I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, Halo, Star Trek and Star Wars and I enjoy watching classic Doctor Who episodes, customising Dalek figures, replaying games like Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy from the early 2000s on the original Xbox.
There have been a range of Supreme Dalek designs from the classic and modern series of Doctor Who, as well as comics, books, and audio stories. In this post, we have a selection of Dalek figures painted to resemble some unique Dalek leaders, ranging from possible designs for an Imperial Dalek Supreme to a very unique class of Dalek from the Big Finish audios.
New Series Imperial Supreme Dalek
This custom reimagines the standard red Dalek Supreme seen in Series 4 and Series 9, using the colour scheme of the Imperial Dalek faction from 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks as a template. There are some deviations from the Imperial Dalek colour scheme, such as the manipulator arm being silver instead of gold, but the custom still serves as a potential representation of what an Imperial Supreme Dalek might look like.
To match this Dalek with the rest of the Imperial Dalek faction, slightly off-white paint was used for the base coat and bright gold paint covers detailing on the dome, neck, midsection, and hemispheres. Several coats of white paint were needed to cover the original red paint of this figure.
The Curse of Fatal Death Imperial Supreme Dalek
Another potential candidate for an Imperial Supreme Dalek is this custom, which was created to depict the Supreme Dalek from the 1999 Comic Relief Doctor Who special, The Curse of Fatal Death. An Imperial Dalek figure was used for this custom, which retains the distinctive notched manipulator arm and flat dome lights, making this custom a hybrid of sorts. Despite these differences from the Supreme Dalek from The Curse of Fatal Death, this custom is still recognisable as that particular Dalek, not least because the prop used for the filming of that story was in fact a repurposed Imperial Dalek prop.
The design of a black and gold Supreme Dalek is not completely unique to The Curse of Fatal Death, however. The Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies from the 1960s, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD, both feature a black and gold Supreme Dalek, with two unique designs. The first instance of a black and gold Supreme Dalek in the TV series can be seen in the episode The Planet of the Daleks, from 1973.
Dalek Time Controller
The Dalek Time Controller is an unusual Dalek rank, as it so far exclusive to the medium of audio dramas. Featuring in several audios produced by Big Finish, the Dalek Time Controller encounters the Doctor on numerous occasions, in his Sixth and Eighth incarnations, and is voiced by Nicholas Briggs. Briggs uses a particularly distinctive Dalek voice for the Time Controller, and this Dalek has a suitably distinctive casing to match. This custom isn’t 100% accurate to the depictions of the Dalek Time Controller as seen on the cover of several Big Finish audios, but it is a fairly close representation of what this Dalek looks like.
The most noticeable difference of the Dalek Time Controller compared to other Daleks is the elongated neck section, surrounded by a double-ring structure. To create this custom, the neck of a standard Dalek was removed, and additional neck rings were added that had been salvaged from another Dalek figure. The double-ring structure was made using two thick wires, which were measured, cut to shape and then glued together to make the iconic Time Controller rings.
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It’s been a while since any custom Daleks were showcased on this blog, and in that time the collection has been continuously updated with new Daleks, as well as repaints for existing Dalek customs. In this post, we have a showcase of a grey Dalek from a Doctor Who Comic Relief special from the ’90s, a Dalek design that originated from the cover art for a novelisation, and an obscure New Series Dalek design.
The Curse of Fatal Death Dalek Drone
This custom is based on the Dalek Drone seen in the 1999 Doctor Who Comic Relief sketch, The Curse of Fatal Death. Written by Steven Moffat, this special stars numerous high-profile actors and actresses, including Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley and Jonathon Pryce. This comedy special also included a range of unique Dalek designs, using original props from the Classic Series that had been repaired and updated for the special.
In order to reflect the design of this Dalek seen on screen, the main body of this custom is a repainted Imperial Dalek, but the dome is a standard 1970s dome with an Imperial Dalek eyestalk attached. Various colours of paint have been used, including light grey, black, silver for the grating on the midsection, blue for the rings on the eyestalk, and orange for the dome lamps. The notched Imperial Dalek plunger has been replaced with a standard Dalek plunger, and the gunstick has been repainted silver. The colour scheme is similar to that of a Dalek drone from Destiny of the Daleks, but with the Imperial Dalek sculpt.
The Daleks’ Master Plan Novelisation Red Supreme Dalek
This Dalek colour scheme is a niche fan-favourite, featuring on the classic cover of the novelisation of The Daleks’ Master Plan, written by John Peel. Because The Daleks’ Master Plan is in black and white, it is open to interpretation what the colours of each individual Dalek are. Although a black Dalek prop was used for the Supreme Dalek in this story, and in-canon that Dalek is a Black Dalek, the cover of the novelisation of the episode features a striking Red Dalek as an alternate colour scheme for the Supreme.
This custom was made using a standard black-domed Emperor’s Guard Dalek from The Evil of the Daleks, but with the dome and skirt repainted red and the midsection repainted white. The silver neck rings and midsection mesh, as well as the cyan hemispheres, retain their original factory paint. This is one of several red 1960s Dalek customs in the collection, this one is distinguishable from the others by the squinting iris, white midsection and cyan hemispheres.
Buzz-Saw Dalek Imperial Guard
Briefly seen in the 2005 finale to Series 1, The Parting of the Ways, this black-domed Dalek of the Emperor’s Guard not only sports a unique black skirt with gold hemispheres, but also wields a buzz-saw. As this Dalek only exists as a CGI model used in one episode, it has very few on-screen appearances, but it did feature on one of the Battles in Time trading cards. Despite its fleeting appearance in the series and its obscure appearances in other Doctor Who media, the buzz-saw Dalek is nonetheless a common sight among collections of custom New Series Emperor’s Guard Daleks. Serving as the unofficial fifth member of the usual quartet of Emperor’s Guard Daleks, this striking Dalek design is unique among bronze Daleks.
This custom was made using a standard bronze Dalek, the later variety of the old bronze Dalek figure mould which has a deeper bronze colour and no gold ring on the midsection. The dome and skirt were painted black, but the neck, midsection, hemispheres and base retain their original factory paint. The buzz-saw attachment was made using a part of the internal mechanism of another Dalek figure’s eyestalk housing, which was affixed to a manipulator arm with the sucker attachment removed. The buzz-saw was then repainted silver to match the arm.
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Flood Firefight is being added in Halo 3: ODST for the first time in 12 years, with a new update to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the launch of Season 8.
After twelve years, Halo has finally added the Flood into Firefight. In the patch notes for Season 8 of Halo MCC, 343 industries announced a few new additions to the game that would be coming in this round of new content. This includes a new map for Halo 3 ported directly from Halo Online that is inspired by the classic Halo 2 map Turf, some new armour sets for Halo 3 and helmets for Halo: Reach inspired by ancient history and mythological figures, and some new weapon and vehicle skins.
Among these announcements, however, was the detail that Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight mode will be getting an update to its customisation options, allowing for wave-by-wave editing of the Firefight experience in much the same way as Halo: Reach’s Firefight functions. This is great news for players, because it offers more customisability, but it also opens the door for some very interesting possibilities that, thankfully, MCC’s developers seem to have explored to their fullest extent.
Included with these patch notes were two pictures, one of which showed the loading screen for the Turf remake, called Icebox, and the other showed an example of a custom Halo 3: ODST Firefight game in which the player is fighting against two Flood Combat Forms. This is big news, because up until now only Covenant enemies have featured in Halo’s Firefight mode, and although fans have been asking for the Flood to be included in the mode for many years, fighting against the Flood in Firefight has never been possible without mods. Until the release of MCC Season 8, that is.
Another interesting idea that was alluded to, but not directly stated, by a 343 industries employee replying to fan messages is that Elites will also be added to the customisation options of Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight. This is also very interesting, because if this is true, it will be the first time that the Elites will be included as an enemy in Halo 3’s engine. In the original Halo 3, Elites are allied to the player, and in Halo 3: ODST, no living Elites appear in the Campaign or Firefight. This will open the door for completely new encounters in Firefight, and some have even suggested the idea of the Flood and the Covenant fighting each other during a Firefight game, which would add a completely new twist to this game mode.
With these new additions to Halo MCC, fans continually look to the future and speculate as to what new things could be added to MCC in the future. The implementation of Flood into Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight have had many fans hoping that the Flood will soon come to Halo: Reach’s Firefight, but unfortunately that is unlikely due to the fact that the Flood never appeared in Reach – Halo 3: ODST can have the Flood ported into it’s modes because it uses the same engine as Halo 3, which features the Flood. The fact that Halo: Reach never featured the Flood makes it unlikely that they will ever appear in the game, outside of mods of course.
