War of the Daleks (novel)

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War of the Daleks was the fifth novel in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures series. It was written by John Peel, released 6 October 1997 and featured the Eighth Doctor and Sam Jones.

It features the Daleks, Davros and several Thals. This novel is also notable for significantly attempting to retroactively rewrite every televised Dalek story from Destiny of the Daleks onwards. It also features a reference to every single TV story featuring the Daleks from The Daleks through to Remembrance of the Daleks.

Concerning a continuity issue brought up by the 1996 telemovie, this novel gave a possible explanation for the planet Skaro reappearing after the Seventh Doctor supposedly used the Hand of Omega to destroy it in Remembrance of the Daleks. Instead, he was apparently duped into destroying Antalin, a sacrificial decoy used by the Daleks.

Publisher's summary[[edit] | [edit source]]

The Doctor is repairing the TARDIS systems once again when it is swept up by a garbage ship roving through space, the Quetzel.

When another ship approaches and takes the Quetzel by force, the Doctor discovers that he and Sam are not the only unwitting travellers on board - there is a strangely familiar survival pod in the hold. Delani, the captain of the second ship, orders the pod to be opened. The Doctor is powerless to intervene as Davros is awakened once again.

But this is no out-and-out rescue of Davros. Delani and his crew are Thals, the sworn enemies of the Daleks. They intend to use Davros as a means to wipe out the Daleks, finally ridding the universe of the most aggressive, deadly race ever to exist. But the Doctor is still worried. For there is a signal beacon inside the pod, and even now a Dalek ship is closing in...

Plot[[edit] | [edit source]]

The story opens up with the Doctor and Sam in the TARDIS doing some maintenance when they are collected by a ship which holds an escape pod containing the Dalek Emperor Davros. A group of Thals arrive; they want Davros to alter their species so they will be better able to fight the Daleks. A force of Renegade Daleks then arrive and take the Doctor and Davros, along with others to Skaro. Before landing on Skaro, the Doctor discovers that the coordinates he believed were Skaro's were actually those of the planet Antalin.

Since Davros's return, the Dalek Prime has met considerable resistance with a number of Imperial Daleks forming. Initiating a final civil war on Skaro, the Dalek Prime has all the Davros loyalists revealed and exterminated. In the mean time he releases the Doctor to leave Skaro. The Doctor discovers a planted device on board the TARDIS which would allow the Daleks to survive in case the Dalek Prime failed. He jettisons it into the vortex.

With the Imperial Daleks defeated, Davros is sentenced to death by matter dispersal. Prior to his downfall he had implanted a Spider Dalek as a spy amongst the Dalek Prime's forces. Davros is placed in a disintegration chamber and his atoms dispersed. His fate is left open when his data is either erased from the disintegrator or transmatted across space to a safe location.

Characters[[edit] | [edit source]]

Worldbuilding[[edit] | [edit source]]

Daleks[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • Skaro means "home" in the original Kaled language.
  • Davros still has Dalek supporters on Skaro. They started to appear shortly after word of their creators' survival after the original Daleks shot him, and believe that because Davros is their creator he should be in command.
  • Davros used the Hand of Omega, which destroyed what he thought of as Skaro.
  • Several types of Daleks appear: Strider Daleks, Spider Daleks, Marine Dalek.
  • Movellans, it is suggested, are of Dalek manufacture. They were designed to fool Davros into thinking his creations were in trouble several times.
  • The Daleks are always on the lookout for new sources of metals and chemicals for their war effort.
  • Dryn Faber notes the Daleks are paranoid and cautious.
  • One of the Daleks' motives for the safety of Skaro was because the planet has a number of industrial facilities and war factories. Losing them would have only hampered the Daleks plans.
  • When Sam enters the war room, she is taken by surprise by the number of Daleks currently deployed in all their wars.
  • The Doctor says the Daleks "have no interest in anything but conquest and war. Art, decoration, poetry, music - it's all irrelevant to them." [1]
  • At Davros's (or the Dalek Race's, depending on how you see it) trial the Daleks play a recording of Professor Rachel Jensen concerning Coal Hill School and the battle that took place there.
  • The Dalek Prime is one of the original Daleks. It is the leader of all the Daleks and it is the ancestor of many Daleks currently around.

The Doctor's items[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • The Doctor has another sonic screwdriver, which he uses to kill the Daleks with high frequency shock waves.
  • The Doctor's jacket came from a costume shop in San Francisco.

Foods and beverages[[edit] | [edit source]]

Individuals[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • Sam cries out, "I'm too young to die!", before breaking into hysterical giggles that turn into odd laughter. She's been in the TARDIS for around six months.
  • The Doctor, Sam, the Thals and the crew of the Quetzel are taken by the Daleks to Skaro.
  • Space Security Service agents are trained to be one-man armies; Marc Cory is mentioned by Dryn Faber after he's destroyed a Dalek facility which was attempting to mine precious metals. (during an interlude).

Planets[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • It is suggested that the Seventh Doctor destroyed a planet called Antalin rather than Skaro.
  • Terakis is destroyed by a Thal bomb in order to wipe out half of the Dalek Eighth Fleet. Terakis was inhabited by a primitive society, and were considered expendable by the Thals.

Species[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • Mechanoids have fought the Daleks on more than one occasion.
  • A Slyther makes a brief appearance (during an interlude).
  • Some Draconians make an appearance (also during an interlude). They die in battle against Dalek Killcruisers.
  • Varga plants are mentioned briefly as the crew of the Quetzel consider what could be within the pod.

