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The Second Dalek War (COMIC: Pureblood, PROSE: Deceit, AUDIO: Out of Time) was a war between the Dalek Empire and humanity in the 26th century. It was one of a series of conflicts which became known as the Dalek Wars. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

Sparked in 2540 by the exposure of a Dalek conspiracy to set the Earth Empire and the Draconian Empire at war with each other, (TV: Frontier in Space, PROSE: Love and War) the Daleks' main enemy in the war was Earth. Human-Draconian relations were marred by lingering mistrust and no effective long-term united front against their common foe was established. The two rival empires concentrated on defending their own space sectors, granting the Daleks the advantage of the initiative. (COMIC: Star Tigers, AUDIO: Out of Time) Many other species and worlds were dragged into the war as well. (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks, Pureblood, PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks, Love and War)

By its end, both Earth and Dalek war machines were bleeding dry in attritional fighting. Numerous setbacks suffered by the Daleks led them to push forward with and accelerate the development of their own capabilities in the field of time travel. The resulting strategies ultimately proved overambitious and ended up as the root of the Daleks' undoing. The war never grew into a time war, although the research laid the groundwork for future campaigns through time, foreshadowing the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks, AUDIO: Out of Time)

Within the galaxy of Mutter's Spiral, the Second Dalek War ran concurrent with the long-standing conflict between the Sontarans and the Rutan Host. (COMIC: Pureblood, PROSE: Love and War) The conflict lasted over forty years. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) It was followed by the Third Dalek War some time later. (PROSE: The Chase, Deceit, Sky Pirates!)



Frontier War[]

Main article: Human-Draconian War

During the 25th century, the Draconian Empire expanded beyond the star system of Draconia and made contact with the Earth Empire. The two empires inhabited opposite sides of Mutter's Spiral and agreed not to encroach on each others territories, implementing a buffer zone. However, relations remained uneasy. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Space War)

Around the turn of the century, the Draconians contested the United Planetary Association's colonisation of Catastrophea (Kastopheria) and blockaded the planet. One group of House Kryll tried to provoke UPA hostilities by launching a suicide mission, but after an uprising by the planet's natives, the People, the Draconians agreed to help evacuate the human colonists and the independence of the People was formally recognised. Despite the rare display of cooperation between Earth and Draconia, some commentators opined that diplomatic relations could prove far trickier to maintain. (PROSE: Catastrophea)

In 2520, representatives from Earth and Draconia planned on a meeting but both ships were damaged in a neutron storm. Without communications, John Williams fired on the Draconian warship, incorrectly believing it to be armed and hostile. The diplomatic disaster resulted in the three-day war against the Draconians. It was brief but devastating and engendered continued mistrust between the two empires. (TV: Frontier in Space)

Galactic cold war[]

Operation Divide and Conquer[]

Main article: Operation Divide and Conquer

The sudden defeat of the Dalek occupation of the Earth during the 22nd century, (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) which formed the First Dalek War, (PROSE: Prelude Deceit) created an intense bitterness and hatred within the Daleks towards humanity. That they had been robbed of such a seemingly-total victory long remained a sore point in their collective consciousness. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) From this stemmed other Dalek attempts to crush humanity, all of which failed, leading the Daleks to reconsider how best to confront their enemies. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, The Evil of the Daleks, PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks, AUDIO: Energy of the Daleks, et al.)

It was the Master who proposed that the Daleks take advantage of the volatile relations between Earth and Draconia. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) After various misadventures of his own to conquer 20th century Earth, the Master arranged meetings with forces on other planets, Skaro chief among them. (PROSE: Verdigris) Despite their extreme xenophobia, the Daleks agreed to hear the "inferior" Master out, as they were far more interested in avenging their defeats at the hands of humanity. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)

The proposition was deliberated by the Daleks, who laid out plans for Operation Divide and Conquer before the Dalek Emperor. The Master would manipulate the rivalry between Earth and Draconia by launching various Ogron attacks. Equipped with hypnosound technology, the Ogrons would appear as humans to the Draconians and as Draconians to the humans. Complete breakdown of diplomatic relation would lead to a second war which would destroy both empires, allowing the Daleks to "emerge and conquer" in the aftermath. The Emperor approved of the plan. (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests)

A genuine skirmish between humans and Draconians sparked by the confusion. (TV: Frontier in Space)

The Master launched "Divide and Conquer" in 2540 with simultaneous Ogron attacks on Earth and Draconian targets. Both sides blamed the other for the attacks and denied all accusations. On Earth, anti-Draconian protests erupted demanding retaliation, utilised by Congressman Brook to highlight the weakness of President Dora. Her own military advisers, General John Williams chief among them, also recommended retaliation in order to secure her position as President of Earth. Dora, who was previously involved in the incident which sparked the Frontier War, was eventually persuaded to break of diplomatic relations with the Draconians, but she was reluctant to start another war.

