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The Daleks are a race of atrophied squids from the planet Skaro. To navigate their environment, they make use of armoured travel machines which they're absolutely helpless without.
The first villains introduced in the show, in the second episode, and the first recurring villains, they're without a doubt the most popular villains that the show has produced and are collectively the Doctor's Arch Enemy, being nearly as iconic as the TARDIS itself.
Voiced by: Peter Hawkins (1963-67); David Graham (1963-66); Roy Skelton (1967, 1973, 1975-83, 1985-88); Oliver Martin and Peter Messaline (1972); Michael Wisher (1973-74); Brian Miller (1984, 1988); Royce Mills (1984-88); Nicholas Briggs (2005-present)
- 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.
- Age Without Youth: Older Daleks who don't die in battle devolve into a sentient pile of goo. There's a reason the Dalek word for "sewer" is the same as the Dalek word for "graveyard."
- Always Chaotic Evil: Somewhat averted in the new series, particularly with Dalek Sec and to a lesser extent Dalek Caan. But they are generally the exception that proves the rule, and did not change on their own. The overwhelming majority are ruthless killing machines.
- Arch Enemy: The species as a whole to the Doctor.
- 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 new series; their force field 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.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Hatred to them is beautiful and snuffing out sources of great hatred seems to be the Dalek equivalent of a cardinal sin.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Most people who've never seen the Daleks will laugh at their stupid design.
- Big Bad: Archenemies of the Doctor, and just about everything else in the universe that is not a Dalek. Quite fond of the Evil Plan in the new series, to the point where it's a surprise not to find them the masterminds behind the season's Apocalypse How. Main Antagonists of the 2005 and 2008 series.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Of the 2006 series, with the Cybus Cybermen.
- Blood Knight: When ordered not to kill, Dalek drones have to actively fight against an overpowering urge to fire.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: All enemies of the Doctor suffer this to some extent, but the Daleks compound it with...
- 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.
- Breakout Villain: They very nearly never appeared at all, but are now at least as iconic as the TARDIS.
- Canon Dis Continuity: 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.
- Catch Phrase: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
- There's also "EX-PLAIN! EX-PLAIN!", "I OBEY!", and "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED! I CANNOT SEE!"
- Creepy Monotone: Averted. It sounds more like they're trying to choke back their disgust with all other life.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Dalek? You're so screwed. A full Dalek Empire? They're so screwed.
- To be fair though, they do manage to rack up a large number of kills before being defeated.
- Cyber Cyclops: The production team has added pupils to the latest models, making the eye-stalk look almost organic.
- Deadpan Snarker: Despite being ostensibly emotionless, they've got some good quips.
- Deflector Shields: The revival gave them personal force-fields that can melt bullets before they even hit home.
- Demoted to Extra: When Davros appeared in the classic series, the Daleks were quickly reduced to being his Mooks for the remainder of the classic era. In Moffat's era, they're just one of the many monsters to be faced as opposed to their Bigger Bad status of RTD's era.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Under Russell T. Davies, they were the Big Bads of the whole show and the overarching Myth Arc along with being pure Omnicidal Maniacs. Under Steven Moffat, they're more Monster of the Week Galactic Conquerors.
- The biology of the Kaled mutants varies quite a bit. In some episodes, the mutants cannot survive outside their casings for more than a few seconds while others show them not needing the casings. Likewise, the new series has shown them as being able to talk without the aid of their casings while the classic one made clear that they have no larynx.
- Their timeline is a bit up for debate. Did the pre-Genesis stories happen or not? What era do the "present" Daleks come from? Do the black and white serials all chronicle the early days of the species or do the Second Doctor ones come after the Seventh Doctor era?
- What is their attitude towards Davros? You Have Outlived Your Usefulness or Undying Loyalty?
- Are they a One-Gender Race (male) or are they genderless?
- Determinator: They never give up. You have to admire a species that manages to survive even after being made extinct. Repeatedly. In The Time of the Doctor, they're the only one of the many hostile species that hasn't fled or been destroyed so they can have the chance to destroy the Doctor and the Time Lords once and for all. Even being reduced to one ship didn't stop them.
- Despair Event Horizon: Per Word of God, this will happen if they accomplish their goal. They'll either commit the largest mass-suicide or go to war with each other for the most trivial of reasons. Or, you know, they could just make hats.
