The Dalek/Mechanoid Wars – Evil of the Daleks
Continuity, whether referring to a real historical event, or events created in fiction, is always something the historian needs to worry about. It is especially an taxing master when trying to chronicle the fictional events of a television programme as extensive as Doctor Who. Of course Doctor Who has never been a series much concerned with continuity, and the programme is rife with continuity flaws. Putting aside the obvious flaws in dates which have already been discussed in the last chapter, examples abound throughout the series’ 40 odd years. Surely the Doctor would not have left an important device like the Hand of Omega sitting in a London mortuary for 800 odd years (relative to his time), nor would he have programmed it to destroy Skaro. And of course the Doctor has had only eight incarnations (as of this writing) despite us seeing several “Doctors” existing before the 1st Doctor. Yet in both “Remembrance of the Daleks” and “The Brain of Morbius” we are shown these events. The reason I bring this up? Because it is impossible to take every single aspect of a fictional character (television, audios, books, comics, etc.) and work it into one coherent history without cutting out, or fixing some of the “flaws.” Some things have to be changed. And while every fan can argue what should and should not be eliminated, it is the author who must give way to his own convictions, and prejudices. Which brings us to our current chapter. Re-creating Dalek history based on stories which no longer exist in televise form can be a bit tricky, and a lot of “fitting” needs to be done. Fortunately for us, both “Power of the Daleks,” and “Evil of the Daleks” exist in novelization form, as well as audio re-issues. And, at least for “Power of the Daleks,” a re-constructed video release utilizing telesnaps running over the original soundtrack has been circulating around fan circles for years. This gives us a bases on which to base, and more importantly for our proposes, place the events within the Dalek timeline.
Finally, in the hopes of being as complete as possible, I have included in this installment as much of the story lines I’ve deemed possible from the Dalek TV21, as well as Marvel comics. While I know this is far from complete, it does, in a small way, reflect this part of Dalek history.
…With the Time Destructor engaged, the surface of Kembel begins to deteriorate. As time passes before the Doctor’s eyes in a mater of seconds, all life on Kembel withers and vanishes. The Dalek casings begin rusting and collapsing, the creatures inside withering away. As the Doctor is helped into the TARDIS by Steven, Sara’s body, trapped outside, withers away. The surface of the planet Kembel has been reduced to dust…
In the Dalek control room on Skaro the Supreme Council looked on in alarm. The loss of the Time Destructor and the units on Kembel placed the Daleks in a very veracious position. Facing retaliation from their enemies and exploitation from their former allies, the members of the Supreme Council watched events unfold with concern. Realizing that the need had arisen for one strong voice to guide the Daleks, a power struggle began within Dalek society. Supporters of the Supreme Council wanted desperately to hold onto power, and placed the blame for their continual losses on the working units (as well as the Doctor’s interventions). But despite the blame being shifted toward them, the working units resisted this notion. Generations of conditioning had indoctrinated within them the “fact” that the Dalek race was invincible. If blame was to be placed, then it must rest solely within the Supreme Council. The resulting conflict split Dalek society into two factions; those who support and Supreme Council, and those who wanted a new order. While full scale war between the factions was nearly avoided, the resulting year of arguing gave the Dalek Prime the chance it needed to secure it position. Having experimented on itself to enhance it’s own mental powers, the Dalek Prime emerged from the conflict as the Dalek Emperor. Completely encased within the survival chambers of the Dalek City, the Dalek Prime, now Emperor became absolute ruler of Dalek society. Exterminating all rivals and pushing aside the Supreme Council, the Emperor secured the obedience of the entire race.
In the hope of salvaging their already weakened situation, and despite the disarray of the Dalek fleet, the Emperor ordered the surviving members of the Supreme Council to proceed with the invasion of the Galaxy. In an all out attack, the Daleks invaded the Milky Way, focusing their attention on the Earth’s solar system. Thus, the first Dalek War began. But the odds and the timing, were not on their favor. The Earth Alliance, now aware of the Dalek threat posed by Chen’s defection, was ready for the Dalek fleet. Realizing that the key to victory was in destroying Earth’s power, but unable to attack the Earth directly due to the geomagnetic forces released during their invasion of 2164, the Dalek fleet aimed their assaults at the Earth defenses on Mars and Venus. Their plan was simple, control these planets (and their orbital paths), and Earth is cut off from the rest of the solar system, and the galaxy.