When the Third Doctor discovered the Ogrons were responsible, he made efforts to warn both sides they were being tricked by a third party, but in the climate of suspicion, his warning was constantly drowned out. Only after an attack on Draconia was one Ogron taken prisoner and the deception exposed. The Draconians agreed to cooperate with Earth representatives to investigate. General Williams had a change of heart after learning about the accident which led to the last war and formed an expedition with the Doctor and the Draconian prince.

Rendezvous on the Ogron planet. (TV: Frontier in Space)

The expedition travelled to the Ogron homeworld where the Daleks revealed themselves and imprisoned the representatives. They were left in the Master's custody as the Daleks departed to continue their preparations for what the Master claimed would be "a very short war". However, using appropriated hypnosound technology, the Doctor tricked an Ogron guard into freeing the prisoners. Williams and the Draconian prince fled to warn their respective governments of the impending danger. The Doctor advised them to mount a joint expedition to the planet and capture the base as soon as possible. (TV: Frontier in Space)

Spiridon campaign[]

Main article: Spiridon campaign

The Dalek army on Spiridon. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

Dalek preparations proceeded apace within a hidden base on Spiridon, a planet quietly conquered by the Daleks. Here, their intentions were twofold: awaken the hibernating army of ten thousand Daleks and treat them with newly-discovered invisibility techniques based on those of the planet's natives. (TV: Planet of the Daleks) After escaping the Master, the Doctor made an urgent appealed to the Time Lords to send him after the Daleks, so that he may delay their invasion preparations. (TV: Frontier in Space) The Time Lords obliged, sending the TARDIS to Spiridon, (TV: Planet of the Daleks) beginning the Spiridon campaign. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks)

The Doctor met up with a group of Thals led by Taron, who were hunting the Daleks during their own ongoing war. After Rebec reported that ten thousand Daleks were hidden on the planet, the party came up with various plans to sabotage the Dalek operations. Dalek Supreme Command advised that the planet be sterilised by means of a virus to kill any fugitives but enemy sabotage ensured it was released prematurely, remaining locked in sealed chamber and rendering it of no further use to the Daleks. In light of the setbacks, the Dalek Supreme from the High Council was dispatched to maintain order, landing in a Councillor-class craft.

The Spiridon operations were considered so important that a representative of the Dalek Council became involved. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

Eventually, the Doctor and the Thals penetrated the cave systems in which the Dalek army was kept in hibernation. They flooded the chamber with molten ice from nearby pools just as the army began to awaken. The molten ice spread through other parts of the facility until the Dalek Supreme ordered the place abandoned and set to self-destruct.

The remaining Daleks were stranded on Spiridon after the surviving Thals stole the Dalek Supreme's ship to make their own way back to Skaro. The Dalek Supreme instructed that a rescue ship be called for and announced that the army would yet be freed from the ice. In regards to the setback they had just suffered, the Dalek Supreme declared: "We have been delayed, not defeated. The Daleks are never defeated."

The Doctor assessed that the size of the Spiridon army showed that the Daleks intended to launch their invasion regardless of the success of "Divide and Conquer". (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

In a blow for the Council, the Dalek Supreme was never recovered and was lost on Spiridon, which was subsequently reclaimed by the natives. The Dalek army remained frozen beneath the site of the abandoned base (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) for decades more to come. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

War against the Daleks[]

Early clashes[]

The Earth and Draconian Empires united to face the threat of the Daleks. Ishkavaarr, the Draconian Ambassador to Earth, spent much time discussing new plans with the President. Symbolic of the new relationship was a deal proposed by Ishkavaarr that Draconia and Earth share the planet of Heaven. The planet sat close to where the two empires met and was of little value in terms of strategy or mineral resources, even to the Daleks. However, its beauty appealed to the humans and Draconians. The deal, once accepted, declared heaven a joint possession of Earth and Draconia and named it an open world where both civilisations could bury their dead. (PROSE: Love and War)

Committed to a war which would no longer be fought on their own terms, the Daleks entered the Second Dalek War with an apocalyptic ferocity. Deploying planet-splitter missiles during the First Dalek Incursion, numerous worlds were destroyed, including Arkheon. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

The Earth colony of Beta Caprisis was instantly of strategic importance to the Daleks. They managed to break through the Earth defence put up by Spacefleet. As a child, Bernice Summerfield was rushed to a bomb shelter by her mother, Claire Summerfield, when their home city became vulnerable. Although Bernice reached the shelter, she had dropped her doll, Rebecca, and Claire returned to the streets to retrieve her. The Daleks then began bombarding the city with plasma beams. Claire was among many people killed in the first blasts. (PROSE: Love and War)

Earth's government enacted emergency powers that allowed it to commandeer personnel, resources and ships from powerful human corporations. (PROSE: Love and War, Return of the Living Dad, Deceit)

During the period, although dated to 2539, one year before the war, Earth attempted to resettle 80,000 refugees displaced by the Dalek Wars on the Axista Four. The existing colony was underdeveloped and did not possess the infrastructure to support so big an influx. The twin crises, involving the refugees and the Tyrenians, were soon resolved and the colonists agreed to help resettle the refugees. (PROSE: The Colony of Lies)

The Wayfarer, a military vessel, saw action during the Incursion, surviving damage to her secondary hull by from a neutronic missile which failed to detonate. She was decommissioned but was rescued from being scrapped and was repurposed as a merchant ship.

