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The Daleks

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Voiced by: Peter Hawkins (1963–67); David Graham (1963–66); Roy Skelton (1967, 1973, 1975–83, 1985–88);note  Oliver Gilbert and Peter Messaline (1972); Michael Wisher (1973–74); David Gooderson (1979); Brian Miller (1984, 1988); Royce Mills (1984–88); Geoffrey Sax (1996, uncredited); Nicholas Briggs (2005–present)

EXTERMINATE!

Mutants. Cyborgs. Aliens. Xenophobia personified. In short; the Daleks. A species of genetically engineered creatures native to the planet Skaro, whose general purpose for existence is to "EXTERMINATE!" all non-Dalek forms of life in the universe. Created by a Mad Scientist named Davros, the Daleks' physical form is shrivelled and weak, but they make up for that by having each individual travel in a distinctive set of mobile armour, which looks rather like a pepper pot, which makes them even more terrifying. The first villainous alien race introduced in the franchise (in the second story, in fact), they are the most endearingly and enduringly popular, and are considered to be the Doctor's collective archenemy.

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    In General 

Tropes associated with the television continuity

  • Absolute Xenophobe: "There is only one kind of life that matters. Dalek life."
    • They're so xenophobic that even a small amount of non-Dalek material in their flesh drives them mad and/or suicidal. As cloning and/or genetic manipulation seems to be their primary means of reproduction, even being created from altered non-Dalek or non-Kaled cells is unacceptable for them. "Impure" Daleks will eagerly line up for disintegration to preserve the species' purity. "Revolution of the Daleks" brings in a squad that actively seeks and destroys "impure Daleks". So much so, that the Doctor says these lot don't care about exterminating humans as much as they care about maintaining Dalek purity.
    • The rare instances they ever compliment other species is by comparing them favourably to Daleks, and the only thing they will ever admit another species is better than them at doing is dying.
    • How does a Dalek say "You are different from me"?
      EXTERMINATE!
  • Achilles' Heel: The eye-stalk. "My vision is impaired! I cannot see!"
  • Age Without Youth: "The Witch's Familiar" reveals Daleks can't die naturally, but they do age, the body breaking down, rotting, decaying; when a Dalek reaches this point, they're consigned to the tunnels beneath Dalek cities without their armour. There's a reason the Dalek word for "graveyard" is the same as the one for "sewer".
  • Always a Bigger Fish:
    • The Doctor, who they refer to as "The Predator of the Daleks".note 
      Eleventh Doctor: Imagine you were dying. Imagine you were afraid and a long way from home and in terrible pain. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, you looked up and saw the face of the Devil himself... Hello Dalek!
      Dalek: Emergency! Emergency! Weapon System Disabled! Emergency Protocols Have Been Breached! Emergency, Emergency, Emergency!
    • Rose could also count, considering what (as the Bad Wolf) she did to the Dalek Emperor and an entire army with just a wave of her hand.
      Rose: If you um... escaped the Time War don't you wanna know what happened. What happened to the Emperor?
      Dalek Sec: [Beat] The Emperor survived?!
      Rose: Till he met me. Cause if these are gonna be my last words than you're gonna listen. I met the Emperor and I took the Time Vortex and I poured it into his head and turned him into dust. Did you get that? The God of all Daleks — and I destroyed him!
    • River Song could also qualify. She had that one Dalek begging for mercy as soon as it learned her name.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted with Dalek Sec, Oswin Oswald, Rusty, and to a lesser extent Dalek Caan, who are or become good, but they are generally the exception that proves the rule. Also, none of them changed on their own. The overwhelming majority are genocidal death machines. Justified because they're genetically and mentally conditioned from birth to feel nothing but seething contempt for non-Dalek life, and fanatical obedience to the Dalek race.
  • Arch-Enemy: The species as a whole is this for the Doctor. Specifically, only the Eighth Doctor has never directly opposed them in the TV seriesnote , largely due to having only two appearances, and even then, they make a voice-only cameo at the beginning of the TV movie. They're that ubiquitous.
  • Art Evolution: As with the Cybermen, almost every era of the show introduces new main Dalek designs. Some stick around for much longer than others, such as the enduring dark grey design of the '70s and the 2005 revival's iconic bronze Daleks (the latter actually being reinstated after backlash against the 2010 "Paradigm" redesign).
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The eyestalk. Hitting it with enough power will kill the Dalek, and blinding it will cause the creature to panic. Became much less of a Weaksauce Weakness in the revival; their forcefield protects it (the Doctor claims concentrating fire on it could work, but this appears to have mixed results), and trying to blind it with paint only worked for a second. River managed to kill one with a blast to the eyestalk, but this particular Dalek was already in such poor shape that it needed several minutes to recharge between shots.
  • Ax-Crazy: Every single Dalek is a psychopathic Knight Templar Omnicidal Maniac. Even the "sane" ones realise what they are and tend to Go Mad from the Revelation.
  • Badass Army: Nine times out of ten, they surpass the humans in military capacity if the Doctor doesn't interfere.
  • Bad Future: According to "Genesis of the Daleks", they would've eventually succeeded in their goal of destroying all non-Dalek life. Luckily the Fourth Doctor's meddling in their birth fixed all of that.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: The only thing they find beautiful is pure hatred.
  • Battle Cry: EXTERMINATE!
  • Berserk Button: The Doctor eventually becomes this for them. They will try to murder the Doctor on sight, sometimes ignoring anything else just to terminate their enemy.
    • Notably, the lone Dalek in "Dalek" stayed completely silent for 50 years, not saying a word to its human captors. But as soon as a man introduces himself to it as "The Doctor", the Dalek loses it.
      Dalek: DOC-TOR? The Doctor? EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
    • When the Reconnaissance Dalek discovers the woman who has been getting in its way is the Doctor, it goes from trying to kill her for being a nuisance to outright attempting to murder her for being the sworn enemy of the Daleks. This gets used against it, as the Doctor makes herself a target while her allies take advantage.
  • Big Bad: Archenemies of the Doctor and everything else. Quite fond of the Evil Plan in the revival, to the point where, during Russell T Davies' era, it was a surprise not to find them the masterminds behind the season's Apocalypse How. They're the main antagonists of Series 1 (led by the Dalek Emperor), Series 2 (represented by the Cult of Skaro in a Big Bad Ensemble with the Cybus Cybermen), Series 4 (with Davros directing their actions), and the 50th anniversary.
  • Blood Knight: While they do not fight for its own sake like the Sontarans, the Daleks relish fighting inferior species as much as they enjoy murdering them outright.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: All enemies of the Doctor suffer this to some extent, but the Daleks compound it with Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Breakout Villain: They very nearly never appeared at all, but are now at least as iconic as the TARDIS.
  • Broken Record: Groups of Daleks are prone to chanting in unison, usually boasts or extermination threats.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Several bits of the Daleks' stories are continually discarded for one reason or another. This ranges from the time the producers tried to make them comic relief to that time the guy who made them forgot that they weren't robots.
  • Canon Immigrant: In the comics (and the Peter Cushing movies), the Daleks used the time measurement of "Rels", which the Daleks in the series proper later used in later stories.
  • Can't Use Stairs: A Running Gag for many years. Later stories established the Daleks as capable of flight, once the special effects were up to portraying it. "Remembrance of the Daleks" was the first to show this, with the first episode cliffhanger being the Doctor fleeing up the stairs thinking he was safe from the Dalek chasing him, only for it to start levitating up the stairs after him. It happened again in "Dalek", the revived series episode that re-introduced the Daleks, where Rose told folks the pursuing Dalek wouldn't be able to follow them up the stairs. The Dalek announced "EL-E-VATE!" and began levitating up them. This was put in after the episode's writer, Robert Shearman, asked his girlfriend why she thought the Daleks made rather pathetic villains in the original show, and she told him how easy they were to foil.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
    • "EX-PLAIN! EX-PLAIN!"
    • "I OBEY!"
    • "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED! I CANNOT SEE!"
    • The phrase "Seek, Locate, Destroy" has become a distinct catchphrase over the years.
    • "WE ARE THE SU-PER-I-OR BEINGS!"
    • "YOU ARE AN EN-E-MY OF THE DALEKS!" (though as the Master notes, anything that's not a Dalek is an enemy of the Daleks by default.)
  • Characterisation Marches On: The original Daleks were vastly different from what they would become. They hated the Thals completely, but were willing to keep the Doctor and his companions alive, even feed them. They required radiation and a constant supply of electricity to survive. That said, their first story takes place in the Daleks' past, before they had achieved space flight; it might simply have been a case of both their technology and society marching on in-universe. The BBC website for the classic series explains that these Daleks were Davros' early prototypes, and all the other Daleks were out in space building their empire.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In the novel Prisoner of the Daleks, it is revealed that the Daleks adjust their death ray to the level required to kill their target... and then dial it down a notch, so the victim suffers a moment of excruciating agony before they die.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • More than one serial in the old series had a Black Dalek in a position of authority over the others.
    • In the 1980s, the Daleks split into two factions: the Imperial Daleks had cream casings with gold highlights, while the Rebel Daleks were a more traditional grey and black.
    • A short-lived set of Dalek subdivisions introduced in "Victory of the Daleks", which were intended to become the official Dalek design (before audience backlash and ridicule led to the original design being restored), were coloured to indicate their specializations and command levels:
    • Scientist - orange
    • Strategist - blue (later a darker, metallic navy)
    • Eternal - yellow
    • Supreme - white
    • Drone - red (later a darker, metallic burgundy)
  • The Comically Serious: Despite them being xenophobic murderers, the fact that they have few emotions, including zero sense of humour, occasionally makes them this.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Dalek? You're so screwed. A full Dalek Empire? They're so screwed. Though it should be pointed out, they do cause quite a bit of collateral damage before they go down. Just not to the main cast of the episodes.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: The average Dalek screams every single word with a shrill monotone. This tips viewers off to the Daleks' inhuman natures immediately, if that wasn't given away by the salt shaker-shaped tanks they live in or by their delightful catchphrase, "Exterminate".
  • Creepy Monotone: Averted. It sounds more like they're trying to choke back their disgust with all other life.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: That Death Ray they use? It doesn't just kill you. You die in agony.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The New Paradigm Daleks even had pupils, making the eyestalk look almost organic.
  • Deflector Shields: The revival gave them personal force-fields that can melt bullets before they even hit home. Even guns capable of destroying the bulletproof Cybus Cybermen have no effect on them.
  • Demoted to Extra:
  • Depending on the Writer: Many, many things about the Daleks are beholden to the writer writing them.
    • Terry Nation has admitted that he regularly reconfigured what the Daleks exactly represented every few stories. At first, they were a Cold War allegory, then they became a Nazi/fascist allegory, and so on. However, according to him, the one constant is that they always broadly represent "government, officialdom, that unhearing, unthinking, blanked-out face that will destroy you because it wants to destroy you."
    • Just how much agency do the Daleks actually have? Throughout the Twelfth Doctor era, a recurring theme with Steven Moffat's interpretation of the Daleks is that the internal mechanisms of their casings play a larger role in their ruthlessly genocidal nature than previously thought. Their casings routinely Mind Rape to quash even the slightest hints of compassion in their minds, keeping them eternally hateful. In the event of a Dalek somehow breaking through all that conditioning, their casings will automatically "reinterpret" what they say to Dalek vocabulary, e.g. "I love you" gets translated to "EXTERMINATE!"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Word of God has implied that if they ever succeeded in their goal of exterminating all other life, they would subsequently have nothing to live for and either wipe each other out or commit mass suicide.invoked
  • Determinator: They never give up. You have to admire a species that manages to survive even after being made extinct. Repeatedly. And for never turning a blind eye to their mortal enemy, the Doctor, who has been responsible for several of those mass extinctions. An enemy who became a warrior to fight them personally when they declared war on his people — a race so advanced they could dismantle reality if they wanted to. And ended that very same war by turning their numbers against them. What did the Daleks do? Enter a second war with the Doctor alongside his worst foes when he was on the verge of rescuing his own people. And even then continued to do battle for centuries after everyone else gave up and they had tried to kill him so much he finally began to die of old age.
    • During the Time War, the Time Lords threw literally everything they could think of at the Daleks — superweapons, Eldritch Abominations, altering time itself — and not a single one of these attempts stopped them. In the end, it took the Doctor removing Gallifrey so that they blew each other up with their own crossfire to mostly finish them off.
  • The Dreaded:
  • Early Instalment Character Design Difference: They took three stories to achieve their classic appearance. The Dalek props in the first story, "The Daleks", lack the vertical panels attached to the "shoulder" section of their casings. In "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", they have clunky looking satellite-style disc aerials on the backs of their casings, conceived by the designers as a wireless power supply (the original Daleks had been unable to leave their city as they drew electrical life-support power from the floors). "The Chase" added the final vertical panels, conceived as solar panels for power collection.
  • Empty Shell: Well, not literally, but this trope basically describes most Daleks in a nutshell. They have no culture beyond mass genocide, no cuisine except processed slop, no family, no loved ones, no friends or any individual interests, with their sole trait being genetically programmed inbuilt hatred. This is genetically enforced by a complex internal AI within the dalek core.
  • Enemy Civil War: Twice on TV:
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Averted with Daleks, who have a tendency to spin around in circles before they blow up.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Dalek force fields melt bullets before they even make contact and their casings are hot enough to boil away paint.
  • Evil Is Hammy: DAAALEKS ARE-SUPERIOR-HAMS-TO-THEM-AAALL!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Not the rank and file, with their famously shrill and screechy tones, but high ranking Daleks sometimes have low, booming voices. Case in point, the 2005 Emperor and 2008 Supreme.
  • Expospeak Gag: The lights on a Dalek dome are called luminosity dischargers.
  • Eye on a Stalk: A mechanical example; defeating them often revolves around attacking it.
  • Fantastic Racism: They harbour a deep hatred of any species that isn't them, viewing them as inferior life forms that must be exterminated.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: When facing their own defeat or perhaps simply wishing to gain an advantage, the Daleks often count on their foes being a Good Samaritan and always cry "Have pity!" or beg for help in order to bite back and destroy their enemies when they have the chance. Averted when one tries it on River Song. After making it beg three times, she kills it.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: They feel this way about every single non-Dalek in the universe, and occasionally also about Daleks of "inferior" designs.
  • Flying Saucer: The standard make of their starships going back quite some time.
  • Forever War: They are the result of a thousand year war between the Thals and their ancestors, and have been waging war against the rest of the universe since their inception.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In Doylist terms, though not Watsonian. In their first appearance, they were confined to a single city and trying to survive. Then they acquired space and later time travel, becoming one of the most powerful and feared races of all time.
  • Genre Savvy: Unlike many other species who arrogantly dismiss the Doctor, the Daleks are well aware of how dangerous the Doctor is because they barely survived him in the Time War. Their response, depending on the situation, is to either send a whole army to kill him... or to run as far away as they can as fast as they can.
  • Gold Coloured Superiority: The rank structure of the Daleks places Golden Daleks high in the hierarchy.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The original purpose of the Daleks was to provide a casing for the final Kaled mutation. Davros took this concept and turned it into something else.
  • Human Resources: They're not above converting other lifeforms into Daleks if they need the numbers ("The Parting of the Ways") or the subject is too useful to pass up ("Asylum of the Daleks"). Or if Davros feels like making a point — he had this done to eight billion humans in the audio "Terra Firma", just to twist a knife in the Doctor.
  • Immune to Bullets: They're (mostly) vapourized by a forcefield before they can make contact. And even without their shields, bullets in the revived show never have any effect on them.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Inverted in the revived series. Unique among Doctor Who villains, the Daleks NEVER miss, even when shooting at the Doctor himself. Ascended into Improbable Aiming Skills in "Victory of the Daleks", where we see one shoot down airplanes.
    • It's also an AA Defence Designer's wet dream. Projectiles that travel at the speed of light that destroy the target on contact, targeted by a supercomputer and firing at aircraft designed before stealth was even considered. If we wanted, we could build a system almost as effective in the current day for use against WWII fighters.
  • In Love with Your Carnage:
    • They built the Dalek Asylum to contain Daleks that were too violent and insane even for them to control, but refuse to destroy them because they find such pure hatred to be beautiful. It has an entire wing containing the Daleks that have gone insane in battles with the Doctor, which are judged to be so dangerous and unstable they must be kept separate for the protection of the other prisoners.
    • It's suggested that this might be the reason why they've never been able to finish off the Doctor.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: According to a documentary, actors are instructed to play the Daleks like this, the idea being that subconsciously the Dalek race as a whole are extremely troubled by the knowledge that they are really just mutants in tanks, feeling that they therefore are being dwarfed by other, more "legitimate" species. To make up for the resulting existential angst, they (over)compensate by deciding they must be better simply by virtue of them being Daleks.
  • Joker Immunity: No matter how hard the Doctor tries, he can never manage to destroy the Daleks for good. They always end up resurfacing to face him again. Basically they're too iconic to kill off.
    • They've been completely wiped out countless times, and every time one group of them manages to defy odds and survive to revive the species again. At this point, being completely destroyed only to return later is as much part of their character as their voices or their casings.
    • The Daleks have even acknowledged this in-universe: when the Doctor has said they're on the path to destruction if they don't change their ways, the Daleks point out that their species always survives.
