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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"You all burned, all of you! Ten million ships on fire, the entire Dalek race wiped out in one second!"
―The Doctor
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Series Number: Series 1
Story Number: 162
Doctor: Ninth Doctor
Setting: The Vault, Utah; 2012
Writer: Robert Shearman
Director: Joe Ahearne
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 30th April 2005
Format: 1 45-minute episodes
Prod. Code: 166
Previous Story: World War Three
Following Story: The Long Game



The Doctor and Rose arrive in 2012 to answer a distress signal and meet a collector of alien artifacts who has one living specimen. However, The Doctor is horrified to find out that the creature is a member of a race he thought was destroyed: A Dalek.


The TARDIS is drawn off course by a signal, and materializes underground in a bunker located in Utah in the year 2012. As the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler step out to investigate, they find that the bunker is a very special sort of museum, full of alien artifacts, including a mileometer from the Roswell crash, a stuffed Raxacoricofallapatorian arm, and even the head of a Cyberman. As the Doctor muses over the fact that he's getting old, he touches the glass casing of the Cyberman exhibit and sets off an alarm. Immediately, he and Rose are surrounded by armed guards.

They are taken to see the owner of the VaultHenry van Statten, a billionaire who claims to own the Internet. Van Statten fires one of his employees when the employee says that he can't replace the President. Van Statten then fires the man with the following remark, "Thank you so much for your opinion, you're fired!" He has been collecting alien artifacts for years, and is impressed when the Doctor manages to identify a new piece that one of his assistants, a young English researcher named Adam Mitchell, has acquired in an auction. The Doctor shows van Statten how to play the alien musical instrument, but is disturbed when he tosses it aside carelessly. Van Statten asks the Doctor if he would like to see his one living specimen, which is locked up in a part of the Vault called the Cage. Van Statten calls it the Metaltron, and his scientists have been trying to get it to talk, torturing it, but it has so far remained silent except for screaming.

The Doctor enters the darkened Cage, and begins by saying that he is here to help. When he introduces himself, however, a grating, familiar screech repeats his name, synchronised with flashing lights. The Doctor is shocked at the impossibility of the sight before him as the lights come up. It is a Dalek, in chains, declaring him an enemy of the Daleks and crying its intent to exterminate. The Doctor, panicked, bangs on the door and demands to be let out, until he realises that the Dalek's casing is cracked and worn and its weapon stalk does not work. Delighted, the Doctor rounds on the Dalek, who is demanding orders. The Doctor says that no orders will be forthcoming; the Dalek race is dead, all ten million ships of its fleet burning, and the Doctor was the one who destroyed them. The Dalek asks what happened to the Time Lords, and the Doctor grimly acknowledges that all of them are dead as well, casualties of the last Time War. The two of them are the last of their kind, but he is going to finish the job. In a fury, he pulls a lever, sending electricity coursing through the Dalek, but van Statten sends his guards to stop the Doctor.

As they ride up to the upper levels, van Statten's assistant, Diana Goddard, tells the Doctor that the Dalek fell to Earth fifty years before, on Ascension Island, where it burned in a crater for three days before anyone could approach it. It then passed through the hands of several collectors before van Statten bought it at an auction. The Doctor concludes it must have fallen through time somehow, and van Statten notes that the Dalek is not the only alien on Earth now. The Doctor is chained up, stripped to the waist and painfully scanned. As van Statten gleefully observes that he can patent the Doctor's binary vascular system, the Doctor realises that van Statten is not just a collector. He scavenges technology from the artifacts and then sells them. Van Statten proudly admits this, revealing that broadband was derived from Roswell technology, and that recently his scientists found the cure to the common cold in bacteria recovered from the "Russian crater".