However, there are a lot of things that are more realistic that have been suggested as potential future additions to MCC, both by fans and by the developers themselves, albeit in informal tweets or interviews. One idea that has been circulated is the possibility of adding more armour customisation to classic Halo 2’s Elites using assets from the campaign, for example allowing players to use the Ranger, Honour Guard, Arbiter, Councillor, Spec Ops Commander and Heretic Elite armours in multiplayer.
There are other possibilities that have been theorised by fans as potential additions that could be made to the games, for example adding armour from Halo 3 into Halo: Reach and Halo 4, adding new skulls into the campaigns, adding new armour and skins to Halo 2: Anniversary’s multiplayer mode, and adding more usable content into the classic Halo 2 multiplayer that makes use of assets that are featured in the code but not currently used, such as the Shadow or Prophet Throne.
Although it is inevitable that support for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will eventually end, the future for the collection seems bright as there is still a wealth of possibilities for new content to be added in the coming months, and the release of official modding tools for each Halo game by 343 industries further increases the possibility for modding and community-created content that we could see for MCC soon. We have already seen some fantastic community-created content, such as complete campaign mods for Halo 2. Despite the recent controversies surrounding Halo: Infinite, the future for Halo still seems positive.
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Big Finish have been releasing monthly Doctor Who audio stories since 1999, and one of the cornerstones of the company’s Doctor Who release schedule has been the Main Range, a series of audio dramas that emulate the format of a Classic Doctor Who story with 4 25-minute episodes that make up a complete story. These audio dramas feature Doctors and companions from the eras of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors who are all voiced by their original actors.
However, the Main Range series ended this year with its two-hundred and seventy-fifth release, The End of the Beginning, as Big Finish have shifted their focus towards box sets made in the New Series format of single, 45-minute stories. In the 22 years that the series ran, twenty Dalek stories were produced for the Main Range. That’s a lot of Dalek stories, almost as many as the Classic Series and the New Series combined. As with the TV Dalek stories, these audios vary in their tone and their quality of writing, and some do a better job than others of making the Daleks a menacing threat. Some of these audios are among the greatest pieces of media that Big Finish have ever produced, but with 20 Dalek stories in the series there are bound to be some that flop.
But if you are a Dalek fan who wants to listen to the best Dalek stories that the Main Range has to offer, which ones should you listen to first? Are there any Big Finish Dalek stories that should be skipped altogether? Which is the best Big Finish Dalek story for each Doctor? These are all questions that we aim to answer with this list which focuses on how Big Finish have depicted the Daleks in the Main Range. So, here we will be ranking each of the Dalek stories in Big Finish’s Main Range from worst to best.
Low-Tier Dalek Stories
The audios in this tier are, unfortunately, among the worst of the Main Range. None of them are irredeemably bad, because there are always things to enjoy about each of these audios, but for one reason or another each of them falls short as a Dalek story, be it because of a wider story arc that swallows up the plot of the story or just a generally weak depiction of the Daleks, these audios are generally misguided efforts, though they are still essential listening for hardcore fans.
Daleks Among Us
Taking the bottom spot of this list is Daleks Among Us, a bizarre and unique audio that has some interesting ideas but unfortunately falls somewhat short of executing them. To be clear, the position of this story as the lowest instalment on this list is the fact that it is embroiled in a long story arc involving the Seventh Doctor’s companion Elizabeth Klein, and that it’s potential as a standalone story is hampered by this fact. Listening to Daleks Among Us on its own is a very confusing experience, and in order to fully understand this story one has to have listened to several preliminary audio stories. Daleks Among Us is an example of why Big Finish made the decision to conclude the Main Range and focus on individual box sets, as complicated story arcs were becoming all too common.
Nonetheless, within the context of its long story arc Daleks Among Us is still a brilliant audio, as it concludes Klein’s story in a strong way with a great parallel between the Daleks and the Nazis, which seems like the perfect match. However, the comparison between the Daleks and the Nazis had already been done fairly well in the TV story Genesis of the Daleks, and so the more blatant parallels drawn in this story seem like a re-treading of old ground. This audio is definitely a great story for fans of Klein’s arc, as it provides some fantastic revelations about her story that answer questions that fans had been asking about the character for a long time. However, when viewed through the lens of a Dalek story, it is difficult to discuss the major positives of this story, especially without delving into spoilers.
From the blurb on the back of the case, this audio promises a story about a planet that has experienced a Dalek invasion and yet has laws preventing the population from ever discussing it. This is a brilliant idea, but unfortunately this is just one of dozens of ideas bouncing around in this audio, and before long this idea is swallowed up in a maelstrom of other ideas that bombard the listener. Sadly, the best parts about Daleks Among Us have little or nothing to do with the Daleks themselves. If you want to listen to the entire story arc of Elizabeth Klein, the story starts with an audio called Colditz, which is a great listen. Klein has some fantastic audios with the Seventh Doctor, but Daleks Among Us should be listened to in that context, not as a standalone Dalek story.
Renaissance of the Daleks
This is an odd story, to say the least. The fact that the blurb on the back of the case describes the plot of this one as ‘outlandish’ tells you all you need to know, but this is really one that needs to be heard to be believed. Apparently this story suffered some intense behind-the-scenes issues involving extensive rewrites to ensure that the bonkers premise actually made sense as a story, and there are some very in-depth scientific concepts used in the plot which don’t make a lot of sense unless you do your own research, which isn’t great for a Doctor Who story, audio or otherwise.
The plot involves the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa discovering Dalek plots across different divergent timelines which involves an incursion of toy Daleks, which is an interesting premise, and as the Doctor and Nyssa travel around to undo the Daleks’ scheme they pick up a motley crew of people from different time periods who have to work together with the main cast to stop the Daleks from conquering the universe. Sadly this story introduces lots of interesting ideas yet it doesn’t really give them time to make much of an impact. There’s an army of toy Daleks, a huge structure made of hundreds of Daleks joined together, and even a surprise appearance from the Dalek Emperor, but none of it really lands.
The best that can be said for this story is that it has some really creative ideas, and arguably the best parts about it are the cast, both main and supporting. The voice work is variable in quality, and some of the characters can get quite grating over time, but overall they are a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the Daleks themselves aren’t great in this audio and this fact, coupled with its bizarre premise, gives it a rather low ranking on this list.
The Time of the Daleks (Dalek Empire Part IV)
Remember when the Daleks quoted Shakespeare? This story was the Eighth Doctor’s first encounter with the Daleks and, despite rounding off the generally well-received Dalek Empire tetralogy, it is perhaps one of the least popular Dalek audio stories out there. Borrowing many of its plot elements from the lost Second Doctor story The Evil of the Daleks, The Time of the Daleks is best remembered as ‘that one where the Daleks remove Shakespeare from history’. There are some elements of this story that tie in to the previous three Dalek audios, and the overarching story of the previous three Dalek stories does coalesce here with an appearance from the Dalek Emperor, but unlike the other three Dalek Empire stories this audio does not feel like part of a grand space opera and instead comes across as a restricted and deflated finale.
This is unfortunate because this is Charley Pollard’s first encounter with the Daleks, and yet throughout the story the Daleks themselves are given little to do other than play capture-and-escape with her to ensure that the Doctor co-operates with their plan. There is a lot that Dalek fans will appreciate about this story, as Nicholas Briggs does a fantastic job voicing them as always, but considering this audio is both the Eighth Doctor’s first Dalek story and the finale to a four-part series of Dalek audios, the results as unfortunately lacklustre.
Having said that, there are still some genuinely great Dalek moments in this story. The idea of Daleks reciting quotes from Shakespeare might seem comical, but this story does a good job of making it come across as genuinely chilling at times. The great duo of the Eighth Doctor and Charley are always a joy to listen to, and this audio is no different. There is definitely a lot to like about The Time of the Daleks, but it is by no means one of Big Finish’s best Dalek stories.
Plague of the Daleks
We’ve had Dalek stories involving rusty, rotting and desperate Daleks before, but Plague of the Daleks takes this idea to a whole new level, proving that the Daleks are not only merciless but also sadistic in their disgusting desire to destroy all other forms of life in whatever ways they can. In this case, their arsenal of death is expanded through the use of a sickening disease that subjects its victims to an agonizing death before transforming them into mindless zombies. There are a few characters in this audio who become a bit grating as the story progresses, but the zombie setting means that most of the annoying characters receive gruesome deaths, which is a plus.