    • Even their own planet, Skaro, has come back after being explicitly destroyed. For bonus points, the Seventh Doctor destroyed it with the Hand of Omega, but much later went there to pick up the Master's ashes in the movie. (He has a time machine.)
  • Knights Of Cerebus: The Daleks are quite possibly the most dangerous species in the entire universe. They seek nothing more than the complete destruction of all non-Dalek life, are extremely difficult to kill under normal circumstances, and it's impossible to even drive them to extinction. The Doctor is the only being in existence that they truly fear, and he is basically the only thing capable of stopping the Daleks from wiping out all life, or at the very least succeeding in doing so.
    • This trope is particularly evident in their effect on the Doctor, as of their regular enemies only the Master evokes the same kind of ability to turn them from light-hearted to deadly-serious in a heartbeat, often with an identical effect on the story. Nine went from sad but jovial and upbeat to frothing at the mouth with hatred and fear the moment one was revealed to have survived the Time War in "Dalek" - to the point he tried to murder it. The normally endlessly upbeat and talkative Thirteen goes completely silent in "Resolution" when she realises what she's dealing with, alarming her companions with just how rare that is.
  • Knight Templar: Unlike their founder Davros, Daleks themselves seem to believe that they're completely morally in the right for trying to wipe out all other life because they see it all as fundamentally repulsive.
  • Lack of Empathy: It's kind of a requirement when your ambition is to wipe out everything that isn't you. They understand "pity" and "mercy" only as something to demand from enemies when they're vulnerable, and the idea of empathizing with other life-forms is one of the few things that scares them besides the Doctor. That said, the fact they even have any concept of mercy is a plot-point in "The Witch's Familiar"; it turns out they get it from Davros, as they get so much else.
  • Large Ham: "EXTERMINATE!" This is especially when voiced by Nicholas Briggs.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Inflicted on all of them in "Asylum of the Daleks". It was undone when they "harvested" the memories Tasha Lem had of the Doctor after converting her into a Dalek puppet in "The Time of the Doctor". Whether this restored their memories or replaced them isn't entirely clear.
    • "Into the Dalek" reveals that the Dalekanium transport shell does this to all the Daleks on purpose, suppressing any memories that might lead the Daleks away from the "purity" that Davros had envisioned for them all the way back in "Genesis of the Daleks".
  • Leitmotif:
  • Let's Mock the Monsters: People unfamiliar with them will probably notice the fact that they look somewhat ridiculous before anything else, depending on the circumstances, and thus decide it's a good idea to make fun of them. Those who are familiar with the Daleks would probably love to explain that they become a lot less ridiculous-looking when you've seen them raze and slaughter their way through galaxies.
  • Little Green Man in a Can: Or as the Seventh Doctor put it, "little green blobs in bonded polycarbide armour."
  • Low Culture, High Tech: Much like their real life inspiration, and a great part of what makes them so scary. They are one of the most advanced races in the 'verse, even making regular use of Time Travel, but all they ever conceive of doing with their spaceships is finding new places to raze.
  • Madness Mantra: Their catchphrase "Ex-ter-min-ate!" veers into this at times, chanting it incessantly in anticipation of combat.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Not infrequent with them. After all, the Doctor is the only thing in the universe that can inspire in them anything other than hatred or contempt. They're afraid of him.
  • Master Race: As one Dalek says in "Victory of the Daleks", the fundamental basis and belief of their entire culture. "DALEKS ARE SUPREME!"
  • Meat Moss: Thanks to Age Without Youth, this is the ultimate fate of any Dalek that isn't killed in battle. They degrade into slime, still fully-conscious, and are left to line the walls of Dalek sewers.
  • Mind Rape: "Into the Dalek" reveals that Dalek tech does this to them on purpose, to reinforce the notion of their Omnicidal Maniac status. Any memory that might lead to a moral or existential epiphany is forcibly suppressed.
  • Morality Dial: As revealed in "Into the Dalek", each Dalek's internal CPU constantly purges any information that could induce even the slightest amount of compassion or empathy.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In the early days of "Dalekmania", the Daleks' exact origins were not so easily pinned down across their multimedia appearances as the creatives involved thought it was all a fad that would die out and certainly be forgotten a half-century later (oops). Even within the TV series and the stories Terry Nation wrote himself, aspects are retconned or reshuffled often. Their most definite origin in "Genesis of the Daleks" takes liberties with what was vaguely described in "The Daleks", what with the Kaleds replacing the Dals as the Daleks' parent race.
    • One early comic story, "Genesis of Evil", posited that the Daleks were originally a humanoid species and a scientist named Yarvelling designed the mini-tanks as automated war machines, but after a massive nuclear fallout, the mutated Daleks crawled inside the tanks and ordered the dying Yarvelling to build more.
    • An illustrated short story, "We Are the Daleks!", claimed that Daleks are heavily evolved future humans, representing the very worst of what we can become.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Kaleds, ancestors of the Daleks, wear black military uniforms very close to the standard Nazi uniform, complete with faux-Iron Crosses at the neck, use what appear to be Luger pistols, and give Roman salutes with heel clicking. They're very fond of shouting a lot, violent threats and talk about racial purity. They get painted as Nazis IN SPACE. This is not surprising, since the Daleks themselves were one of the few Nazi-esque villains who were explicitly meant to be substantively Nazi-like, as opposed to just generic Nazi symbolism to make sure the dimwitted know when to boo. It was nicely lampshaded in the 2008 episode "Journey's End", where Martha teleports to Germany to play her part in activating the Osterhagen Key, and Daleks can be heard shouting in German, "Exterminieren!" Possibly even more so in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (1965), where the Daleks refer to the destruction of the human race as "the Final Solution" and greet each other by jerking their plungers upwards.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Part of the reason the Doctor wouldn't destroy the Daleks while they were being developed in "Genesis of the Daleks", for all the times they've done this.
      The Doctor: I know that although the Daleks will create havoc and destruction for millions of years, I know also that from their evil must come something good.
    • In "Into the Dalek", the Doctor admits that it was his first encounter with Daleks that changed his less-altruistic first incarnation into the force for good he would later be known for.
      The Doctor: The Doctor is not the Daleks.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: They started out as tanks, and since the revival they have forcefields that make them immune to nearly everything except their own weapons, only because there aren't any defences against them. Earlier stories had their eyestalks, but that's a very small target (and the forcefield covers that now, too).
    • Energy Weapons of sufficient power seem to do the job; the modified defabricator blows them clean open, and the lightning guns from parallel Earth/Pete's World were at least able to disable them for a while once the Doctor modified them. Other Pete's World weapons seemed specifically designed to kill them.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Mutant Alien Cyborg Nazi.
  • No Indoor Voice: Even in normal conversation (or what passes as such for a Dalek), their voices are loud, harsh, and screeching.
  • Obliviously Evil: A big reason why they are so feared: they honestly believe all non-Dalek life in the universe should die, and so see absolutely nothing wrong with what they're doing at all. This makes it nigh-impossible to reason with a Dalek.
  • Omnicidal Maniacs: The only fitting fate for all non-Dalek life is death.
  • Once a Season: They have appeared in some form at least once a year since the revival, including cameo appearances in "The Waters of Mars" and "The Wedding of River Song". In Classic Who, after 1965 the Daleks turned up less frequently, but this still somewhat applies as every Doctor faced them at least once. (The notable exception is the Eighth Doctor. The Daleks did appear in the TV movie, but he didn't interact with them, though fortunately Big Finish more than makes up for it.)
  • One-Man Army: In the revived series, if only a few individual Daleks appear, they're usually almost unbeatable and killing even one of them becomes a huge task. Special mention to the Special Weapons Dalek, which was able to win the battle in "Remembrance of the Daleks" single handedly, and it was against other Daleks.
  • The Paranoiac: An entire species of paranoid xenocidal maniacs. Genetically programmed to feel hatred for all forms of non-Dalek life, they live in pressured pepperpot tanks both for mobility and because they are utterly terrified of being somehow infected by interacting with other lifeforms. They have a highly rigid command structure and are perfectly willing to die for the cause of racial purity, with their ultimate aim being the eradication of all other life everywhere so that the Dalek race will be protected from contamination from their supposed biological inferiors.
  • Roar Before Beating: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Terry Nation wanted to have them attacking the Federation in Blake's 7 but the producers shot him down and he replaced them with Andromedans.
  • Sadist: They seem to get a disturbing amount of pleasure in killing things, and their main weapon is very painful as detailed under Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Scare Chord: Segun Akinola gives them a three-note leitmotif during his era of the show.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They're Nazis In Space!, with the odd religious fundamentalist overtone, such as in "The Parting of the Ways".
  • Significant Anagram: The Daleks were originally engineered from a race called the Kaleds.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Not on their cases, but on their DNA.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Daleks inside their metal casings look like slimy, tentacled, sea creatures with one eye.
  • Starfish Robots: The metal casings themselves are meant to house their creepy and mutated bodies.
  • The Starscream: They have repeatedly turned against and overthrown their creator, Davros, only to come crawling back when they are weak, because he is smarter than them. Though not smart enough to have realized that when he created a race that thinks they are superior to everyone, that would include him. Subverted in "The Stolen Earth"; the Daleks don't even pretend to respect him this time, and are keeping him as a "pet".
    • As of the 12th Doctor's era, Davros has come to expect this, fondly remarking, "You know how children are." The Doctor notes later on in the episode, after having stolen Davros' chair, that he stole it precisely because Davros has survived so long amongst several billion psychotic "mini-tanks" with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Sure enough, it turns out to have a built-in forcefield immune to their weaponry.
  • Straw Vulcan: Subverted. While some characters claim they have no emotions, it's pretty obvious what they mean is they have no good emotions like love, compassion, etc and only feel hatred, fear, and disgust towards everyone.
    Missy: Cybermen suppress emotions. Daleks channel it. Through a gun.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Their Death Ray weapon, justified depending on how much power is used in it. It varies from being enough to kill a human or a Cybus Cyberman, to blasting a hole in a bomb shelter blast door, to vaporising other Daleks.
  • Subpar Supremacist: Played with. They're ruthlessly excellent at mass genocide and spreding, but they're ultimately absolutely pathetic in many other respects. They're hideous mutants who live in robotic shells, and have no concepts of culture or art that could actually demonstrate their self-attested superiority.
  • Super Soldier: They have one, the Special Weapons Dalek, which has a different casing from its fellows, and is far stronger, capable of incinerating three Daleks in one shot. Apparently, according to the novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks", it's crazier than the average Dalek, due to the radiation its weapon produces. Daleks being Daleks, they think it's an abomination and have to be told not to kill it.
  • Talking Lightbulb: Their "ear-lamps" flash in time with their speech.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe. One of the few species besides humanity that is depicted in different stages of their development — when we first saw them, before they reached space flight, they were dependent on external power sources. They had remedied this with disk-like accessories in the 22nd century, and engineered their casings to not even need these further ahead. They also achieved time travel at some point and multiple wars and conflicts in their history/the future are known. At some point, they also experimented with making themselves completely mechanical. Later in the classic series, and most of the new one, we mostly encounter those far future Daleks occasionally ending up back on present!Earth.
  • Tentacled Terror: Open their personal tanks and you'll reveal that Daleks are little more than brains with many creepy tentacles.
  • Too Dumb to Live: They have an unfortunate habit of becoming this, particularly when their "vision is impaired!!!" Naturally, as they are unable to see, they will begin shooting wildly, in one case causing the Dalek to destroy itself when in a hall of mirrors in "The Five Doctors", and making for very annoying gameplay in the 2010 Adventure Game, City of the Daleks. Apparently their vision isn't the only thing that is impaired when they are damaged... Lampshaded in "The Stolen Earth". A Dalek's "eye" is blinded, but the Dalek evaporates the paint and says "My vision is not impaired."
  • Took a Level in Badass: They've taken several throughout the years. First, being able to leave the confines of their city, then conquering Earth, then developing time-travel. It got to the point the Time Lords started to get concerned about them, sending the Doctor to try and interfere with their origins. When they returned in 2005, they take another huge leap forward, when it's revealed they started a war with the Time Lords, and not only managed to hold their own, but very nearly won. And that's before we see them on-screen. The Ninth Doctor is utterly terrified to be locked in a room with a Dalek, and with good reason. Oh, and now, they can fly.
    • Their increase in threat level is most apparent when you see how the characters approach them: Back in the classic series, two strong men (or just one Ace) with a blunt object could usually ambush and incapacitate one. In the new series, you need at least a futuristic raygun to even stand a chance, and in large numbers, only a major plot event/Deus ex Machina can stop them.
    • This extends to the scale of their plans as well. While they have been Absolute Xenophobes since their early years, this mostly extended to conquering planets and enslaving inferior races. In the Revival Series, they are full-on Omnicidal Maniacs who attempt to destroy all of reality at one point and nearly succeed.
  • Tortured Monster: A deformed, irradiated mutant locked inside an unfeeling metal cage from birth to death... and programmed to be utterly revolted by everything outside that cage. The prospect of deviating from Dalek purity even slightly is enough to turn them suicidal.
  • To Serve Man: "Into the Dalek" reveals that Daleks feed on a protein goop processed from the carcasses of their victims.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: They do this very often, mainly because Davros has no sense of pattern recognition.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Compared to several other threats that have opposed the Doctor, the Daleks are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Then again, when they have weapons strong enough to bust through nearly any resistance their foes may put up, and enough defences to No-Sell nearly any enemy attack, they don't often feel the need to think and strategize, as merely blasting the enemy into oblivion is often enough to do the job. In contrast to several examples of this trope, the Daleks never grow out of this mindset and their solution to every defeat they have faced is simply to increase the strength of their weaponry and armour from what it was previously. Also in contrast to said examples, simply enacting this approach has enabled them to remain a relevant and competent threat over their decades long history on the show.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation:
    • The Robo-Men (not to be confused with the Cybermen), the Daleks' low-level police/enforcers during their 22nd century invasion of Earth.
    • The new series reveals that the Daleks still use robotized humanoid servants around the 51st century, in the form of their Dalek Puppets. These are significantly insidious in that they can function as Manchurian Agents, acting like they did while alive, until an eyestalk unexpectedly bursts from their forehead...
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: If the Doctor had it their way, their adventures in time and space would be as lighthearted as they are and have body-counts of zero. Contrast to their optimism, the Daleks stand out for their unrelenting cruelty and hatred for all life (including Dalek life at times).
  • Villain Decay: Thought to have happened after Davros appeared, where the Daleks were reduced to Mooks. They seemed to re-establish themselves slightly at the end of "Revelation of the Daleks", and finally in "Remembrance of the Daleks" a faction are fighting Davros.
    • Largely undone in the revival series. The titular Dalek in "Dalek" wiped out the whole of the underground base on its own. "Asylum of the Daleks" shows that they can convert human beings into unwitting meat puppets, or even full on Dalek conversions. And "Into the Dalek" shows the inner workings of the outer shell, and the horror of just what Daleks do to themselves on a daily basis just to maintain their "purity".
    • Zig-Zagged in the Moffat years. Under Davies they eventually became Too Powerful to Live to the point where them merely being alive was a threat to the universe (and beyond), yet due to Joker Immunity they would always come back regardless. When Moffat took over, the policy changed and they now show up as Monster of the Week, also preferring to try and use or kill The Doctor but no longer trying to destroy the universe, even trying to save it at some points (albeit only so they don't die too). Their technology and threat level is greater than ever, but they do not put it into practice. Tellingly, "Asylum of the Daleks" ends with the Eleventh Doctor erasing the Daleks' collective memory of his existence and just... leaving. Nine and Ten couldn't have one living Dalek on their conscience, let alone a whole empire.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Thanks to Joker Immunity, they usually pull this off by having one ship escape the carnage. Their titular triumph in "Victory of the Dalek" literally amounts to them running away to rebuild, as the Doctor lampshades. The Cult of Skaro even had a name for it: Emergency Temporal Shift, which immediately teleports them out of danger and sends them to a random location.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Stairs used to be this for them. Used to. The eyestalk was a problem for a long time too.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: More often than not, the Daleks simply default to blasting their enemies with their gunsticks until it stops moving. See Unskilled, but Strong.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Doctor. They hate him with a passion that burns with all the hate they can muster, but they also respect him so much that their equipment will accept his word that an individual is a Dalek, even if their DNA is too degraded to register as a proper one.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The Daleks are well aware the Doctor always has something up his sleeve, and they also know he's good at not getting killed, so being able to kill him effortlessly, they reason, is never going to happen, so they let the Doctor talk/screw around with the Sonic Screwdriver in the hopes they can anticipate whatever backup plans he had to screw them over, then they figure he can be killed. Often enough, there was never a plan to begin with.
  • Xeno Nucleic Acid: According to "Evolution of the Daleks", their DNA lacks base pairs and has Spikes of Villainy on the outside. As is presumably the case for all life from Skaro, it's described as being fundamental type 467-989.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The special effect used for their Death Ray since 1988.

