FANDOM


RealWorld
InvalidSource

The Dalek Dictionary was one of the features original to The Dalek Book, a Dalek annual published in 1964, which were not so much a story as an informative feature on Dalek society. Although mostly non-narrative (and, as such, not currently considered a valid source by this Wiki), it featured a wealth of new information about Dalek language and culture, as well as other worldbuilding details about ancient Skaro.

It referenced concepts from the Daleks' prior appearance in The Daleks as well as reaffirming information revealed elsewhere in The Dalek Book. More notably, it introduced characters that would be used later. Namely, Drenz, Yarvelling and Zolfian all had entries and all three would later appear in the flesh in Genesis of Evil, the first story of The Dalek Chronicles. The background given here was adapted and formed the loose story behind the creation of the Daleks, an account that went largely unchallenged for almost a decade.

References Edit

  • Arkellis is a rare species of flower from the planet Skaro, which is said to only take root in metal.
  • In the Dalek language, a Brindigulum is a conference or talk between four or more Daleks. None may be held without the Emperor Dalek's agreement. The world clyffil is used by the Daleks to signify "I understand you but I do not agree with you".
  • A baz is a Dalek screw made of platinum and which has two threads.
  • The Emperor Dalek's casing is made of Flidor Gold, fused Quartz and sap from the Arkellis flower.
  • After Drenz's assassination in 2003, the Daleks abandoned the use of personal names altogether.
  • Insli means "It is ready" in the Dalek language. Galkor, meanwhile, means "Follow me, I am your guide", and Nesd means "I warn you to beware." The word Preblin simply means rock or pebble, "Zerinza!" is an exclamation of good success before a battle, and "Zyquivilly" is the Dalek word meaning "farewell".
  • Gaxes are the metal roadways employed by the Daleks.
  • The Griltis is the underground river of Skaro, mistakenly stated by legends to be a "huge tunnel of crude oil" (the planet at large not being very rich in oil).
  • Dalek casings are manufactured from Dalekenium, a metal found only on the planet Skaro. Dalek gun-sticks, however, are made of Silcronian, which is particularly heat-resistant, allowing it to withstand the laser rays and ruby heat used by the Daleks as ammunition.
  • Vel Karneen was a famous Martian, their Commander of the Space Armies, who defeated the Daleks in the skies.
  • Lallapalanges, or "harmony birds", were a species of beautiful birds native to Skaro, with two voices which sang in harmony with one another. They are now excinct.
  • Magnodons are one of the metal creatures of Skaro made extinct because of the Neutron War.
  • "Nizzial", meaning "the one beside you is yourself", is an old, and unusually warm and friendly, Dalek saying signifying brotherhood and an offer to help with trouble and hardship.
  • The Oquolloquox is a violent wind that rages through Skaro once every six years.
  • A Quirradill is "a Dalek term of office or mark of appreciation", loosely equivalent to the honorific of being Master of one's craft.
  • Rels are a measure of hydro-electricity.
  • The rislaigle is a Dalek machine which can compress a gallon of water into the size of a small particle.
  • Thals are particularly tall, sometimes growing to be seven foot six.
  • The Urvacryl is a "dreaded" two-headed eel inhabiting the Lake of Mutation, quite near to the Dalek City.
  • Veps are a measure of artificial sunlight.
  • Wibbial is the Dalek term for any lifeform alien to Skaro; a human is, to a Dalek, "a wibbial".
  • "Xabs", pronounced "Ex-abbs", is a Dalek verb meaning "to be looked down upon favourably by those in authority".
  • The famous Yarveling was an inventor, explorer and discoverer; after being the first to travel beyond Skaro and bring blue-veined gold back from Flidor, he also invented the rislaigle and discovered Silcronian.
  • The letter J is the "forbidden letter" of the Dalek language; added before any word or sentence, it carries a meaning of great insult.
  • Zolfian, who "triumphed in war and was popular in war", is a famous Dalek hero, understood to belong to myth and legend.

Story notes Edit

  • The Dictionary employs the adjective "Skaroian" to refer to things from the planet Skaro, whereas "Skarosian" later became the most commonly-used form. It also spells Dalekanium "Dalekenium" (like other material of this period), Magnedon "Magnodon", and Yarvelling "Yarveling".

Impact on the Doctor Who canon Edit

The Dalek Dictionary (and The Dalek Book in general) was crucial to understanding more about the Daleks at the time of its release. Being published before their second televised adventure, it originated much of the lore of the species, some of which was immediately ignored on television.