- The Dreaded: In a universe full of any number of beasties, psychopaths and gods, the Daleks are consistently shown to be the #1 fear of those who've fought them. This includes the Doctor.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Averted with Daleks, who have a tendency to spin around in circles before they blow up.
- Evil Counterpart Race: To the Time Lords.
- Eviler Than Thou: At the end of the day, they're more evil than anyone.
- The Twelfth Doctor even says that when he first began travelling, "Doctor" was just an alias he randomly chose to conceal his true identity from the Time Lords. Then he went to Skaro and saw the logical conclusion of what he would one day become and truly became the Doctor.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: They feel this way about every single non-Dalek in the universe.
- Final Boss: Though they were Demoted to Extra for most of Eleven's run, they're the last foe to fall on Trenzalore.
- Flying Saucer: Their go-to ship.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: They were once just one of the many Humanoid Aliens in the galaxy, and even scoffed at the existence of alien life, but are the biggest threat the galaxy has ever seen.
- Immune to Bullets: They're vaporized by a forcefield before they can make contact.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: According to the writers and actors, the Daleks are fully aware that they're just blobs in tanks and feel overshadowed by more "legitimate" species in the universe so the simple fact that they're "Daleks" must make them better.
- Joker Immunity: Too iconic to ever kill off.
- They've been completely wiped out to the last in their first appearance, and several times ever since. A that point, being completely destroyed only to return later is as much part of their character than their voices or their casings.
- Master Race: Self-described as of Victory of the Daleks; the fundamental basis and belief of their entire culture.
- Mutant Alien Cyborg Nazi
- Near Villain Victory: In two consecutive episodes, though said episodes take place centuries apart.
- In The Day of the Doctor, their fleet managed to breach Gallifrey's defences and they very nearly bombed Gallifrey out of existence. When the Doctors teleported Gallifrey away, the Dalek Fleet destroyed itself in its own crossfire.
- In The Time of the Doctor, the Daleks' sheer determination allowed them to last to the end of the Siege of Trenzalore. With the Doctor Out of Continues, everything was coming up Dalek until the Time Lords granted him more regenerations.
- Nigh Invulnerability: They started out as pretty much tanks, and since the revival they have forcefields that make them immune nearly everything except their own weapons, only because there aren't any defenses against them. Earlier stories had their eyestalks, but that's a very small target (and the force field 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. Other Pete's World weapons seemed specifically designed to kill them.
- No Indoor Voice
- No One Gets Left Behind: The Daleks never leave living Daleks behind.
- Oh Crap: When they get back their memories of the Doctor, they're utterly terrified at the prospect of the Time Lords returning and wiping them out.
- Omnicidal Maniacs
- The Power of Hate: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!" isn't just a battle cry. It's how they reload.
- Pure Is Not Good: Obsessed with genetic purity and exterminating everything else.
- Roar Before Beating: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They're Nazis In Space!, with the odd religious fundamentalist overtone in the new series.
- Significant Anagram: The Daleks were originally engineered from a race called the Kaleds.
- Space Age Stasis: From Series 7 onwards, they've been locked as a race of Galactic Conquerors to prevent them from becoming Too Powerful to Live.
- Spikes of Villainy: Not on their cases, but on their DNA.
- Starfish Aliens: What the Daleks are within their metal casings.
- Starfish Robots: What the metal casings themselves are.
- Status Quo Is God: In Asylum of the Daleks, they get all their memories of the Doctor wiped from the Pathweb. In The Time of the Doctor, they get all their memories of him back by harvesting them from Tasha Lem's corpse.
- Talking Lightbulb: Their "ear-lamps" flash in time with their speech.
- Takes One to Kill One: While a Dalek gunstick isn't the only way to kill a Dalek, it's by far the most effective.
- Too Powerful to Live: During RTD's era, one Dalek was pretty much a universe ending threat with a whole army of them being enough to threaten all reality. It's been toned significantly in Moffat's era.
- Took a Level In Badass: Oh they took several. When they started out, they were too afraid to even go outside their city unless all life on the planet was dead. In their next one, they conquered Earth. In the Time Skip between the old series and the new, they very nearly won a war against the Time Lords.