    In Big Finish 

Daleks (First Doctor, Second Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor, Eighth Doctor, War Doctor)

Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs

As the most recurring and iconic enemy of the Doctor, it should come as no surprise the Daleks have made many, many appearances in the Big Finish audios. Of note is that after his lack of TV time, the Eighth Doctor has encountered them in more stories than any other Doctor.

  • Alien Invasion: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. More than one story has someone mucking around with it, and the Doctor trying to make it re-happen, on the grounds that he knows that invasion eventually fails. And then there's other instances where they invade Earth.
  • Author Appeal: Nicholas Briggs really likes Daleks. Not that most people are complaining, mind.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "The Apocalypse Element" sees them successfully conning the Doctor and Romana into wiping out and reforming the Seripha galaxy for them - providing an untouched galaxy for them to use for resources against the Time Lords in the future.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Zig-zagged with the Daleks of Empire. They sort of understand love, in that they recognise it as the opposite of hate, but friendship just utterly baffles them.
    • Horrifically averted with some Daleks the War Doctor had to deal with, who do comprehend good. Specifically, they use human shields, knowing that a compassionate enemy won't shoot them. They just didn't count on the fact the Doctor doesn't see himself as "good" by that point.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Last Great Time War. For years, the audio stories weren't able to show it, only skirting around the edges with foreshadowing and hints. Then, in 2015, Big Finish was able to make stories about the War Doctor.
  • Hero Killer: In the darker parts of the Big Finish stories, the Daleks can and have managed to kill some of the Doctor's companions. The Eighth Doctor lost four friends to the Fell Saltshakers.
  • The Starscream: This ends up being a major plot point in the "Anti-Genesis" audios when the Master alters history to replace Davros as the Daleks' creator. An alternate version of the Master convinces the War version that no matter who created them or what safeguards he installs, the Daleks will betray him the same way they turned on Davros because it's their nature, leading him to undo the damage he's done to the timeline as a result.
  • Theme Naming: Many Dalek stories follow the show's pattern of "X of the Daleks". But not always.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Thanks to the anachronic order. The Daleks of the Fourth Doctor's era are mere villains of the week. Dangerous, yes, but no more than anyone else. The Daleks of the Eighth Doctor's era are beginning to get into the Last Great Time War and are far more advanced and ruthless than their earlier kin, to the point where they routinely hit Knight of Cerebus status to the stories they're in ...

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Progenitors

    Kaleds 

Kaleds

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/p00y0bvz.jpg

A species of humanoid aliens and the ancestors of the Daleks, who use to inhabit the planet Skaro. They got into a thousand year war with the Thals that nearly destroyed both species. The Kaleds were beginning to mutate due to chemical weapons, and the Daleks were originally designed as a travel machine for the final mutation. Originally they died from a nuclear bomb, but the Fourth Doctor's meddling in their timeline meant the majority were killed by a Thal rocket and the early Daleks. Davros is currently the only known living Kaled.


  • Abusive Precursors: The Daleks inherited their racist beliefs and a ruined Skaro from them.
    General Ravon: OUR BATTLE CRY WILL BE TOTAL EXTERMINATION OF THE THALS!
  • Alliterative Name: Played with. *D*ale*K*. *K*ale*D*. the consonants are just inverted.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: On the outside, Kaleds look human. On the inside, they're different enough that a Kaled scientist is utterly baffled when looking at med-scans of the Fourth Doctor and Harry.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: They were overtly based on Nazis, intended genocide on their Thal rivals, had an obsession with genetic “purity” and used chemical and biological weapons to the point that Skaro was virtually uninhabitable. But even they were appalled by the Daleks, a creature genetically engineered to have no sense of right and wrong.
  • Fantastic Racism: They hated the Thals to point they wanted to commit genocide; the Thals returned the feeling. They also look down on anybody mutated.
    Nyder: We must keep the Kaled race pure. Imperfects are rejected.
  • Forever War: They were engaged in a mutually self-destructive war with the Thals; we never find out why they're at war with each other, only that both sides saw the total destruction of each other as the only viable way for peace.
  • Hopeless War: Regardless of which side won, there wasn't much victory to be had. Skaro was a burnt out irradiated mess, and resources and technology were so limited that soldiers were practically down to fighting with bows and arrows. On top of that, the entire Kaled population was crammed into one city, so they didn't really have the numbers to keep going anyway.
  • Humanoid Alien: They look like humans with brown or dark hair; the Thals have blonde hair.
  • Hypocrite: They look down on mutants and are big believers in racial purity, and yet their chief scientist Davros was crippled and mutated into something only vaguely human(-looking) and it did nothing to lower his standing in Kaled society.
    • It should be noted Davros is clearly the best scientist they have, meaning they probably keep him around for necessity.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Thanks to Davros' word being the be-all-and-end-all of Kaled science, they believed that there were only seven galaxies, and that of them Skaro was the only planet capable of supporting life.
    Fourth Doctor: But it's a known fact that there are more than seven galaxies.
    Ronson: [humouring him] ... Quite.
  • Kill 'Em All: When the Doctor convinced the Kaled leadership to investigate Davros, Davros gave the Thals the means to destroy the last Kaled city. Then he had the Daleks wipe out any remaining Kaleds who weren't loyal to him, only for the Daleks to go on to kill the rest of the Kaleds for good measure.
  • Mirroring Factions: The Kaleds were militant fascistic xenophobes, fighting a war against the Thals, who were also militant fascistic xenophobes... the only real difference was that Kaleds wore black military uniforms and the Thals wore green jumpsuits.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out why the Kaleds and Thals are engaged in war. It makes the conflict even scarier.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Despite their racist society, there were a handful of Kaleds who weren't totally evil, only doing their duty in war and desperately wanted peace. It didn't save them from the Daleks or Davros.
  • Putting on the Reich: Kaled culture is very similar to Nazi Germany, right down to an unhealthy obsession with keeping their race pure.
  • Retcon: In "The Daleks", the ancestors of the Daleks were called Dals, but by "Genesis of the Daleks" they were Kaleds. Later stories have invented different reasons for the change - the writers on the old BBC episode guide theorised that it was an error in Thal record-keeping, while in Big Finish's I, Davros the Dals were a third, extinct humanoid species whose philosophy influenced Davros' Dalek concept.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: They only had a major role in one Fourth Doctor story (and a cameo in "The Magician's Apprentice") but they are essential to the Doctor Who mythos, because without them there would be no Daleks.

Leadership

    The Dalek Emperor 

The Dalek Emperors

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0486178e178f114db01fe917091ea104.jpg
Top left (1967), top right (1988), bottom (2005)
Voiced by: Roy Skelton (1967), Terry Molloy (1988), Nicholas Briggs (2005)

Dalek Emperor: So, you are the Doctor.
The Second Doctor: We meet at last. I wondered if we ever would.

The Dalek Emperor is the de facto head of the Dalek Empire, although they are usually stuck on Skaro and thus rarely encounter the Doctor. There have been several of them throughout the show's history, though Depending on the Writer, any two of them might actually be the single individual (not that it makes much difference). The first one we see was met by the Second Doctor on Skaro, who then proceeded to destroy his empire. A new one appeared during Seven's tenure, although he was actually Davros. During the Time War, the last Emperor was thought to have been killed, only for Nine to later discover (to his horror) that he had survived the final battle.


Tropes associated with the television continuity:

  • Big Bad: For "The Evil of the Daleks." The Time War Emperor is also the main villain for Series 1 of the revival, as the shadow ruler of Earth in the Bad Future who kidnaps humans to be mutated into Daleks.
  • Canon Immigrant: David Whitaker invented the Dalek Emperor for the Dalek comics, then brought him into the series with "Evil of the Daleks". The 1988 "big-headed" Emperor was in turn inspired by the look of the original Emperor from the comics.
  • Decadent Court: Expanded Universe materials suggest that Emperors regularly get deposed by upstarts and Starscreams.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Hail the Doctor, the Great Exterminator."
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Dalek Emperors are recognized by their very deep voices, similar to the New Series Dalek Supremes, as opposed to the high-pitched mooks.
  • Depending on the Writer: How many Emperors have there been, exactly? Who knows! Mostly everyone agrees that anything post-"The Parting of the Ways" is a new Emperor, as being wiped from all time and space by Bad Wolf is a pretty definitive demise, but before that, you'll find novels and audios that indicate that the Emperor was the same individual from "The Evil of the Daleks" all the way to the Eighth or even Ninth Doctor's era.
  • A God Am I: The 2005 Emperor believed himself to be a god, having made new Dalek life from "the dirt".
  • God-Emperor: The 2005 Emperor claimed very hard to be one, until Rose-as-Bad-Wolf disproved his claims of immortality by vaporizing him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: To the Dalek Empire as a whole, up until Series 1 of the revival.
  • Hannibal Lecture: The 2005 Emperor, despite being by far the most insane with his God-Emperor pretensions, is extremely perceptive, and breaks the Doctor with just one speech after correctly divining he doesn't have it in him to commit genocide again.
  • King Mook: The Emperors are in essence just very large Daleks in a variety of larger and more impressive casings.
  • Large and in Charge: All the Imperial casings are significantly larger than standard-issue Daleks, ranging from the slightly bigger "rounded-headed" Emperor to the building-sized tower that was the "Evil of the Daleks" Emperor.
  • Legacy Character: They're all different characters (…or are they?), but since they're, you know, Daleks, that really doesn't change things much anyway.
  • Light Is Not Good: Some of them have a white colouring to denote their leadership status.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One interpretation of the 2005 Emperor's "great exterminator" speech, where he basically dares the Doctor to push the button to destroy the Daleks... but take Earth with them. He can't do it. Of course, this could also be a manifestation of just how crazy the Emperor is, that he either believes he'll survive or is otherwise content to die if he can break the Doctor.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: They look nothing like your average Dalek. The first was stuck on Skaro plugged into the walls, the second was more mobile but had a round head, the third was in an enlarged Dalek casing combined with a glass tank so you can see the mutant inside.
  • Orcus on His Throne: They rarely leave Skaro, just giving orders to the others. This is justified since most of them aren't very mobile.
  • Puppet King: Russell T Davies dubbed them "Puppet Emperors", since no matter who's in charge, the Dalek Empire remains the same, as any leader who exhibits non-Dalek behaviour (like Dalek Sec) is immediately removed from power. One version even played this trope straight, as it was revealed to be Davros in disguise.
  • Voice of the Legion: Some of the Emperors' voice filters make them sound like this.

Tropes associated with Big Finish and other continuities

  • Big Bad: Of the Dalek Empire audios.
  • Body Snatcher: In several of the audios it displays the ability to transfer its consciousness to a humanoid host.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Normally very much not, but this gem from the Youtube series shows it does have the capacity.
    Mechanoid Queen: You are the last of the Daleks.
    Emperor: Indeed?
    Mechanoid Queen: We know there are only two of you.
    Emperor: Only two Daleks? How closely did you count?
    [Massive Dalek army promptly attacks the Mechanoids].
  • Defiant to the End: The Emperor goes out swinging against the Entity as it attacks the Mechanoid home world, shooting it repeatedly as it gets wrecked by the Entity's energy attacks. Subverted in that it narrowly survives.
  • Depending on the Writer: The origins of the Time War Emperor are confusing, even by Dalek standards.
    • The Restoration Empire, a written tie-in story to "Time Lord Victorious", had it originally be the Supreme Dalek of Davros' Imperials, ascended to Emperorhood after killing off the its rivals in the Imperial Supreme Council, and a throwaway line in the "Astounding Untold History" went with this interpretation.
    • The nigh-concurrent Big Finish Time War audio Restoration of the Daleks, on the other hand, had it be the original Dalek Emperor from the beginning of their history, resurrected by the Time Strategist after the Daleks were brought back from being erased from existence by the Valeyard.
    • To muddy the waters further, another prose story set after "Time Lord Victorious" has the Dalek Prime Strategist (whose stories overlap with both the prose and the audios) contemplate taking over as Emperor in the run-up to the Time War.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In "War of the Daleks" Sam notes that instead of the homicidal maniac she was expecting, the Dalek Prime (implied to be the Emperor at an earlier point in its timeline) is calm, controlled, thoughtful and even more human-sounding than its underlings. It's still the leader of the Daleks though, and it's barely pages later when it reveals it wiped out the inhabitants of Antalin just to make its radiation levels match Skaro to fool Davros.
  • A God Am I: The audios reveal that this guy fell off the deep end long before he started converting humans into Daleks. Best seen in this retort to Rassilon, who likewise viewed himself as a god.
    Dalek Emperor: "One God rules this universe. It is Dalek. It is I! YOUR GOD EMPEROR!"
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of the Dalek audios leading up to the Dalek Empire series, as everything that happens there is part of its plans - apart from almost getting the Daleks wiped out by the Mutant Phase.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Newly reborn in Restoration of the Daleks, it tries to have Davros submit to it in front of the Dalek Army - against the advice of the Time Strategist. Predictably, Davros uses the opportunity to try and seize control for himself and a minor Dalek civil war breaks out.
  • I Have Many Names: The BBC novelisations of TV adventures and the Eighth Doctor books had it consistently referred to as the Dalek Prime before a certain point in the timeline.
  • Light Is Not Good: The TV21 Emperor was a bright gold in colour, as were several of his successors like the Dalek Prime from the Eight Doctor BBC books and the more recent Restoration Emperor. They're still all genocidal megalomaniacs.
  • Mythology Gag: Both the Dalek Prime in "War of the Daleks" and the Emperor of the "Time Lord Victorious" tie-ins are visually based on the TV21 Golden Emperor, with it even being acknowledged in-universe that the latter took the look from a past ruler of the Daleks.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Has a very, very brief moment of believing the Fifth Doctor in The Mutant Phase about its accidental corruption of the timeline - allowing the Bad Future where the Mutant Phase annihilates the galaxy to be undone.
  • Pride: As of the stories set around the Time War. Its arrogance is such that despite having genuinely brilliant underlings like the Time Strategist and Prime Strategist to advise it, it overrules them at various points when its ego gets the better of it, leading to setbacks that could have been avoided.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: It was stuck in the Time Vortex in The Time of the Daleks after accidentally becoming part of an endless time loop. A later audio had it striking a deal with the Time Lords to get out.

    Davros 
The Daleks' creator. An Evil Genius and Mad Scientist extraordinaire, Davros created the Daleks as a new master race from the ashes of the Kaleds, genetically removing "weaknesses" like compassion and mercy to make a new race of conquerors. Betrayed and seemingly killed by his creations, Davros has proven every bit as hard to kill off as the Daleks themselves, returning again and again to bedevil the Doctor - to the point he's often considered one of his main singular archenemies alongside the Master. For tropes regarding him, please see here.

    Supreme Daleks 

The Supreme Dalek

Voiced by:Michael Wisher (1973), Nicholas Briggs (2008)/(2010)/(2015)
"No power in the universe can stop the Daleks!" (from The Daleks' Master Plan)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/supreme_dalek.jpg

The most commonly seen leader of the Daleks, Supreme Daleks have bedeviled the Doctor from his First incarnation to the present day.