Jon Bowman, a veteran of the Draconian War, was promoted for his actions during the Incursion. He eventually reached the rank of Space Major and was removed from front line service to aid Earth Central as a consultant for defensive systems. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

The Battle of Bellatrix took place in 2543, against the Daleks and the Earth Alliance's Spacefleet at planet Bellatrix. Admiral Isaac Summerfield II was believed dead at the end of the battle. (PROSE: Return of the Living Dad, Dead Romance) Other people claimed that he had run away out of cowardice, but Bernice did not believe them. Orphaned, she was sent to military academy and received combat training, at which she was not very good owing to a bad aim, although she improved with time. Despite her improvement, she never felt comfortable around soldiers and weapons and went AWOL. Other female students from the Academy often went to visit her in secret but the authorities were not able to find her until Simon Kyle, a boy with which Bernice had fallen in love, betrayed her secret. She was returned to the Academy, deemed fit for frontline service and became the youngest private in the corps. En route to battle the Daleks at Capella, however, Bernice ejected herself from the troopship in one of the escape pods and deserted. (PROSE: Love and War)

Upon the completion of defence work, Earth Command determined that Jon Bowman posed a security risk and attempted to wipe his memory. Bowman fled and went on the run after losing Earth's trail in the desert on Mykron. He continued hunting Daleks independently while working on the fringes of the Earth worlds, and eventually ended up on the Wayfarer, of which he became the commander.

Red Sky Lost also fell victim to the Daleks and its native species was eradicated via genocide. Koral was the only survivor. She was found by Bowman suffocating among the ruins of her homeworld and taken aboard the Wayfarer, where she was nursed back to health. Over time, Bowman attracted others, including Scrum, a tech expert, Cuttin' Edge, an Earth soldier who never worked well with discipline, and Stella, a young woman from Auros. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

James Miller fought in the war as a mercenary. He was "opened" up by the claw of a Dalek specialist. Miller "opened it up" in retaliation. (PROSE: Love and War) When he later worked for the Directorate of External Ops in calmer surroundings, he claimed the soldiers in the Dalek war were of better calibre than the troopers he came to deal with regularly. (PROSE: Prelude Love and War)

In order to avoid fighting a war on two frontiers at once, the Daleks concentrated primarily on the Earth Empire. The Draconian Empire engaged in relatively little fighting with the Daleks and enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity, although it was a tentative one. The Emperor was reluctant to fully commit to the fight against the Daleks so soon after the Frontier War. However, factions of the Draconian military were more alert to the danger posed by the Daleks. (COMIC: Star Tigers)

Eventually, there was a lull in the fighting. President Dora and the Draconian Emperor made a joint visit to Heaven and signed more agreements between them. Ishkavaarr died believing that some greater purpose lay behind the existence of the planet and the joint imperial possession of it, perhaps to make itself known in years to come. (PROSE: Love and War)


During the Battle of Alpha Centauri, the Daleks were fought off by a small Silurian squadron. According to rumour, one Dalek fleet broke off from the main force and retreated through hyperspace but this remained unconfirmed and instead became something of a wartime legend.

Jan Rydd and Christopher were among those drafted into the military. Before they were sent to the front, they were offered an alternative choice of testing out new drugs designed to endow the user with psychic powers. Hearing terrible stories about the state of the war, they chose to test the drugs. However, Jan got cold feet ahead of the test, leading Christopher to take both samples. He did develop psychic powers but lost his sex in the process. After making his own contribution, Jan became pyrokinetic. Shortly after, the two defected when Roisa McIlnery recruited them to join the Travellers.