This audio is certainly not a typical Dalek story, not least because the Daleks themselves don’t show up until the end of episode 2 where they are given a big reveal, despite the fact that the Daleks are on the cover and even have their name in the title. This audio is definitely a fun run-around, and pairing Daleks with a zombie apocalypse is a great idea that is well-executed in this story. This audio is the finale of a loose trilogy in which the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa visit the village of Stockbridge at different points in its timeline, but that backstory isn’t required to enjoy this audio as a standalone story.
The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa are always a reliable pairing, and they have some great moments in this audio. There are also some genuine scares on offer here, as an array of gruesome moments and sinister settings keep the listener on their toes throughout the adventure. The Daleks themselves are also a highlight, as they still make an impact despite only appearing halfway through the story. The cover depicts the ragged, rusted and decaying Daleks that have been hiding underground for centuries, which look great, but the audio doesn’t do anything particularly unique with the idea of ancient Daleks that have been buried underground for so long that they have corroded over time. While Plague of the Daleks is itself a memorable story, the Daleks themselves are not the most memorable thing about this audio.
Good-Tier Dalek Stories
The audios in this tier are generally good, though not good enough to stand out from the crowd. With 20 Dalek stories in a series designed for die-hard Doctor Who fans, there are bound to be stories that retread old ground or re-do old Dalek stories that have been done before, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These audios are fun to listen to, though as with the previous tier each of them has a blocker which prevents them from being great.
Emissary of the Daleks
On the surface this story has quite a typical, almost run-of-the-mill Dalek story setup, including an occupied planet, an oppressed population, and a non-Dalek acting as a puppet leader for the Daleks as they exploit a planet for its resources. However, there are some interesting elements to this audio that make it stand out from other Dalek stories. For a start, the Daleks themselves are unable to occupy the planet in force due to rare elements that can be extracted from mines on the planet, and the Doctor and Peri are made aware of this quite early on as they are shown the scorched remains of a Dalek within the battle-scarred ruins of a city. The Daleks occupy the planet, which is called Omnia, but they cannot invade in their usual fashion and so must make use of a puppet government to maintain their authority.
The people of Omnia are also quite interesting in their own right. Due to the Dalek occupation, their culture and history has been suppressed, but there are those who can recount entire novels and historical texts from memory, keeping their culture alive as a literal living memory and passing it on through word-of-mouth. This creates an interesting illustration of the notion that an idea is all that is needed to start a revolution, and once it takes hold, the idea cannot be destroyed. This aspect of the story deftly illustrates the brutal and genocidal nature of the Daleks, as they are eager and willing to destroy the culture of the planet, not just its people. Usually Dalek stories use the setting of a Dalek invasion as a backdrop for a story, but this audio brings the existential fear of a planet’s culture being wiped out by merciless extra-terrestrials to the forefront of its narrative.
Because of the nature of the story, Emissary of the Daleks is fairly similar to The Dalek Invasion of Earth in both its tone and its setting, in that both stories are set on a world populated by innocent people who are being oppressed by a Dalek invasion force that have taken over the planet as part of a larger plot to conquer the universe. However, this isn’t necessarily a criticism, because Emissary of the Daleks does things that The Dalek Invasion of Earth doesn’t, and the fact that it is set on a planet other than Earth gives us a sense of the sheer scale of the amount of suffering that the Daleks have inflicted on the galaxy.
The Genocide Machine (Dalek Empire Part I)
The Genocide Machine was Big Finish’s first Dalek story of the main range, and the company’s first Dalek story ever. As such, there are some interesting quirks with this story, such as the unusual presence of another voice actor for the Daleks who works alongside Nicholas Briggs, none other than Big Finish sound designer Alistair Lock. Speaking of sound design, this story also has many stock sound effects which is typical of early Big Finish audios, which are reminiscent of classic cartoons such as the G1 Transformers animated series. This might sound like a bad thing, but on the whole the sound design for this story is very good and is actually really atmospheric at times.
This story features the Seventh Doctor and Ace as they visit the library of Kar-Charrat, located in the middle of a rainforest. At the same time, an archaeological team led by Bev Tarrant attempts to access the library but is attacked by the Daleks, leaving Bev as the only survivor. Fans of the expanded universe will recognize Bev from the Bernice Summerfield audios, though she actually makes her first appearance here in The Genocide Machine. This story has somewhat of a reputation for being dull, but this is perhaps an unfair assessment. The word that springs to mind when reviewing The Genocide Machine is that it is experimental, both in the sense that it brings the Daleks to audio for the first time, and it also tries a lot of interesting things with its sound design. There are some criticisms of The Genocide Machine that do stand, in that Bev and Ace sound far too similar, and the final defeat of the Daleks at the end of the story is somewhat lacklustre.
However, The Genocide Machine does have a lot going for it. It is, after all, the first Dalek story Big Finish ever produced, and when listened to in that context The Genocide Machine is a very interesting listen. Even after all these years, Big Finish’s first ever Dalek audio story stands the test of time, and is definitely worth picking up given it’s low price. As with many of Big Finish’s other early releases, this audio feels more like a Classic Who story than some other Dalek audios in the range, so fans of that era will definitely enjoy it. The Genocide Machine may not be the best Big Finish Dalek audio, but it is definitely an important one.
Brotherhood of the Daleks
After Charley Pollard left the Eighth Doctor she briefly travelled with the Sixth Doctor in one of the boldest story arcs Big Finish had attempted at the time. Brotherhood of the Daleks takes place not long after the two have met, and while Charley knows who the Doctor is she is quite taken aback by his more brash and arrogant personality, and the Sixth Doctor suspects that something is amiss but gives her the benefit of the doubt. The threat to the Web of Time that stems from a future companion interfering with a past Doctor’s timeline is a great idea, but dropping into Brotherhood of the Daleks without this prior context can make it quite confusing.
Speaking of confusing, this audio has quite a complicated plot line involving Daleks, Thals, places that look and sound like Spiridon but might not actually be Spiridon, and a lot of wacky plants. This audio is filled with ideas, and it doesn’t get the chance to fully explore all of them, which can give the impression that the story is a bit convoluted. On the first listen, this audio can be quite confusing, as it is definitely an audio that has been designed to be listened to more than once.
As with all Big Finish Dalek stories, the sound design on this audio is fantastic, and the cast are all wonderful, particularly India Fisher as Charley and Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. The environment of Spiridon is accurately portrayed in audio form, and we get to hear more about the conflict between the Thals and the Daleks, making this audio a great listen for fans of classic Dalek stories. The only downside to this audio is the fact that the plot can be somewhat confusing, and this audio is not recommended to newcomers to Big Finish or the audio format in general, but Brotherhood of the Daleks is nonetheless a solid Dalek story.
Alien Heart / Dalek Soul
This story takes the interesting approach of being two sets of two 25-minute parts that rather than one large 4-part story, though Alien Heart does very much lead into Dalek Soul. The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa discover that lots of planets have been destroyed by a horrific weapon and after the two are separated, Nyssa is forced to work for the Daleks to develop viruses for them whilst the Doctor teams up with a group of rebels trying to stop them. Without giving too much away, this story definitely tests the Doctor and Nyssa’s friendship and there are some surprising plot developments across these two stories that prove that travelling with the Doctor can be extremely dangerous as well as exciting.
The Daleks featured in this story are aggressive and brutal, as Daleks should be, and their booming voices are provided once again by the excellent Nicholas Briggs. Dalek Soul in particular gives us some great examples of just how merciless the Daleks can be, as we get to learn more about one of the Daleks’ oldest and most evil strategies of using bacteria, plagues and other diseases to weaken their enemies before invading.
Although Alien Heart establishes the plot for the story and ends in a memorable cliff-hanger, it is the two-part story Dalek Soul in which the Daleks themselves are most prominent. This story is clearly inspired by classic science fiction comics and has some great moments with the Daleks, who can be genuinely chilling at times. Nicholas Briggs does a fantastic job as always with the Dalek voice in this audio, and the dialogue is excellent. Dalek Soul‘s short length and intense Dalek action makes it a great listen every time.
Shadow of the Daleks 1 / Shadow of the Daleks 2
Shadow of the Daleks tackles the interesting idea of the Fifth Doctor becoming lost in the Time War, and having to deal with Daleks from his personal future meddling with time as he is powerless to stop them. The format of this story is interesting, as it is made up of eight small stories spanning two Main Range releases. As this is a stark deviation from both the Classic Series format of 4 25-minute episodes making up a story, and the New Series format of one 45-minute story that Big Finish are used to, there are some issues with pacing across this saga but overall it is a definitely worth a listen. As this is the final Dalek story of the Main Range it makes sense that this story tackles the concept of the Time War, and it gives a promising insight into the kind of creative things Big Finish can do with future Dalek stories.
