This article needs a big cleanup.

Plot needs to be divided into the individual parts.

These problems might be so great that the article's factual accuracy has been compromised. Talk about it here or check the revision history or Manual of Style for more information.


Remembrance of the Daleks was the first serial of season 25 of Doctor Who. The story's setting brought the Doctor back to 76 Totter's Lane in the year 1963, where the series began in An Unearthly Child.

It was notable for a marked change in character for the Seventh Doctor, who had previously maintained a jolly and comedic demeanour. Here, a Machiavellian side to his personality was brought into light, underneath the lighthearted exterior, and he began to reveal a manipulative nature that persisted into the rest of his era.

Clues were also given that the Doctor had a secret past on Gallifrey, the first glimpse of the so-called Cartmel Masterplan.

Like The Talons of Weng-Chiang, some members of its guest cast were deemed interesting enough to justify the creation of a Big Finish audio series. In 2012, Counter-Measures continued the adventures of the serial's Group Captain Gilmore, Professor Jensen and Allison Williams.

Remembrance was the final televised appearance of the Daleks and Davros until the BBC Wales revival, although both would frequently recur in other media. It continued a narrative of chronological confrontations between the Doctor and Davros that had begun in Genesis of the Daleks, and included Destiny, Resurrection, and Revelation of the Daleks. It also concluded the Dalek Civil War story arc, which had previously spanned throughout Resurrection and Revelation.

At the time of broadcast, it unambiguously showed the onscreen destruction of the Dalek homeworld, Skaro. This act was largely forgotten by future Doctor Who writers; it was shown in the Doctor Who TV movie and in the BBC Wales episodes Asylum of the Daleks, The Magician's Apprentice, and The Witch's Familiar, along with the adventure game City of the Daleks, which was executive produced by Doctor Who series 5 and 6 executive producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, and Beth Willis, and written by Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures television writer Phil Ford. Writer John Peel proposed a story called War of the Daleks, where Skaro would later be saved from destruction during the planned 27th season of the series.

Peel later adapted the unmade episode into an Eighth Doctor Adventures novel which showed that the planet destroyed at the end of Remembrance was Antalin, a decoy passed off as the real Skaro. Daleks in Manhattan, which was produced after the TV movie and before City, suggested a "great war" destroyed Skaro, apparently referring to the BBC Wales series' Last Great Time War which wiped out much of the Dalek race.

Synopsis Edit

London, 1963: The Doctor returns to the place where it all began — alongside his latest companion, Ace, with unfinished business.

Not for the first time, unusual events are unfolding at Coal Hill School. At 76 Totter's Lane, the Doctor discovers that his oldest foes — the Daleks — are on the trail of stolen Time Lord technology that he left on Earth long ago. The Daleks are planning to perfect their own time-travel capability, in order to unleash themselves across the whole of time and space.

The Doctor, with the help of the local military, must stop his oldest enemies from stealing Gallifreyan secrets, but the lines between allies and enemies are tested to the limit, and the Doctor and Ace must trust no-one in order to survive.

As two opposing Dalek factions meet in an explosive confrontation, the fate of the whole cosmos hangs in the balance...

Plot Edit

The Seventh Doctor and his companion, Ace have landed the TARDIS in London, 1963, where the Doctor has unfinished business: the Hand of Omega, an all powerful, ancient relic of the Time Lord civilisation that the Doctor hid on Earth during a visit to 1963 in his first incarnation.


The Imperial Daleks land on Earth.

Unfortunately, the Daleks have also heard about the Hand of Omega, and are trying to find it before the Doctor does. To complicate matters, there are two groups of Daleks at work — the Daleks are currently in the midst of a civil war between those who accept and those who reject the leadership of their creator, Davros. Each side wants the Hand for itself.

In the meantime, the alien activity around the Coal Hill area has attracted the attention of the military. Group Captain Gilmore and his unit engage a Renegade Dalek at the junkyard. The Dalek proves to be more than a match for the military squad until the Doctor destroys it with a timed explosive. The Doctor tries to convince Gilmore and his scientific advisor, Professor Rachel Jensen, that the Daleks are extraterrestrial and human weapons are no match for Dalek firepower. The best thing they can do is just make sure that all ground and air forces stay out of the crossfire whilst the two factions blow each other to bits. The Doctor, however, is playing a deeper game — he wants the "right" Daleks to take possession of the Hand. He and Ace investigate Coal Hill School, where the Imperial Daleks have set up an outpost. The Renegade Faction, however, have their base in a warehouse where a Battle computer is and where Mr. Ratcliffe and his group of fascists called 'The Association' work for the Renegade faction. However, a secret agent of The Association, Mike Smith, is found and interrogated by the Imperial-Dalek-controlled Headmaster of Coal Hill School. Mike Smith, however, is not without his reflexes and subdues the Headmaster, forcing the Imperials to 'terminate agent'.