The Daleks also succeeded in hacking in to Puterspace, a virtual reality system, and sought to attack its users with their puterships. They were not very experienced in this field, however, and much of these attacks could be easily countered. (PROSE: Love and War)

In one period of three months, the Daleks made huge advances through Earth space. (COMIC: Star Tigers) The Earth forces became desperate as the conflict dragged and resorted to hiring bounty hunters to harass Daleks on the frontier worlds. Bounty hunters made a living by returning Dalek eyestalks to the Earth forces to confirm the kill. They were worth 20 decacredits each when redeemed at an imperial base. (PROSE: Love and War) Bowman was among those who signed up and made good money in this line of work. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) Even Earth's worst criminals were enlisted after being given the choice of execution or becoming highly-armed Dalek Killers. (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer, PROSE: Love and War)

Princess Taiyin after the surrender of Mazam. (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer)

Abslom Daak opted to become a Dalek Killer after he was convicted of twenty-three serious crimes. His sentencing coincided with the fall of the planet Mazam to the Daleks. Princess Taiyin, the ruler of Mazam, quickly surrendered in order to spare her people from a massacre. The Daleks occupied the planet with the force of almost 1,000 Daleks. Taiyin was quickly declared expendable and readied for execution but Daak materialised in her throne room and destroyed the Daleks. He expected that he was living on borrowed time and fought his way towards the Dalek Command Ship, intent on taking as many Daleks as possible with him before the end.

Taiyin accompanied Daak and during their escape from the palace, they fell in love. Upon reaching the Dalek Command Ship, Daak raided the ship and fought all the way to the Command Dalek deep inside the base. Daak threw some bombs timed to detonate after 30 seconds into the control room. The ship blew up, taking the bulk of the Dalek occupation force with it, leaving only scattered survivors Against the odds, Daak and Taiyin both survived. However, one Dalek survivor shot Taiyin from behind. Dying, Taiyin asked Daak to live, and Daak declared that his mission was now to wipe the Daleks from the face of the galaxy. (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer)

Draconian passivity in the later war was a controversial matter on Draconia. The Daleks respected their frontier to focus on Earth. (COMIC: Star Tigers)

The conquest of Mazam worried the Draconians as it positioned the Daleks within easy reach of Girodun. The loss of Girodun would threaten Draconian trade routes, and this resulted in a power struggle in the Draconian Emperor's court. Prince Salander, as the Minister of the Imperial Left Hand, appealed to the Emperor to strengthen the defences in that sector by moving in the 27th Fleet. His political rival, Axiron, the First Secretary of the Right Hand, advised that the Emperor negotiate a formal peace with the Daleks. The military supported Salander's position but the Right Hand held the ear of the Emperor, who pursued a de facto neutrality.

Amidst the debate, Abslom Daak was pursued by the Daleks across the Draconian frontier after his actions on Mazam. Daak escaped the Daleks and was granted permission to land on Draconia by Salander. Axiron claimed this exceeded Salander's authority and both he and Daak were placed under house arrest pending an investigation. Daak had fled Mazam with Taiyin's body in cryogenic suspension, so Salander agreed to help revive her if Daak helped to waken Draconia to the Dalek threat. The political pressure mounted on him by his enemies forced Salander to flee Draconia with Daak in a prototype spacecraft, which Daak called the Kill-Wagon.

The ship travelled the galaxy in search of a crew with Daak recruiting Harma on Paradise and Vol Mercurius on Dispater. Dispater at the time was under attack by an army of Kill-Mechs, and the Daleks were waiting for their own opportunity to invade. Mercurius fired on nearby asteroids, revealing them to be part of a Dalek stealth tactic. The Dalek engaged in a chase with the Kill-Wagon which lured them down to the surface of Dispater. The Kill-Wagon dropped nuclear charges into an active volcano, eradicating every Dalek within fifty miles. (COMIC: Star Tigers)

Despite their common enemy, lingering mutual mistrust prevented the humans and Draconians from working closely together to combat the Dalek threat. Captain Zenna accused the Draconians of only protecting their own sectors. (AUDIO: Out of Time) James Miller, however, described the Draconians being "on a jihad", meticulously monitoring their local sectors for signs of Dalek activity. Some of this information reached the Earth forces. (PROSE: Love and War)

A book about Daak's exploits, labelled as "the story so far", was written during the war. Roisa McIlnery believed Daak to be dead.

Another political criminal, Máire Mab Finn, was sentenced to Exile DK after planting bombs in support of prisoners on the Lunar Penal Colony. She spent three months on a Dalek world, collecting Dalek eyestalks to claim the bounty, before joining the Travellers once their ship crashed in the mountains and she helped repair the engines. The Travellers departed the Dalek world and spent time on Heaven. Máire kept the eyestalks on her as a form of insurance in case of any development beyond her control. (PROSE: Love and War)

Because the war lasted so long, it saw the birth of a generation who never knew that it was like to live in times of peace. This was referred to as the Dalek Generation. Stella in Jon Bowman's crew was part of this Generation. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

The war stretched into numerous quadrants of human space but Earth itself remained safe from any immediate threat.