Tropes associated with the television continuity

  • Arch-Enemy: To Davros in the classic series stories after Genesis.
  • Big Bad: If the Emperor or Davros aren't around, it'll likely be this for any Dalek story it's in (such as "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", "The Chase", "The Daleks' Master Plan", "Day of the Daleks", and "Planet of the Daleks"). It's also ostensibly this for Series 4 of the revival, but the sheer scope of Davros' plan makes it little more than a distant Man Behind the Man.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Davros for "Resurrection of the Daleks" and "Remembrance of the Daleks".
  • Catchphrase: Whenever anything goes wrong for the red Supreme in the revival, he gets confused and yells "EXPLAIN! EXPLAIN! EXPLAIN!!!"
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Their designs may vary, but they're always differentiated from their subordinates by being a different colour. Black is the most common, but there have also been golden, red and white Supremes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The 2015 Supreme had its moments.
    The Twelfth Doctor: Who's going to tell me Clara Oswald is really dead?!
  • Demoted to Dragon: In Victory of the Daleks a white Supreme is introduced as the leader of the other New Paradigm ranks. By the next major story, Asylum of the Daleks, it's now clearly second-in-command to the Dalek Prime Minister. The "Astounding Untold History" tie-in book had this be a deliberate demotion, with the Supreme losing leadership of the Dalek race after numerous defeats by the Eleventh Doctor.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Seventh Doctor famously talked the Remembrance Supreme into killing itself by pointing out that with its homeworld blown up and all the other Daleks dead, it had no purpose in life.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The 2008/2015 and 2010 Supremes have very deep voices reminiscent of the 2005 Emperor. Inverted in The Dalek Invasion of Earth and Resurrection; those Supremes have notably higher-pitched voices than their story's other Daleks.
  • I Have Many Names: It's variously known as the Dalek Supreme, the Supreme Dalek, the Black Dalek, the Supreme Controller and just the Supreme.
  • King Mook: Unlike Davros' legendary Joker Immunity, they're not especially more difficult to kill than a regular Dalek. Bonus points for actually being a Palette Swapped version of a standard Dalek in most cases.
  • Large and in Charge: The Planet Supreme is a good bit taller than the grey Dalek soldiers it commands. The comic "Fire and Brimstone" took it even further, with an enormous Supreme well over twice the size of its subordinates.
  • Legacy Character: Unlike the Emperor, where there's some ambiguity about its on-screen fate, numerous Supremes have been destroyed either on-screen or off. And yet, another one always pops up sooner or later.
  • Light Is Not Good: The New Paradigm Supreme was a bright white in colour, and was every bit the genocidal psychopath its predecessors were.
  • Noodle Incident: Missy makes reference in "The Magician's Apprentice" to a previous encounter with the Dalek Supreme, telling the other Daleks to inform him "the Bitch is back!"
  • Non-Action Big Bad: They're not frontline fighters even if in command. Best exemplified by the Remembrance Supreme, which bolts as soon as the Imperials attack their base, leaving its Renegade troops to be wiped out.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Not as radical as some iterations of this trope due to the Dalek design being so iconic, but both the Planet of the Daleks and The Stolen Earth Supremes are noticeably different to the standard Dalek designs.
  • The Paranoiac: The Master Plan version suffers this; having to repeatedly deal with the scheming of Mavic Chen leaves it thinking that the Monk has betrayed them later in the story when he doesn't report in, when he's actually just running into difficulties dealing with the Doctor.
  • Pride: Nicholas Briggs purposefully voiced the Stolen Earth version as more grandiose and overconfident than his other Dalek characters. Davros even chides it for being prideful in-story.
  • Rebel Leader: The Renegade Supreme in Remembrance is a distinctly evil variant of this, leading the Renegades against Davros' just-as-bad Imperial Daleks.
  • The Starscream: The 2008 version overthrew Davros and consigned him to the Vault at some point before the story's beginning.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Master Plan, the Supreme is clearly not happy to be working with the egotistical and delusional Mavic Chen (which it only does because Chen has the Taranium needed to power the Time Destructor). After Chen somehow gets the notion he's immortal and the Daleks are his servants, it seems to enjoy ordering its Dalek underlings to take Chen outside and exterminate him.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Planet of the Daleks Supreme exterminates one of its underlings for incompetence in not stopping the Doctor/Thals.

Tropes associated with Big Finish and other continuities

  • Depending on the Writer: Is there a singular Dalek Supreme, or is it just the rank given to whatever Dalek is in charge of a given operation? Big Finish and the Peel novelisations of the First and Second Doctor stories suggest the former, while War of the Daleks and certain classic series DVD extras indicate the latter. The "Astounding Untold History" tie-in book had it both ways - that there was a Council of numerous individual Supreme Daleks (like the Gold Dalek, Black Dalek and Spirodon Supreme), all active at various points in Dalek history.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Subverted in The Davros Mission. The Supreme there (implied to be the same one as in Remembrance) aims to become the new Dalek Emperor at the conclusion of Davros' trial. Unfortunately for it, Davros manages to spin things to come out on top.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Most Big Finish stories featuring one lay out that it's explicitly the highest ranked Dalek under the Emperor, reporting directly to it. While the Emperor is still the ultimate Dalek authority, in most cases it's immobile on Skaro, requiring the Supreme Dalek to do the heavy lifting on the Dalek war fronts.
  • Fusion Dance: The Supreme in Dalek Empire 3 had its mind forcibly fused with that of Susan Mendes after taking the full brunt of the Emperor's self-destruct mindpulse, even sounding like a Dalek-ised version of her.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Does the hijacking in Return to Skaro. This story establishes that there was a Supreme Dalek in a nutrient tank under the Dalek City seen in The Daleks, in charge but unseen by the Doctor and his companions.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: It's normally in charge, but certain stories show the Dalek Time Controller can overrule it if it deems its actions to threaten the Dalek timeline, even stopping it killing the Doctor at one point.
  • You Have Failed Me: On the receiving end in The Genocide Machine, when the Emperor orders it to self-destruct after its plans go awry once too often.

    The Dalek Prime Minister 

The Dalek Prime Minister (Eleventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aa12e6c5c9ac07fef95cd4fc074abe5e.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2012)

The Doctor: You think hatred is beautiful?
Dalek Prime Minister: Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you.

The leader of the New Dalek Paradigm is not an Emperor but a Prime Minister and a Parliament. Resides on the Dalek Parliament Ship. Exists as a mutant in a jar, being even more stripped down than even the Emperors. This does not stop him from having much more of a personality than your average Dalek and getting right under the Doctor's skin, just with a few words.



  • Deadpan Snarker: His conversation with Eleven is unusually sardonic for a Dalek.
  • Driven to Madness: The "Astounding Untold History" book explained the Prime Minster's absence from later stories by having the Prime Minister go insane in the aftermath of the Asylum incident, losing all knowledge of the Doctor but knowing there were now gigantic gaps in its memory where he was concerned. The New Paradigm Supreme ends up killing it when their collective recovery of their memories of the Doctor from the Papal Mainframe made it even worse.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he speaks to the Doctor, he's oozing with false charm, to the point where he's actually able to rattle him. And he's enjoying it.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Is the one to explain that this is the reason behind the Dalek Asylum... and then, to further creep out the Doctor, suggests that this has been why the Daleks have never been able to kill him.
  • Killed Offscreen: As noted above, the Prime Minister is killed during the events of "The Time of the Doctor".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: He's just a Dalek mutant encased in a simple glass tube, with none of the traditional Dalek casing incorporated into his design.
  • Only Sane Man: He's much more lucid than your average Dalek.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's not nearly as deep or bombastic as the Emperors or Dalek Supremes were, and much more unsettling.

Commanders

    The Dalek Time Controller 

The Dalek Time Controller (Eleventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/timecontrol_3025.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2009–present)

A Dalek from the far future, which was created with an evolved mind that allowed it to perceive time in a more advanced manner than a standard Dalek. Consequently, the Dalek Time Controller was given the position of strategist for all Dalek time missions. Chronologically (from its perspective) first meets the Eleventh Doctor in the BBC novel The Dalek Generation and later encounters the Sixth Doctor, before becoming a main antagonist to the Eighth Doctor. In the Eighth Doctor's opinion, this is the most threatening Dalek of them all. Why? He can take the Dalek race's greatest failures and change them into their greatest victories.


Tropes associated with Big Finish:

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Resorts to this in order to live, due to its symbiotic connection to Molly O'Sullivan slowly killing it.
  • Arch-Enemy: Seems to become this for the later Eighth Doctor.
  • Badass Decay: Acknowledged and justified In-Universe. The Time Controller is literally decaying by "Dark Eyes 4", due to the symbiotic connection it developed with Molly O'Sullivan, and is in constant pain from this. Its DNA has also decayed enough that the other Daleks refuse to acknowledge it as a fellow Dalek or a high ranking officer in the Empire. Even its non-organic components are suffering from this, its weapon weakening to the point it requires several direct hits to kill someone. Doesn't stop it from blowing up Dalek after Dalek, though.
  • Big Bad: For the "Dark Eyes" series against the Eighth Doctor. Begins a bit earlier with "Lucie Miller" and "To the Death".
  • The Chessmaster: Throughout most of of The Dalek Generation. It goes up against the equally formidable Master in "Dark Eyes 4". The Master wins.
  • Conqueror from the Future: Is hurled back thousands of years and decides to perform another Dalek Invasion of Earth. Moreover, his origin in aiding the New Dalek Paradigm makes him implicitly a New Series villain thrown back in time to fight the classic Doctors.
  • The Corruption: By existing outside of time, the Dalek Time Controller remembers events from the timeline in "Dark Eyes". However, the rapidly changing timelines cause it to pick up and retain various bits that, to the Daleks, make it less and less Dalek. By being involved in Molly O'Sullivan's timeline for so long, the Dalek Time Controller ends up being symbiotically linked to her, weakening it as Molly's own body ages and fails.
  • Cross Through: His appearance outside of Six's timeline seriously freaks out Eight. To make things more complicated, he's also the main villain in The Dalek Generation, a novel written by Nicholas Briggs, in which (from his perspective) he meets the Doctor for the first time... and his first Doctor is, via Loophole Abuse of the story being a BBC Books novel and not a Big Finish audio play, the Eleventh Doctor whom he meets post Time War (relatively speaking) while working for the New Dalek Paradigm.
  • Cruel Mercy: In "To the Death", he tells the Eighth Doctor he will be left on Earth as it is sent through time to the Amethyst viruses. Being a Time Lord will enable the Doctor to live long enough to watch the Earth die.
  • Enemy Mine: In "The Traitor", the Doctor helps him against the Eminence. Earlier, he joined Straxus' future incarnation Kotris against the Time Lords.
  • Foil:
    • Seems to be one for Dalek Caan of the New Series, as like Caan he was flung through time and saw all of eternity and every possibility as well as the whole of Dalek history. Unlike Caan, who was driven insane with horror at the true evil of the Daleks, the Time Controller instead saw exactly how he could mastermind the Daleks' conquest of all eternity.
      • Eight even subtly references this by asking how he could see eternity and not find some humility and perspective, before realising how unlikely a Dalek learning from history would be.
    • The Dalek Time Controller is also very similar in many respects to River Song, whose time travel also generally doesn't mesh with the Doctor's, meeting each other out of order from their perspectives.
  • A God Am I: In "Dark Eyes 4", he states that he is a Time Lord Dalek, and that through him, the Daleks will be the new masters of time and space.
  • Have We Met Yet?: First meets the 11th Doctor, then the 6th Doctor, then becomes the Arch-Enemy of the 8th Doctor.
  • Joker Immunity: Even though history being changed in "Dark Eyes" means he shouldn't have survived the events of "To the Death", he shows up again in "Dark Eyes 2".
  • Louis Cypher: Anyone with an understanding of French could guess the name Dutemps involved it in some way.
  • The Omniscient: One's mind existing outside of time will slowly turn you into this.
  • Plague Master: Plans to annihilate all life in the universe by reusing the Daleks' plan to pilot Earth as a mobile base and mass infecting it with the deadliest bio weapons in the universe so the Daleks could simply teleport Earth across the universe, spreading the plagues in its wake.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: In "Dark Eyes 2" he remembers the events of "Dark Eyes" despite preventing them from happening.
  • Stable Time Loop: Due to becoming increasingly less and less Dalek, by the Dalek Supreme's standards, the Time Controller goes on to greater lengths to ensure that it had its own power base, eventually culminating in becoming the Eminence. However, these actions cause the Dalek Supreme to have another mutant like it to be created and made entirely loyal to the Supreme, starting the loop all over again.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Their life is largely this, though he was created to master that. From his perspective the first time he meets the Doctor is in the Post Time-War timeline.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With a Dalek duplicate (in human form), cloned from its own cells. Really, the name Dutemps was a bit of a giveaway. Narcissism, thy name is Time Controller.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?:
    • Justified. Often it won't exterminate the Doctor because doing so would mess up the timeline, or it's simply more productive to leave him alive.
    • Averts this with the Master; the moment their alliance ceases to be needed, it attempts to have him killed on the spot. He saw it coming a mile away.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Eventually murders Straxus, even though doing so completely resets the timeline. Since the Dalek Time Controller has become The Omniscient at that point, it doesn't matter to him.
    • Does this to several Daleks when they explicitly deny its official rank and standing.

Tropes associated with New Series Adventures:

Making the crossover from Big Finish to literature surrounding the New Series, the Time Controller would masquerade as the Dalek Litigator, the legal representation for the Daleks in the Sunlight Worlds, in a complex plot to use the Cradle of the Gods to create a multitude of worlds like Skaro - worlds perfect for the Daleks. In doing so, it has its first encounter with the Doctor - his Eleventh incarnation, who has already met the Time Controller in his Sixth and Eighth bodies.
  • Amoral Attorney: This by default, as they prosecute the Doctor and have all his assets seized. They don't use much Courtroom Antics though, as Eleven pleads guilty and the Litigator's word is highly valued.
  • Canon Immigrant: This marked one of the first times a Big Finish character was explicitly used in non-Big Finish media. Bear in mind this was before "The Night of the Doctor" made Big Finish canon.
  • The Chessmaster: Manipulates the 11th Doctor throughout The Dalek Generation and throughout history to assist its plan.
  • Have We Met Yet?: From its perspective, when the Time Controller meets the 11th Doctor this is the first time he has met the Doctor, even though this is the post-Time War timeline. From the Doctor's perspective he's already met it in his 6th and 8th incarnations.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Plans to turn the Sunlight Worlds into copies of Skaro.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: When the plan to use the Cradle of the Gods is sabotaged, it escapes in a Dalek ship. This needs to happen so it can face the previous Doctors in Big Finish.

    Dalek Time Strategist 

Dalek Time Strategist (War Doctor)

Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs

The successor to the Dalek Time Controller, created by the Supreme Dalek to be as brilliant as its predecessor but unswervingly loyal. It opposes the War Doctor and Gallifrey throughout Big Finish's War Doctor audios.


  • Arch-Enemy: To the War Doctor throughout his audios.
  • Badass in Distress: Is captured by the Sontarans in an effort to convince the Daleks to let them in on the Time War.
  • Berserk Button: Implying it fears anything.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: It doesn't need the Doctor per se, but much to its frustration finds as the Time War rages on that the Doctor's history and the Daleks' are intertwined by that stage. Thus, while it can exterminate the Doctor at the most current stage of his timeline (Eight at that point) it can't just erase him from history the way the Valeyard does to them for fear of ruining their own timeline.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Recruits an alternate version of The Master to stop the War Master's attempt to alter time by replacing Davros as the Daleks' creator.
    • It also ends up collaborating with an alternate version of Davros to bring the Daleks back to the timeline after the Valeyard erases them from it.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a noticeably deeper voice than its predecessor, similar to the New Series Supreme Daleks (though far less bombastic).
  • Ignored Expert: Advises the newly-restored Emperor that letting Davros address the Daleks in "Restoration of the Daleks" is a bad idea. The Emperor, drunk on its own ego, ignores it - and letting their creator speak subsequently ignites a minor Dalek civil war.
  • Last of Its Kind: Briefly, after the Valeyard manages to wipe the Daleks from existence.
  • Legacy Character: Created as a new version of the Time Controller, minus The Starscream tendencies.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Ends up actually trying to save history as we know it after the War Master buggers up the Daleks' history and nearly wipes out the timeline as a result.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Convinces an essentially benign alternate Davros that the Doctor was an enemy who had devastated Skaro in the past, and that the Daleks would be able to defend the Kaleds and Thals from the depredations of the Time Lords.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Unlike the mind games of the Time Controller, if it encounters the Doctor it'll immediately try to kill him at all costs.