However now fully aware of the Dalek threat, Earth scientists devised a plan with allowed a virus to attack the insulation of a Dalek’s electrical system. Positioned on orbital military stations within the Martian orbital plane to defend the solar system, Earth Battle Cruisers quickly intercepted the Dalek fleet, deployed the virus, and routed the Dalek saucers, pushing them out of the solar system. As the Dalek fleet tried to regroup they moved aimlessly through the void. The exploited races, victims of the Dalek conquest, seized their opportunity and took their revenge. On the planet Hyperon in the Venusion system, long exploited for the mineral wealth of their world, the Hyperoians attacked the Dalek fleet with a vengeance. Their rockets, composed of a metal completely resistant to Dalek firepower, completely destroyed the Dalek task force. Unable to control these worlds, the Daleks turned their attention to the planet Anhaut, but were defeated when the Anhautians developed a weapon which attacked the Dalek’s neural net.
Meanwhile, the Dalek force sent to the planet Mechanus to investigate their defeat, had encountered the surviving Mechanoids. Determining that it was the Mechanoids which interfered with their plans to destroy the Doctor, the Daleks attack at once. Programmed for self-defense, the Mechanoids registered the Daleks as hostile, and war ensued. Determined to wipeout their enemies, the Mechanoids launched a counter attack on the Daleks, thus marking the beginning of the Dalek/Mechanoid Wars. For years the two massive powers battled each other, drawing into the conflict most of the races located on the rim of the Milky Way.
On the planet Avega, the Daleks are drawn into a heated conflict with the vegetal Amarylls in the hopes of gaining access to Avegaian space and establishing bases from which to destroy the Mechanoids. The Amarylls, fierce warriors, were not prepared to lose their planet to the Daleks, and fought to the last man. Unable to conquer this planet, the Daleks opted to eventually destroy it, but this took a massive toll on Dalek resources and weakened their lines against the Mechanoids.
In their attempts to gain access to new sources of raw materials and weapons, the Daleks invaded the planet Phryne, while at the same time attempted to use a rogue planet named Skardal against the Mechanoid strong hold. Yet with each Dalek conquest Mechanoid counter advances pushed them back. Victory seemed within the Dalek’s grasps when the Daleks attacked the planet Solturis, where a human traitor offered them the key to the deadly Pentra Ray,. But soon a mysterious radioactive dust cloud attacked the Daleks, and their plans were once again pushed back. Finally, weaken by their constant struggles with the Mechanoids, their alliances with their few remaining allies crumbled. Forced to abandon their crippled bases and space crafts, the surviving Daleks made one last stab at victory. Deploying escape pods (in reality miniature Dalek regeneration bases armed with Dalek time technology), these waiting “time bombs” drifted through the vastness of space. With planetary defenses depleted Skaro was once again invaded, but the invaders, the Mostrons, although determined to wipe the Dalek race from the universe, were defeated by Dalek sacrifices in battle, and surface volcanic eruptions caused by Dalek scientists in a last ditch effort to rid the surface of the invaders.
The Dalek/Mechanoid War was over, and the Daleks had survived, but Skaro was once again a wasteland. In space, several of the Dalek escape “capsules” time slip back into the past, crashing on un-colonized planets like Vulcan, where the Daleks immediately entered into hibernation, waiting for the time of re-activation. On Skaro the Dalek Empire had been shaken, but not destroyed. Rebounding from their defeat at the hands of the Mechanoids, the Daleks quickly began rebuilding their damaged cities.
Meanwhile, with the Daleks occupied and the immediate threat to Earth over, the Earth Alliance began re-colonizing the outer systems, including the planet Vulcan. As the years passed the Earth Federation slowly spread across the galaxy, and colonies were established on planets like Solos and Gathwyr. On Vulcan, colonist terra-forming the surface excavated the mercury swamps, and discovered the Dalek escape capsule. Bring it to the lab of the colony’s Chief Scientist, Lesterson, they discover three inanimate “robots” inside. Robots, Lesterson plans no reactivating and using as servants.