Having a lot of short stories set in a wide variety of settings and featuring a constantly shifting cast of characters is quite a challenge, and it is a testament to the quality of Big Finish’s writing and the excellent voice talent that they involve in their productions that Shadow of the Daleks is as good as it is. There is the occasional irritating character, questionable plot point and poorly-paced story here and there, but on the whole the story is very strong. Some episodes deal with some very high-concept sci-fi ideas which is perfect for a story set in the Time War, and due to the ‘corrupted timeline’ idea there is a lot of opportunities for this box set to explore twisted historical settings which takes full advantage of.
There are also some fantastic ‘bottle episode’ ideas in this audio which is something that Big Finish don’t tend to do as much with their longer releases. Some stories in this series could rival Midnight for their solid ideas and perfect execution within a limited timeframe. Admittedly, sometimes there are ideas or characters in some of the stories that could have done with a bit more development, but on the whole Shadow of the Daleks succeeds in its mission to depict a timey-wimey adventure through the bizarre world of the Time War, and Big Finish take the opportunity to experiment with these stories which is something the company was known for back in the day so it’s great to experience some wacky audios again which proves the company still has that creative spark all these years later. The Daleks themselves don’t play as big a role in Shadow of the Daleks as you might think, but their involvement in the story is solid without having them feel overused.
The Curse of Davros
This story contains a fantastic twist that makes it difficult to talk about without spoilers. It plays on the opinion held among those in the fanbase that are less in-the-know, that being the idea that the Sixth Doctor is a mean-spirited incarnation of the Doctor who is comfortable killing people in order to progress his plans. By playing on this idea, The Curse of Davros is able to pull the rug out from under the audience several times, and the first part is a fun and entertaining ride.
The Daleks are given several memorable scenes in which they show their characteristic ruthlessness and the Sixth Doctor’s new companion, returning character Philippa ‘Flip’ Jackson, gets to experience her first encounter with the Daleks in a story that is not afraid to demonstrate how merciless the Daleks are, as they ruthlessly exterminate shop workers, bus drivers, and anyone else who so much as moves while they are attempting to hunt the Doctor. It makes for great listening that establishes the Daleks as a clear and present threat.
This audio also involves a famous historical figure, that being Napoleon Bonaparte, who is given a very interesting character arc in this story. There are some great scenes with this character, some of which are quite funny, including one in which he learns about the existence of a certain Abba song from Flip and is less-than-impressed, but it is difficult to divulge more about his involvement in the story without resorting to spoilers. In some ways, this story is reminiscent of Victory of the Daleks, in that the Daleks get involved with a significant war from Human history, but it has a unique identity that is entirely its own.
Great-Tier Dalek Stories
These audios are in the upper tier of Dalek audios, be they classics that are generally popular or stories that depict the Daleks as the menacing, death-dealing menace that they are. Anyone who is thinking about getting into Big Finish and is a fan of the Daleks would do well to listen to some of these audios first, though there are one or two that are part of wider story arcs – more on that later.
The Apocalypse Element (Dalek Empire Part II)
On a first listen, the plot of The Apocalypse Element seems to be that we are seeing the opening battles of the Time War before the Time War was even created, as this audio was released in 2000 and the Time War wouldn’t become part of Doctor Who lore until Series 1 of the New Series aired in 2005. Romana is President of Gallifrey, though she has been absent from the position for years after she was abducted by the Daleks and held prisoner as they plan to declare a temporal war against the Time Lords and other species that are capable of time travel, including a race called the Monans. This story helps to illustrate the xenophobic and ineffectual nature of Time Lord society when compared to other temporal threats, as they refuse to help other races against the Daleks despite the clear and present threat that the Daleks face to not only the Time Lords, but the entire universe which the Time Lords claim to protect.
The Sixth Doctor and his companion Evelyn become embroiled in this Gallifreyan politics as the Doctor attempts to find the lost planet of Etra Prime, a world that was removed from time and space as part of a Dalek plot to completely destabilise any hope of a temporal treaty between the Time Lords and other races capable of time travel. Romana finally gets to meet the Sixth Doctor, and Lalla Ward and Colin Baker make a fantastic duo that should be utilized more often in Big Finish audios. The Time Lords also make a strong impression in this story, which establishes several concepts and characters which would go on to appear in later Big Finish audios featuring the Time Lords.
This audio establishes some key plot elements for future stories leading up to the Time War, making The Apocalypse Element a great jumping-on point for new listeners who want to experience a good Dalek story that also contains some important plot developments which recur in later Big Finish stories. Even without its continuity connections, however, The Apocalypse Element is a really fun story to listen to, particularly for fans of Romana, and the Daleks themselves make a really strong appearance.
The Mutant Phase (Dalek Empire Part III)
This audio places the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa on a Dalek-occupied Earth in what appears to be an alternate timeline, as there are very few Humans left alive, and the planet appears to be completed overrun with Daleks. However, the Daleks themselves are fighting a new enemy, an enemy that comes from within – the eponymous Mutant Phase. This mutation afflicts Daleks and transforms them into twisted mutations which seek to destroy everything, including other Daleks. In fact, the Dalek Emperor himself is desperate to find a cure for the Mutant Phase, as it threatens to destroy all Dalek life.
This story is famous for its interesting twist near the end, which elevates this audio among other Dalek stories because it doesn’t follow the standard formula that we are used to with Dalek stories at this point. The Daleks themselves make a strong impression in this story, not least because of the wonderful voice acting that Nicholas Briggs does for both the Daleks and the Dalek Emperor. There are some tense moments in this story which keep the listener on the edge of their seat, as the setting of the post-Dalek invaded Earth allows for some great scenes showing how awful the Dalek occupation was for the people living on Earth during their tyrannical ten-year rule.
This story is without a doubt the best Dalek audio story for the Fifth Doctor, and it is tied with The Apocalypse Element for best audio in the Dalek Empire quartet. There are aspects of this story which would reappear in later Dalek audios, such as an insectoid race that comes into conflict with the Daleks would later be explored in Enemy of the Daleks, and the idea of the Doctor returning to Dalek-occupied Earth would also reappear in Masters of Earth. This is perhaps a testament to the number of creative and interesting ideas that The Mutant Phase has in the mix, and it is definitely worth a listen for fans of the Daleks and the Fifth Doctor alike.
Like Daleks Among Us, Patient Zero requires a fair amount of context to understand the full story. Unlike Daleks Among Us, Patient Zero is still fun to listen to even without this context. This audio pits the Daleks against another alien race, a species that is original to the Big Finish audios called the Viyrans. Charley Pollard is the companion in this story, and like Brotherhood of the Daleks she is paired with the Sixth Doctor. This pairing is one of the most interesting in Big Finish’s history, though unfortunately it does require a bit of context to understand. All the listener really needs to know for this audio is that Charley has encountered the Sixth Doctor after having already met the Eighth Doctor, and so has to conceal a lot from him in order to maintain the integrity of the Web of Time. Unfortunately, this leads to the Sixth Doctor becoming suspicious, as he picks up on the fact that Charley knows things that she really shouldn’t and this leads to some tension between the two.
The plot of Patient Zero revolves around the Daleks attacking the Amethyst Viral Containment Station, which is overseen by a gestalt entity called Fratalin on behalf of the Viyrans. Fratalin is one entity inhabiting eight hundred bodies, and each of these interact with each other as they work together to keep the facility running but can also combine into larger entities when threatened. Pitting the Daleks against two unique adversaries, a gestalt entity and the Viyrans, makes for very interesting listening, and Patient Zero is easily one of the most action-packed Dalek stories on audio. This may be a detrimental factor to those who struggle to visualize the large-scale conflicts when listening to audios, but the sound design is good enough that provided one pays attention to the story it is very straightforward to follow what is going on in the action sequences.
Patient Zero features the debut of a brand new Dalek rank called the Dalek Time Controller. This enigmatic Dalek, whose unique voice is provided by the legendary Nicholas Briggs, is perhaps more well-known for its appearances in the Eighth Doctor Adventures and the subsequent box set Dark Eyes, but it actually makes its debut here. The Dalek Time Controller is a Dalek unlike any other. It has a soft, almost melodic voice, and its demented personality makes it unique even among Dalek commanders. In fact, the Dalek Time Controller is up there among the most unique Daleks that Nicholas Briggs has ever voiced, alongside the likes of the Dalek Emperor and the insane Dalek Caan from the TV series.
