The Daleks (series)

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The Daleks was the title of a multi-media Daleks-focused Doctor Who spin-off launched by Terry Nation independently from the BBC in 1965 following the success of the first Dalek annuals.

The series principally comprised a series of comics detailing the history of the Daleks from their creation to their discovery of Earth. These were originally published in TV Century 21 magazine between 1965 and 1967, then later partially reprinted as The Dalek Tapes and fully collected as The Dalek Chronicles. TV Century 21 also released a tie-in audio production adapting an episode of The Chase.

Nation also hoped to launch The Daleks as a television series. Although these plans fell through, the script for the pilot, which featured Sara Kingdom and Mark Seven battling the Daleks, was eventually released, still under the umbrella of The Daleks, by Big Finish Productions in 2010.

Storyline[[edit]]

The TV Century 21 comics portrayed a unique narrative of the creation of the Daleks. The original humanoid Daleks were diminutive blue men with large heads. For their war against the Thals, these humanoid Daleks had created not just war machines but also neutron bombs that were accidentally detonated by a meteorite fall. The subsequent explosion created mutant Daleks who used the war machines as their shells. This account conflicted with the story recounted in The Daleks and was later contradicted by Genesis of the Daleks.

As part of the shared universe of TV21, every story of the original run (with the exception of Genesis of Evil) was set in 2060s, contemporaneously with other comic strips in the magazine such as Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds. These properties often crossed over in accompanying cover stories which referenced the contents of that week's issue, though the final panel of The Daleks was also usually dedicated to a "Stop Press" newsflash which teased the contents of the following week's issue. Additionally, as with the magazine's other features, an in-universe version of TV21 documented events on Skaro as news, with a banner often attributing the strip to either a "report from [the] Space News Agency via hyper-space video-phone" or a "report relayed from a Hyper-Space News Agency correspondent".

Subsequent instalments of The Daleks involved the expansion of the Dalek Empire following the completion of the Daleks' space program, a multi-story arc about a war against the Mechanoids (which originated in the 1965 television story The Chase), as well as several stories set exclusively on Skaro. In most of these, the Emperor Dalek served as the protagonist and by the series' end he was regularly joined by his second- and third-command, the Black Dalek Leader and the Red Dalek Leader respectively.

The final comic story of the original run, The Road to Conflict, saw a human ship crash-land on Skaro culminating in the Daleks discovering the exact location of Earth, which the Dalek Emperor had long considered a blindspot. This was intended to lead into the film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..[1] and the cliffhanger of the Emperor announcing an invasion of Earth was never resolved beyond a few hints in short stories such as Information Service and Daleks on the Move?.

In 1993, for the thirtieth anniversary of the conclusion of the series, Doctor Who Magazine released the followup story Return of the Elders which depicted their invasion of Earth being foiled by a species of telepaths known as the Elders. The destruction of all but one ship in that story, necessitating a slow rebuild of the Dalek Fleet, served to resolve the timeline contradiction between the 2060s timeframe of the comics and the 2150s setting usually agreed upon for the Dalek invasion of Earth. Another DWM followup, Deadline to Doomsday, was planned but ultimately unproduced by DWM, though a completed version was later published in the fanzine Vworp Vworp!.

Although the comic used a Dalek origin story which it is hard to reconcile with the later televised version, many characters and elements of the strips later made their way into the TV series, not to mention other DWU media; these include Daleks flying, the character of the Dalek Emperor, a singular, supreme Black Dalek who led the Dalek Empire directly below the Emperor, and even premises such as Daleks who experienced a conflict of faith and began admiring human values (as embodied by Dalek Sec in Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks).

In addition, the series served as an explicit aesthetic influence on another solo Dalek spin-off, the animated webseries Daleks!.

Stories[[edit]]

Comics[[edit]]

Originally, no individual titles were given to the stories. The singular part published in issue 37 was the only one named, bearing the title Escape — Daleks Conquer Rust Cloud; the theme of escape was spread across the issue, with that week's Fireball XL5, Stingray and Lady Penelope comics all prefixed in the same way.

Most of the titles used by this Wiki were selected from a variety of potential options and alternative titles used in official sources are also provided for clarity. In all but one case, these are the titles given in the 1994 collection The Dalek Chronicles. No titles were given for the 2020 collection, simply titled The Daleks.