TARDIS[[edit] | [edit source]]

Vehicles[[edit] | [edit source]]

Story notes[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • The meaning of Dalek colours (at this point in their history anyway) is revealed in this novel: Grey Daleks are the foot soldiers with limited intelligence; the Blue Daleks serve as corporals and sergeants; the Red Daleks have some intelligence and autonomy from the Dalek command structure; Black Daleks are smarter still; the Gold Daleks are the elite; and at the top is the Dalek Prime.
  • This story was the first to feature a Dalek inside the TARDIS, which did not happen again until TV: The Parting of the Ways.
  • Counting the Interludes, every single Dalek story is referenced in some way (except Death to the Daleks).
  • The Dalek Prime looks like the Dalek Emperor from The Dalek Chronicles.
  • The Dalek Prime previously appeared in John Peel's Dalek novelisations The Chase, The Mutation of Time, The Evil of the Daleks (as the Dalek Emperor) and was mentioned in Mission to the Unknown. This is the Dalek Prime's first role in an original story. The second and only other would be AUDIO: The Four Doctors, its only role outside of a novel.
  • War of the Daleks began life as a four-part TV story, but when the series was cancelled it was shelved, then was put forward by John Peel as a possible Virgin New Adventures novel. It was rejected, before finally becoming an Eighth Doctor Adventure. Peel noted in an interview, "Another reason for the story was to bring back Skaro. I feel that its destruction in Remembrance [of the Daleks] - was a bad move, as did Terry Nation. When I sought his permission for War, he asked me to try and rectify the destruction, which I think I've done very sneakily."[2]
  • This is the only Doctor Who novel to feature Davros as a character.
  • The novel was released the same day as the Past Doctor Adventure novel Illegal Alien, another proposed TV story that was scrapped due to the show's cancellation and featured another popular recurring enemy. Additionally, like War, Illegal Alien was also the fifth novel of its line.
  • There are two planets called Antalin. One appears in the Human Space Interlude and the other is a decoy for Skaro, which is a main story element of the book.
  • Presuming the interludes take place concurrently with the main story, this novel takes place circa 4000, as Dryn Faber mentions Marc Cory's death in Mission to the Unknown, indicating the destruction of Skaro occurred circa 3970.

Retcon[[edit] | [edit source]]

War of the Daleks is controversial for its retconning of every Dalek story from Destiny of the Daleks to Remembrance of the Daleks, although it is not really a true retcon. The retcon also makes reference to other Dalek stories.

Events of original Dalek story Events of original Dalek story with added War of the Daleks context
The Daleks invaded Earth in the 22nd century (The Dalek Invasion of Earth). During the invasion defeated in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (set in the 22nd century), the Daleks discovered records showing that Davros had destroyed Skaro in 1963 (Remembrance of the Daleks).
The Daleks used time travel to conquer Earth and it is implied that this was to prevent the failure of the 22nd-century invasion (Day of the Daleks). The Daleks then used their nascent time travel abilities to try to prevent the failure of the invasion. This attempt created a parallel timeline (Day of the Daleks). When this failed, the Daleks realised that they could not save Skaro by changing history.
The Daleks entered into a war with the robotic Movellans. Both sides were entirely logical and reached an impasse. The Daleks returned to Skaro to revive Davros, so he could help them break their stalemate. The Daleks and Movellans on Skaro were defeated and Davros was captured and taken for trial (Destiny of the Daleks). The Dalek Prime came up with a new plan. To simultaneously save their homeworld and maintain the flow of history, the Daleks reasoned that they must make Skaro appear to have been destroyed. To that end, the planet Antalin was terraformed to resemble Skaro. Davros was then excavated from the Kaled bunker and moved to Antalin. The Daleks also created the Movellans and faked a war with them to give them a plausible reason for reviving Davros. When Davros was revived, he believed himself to be on Skaro, and was told by the Daleks that they needed him to solve the logical impasse in their war with the Movellans. The Daleks ensured that Davros would be captured and taken for trial (Destiny of the Daleks).
Davros was sprung from his imprisonment by the Daleks, who wanted him to find a cure for the Movellan virus. At this time, the Daleks also wanted to invade Gallifrey by using robotic duplicates, as well as 1980s Earth in the same way. To this end, their ship contained a time corridor (Resurrection of the Daleks). It was then arranged that Davros was sprung from his imprisonment and given access to the time travel technology he needed to return to 1963, acquire the Hand of Omega, and destroy Antalin (Resurrection of the Daleks).
Davros began to create the Imperial Dalek Faction. (Revelation of the Daleks). At this point, the plan seemed to go a bit wrong, as Davros instead began to create the Imperial Daleks (Revelation of the Daleks).
Davros conquered Skaro with his Imperial Dalek faction. The Imperials and the Renegades travelled back in time to 1963 in order to acquire the Hand of Omega. Tricked by the Doctor, Davros destroyed Skaro (Remembrance of the Daleks). When Davros was finally able to travel back to 1963 with his Imperial faction, the Renegade faction - ultimately loyal to the Dalek Prime - ensured that he acquired the Hand of Omega and destroyed what appeared to be Skaro, in order to fulfil the historical record. Tricked by the Doctor who was tricked by the Dalek Prime, Davros destroyed Antalin (Remembrance of the Daleks).

Continuity[[edit] | [edit source]]

External links[[edit] | [edit source]]

Footnotes[[edit] | [edit source]]