Arguably one of the most famous of Big Finish’s Dalek audio stories, The Juggernauts is a fun story featuring the Sixth Doctor, Melanie Bush and Davros. The Doctor and Mel are separated and Mel ends up spending months living on a Human colony in the far future, located on the fringe planet of Lethe. There, Davros is posing as Professor Vaso, and has deceived the colonists and Mel into helping him rebuild salvaged Mechonoid carcasses into ‘service robots’ that he calls ‘Juggernauts’. The Sixth Doctor arrives to investigate at the same time that a group of investors from the intergalactic Outreach Corporation attempt to hijack Davros’ work and take the Juggernauts for themselves, all while Daleks stalk the corridors of the colony at night…
The Juggernauts is definitely a fun story, and it is a really good listen. Unfortunately, it is held back from being a great-tier story for a few key reasons. Firstly, there is some less-than-convincing acting from some of the supporting cast in this story, which is a shame because it is rare that this is an issue with Big Finish. From bad accents to apparent disinterest from a couple of the key characters, The Juggernauts can be awkward at times, and this is made worse by the inclusion of a corny love interest for Mel. To be fair though, Mel actually comments on the cheesy pick-up lines at times and her friendship/budding romance with Jeff works for some.
Highlights of this story include the Juggernauts themselves, which sound exactly like the Mechanoids from the classic TV story The Chase, where they fought against the Daleks and were considered as their primary nemesis for a time. Davros himself is also excellent as Terry Molloy is fantastic as always and the guise of Professor Vaso gives Molloy a chance to try something new with the character which is always brilliant. Davros’ Juggernauts are designed to act as the ultimate Dalek killers, as Davros is seemingly going through a crisis of faith in his creations and wants to be rid of them once and for all. The Juggernauts is a great listen, which pits Mel against the Daleks for the first time and gives the Sixth Doctor some fantastic scenes with both the Daleks and Davros.
This audio is often brought up when discussing the best Dalek audio stories of all time, and for good reason. This audio features the Eighth Doctor go up against Davros, bearing in mind this is post-Remembrance of the Daleks, so there is a lot to discuss between the two characters. The Daleks have conquered Earth, and after subjugating the entire population, they have converted the planet into a giant industrial complex to fuel their war machine. This is also a much stronger outing for the Daleks than The Time of the Daleks was, and Charley knows who and what the Daleks are this time, so she is better prepared to deal with them as she, like the Doctor, is fully informed on how merciless and horrific they can be.
The only thing that brings this audio down is that it is somewhat dependent on prior knowledge of the Eighth Doctor and his timeline, as some of the reveals and big shock-factor moments are reliant on the listener being aware of events that take place in the Eighth Doctor’s recent timeline, not only that but this story also features C’rizz who is a leftover companion from the previous Divergent Universe arc which was prematurely abandoned by Big Finish after the announcement of the New Series back in 2004. Nonetheless, this audio is among the best Dalek stories out there, and there are some fantastic character moments between the Doctor and Davros that call back to their very first meeting back in Genesis of the Daleks without feeling contrived or appearing to retread over old ground.
Terror Firma is certainly an oddity among Dalek audio stories, as it deals with several important plot threads from the wider arc of the audio series in which it is set, but also does a great job of depicting the Daleks as a devastating threat and continuing the plot threads of Remembrance of the Daleks which will be familiar to many listeners. Whilst this technically isn’t the first time that Davros would encounter the Doctor post-Remembrance, Terror Firma does a much better job of continuing the relationship of the two characters after the events of that TV story.
We Are The Daleks
This Seventh Doctor and Mel story showcases many of the Daleks’ most despicable traits, such as their innate abilities in deception, their willingness to subvert and enslave peaceful planets, and their unique understanding of capitalism and political lobbying. That’s right, this audio gives us a Dalek story in which the Daleks not only embrace the standard conniving and back-stabbing of Human politicians, but actively revel in it. This audio takes advantage of the fact that was written and produced after the Eleventh Doctor’s TV era had concluded, and it takes the opportunity to reference several of his Dalek stories such as Victory of the Daleks and Asylum of the Daleks, in some cases providing some much-needed context as to why certain elements of these Dalek stories existed in the first place.
It is fun hearing the Seventh Doctor and Mel take on the Daleks, as Mel never got a chance to face the Daleks on-screen during her time as a TV companion. This story features a sinister video game that has become popular with the population and is suspected by the Doctor to be the product of alien technology, which is similar to a plot used in the Ninth Doctor novel ‘Winner Takes All’, which was a popular Doctor Who novel in the mid-2000s except this audio puts the trademark Dalek spin on this idea.
One of the strongest elements of We Are the Daleks is the depiction of the Daleks’ more deceptive and cunning traits, an aspect of their original characterisation that has been sadly missing from many Dalek TV stories, both classic and modern. The Daleks using capitalism and greed to subvert Human nature and assume control of the planet is a concept that should have been explored on Doctor Who a long time ago, and this audio does a great job of bringing the idea to life. We Are the Daleks is a wonderful insight into how the Daleks can be used as a scheming, malevolent force in a unique and interesting way.
Top-Tier Dalek Stories
These Dalek stories are the best that Big Finish produced for the Main Range, and some of the best Dalek stories in general for that matter.
Enemy of the Daleks
This audio is perhaps the closest we will every get to a Dalek story produced in the 1990s. It shows a war between the Daleks and the Humans of the future with nothing held back, and it is clear that the Humans are critically underpowered when faced with the power of the Dalek fleet. There is a supporting cast of Human characters who provide an interesting take on the Human-Dalek war, a war that they have been catastrophically losing. Unlike the typical Human soldiers from the future that we have seen in Classic Who episodes like Earthshock, these soldiers are decrepit, disillusioned and defeatist, which paints a visceral picture of the sorry state of affairs that the war between the Daleks and the Humans has pushed Humanity and its soldiers.
This audio features Hex, a new companion of the Seventh Doctor who had recently joined him and Ace during a previous story featuring the Cybermen, called The Harvest. The run of stories featuring Hex is known for its more mature and darker interpretation of Doctor Who, and this includes a more mature and darker interpretation of classic Doctor Who villains. The Cybermen were given a horrific re-interpretation in The Harvest, and now Enemy of the Daleks gives the Daleks the same treatment. This is a gritty story, the events of which make Hex begin to question the morality of both the Doctor and Ace and fuel his character growth.
Enemy of the Daleks delivers in numerous levels, with a great story containing lots of great moments from several of the key characters that also happens to be a brilliant Dalek action story which surpasses many other Dalek stories in terms of scope, thrills and stakes. For fans who want to listen to the Daleks at the height of their power in all their ruthless glory, this audio is easily one of the best Dalek audio stories.
Masters of Earth
A unique aspect of Big Finish’s audio dramas is their ability to blend eras of Classic Doctor Who eras together, such as Last of the Cybermen which pairs the Sixth Doctor with Second Doctor companions Jamie and Zoe, and also Masters of Earth, which sees the Sixth Doctor and Peri visit the Dalek-occupied Earth from the era of the First Doctor story The Dalek Invasion of Earth. They arrive in 2163, ten years after the Dalek invasion and one year before the First Doctor is due to save the Earth. As such, the Sixth Doctor is unable to actually save the Earth – instead, he has to evade both the Daleks and the Dalek-oppressed Human population in order to protect Peri.
This audio has a wonderful dystopian, post-apocalyptic vibe that is perfect for a story set during the Dalek invasion of Earth. This audio seems to have been inspired by incredible sci-fi classics like Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, and in more ways than one – between the killer plants and the desperate, ruined society that the Humans now find themselves in, it is clear to see what inspired this particularly grim story. The fact that the Doctor is unable to resolve the immediate danger of the Dalek invasion makes the situation of this story seem even more hopeless, all he can do is try to save Peri from threat after threat without doing too much to alter the established timeline of events.
Another interesting aspect of this audio is that this is one of Peri’s first adventures with the Sixth Doctor post-Mindwarp, so there is a genuine sense of threat when Peri is in danger as there is no guarantee that she will get out alive. The Doctor has to reaffirm Peri’s trust in him after the two have spent years separated from each other, and this adds a whole new layer to this story. This story is a must-listen for fans of the Sixth Doctor and Peri and is definitely one of the best Dalek stories in Big Finish’s Monthly Adventures.
Order of the Daleks
If the cover art isn’t enough to catch the attention of fans, Order of the Daleks promises much with the idea of the Daleks stranded on a primitive world without their advanced technology, forcing them to resort to extreme measures in order to survive. Order of the Daleks does something with the Daleks that had never been done before at the time, and oddly enough the recent Thirteenth Doctor TV story Resolution uses a similar idea. After crashing on the planet of Strellin and infiltrating the local monastery, the Daleks are able to take control of the Brotherhood of the Black Petal and use the artistic capabilities of their monks to construct new casings, made from stained-glass.
