The Daleks are a race of alien mutants who live inside heavily armed travel machines. They are militaristic, xenophobic and highly aggressive and are dedicated to universal conquest and the destruction of all non-Dalek life. They have been frequently opposed by the Time Lord known only as The Doctor, and by others including Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer and his Star Tigers. Daleks find hatred beautiful, and theorise that this is why they have so far been unable to kill the Doctor.
Several varying accounts exist as to the Daleks' origins. According to the earliest, recorded in the Dalek Chronicles, the mutants were created by the humanoid Dalek scientist Yarvelling at the behest of Minister Zolfian as the only viable means of allowing his race to survive the radioactive fallout created by the accidenta detonation of a neutron bomb on their home planet of Skaro. This account states that the mutant Daleks superseded their humanoid forebears and, ruled by a golden Emperor, expanded out into the universe after a near civil war caused by the superintelligent Dalek Zeg. They later encountered resistance from the likes of the Mechonoids and the robot 2K, who was created by the Zerovians.
A later account, however, states that the Daleks were created by the Kaled scientist Davros as the means of winning a war between his race and the Thals who shared their planet. This account is now regarded as definitive, though it is possible the Dalek Chronicles are set in an alternate timeline.
A third, largely discounted account, states that the Daleks are the ultimate descendants of humanity.
The Daleks appear to have a complex and ever-changing system of government. They have at various times been ruled by several Dalek Emperors, but at others by a High Council (in oversized gold casings with black highlights) or a succession of 'Supreme Daleks' or 'Dalek Supremes' (originally in black casings with silver highlights, more recently in red casings with gold appendages), and even a Parliament, paradoxically seemingly run by an Emperor who treated a white Dalek Supreme as an underling!1
The lower ranks also seem to be colour-coded, with saucer pilots apparently being red, saucer commanders silver with a black dome and alternating black and silver skirt slats, operational commanders either black or gold, and the Emperor's personal guard also being distinguished by a black dome. At one stage, there was a civil war between the (grey) forces of the black Dalek Supreme and the (white and gold) Imperial Daleks loyal to Emperor Davros. Drones are generally grey, silver, or more recently, bronze.
The very earliest Daleks were silver and blue and lacked the distinctive vertical shoulder slats of later models, though some of them did wear satellite dishes on their backs, presumably either to pick up broadcast power or to tune in to Freeview.
1To be fair, most of the fans treat the 'New Paradigm' as underlings too.
A 'new Dalek paradigm' was created in Victory of the Daleks, a TV episode. This New Paradigm was divided into five types: the Drone (red); the Strategist (blue, perhaps because they were tasked with blue-sky thinking); the Scientist (orange); the Eternal (yellow); and the Supreme (white). They were tall enough to look the Doctor in the eye with their eye-stalks, and they destroyed the bronze Daleks who created them. Unfortunately, their clunky, detail-free, bold-shapes-and-bright-colours aesthetic made them very unpopular with the shows' fans. Their existence was hand-waved away, and they haven't been seen since a background appearance in Asylum of the Daleks in 2012.
Powers and abilities
Genetically hard-wired to keep on living whatever happens, so they can age but not die (of natural causes). If they stay alive for long enough they become sentient sludge which is banished to the sewers of Skaro.
The very earliest Daleks could only run on metal as they drew power from their city via contact with the floor. As a result, they didn't get out much.
MK III Travel Machines.
- The Daleks originated in the TV version of Doctor Who, but have had a long and varied career in comics from several publishers including Polystyle, Panini, World Distributors, City Magazines and Marvel UK. Several Dalek Annuals have been published, as well as the Dr. Who and the Daleks colouring book
- The Daleks have occasionally allied themselves with others, including the renegade Time Lord known as The Master, but they usually wind up turning on each other since Daleks are basically untrustworthy and so are pretty much any race or individual capable of working with them. They also occasionally use transformed humans or aliens such as the Ogrons and the Werelox (see Brill) as slaves/henchmen.
The Daleks' real-world creator, Terry Nation, once rather oddly claimed that they were incapable of seeing the colour red, which seems somewhat improbable unless all those red Daleks were early and rather misguided attempts at developing invisibility.
- Appearances of Daleks
- Character Gallery: Daleks
- Images that feature Daleks
- Fan-Art Gallery: Daleks
- Daleks quotations
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