Dalek Empire is a series of linked audio dramas and one prose collection that make up Big Finish's first big Dalek epic, about the Daleks' almost entirely successful invasion of Mutter's Spiral (our galaxy) and the story of four people caught up in it: the Doctor, whose lives intersect with it at odd angles over hundreds of years; Susan "Suz" Mendes, a former Dalek slave who becomes the "Angel of Mercy" and finds herself walking the tightrope between rebel and collaborator; Kalendorf, a Knight of Velyshaa who becomes Susan's companion and secret rebel leader; and Alby Brook, a human spy who fell in love with Suz and now finds himself caught between his desire to find her and his duty to kill her as a collaborator.
The five series are:
Main series arcThe main series arc, where the Daleks plan their invasion, which the Doctor encounters in Anachronic Order. The order given here is the Daleks' order of events, starring the Seventh, Sixth, Fifth and Eighth Doctors.
Series 1In which Susan Mendes, Kalendorf and Alby Brook live through the initial Dalek invasion of the galaxy and foment rebellion, while the Daleks execute their master plan.
- Invasion of the Daleks
- The Human Factor
- "Death to the Daleks!"
- Project Infinity
Series 2In which the galactic rebellion and an unlikely ally fight the Dalek Empire.
- Dalek War: Chapter One
- Dalek War: Chapter Two
- Dalek War: Chapter Three
- Dalek War: Chapter Four
Series 3It's 2,500 years later and people have forgotten the Daleks completely. Only Siy Tarkov is insisting the Daleks are back... but will anyone listen to him?
- The Exterminators
- The Healers
- The Survivors
- The Demons
- The Warriors
- The Future
Series 4Four standalone stories from the time of the First Great Dalek War, interquels to the original series.
- The Fearless: Part 1
- The Fearless: Part 2
- The Fearless: Part 3
- The Fearless: Part 4
Specials and other releases
- The standalone special "Return of the Daleks" stars the Seventh Doctor and takes place between parts two and three of the original Dalek Empire. The Short Trips anthology "Dalek Empire" features supplemental stories starring various characters from the series, and one, "Museum Peace" stars the Eighth Doctor, near the end of his life, meeting Kalendorf, near the end of his life, one last time.
Tropes found in Dalek Empire, Dalek War and The Fearless:
- Actor Allusion: Kalendorf is in many ways a more successful version of Gareth Thomas' most famous character, Roj Blake.
- Anyone Can Die: The only main character to survive the entire series is Kalendorf, who goes back to Velyshaa, alone.
- Bee People: The Alternate Daleks are much closer to this than the standard ones, with the Mentor as Queen.
- Big Bad:
- The Dalek Emperor in Series 1.
- The Mentor in Series 2.
- Binary Suns: The Vega system has two suns.
- Blood Knight: Kalendorf is a Knight of Velyshaa, a race of Blood Knights. Although he's actually quite reasonable and level-headed, Alby thinking he's a Blood Knight causes no end of confusion and mixed messages. His utter commitment to defeating the Daleks at any cost is totally real, though.
- Brainwashed: Daleks love this. Both kinds of Daleks.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Morli turns into this when the idea that killing Suz will defeat the Daleks comes up.
- HeelFace Brainwashing/Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Dalek Empire III reveals that Morli (and her fellow Demons) were criminally insane before the Alliance Daleks got their plungers on them. Of course, their idea of the "greater good" isn't quite the same as Kalendorf's.
- The Epic: A cast of dozens, taking place across decades and across vast distances of space, yet ultimately about the lives and legacies of a handful of people. It's an epic, alright.
- Evil Plan: The first series reveals what the Daleks' overarching Evil Plan has been since the beginning of the Dalek Empire arc in the main series - to find Project Infinity. They invaded the library on Kar-Charrat, where they first learned about Project Infinity. They then invaded Gallifrey as a feint in order to use the Apocalypse Element to remake the Seriphia Galaxy in their image. Then they conquered their way across the galaxy while secretly closing in on Lopra Minor, home of the Project, with the ultimate aim of finding an alternate universe where the Daleks reign supreme, punching a hole through the dimensions and inviting them over to become multiversal conquerors.
- Delayed Narrator Introduction: The real narrator, the Seer of Yaldos, doesn't appear until episode five.
- Framing Device: Series Two introduces the idea that the events of the Dalek Invasion are being studied by people 2,500 years later, who become the main characters of the third series.
- Freudian Trio:
- Id: Alby, who's driven by love for Suz, and makes friends and enemies easily.
- Ego: Suz, caught between the cold logic of Dalek collaboration and Kal's rebellion-building efforts.
- Superego: Kalendorf is totally dedicated to ending the Dalek threat, even if that involves making some cold sacrifices. Even of his friends.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Suz and Kalendorf were both prepared to give their lives to set off the insurrection against the Daleks. Suz was the one to do it, fully expecting to be exterminated immediately.
- Historical Hero Upgrade/Historical Villain Upgrade: In-Universe. The future-set scenes of Dalek War reveal that Kalendorf will be subjected to a lot of this in the next few thousand years, because from a historical perspective, he seemed to be a HeelFace Revolving Door.