Following the rumour of the Dalek fleet lost at Alpha Centauri, Captain Mark Diski was granted the resources needed to fly to the edge of human space to hunt the fleet down. Their mission brought them dangerously close to attracting the attention of the Sontarans, but Diski accepted the risk on the basis that the Sontarans were engaged in the Magellanic Clouds, and may have even encountered the Daleks themselves. During the search of the sector, the ships witnessed the appearance of a Hoothi sphere. Diski's ship was subsequently boarded by the Hoothi who massacred everyone onboard and set the three ships to destroy each other. (PROSE: Love and War)

Human historians from an era that followed the Last Great Time War believed that the Dalek Empire eventually brought the fight to the Draconians and toppled their empire. Following this, the Daleks' primary opposition was the Combined Galactic Resistance. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) By other historical accounts, however, the Combined Galactic Resistance was part of the Great War. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

Operation Genocide[]

Main article: Operation Genocide

The Death Wheel, instrumental to Operation Genocide. (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks)

In a surprise attack, the Daleks invaded the planet Hell and enslaved the native Helkans. Enacting Operation Genocide, overseen by the Emperor Dalek himself, the Daleks set enslaved Helkans to work harvesting deadly helkogen gas as the Daleks constructed the Death Wheel above the planet. With enough gas, the Death Wheel could poison the planet and wipe out all Helkans below as a test of their new weapon. The Seventh Doctor decried the war becoming "dirtier".

The Kill-Wagon engaged the Daleks above the planet but was shot down and crashed, though Daak remained largely unscathed and believed his companions dead. Daak and the Doctor joined forces to free Helkan slave workers from the Daleks. Taking control of a Dalek cargo ship, the Doctor, Daak and the freed Helkans led by Kemlo attempted to infiltrate the Death Wheel. However, without proper means of identification, the ship's occupants were quickly exposed and taken prisoner, although Daak remained undetected.

Destruction of the Death Wheel. (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks)

The Doctor was taken before the Emperor and the Imperial Guard, who confirmed his identity. Before his extermination, Daak arrive and tore up the Imperial Guard, freeing the Doctor and the other prisoners, who proceeded to locate the central reactor. The Doctor prepared to sacrifice himself to destroy the Wheel as the others escaped but Daak knocked him unconscious and took his place. The Death Wheel exploded as Daak rammed a Dalek hoverbout into the reactor core, seeing his chance to fulfilling his pledge to Taiyin to wipe out the Daleks. The Helkans vowed to remember him as "Abslom Daak, Life-Giver". (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks)

The crew of the Kill-Wagon in fact survived the crash and were nursed back to health by the Helkans. Daak himself was also saved moments before his death by Daleks from the era of the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War. They travelled back in time to rescue Daak so they could use him as a pawn to locate the Doctor. Afterwards, they were all extracted from the 26th century and brought to Skaro to help the Dalek Prime's forces track down Davros. (COMIC: Emperor of the Daleks!)

Time travel[]

The Dalek military forces eventually upgraded their casings to a more advanced "protective armour". (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) At first, this applied to the red-and-gold Supreme Dalek model. (AUDIO: Out of Time) The Dalek drones and low-ranking officers soon followed suit, with new bronze casings (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) replacing the more basic casings with which the Daleks had entered the war (TV: Frontier in Space, Planet of the Daleks) and fought much of it with. (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer, Star Tigers, Nemesis of the Daleks, AUDIO: Out of Time)

The conflict dragged on, threatening the Earth forces with exhaustion. Although the Daleks had suffered numerous defeats at setbacks during the war, Private Jora decried the Daleks' ability to bounce back to a position of strength time after time. (AUDIO: Out of Time) Humanity did not know was that the Daleks privately admitted to themselves that they were losing the war. Becoming more desperate, the Daleks sought to develop new war-winning strategies through time travel, a field in which they were significantly advanced but had yet to master. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

Private Jora had been pushed to join the war during Earth's recruiting drive by her father, Captain Zenna, and she joined as a pilot. She took part in an engagement with the Daleks on a Sector 5 planetoid near the edge of Draconian space. Worn down by the Daleks' tenacity, she deserted and sought refuge within the Cathedral of Contemplation. The rest of her unit, including Zenna, were all killed. The Daleks took body-prints of the dead to create new duplicates.

The Fourth and Tenth Doctors face the Supreme's forces during the Dalek attack on the Cathedral of Contemplation. (AUDIO: Out of Time)

The first Dalek gambit to win the war through time manipulation involved an invasion of the Cathedral itself. The Cathedral existed outside of time, and the Daleks intended to use it as a bridge over which they could open a time corridor leading directly into the headquarters of Earth Central Command. The Daleks used Jora to infiltrate the Cathedral by sending in a duplicate of Zenna after her, ostensibly to return her to the war. The duplicate allowed the Daleks entry into the Cathedral and they launched their takeover, led by the Dalek Supreme himself.