    The Dalek Inquisitor General 

The Dalek Inquisitor General aka "Dalek X" (Tenth Doctor)

The main villain of the novel "Prisoner of the Daleks", the Dalek Inquisitor General faces off against the Tenth Doctor just prior to the events of the Time War as it plots to exploit a time schism to take over the Time Vortex.


  • And I Must Scream: The Doctor and his allies push him down a lift shaft as he's about to kill the Doctor. When the planet they're on is shattered, he's trapped there, unable to contact other Daleks due to the radiation, sealed off for the next five thousand years.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Compared to the Time War Daleks of the time, it's coloured black, with gold slats and sensor globes.
  • Cool Starship: Unlike other Dalek leaders, has a named flagship - the Exterminator.
  • Dark Is Evil: Largely black in colour, and evil even by Dalek standards.
  • The Dragon: Explicitly answers only to the Supreme Dalek of the time.
  • The Dreaded: Virtually every human that knows of it is terrified of it, and for good reason.
  • Fantastic Racism: Even by Dalek standards, it has a special hatred of humans.
  • Pride: Incredibly arrogant, even for a Dalek. Ends up dooming it in the end.
  • Red Baron: Known and feared as Dalek X. Unusually for a Dalek, specifically encourages the use of this nickname in the knowledge it makes it even more feared by humans.
  • Torture Technician: Inflicts many, many forms of pain on the Doctor to see how long it'll take him to crack.
  • You Have Failed Me: Has a habit of killing underlings if they don't perform to expectations.

    The Overseer 

The Overseer (Eighth Doctor)

Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs

The main villain of the audio "Planet of the Ogrons", this Dalek was dedicated to using the peculiar biology of the Ogrons to find ways to win the Time War, and eventually came up against both the Eighth Doctor and Doctor Ogron.


  • Zero Per Cent Approval Rating: The Daleks under its command hate and fear it for its impure nature, and eventually end up killing it after its plans fail.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The Ogron appearances in "Day of the Daleks" and "Frontier in Space"? That was the Overseer inserting them into Dalek history to see if it could. The Timey-Wimey Ball nature of it is lampshaded by Eight, who finds he has memories of both adventures with and without Ogrons.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: It acknowledges at one point the irony of the Daleks needing it for the Time War when in any other situation they'd exterminate it due to its warped genetic structure. Also Foreshadowing, as that's exactly what happens when the Doctor ruins its plans and the other Daleks deem it no longer necessary.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Constantly experiments on the Ogron race to see their limits in helping the Daleks, including altering their evolutionary course a few times. Its worst achievement is to add controllable Ogron brains to TARDISes, bypassing Time Lord biology in controlling them.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Ends up going up against the Twelve, an evil Time Lord with multiple personality disorder, and loses.
  • Half Dalek Hybrid: It experiments on itself to incorporate the DNA of multiple other species into its own.
  • Mad Scientist: Very much so. It experiments with Ogron biology in various bizarre ways and interferes with the flow of time before the story is out. Its final aim is to use the Doctor's biology to create Time Lord/TARDIS hybrids to serve the Daleks.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The design on the front of the "Planet of the Ogrons" box has it looking similar to Dalek Sec's all-black look, but with numerous extra claw arms and weapons attached to its central belt, a red-coloured eyepiece and shrunken luminosity dischargers.
  • Sadist: It really enjoys what it does.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A brilliant scientist Dalek that hybridizes itself with the DNA of other races, and is eventually killed by other Daleks for being too different. It's essentially Dalek Sec minus the Heel–Face Turn.

    The Dalek Prime Strategist 

The Dalek Prime Strategist (Eighth and Tenth Doctors)

Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs

Appearing in various parts of the Time Lord Victorious event, the Dalek Prime Strategist initially appeared as a temporary ally to the Tenth Doctor as it enlisted his aid to battle the Hond, an enemy which even the Daleks feared. It went on to appear aiding the Emperor in the "Daleks!" Youtube series before encountering and teaming up with the Eighth Doctor as part of the Dalek Time Squad as they all tried to stop Ten destroying the future.


  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Ten enquires what would happen if he refused to help them, it responds that Skaro would only be the first in a long line of worlds the Hond would crush, all because he wouldn't draw the line.
  • Batman Gambit: It's alarmingly good at this.
    • Seeks help against the Entity by landing on the Mechanoids' home planet for assistance - making sure the Entity can track them so the Daleks can force it and the Mechanoids into a showdown.
    • Once war inevitably breaks out between the two sides, allows the Mechanoid Queen to think she's manipulating it to her side, so it can sweep them all into the Entity's dimension when it has the chance.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: As always for Daleks, betrays the Doctor the moment the Hond threat is over. Unusually though, there's no Evil Gloating, just an admission that it's doing it because it's still a Dalek in the end.
  • Co-Dragons: In "The Archive of Islos" it acts as this, offering strategies and insight in contrast to the Dalek Executioner's more traditional approach.
  • Didn't See That Coming: When explaining not managing to kill the Doctor to the Emperor, has the perfectly valid excuse that there was no way it could have forseen a future incarnation of the Doctor (Thirteen) intervening to save her past self's life.
  • Enemy Mine: As part of the Time Squad, ends up working with the Eighth Doctor to stop his future self from destroying the Kotturuh. Nobody's happy with the arrangement, but the threat of the Tenth Doctor destroying everyone's future gets them doing it regardless.
  • For the Evulz: After predicting the Time War, and hearing elements of it from the Doctor, decides to emergency temporal shift itself into the War's raging heart after the Time Squad's defeat. Why? Because it doesn't want to miss out on seeing the carnage firsthand.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: A large scale case; it reveals it lured the Entity to the Mechanoids' home world as both were threats to the Daleks. Seeing them battle was only logical in its view.
  • Mark of Shame: Ten eventually works out that its wreck of a casing is this, punishment from the Emperor for some past screwup.
  • Near-Villain Victory: While the Emperor's pretty angry at it by story's end, it managed to save Skaro from the Hond. Furthermore, it likely would have killed the Tenth Doctor if the Thirteenth Doctor hadn't intervened.
  • Old Master: It's old, even by Dalek standards. The image used for it in the comic character sheet is a Dalek of the type seen all the way back in “The Daleks” when the First Doctor originally encountered them. And it's still one of the smartest Daleks yet seen.
  • Out-Gambitted: "The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy" sees it attempt to awake a dormant Dalek army after devastating losses to the Entity - but it had got there ahead of them and already conditioned them to serve it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The Strategist saves the Doctor's life at least twice. While it plans to betray him, it knows it can't beat the Hond without him, so doesn't do so until after they're defeated.
    • In "The Archive of Islos'', convinces the Emperor to talk the archive's synthetic guardians into turning on their owners rather than continue with full-scale bombardment of the planet - something which would undoubtedly end in the archive's destruction.
  • Pride: It boasts of its battered and rusty “War Machine” casing being a badge of honour for all the battles it's survived. The Doctor even lampshades this, noting that individual pride is normally engineered out of Daleks. Subverted in that its dilapidated state is actually a punishment from the Emperor for some past misdeed, and the prideful boasting is merely a cover for its own damaged ego.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives a truly Dalek one to the awakening army in episode 2 of the web series.
    Prime Strategist: KILL! KILL! KILL!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: As their mission to stop the destruction of their timeline goes very wrong, it does the unthinkable and makes a deal with the Doctor of all people to escape their dying ship aboard the TARDIS. The Doctor exposing this deal forces it to kill the Commander.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Noticeably less Dalek-y in its delivery than the other Daleks, to the point of sounding like Julian Bleach's Davros at times.
  • The Starscream: Ends up killing the Time Commander in "Time Lord Victorious" after its deal with the Doctor to escape is exposed. In the aftermath it also contemplates deposing the Emperor and replacing him after all the mistakes its leader made.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Even though it needs the Doctor to help beat the Hond, it can't help but get annoyed by Ten's constant chatter.
      Tenth Doctor: [after dealing with endless Dalek death traps] See? Nice big tricky door! Could have just started things off that way!
      Strategist: Can you refrain from speaking and open it?!
    • Entirely subverted when it teams up with a Mechanoid scientist in the Youtube series. Unlike the extremely tense relationship between the Emperor and Mechanoid Queen, the two work together outstandingly well and manage to drive the Entity back to its own dimension. The Mechanoid even refers to their plan as "beautiful". Double subverted when it uses said trust to get the scientist to expose the Mechanoid base code, then uses it to suck the Mechanoid army into the Entity's dimension.
    • As part of the Time Squad, he's also falling out with the Time Commander after the Emperor gives it secret orders of its own, and regards the Executioner as an idiotic brute. It ends up killing the Time Commander in the end.
  • Token Good Teammate: Subverted; after it inevitably betrays the Tenth Doctor he bemoans that it could have been this for the Daleks, given it trusting him enough to give him access to the Dalek weapons network.
  • You Have Failed Me: On the receiving end, apparently. The Doctor deduces that its ancient casing covered in unfixed battle damage is actually a punishment from the Emperor for some past failure, rather than the pride in its battle scars that it claims.

Factions

    Imperial Daleks 

Imperial Daleks (Sixth and Seventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/imperial_daleks.jpg

After being revived by the Daleks to help against the Movellans, Davros would instead go on to create his own new race of Daleks, originally by using human corpses on Necros, and later by cybernetically modifying Dalek mutants with bionic appendages and upgrades.


  • Always Second Best: While they have the edge in terms of technology, the Renegade Daleks overpower them in both Revelation and Remembrance.
  • Badass Army: Defied: they've got the numbers in Remembrance, but get trounced by the Renegades until they unleash the Special Weapons Dalek.
  • Body Horror: We see the beginnings of one inside a glass Dalek - a horribly mutated human head that alternately begs for death and spouts Dalek propaganda.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Notably averted compared to the regular Daleks. While the novelization makes clear there are distinct command ranks like section leader and shuttle commander below the Emperor, they're all cream and gold onscreen, making it impossible to tell them apart.
  • Cyborg: Unlike the Renegade Daleks, Imperial Dalek mutants have had cybernetic appendages grafted on. As such, they're not nearly as helpless as other Daleks outside their shells, and one nearly throttles the Doctor because of it.
  • Elite Mooks: They're the originators of the famed Special Weapons Dalek.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • They consider the Renegade Daleks to be so different from them due to genetic differences that they're not Daleks any more - and the Renegades think exactly the same of them. End result? War to the death.
    • The novelisation of Remembrance makes clear even the other Imperials fear and hate the Special Weapons Dalek for how the radiation from its monster gun has altered it into something so different from them - "the Abomination" - and that only Davros recognizing how useful it is has kept them from exterminating it.
  • Human Resources: Davros' first prototypes are created from the dead and dying humans of Tranquil Repose. The later ones avert this, confirmed in supplementary materials to be cybernetically modified Dalek mutants.
  • Killed Off for Real: The entire faction (aside from Davros) gets annihilated by the Hand of Omega at the end of Remembrance. Aside from a few cameos from the Special Weapons Dalek in the New Series, they're gone for good.
  • Light Is Not Good: Brightly coloured in cream and gold, they're every bit as bad as their Renegade counterparts.
  • Mythology Gag: According to this source, Davros' Emperor casing was partially modelled after the globular Golden Emperor of the 1960s TV21 Dalek comics.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The regular ones are basically white versions of the Renegades but they also give us a glass Dalek with the mutant fully visible inside, the Special Weapons Dalek and the dome-headed Emperor (actually Davros).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Somehow go from a hunted and despised minority in Revelation to the dominant Dalek faction in Remembrance. Some of the spin-off media has tried to explain it, but officially it's still a grey area.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Doctor suggests that even with their desire for the Hand of Omega, they're cautious enough about damaging the timeline that they won't just obliterate Earth from orbit long before their own invasion of Earth - hence the eventual small-unit battles with the Renegades when their agents on Earth fail.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: One that somehow becomes dominant in between Revelation and Remembrance, hence their grey opponents in the latter being dubbed Renegades. They're basically a newly-created Dalek army conditioned to be totally loyal to Davros, which leads to them facing off with the Supreme Dalek's faction.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Davros bolts in an escape pod once he realises the Hand of Omega is returning, leaving his Imperial subordinates to be wiped out.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Appear in only two televised stories before being wiped out. Even Big Finish, famed for filling in gaps in Doctor Who continuity, has only occasionally used them in their stories. However, The Restoration Empire short story tie-in to Time Lord Victorious had the Imperial Supreme Dalek take over the Imperials in Davros' absence and start the march towards the Time War - meaning that if this story is taken at face value, the bronze Daleks of the new series actually stem from the Imperial faction.
  • You Have Failed Me: They off their agent on Earth (the headmaster of Coal Hill School) the moment he fails in a mission.

    Renegade Daleks 

Renegade Daleks (Sixth and Seventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/renagade_dalek.jpg

The main Daleks of the later classic stories featuring Davros, they're reduced to being renegades against Davros' Imperials in Remembrance as they try to seize the Hand of Omega to destroy their enemies.


  • Badass Army: Noticeably more effective in battle than the Imperial Daleks in Remembrance, and are winning handily against them despite being outnumbered, until the Special Weapons Dalek arrives. The novelization expands on this, explaining that unlike their newly created Imperial opponents, the ones we see are seasoned veterans of the Daleks' campaigns against their many enemies.
    • Subverted in Resurrection, where they attack the prison defenders head-on with no subtlety, and lose several of their number as a result. It falls to human mercenary Lytton to help them break in.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Played straight, then subverted in Revelation; they're the ones who swoop in to take Davros prisoner before he can activate his new army. But then it turns out they plan to recondition said army to serve the Supreme Dalek instead, and it takes Orcini sacrificing himself to get rid of them.
  • The Cameo: Several Renegades show up as patients in Asylum of the Daleks, while one (ironically) is one of Davros' guards in The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar.
  • Creative Sterility: The entire reason they revive Davros in Destiny; they've become so dependent on logic and battle computers that they're completely stalemated by the similarly logical Movellans for hundred of years. Later, they recognise this as a weakness, so in Remembrance they plug a young human girl into their battle computer to provide creative strategies to counter the Imperials.
  • Dark Is Evil: A slate-grey colour (led by a black and silver Supreme Dalek), they're no better than the Imperials, allying with actual Nazis.
  • Failed a Spot Check: They don't recognise the Doctor's Sixth incarnation in Revelation, despite Davros' protests, leading to him being taken prisoner rather than being exterminated outright.
  • Fantastic Racism: Regard the Imperials as so different from them following their cybernetic and genetic enhancements that they're non-Dalek - and the Imperials regard them the same way, leading to full scale Civil War.
  • The Remnant: Resurrection shows the Movellan virus smashed their power base, leaving them as a shadow of their former selves. Solidified in Remembrance, where they've been supplanted by the Imperials as the main faction.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Well, the clue's in the name after all. An odd case in that they used to be the main faction. Eventually subverted; with the Imperials wiped out, the War of the Daleks novel and Big Finish audios have the grey Daleks eventually regain their power and status.
  • Spanner in the Works: To the Doctor's plan to use the Hand of Omega to wipe out Davros' Imperials. He didn't anticipate two Dalek factions fighting over it, and subsequently has to spend most of the story ensuring the wrong one doesn't get it.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Resurrection they really don't want anything to do with Davros, but need his scientific abilities to help cure the Movellan virus. Once he's done that...
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: ...they try and exterminate him immediately, though he anticipates their betrayal. In Remembrance they try and kill their human fascist allies the moment they have the Hand of Omega.

    "Defence Drones" 

Defence Drones (Thirteenth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/images_36_3.jpeg
These familiar-looking security drones were created by an employee of Jack Robertson. They were based on a piece of alien technology "recovered" by Robertson; the remains of a Reconnaissance Scout Dalek's casing.

The drones are equipped with several non-lethal weapons to keep the peace, and are entirely AI-controlled. However, if the drones get hijacked in some way, those non-lethal weapons could become much more deadly...