In the meantime, the Sixth Doctor and new companion Constance Clarke land on the planet, and have to team up with a pair of assessors from the Galactic Census Bureau, who are investigating the incursion of an extraterrestrial force. Strellin is a protected planet with no technology, and the lengths to which the Daleks have gone to survive on this medieval planet are both horrifying and fascinating to listen to. The Sixth Doctor and Constance are a great pair, and both of them get lots of great character moments in this story. For potential listeners who have never seen or listened to a Sixth Doctor story before, Order of the Daleks is a great jumping-on point that does a good job of illustrating the mellowed-out and much improved character of the Sixth Doctor that Big Finish have created for their audio stories.
Of all the Dalek stories in the Main Range, Order of the Daleks is by far one of the most memorable. Everything from characters like Assessor Pendle and Asta who make an immediate impression, to the Monks in the monastery who are accompanied by their own atmospheric sound design, to the Daleks themselves, who are members of the Emperor’s Personal Guard and as such have abilities beyond that of ordinary Daleks. All of these elements make this story one of the best Dalek stories in the Main Range.
At last we reach the all-time best Dalek audio. How fitting it is that the audio that was later adapted into Dalek, one of the best TV Dalek stories, also happens to be the best Dalek audio story. Jubilee was written by Rob Shearman, who demonstrates his understanding of the Daleks and his incredible abilities in storytelling with this truly stupendous audio story. The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn land in England in 2003, but there is something very wrong. The pair discover that they played a critical role in defeating the Daleks one hundred years prior in 1903, and as a result this has created an alternate timeline in which the ‘English Empire’ has conquered most of the world and worships the Daleks in a sort of love-hate relationship, revering them for their power and yet also hating them for their attempt to destroy the Human race. Movies starring action-hero bastardisations of the Doctor and Evelyn are popular media, Daleks are used as a merchandising tool, and the fascist regime under which England is run owns a single living Dalek trapped in a prison cell that is scheduled to be destroyed on the one hundredth anniversary of the Daleks’ defeat in order to appease the bloodthirsty population.
The Doctor and Evelyn must contend with the deranged President and his insane wife, while intrigue surrounding the impending Jubilee celebration eventually leads to the Dalek being set free. Having said that, this audio is defined by its ability to present situations that are not what they seem, and it is honestly best to listen to this one in its entirety because it really is one of the best Big Finish audios from their early era, and easily the best Dalek audio of the Main Range. Few Big Finish audios attempt to establish individual Daleks as major characters, but this one not only makes you sympathise with the Dalek character in the story, it almost has you rooting for the Dalek as it comes to terms with its role as the last survivor of its species in a world that has been created out of a twisted reverence of the Dalek Empire.
Jubilee is almost unique among Dalek stories in that it is an excellent story with a chilling premise that would not work with any monster other than the Daleks, and it is no wonder that it is considered by many to be the best Dalek audio story of all time, and perhaps even one of the best Dalek stories of all time including the TV stories. The Sixth Doctor is great is this story, which makes it a good jumping-on point for listeners, and there are some wonderful character moments with Evelyn throughout this story which make her a likeable character and a great choice of companion for this story. Above all, however, the Daleks are presented excellently in this story – cold, calculating, manipulative, merciless, ruthless and eager for conquest. The brilliant thing about this story, however, is that it shows us just how destructive the Dalek ideology is, even to species other than the Daleks. Jubilee is an audio story that can be listened to over and over again and is captivating on each and every listen, and it is easily the best Dalek story in Big Finish’s Main Range.
That was a lot of Dalek audios, but we have finally reached the end of our list of the Big Finish Dalek audio stories ranked for worst to best. There are many other great Dalek audio stories that Big Finish have produced that aren’t part of the Main Range, such as Blood of the Daleks, and other Main Range audios that relate to the Daleks but do not feature them, such as Davros. You can also read the 10 best Dalek stories from other Big Finish ranges including the Main Range. Which Dalek audio story is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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In the earliest days of Doctor Who back in the 1960s, everything about the Doctor was a complete mystery, from his name to his planet of origin. It is difficult to imagine now that back then people had no idea that the Doctor was even a Time Lord, and they certainly had no idea that they came from Gallifrey. In fact, one could argue that this was one of the main things that made the show so fascinating to viewers, the mystery of who and what the Doctor actually was.
However, over the course of Classic Who the many questions about the Doctor’s origins were answered one by one, to the extent that we not only know that the Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, but also that he comes from the Prydonian Chapter, that he attended the Time Lord Academy, and that the TARDIS he stole is a Type 40 with a malfunctioning Chameleon circuit.
It goes without saying that the Time Lords are a powerful race, as they are responsible for assuming the role of custodians of time and space, protecting the established web of time, and maintaining the delicate fabric of the universe. The Time Lords are capable of wiping entire races from existence, retro-engineering the evolution of their enemies to ensure that they do not achieve sentience, and if necessary removing entire empires from history.
In recent years, however, the Time Lords have diminished in importance. Episodes set on Gallifrey, which were once a fascinating insight into the Doctor’s homeworld and history, became tedious slogs through dense lore and bureaucracy by the end of Classic Who. Russell T. Davies wisely side-stepped having to write Gallifrey episodes by destroying the entire Time Lord race in the Time War, which was controversial at the time but is now generally considered to have been a good decision in the long-run as it opened up new narrative opportunities for the show.
This was obviously done to provide some emotinoal weight to the Doctor’s story, but this proves just how disposable the Time Lords are as a plot device, as the entire species was wiped out – presumably for good – just to give the Doctor a tragic backstory for the revived series. This was definitely the right move, as it gave the Doctor a strong character arc the likes of which the series had never seen up until this point, and it meant that there was an aspect of mystery to the Doctor’s character once again.
By the time Steven Moffat took over as showrunner, the Time Lords were in an interesting narrative flux. Although they were essential to Doctor Who lore, with characters like Romana, the Master, the Rani, Rassilon and many others being closely linked to Gallifrey, the Time Lords also presented a massive amount of narrative baggage as they were so closely linked to the Doctor’s past, and with the effects of the Time War added into the mix the writers were backed into a tight corner when it came to expanding the show’s backstory and lore.
When the 50th Anniversary came around, the writers took the opportunity to do something potentially controversial in order to free future writers from the narrative weight of the Time War. Moffat was able to bring Gallifrey back in a way that did not invalidate Russell T. Davies’ earlier work, as the Doctor’s psychological scars from destroying Gallifrey at the end of the Time War remained even though the Time Lords were able to survive the war and hide Gallifrey away at the end of the universe. The fact that the War Doctor cannot retain the memories of saving Gallifrey means that the character development of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors was preserved whilst also restoring Gallifrey to the forefront of the series lore once again.
Nonetheless, it was clear that the Time Lords still presented a narrative problem, as Hell Bent proved that the Doctor held little nostalgia for his lost homeworld, particularly after the horrors that the Time Lords unleashed during the Time War. In fact, the Doctor banished Rassilon and the other members of the High Council and took the role of Lord President before promptly leaving the planet after rescuing Clara, demonstrating just how little attachment he had to Gallifrey at that point.
Chris Chibnall’s decision to once again remove the Time Lords from the equation by destroying Gallifrey and then revealing that the Doctor is actually far more than just another Time Lord restores an aspect of mystery to the character of the Doctor that has arguably been lacking since the 1960s. Though fans now will inevitably complain and cry heresey as the long-established lore of Doctor Who is ‘destroyed’, as we have seen from previous controversial decisions taken by showrunners this change can only be good for the franchise.
In the long run, the show can finally shed the narrative baggage that the Time Lords present after so many years of being tied to the same backstory and lore. Doctor Who has always been about change and this philosophy has kept it alive when so many other shows have finished or been cancelled. There are few shows out there that could theoretically go on forever, and Doctor Who is one of them. But in order to continue, it has to change, and the longer it stays on air, the bigger those changes will have to be. Fans can either accept the change and move on, or reject the change and be left behind.
Before the climactic duel between Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and the newly-christened Sith Lord Darth Vader on Mustafar, Padmé Amidala was choked and knocked unconscious by her husband and would later go on to give birth to twins on Polis Massa before apparently losing the will to live and dying.
Upon the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, many fans were rightly frustrated at the ambiguous nature of Padmé’s death, as she was a popular character and a great role model for girls who was seemingly brushed aside and disposed of as soon as her role in the story was completed.
Whilst this happened to several other characters in Revenge of the Sith, including Count Dooku, General Grievous, Mace Windu and the entire cast of Jedi, Padmé’s death was more difficult to accept for fans due to the bizarre excuse that is given for why she died. The medical droid tending to her explains that she is dying because she has lost the will to live.