The Daleks came across resistance in the form of the Fourth and Tenth Doctors, as well as Earth soldiers pilot and pilgrims. Despite the resulting setbacks, the Daleks managed to capture the Cathedral, having swiftly murdered the Abbess. The two Doctors were held captive and made to pilot the Cathedral to open a doorway to Earth. The Doctors complied but tricked the Daleks into invading Earth during the wrong time period; the army arrived in the year 5,000,000,000, at the moment of Earth Death. Had the Fourth Doctor not stopped the Tenth and allowed the Dalek Supreme to abort the process, the expansion of the sun could have fed back through the gateway and destroyed Skaro as well.

Without the Abbess, the Cathedral began to lose integrity and collapsed. With Jora's help, the Supreme was immobilised and the Doctors escaped. The Supreme was killed as the last doorway out of the Cathedral closed. (AUDIO: Out of Time)

The end of the war[]

Circa the 2580s, "over forty years" after the First Dalek Incursion, the Daleks ventured to secure victory by turning their attention to the Arkheon Threshold, a rift in time located in the remains of Arkheon. By exploiting the rift, the Daleks hoped to wipe out humanity from its very beginnings. Human prisoners of war were used as slave labour to dig through the crust of the planet and reach the Threshold.

The plan remained top secret until the Doctor's TARDIS jumped a time track, sending the Tenth Doctor to the abandoned planet Hurala during the time of the war, and in a period before the Last Great Time War. He eventually fell in with Bowman's a team bounty hunters aboard the Wayfarer. A Dalek scouting party arrived at their location and the team escaped. They were followed by one Dalek stowaway, who killed Stella. The others were able to incapacitate the Dalek and took it prisoner.

At about the same time, the people of Auros learned of an approaching Dalek fleet. The population destroyed their planet with Osterhagen technology to deny it to the Daleks and fled before the fleet arrived. However, it was all a trap. The Daleks waited for the refugee fleet to come to them and the Dalek Inquisitor General, Dalek X, ordered the citizens be sent to work in the Arkheon mines.

The Dalek prisoner captured by crew of the Wayfarer, who let slip important information vital to the outcome of the war. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

Realising that some kind of Dalek strategy was underway, the Wayfarer crew interrogated their Dalek prisoner. Although their methods of torture were unsuccessful, the Doctor extracted one piece of information about the Daleks "changing the path of history". From this, he worked out that the Daleks' planned to use the Arkheon Threshold to achieve victory, but he failed to consider that Daleks had already found the Threshold until it was too late. Arriving on the ruins of Arkheon, the Wayfarer crew were taken prisoner. Discovering that they had captured both the Doctor and Space Major Jon Bowman, who knew all about Earth's defences, the Daleks summoned Dalek X to subject the Doctor to torture and extract the intelligence from Bowman's brain.

With the Daleks lacking the necessary technology to properly exploit the Threshold to their own ends, Dalek X considered using the Doctor's TARDIS, which was still on Hurala; the Doctor even encouraged this course of action as it presented an opportunity to return to his ship. Transported to Hurala on Dalek X's flagship, the Exterminator, the Doctor, Bowman and Koral made their escape after the sacrifice of Cuttin' Edge. In the pursuit, Dalek X was overpowered and plunged into the depths of the planet. As the Doctor's team departed in the TARDIS, the fuel supplies at the abandoned Lodestar station were detonated in a fireball that ravaged the planet destroyed the Exterminator.

The loss of the Exterminator, the Inquisitor General, and the Supreme Dalek's Temporal Research Team, was a disaster for the Dalek war machine, throwing the fleet into disarray and halting all further attempts to use time travel to win the war. After Bowman reported the Arkheon prison to Earth Command, they dispatched a squadron of ships to attack the base and liberate the prisoners. The Doctor anticipated it would be a hard-fought battle, but he was ultimately able to return to Arkheon and seal the Threshold.

Dalek X survived on Hurala, sustained by the astronic radiation fired into the atmosphere, but as part of the radiation quarantine the planet was placed under, he was unable to sent out a transmission that would be heard for at least five thousand years. At any rate, the Supreme Dalek left Dalek X for dead. The Doctor met with Dalek X one last time and informed him about the state of the war. Dalek X admitted that the Doctor's victory was "total" but vowed to hunt him down, to which the Doctor replied he would be waiting. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

Galactic Federation Archivist Ven Kalik wrote that the Second Dalek War thereafter drew to an "untidy conclusion" and ultimately "fizzled out". (PROSE: Deceit)

Historians believed that the Dalek known as "Rusty" had fought in the war and indeed heralded its end. As a result of battle damage and an encounter with the Twelfth Doctor, Rusty's existential hatred wound up redirected to his own race while he sought to protect beautiful things. Once Rusty had been recovered by the Daleks, the Supreme Council called off the war out of fear that Rusty's condition could spread to other units. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) However, Rusty had memories of post-Last Great Time War events, implying he had been from a point later in Dalek history. (TV: Into the Dalek) Another historical work believed Rusty and the Combined Galactic Resistance emerged as part of the Great War, and offered a vastly different chronology of the Dalek Wars over all. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

