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Series logo, as printed in the first panel of each installment.

You may wish to consult The Daleks for other, similarly-named pages.

The Daleks, later reprinted as The Dalek Tapes and collected as The Dalek Chronicles, was a series of 104 single-page comic stories published in the TV Century 21 magazine between 1965 and 1967. The stories detailed the history of the Daleks from their creation to their discovery of Earth.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

The strip portrayed a unique narrative of the creation of the Daleks. The original humanoid Daleks were diminutive blue men with large heads. For their war against the Thals, these humanoid Daleks had created not just war machines but also neutron bombs that were accidentally detonated by a meteorite fall. The subsequent explosion created mutant Daleks who used the war machines as their shells. This account conflicted with the story recounted in The Daleks and was later contradicted by Genesis of the Daleks.

Later stories told of the expansion of the Dalek Empire and a lengthy war against the Mechanoids and other enemies (tying into The Chase). In most of these, the Emperor Dalek served as the protagonist.

The final story, The Road to Conflict, concerned the Daleks' first encounters with humans and their discovery of the planet Earth. This was intended to lead into Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..[1] However, this was retconned in the followup story Return of the Elders, written and released thirty years later in Doctor Who Magazine issues 249-254. Another DWM followup, Deadline to Doomsday, was planned but ultimately unproduced by DWM, though a completed version was later published in the fanzine Vworp Vworp!.

Although the comic used a Dalek origin story which it is hard to reconcile with the later televised version, many characters and elements of the strips later made their way into the TV series, not to mention other DWU media; these include Daleks flying, the character of the Dalek Emperor, a singular, supreme Black Dalek who led the Dalek Empire directly below the Emperor, and even premises such as Daleks who experienced a conflict of faith and began admiring human values (as embodied by Dalek Sec in Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks).

In addition, the series served as an explicit aesthetic influence on another solo Dalek spin-off, the animated webseries Daleks!.

Stories by issue[edit | edit source]

Originally, no individual titles were given to the stories. However, some titles were given in the preceding issue's "coming next time" closing caption. After doing research and interviewing those involved in the original strips, John Ainsworth proposed the following titles, which were later used by Doctor Who Magazine in their reprints:

Title Writer Printed in Released
Genesis of Evil David Whitaker, Alan Fennell TV Century 21 1-3 23 January - 6 February 1965
Power Play David Whitaker TV Century 21 4-10 13 February - 27 March 1965
Duel of the Daleks TV Century 21 11-17 3 April - 15 March 1965
The Amaryll Challenge TV Century 21 18-24 22 May - 23 July 1965
The Penta Ray Factor TV Century 21 25-32 10 July - 28 August 1965
Plague of Death TV Century 21 33-39 4 September - 16 October 1965
The Menace of the Monstrons TV Century 21 40-46 23 October - 4 December 1965
Eve of War TV Century 21 47-51 11 December 1965 - 8 January 1966
The Archives of Phryne TV Century 21 52-58 15 January - 26 February 1966
The Rogue Planet TV Century 21 59-62 5 - 26 March 1966
Impasse TV Century 21 63-69 2 April - 14 May 1966
The Terrorkon Harvest TV Century 21 70-75 21 May - 25 June 1966
Legacy of Yesteryear TV Century 21 76-85 2 July - 3 September 1966
Shadow of Humanity TV Century 21 86-89 10 September - 1 October 1966
The Emissaries of Jevo TV Century 21 90-95 8 October - 12 November 1966
The Road to Conflict TV Century 21 96-104 19 November 1966 - 14 January 1967
Return of the Elders John Lawrence DWM 249-254 13 February - 3 July 1997

Crew[edit | edit source]

Though the strips featured the credit "by Terry Nation", writer David Whitaker also contributed. The editor of TV Century 21 said that he had a heavy hand in the writing of the Genesis of Evil story, although this is unlikely.

At different times, Richard Jennings, Eric Eden, and Ron Turner did the art duties.

Reprints[edit | edit source]

DWMS The Dalek Chronicles

The first reprints of the World Distributors first reprinted some The Daleks comics in 1976 and 1977 in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977 and Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1978 under new titles (sometimes different from those later agreed upon by Who scholars; for example, The Penta Ray Factor was instead printed as The Envoys of Evil). These reprints erased the title panel and final caption-box of each comic, replacing them with new narration to give the appearance of a flowing narrative rather than a page-by-page serial. In the process, the crossover references to other ongoing TV Century 21 storylines were often elided.

Issues 33 to 42 of Doctor Who Magazine presented a multi-part comic story called The Dalek Tapes, which was essentially a reprint of the first few The Daleks stories, although with even more numerous alterations; not only were the original caption boxes removed or reworded, but a new framing device was added (presenting the Dalek history as a series of accounts found by the Doctor on a "twilight world") and on at least one occasion, a wholly new panel of art was inserted.

It was only in 1994 that an effort was made by Marvel Comics to reprint the whole series, with no new material (save for a in-universe prose prelude). The result was a graphic novel called The Dalek Chronicles, whose only edit to the stories was again to remove most of the caption-boxes referencing non-DW-related elements of the TV Century 21 shared universe.

Genesis of Evil alone was reprinted in Doctor Who Fifty Years 1: The Daleks, uniquely retaining the typewritten caption boxes.

In 2020 Panini digitally restored the strips, most from the original art boards, and reprinted them as a graphic novel in bookazine format called The Daleks, now indeed including the caption-boxes.

Title graphics[edit | edit source]

The title image occupied the first panel on the page for the first 75 issues. From issue 76 onward the title ran along the length of the page above the comic.

TV Century 21 Issues 76-104 Art by Ron Turner

Doctor Who Magazine Issues 249-254 Art by Ron Turner

The first set of reprints from World Distributors in the years 1976 and 1977 only used a series title graphic on the first page. On subsequent pages, as with most reprints of the series, both the title and the news box were replaced with narration. Where divided into parts, only the first part's title box carried the series title The Daleks. The Amazing World of Doctor Who's title box (not shown) for a reprint of Eve of War read The Daleks in A New Start.

From 1980 to 1994, Marvel UK reprinted the series. The first block of reprints went uninterrupted from Doctor Who Magazine issues 30-42 and used the title The Dalek Tapes. Those included the standard elements of the tape graphic and the series title, with variation in sizing, placement, and the presence of the other elements. Tape number didn't always receive a special font, and the episode title was originally placed in the news box. When the series was revisited, it carried the second TV21 title graphic on every page of Eve of War. The image was resized to fill the news box as well, avoiding the need to supply any new narration. The Archives of Phryne only carried the graphic on the first page in the issue because it had been originally reprinted in a Dalek Annual. The third set reproduced the 1978 Dalek Annual's reprints of the Skardal arc in original colour and featured the same whimsical lettering in the title box.

Later reprints focused on better quality reproduction of the material. The Dalek Chronicles and The Daleks feature the comics with original TV21 title and news panels intact.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Daleks in the 21st Century - An introduction to The Dalek Chronicles", DW50Y 1
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