A Dalek ascends the stairs to attack the Doctor.

Whilst the Imperial Daleks are watching from their Mothership, the Renegade Daleks dispatch Ratcliffe and his men to retrieve the Hand Of Omega after the Doctor places it into a cemetery. Although they haul it out of the cemetery, the Imperial Daleks aboard the Mothership detect this. A Dalek calls the Emperor Dalek to assess the situation. After a skirmish with the Imperial Daleks during an attempt to retrieve the radio, Ace does some 'Dalek hunting' with the Doctor. They come across the Renegade Daleks' HQ. The Doctor shows Ace the Battle Computer. He tells her that if the Daleks are over-reliant on rationality and logic, the solution would be to get a young, imaginative child to enslave to the battle computer. The Doctor tinkers with the Time Controller to 'manipulate the enemy'.

His plan works, but with consequences; the Renegade Daleks return to the base to find the Time Controller has been disabled. The Doctor and Ace flee, pursued by Renegade Daleks. They meet up with the ICMG and tell them the situation, only to find the Renegades are still on their tail. Three soldiers try to fend off the Renegade attackers, only to be obliterated.

The Imperial Daleks' Assault Shuttle lands on Earth as part of a mission to retrieve the Hand of Omega, resulting in the Supreme Dalek, via the Battle Computer, ordering the Renegade Daleks to withdraw and defend the Hand of Omega from the enemy. After Imperial Daleks are sent out to retrieve the Hand of Omega, the Doctor, Ace and ICMG invade the Imperial Dalek Shuttle. They find out that the Imperials have control of the planet Skaro. The Doctor disables the massive ground defence and gets out of the Assault Shuttle with the team.

HistoryImperialDalek 010

The Imperial Daleks assault the Renegade Daleks' base.

As Renegade and Imperial Daleks patrol the streets, a battle rages in London. A pair of Renegade Daleks locate an advancing Imperial Dalek Squad. They all open fire until a Renegade gets the first hit, followed by the Renegades taking a few Imperial Daleks out as they are forced to retreat from the slaughter. At first, the Renegades are winning until the Special Weapons Dalek is brought in and blows the Renegade patrols to smithereens.

Realising that Smith is Ratcliffe's agent, Gilmore detains him. The Doctor decides to use the remains of the Transmat in the cellar as a communications link with the Mothership.

Smith escapes to the Renegade base, finding Ratcliffe a prisoner. The repaired time controller powers up, enabling the Renegades' escape, but the base is attacked by the Imperials, who overwhelm their few remaining opponents with the help of the Special Weapons Dalek. Ratcliffe and Mike flee with the Time Controller, and the Supreme Dalek orders the controlled girl to recover it. Using her Dalek-augmented abilities, she kills Ratcliffe and pursues Smith. The victorious Imperials return to the shuttle with the Hand of Omega. Meanwhile, the Doctor tells Ace to follow Smith.

The Imperial Emperor is informed of the recovery of the Hand of Omega. Soon after, the Doctor contacts him and demands the surrender of the Hand. The Emperor reveals himself as Davros. He declares his scheme to use the Hand on Skaro's sun, granting the Imperial Daleks the power to overthrow the Time Lords. The Doctor insults Davros and his Daleks, angering Davros, who replies "Do not anger me, Doctor! I can DESTROY YOU! AND THIS MISERABLE, INSIGNIFICANT PLANET!" The Doctor replies with further insults, infuriating Davros into unleashing the Hand.

Remembrance destruction

Skaro is destroyed.

It turns out that the Doctor booby-trapped the Hand: It creates a supernova, obliterating the Daleks' homeworld. The Hand smashes back into the Imperial Mothership, but not before Davros begs for pity and threatens to destroy the Doctor's home planet, fleeing in an escape pod. The Doctor declares that the Hand is travelling back to Gallifrey.


The Doctor dispassionately watches the Supreme Dalek die.

Ace is captured by Smith, who is still holding the Time Controller. The girl tracks him down and kills him before turning her attention to Ace. The Doctor seeks out the Supreme Dalek, telling it that it is the last Dalek on Earth. Convinced of its absolute defeat, it kills itself, breaking the link with the controlled girl.

At Smith's funeral, Ace wonders if what the Doctor did was good. "Time will tell," the Doctor replies. '"It always does."