Almost half of the entries in the Dictionary refer to some sort of Dalek language, called Dalekese in passing here. The idea of a Dalek language was not developed in great detail as time went on as both print and performed media required the Daleks to speak English to be understandable. The Masque of Mandragora in 1976 was the first to acknowledge that the TARDIS team could hear English even in foreign settings. This idea later evolved into the translation circuit within the Doctor's TARDIS. It was also established in 2008's Journey's End that the Daleks could change what language they used themselves based on who they were threatening, in that case Germans. Nevertheless, a Dalek form of writing was first introduced in the next story after the publication of The Dalek Book, The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Additionally, the word "Insli" was spoken multiple times in the pages of The Dalek Chronicles.

The Magnodons and the Thals from The Daleks both have entries. The Magnodons went on to have several more scattered appearances and the Thals became regular enemies for the Daleks. However, similarly to their presence in The Dalek Chronicles, they are said to be the sworn enemies of the Daleks but never appear to do battle with them in any of the Dalek annuals.

Dalekenium, which was introduced in The Humanoids within The Dalek Book, received an entry. The concept was thrusted into mainstream Doctor Who when it was mentioned in The Dalek Invasion of Earth and has been consistently referred to as late as 2007's Evolution of the Daleks. Vel Karneen and the Horrorkons are both other examples of entries based on other material in The Dalek Book; neither went on to appear outside its pages, although the Horrorkon was the obvious inspiration for the introduction of the similar Terrorkon, who appeared in several stories.

The units of measurement rels and veps were creations of The Dalek Dictionary. The vep was confirmed as a unit used to measure artificial sunlight in Duel of the Daleks. Instead of a unit used to measure hydro-electricity, the rel was first introduced in the comic story Plague of Death as a unit of speed in 1965 but is now understood to be a unit of time and has been used as such in television stories such as Doomsday and Resolution.

The Oquolloquox appeared faithful to its description in the Dictionary in Duel of the Daleks and was the driving force behind that story after striking Zeg and improving his casing to the point where he challenged the Emperor for dominance.

Creation of the Daleks Edit

In terms of its take on the creation of the Daleks, The Dalek Dictionary inspired the version shown in Genesis of Evil (and, like it, has the Daleks' humanoid ancestors also be called Daleks) but does not match it completely.

Drenz is stated here to be the last peaceful leader of the Daleks before his assassination by his own people in 2003. This act is also stated to be the reason the Daleks abandoned their personal names. In Evil, Drenz is stated to be the last pacifist Dalek leader and is murdered by one of his own. The dating of this to 2003 would not happen officially until 1980's The Dalek Tapes, the linking material for a series of comic strips that included Evil. Most machine Daleks did not have personal names although examples like Zeg in Duel of the Daleks and much later with the Cult of Skaro did still exist.

Yarveling (spelt with a single "l") is said to be a famous Dalek inventor, discoverer and explorer. Among other inventions, he is said to be the first Dalek to travel offworld, to Flidor, where he brought back gold. In Evil, Yarvelling has a very different background and his only named achievement is the creation of the original Dalek War Machine as a weapon against the Thals, although Flidor gold is mentioned as being part of the Emperor's casing. The development of early Dalek spacecraft is depicted in The Amaryll Challenge, however, long after Yarvelling's death.

Zolfian is described in the Dictionary as "a legendary hero among all Daleks" who "triumphed in war and was popular in peace." Evil is the least faithful in its depiction of Zolfian than the other two. He is the War Minister of the Daleks but he is the one that murders Drenz. Along with Yarvelling, he was one of the two humanoid Daleks to encounter the first machine Dalek.

The materials involved in the making of the Dalek Emperor's special casing stated here (Flidor gold, Quartz and Arkellis flower sap) are all mentioned in the same context in Evil.

The creation story depicted in Genesis of Evil and first alluded to in The Dalek Dictionary went largely unchallenged until the publication of the short story We are the Daleks! in 1973 which postulated that the Daleks' ancestors were humans. It was the broadcast of Genesis of the Daleks that practically erased Evil from Doctor Who continuity, however. The premise of an explosion of a neutron bomb causing the Daleks' humanoid ancestors (now called Kaleds) to mutate and retreat into casings was similar but Davros would now be hailed as nothing but the creator of the Daleks throughout his recurring appearances on televised Doctor Who and almost all of the expanded media featuring him.

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

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+