Several sources in both Star Wars Legends and Canon have either implied or outright stated that Padmé’s death was a direct result of Palpatine’s actions, indicating that he either murdered her through the force or instigated some other scheme to ensure she would die as soon as Anakin accepted his new role as Darth Vader.
Fans have long speculated that Darth Sidious had something to do with Padmé’s sudden death, as he tells Vader that she is dead despite having no confirmation of the fact. This could be the evil Sidious manipulating Vader once again, or perhaps an indication that he knows something we don’t about Padmé’s demise.
Exactly why Palpatine did this is clear, as there were several reasons why he wanted Padmé out of the picture once Anakin had fallen to the dark side. The most obvious reason is that she represents a link to Anakin’s good side, the part of him that is still Anakin Skywalker even after he has become Darth Vader. Palpatine also secretly disliked Padmé because of her strong will and tendency to interfere with his plans. Indeed, if Padmé had not been a critical factor in manipulating Anakin, Palpatine would have likely had her killed long before.
Whatever his motivations, it is clear through implications in the dialogue and expanded universe stories from both Legends and Canon that Darth Sidious killed Padmé. It is unfortunate that many fans seem to take the medical droid’s confused diagnosis as fact when there is likely a much darker and more malevolent explanation lurking in the background.
The Master, the Doctor’s oldest friend and oldest nemesis, has got out of more than a few scrapes over his many appearances in Doctor Who both on TV and in audios. The character has had almost as many appearances as the Daleks, and across all their appearances the Master has often seemingly died but then reappeared in a later story, unharmed, having escaped without even so much as regenerating.
The Master’s unique ability to escape from death is usually explained by the fact that the Master is a supervillain with a near-omnipotent ability to escape from danger so that he can be back to threaten the Doctor again in a later story, but there are some specific examples of the Master cheating death that require some more explanation.
How did the Master survive falling into the Eye of Harmony?
Eric Robert’s incarnation of the Master was trapped in the Eye of Harmony in the TV Movie, but escaped when rooms from the TARDIS were jettisoned. He later explained this to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio Day of the Master.
This question has become important recently due to Big Finish’s release of Master! starring Eric Roberts, set after the Master has escaped the Eye of Harmony and is once again at large in the universe.
How did the Master survive after running out of regenerations?
Eric Robert’s Master is merely a Human body being possessed by the Master’s consciousness, and as Day of the Master explains, he does eventually revert his withered, burnt body that he had before possessing Tremas to make Anthony Ainley’s incarnation all the way back in The Keeper of Traken.
The emaciated Master, played in this incarnation by Geoffrey Beevers, would eventually end up on the desert planet Parrak searching for a the tomb of the ancient Time Lord Artron which he believed held technology that could prolong his life or even grant him a new cycle of regenerations.Artron’s tomb did indeed contain the technology the Master was searching for, though the Master would be killed by the Ravenous before claiming his prize.
The Master survived after running out of regenerations because his future selves intervened at the last moment to use Artron’s device on their predecessors’s withered body and allow him to regenerate into a new incarnation, presumably Alex Macqueen’s.
How did the Master survive the Time War?
As we see in the Series 3 episode Utopia, the Master survived the Time War using a Chameleon Arch which rewrote his DNA to make him a Human. The Human form of the Master eventually took the name Professor Yana and was essential in building a spacecraft that transported the last of Humanity to the prophesized Utopia that existed at the end of the universe.
Unfortunately, Utopia did not exist, and Professor Yana would regain his true Time Lord self after opening his pocket watch, becoming the Master once again. He went on to murder his former assistant Chantho, who shot him in return and forced him to regenerate into his next incarnation who would then strand the Doctor and his companions at the end of the universe by stealing the TARDIS.
Big Finish expanded more on the ‘Yana’ incarnation, played by Derek Jacobi, in their War Master audio series which depict his exploits in the Time War before his eventual decision to run from the war by disguising himself as a Human.
How did the Master survive being shot by his wife?
The Master’s next incarnation, played by John Simm, would become Prime Minister of the UK and hold dominion over the entire Earth for a year until being overthrown by the Doctor and his companions and having his entire reign wiped from history.
The Master would then be shot by his wife, Lucy Saxon, and supposedly killed. His body was burned and seemingly all that survived of him was his ring. However, the Master was able to survive once again after he was resurrected by a cult of his followers.
The resurrection was botched by none other than Lucy Saxon, who sacrificed herself to cut the ritual short. This forced the Master to inhabit an unstable body that granted him bizarre powers at the cost of a constant hunger that could only be satisfied if he consumed food, and this included Humans.
How did the Master survive being stabbed by Missy?
After returning to Gallifrey and having his condition ‘cured’ by the Time Lords, the Master was stabbed by Missy after refusing to stand with the Doctor, forcing him to return to his TARDIS and regenerate into Missy. Before leaving, the Master shoots Missy in the back with his laser screwdriver, ensuring that she couldn’t stand with the Doctor either.
We see in the Big Finish audio Masterful that John Simm’s incarnation didn’t regenerate into Missy right away, however, as he would hold off his regeneration long enough to host a party and invite all his past selves with the intention of stealing their lives. Missy would intervene and disrupt the party, foiling her younger selves’ plans.
How did Missy survive on Skaro?
Missy was left in a precarious situation on Skaro at the end of The Witch’s Familiar, as she was surrounded by Daleks amid a crumbling Dalek City and seemingly had only her ‘clever idea’ to get her out of it. However, the next chronological appearance of Missy in Extremis shows her to be safe and sound.
It seems Missy survived on Skaro by either allying herself with the Daleks or escaping using a similar method to her previous successful attempts to cheat death, by teleporting away at the last second using the energy from her enemy’s weapons.
Missy does remark to the Doctor that she heard about his 24-year stay on Darillium with River Song from the Daleks, implying that she may have had dealings with them.
How did Missy survive to regenerate into Sacha Dhawan’s Master?
Although Missy seems very dead after being shot in the back by her previous incarnation at the end of The Doctor Falls, it seems as though she must have survived in order to regenerate into Sacha Dhawan’s ‘Spy’ Master who appeared in Series 12, as many officially licensed BBC sources seem to claim that this is the case.
Big Finish have already suggested that Missy survives and regenerates into a new incarnation after her death in The Doctor Falls, as Missy encounters her future self, the Lumiat, during the Missy audio series. This new female incarnation of the Master has embraced her role as a force of good in the universe, and she is able to thwart many of Missy’s schemes before being killed by Missy and presumably regenerating into Sacha Dhawan’s incarnation.
Doctor Who’s timeline is constantly in flux, however, and future revelations may change how we look at the Master’s timeline. Until then, we can only speculate as to how the Master’s story will continue.
The Daleks are the Doctor’s most fearsome enemies, and are well-known for their brutality, their ingenuity and above all, their survivability. The Daleks have survived everything from an attempt by a temporal race of demi-gods to avert their creation to a civil war that rendered the surface of their home-world a charred cinder, but one conflict that the Daleks seemingly could not escape was the Time War.
This huge temporal conflict saw the Daleks fight an all-out war with the Time Lords, a war that would destroy the Dalek race and leave only a few scattered survivors, including the Emperor and the Cult of Skaro. One by one, however, these survivors would be killed, usually due to the intervention of the Doctor.
The last Dalek drone known as the Metaltron would kill itself after absorbing Human DNA, as we see in the episode Dalek. In the Series 1 finale The Parting of the Ways we see that the Emperor Dalek was killed trying to invade Earth in the year 200,100. Finally, in Evolution of the Daleks, all but one member of the Cult of Skaro would die during the disastrous Final Experiment in New York in the 1930s.
The last member of the Cult of Skaro, Dalek Caan, went back into the Time War to rescue Davros and rebuild a New Dalek Empire, but in the process he saw the Dalek race for what it was and in the Series 4 finale Journey’s End we learn that we decided to wipe his own kind out, engineering the destruction of Davros’ empire to apparently ensure a final end for the Daleks.
However, just like every ‘final end’ the Daleks had suffered so far, the destruction of Davros’ empire would prove to not be the end of the Daleks, as three surviving Daleks would go on to uncover a lost Dalek Progenitor and create a New Dalek Paradigm, as seen in Series 5’s Victory of the Daleks. The new breed of Daleks created from the Progenitor would escape via time travel and begin rebuilding the Dalek Empire.
Exactly what happens next for the Daleks is a bit murky because each episode they feature in seems to tell its own story in terms of what the Daleks do next. The Paradigm Daleks essentially disappear after Series 7’s Asylum of the Daleks, and now the Daleks have established a Parliament, perhaps in order to keep peace. The Magician’s Apprentice implies that Davros has rebuilt a new Dalek race on Skaro, though the Dalek City is later destroyed.