  • Always a Bigger Fish: They barely get out of the gate before the bronze Time War-style Daleks arrive to put the pretenders in their place.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: They may be derived from a Dalek casing, and the Recon Dalek clone may have augmented their weapons to be lethal, but they're still constructed on Earth using human technology. Unsurprisingly, the Death Squad Daleks wipe the floor with them.
  • Decoy Antagonist: They are quickly superseded by the 2005-onward Time War Daleks in the climax of their own debut episode.
  • Enemy Civil War: A second Dalek Civil War kicks off across the whole of planet Earth when the Dalek Death Squad is summoned by the Doctor, hoping to take advantage of the Death Squad's intolerance for genetic impurity and get them to destroy the human-hybrid Defence Drones.
  • Evil Knockoff: An interesting case in that they were meant to be a "good" knockoff of the Dalek design, intended to maintain order. Then they get hijacked by the Recon Dalek clones and become evil. Though they might have been used to enforce a police state had this not happened.
  • Kill 'Em All: They get thoroughly annihilated by the Dalek Death Squad before they even get a chance to fully conquer Earth.
  • Police Brutality: Their intended usage as riot control support for police mirrors recent political controversies surrounding police brutality in the USA, aided by the fact that their casings are mass produced by a Donald Trump expy. Their abandonment of their non-lethal weapons in favour of their usual death rays to go around exterminating people unprovoked is equally on-the-nose.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Their shells are black and their lights glow red while under Dalek control.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When under AI control, their highlights glow blue. Once hijacked, they turn red and start killing people.
  • Revisiting the Roots: These Daleks' status as faceless enforcers of a police state echo their original author Terry Nation's preferred interpretation of them.
  • Secret Weapon: They're hollow, with non-lethal weapons and controlled by AI. When Dalek creatures are placed inside them, they become as deadly as you'd expect a Dalek to be.

Groups & Secret Societies

    Special Weapons Daleks 

Special Weapons Daleks (Seventh, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

The end all of the Dalek military. Outfitted with the powerful Alternate Energy Cannon, these killing machines are feared even by other Daleks.
  • Ax-Crazy: The novelization of Remembrance makes clear that due to the backwash of radiation from their monster gun driving them insane, they're even more this trope than normal for Daleks.
  • BFG: Their most famous feature.
  • The Cameo: After a memorable debut in Remembrance Of The Daleks the Special Weapons Daleks have made background appearances in Asylum of the Daleks and the Magician's Apprentice/Witch's Familiar two parter. It's actually the centremost Dalek in the page image, albeit facing away from the camera.
  • Canon Immigrant: Inverted. Both the Big Finish audios and the BBC Eighth Doctor books had the grey Daleks adopt the concept, leading to several Special Weapons Dalek appearances there but now fighting for their on-screen enemies.
  • Elite Mook: Though all other Daleks treated them with contempt, the one seen in Remembrance pretty much wins the battle against the Renegades single-handedly.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Even other Daleks are scared of these things. The Remembrance novelisation flatly states the Imperials would have killed it a long time ago for being so different if not for Emperor Davros recognising how useful it is.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Besides the infamous cannon replacing the entire chest section (including the plunger) their heads bear more a resemblance to WWII era combat helmets and, unlike virtually every other Dalek seen, lack any sort of an eyestalk.
    • The non-canon Dalek Survival Guide took the concept even further, with radically different-looking airborne and marine variants.
  • The Quiet One: The only one to have ever spoken was in The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar and even then it only said things you would expect any Dalek to say.
  • Red Baron: The novelisation of Remembrance indicated the Special Weapons Dalek there positively revelled in the nickname of "The Abomination" (bestowed on it by the other Imperials), seeing being the only named Dalek in the entire race as a point of pride.

    The Cult of Skaro 

The Cult of Skaro (Tenth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cultofskaro1_6566.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2006–2008)

"There are millions of humans and only four of us. If we are supreme, why are we not victorious? The Cult of Skaro was created by the Emperor for this very purpose. To imagine new ways of survival!"

An elite group of four Daleks who act as recurring antagonists throughout the Tenth Doctor's tenure. Believing themselves to be the only survivors of the Last Great Time War, the Cult of Skaro imagine new ways of restoring the Dalek race to its rightful place as the supreme beings of the universe.

They are the only Daleks in existence with names. Led by Dalek Sec, the rest of the Cult consists of Dalek Thay, Dalek Jast and Dalek Caan.


Tropes that apply to all four

  • Arc Villain: The main antagonists of the "Cult of Skaro" mini-arc during the Tenth Doctor's run. Initially Sec was the leader, but later on he is betrayed by his fellow Daleks and Caan takes over.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Sec asks his fellow Daleks one in "Daleks in Manhattan" (quoted above): if the Daleks are the supreme beings, why are they so routinely defeated?
  • Badass Army: They completely slaughter the Cybermen in "Doomsday".
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With the Cybus Cybermen in Series 2. The Cybermen are more prominent, but the Cult's Sphere is what allowed them to invade the prime universe in the finale, and they quickly eclipse the Cybermen in threat once they reveal themselves.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Genesis Ark is a Time Lord invention, so naturally it shares the TARDIS's iconic attribute. However, it's full to bursting with millions of Dalek prisoners, and the Cult of Skaro's original mission is to gather enough artron energy to fully activate it and set the prisoners free.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dalek Thay accidentally identifies as a Dalek to the Cybermen, is the only one to get temporarily disabled by a Cybergun and is chastised by Dalek Sec for insisting on the Daleks remaining pure.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Dalek Sec, the leader, is black rather than bronze, but the other three Cult members all look just like regular Daleks.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Their appearance in Canary Wharf catches everyone by surprise, including the Cybermen who had just arrived on Earth for their own separate invasion plan.
  • Dumb Muscle: In their second appearance, the Cult command a small army of disposable human experiment victims called "Pig Slaves" who do most of their dirty work for them.
  • Elite Mooks: They seem to be more durable than normal Daleks, with Thay and Jast absorbing a lot of laser strikes before finally exploding. They are also more intelligent and imaginative than regular Daleks.
  • Emergency Temporal Shift: The Trope Namer! In the event that their plans go awry, they pull a Villain: Exit, Stage Left with a bark of "EMERGENCY TEMPORAL SHIFT!"
  • Eviler Than Thou: In their debut, they upstage the Cybermen as the main threat even before the Genesis Ark opens.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Their debut episode sees them declare war (or by Sec's definition, "pest control") against the Cybermen, though their respective evil plans are completely unrelated.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Both Caan and Thay had abnormally deep voices in their debut episode, though later episodes would give Caan a more typical Dalek vocal range.
  • Exact Words: Caan's prophecies are heavy on this, allowing him to convince Davros that he's prophesying the ultimate victory of the Daleks over the Doctor, while in fact saying nothing of the sort.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sec is the reflective melancholic despite being the leader, as he is the first to be open-minded to humanity; Caan is choleric, as he is the first to rebel and persuade the other two Daleks to follow his lead against Dalek Sec; Thay is sanguine, due to being very vocal about his opinions and prone to mistakes such as identifying first to the Cybermen; and Jast is phlegmatic, as he is reserved and the last to betray Sec.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Cult of Skaro was designed with an imagination so they could find new ways of keeping the Daleks alive. Dalek Sec's priority of survival ends up with him becoming half-human and all but abandoning what makes a Dalek a Dalek.
  • Gossipy Hens: Amusingly, Caan and Thay discretely discuss their shared reservations about Dalek Sec's hybridisation plan while in a sewer. One of them even nervously looks around before agreeing to talk.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Sec becomes half-human upon taking over Mr. Diagoras, and begins to experience emotions other than hatred and fear of the Doctor. Thay and Jast are initially willing to put up with Sec's plan despite their reservations, but eventually their Dalek instincts prove too strong and they rebel.
    • Caan accidentally ended up in the Last Great Time War after he escaped the Doctor, and saw the evils the Daleks had done. Despite going insane, he manipulated events so that the Doctor and his companions could destroy the Daleks once and for all, tricking even Davros. Caan is the first Dalek to turn on his kind completely by his own will and without help from genetic manipulation.
  • Helium Speech: Dalek Jast's only identifying feature is that he has by far the highest pitched voice of the Cult members.
  • Hufflepuff House: Thay and Jast are very important Daleks due to being part of the elite Cult of Skaro, but they are nowhere near as relevant to the story arc as Sec and Caan are. Jast especially lacks any memorable moments or unique visual identifiers besides his voice, as even Thay by contrast at least had the iconic standoff against the Cybermen and was given a crude metal replacement to the rear of his shell to distinguish him in his second appearance.
  • Hypocrite: After two episodes questioning Sec's orders and eventually betraying him, the other three have the nerve to say that Daleks do not question orders after the human Daleks question their orders.
  • The Leader: Sec is the cult's first leader. Then Caan becomes the leader once Sec is deemed unworthy of command.
  • Mad Scientist: As seen in their second storyline, all members of the Cult are partial to a bit of genetic experimentation on human subjects, sentencing less intelligent specimens to become their expendable Pig Slave Mooks and sending the more valuable ones to the lab to be conditioned into Dalek-minded human soldiers.
  • Mind Rape: Electing to skip formalities, they extract brain waves about the Cybermen situation from an unfortunate Torchwood lab technician by painfully suffocating his skull with their sucker appendages, leaving him a dried husk by the end.
  • No Name Given: Averted. They're the only Daleks to have given names, not counting any Daleks given nicknames by the Doctor.
  • Scarred Equipment: Thay sacrificed several slats of his Dalekanium armour for the construction of the gamma ray lightning rod atop the Empire State Building, forcing him to have a crude metal replacement fitted.
  • Sinister Geometry: Their transportation, the Void Ship, is a featureless bronze sphere that allows them to travel through the chaos of the Void. However, it gives off no mass, no radiation, no volume. It's just... absent. Everyone in Torchwood is disturbed its existence, and the fact that the technology used to create it is so impossibly advanced serves as the first clue that it cannot be the Cybermen's.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Cult prove to be one for the invading Cyber Army in Doomsday.
  • The Starscream: Caan, Thay and Jast overthrow Dalek Sec after he becomes a Dalek/Human hybrid and rejects the Daleks' beliefs in favour of peace. It's rather ironic that Caan himself would later experience a similar change of heart regarding the Daleks.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: "EMERGENCY TEMPORAL SHIFT!"
  • We Can Rule Together: Defied, as Thay roundly dismisses the Cybermen's alliance offer.

Dalek Sec

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sec_9.png
Click here to see him as a Human-Dalek hybrid 

  • Badass Boast: Sec dishes out this whopper.
    Cyber-Leader: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen.
    Sec: This is not war. This is pest control!
    Cyber-Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
    Sec:
    Four.
    Cyber-Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with
    one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect.
    Cyber-Leader: What is that?
    Sec: You are
    better at dying!
  • Badass Pacifist: As the Dalek-Human hybrid, Sec is convinced by the Doctor to take the other Dalek-minded human experiments and leave Earth peacefully to colonise other worlds. Sec himself seems to renounce violence completely by the end of the story, earning the Doctor's full admiration.
  • Body Horror: Sec's half-human form is less than pleasant to look at, essentially being a disfigured Dalek mutant head with a mouth and shortened tentacles placed onto a humanoid body. The process to create the human hybrid form is equally nauseating, as it involves Sec enveloping Mr. Diagoras's entire body in a large fleshy sac and sealing him within his casing to do god knows what.
  • Character Development: Since his debut episode, Sec demonstrated distinctly non-Dalek emotions such as pride, rage and even humour, likely thanks to his augmented capacity for individual thinking. However, he was still just as evil as any Dalek. By his return in "Daleks in Manhattan", he is solemnly contemplative of the Daleks' Villain Decay and correctly concludes that their obsession with genetic purity has caused them to stagnate. The Doctor's comment about the Daleks being unable to touch or interact with the outside world also seems to have gotten under Sec's skin as he expresses desire to be the first Dalek in millennia to leave his shell. This leads him to absorb a human and learn emotion, which culminates in him becoming goodhearted enough to ally with the Doctor and even sacrifice himself for him.
  • The Chessmaster: Not to the extent of Caan, but Sec is a brilliant battle tactician able to route the Cybermen. He also orchestrates evolving the Daleks by manipulating the construction of the Empire State Building to ensure they had a steady workforce and supply of bodies.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: As stated above, Sec's shell is given an all-black finish to distinguish him as the Cult's leader. Even his true mutant form is a unique shade of green compared to the usually blue or flesh-pink complexions of other Daleks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As demonstrated above under Badass Boast, Sec is perhaps the first Dalek to display a pronounced but very dry sense of humour. He even has a capacity for self-deprecation, as he laments how the Daleks' irrational obsession with claiming racial supremacy never seems to make them victorious.
  • Evil Genius: He is the first Dalek to see the flaws in the old Dalek beliefs of racial purity, and concluded they needed to evolve to survive. While he didn't win, he ultimately was proven right
  • Frontline General: Sec prefers a more hands-on (or suckers-on) approach than the Emperor or the cowardly Supreme Dalek from "Remembrance of the Daleks".
  • Genius Bruiser: Dalek Sec is deemed the cleverest Dalek to have ever lived by the Doctor, mainly because he had the common sense to realise the Daleks' pointless existence and successfully improved himself. Even before his hybridisation plan, he was an extremely cunning strategist and deadly enough to dominate the Cybermen in battle.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Sec becomes one after merging with Mr. Diagoras. The result is a Dalek mutant fused onto Mr. Diagoras' body.
  • Heel Realization: After absorbing Diagoras, Sec comes to understand that the Daleks' past actions were wrong and that their entire mission for ethnic purity is fundamentally flawed.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: He initially sees potential in humanity's warlike nature
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Dalek Sec's merger with Mr. Diagoras ends up backfiring as he gains emotions like compassion and appreciation for the human race, coming to doubt the Daleks' nature. The other Daleks don't appreciate this and turn on him.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sec's ability to absorb Mr. Diagoras does kind of come out of nowhere and is never explained - though it is implied to be related to the genetics lab they've got, which in turn explains the pig-slaves.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He performs a full Heel–Face Turn and allies with the Doctor, proving it by performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Doctor's life.
  • Taking the Bullet: The hybridised Sec shields the Doctor from Dalek Thay's death ray after futilely begging for his kin to listen to reason.
  • Tranquil Fury: Sec is quietly furious when Rose boasts about having killed the Emperor but quickly explodes into rage when she has the gall to laugh about it.
  • What Is This Feeling?: He initially struggles to process his newfound human emotions, honing in on humanity's capacities for ambition, hatred and war. However, he quickly begins to see the light.
  • Wham Line: When Dalek Sec has the Doctor brought before him instead of having him exterminated, the Doctor begins shouting at him for the deaths he and the others just caused, only for Sec to respond with "The deaths were wrong!"

Dalek Caan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dalek_caan_in_shell.jpg
Click here to see his damaged form 

  • The Chessmaster: Dalek Caan is definitely worthy of this title as of "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End", having orchestrated events to bring about the Daleks' destruction, though he claims to have "only helped" and that what happened was destined to happen anyway.
  • Character Development: Caan gets this in spades. When the Cult are introduced in "Doomsday", the other three members are constantly voicing their opinion, while Caan speaks once during the entire story. By "Evolution of the Daleks", Caan is the one who leads the revolution against Sec. Then, after exposure to the Time Vortex and the Time War (which he flew into "unprotected"), which showed him the Daleks' entire history, he engineers the destruction of the entire Dalek race in "Journey's End".
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Played with. Dalek Caan's attempt to get Davros out of the Time War caused him to see all of time and go mad (though exactly how much of it was real and how much was Obfuscating Insanity is unclear), but it also kickstarted a Heel Realization for him to realize the true evil of the Daleks. The wonderful loon goes on to plan an elaborate scheme to bring the entire Dalek species back from the dead just so he can exterminate them again.
  • Heel Realization: After witnessing the Daleks' many atrocities throughout all of time, Dalek Caan (quite like Dalek Sec before him and Rusty after him) realized the evil truth of the Dalek race, spurring him on to bring about their destruction.
  • Kill 'Em All: After the Dalek-minded human experiments turn on Thay and Jast, Caan sends out a high-pitched signal that painfully wipes them all out.
  • Laughing Mad: Caan is the first Dalek to giggle.
  • Mad Oracle: As a result of breaking the time-lock and seeing all of time and space, Caan goes a little loopy.
  • No Respect Guy: Gratitude is not a Dalek concept. The Supreme Dalek just regards Caan as an insane abomination, and has to be told to listen to him by Davros.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Caan is much more lucid and on the ball than he pretends to be, and as soon as his deception is revealed, he drops the giggling and gibberish, becoming much clearer and more concise.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After playing his role in Davros's failure, Caan makes no effort to save himself as the Crucible is destroyed, presumably dying in the explosion.
  • Sanity Slippage: An interesting case. Caan evidently became unbalanced after breaching the time-lock and seeing all of time, but at the same time, his attitude towards the Daleks and their murderous ways became far more sane.
  • Sole Survivor: Dalek Caan is the only surviving member of the Cult after the events of "Evolution of the Daleks". By extension, he's the last pure-blooded Dalek in the universe until the New Paradigm come along, as Davros's New Dalek Empire were considered impure.
  • Talkative Loon: Caan, post his excursion into the Time War. As "Journey's End" shows, however, at least some of it is an act, one he drops as soon as his deception is revealed.
  • Villain Respect: Caan shows a strange amount of admiration towards the businessman Mr. Diagoras, deeming his ruthlessness and ambition to be respectable Dalek traits. He later decides to "honour" him by selecting him to be absorbed by Dalek Sec.