Editor’s Note: “Power of the Daleks” could take place within any point on the Dalek timeline, as the Daleks trapped in the capsule have no contact with Skaro. In addition the date of the story (as given in Jean-Marc Lofficier’s “Programme Guide”), suggest that it is the year 2020 A.D. This however does not match previous established facts from “Dalek Invasion of Earth.” In that story Earth is only just venturing out into the solar system by 2164 when the Daleks invade (surely if a vast Earth Empire had been established 144 years before, would they not have countered the invasion?). Another argument for placing the story after the events of “Dalek Master Plan” is that, 1) the Dalek machine itself is the current modern type with the shoulder slats (not the collector disc which feature in “Dalek Invasion of Earth”), and 2) the Daleks seem to know the Doctor (even though he had just regenerated for the first time). While I have implied that it is possible that these “capsules” traveled back into 2020 AD, the major problem occurs however, when one looks at the events in “The Chase” and “Evil of the Daleks.” In “The Chase” the Daleks are after the 1st Doctor,for defeating their plans to invade Earth, as well as Ian, Barbara and Susan (the robot Doctor mistakes Vicki for Susan, allowing Ian to tell the real Doctor from the fake). If the Daleks had encountered the 2nd Doctor 144 years before the Earth invasion, then why would they not also be after his second incarnation for their destruction on Vulcan? In “Evil of the Daleks” not only is the 2nd Doctor known to the Daleks (indicating that they’ve encountered him before), but Jamie is also. Since Jamie joined the Doctor on his voyages after the events depicted in “Power,” it is logical to assume that the latter story follows the first, and that the date of 2020 reflects another one of those continuity points that the writers seemed to care little about.
Back on Skaro, the Emperor realizes that if Dalek plans are to succeed in the future then the fundamental nature of the Daleks themselves would have to be changed. Understanding that their weakness in regards to encountering humanoid cultures stemmed from a lack of cunning (because of the creatures they had mutated into), a plan is organized to revert the Dalek race back towards the humanoid species they once were. To this end the Emperor assigned the Dalek Science Division the task of isolating the “human factor,” the cunning and ingenuity which had allowed the humanoid species to defeat them. Daleks scientist examined the problem, realizing that it was something within human nature itself which affected the unpredictable ways humans reacted, and thus allowed the humans to defeat them.
…Meanwhile, back on the planet Vulcan, a newly regenerated Doctor is mistaken for the Earth Examiner, and brought into the colony along with Ben and Polly, the Doctor’s current traveling companions. Ben does not believe this new “Doctor” is in fact the old Doctor, but Polly is more willing to accept it. The Doctor however, is interested in the experiments Lesterson has been carrying out on the mysterious capsule the colony discovered buried in the mercury swaps. In the dead of night, he opens the capsule only to discover, to his horror, that his fears have been confirmed. Daleks are inside. The Doctor is further intrigued when he realizes that one of the Daleks had already been removed. The next day the Doctor, still posing as the Earth Examiner, discovers that Lesterson has already begun reactivating the Daleks, who seem docile and obedient. They do however, seem to recognize and harbor hostility towards the Doctor.
The Doctor demands that the Daleks be destroyed, but rebels hopping to overthrow the colony’s governor decide to use them for their own ends. Seizing control of the Daleks, they rearm the creatures and use them to overthrow the governor. With their forces in control, the rebels place the Daleks in charge of security. In fact the colony has already been infiltrated by Daleks, who have secretly set up a reproduction plant – on a conveyor belt system – within the capsule and plan to exterminate all Humans. Lesterson, never believing that the Daleks posed a threat, discovers their plans. He is driven mad however, by the reality of what part he had played in all of it. The Daleks in the meantime, have set up static cables throughout the colony to provide static power to their collectors, and thus power their newly born army. But the Doctor finds their static power source and, turning it up, overloads the Dalek neural net, the creatures inside their travel machines burning up in agony.
Editor’s Note: “Power of the Daleks” re-establishes that the Daleks need static electricity to power their travel machines, as the Daleks are desperate to finish laying the cables before they make their final move on the colony. There is much conjecture as to why the Daleks recognize the Doctor seeing that he had just regenerated. It is never explained in the episode. One argument is that the Daleks had already encountered the 2nd Doctor earlier in their timeline when they encounter him on Vulcan (first time for the second Doctor second time for the Daleks?). Another possibility is that the Daleks were able to detect the Doctor’s two hearts, indicating to them (based on their previous encounters) that this must be the Doctor. But as this little oddity of the Doctor’s anatomy had yet been established in the series, this possibility seems unlikely. The most logical explanation is the simple fact that seeing how this was the first time the character regenerated, and not knowing whether this gamble would pay off, the inclusion of the Daleks in the story guarantied success. And having the Daleks recognize Patrick Troughton as “The Doctor” allowed the viewer to better accept him in the role. After all, “if the Daleks recognized Troughton as the Doctor, who are we to argue?”