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

References Edit

Individuals Edit

Ace Edit

Daleks Edit

  • The Imperial Daleks have access to teleportation technology.
  • The Doctor states that the Imperial Daleks could obliterate Earth, but would act with caution and not just blatantly damage the timeline.
  • Both Dalek factions have time corridor technology.

Foods and beverages Edit

  • Much tea is consumed, both in the cafe by the Doctor and Ace and by the military.
  • Ace orders "four bacon sandwiches and a cup of coffee" whilst in the cafe.

Time Lords Edit

Weapons Edit

  • The Doctor uses the Hand of Omega to charge Ace's baseball bat with energy.
  • Ace uses an ATR to destroy an Imperial Dalek.

Planets Edit

Literature Edit

Story notes Edit

  • Terry Molloy was credited by the pseudonym of "Roy Tromelly" for part three to preserve the surprise of Davros' return in part four. To further avoid spoiling the surprise, Molloy was not credited in Radio Times for part four.
  • This story had a working title of Nemesis of the Doctor.
  • Roy Skelton is credited as "Voices" for parts one to three, and as "Dalek Voices" for part four.
  • Royce Mills and Brian Miller are credited as "Voices" for parts two and three, and as "Dalek Voices" for part four.
  • The Radio Times programme listing for part one was accompanied by a black and white head-and-shoulders publicity shot of the Doctor and Ace in an open alley doorway with the accompanying caption "Behind the times? The ever-fashionable Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) take a leap back to the swinging 60s to meet an old enemy... / BBC1, 7.35 p.m. Doctor Who". That for part three bore a black and white photograph of Ratcliffe standing with his hands raised before a foreground Renegade Dalek with the accompanying caption "Exterminate... Exterminate... Will Ratcliffe (George Sewell) die at the nozzle of a Dalek? / BBC1, 7.35 p.m. Doctor Who".
  • This is the first instance of a Dalek levitating up a staircase on screen. However, Davros appears to have the power of flight in Revelation of the Daleks, achieved with the same special effect. In The Chase, a Dalek is seen to elevate from sand and it is implied they can move between the decks of the Marie Celeste.
  • This was the first story to be broadcast in NICAM stereo sound.
  • This is the first instance of a "skeleton effect" caused by Dalek weapons. This effect would be used in every subsequent Dalek story.
  • The pre-credits sequence includes clips from famous speeches including those of JFK, Charles de Gaulle, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It had been originally been hoped to use a clip from a speech by HM the Queen when opening the Commonwealth Telephone Cable Link on 2 December 1963, but when the production team contacted Buckingham Palace for permission to include the material, this was denied; apparently, Her Majesty did not wish to be quoted on a fictional television programme. However, the Palace did give permission — albeit reluctantly — for the Duke of Edinburgh to be included in the sequence.
  • This is the first story showing the inside of a Dalek (an Imperial one) in a scene where it's transmatting.
  • This is the first time in the series that the Doctor Who series has been (possibly) mentioned, by an announcer on a TV, saying: "This is BBC Television, the time is quarter past five and Saturday viewing continues with an adventure in the new science fiction series Doc-" - and then the scene changes.
  • The original script called for the Doctor to destroy the Imperial Dalek with the ATR and to attack the Supreme Dalek with a "Finger of Omega". This was changed after Sylvester McCoy protested, citing the Doctor's dislike of weapons.
  • This was the third time that the Daleks appeared in a season opener. Day of the Daleks opened Season 9 and Destiny of the Daleks opened season 17.
  • This story marks the final appearance in the televised series of Michael Sheard and Peter Halliday, both of whom had appeared in numerous Doctor Who stories over the years.
  • In the original script, the Special Weapons Dalek was on the Renegades' side, and, rather than possess great firepower, had the ability to fire around corners. The Imperial Daleks possessed a flying battle platform, a concept which was scrapped due to cost.
  • Russell T Davies has stated that the destruction of Skaro in this story is one of the first acts of the Time War, along with the events of Genesis of the Daleks.
  • The usual coasters underneath the Dalek props' skirting (to allow them to move across surfaces) were replaced by large balls. This allowed them to move over coarse surfaces outside studio sets (which they had not been able to do before) but gave them an unstable, trundling appearance when they moved.
  • In part two, the Imperial Daleks telepathically tell the Headmaster (named as H. Parson on the Coal Hill School sign — an in-joke reference to videotape editor Hugh Parson) to apprehend Mike and get him to confess the location of the Renegade Dalek base. Originally, a Dalek voice was heard directing the Headmaster, but strangely in the final cut, all Dalek lines in the scene are omitted. As a result, there is no explicit explanation as to why, when Mike overpowers the Headmaster, the school principal gives a small frightened "No..." before he collapses and dies, falling across a grave. Originally, at this point, the Dalek voice had indicated that the Headmaster would be terminated as a security risk.
    • The Daleks telepathically talking to Parsons didn't appear in the initial DVD release, although they did appear in the serial when it was released on DVD Files. However, they didn't show up on the subtitles.
  • This story was aired on BBC America along with The Doctors Revisited - The Seventh Doctor. It was also edited into an omnibus format, with the cuts to the credits between cliffhangers removed.
    • Concerning the matter of the omnibus editing, the videotape recordings were produced in a way that made the editing out of the credits jarring. A few notes of the Keff McCulloch theme remain audible between the cuts to black. Another complication was presented within the first episode, displaying the words "PART ONE" superimposed over filmed material crucial to the episode. Although it is possible to digitally edit out the words, the process is notoriously time-intensive and delicate, requiring editors to edit each separate frame of film that contains the lettering. For simplicity's sake, it was ignored and left intact upon rebroadcast.
    • For an as yet unknown reason, unlike the other stories that accompanied the Revisited specials, it was not shown when the special aired in the United Kingdom later in the year on 2 November on the Watch channel. Instead, Battlefield was shown in its place.
  • Ace's act of damaging the Imperial Dalek with a baseball bat would stay with actor Sophie Aldred as one of her most notable actions in the series, both personally and among the public.
  • When the Doctor gives Ace her baseball bat, script pages are visible sticking out of the left pocket on his jacket. According to Sylvester McCoy on the audio commentary, he always carried 'Scenes to do' in the left-hand pocket and 'Scenes done' pages in the right.
  • In the rehearsal script, Gilmore (now planning to retire) referred to his group as the Special Incursions Counter-Measures Unit and that the army wanted to take over. He said they had "some bright boy, Captain Tunbridge-Steward or something, worked for the SOE during the war" to put in charge. If included in the final episode, this would have contradicted a large number of older UNIT and Brigadier stories. (DWM 464)
  • The Doctor is seen reading the book Doctor in the House. This was a running gag Sylvester McCoy came up with: each time the doctor pulls out a book to read, it has the word "doctor" in the title. (source: DVD audio commentary)