Title Also known as Printed in Released
Genesis of Evil The Beginning[2]
Genesis of Evil![2]
TV21 1-3 23 January - 6 February 1965
Power Play Tape Two[2]
Power Play![2]
TV21 4-10 13 February - 27 March 1965
Duel of the Daleks Dalek Duel[3]
Tape Three[2]
Duel of the Daleks![2]
TV21 11-17 3 April - 15 March 1965
The Amaryll Challenge Tape Four... Out Into Space![2] TV21 18-24 22 May - 23 July 1965
The Penta Ray Factor The Envoys of Evil[4]
Tape Five[2]
TV21 25-32 10 July - 28 August 1965
Plague of Death Escape — Daleks Conquer Rust Cloud (Part 5)
Tape Six: The Plague of Death[2]
TV21 33-39 4 September - 16 October 1965
The Menace of the Monstrons Tape Seven[2]
Menace of the Monstrons[5]
TV21 40-46 23 October - 4 December 1965
Eve of the War A Fresh Start[6]
The Eve of the War[5]
TV21 47-51 11 December 1965 - 8 January 1966
The Archives of Phryne The Quest[7] TV21 52-58 15 January - 26 February 1966
The Rogue Planet Rogue Planet[8][9] TV21 59-62 5 - 26 March 1966
Impasse The Rogue Planet Part 2... Collision Course![10]
Collision Course![11]
TV21 63-69 2 April - 14 May 1966
The Terrorkon Harvest N/A TV21 70-75 21 May - 25 June 1966
Legacy of Yesteryear TV21 76-85 2 July - 3 September 1966
Shadow of Humanity TV21 86-89 10 September - 1 October 1966
The Emissaries of Jevo TV21 90-95 8 October - 12 November 1966
The Road to Conflict Road to Conflict[5] TV21 96-104 19 November 1966 - 14 January 1967
The Daleks The Envoys of Evil (Part 1)
The Menace of the Monstrons (Part 2)
The Quest (Part 3)
Dalek Annual 1977 September 1976
The Dalek Tapes The Beginning (Tape One)
Genesis of Evil! (Tape One)
Power Play! (Tape Two)
Duel of the Daleks! (Tape Three)
Out Into Space! (Tape Four)
The Penta Ray Factor (Tape Five)
The Plague of Death (Tape Six)
The Menace of the Monstrons (Tape Seven)
DWM 33-42 15 May - 24 July 1980
Return of the Elders N/A DWM 249-254 13 February - 3 July 1997
Deadline to Doomsday (incomplete) DWM 276 11 March 1999
The Daleks – A Continuation (outline) VV 3 March 2017

Audios[[edit]]

Title Writer Produced by Based on Released
The Daleks Terry Nation Century 21 Records "The Planet of Decision" 1965
The Destroyers Big Finish Productions The Destroyers (unproduced) December 2010

Short stories[[edit]]

Title Writer Printed in Released
The Dalek Chronicles Found! Gary Russell The Dalek Chronicles August 1994

Crew[[edit]]

Writers[[edit]]

Although all one-hundred-and-four instalments of the comic strip featured the credit "by Terry Nation", the extent of his involvement in the series is a matter of much debate. David Whitaker, a credited collaborator with Nation on the first three Dalek annuals and the stage play The Curse of the Daleks, is known to have contributed some material, with sources attributing the authorship of anything from a minority of the stories to the vast majority or entirety of the series' run to him. TV Century 21 editor and script editor Alan Fennell and Angus Allan respectively also had input on several stories.

The Doctor Who Magazine reprints beginning in 1991 with DWM 180 initially credited Nation (and artist Richard Jennings) in the contents page of each issue. However, this stopped with DWM 189 which credited nobody, the contents simply stating "A double helping of this classic Sixties strip, reprinted in full coulour [sic]". For DWM 190 the credit changed to "by David Whitaker and Richard Jennings" and remained that way until the run ended in DWM 193. Reprints of The Daleks then moved to Doctor Who Classic Comics where the authorship of the rest of the stories up to The Road to Conflict was also attributed to Whitaker.

An article in issue 8 gave more insight into the issue. It stated a deal had been struck with Nation and his agents to allow the Daleks to appear in TV21 but that Nation was "too busy" to write the scripts himself and "only briefly discussed Fennell's idea" to show the creation of the Daleks and their development prior to their television debut, with it being "decided" that Whitaker was the best person for the job. It further claimed Nation was credited with authorship purely "for contractual reasons" and that Whitaker wrote "almost the entire run" of the series with "some additional assistance from story editor Angus P. Allen [sic] and occasional input from the artist". Additionally, the reuse of themes from The Penta Ray Factor and Shadow of Humanity in Whitaker's TV stories The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks respectively was also noted.[12] An interview with Fennell was published in issue 19 in which he claimed to have "outlined probably the first two or three stories" and "spent a lot of time with David Whitaker the writer" at his flat during this time. Whitaker "then took over"; Fennell also acknowledged all plots were put through the editor for approval so there was "probably some input" but he admitted "I can't remember what".[13]

Although the 1994 collection The Dalek Chronicles did contained no out-of-universe features on The Daleks, the in-universe prelude The Dalek Chronicles Found! noted several in-universe versions of individuals involved with the original series had helped to translate and visualise the Dalek Chronicles, alien story-cubes found on Earth in the Sixties. David Whitaker and Alan Fennell were stated to have translated the "first" instalment which described "the origin of Skaro's most ruthless sons" while the rest were "translated by Whitaker alone". Notably, an in-universe version of Terry Nation was not referenced. Doctor Who 50 Years echoed this, crediting Whitaker and Fennell for the story of Genesis of Evil in the first issue and just Whitaker for The Terrorkon Harvest.