Meanwhile, Adam is showing Rose (who is unaware of the Doctor's predicament) around the base. When Adam shows her the Dalek on the monitor, they see one of the technicians, Simmons, torturing it, trying to get it to speak again as per van Statten's orders. Rose asks to be taken down to the Cage so she can stop Simmons. There, Rose talks to the Dalek, offering to help. The Dalek feigns haplessness, getting Rose to approach it. In sympathy, Rose touches the Dalek casing, and immediately the Dalek absorbs some of her DNA, which allows it to regenerate part of its casing and break free of its chains. When Simmons approaches it, the Dalek uses its plunger-shaped manipulator arm to crush his face. The Cage is sealed, and van Statten alerted. The Doctor calmly tells van Statten to release him if they want to live.

Although the lock to the Cage has a billion combinations, the Dalek easily runs through them in a matter of moments. It then smashes a computer terminal with its manipulator arm, absorbing electricity from the Vault and seven states in the Western United States to completely repair itself, as well as absorbing the collective information of the Internet. Rose and Adam are evacuated from the level as van Statten's guards surround the Dalek, firing at it. However, a force field melts the bullets before they hit its casing, and its middle section can swivel around, giving its energy weapon a 360-degree field of fire. Van Statten shouts over the guards' communicators that he does not want the Dalek damaged, but there is no answer — the Dalek has killed all of them. The Doctor tells Diana to have weapons distributed to everyone.

Adam, Rose and a female guard named De Maggio are climbing the stairs to the upper levels, hoping to escape the Dalek, but it hovers up after them, killing De Maggio. Van Statten still thinks the Dalek can be negotiated with, but the Doctor bluntly tells him that the Dalek will kill everyone who is different from a Dalek, because it honestly believes they should die. It is the ultimate in racial cleansing, and van Statten has let it loose.

In the Vault's weapons testing range, another group of guards takes up a firing position. Once Rose and Adam are clear, they open fire on the Dalek, but it sits there, impervious, even allowing the Doctor to see this on the monitors to prove it. It then hovers in the air, triggering the sprinklers. With one shot, it electrifies the water on the floor and kills the guards there. A second shot runs through a metal walkway, taking care of those guards. It demands to speak to the Doctor, and reveals that absorbing Rose's DNA — the genetic code of a time traveller — allowed it to "extrapolate her biomass" and regenerate itself. Its search through the world's satellite and radio telescope systems revealed no Daleks anywhere, confirming the Doctor's claim that it is the last of its kind. As the Dalek now knows that no new orders will ever come, it intends to carry out the default Dalek function — to destroy and conquer. The Doctor suggests, with almost uncharacteristic venom, that if it wants an order, it should just kill itself. The Dalek observes that the Doctor would make a good Dalek.

Van Statten has managed to restore some power to the bulkheads, but not for long. The Doctor holds off activating the doors for as long as he can to allow Rose and Adam to get to safety, but the power is failing, and he has no choice but to shut them. Adam makes it to the other side, but Rose is trapped. Over her "superphone", Rose tells the Doctor it was not his fault, and the Doctor hears the Dalek cry, "Exterminate!" and the sound of the Dalek weapon firing. Furious with grief, he blames van Statten for all the deaths that have transpired, especially Rose's.

The Dalek, however, has not killed Rose. The DNA it absorbed from her is making it hesitant, and it can feel Rose's fear, something that a Dalek should not be able to do. It contacts the Doctor, holding Rose hostage and demanding that the bulkheads be opened or it will kill her this time. It taunts the Doctor, saying, "What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?" The Doctor tells van Statten that he already killed Rose once; he cannot do it again. He then unseals the doors. Adam informs the Doctor that, while the alien weapons van Statten has collected are down in the lower levels, there are some uncatalogued ones in his laboratory. Van Statten mindwipes his employees after he terminates their service, and Adam wanted to keep some aside in case he had to fight his way out. The Doctor sorts through the pile and finds a large weapon exactly like a handheld cannon.

The Dalek reaches van Statten's office, and threatens to kill van Statten for torturing it. Rose stops it, and the Dalek hesitates once more. Rose tells the Dalek that it does not have to kill anymore and asks it what it wants. The Dalek replies that it wants freedom. They ride up to Level 1, and there, the Dalek blows a hole in the roof of the Vault, letting the sunlight stream through. It opens up its casing to reveal the mutated creature inside, a tentacle waving up to capture the warmth of the Sun. The Doctor appears, weapon in hand, telling Rose to get out of the way, but Rose refuses to let the Doctor kill it. The Dalek did not kill van Statten — it is changing. But what, Rose asks, is the Doctor changing into?