Ratings Edit

  • Part one - 5.5 million viewers
  • Part two - 5.8 million viewers
  • Part three - 5.1 million viewers
  • Part four - 5.0 million viewers

Myths Edit

  • In part four, when Ace is attacked by the Girl at Mike's house, she hides behind the sofa. (If anybody has evidence that this was a deliberate reference to the popular cliché, please share it with us.)
  • (Formerly appearing in many places on this very page) There is nothing to indicate that the episode takes place in November 1963. At one point, a calendar indicating this very thing is clearly seen. However, it's true that the weather and the timing of nightfall in part three don't jibe with this. However, in the Special Edition DVD featurette on the making of the story, writer Ben Aaronovitch acknowledges that it was intended to be November, but that the timing of daylight was wrong for that time of year.
  • The Doctor complimenting the little girl's wisdom for not talking to strangers could be a possible reference to how the 1960s people weren't as worried about stranger danger.
  • The Doctor tells Davros that he is "far more than a Time Lord". This actually occurs, but in a deleted scene - however, this line may have been included in either the PBS or YTV Canada broadcast of the story, as some fans recall seeing this scene long before it was ever released to DVD. (However, this may also have been due to the scene's appearance in the 1993 documentary More than 30 Years in the TARDIS.)

Filming locations Edit

  • Theed Street, Southwark, London (Final confrontation with the Supreme Dalek)
  • Wootton Street, Southwark, London (Imperial & Renegade Dalek battle)
  • Braybrook Street, East Acton, London (Some of the conversation between the Doctor and Ace driving)
  • Wulfstan Street, East Acton, London (Some of the conversation between the Doctor and Ace driving)
  • TAVC, Horn Lane, Acton, London
  • Macbeth Centre, Macbeth Street, Hammersmith, London (Landing site of Imperial Dalek shuttlecraft)
  • Windmill Walk, Southwark, London (Ace and the Doctor running away from Ratcliffe's yard)
  • Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Brentford, Middlesex (Foreman's Yard)
  • Old Oak Common Lane, East Acton, London
  • Willesden Lane Cemetery, Willesden, London
  • John Nodes Funeral Service, 181 Ladbroke Grove, London
  • Macbeth Street, Hammersmith, London
  • BBC Television Centre (TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The gates to the junkyard bear the label "I.M FORMAN", as a nod to the junkyard seen in the first ever episode, (TV: An Unearthly Child) and as a continuity link. The junkyard in An Unearthly Child, however, is labelled "I.M Foreman" Though this was later retconned by a couple of books, it was nevertheless a genuine production error, as admitted on the DVD release's production notes extra feature. According to the production notes on the DVD release, the sign had already been corrected once on the day of shooting, as it was originally painted as L.M. rather than I.M., but no one evidently noticed the surname error. (For details of the retcon, see the discontinuity discussion.)
  • At the end of part one, the Imperial Dalek is shown to have a wire on its left side in the front shot.
  • Although set in 1963, 1980's style houses are visible in the background during the struggle between Mike and the Headmaster at the cemetery in part two.
  • In part two, during the scene in the undertaker's, the editor mismatches footage, making Ace's baseball bat appear to suddenly switch from the Doctor's left hand to his right. The error is remarked upon by both Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred on the DVD commentary of this story. Similarly, in another scene, the first soldier to be exterminated on-screen has a gun in his left hand then it switches to his right hand when he gets exterminated.
  • At another point in part two, when the Renegade Daleks move onto the streets, in a close-up shot, you can see the section between the head and middle section coming off.