In its contents, the 2020 graphic novel The Daleks jointly credited Allan, Fennell, Nation and Whitaker with authorship, marking the first time Allan's name had accompanied a reprint of a story from the series. An article preceding the stories described the production of the comic strip. In an interview with Gerry Anderson's biographer Simon Archer Fennell was quoted as saying "I scripted the history of the Daleks because he'd [Terry Nation] never done it. The initial story, telling how the Daleks came into being, was something I developed with him. And then a writer called David Whitaker took over". The article also elaborated on Allan's involvement, stating that in the second year of The Daleks he "scripted certain pages when Whitaker was unavailable".[14] This was corroborated in Vworp Vworp! which stated Allan took over as script editor "for a period in 1966/7, and had to write a few instalments some time during the strip's second year".[15]

Vworp Vworp! also discussed the uncredited changes made to the narration for The Daleks reprints in the 1970s Dalek annuals. It acknowledged there was "some debate as to who wrote the additional text, however, there seems little reason to doubt it was anyone other than Terry Nation himself".[16] In a later issue Vworp Vworp! re-evaluated the authorship of the original run of The Daleks, stating Nation's status as the writer of the series "was never widely in question" until the publication of Peter Haining's The Key to Time: A Year by Year Record which claimed Whitaker "provided the majority of scripts for this one-page feature" and incorrectly asserted it had been "drawn by such luminaries as Paul Jennings and Chris Achilleos". Additionally, Allan was quoted as saying "I say that Terry Nation wrote the scripts himself, because at one time, he either fell ill, or was somehow indisposed, which meant that I had to fill in for a few weeks right in the middle of a story. [...] I undertook this as an 'on-staff' payment, and it's a tribute to Terry Nation's integrity that, completely off his own bat, he subsequently sent me a cheque in full payment. [...] I never heard David Whitaker's name mentioned in any connection with the TV Century 21 strip — but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't involved". Analysing each of the stories, writer Alan Stevens came to the conclusion that "Terry Nation's fingerprints are all over The Daleks comic strip" and it was he who wrote "the majority" of the run. However, this analysis, with statements from Fennell, Whitaker's nephew Steve Whitaker and second wife June Barry which attested to Whitaker's involvement to some extent, made it "clear" he had written parts of the strip. Specifically, there was "some evidence" Whitaker had scripted the entirety of The Archives of Phryne, "very possibly" all of Impasse and Shadow of Humanity, "likely" the last part of The Road to Conflict, and the "probable" contribution of "the odd instalment here and there" throughout the strip's run.[17]

Artists[[edit]]

The matter of The Daleks' artists is less complicated. Richard Jennings is known to have been responsible for that published in issues 1 to 49 of TV Century 21, comprising in story terms of everything from Genesis of Evil to the third part of Eve of the War. Ron Turner completed the final two parts of Eve of the War, with Eric Eden replacing him for the next story, The Archives of Phryne, published from issues 52 to 58. Turner then returned on a permanent basis to see out the series, doing the art duties for the stories between The Rogue Planet and The Road to Conflict inclusive, originally printed in issues 59 to 104.

The only identified question mark of uncertainty over this is that a stand-in artist may have substituted for Jennings for some instalments of the second story, Power Play.[12]

Reprints[[edit]]

Polystyle Publications became the first to reprint a The Daleks story when Duel of the Daleks appeared as Dalek Duel in the Doctor Who Holiday Special 1973. The banners and "Stop Press" panels which tied the events of the story to its original 2060s setting were omitted, with the removal of the latter and a rearrangement to the art resulting in the story numbering six full pages in length rather than the original seven.

World Distributors first reprinted a story from The Daleks in the anthology The Amazing World of Doctor Who offered by Typhoo Tea, in which Eve of the War was published as A Fresh Start. Soon afterwards, several The Daleks comic stories appeared in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977 and Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1978. These reprints erased the title panel and final caption-box of each comic, replacing the crossover references to other ongoing TV Century 21 storylines with new narration to give the appearance of a flowing narrative rather than a page-by-page serial as well as to suggest a setting concurrent with the ADF-Dalek War depicted in the annuals' other features. The stories were also assigned new titles, sometimes different from those which would later enter common parlance: for instance, The Penta Ray Factor was titled The Envoys of Evil. The edited reprints in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977 formed a story titled The Daleks.

