lack of confidence on what proved to be the his own undoing. He became impatient with Chen's approach, involving an agreement with the First Monk whom the Red Dalek distrusted. In an attempt to reassert his own command, the Red Dalek ordered all Daleks to disembark in force and slaughter their way to the Taranium if necessary. A heated argument ensued in which Chen decried the tactic and unwise and reckless, said he would take no responsibility for its failure, and slapped the Dalek across the eyestalk before storming off. The Red Dalek did not retaliate and the expedition continued to follow Chen's approach.
Use of the Doctor's companions as hostages led the Doctor to agree to return the core under the condition that he do so later while meeting with Chen and only one Dalek. To Chen's surprise, the Red Dalek accepted the terms, reasoning that "One Dalek [was] capable of exterminating all!" but despite this claim, numerous Daleks turned up to the arranged meeting point; the Doctor blamed Chen for disregarding his conditions but Chen claimed he was not the one in charge. When the Daleks were subsequently attacked by the Egyptians, (TV: The Daleks Master Plan) the Red Dalek engaged them in combat, becoming the highest-ranking Dalek casualty in an otherwise successful mission (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) which nevertheless claimed the lives of many other Daleks as well. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)
Behind the scenes
The Red Dalek Leader's debut is commonly understood to have been in Eve of War in The Daleks. However, this was not quite the first-ever Red Dalek featured in official DWU media, or indeed in the pages of TV21. It was preceded by Dalek Zeg in Duel of the Daleks. However, although the actual first "red Dalek" in real-world terms, Zeg was not a formal Dalek variant in-universe, but rather a normal War Machine Dalek whose casing had been turned red by cosmic rays that affected its chemical composition, turning it into metalert.
The first true Red Dalek instead debuted in Dr. Who and the Daleks, the Peter Cushing theatrical film. This Red Dalek helped run the Dalek City, under a Black Dalek, and presented other traits which would later be used in characterising the comics' Red Dalek: it is first seen greeting the human trespassers in the Dalek City (something which recurred in The Dalek Trap and The Road to Conflict), and is later shown to be less ruthless than the Black Dalek, as it needs to be told by the Black Dalek that the prisoners will be left to die even if they fulfill their part of the bargain in bringing the Daleks anti-radiation drugs.
Promotional stills of Dalek footage from Dr. Who and the Daleks were recycled by TV Century 21 as illustrations for their Dalek short stories, which tied in with the Daleks comics. This led to the Red Dalek Leader's first appearance in a mainstream-DWU story as defined on this Wiki, the prose story Daleks Seek New Conquests, a prequel to The Amaryll Challenge; although not identified in the text of the story, the Red Dalek was visible alongside "the Black Dalek" (originally the Cushing film's Black Dalek, but here construed as the Black Dalek Leader) in the control room of the Daleks plotting the invasion of Alvega.
The Red Dalek Leader finally appeared on-panel in Eve of War with a prominent role, being named as "Red Dalek Leader" to directly mirror the Black Dalek Leader. To further cement the new Dalek's status as the red counterpart to the unique, high-ranking Black Dalek of the comics, it made various appearance in a close council of three with just the Emperor, the Black Dalek and the Red Dalek, in later comics. Indeed, The Daleks consistently depicted there only being one Red Dalek, this close advisor to the Emperor. The closest thing to another Red Dalek that the series featured was a Dalek scientist in COMIC: Impasse, but while its base was red, this Dalek had a silver dome.
When the second Peter Cushing movie, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., was released, it confused matters once more by introducing a clearly distinct Red Dalek, who took the role of the Dalek saucer commander from the TV version. This paved the way for later Dalek media to depict "Red Daleks" as a rank rather than a specific individual. An interesting transitional stage was depicted in 1966's The Dalek Outer Space Book: one of the stories in this Dalek annual, The Dalek Trap, closely mirrored the status quo of The Daleks comic series, with a singular Black Dalek and Red Dalek being the main Dalek leaders of the Dalek City below the Golden Dalek. However, another story in the book, The Secret of the Emperor, featured the Red Extra-Galactic Squadron, a whole squadron of Red Daleks who had faced humans on intergalactic conquests, including one Commander and several drones.
Role in The Mutation of Time
The Red Dalek's role in John Peel's The Mutation of Time corresponds to the Dalek which interacts most with Mavic Chen in the surviving tenth episode of The Daleks' Master Plan, "Escape Switch" (it also appears in the missing "Volcano" and "Golden Death"). There is no apparent difference between this Dalek and the others under its command in the televised serial, where it appears as a normal Silver Dalek, but the fact that the serial is in black and white allowed Peel the freedom to identify it as the TV21 Daleks comics'' Red Dalek for the novelisation.
This Dalek's death did not occur on-screen in "Escape Switch", in which no Daleks are killed on-screen, although one Dalek is rendered immobile as Egyptians stack rocks around its base, with its fate thereafter left unknown. Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe, however, states that the Egyptians succeeded in destroying many Daleks during this encounter. The idea that the Red Dalek's death resulted in the construction of the Great Sphinx provides one of numerous suggested origins of the Sphinx in the Doctor Who universe. Others were suggested by GodEngine, The Sands of Time and The Eye of the Scorpion.
Notably, the Red Dalek's colour scheme as depicted on the cover for The Mutation of Time was almost identical to that later used for the Red Dalek in Brotherhood of the Daleks, the only difference being the latter has a red midsection. Both colour schemes had previously been used for the Red Dalek in the TV21 comics, albeit usually with large, "Cushing-style" dome lights rather than the small white ones used there.
The original Dalek triumvirate from the comics were all retroactively identified by John Peel's novelisations as Daleks which appeared in the TV series, technically making them the earliest characters originating in spin-off media to appear in the TV series, though this was only established in 1989 at the earliest through other spin-offs. The Red Dalek's televised appearance in Master Plan was preceded by that of the Black Dalek in The Chase and followed by the Dalek Prime as the Emperor in The Evil of the Daleks (although as concerns the latter, it is worth noting that 1966's The Secret of the Emperor already implied that the TV and comics Emperors were one and the same).