The Doctor, appalled at his own actions, lowers the weapon. Thinking on Rose's words, he realises that the DNA the Dalek absorbed from Rose is mutating it further. The Dalek also realises this, as its mind is filled with so many new ideas, and it cannot reconcile it with the Dalek notion of species purity. It asks Rose to order it to die - at first she cannot bring herself to, but when the Dalek screams in desperation for her to obey, she reluctantly does. The Dalek rises into the air, the globes on its shell disengaging to form a sphere formation around it. The spheres emit energy and it implodes, completely disintegrating. Goddard orders the guards to take van Statten away and mindwipe him for causing the events that resulted in the death of 200 people. She also orders the Vault to be filled in with cement.

Rose and the Doctor make it back to the TARDIS, where the Doctor ruefully observes that the Time War is finished, and as the last survivor he "wins", although this obviously does not fill him with joy. Rose asks whether it is possible, since the Dalek survived, that some of the Time Lords did as well, but the Doctor says he would feel it if they had, and it feels like there is no one. Adam comes by, saying that they have to leave as Goddard is sealing the base, and Rose hints to the Doctor that they should take Adam along, as he always wanted to see the stars. The Doctor is skeptical, but does not object. Adam, not knowing what they are really saying, follows the Doctor and Rose into the TARDIS with a puzzled expression, and it dematerialises.



to be added


  • Rose states that there is a piece of Slitheen on display, but this is a misnomer. The arm is from a Raxacoricofallapatorian; the Slitheen are a family of Raxacoricofallapatorians. Rose refers to all Raxacoricofallapatorians as Slitheen due to their long and hard-to-pronounce species name. In addition, since the Slitheen are the only Raxacoricofallapatorians known to have been on Earth, she's probably right that the arm did belong to a member of that family. Also Raxacoricofallapatorians are shown to vary in colour as seen in The Gift (Sarah Jane Adventures).
  • Bad Wolf is mentioned as van Statten's helicopter lands: "Bad Wolf One descending..." This is one of the only known occasions in which a Bad Wolf reference is made in such a context that it is not seen or heard by either Rose or the Doctor.
  • The Doctor mutters the line "I win, how 'bout that" near the end of the story. The Master utters a similar line near his death in Last of the Time Lords, "How 'bout that, I win".
  • Van Statten mentiones "the Russian crater", it could be a reference to the Tunguska event.
  • The Doctor recognises the mileometer from the spacecraft the famously crashed at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 (it is also referenced in PDA: The Devil Goblins from Neptune). Van Statten later indicates that he developed broadband Internet from technology salvaged from the vessel.
  • The Time War is mentioned and elaborated on by the Doctor and the Dalek.

Story Notes

  • This is the first story of the new series not to feature the TARDIS interior.
  • Van Statten is heard to utter the curse word "goddamn" - the first time a word of this type had been heard in a televised Doctor Who story. At the time of broadcast, however, little attention was paid to this; instead, the episode attracted criticism for van Statten's use of the word "spoon" in a possibly sexual context.
  • Davros is mentioned (but not named) by the Doctor when saying that van Statten would have liked the creator of the Daleks.
  • According to Doctor Who Confidential, Robert Shearman had to write a second version of the script because it was not initially known if the new series could obtain the rights to use the Daleks from Terry Nation's estate, so he had to create an alternate alien race that would have been used had the Daleks not been available.
  • This is probably, but not a confirmed, the first episode of the revived series in which the events were possibly changed, as in this episode no one seemed to know what a Dalek was, despite the previous huge invasions from 2007 to 2009. Also, Rose did not know what the inside of a Dalek even was by DW: Journey's End, pointing to the possibility that time was changed and her memories of the events were wiped due to that. However it is possible to rationalize the other way; for example, the events of DW: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End do not definitively indicate that the name Dalek was known by the population at large, and Rose's question re: Dalek Caan could be interpreted in different ways.