- Hope Is Scary: Suz connects this with collaboration - when there was no hope of anything except working until you died, it's easy to defy the Daleks. But once they start giving you the smallest comfort and hope of survival, they start eroding your resolve too.
- Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: As soon as the Alliance Daleks "punish" the first world that doesn't sign up for the war effort, Kalendorf knows the Earth Alliance are going to fight their Dalek allies eventually.
- Lower-Deck Episode: The Fearless is really the story of Salus Kade and Agnes Landen, against the background of the Dalek invasion.
- Military Science Fiction: The Fearless, which stars some regular soldiers rather than the more influential and destiny-laden characters of the other series.
- Mirror Universe: What Project Infinity found - a universe of friendly Daleks that ally with the Resistance to fight the local Daleks.
- The Mole: Daleks love these, so there's a few running around. Kalendorf spends Series 1 as a regular version, planning to destroy the Dalek Empire from the inside out.
- Mole in Charge: Tanlee, head of Earth Alliance security is made a Dalek agent.
- Narrator All Along: The Narrator, despite appearances, isn't an older Suz Mendes. It's the Seer of Yaldos, who's mind-linked to Suz in order to pass information along to Kal and Alby. Suz has been a Posthumous Narrator all this time... sort of.
- Plaguemaster: The Daleks, as usual, like to use plagues to soften up their targets ahead of time. The Mentor's Daleks are just as fond of it.
- Plant Aliens: The Daleks terraformed Jupiter...and then covered it in Varga plants to turn it into a giant trap.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Suz Mendes in Series 1 becomes a Dalek collaborator to help the slaves, and eventually finds herself second in authority only to the Dalek Supreme (who's second only to the Emperor) and actively aiding the Dalek war effort. She snaps out of it just in time.
- Robot Me: In The Fearless, Suz Mendes is actually a Dalek replicant decoy, and the real Suz never appears.
- Sequel Hook: Siy Tarkov's journey to bring back word of the Daleks to the Galactic Union was intended to be this, as Series III hadn't been planned in advance.
- Space Opera: Moreso than regular Doctor Who, as there's no time travelling, just warring space empires.
Tropes found in Dalek Empire III
- Absent Aliens: Aside from the Daleks (and the ambiguously-human) no aliens feature in this series at all.
- Ambiguous Ending: Everybody else is dead, and Galanar starts telling the story of how he met Siy Tarkov to the Dalek Supreme. He doesn't know if Elaria sent the message or not.
- Apocalypse How - Class 2: The Great Catastrophe, the end result of the Dalek War, reduced every Dalek-dominated planet to rubble, wiped out most populations and reduced the survivors to scavengers. Two thousand years later, civilisation has recovered, but to nowhere near the level it was in the first series. Even the details about spaceships imply they're rarer and more unreliable now.
- Big Bad: The Dalek Supreme, a Dalek with a copy of Suz Mendes' mind.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Elaria Imprinted on the Dalek Supreme. So even though she's conditioned to hate Daleks, and even though she wants Galanar's side to win, and even though she feels a sort of kinship love for Galanar... she can't help tipping off the Daleks about the heroes' plans. The end of the series plays with it - it's left ambiguous whether her conditioning or her trust in Galanar won out.
- Can't Stop the Signal: In the finale the Wardens make their Last Stand while Galanar and Elaria try to use the Dalek signal array to beam a message directly to the Galactic Union. Galanar never learns if they were successful or not.
- Distant Sequel: Dalek Empire III takes place 2,500 years after the other three.
- Earth That Was: By this period Earth seems largely forgotten, and the Galactic Union is based on "Planet 9" instead.
- FaceMonster Turn: Kaymee is being turned into a Dalek, along with everyone else in the "Healing Zones". The Variant 7 miracle cure, if exposed to the right radiation, mutates the carrier.
- Three Lines, All Waiting: There are three main plotlines - the Graxis Wardens, Galanar and Siy. They finally start to link up in Episode 3 when Galanar finds Siy, and in Episode Four when the Graxis Wardens swoop in to save them, putting all the (still living) leads in the same place for the first time.
- The Power of Friendship: According to Nicholas Briggs, the Central Theme of this series is the power of friendship and trust. Daleks can (sort of) understand love from an outside perspective, because love is just the inverse of hate. But they can't fathom friendship at all. So this series features a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits who come to care about each other, and willingly sacrifice themselves for each other.
- The Remnant: The Galactic Union is all that's left of the Earth Alliance of two thousand years ago. The Daleks are also only a remnant, and twenty in the same place is described as a frightening number.
- Time Skip: Jumps two thousand years into the future.
- Transhuman: Galanar and Elaria aka, Siy's "daughter", Amur are "Demons", created by the Alliance Daleks to fight the regular Daleks. Morli from Dalek War is revealed to have been an unfinished one. Luckily for everyone, a side-effect of the original conditioning is that Galanar's naturally a Pro-Human Transhuman, and he's able to convince Elaria.