Aftermath and legacy[]

By its end, the Second Dalek War had "ravaged the stars, burned out suns and sent whole worlds to their graves." (COMIC: Pureblood)

For the victorious Earth Central forces, the result led to a major restructuring of humanity's intergalactic government. The corporations, formerly masters of human colonies across explored space, had suffered as a result of the Human-Draconian War, the Dalek Plague and the harsh rule enforced on them by Earth's rulers. Advances in communications technology helped Earth occupy the vacuum left by the corporations' rule. In the Introduction to Break-out to Empire: Essays on the Third Millennium, Ven Kalik agreed that the seeds of the later Earth Alliance and Earth Empire were sown in the Second Dalek War. (PROSE: Deceit)

In the aftermath of the war, the long Rutan-Sontaran War reached a critical phase when the Rutan Host destroyed the Sontaran homeworld, Sontara. The Seventh Doctor helped the endangered Sontarans to preserve their species while making them promise to wipe all knowledge of humans from their racepool, thus sparing humanity from their "imperial ambitions" for a number of centuries. (COMIC: Pureblood)

The outbreak of the Third Dalek War some time later only worsened the burden felt by the Earth Empire after the Human-Draconian War and the Second Dalek War and their expansionist phase came to an end. Planets such as Mechanus were never colonised and the Mechonoids created to prepare these planets for colonisation were forgotten about. (PROSE: The Chase)

The Draconians joined the fight against the Daleks centuries later during the Great War. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)

Bronze Daleks were standard by the outbreak of the Time War. (TV: Dalek) These casings first appeared as early as the Second Dalek War (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) as did red Supreme variants. (AUDIO: Out of Time)

The Daleks returned to using their more basic casings after the war. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks et al.) However the stronger bronze casings used towards the end of the war eventually came back into use during the Movellan War, (TV: The Pilot) and became standard for all Daleks by the outbreak of the Last Great Time War. (TV: Dalek, The Last Day, The Day of the Doctor) The New Dalek Paradigm also made use of the casing for all of their foot soldiers. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks, The Time of the Doctor, Into the Dalek, COMIC: The Dalek Project, PROSE: The Dalek Generation)

After the Time War, the Second Dalek War became an area of Dalek history locked to time travellers. Although the Tenth Doctor travelled back to the end of the conflict, he only did so by accident after jumping a time track, which he considered may have been due to the Daleks' attempt to breach the Arkheon Threshold during the war disrupting the TARDIS while in flight. Otherwise, he claimed that it should have been impossible. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) Before the New Dalek Paradigm arose and built themselves up, (TV: Victory of the Daleks) the Daleks disappeared from much of time and space. Unable to devote the rest of his life to killing Daleks, Abslom Daak instead acquired a vortex manipulator from a Time Agent and began hunting the Eleventh Doctor to collect the bounty placed on him by the Overcaste. (COMIC: The Then and the Now)

Historical discrepancies with the Age of Universal Peace[]

The waging of the Second Dalek War throughout much of the 26th century was entirely inconsistent with other accounts detailing the Age of Universal Peace, which began in 2409. (PROSE: Break-through!) It followed the Dalek invasion during the 25th century, once the defeated Daleks had been confined to Skaro via Earth blockade (COMIC: Battle for the Moon) and comprehensively disarmed. After around "two centuries of peace", the new threat of the mysterious Mechanical Planet led to the Daleks being rearmed and set free to begin another invasion of the solar system at the dawn of the 27th century. (COMIC: The Mechanical Planet)

Davros as the Emperor of the Imperial Daleks (AUDIO: Terror Firma)

The narrator of The Dalek Conquests noted that a precise chronological account of Dalek history was very tricky as the Daleks possessed means of time travel. He suggested the possibility that the Daleks involved in the Second Dalek War were not necessarily native to the 26th century. (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquest) During the Second Dalek War, the Daleks did possess technology theoretically capable of large-scale time manipulation. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) In fact, the Daleks that undertook Operation Genocide during the war were loyal to a Dalek Emperor who the Seventh Doctor believed to be Davros, (COMIC: Nemesis of the Daleks) who had only established his own Dalek army in a later period of Dalek history. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual, Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)

The Tenth Doctor, whilst in the midst of the Second Dalek War, remarked that "Dalek history was confusing enough before the Time War." (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks) According to the Conquests narrator, Dalek advances in time travel caught the attention of the Time Lords, who came to consider the Daleks a universal threat. (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquest) Nonetheless, the Daleks, both the supposedly pure "Renegade Daleks" and the Imperial Daleks loyal to Davros realised their time travel technology was nothing compared to that of the Time Lords, pushing both groups to advance their equippment. (TV: Remebrance of the Daleks) As soon as Dalek time travel technology was advanced enough, the Last Great Time War began. (AUDIO: The Innocent)

Behind the scenes[]

A multimedia storyline[]

The groundwork for the Second Dalek War was first laid in 1973 by Frontier in Space, which was followed up by Planet of the Daleks. These TV serials showed the Daleks preparing for a galactic invasion, leading the Doctor to have to disrupt their plans. The two stories were left open-ended but despite this, the conflict was never revisited in televised Doctor Who.