- Turned Against Their Masters: They do this very often, mainly because Davros has no sense of pattern recognition. Averted as of Series 9 where they're respectful of him.
- Unskilled but Strong: Their battle plan is pretty much "Shoot something a lot". But their guns are just that powerful. Likewise, they're nowhere near as crafty as some of the Doctor's other enemies, such as the Cybermen or the Sontarans, but they do have large planet conquering armies.
- Villains Want Mercy: Ever since their first appearance.
- 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 on if an individual is a Dalek, even if their DNA is too degraded to actually register as one. The Dalek Prime Minister even thinks that the Daleks are incapable of truly exterminating him because of how much they respect each other.
Today the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war but, from its ashes will rise a new race, the supreme creature, the ultimate conquerer of the universe, the Dalek!!!
The creator of the Daleks, a Kaled from the planet Skaro. His genius is matched only by his insanity. Actor Julian Bleach has described him as a cross between Hitler and Stephen Hawking. Hell, not even death could stop this guy from coming back over and over again.
Played by: Michael Wisher (1975); David Gooderson (1979); Terry Molloy (1984-88); Julian Bleach (2008, 2016)
- Axe Crazy
- Arch Enemy: As the creator of the Doctor's most hated enemies and the second most recurring villain, Davros is up there with The Master. The Twelfth Doctor later outright calls Davros his arch enemy. Something which the Master takes offence to.
- Back From the Dead: 5 out of 7 appearances.
- Badass Normal: Or as normal as a blind, crippled alien genius with one working arm can be.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: Of the 2008 series.
- Though he isn't really in charge. He is being kept in a vault by the Daleks and is basically kept as a pet, with the Supreme Dalek being in charge.
- The Chessmaster
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul
- Deadpan Snarker: Hey the Daleks got it from somewhere.
- Emperor Scientist: Whenever he's actually in charge.
- Evil Cripple
- Evilutionary Biologist
- Friendly Enemy: On a few occasions, he has put aside his threats and seriously tried to engage the Doctor in talks of science, philosophy etc. In the Big Finish audio "Davros", he starts making friendly comparisons between them. The Doctor, of course, will have none of this.
- Genius Cripple: Emphasis on genius. Despite appearances, he's actually a normal Kaled, yet is easily on the Doctor's level when it comes to brainpower.
- Genre Blind: Fails to realise that Daleks are xenophobic towards him along with the rest of creation. And he made them like that.
- A God Am I: What he thinks total Dalek conquest will make him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Time and time again. He has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to the Daleks.
- In his first appearance, wherein he was prepared to exterminate all creation, but was shocked when the Daleks turned on him. This aspect of his personality has left as he has gotten more and more insane.
- For added hypocrisy, for all his concerns with preserving Kaled purity, he's far from a pure Kaled yet acted like God's gift to them.
- Named the Tenth Doctor as "The Destroyer of Worlds." Coming from the man who was seconds way from destroying the The Multiverse, this is hypocrisy at its finest.
- In his first appearance, wherein he was prepared to exterminate all creation, but was shocked when the Daleks turned on him. This aspect of his personality has left as he has gotten more and more insane.
- It's All About Me: He really does not care about anyone but himself; he was willing to sacrifice all of his own people just to ensure his Dalek project would go through. He's also so self-centered that he keeps forgetting that the Daleks (with exceptions) are not slavishly loyal to him.
- Karmic Death: Well, not quite death, but his defeats are typically ironic.
- Large Ham: He screams a lot. The Daleks had to get it from somewhere.
- Last of His Kind: "The Magician's Apprentice" finally acknowledges that he's the last of the Kaleds and within he mourns the large void their absence has left within him. Then again considering he was trying to trick the Doctor into giving up his regeneration energy, how much of this angst is true is up for debate.
- Like Father, Like Son: Honestly it is not hard to see where the Daleks got their everything from.
- Mad Scientist: Notice the trend?
- Man in a Kilt: Well, the first actor was when he played the character wore a kilt underneath the "Dalek wheelchair". Also applies to the "wheelchair", as it's been continually referred to as one during filming. And he was Scottish during his second appearance for some reason.
- Mutant: Looks nothing like the rest of his species.