  • At one point, a continuity announcement on a television in the background establishes the time as 17:15. Given that the episode is implied to be set in November in London, that should make it dark outside. However, it is not only light but the Doctor subsequently asks people out to lunch. While a convoluted narrative extrapolation might be possible, the simplest reading is that the continuity supervisor, amongst others, dropped the ball.
  • At the start of part three, Mike sticks some C4 on the Dalek to the left, but it is the one of the right that is destroyed first.
  • When Mike Smith enters the backyard with a message for Ratcliffe in part four, the back wall has graffiti with the number '87' on it, revealing that the episode was filmed in the '80s while supposed to be taking place in the '60s. Sophie Aldred points this out on the DVD audio commentary.
  • Near the end of part four when the Girl knocks Mike back against the stairs, they can clearly be seen to move away from the wall, revealing the plain grey backing of the set wall. Also, Mike's body clearly comes to rest on the stairs, but he is later shown to be on the floor in front of the stairs.
  • The gate of Ratcliffe's yard is clearly a rather ill-fitted prop. When the gate opens, the path of its swing does not match the groove in the floor. This is most clearly seen when Mike Smith is sneaking into the yard (and is ambushed by the Renegade Daleks).
  • Just after the gate is destroyed, one of the Imperial Daleks is briefly shown to have lost a few hemispheres to the blast. In the very next shot the Imperial Daleks feature in, however, no damage is shown.

Continuity Edit

Home video and audio releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

Released as Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks, this was the second release of 2001.

It was released:

First Release:



  • Deleted Scenes/Out-takes
  • Multi-Angle Sequences
  • Trailers
  • Music-only Option
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles
  • Commentary: Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred

Rear Credits:

Notes: An error was made and the Region 2 DVD is missing some SFX from certain shots. The Australia/NZ release is in NTSC format, not the standard PAL format, due to an inability to clear the music and the SFX problem which had been corrected for the US DVD.

Second Release:

This second release was as part of the Davros box set (along with Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks). The SFX errors and the Multi-Angle feature in the first release were corrected, the Photo Gallery revised and expanded, and the following additions made to the DVD package:

  • 5.1 Dolby Remix
  • Back to School Documentary - Cast and crew talk about the making of the story
  • Remembrances Documentary - Cast and crew talk about the influences and references to other adventures
  • Easter Egg - Go to the first Special Features menu, scroll down to 'Remembrances', click left for a logo that leads to an out-take of Sophie Aldred preparing one of her intros for the Deleted Scenes.


North American release Edit

The use of a Beatles song created problems when it came to issuing the story to DVD Region 1 (North America). In November 2007, BBC Video announced a March 2008 release for the story, but in December 2007 this was cancelled, with licensing issues cited as the reason.

In November 2009, two years later, BBC Video announced that Remembrance of the Daleks was finally released to DVD in North America on 2 March 2010. The release, dubbed a Special Edition, included the bonus content included in the UK release of the Special Edition and substituted another recording of the Beatles song in place of the original recording.[1]

VHS releases Edit

This story was released as Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks.

It was released:

First Release:

PAL - BBC Video BBCV5005
NTSC - Warner Video E1145

Notes: This story was released in a special edition Dalek Tin along with The Chase and a book entitled Daleks: A Brief History. The US release featured no book or tin, with both stories packaged in one box without individual artwork.

Second Release:
  • UK September 2001
PAL - BBC Video BBCV7255

Notes: W H Smith exclusive as part of the The Davros Collection box set in the early 2000s.

External links Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.