Back on Skaro, the scientists realized that to isolate the “human factor” the Daleks will have to experiment on humans themselves. This of course, presented a great problem, for the Earth Federation had grown in strength since the Kembel incident. But then the Daleks made a remarkable discovery. While repairs on their temporal equipment were proceeding the Daleks discovered that temporal experimentation’s were being conducted on Earth in the 1860’s. What was more amazing than the experiments themselves, was the fact that the experiments seemed to be carried out using static power. This gave the Daleks something to shoot for. Static power was at the very nature of Dalek existence, to harness static power instead of their reliance on Taranium would free up Dalek time experiments. Establishing a corridor within the vortex, the Emperor ordered a task force to invade 19th century Earth and secure this technology. Not only would they have the opportunity to exploit these experiments, but also 19th century humans posed no threat to Dalek technology.
In the middle of the English countryside, on a warm summer afternoon, Edward Waterfield and Theodore Maxtible were horrified to see machine creatures emerge from their time cabinet. Seizing Waterfield’s daughter Victoria, the Daleks began their preparations to isolate the “human factor.” But as the experiments were about to begin the Daleks traced the TARDIS to 1966 England. A plan quickly formed in the Emperor’s mind. If the Daleks could trap the Doctor, they could use him to infect mankind with the “Dalek factor,” total obedience and loyalty to the Emperor itself. In the event that the “human factor” could not be isolated, then mankind would be changed throughout time. Supplying a temporal transporter from Maxtible’s house to 1966 England, and forcing Waterfield to travel forward to that time, the Daleks put their plan into operation.
While returning Ben and Polly to their own time, the TARDIS is stolen from Gatwick Airport and driven off in a lorry. The Doctor and Jamie (who joined the TARDIS crew a while back), follow it to a Victorianna antique shop owned by an Edward Waterfield. The Doctor quickly realizes that all of the “antiques” in the shop are new, and suspects that Waterfield has found a way of traveling through time. Waterfield however, has set a trap for the time travelers, and transports them back 100 years to Maxtible’s home. There the Doctor learns of Maxtible’s time experiments, and the appearance of the Daleks in the middle of them. Trapped, the Daleks force the Doctor to run an experiment on Jamie, ordering him to record every emotion Jamie shows in his attempts to rescue Victoria. Once completed, the readings present the Daleks with the “human factor.” But the plan backfires as the three experimental Daleks exposed to the “human factor” adopt playful attitudes instead of human cunning. All are recalled to Skaro, and the Daleks destroy Maxtible’s house to cover their presence in the 1800s.
On Skaro the Emperor reveals the true purpose of the experiments, to infect the human race with the “Dalek factor.” The Doctor is passed through a machine to expose him to the “Dalek factor,” which he will take back to Earth and turn it’s inhabitants into Dalek-like creatures. However the Doctor is unaffected, for he is not human, and instead manages to humanize several of the Daleks. Soon the “humanized” Daleks begin to question the orders of the Emperor, and civil war erupts on Skaro. Maxtible, infected with the “Dalek factor” and mentally turned into a Dalek-like creature, is killed, and Victoria’s farther saves the Doctor at the cost of his own life. The time travelers depart whilst the war rages on…
Text and Concept ©1999, 2002 Visagraph Films International/John Rocco Roberto.
Revised version © 2003/2005 John Rocco Roberto.
Doctor Who series © 1963, 1999 British Broadcasting Company.
Special thanks to Robert Moore for providing the video captures from “The Chase,” “The Evil of the Daleks,” and “More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS.” A very special thanks to M. Slater for the plots to the Dalek TV21 comics. “The Power of the Daleks” and “The Evil of the Daleks” summaries adapted from “The Programme Guide” by Jean-Marc Lofficier, Target Books, 1989.