    The Eternity Circle 

The Eternity Circle (War Doctor)

Another group of five elite Dalek thinkers. But unlike the Cult of Skaro who were tasked with ensuring the Daleks survived the Time War, the Eternity Circle was tasked with creating new weapons and tactics to help the Daleks win the Time War.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Or rather Big Bad Pentavirate, of the Engines Of War novel.
  • Chromatic Superiority: An ambiguous case, the five of them are described as having blue and silver casing but at one point in Engines Of War one of them in described as being blue and gold. Weather this is an error or meant to indicate that that Dalek was the leader is unclear.
  • The Dragon: The five on them are collectively this to the Emperor.
  • Monster Progenitor: they created both the Skaro Degradations and the Temporal Weapons Daleks.

    The Skaro Degradations 

The Skaro Degradations (War Doctor)

One of the many horrors of the Time War. The Skaro Degradations were the result of the Eternity Circle experimenting with alternate timelines and the Daleks own evolution, resulting dangerously insane creatures that would easily fit in amongst the inmates of the Dalek Asylum. These Daleks were often identified by their casings being different from the traditional Mark III Travel Machine; the two currently known variants being the Spider Daleks and the Glider Daleks.
  • Body Horror: The Gliders, the mutants stuffed into these are described as resembling limbless human torsos. Made more notable because these mutants are on display in a glass casing, like the Emperor and Prime Minister. It's possible that this extends to other the variants and we just don't see them because their casing is opaque.
  • More Dakka: The Spiders have four gun sticks and no manipulator arms.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The Gliders have gun sticks and manipulator arms coming from all sides.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first Horror of the Time War to avert this, owing the comparatively mundane premise of being Daleks from parallel universes.

    Temporal Weapons Daleks 
The Magnum Opus of the Eternity Circle. Armed with the fearsome Temporal Cannons, Daleks could not only exterminate, but erase their victims from time itself.
  • BFG: Much like the Special Weapons Daleks' famous cannon.
  • Immune to Bullets: they can even take multiple shots from a Dalek gun stick, something which usually one shots even a Dalek.
  • Ret-Gone: What happens to anyone unlucky enough to be hit by their weapons.

    "Ironsides" 

"Ironsides" (Eleventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/23_dalek_front.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2010)
A trio of Daleks who were the only ones to survive disintegration in the Medusa cascade. Arriving on Earth during World War II, they disguise themselves as advanced military robots, giving themselves a military colour paint job and ornamenting themselves with the Union Jack. Their true purpose was to remain undercover waiting for the Doctor to arrive.
  • The Bad Guys Win: Among the only Daleks to actually fully complete their mission, which is to trick the Doctor into helping them activate the Progenitor and restore a New Dalek Paradigm. They even ensure the Paradigm's escape by activating the bomb inside Bracewell.
  • The Chessmaster: Among the most cunning Daleks to be shown in the series, alongside Daleks Sec and Caan. They disguise themselves as instruments of war serving the British army using an android named Edwin Bracewell who believed himself to be their human creator. They await for the eventual arrival of the Doctor, who immediately recognises them as Daleks, furious over their docile and complacent attitude and names them for what they are. However, this is exactly what they wanted. The Daleks needed to activate a progenitor containing pure Dalek DNA, but due to being impure themselves the device would not recognise them. It did however recognise the Doctor as the Dalek's enemy, so his word or his "testimony" as they called it, was enough for the Progenitor to accept they were Daleks and activate it. To top it all off, they also made Bracewell a bomb, so the New Dalek Paradigm had an easy escape.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Bet you never expected to see a Dalek offering tea to a human?
    How may I be of service?
  • Irony: The Doctor is thoroughly amused that these Daleks were rejected by the Progenitor for being impure, a huge irony for a species obsessed with racial purity.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Are able to perfectly fool the British empire into thinking they are subservient robots, even keeping up the act when the Doctor shows up, all the way until they get what they want from him.
  • The Mole: Especially crafty for Daleks, they disguise themselves as robotic instruments of war serving the British army during WWII, very convincingly being Faux Affably Evil, as they await the Doctor's arrival.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Once their task of recreating a New Dalek Paradigm is complete, they gleefully line up to be exterminated by their creations.
  • Sole Survivor: The only Daleks to be spared the fate of the New Dalek Empire being disintegrated in the Medusa Cascade.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Averted. Edwin Bracewell thought he created the Ironsides and was devastated when they turned on him. But turns out, he was an android and was their creation.
    No. We created you.

    New Paradigm Daleks 

New Paradigm Daleks (Eleventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/newparadigmdaleks.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2010–2012)

A group created from pure Dalek DNA carried inside a Progenitor device. They were activated accidentally by the Doctor when he revealed his identity to the three Daleks that were pretending to work for Winston Churchill.


  • Aborted Arc:
    • Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss always intended to reveal the Eternal's role in a later episode, but the poor initial reception for the New Paradigm meant it disappeared after their initial season. The "Astounding Untold History" tie-in book eventually posited it was a time-sensitive Dalek akin to the Time Controller or Time Strategist.
    • The idea of them as officers to the RTD-era Daleks also disappeared after Asylum, with later Dalek stories re-focusing on the bronze Daleks.
  • Aliens Never Invented Democracy: Seemingly averted, as the new government they create is led by a Prime Minister and Parliament, rather than an Emperor. The "Astounding Untold History" tie-in book indicates the original five Paradigm Daleks formed a Supreme Council to lead the new Empire, and it was their numerous defeats that led to the Parliament/Prime Minister taking over.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Trading sterile bronze in for candy coating has not made them any nicer.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The New Paradigm Daleks have a rainbow of casing colours. It's never mentioned in their episodes, but the white is Supreme, red is Drone, blue is Strategist, orange is Scientist and yellow is Eternal.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the fifth series, they were introduced with the intention that they would become major presences, replacing the RTD-era Time War Daleks. However, due to their unpopularity, by the time of the next major Dalek story, Series 7's "Asylum of the Daleks", they were relegated to minor roles, and vanished completely by "The Magician's Apprentice".
  • Evil Is Bigger: Noticeably larger than the bronze Time War Daleks they were intended to replace.
  • Fantastic Racism: Even more so than regular Daleks: they exterminate the last of the Davros-derived Daleks for being genetically impure, despite their basically being identical outwith the casings.
  • Large and in Charge: After they were initially poorly received, Moffatt re-envisioned them as the officer class to the bronze Time War Daleks, being considerably taller and bulker.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: They are larger than regular sized Daleks and they're coloured brightly, leading to a number of uncomplimentary nicknames ("Power Ranger Daleks" was one of the more printable ones).
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The extremely negative reaction to their designs meant that after appearing prominently in their debut season they had a comparatively minor role in Asylum of the Daleks, and were tellingly absent from The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar, which featured nearly every other type of Dalek from the show's history. Short of something major changing behind the scenes, they're gone for good.
    • The "Astounding Untold History" tie-in book tried to explain their absence by having them deliberately Demoted to Extra in the aftermath of numerous defeats by the Eleventh Doctor, with the Prime Minister and Parliament usurping their power. They regain their leadership in the wake of the Daleks losing their memories of the Doctor at the Asylum - just in time to get wiped out offscreen during the final battle at Trenzalore.

    The Volatix Cabal 

The Volatix Cabal (War and Eleventh Doctors)

An insane caste of Daleks created during the Time War to be capable of creativity and imagination, with horrible side-effects.


  • Arc Villain: They are the threat behind the Eleventh Doctor: Year Two arc of the Doctor Who (Titan) comics.
  • Body Horror: Some of them use parts of animals and sentient beings to decorate their casings, and the shapeshifting ones become horrific hybrids of Dalek and whatever they were imitating when they drop the mask.
  • Catchphrase: EXTERMINHATE!
  • Expy: Think the Cult of Skaro, then imagine that they're all completely insane, even by Dalek standards.
  • Mad Doctor: They are, primarily, a whole culture of them.
  • Manchurian Agent: Some of them are capable of shape-shifting into other species, and completely suppressing the knowledge of their true nature and allegiance until they get an opportunity to act.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: To Body Horror levels of nastiness.
  • No Place for Me There: They initially intended to kill themselves at the Dalek victory, as they were not worthy of survival beyond that point. When they discovered that there would be no Dalek victory, they made other plans.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: When they discover that the Daleks aren't going to win the Time War, they decide that they no longer have any loyalties to them.
  • Sadist: Take the usual Dalek hatred and contempt for all other sentient life, and then add imagination and a sense of aesthetics.
  • Talkative Loon: They all have tendencies of this to a greater or lesser extent.
  • Word-Salad Horror: Some of them have horribly jumbled dialogue, that is even more horrific thanks to the work required to get it.

    Death Squad Daleks 

Death Squad Daleks (Thirteenth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/images_25_30.jpeg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2021)
An elite group of Daleks known for being even more intensely fanatical than normal Daleks about racial superiority and purity. The Doctor anonymously calls them in to take care of the Defence Drone clone Daleks, but things end up getting out of hand.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Even by Dalek standards they're completely and utterly dedicated to preserving the racial purity of the Dalek race - to the point a few traces of human DNA in the Recon Dalek-derived clone army is enough for them to massacre every last one of them. The Doctor even says they take this so seriously they'll prioritise killing the mutants over exterminating humans.
  • Berserk Button: Any "impurities" in a Dalek's DNA (such as the miniscule traces of human DNA Leo introduces) will have them killing said Dalek in moments for the crime of existing. Beyond that, they don't take being labelled the Doctor's pets very well.
  • Elite Mooks: They outwardly look no different to the normal Bronze Daleks, but the Doctor identifies them as the Dalek equivalent of the SAS, and they're shown to be even deadlier and more dedicated to Dalek racial purity than normal.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The Doctor anonymously calls them to Earth, thinking she can use them to wipe out the Recon Dalek's clone army and that they'll just leave afterwards. They do the former in record time, but her plan backfires massively when, on Robertson's suggestion, they decide to take over Earth themselves once they find out she's involved.
  • Evil vs. Evil: They go head to head with the Recon Dalek's army of mutant Dalek clones, who were in the process of wiping out humanity, and completely slaughter them.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Their leader has the traditional extremely deep tones of New Series Dalek higher-ups.
  • Kerb-Stomp Battle: They wipe out the Defence Drone clones within minutes of their arrival.
  • Noodle Incident: The Doctor seems to have some unspecified history with them, saying "we've got previous, we're not best mates".
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Faced with an army of Recon Dalek clones, the Doctor anonymously calls the Death Squad to Earth to take them out. However, as detailed in the Evil Is Not a Toy entry, things really don't go how she had hoped.

Individual Daleks

    The Nightmare Child 

The Nightmare Child (Eighth and War Doctors)

One of the many horrors of the Last Great Time War, as well as one of the first. Created by the Daleks in the first year of the Time War, the Nightmare Child was an all consuming monster that even they couldn't control. First Mentioned in The Stolen Earth where it was said to have eaten Davros' ship at the Gates of Elysium.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Let's review is some sort of Dalek or Kaled Mutant, that's big enough to swallow a Dalek Saucer whole, Davros tried to kill it by getting it to fall through the Gates of Elysium (which is described as an antimatter cascade), but that only managed to stop it temporarily. And that's only as a newborn, by the end of the Time War it's so powerful that the Time Lords had to shoot it with bullets the size of the Earth just to harm it.
  • Expy: The Nightmare Child is basically Doomsday in Dalek form.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Davros tried to create the perfect Dalek, and he succeeded.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In early scripts it was called "The Dalek Emperor's Nightmare Child" suggesting that the Dalek Emperor conceived of the monster, but in the short story The Third Wise Man it said Davros created it in an attempt to breed the perfect Dalek.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Like most of the other Horrors of the Time War, it's never described in great detail. The only thing we know about it for certain is that it has "jaws".
  • Ultimate Life Form: Davros described it as "the perfect Dalek".

    Metaltron 

Metaltron (War and Ninth Doctors)

Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/metaltron.jpg

The first Dalek to appear in the Revival series. A lone survivor of the Great Time War, it was captured and stored in an underground museum facility by the megalomaniac billionaire Henry Van Statten, who referred to the creature as "Metaltron" because it refused to identify itself until the Doctor arrived. Its existence shocked the Ninth Doctor as he believed the Dalek race to have been rendered extinct by his own hand.


  • All There in the Manual: According to the novelization, Metaltron fought at the Fall of Arcadia and encountered the War Doctor.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Alone, this Dalek has one of the highest body-counts in the whole series, rivalling entire empires of Daleks later introduced.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Lacking a command structure, the Dalek, directionless and purposeless, nevertheless continues to follow the primary Dalek instruction to destroy and conquer all non-Dalek life. It even begs the Doctor and Rose to give it orders.
  • The Determinator: This thing has been trapped and tortured in Van Statten's Cage since the 1960s but it absolutely refused to speak a word to its captors until a certain recognisable Time Lord arrived decades later in 2012.
  • The Dreaded: The Doctor is utterly terrified of it, knowing better than anyone the full destructive potential even a single Dalek can cause.
  • Driven to Suicide: You'd expect that it gaining human emotions would be a good thing, but to a Dalek, it's a Fate Worse than Death. Unable to bear the prospect of being tainted by humanity, it kills itself out of sheer self-loathing.
  • Existential Horror: As the Doctor puts it, "you're just a soldier without commands" and as the Sole Survivor it no longer has a sense of purpose.
  • Fantastic Racism: While true of all Daleks, it's more profoundly interrogated in the case of this specimen. The Doctor summarises that if it escapes the facility, it will murder the entire population of the nearest city, because "it honestly believes they should die". There's nothing else it needs and there's no way of bargaining with it. If it's not Dalek, it's dead — the ultimate in racial cleansing.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Defied, one of the security guards, De Maggio, admits that imprisoning the Dalek may have been wrong and the Dalek is right to be angry for that reason. However, she declares that the Dalek had still killed people during its escape and has to surrender and face justice. The Metaltron instead replies with "Elevate" and slowly goes up the stairs to exterminate her. The fact that the Metaltron had chosen to say "Elevate" and wait until they were face to face to execute her shows the Dalek has no need for an excuse, it kills for the sake of killing.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: It can self-destruct but not willingly. It requires a clear order to do so, which Rose Tyler reluctantly gives.
  • I Die Free: It chose its own death rather than experience human emotions which it viewed as a sickness. Before dying, it willingly opens its own casing to expose the mutant within.
  • Last of His Kind: What itself and the Doctor believed, leading the Doctor to be determined to destroy it and purge the Daleks once and for all. Though the Daleks managed to return again and again, either through more survivors or via repopulating their species.
  • One-Man Army: The Dalek plows through Van Statten's facility with consummate ease, killing every security officer and technician in its path without sustaining any damage whatsoever.
  • Meaningful Name: Van Statten's tacky nickname for it seems to be derived from the Judeo-Islamic angel named Metatron, appropriate since it fell from the sky like an angel.
  • Redemption Rejection: After absorbing Rose's human DNA, it began experiencing human emotions such as sympathy. But it viewed this as a sickness, and chose its own death rather than continue living with this.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Uniquely, this Dalek demonstrates that those weird "Dalek bumps" do actually serve a purpose. When self-destructing, the bumps fly off the Dalek's casing skirt and surround it with a shield which implodes, destroying the Dalek without a trace.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Asks Rose to order it to self destruct, before it does just that.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: It gets a pretty solid one in against the Ninth Doctor by pointing out that his genocidal hatred would make him an exemplary Dalek.
  • Sole Survivor: It was believed at that point in time that this was the last of the Daleks to survive the Great Time War.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Rose actually felt sympathy for this Dalek whereas the Doctor could not view it with anything but burning hatred. Considering the profoundly pitiable state it ends up in, it's hard not to see why.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the story itself, this Dalek goes from critically damaged to the point of being unable to fire its gun to regaining prime physical condition after absorbing the entire local power grid and becoming an unstoppable killing machine. From a meta perspective, this Dalek was designed to be seen as a truly formidable threat after the Classic era saw the Daleks experience serious Villain Decay. On top of carrying its debut episode alone without any appearance from Davros, the Metaltron subverts all of the characteristic Dalek weaknesses — it is protected by an invincible forcefield which melts enemy bullets before they even hit the shell, it can twist its mid-section 180 degrees to fire from all angles, and it can fly, allowing it to finally overcome staircases.note  It can even weaponise its sucker appendage to crush a person's skull, as well as use it to operate technology at superhuman speed.
  • Villain Protagonist: This Dalek was playable in a Flash-based browser game on the BBC website made to tie-in to the episode. In the game's version of events, it successfully kills everyone in the facility, including the Doctor himself.
  • Villain Respect: After hearing the Doctor's outburst of pure hatred against it, it responds with:
    "You would make a good Dalek."
  • What Is This Feeling?: After Rose touched its outer casing, it absorbed her human DNA and began to feel human emotions. It viewed these emotions as a sickness and it chose its own death instead. However, before dying, it shows some comfort at being able to feel for the first time and quite enjoys basking in the sun.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Spending years being tortured deep underground, learning that it is the Last of His Kind, and realizing that it has become tainted by human emotion after absorbing Rose's DNA to regenerate itself before finally being Driven to Suicide, asking only to feel the warmth of the sun as its final wish... it's portrayed as surprisingly sympathetic, despite killing hundreds of people and wishing for the annihilation of all life on Earth.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: It cunningly lures Rose into a false sense of security by playing up its tragic status as the last of its kind, all a ploy to get her to touch its shell and transfer enough artron energy to free itself from its shackles. This backfires immensely, however, as it also absorbs Rose's DNA and steadily begins feeling human emotions, which eventually drives it to suicide.