Other Dalek appearances are even stranger. The fact that Bronze Daleks are attacking the Movellans in Series 10’s The Pilot seems to indicate that the Daleks are either interfering with their own history or resuming their past conflicts with post-Time War vigor. The fact that various Classic Daleks are present in the Asylum and Davros’ Dalek City on Skaro would seem to indicate some kind of temporal shenanigans, but it is unclear exactly what they are up to.
Other recent appearances for the Daleks in episodes like Into the Dalek, Resolution and Revolution of the Daleks state that the Daleks have a roaming fleet that serves as their headquarters, and as the Dalek saucer that was destroyed in The Time of the Doctor was apparently the Dalek Parliament, it could be that now the Daleks are ‘between empires’ at the moment and are instead rampaging around the Galaxy in a nomadic fleet. We can only wait and see what the future holds for the Daleks, but needless to say that after surviving the fires of the Time War they are now here to stay – and are more powerful than ever.
“Did you know, Arbiter, that the Elites have threatened to resign? To quit the High Council? Because of this… exchange of hats?“
“We have always been your protectors.“
“These are trying times for all of us.“
-The Prophet of Truth and the Arbiter discuss the Brutes replacing the Elites as the Honour Guard of the Prophets
The Changing of the Guard
After the Prophet of Regret was assassinated by the Master Chief during the events of the Halo 2 mission Delta Halo, the Prophet of Truth decided to take radical action, allegedly in order to protect the remaining Hierarchs from attack. This resulted in all the Elite Honour Guardsmen being replaced by Brutes in a controversial and unprecedented move.
However, the Prophet of Truth’s decision to replace the Elite Honour Guardsmen with Brutes in response to Regret’s death was more than just a precautionary measure, it was the first step in his plan to remove the Elites from the Covenant entirely and replace them with the Brutes.
The question remains, however: why would the Prophet of Truth want to replace the Elites, a loyal race of powerful warriors, with the Brutes, a race whose greatest achievement up until this point had been nuking their entire civilization back to the Stone Age?
The Great Schism
The answer lies in the Prophet of Truth’s grand plan to ensure the firing of the Halo Array, as he was certain that the Elites were never true believers and as such declared the entire race Heretics. The Prophet of Truth’s decision to do this was an early sign of his increasingly power-hungry, treacherous and unstable personality that would eventually result in the death of the Prophet of Mercy.
Truth would later order the Brutes to begin killing their Elite counterparts once the Elite Councillors were grounded on Delta Halo. During the mission Gravemind, we see first-hand the result of Truth’s treachery as High Charity is torn apart by civil war as Brutes and Elites fight each other for control of the city.
Truth’s motivations for doing this were more than just religious, he saw the Elites as a threat to his power. The Elites had powerful figureheads in the Covenant such as Rtas ‘Vadum, the Arbiter and the Councilors, and Truth sought to kill anyone who would limit his power in a bizarre religious purge.
The Prophet of Truth’s Master Plan
After the Prophet of Truth’s decision to betray the Elites resulting in a huge civil war in High Charity, the Gravemind chose the most opportune moment to attack the city with a captured Human ship filled with Flood spores. This soon resulted in High Charity being infested with the Flood, forcing Truth to flee in the Forerunner Dreadnought that powered the city.
Disconnecting the ancient ship from High Charity doomed the inhabitants to die at the hands of the Flood, and Truth’s once-mighty Covenant was reduced to a handful of carriers and cruisers. This last fleet fled to Earth in a last-ditch attempt to find the Ark, and the remaining Elites followed close behind. Unfortunately for Truth, the remaining Human forces on Earth, including Miranda Keyes, Sergeant Johnson, Lord Hood, the Arbiter, the Master Chief, and of course the legendary Chips Dubbo were able to repel his forces long enough for the Elites to arrive at Earth.
Although Truth was able to flee to the Ark, the Elites were close behind, and as soon as they arrived the Elite fleet were able to make short work of the Brute fleet whilst the Master Chief and the Arbiter destroyed Truth’s forces on the ground. By the time the Prophet of Truth got round to firing the rings, the last of his fleet and the final two Scarabs of the Covenant had already been reduced to scrap metal.
The Fall of the Covenant
The Prophet of Truth’s hubris would eventually come back to haunt him, however, as his decision to betray the Elites would not only result in Humanity being saved from certain extinction by not only the Covenant but also the Flood, but it would also lead to Truth’s Brute forces being absolutely devastated by the surviving Elites during the Battle of the Ark.
During the Prophet of Truth’s final stand on the Ark during the mission The Covenant in Halo 3, he desperately attempts to fire the remaining Halo rings as the Arbiter and the Master Chief infiltrate the Citadel and finally kill the Prophet once and for all. In the end, Truth’s faith in the Brutes turns out to be poorly placed, as the Arbiter finally executes the Prophet after the Master Chief deactivates the Halo array after murdering all the Brute bodyguards.
Clearly, had Truth not ordered the Brutes to remove the Elites from the Covenant, Humanity would have lost a powerful ally and Truth wouldn’t have had to worry about a civil war, the war with Humanity and the war with the Flood. Truth’s decision to betray his allies inevitably causing him more harm than good, as it not only lost him the Holy City of High Charity but also the Covenant itself.
Despite the death of the Prophet of Truth, the Covenant did survive, albeit in a fractured form that was a hollow shell for its former self. Warlords like Jul ‘Mdama began to seize Covenant assets like backwater defence fleets, outdated weapons and mothballed vehicles in order to continue the Covenant’s crusade against Humanity.
This inevitably led to the conflict between the Elites and the Brutes taking on a new form, as there was now also a civil war between the Elites loyal to the Covenant, led by Jul ‘Mdama and other warlords, and the Elites that followed the Arbiter and were allied with Humanity, called the Swords of Sanghelios.
In Halo 5: Guardians, Spartan Locke is able to finally put Jul ‘Mdama down and help the Arbiter to remove the Covenant’s final stronghold on Sanghelios, freeing the Elites from Covenant influence. However, the Covenant undoubtedly survives in some form or another, because as long as one faithful believer survives, the Covenant survives, and although the main enemy in Halo: Infinite seems to be the Banished, there is no doubt that Halo fans have not seen the last of the Covenant, despite the Prophet of Truth’s inability to hold the Empire together.
As the focus of the second episode of Series 8, Into the Dalek, Rusty was a one-of-a-kind, a character that initially seemed like it could be the universe’s only example of a Dalek that was morally good. That is, until the Twelfth Doctor discovered that it was simply suffering a malfunction, cured the problem, and instead accidentally taught Rusty to hate the Daleks. At the end of Into the Dalek, we see Rusty leave for parts unknown, but what happened to this unique Dalek?
Escaping the Dalek Fleet
At the end of Into the Dalek, Rusty leaves the Human hospital ship Aristotle and joins the rest of his kind in their saucer, and he then presumably stays undercover until he reaches a strategic position. Interestingly, early drafts for Into the Dalek depict Rusty self-destructing to destroy the saucer in a manner similar to the Metaltron from Dalek, though this was cut from the final episode.
What we do know is that Rusty would survive and live among for the Daleks for a while before defecting and waging an unending war against his own race. Rusty would go on to destroy countless Daleks, and he became somewhat of a legend both among his own people and in the wider universe in general. According to the Twelfth Doctor, Rusty would go on to live for billions of years, slaughtering Daleks and becoming a quasi-mythical figure.
Waging War against the Daleks
After meeting the First Doctor in Twice Upon a Time, the Twelfth Doctor would eventually reunite with Rusty after travelling to his fortress on Villengard. Rusty has clearly been busy since his last encounter with the Doctor, as there are dead Daleks strewn around the entrance to his tower, and he has been living there for so long that the scattered Dalek survivors have adapted to live outside their casings and latch onto the faces of humanoids in order to feed, implying that Rusty had been there for hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions.
A former weapons production facility, Villengard was perfect for Rusty’s purposes, and he not only installed himself atop a tower with external weapons, but he also tapped into huge Dalek databases in a bid to become one of the most intelligent life forms in the universe. The Doctor would tap into this knowledge to learn more information about the Testimony, eventually discovering its benevolent nature. The Twelfth Doctor was then teleported away and Rusty is left alone once again.
Twice Upon a Time is the last time we see Rusty, so what he gets up to after this and what eventually becomes of this Dalek is unknown. His unending hatred of the Daleks that has lasted for billions of years will undoubtedly motivate Rusty to continue his crusade against his own kind, and perhaps he will appear in a story in the future and shed some light on how he has managed to evade destruction and wreak havoc on the Daleks for so long.