- Noodle Incident: The Freak Lab Accident which mutated him.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Especially in "The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End", when he planned "THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY! ITSELF!!!"
- This was alluded to back in "Genesis of the Daleks", where he admitted that, if he could wipe out all life with his own creation, he would. Explains the Daleks
- The Other Darrin: Played by four different actors over the years, the only one decidedly off being the Gooderson Davros, who was suddenly Scottish.
- Papa Wolf: For all his faults, and he has enough to fill a TARDIS, there's very little that he wouldn't do for his children.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: How old he really is is anyone's guess but cryogenics and mechanical life support mean that he's clearly exceeded the natural lifespan of the Kaled people. By Series 9, he's finally dying so he tricks (or so he thinks) the Doctor to give him some regeneration energy for a boost.
- The Unfettered: There is absolutely nothing he's not prepared to do to ensure the survival of the Daleks.
- Start of Darkness: Big Finish gave him an entire mini-series dedicated to his upbringing.
- Super Wheelchair: Based the Daleks' armor on his own bionic eye and life-support chair.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He was the head of the Kaled Scientific Elite, and later took on the guise of the "Great Healer" on Necros (working hard to avoid creating "consumer resistance")
- Weaksauce Weakness: In his first appearance, he had the master switch that controlled all his life support easily accessible on his console meaning anyone could have pushed it and killed him. He seems to have done the sensible thing afterwards and removed it.
The Dalek Emperor
- A God Am I: The Big Bad of Series 1 thought itself an immortal god for creating a new race of Daleks.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- King Mook: At the end of the day, a Dalek Emperor is just a Dalek in a big casing.
- Orcus on His Throne: The Emperors faced by the Second and Ninth Doctors. Justified in that their casings are not mobile in the slightest.
- However, the Emperor's flagship was present at the final bombing of Gallifrey.
- We Meet At Last: With the Second Doctor.
The Dalek Prime Minister
- Deadpan Snarker: Even by Dalek standards, he can deliver a quip.
- Killed Off for Real: Per Word of God, he was on the saucer that Eleven's regeneration energy disintegrated.
- Non Standard Character Design: Doesn't have any armor at all. He just sits in a clear glass tank like an aquarium squid.
The loyalist faction in the first, or possibly the second, Dalek Civil War and its victors.
- Evil Versus Evil: Against the Imperials. The differences between the two factions is largely cosmetic.
- Good Old Ways: At least from a Dalek perspective.
- Weak but Skilled:
- Their guns aren't as powerful as their Imperial counterparts but they're much more accurate.
- As a faction, they're smaller than their opposites but they've got much better tactics.
A new faction of Daleks created by Davros to serve as his army.
- Evil Versus Evil: Against the Renegades. The differences between the two factions is largely cosmetic.
- Government in Exile: Suggested by the name of their faction.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Their attempt to channel the Hand of Omega led to the supernova destroying their high command, ending the war in their enemies' favour.
- Light Is Not Good: White and gold casings but still Daleks at the end of the day.
- Undying Loyalty: To Davros.
- Unskilled but Strong: Their guns are more powerful than their Renegade counterparts, but not accurate.
- We Have Reserves: Their army is much larger than the Renegades.
The Cult of Skaro
A secret group of elite Daleks formed during the Last Great Time War. Accountable only to the Emperor, their directive was to dream up new ways of survival/war by "[thinking] as the enemy thinks." Notably the only Daleks to have names.
- Armor-Piercing Question: As Dalek Sec asks his minions, if the Daleks are the Ultimate Lifeforms, why are they so routinely defeated?
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: As the leader, Dalek Sec gets a pure black casing.
- Elite Mooks: Going by Jast and Thay's last stand, they're a good deal more durable than the average Dalek.
- Exact Words: Dalek Caan never said that Davros would win. He just said that the prophecy would be fulfilled.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: As the Time War inched towards mutually assured destruction, they hid in the Void Between the Worlds. It was somewhat premature. The Daleks got a second wind and had a Near Villain Victory at the war's end.
- Space Age Stasis: Dalek Sec flags this. His minions want it to stay.
The New Dalek Paradigm
Originally a quintet of Daleks created from the last of the progenitors (devices containing pure Dalek DNA) in orbit of WWII Earth, the New Dalek Paradigm was to be the successor state to the New Dalek Empire, made up of pure Daleks.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
- White - Supreme.