    "Quasimodo Dalek" 

"Quasimodo Dalek" (Eleventh Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/quasimodo_dalek.jpg

A Dalek rebuilt by humans with a poor grasp of its natural appearance in "The Dalek Project". Named so because of his weirdly assembled body, with eyestalks for hands, a gunstick where the eyestalk should be, bumps where its slats and ear lights should be, and slats where its bumps should be.


  • Meaningful Name: Given its nickname by the Eleventh Doctor for looking abnormal, after the titular Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Not only is Quasimodo Dalek built all wrong by unwitting humans, it's no surprise that the thing is just as dangerous as any other conventional Dalek when it activates.

    Rusty 

Rusty (Twelfth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dalek_inside_rusty_1.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2014; 2017)

"I am not a good Dalek."

A stranded Dalek discovered by the crew of the Aristotle, damaged and with an inexplicable desire to see the destruction of his own race.


    Reconnaissance Dalek 

Reconnaissance Dalek (Thirteenth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dv67_j5xqaai7g2.jpg
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs

One of the first Daleks to leave Skaro. Sealed away on Earth in the 9th century, before an archaeological team rouses it from its slumber.


  • Achilles' Heel: Its lack of a force field proves to be its downfall twice over.
  • Back from the Dead: Revolution of the Daleks had a scientist working for Jack Robertson make a clone of it from leftover genetic material found in its wrecked casing. The Doctor later establishes that a Dalek's consciousness can survive in even a small amount of genetic material, establishing it's the same creature in both episodes.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: It spends the entirety of Resolution trying to find a way to contact the Dalek fleet so it can come to Earth. In Revolution of the Daleks, the Doctor brings a ship from said fleet to earth - and seeing as it's now got human DNA in its makeup, they immediately exterminate it and its clones.
  • Blood Knight: Shows a nasty glee over the prospect of killing the traffic cops. In Revolution it sneeringly agrees with the Doctor that it doesn't have to kill Leo, its current human puppet - but it's going to anyway out of spite.
  • Clone Army: Once it's back in business in Revolution, it creates an army of clones of itself to control the Dalek-based mechanical drones being rolled out by Robertson.
  • Creepy Monotone: The people it is currently controlling demonstrate this.
  • Deconstructed Trope: It may be a Super Prototype with numerous nasty advantages over the Time War-era Daleks, but as it's still a prototype, it also doesn't have the advantages the modern Dalek models have (such as shielding tech), which ultimately proves to be a fatal weakness. Really driven home in Revolution of the Daleks, where an army of drones derived from its Resolution casing and piloted by clones of itself meet a force of bronze Daleks - and get utterly slaughtered.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: For Revolution of the Daleks. Its Evil Plan is in full swing and its clone army is exterminating everything within reach. Then the bronze Death Squad Daleks show up and massacre its clones for being impure, eventually gunning it down after refusing to let it remodify its genetic code to be pure Dalek once more.
  • Evil Laugh: The first Dalek ever to engage in this trope on the TV show (though, it must be noted, not the first Dalek to laugh period, as Dalek Caan was often seen Laughing Mad).
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Unlike most Daleks out of their shell, who tend to sound pretty nasal, its voice is much deeper, even more so than the Supreme Daleks.
  • Foil: To the Thirteenth Doctor. Both spend their first episodes after awakening on Earth trying to make contact with a powerful ally (Thirteen was searching for her TARDIS, the Recon Dalek is trying to alert the Dalek fleet). Both are also lacking most of their usual equipment, and they're forced to make do with the Earth technology lying around to improvise their tools so as to accomplish their mission.
  • From a Single Cell: How it comes back from being thrown into a supernova. Leo clones it from a few tiny scraps of DNA in its wrecked casing, and as its consciousness could survive in that little genetic material, it's soon back in action. Unfortunately, Leo mixes in a little human DNA, with fatal results once the Death Squad Daleks turn up.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Leo clones it from genetic material found in its destroyed casing from its first story - but adds human DNA as well. When the bronze Death Squad Daleks encounter it and its clones, this minor detail is enough to inspire an Enemy Civil War - with the "impure" Recon-derived Daleks being wiped out.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: How the Doctor eventually kills it, though it's actually thrown into a supernova and not just an ordinary star.
  • Improvised Armour: Through Lin (the woman it controls as a puppet), it builds itself a fully-functional casing out of local Earth materials and the remains of its original casing. However, due to this, it is much more scavenged-looking and cobbled-together than normal Dalek armour, leading the Doctor to dub it "junkyard chic".
  • Kerb-Stomp Battle: After assembling a "junkyard chic" ramshackle casing, it faces off against several dozen British soldiers and a tank. It's not even remotely a fair fight as the Dalek casually slaughters the lot of them.
  • Kerb Stomp Cushion: Suffered one in its backstory. While it managed to inflict horrific losses before its eventual defeat, three resourceful armies during the 9th century were able to work together to roast it out of its casing before splitting it into three parts and keeping them hidden away from the world for over a millennium.
  • Kick the Dog: It murders two innocent traffic patrol cops for no real reason along with countless innocent civilians, and treats its puppet Liz like garbage while "possessing" her. It also tried to drag Ryan's dad Aaron with it into the supernova, which was only stopped by Ryan forgiving his father for his past behaviour and that being enough for Aaron to shake the Dalek's influence off.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Thirteenth Doctor eventually forces it into the core of a star undergoing supernova. Subverted in Revolution of the Daleks when it turns out its consciousness survived in a human-derived clone that manufactures a new Dalek army. Played straight later in the episode; after killing its clone army on the streets of London, the Death Squad Daleks deem it genetically impure and exterminate it despite its protests.
  • Knight of Cerebus: "Resolution" becomes almost completely serious whenever it's on screen, and very few comedic moments are to be had when it shares the screen with the Doctor.
  • Kill It with Fire: Is defeated in this fashion three times over.
    • First, it's revealed that the medieval armies were able to defeat it the first time by immobilizing it and setting a bonfire around it to roast it inside its casing, severely harming the mutant inside.
    • Next, the Doctor and Team TARDIS manage to somewhat replicate this to destroy the creature's second casing via repurposed microwave parts, although this time the mutant escapes.
    • Finally, the Doctor then straight-up dumps the Dalek into a supernova to finally get rid of it.
  • Lean and Mean: Its "junkyard chic" casing is quite a bit skinnier than the standard Dalek design. So are the drones based on it.
  • No-Sell: Once it has reconstituted a metal shell for itself, it has no trouble shrugging off small arms fire from dozens of soldiers and promptly exterminating the lot of them all. It's not actually revealed whether or not the tank's fire would have been effective, as the Dalek pulls a Shoot the Bullet and destroys the tank and its crew with a single missile.
  • Oh, Crap!: It backs away from the Doctor out of fear after scanning her and detecting two hearts, and then tries to almost immediately kill her after she properly introduces herself.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: It is capable of controlling people in this fashion.
  • Sealed Evil in a Six Pack: After it was defeated in the ninth century, it was extricated from its casing and cut into three pieces that were spread far and wide. It stayed that way until the third piece was recovered by archaeologists and unwittingly exposed to UV light, which re-energized it.
  • Shout-Out: It acting as a Puppeteer Parasite over Lin makes it resemble the harnesses used by the Skitters and Overlords from Falling Skies.
  • Super Prototype: It was one of the first Daleks to be sent out from Skaro for conquest. It's twice the size of a regular Dalek, dangerously resourceful and comes with mind control. However, it's deconstructed in that it's also shown to lack the advantages that later modern Dalek models have, most notably shielding technology.
  • Taking You with Me: Tried to do this with Aaron, but Ryan manages to save his father in time.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The Doctor jettisons the Dalek into the core of a star that's going supernova in order to destroy it.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Although it still recognizes the Doctor as an enemy when she introduces herself, it doesn't regard her as seriously as Daleks usually do, to its detriment. Justified, since it's been split apart and buried for 1200 years.
  • Villains Want Mercy: It really tries in Revolution of the Daleks, first invoking all it went through in the name of the Daleks (including dying in Resolution), before pleading that it could be pure Dalek once more if it could modify its DNA. The Death Squad Daleks disagree, and exterminate it.

Minions

    Robomen 

Robomen (First Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robomen.png
When the Daleks first conquered Earth in the 22nd century, they used the Robomen as enforcers to make up for their own small numbers.

    Varga Plants 

Varga Plants (First Doctor)note 

An artificial life form created by the Daleks in their labs on Skaro, Varga plants were half-plant half-animal creatures used as guard dogs by the Daleks. The most dangerous aspect of the Vargas are their thorns, which contain a venom that can turn their victims into more Varga.
  • Body Horror: The transformation of a human into a Varga is quite disturbing, the animated reconstruction adds this to the full Varga Plant by making it look more human-shaped.
  • Planimal: Marc Cory described them as being part plant, part animal.
  • Viral Transformation: If you get stuck by the Varga's thorn you become a Varga yourself.

    Floor 500 of Satellite Five 

The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe (Ninth Doctor)

A large alien gastropod placed in control of all of Earth's news media in order to keep the human race docile and stunt the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire while the Daleks planned their return.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Editor is allowed to simply call him "Max".
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Well not deathly, but he needs to be kept in a cold environment to survive due to his metabolic rate.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Editor is the most visible antagonist of "The Long Game", but the Jagrafess is his boss. The Jagrafess himself is victim to this trope as well, as his boss turns out to be none other than the Dalek Emperor.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The only non-gelatinous part of his body are his teeth.
  • Old Media Are Evil: He's an unflattering representation of corrupt television news media, a gelatinous monster who purposefully feeds false information to the populace to keep them docile and isolated.
  • Overly Long Name: What all the parts of his name mean exactly is a mystery for the ages. Simon Pegg understandably found it impossible to pronounce on set, much to writer Russell T Davies' confusion (as he named it, he can pronounce it flawlessly on command).
  • Propaganda Machine: He runs one.
  • Starfish Aliens: Looks like a giant, fleshy blob with a huge teeth-filled mouth and multiple eyes.
  • The Unintelligible: He can apparently speak some discernible alien language according to the Editor, but it just sounds like animalistic roars and grunts.

The Editor (Ninth Doctor)

Played by: Simon Pegg (2005)
The Jagrafess's sardonic human lackey.
  • Exposed to the Elements: He seems perfectly content living in Floor 500's frigid conditions alongside his pal "Max" in nothing but an all-black business suit.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He comes off as quite jovial, but he's a willing accomplice to a mass media brainwashing conspiracy and issues "promotions" to unwitting civilians to come up to Floor 500, only to freeze them to death and reanimate their corpses to operate machinery.
  • The Quisling: He's a willing servant of the Jagrafess's mass media machine, and whether he knows it or not, he also works for the Daleks.

The Controller (Ninth Doctor)

Played by: Martha Cope (2005)
100 years after the Doctor defeated the Jagrafess's conspiracy, Earth was thrown into disarray by the sudden dissolution of the news media industry, causing the Daleks to arrange for the conversion of Satellite Five into the Game Station, a hub of deadly game shows and mindless entertainment in another effort to keep humanity docile. The circus is operated by a brainwashed human woman linked into the satellite's mainframe, the Controller. Unlike the Editor, she is very much an unwilling servant.
  • Body Horror: Her body is covered with wires connecting to the Game Station's central computer.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Knowing that she has ensured her masters' eventual destruction, she faces a Dalek death ray with a smile.
  • Madness Mantra: When not giving direct orders or breaking through her conditioning to communicate with the Doctor, she's seen reeling off never-ending lines of numbers and code, occasionally stopping to relay astrological events.
  • Mind Rape: Being conditioned into a living computer means she is forced to feel this constantly.

    Dalek Puppets 

Dalek Puppet (Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

Non-Dalek lifeforms converted by nanogenes into the Daleks’ slaves. Often used as sleeper agents, once activated an eyestalk will protrude from the puppets' forehead, revealing their true nature.


  • Artificial Zombie: They're a deliberate case of this. They're created by the Daleks essentially hollowing out humans' (or any other sentient humanoid species') bodies and filling them with Dalek technology. Either a perfect fresh body or a dessicated skeleton will come back.
  • Body Horror: The eyestalk is pretty disturbing.
  • Call-Back: It turns out that the nanotechnology used to create them is the same that caused the Empty Child outbreak.
  • Death Amnesia: Non-active Dalek puppets often suddenly remember dying shortly before activating.
  • Manchurian Agent: They will act like their original selves until activated.
  • Nanomachines: The Dalek Asylum's nanocloud can manage the whole conversion process from start to finish.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Dalek "androids" are Artificial Zombies created by nanomachines. The Dalek puppets can pass off as entirely normal and un-converted when the Daleks want them to, hiding their technology until a Dalek eyestalk breaks through their forehead, and acting as Manchurian Agents. "The Time of the Doctor" establishes that Dalek puppets retain their original personality but it's kept suppressed, giving the converted Tasha shades of a Revenant Zombie when she overcomes the programming.
  • Zombie Gait: The skeleton puppets on the Dalek Asylum move this way. Averted with the well-preserved puppet on the Asylum before his Manchurian Agent activation.

    Colony Sarff 

Colony Sarff (Twelfth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/colonysarff.jpg
Played by: Jamie Reid-Quarrell (2015)

"Where is the Doctor?"

A creature entirely made of snakes who are able to mimic a humanoid, he's a loyal servant of Davros in "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar".


  • Bilingual Bonus: "Sarff" is Welsh for serpent.
  • Body Horror: Literally made of snakes, a lot of them.
  • The Dragon: To Davros. It's never really explained what exactly Sarff is, why he's working for Davros or why the Daleks tolerate an alien's presence on Skaro. However, given how unusual Colony Sarff is, it's possible he's one of Davros' genetically engineered creations.
  • The Face: The large central snake does all the talking for the other snakes that make up Colony Sarff, but he is not their leader. He just announces the consensus.
  • Hive Mind: He is a composite creature of many snakes who have joined minds. He's also a democracy.
  • Killed Off for Real: Colony Sarff (or, at least, the largest snake that makes up his collective) is killed when Missy shoots him with a detached Dalek gunstick.
  • Large Ham: "Wheeere izzzzzz the Doc-tah?"
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: A villainous serpent. Notably, when he reveals his true form, the medieval locals of 1138 immediately flee in terror.
  • The Worm That Walks: Colony Sarff is a giant snake surrounded by smaller snakes.


 
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