Issues 33 to 42 of Doctor Who Magazine reprinted the first few The Daleks stories in the context of a multi-part framing narrative called The Dalek Tapes. In this edition, the alterations were even more numerous: not only were the original caption boxes removed or reworded, but a new framing device was added (presenting the Dalek history as a series of accounts found by the Doctor on a "twilight world") and on at least one occasion, a wholly new panel of art was inserted.

After the conclusion of The Dalek Tapes, the reprinting of The Daleks soon resumed in DWM 53. In that and the following issue, Eve of the War was published, unusually replacing the "Stop Press" feature with an extra title card. The version of The Archives of Phryne later published in DWM 54 and DWM 55 was actually a partial reprint of The Quest from Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977. This run of reprints ended with The Rogue Planet and Impasse in DWM 56 and from DWM 58 to DWM 68. They were also partially reprinted from a Dalek annual, this time Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1978. The narration which replaced the "Stop Press" panel was retained but the narration replacing the title cards was rewritten because (newly-designed) title cards accompanied the stories to better suit their release on a weekly basis.

From DWM 180 in 1991 to DWM 193 in 1992, Doctor Who Magazine again printed the stories from Genesis of Evil to Duel of the Daleks. Unlike The Dalek Tapes, there was no new narration and the "Stop Press" feature was retained. The reprints were soon moved to Doctor Who Classic Comics where the stories from The Amaryll Challenge to The Road to Conflict were published, beginning with issue 1 and ending in issue 19.

In 1994, Marvel Comics reprinted the entire series in a single volume, The Dalek Chronicles, without any new material other than an in-universe prose prelude. The "Stop Press" panels were retained as was a singular Space News Agency banner, marking the only time to date one of these banners has been reprinted.

In 2013, Genesis of Evil and The Terrorkon Harvest were reprinted for the first issue of Doctor Who 50 Years with their "Stop Press" panels intact.

In 2020 Panini digitally restored the strips, most from the original art boards and including the caption-boxes, and reprinted them as a graphic novel in bookazine format called The Daleks.

Title graphics[[edit]]

The title image occupied the first panel on the page for the first 75 issues. From issue 76 onward the title was a banner running the length of the page above the comic strip.

The first set of reprints from World Distributors in the years 1976 and 1977 only used a series title graphic on the first page. On subsequent pages, as with most reprints of the series, both the title and the news box were replaced with narration. Where divided into parts, only the first part's title box carried the series title The Daleks. The Amazing World of Doctor Who's title box for a reprint of Eve of the War read The Daleks in A Fresh Start.

From 1980 to 1994, Marvel UK reprinted the series. The first block of reprints went uninterrupted from Doctor Who Magazine issues 30-42 and used the title The Dalek Tapes. Those included the standard elements of the tape graphic and the series title, with variation in sizing, placement, and the presence of the other elements. Tape number didn't always receive a special font, and the episode title was originally placed in the news box. When the series was revisited, it carried the second TV21 title graphic on every page of Eve of the War. The image was resized to fill the news box as well, avoiding the need to supply any new narration. The Archives of Phryne only carried the graphic on the first page in the issue because it had been originally reprinted in a Dalek Annual. The third set reproduced the 1978 Dalek Annual's reprints of the Skardal arc in original colour and featured the same whimsical lettering in the title box.

Later reprints focused on better quality reproduction of the material. The Dalek Chronicles and The Daleks feature the comics with original TV21 title and news panels intact.

Footnotes[[edit]]

  1. "Daleks in the 21st Century - An introduction to The Dalek Chronicles", DW50Y 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 As an instalment of The Dalek Tapes
  3. Doctor Who Holiday Special 1973
  4. As the first part of The Daleks in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Doctor Who Classic Comics reprint
  6. The Amazing World of Doctor Who
  7. As most of the third part of The Daleks in Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1977, albeit packaged with the final part of The Menace of the Monstrons
  8. "Frame Count", DWCC 8
  9. The Dalek Chronicles
  10. Terry Nation's Dalek Annual 1978
  11. DWM 63
  12. 12.0 12.1 "The Daleks" by Andrew Pixley, DWCC 8
  13. "Stripped Assets: Alan Fennell" by Alan Woollcombe, DWCC 19
  14. "A Hyper-Space Odyssey" by Marcus Hearn, The Daleks
  15. "Anything Can Happen in the Next Ten Rels!" by Steven Baxter, VV 3
  16. "The Daleks Redux!" by Alan Stevens, VV 3
  17. "Author of The Daleks" by Alan Stevens, VV 5