- Blue - Strategist.
- Orange - Scientist.
- Yellow - Eternal.
- Red - Drone.
- Demoted to Extra: Poor reception to their design caused them to become an "officer" class of Daleks with the Time War model becoming the standard drone once again. Their variant last appeared in 2012.
- Killed Off for Real: The questionably canon Doctor Who Experience suggests that they were killed by the survivors of the New Dalek Empire (the Daleks that Davros made aboard the Crucible).
- Swiss Army Appendage: Though never seen on-screen, their "spine" was said to hold other tools that they could swap out with their manipulator arm.
Five blue/silver Daleks that function as "Temporal R&D" to counter the Time Lords' usage of the Omega Arsenal. Based on the planet Moldox, their schemes ultimately led to the War Doctor deciding that he had to end the Time War.
- Big Bad: Of Engines of War.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They don't really like Les Collaborateurs despite how useful they can be.
- Foil: To the Cult of Skaro. They work in the open with more elaborate plans, rather like the villains on an '80s cartoon.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Destroying Gallifrey isn't enough. Best to Ret-Gone the whole planet.
- Non-Indicative Name: As the War Doctor says, they're arranged in a hexagon, not a circle.
- Last of His Kind: Was originally thought to be the only Dalek that survived the Time War.
- What Is This Feeling?: After absorbing Rose's DNA, it starts to experience human emotions. It chooses to kill itself rather than let this continue.
- Anti-Hero: Rusty is a hero in the sense that he kills Daleks. But his motivation is simply because he hates them.
- Berserk Button: Do not call him a "good Dalek."
- Boomerang Bigot: Rusty may hate Daleks, but that doesn't change the fact that he is one.
- The Dreaded: To both the Daleks and the Doctor.
- Heel Face Revolving Door: He expressed the desire to destroy the Daleks because they destroyed beautiful things. But that was just merely the result of a leak in his power cells causing his memories and brain to be messed up. Then the Doctor tried a mind meld to help him genuinely see the beauty of the universe only to wind up redirecting Rusty's existential rage at his fellow Daleks.
- Since he still retains his preconditioned hatred towards everything in his field of view, it's likely that the billions of years alone have caused him to hate the Doctor even moreso than your average Dalek.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: He's spent billions of years killing Daleks.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Rusty's casing shows sign of great battle damage (with the plunger bent out of shape) but he's managed to hold his own against his species for billions of years.
- Nominal Hero: Rusty is a "good" Dalek only in the sense that he has no interest in alien genocides. He's still plenty interested in killing the Doctor and his own kind.
- One-Man Army: While Daleks (especially Time War Daleks) have always been this, he's holed himself up in a single tower and has managed to exterminate any Dalek that comes his way for billions of years.
- Shrouded in Myth: As the Doctor lampshades, the idea of a good Dalek is not something that most of the galaxy is easily accepting of.
- Took a Level In Jerkass: His first appearance suggested he would one day genuinely reform. By his next, he's a trigger happy sociopath who would apparently risk the fundamental structure of the universe if it means killing the Doctor twice.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Rusty initially turned against the Daleks because he saw the beauty of the universe. Turns out that was just his casing experiencing a malfunction.
- Curb Stomp Battle: It takes on a squad from the British Army. The fight isn't even remotely fair for the British.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Thirteenth Doctor. Both are stranded on Earth and spend their first episode creating cobbled together versions of their iconic tech (the sonic screwdriver and the armor) while trying to contact a powerful ally (the TARDIS and the Dalek fleet).
- Evil Is Hammy: Even by Dalek standards: "THE DALEK RACE IS SUPREME!"
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: It's a First Doctor era Dalek. As a result, while it fears the Doctor, it doesn't take her very seriously. This proves a disadvantage.
- Kill It with Fire: It really can't be a fan of fire.
- Super Prototype: One of the first Daleks sent out of Skaro to find other planets to conquer. It's twice the size of a standard Dalek, can act as a Puppeteer Parasite, is very resourceful, and can teleport. But Reality Ensues as it's also a prototype and thus lacks modern advantages, most critically, it has no shields.