In 1980, the budding Doctor Who Weekly picked up the storyline in Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer. The debut of Abslom Daak, the comic firmly established that a war between the Daleks and the Earth Empire had broken out in the 26th century. The sequel comic, Star Tigers, delved into Draconian politics during the war and a third Daak story in 1989, Nemesis of the Daleks, united Daak with the Doctor for the first time. Emperor of the Daleks! also briefly revisits the events of Nemesis to bring Daak into the plot, but the story is otherwise unrelated to the war thereafter. The conflict was first named as the Second Dalek War in Pureblood in 1992, when Doctor Who Magazine sought to forge closer ties with the continuity of the ongoing Virgin New Adventures.

The New Adventures themselves regularly visited aspects of the war, which was used as part of the backstory for Bernice Summerfield. Love and War established that the war began as a result of the events of Frontier in Space. Deceit, which also crossed over with elements from Doctor Who Magazine, also named the conflict as the Second Dalek War. The Daleks only appeared sparingly in the New Adventures, however, and the Dalek threat itself was never the primary focus of one of the novels.

In 2009, the BBC New Series Adventures returned to the Second Dalek War in Prisoner of the Daleks. The story brings the Tenth Doctor into the conflict and pits him against the main bulk of the Dalek war machine on a scale not managed by the New Adventures.

At the time, the revived series had established the Daleks as on the verge of extinction following the Last Great Time War. Before the establishment of the New Dalek Paradigm in Victory of the Daleks, successive stories repeatedly wiped out emergent Dalek empires, limiting how contemporary Dalek stories could play out. The Second Dalek War provided an alternative pre-Time War playing field in which to pit the Doctor against the Daleks in strength. Nevertheless, Prisoner of the Daleks brings the Second Dalek War to its climax, offering a sense of closure and finality to a storyline which started with Frontier in Space over thirty-six years previously.

In 2020, Big Finish Productions used the Second Dalek War as the backdrop for the multi-Doctor story, Out of Time. The story, if loosely and/or unintentionally, partly bridged the gap leading up to Prisoner of the Daleks by depicting the Daleks as beginning to utilise Time War-era casings and trying to win the war via time travel. It heard David Tennant's Doctor refer to the conflict directly as "the Second Dalek War", marking the first time it had been named as such in any performed medium, and outside the New Adventures continuity.

Disparities with the Dalek annuals[]

As highlighted above, stories which detail the Second Dalek War as taking place throughout the 26th century create continuity snags with The Dalek Book and The Dalek World, which depict two related Dalek invasions of the solar system taking place in the 25th and 27th centuries, separated by the 200-year "Age of Universal Peace". It is not dissimilar to the various different stories detailing their own version of the creation of the Daleks, which also stems from Dalek spin-off materials from the 1960s.

Of course, in trying to unravel such continuity conundrums, it is not out of the question that the Second Dalek War never originally occurred and resulted from the manipulation of history by Daleks native to the future. Ideas of this nature are at least tentatively suggested by The Dalek Conquests. A more detailed version of what is more or less the same suggestion is offered by The Dalek Handbook:

The new generation of post-Civil War Daleks abandoned the ruins of Skaro and once more swarmed across the galaxies. Did they fulfil the ultimate logic of the Emperor's plans for gaining supremacy by temporal manipulation? This might have meant overwriting their race's own timeline, restaging past battles, perhaps even exterminating their own earlier selves. Or were the Daleks that menaced Draconia and Earth in the 26th century always from millennia into the future? Were there, in fact, two types of Dalek from different eras, co-existing throughout this time? With the Daleks so reckless with their own and other races' timelines, it is impossible to be certain.'The Dalek Handbook

It would not be the only instance of the Daleks apparently having changed history in this way. In The Only Good Dalek, the New Dalek Paradigm is said to have waged war against humanity through much of the the 40th century, despite Mission to the Unknown establishing that they largely stayed in hiding until the 41st century.

Other matters[]


  1. No precise end date is given anywhere, but Prisoner of the Daleks does indicate that the war lasted "over forty years". This points to the 2580s, given the 2540 start date given in Frontier in Space.