  • 8.6 million viewers


  • This is the first episode to show a Dalek hovering up the stairs. DW: Remembrance of the Daleks was the first clear instance where a Dalek was shown to hover up stairs. DW: Revelation of the Daleks had Daleks hovering, but the angles didn't clearly show it. A Dalek ascends a shaft by use of an anti-gravity device in DW: Planet of the Daleks. The Season 2 story DW: The Chase implied that Daleks could hover.
  • This is the first episode to show the actual creature inside the Dalek shell. The creatures had been shown on screen almost from the very start (a blanket-covered creature was seen in The Daleks). A very clear view was shown in DW: The Five Doctors. This is the first time an "uncanned" Dalek was shown to speak, however.

Filming Locations

  • Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
  • Unit Q2, Imperial Park, Imperial Way, Newport

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Van Statten's computer keyboard are of the UK layout, rather than the US layout. "UK Keyboards can be used in the US and many computer's in the US have foreign keyboard's on them."
  • The map of the US shown on van Statten's monitor is missing the upper peninsula of Michigan.
  • The Cyberman head shown is a DW: Revenge of the Cybermen style, but the identification states it was found in the London underground sewers, suggesting it originated from the events shown in DW: The Invasion, which featured an earlier design.
  • The Dalek can find no trace of his race on the Internet. Has no one noticed the events of DW: Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, Army of Ghosts /Doomsday or The Stolen Earth / Journey's End? The Dalek is more likely looking for present information regarding Daleks on earth, in which case he is likely the only one in 2012 itself. In addition, dialogue within various Torchwood episodes, as well as Remembrance of the Daleks suggests that information about certain events was repressed from public knowledge. Also, remember that in 2012 Van Statten owns the Internet, and therefore may have kept information about Daleks or Metaltrons off the Net for his own ends. There is also the possibility that later events may have changed aspects of the future, removing them from history."
  • How can van Statten (who seems to own the President) not know what a Dalek is, even though they stole and attacked the Earth 3 years earlier in The Stolen Earth and Journey's End? Again, History may have been changed. Also, there is as yet no indication that any Dalek "remains" survived the Medusa Cascade incident for study. And the episode establishes van Statten as a megalomaniac - he may have simply made up the name Metaltron because he liked it better than Dalek; he says he'd rather find out the Metaltron's real name, but he could have been testing the Doctor. Note he doesn't make a big deal of it once the Dalek's name is revealed. In addition, later stories (but earlier events) establish that some Daleks have names (Dalek Caan, for instance); who is to say van Statten wasn't looking for this information?
  • The Dalek begs the Doctor for pity. It was established in DW: Genesis of the Daleks and other stories that the Daleks cannot feel pity, having no concept of it. In this episode, however, the Dalek is knowledgeable about emotions to manipulate them without actually having any itself, hence why it was able to trick Rose into touching it. Plus a major point of the episode is how the Dalek takes on human characteristics after Rose touches it.
  • When the Doctor and van Statten are closing the bulk head, they are also watching Rose and Adam escaping, but the computer only shows one light moving (which turns out to be Rose because it stops at the vault door) and not three (therefore not showing Adam or the Dalek). The Doctor was more concerned about Rose at the time or maybe he was only tracking her mobile, not any actual life forms. Earlier in the episode, Diana Goddard points to the same light and explains that it's the Dalek.
  • Rose states that in 2012 she would be 26. yet she has to be 19 in 2005 to be 26. she should actually be 25 in 2012. Her birthday has not necessarily passed in 2005 - in Aliens of London, it says she disappeared in March. Her birthday is more likely to be after March than before. Also, the Doctor does not specify a date, so it could be an assumption. Rose may not be that good at maths - she said in DW:Rose that one of the only things she was good at was gymnastics "i got the bronze".
  • When Rose and Adam stop in front of gunmen, the two swap places.
  • The Doctor states that if there were any other Time Lords in the universe, he'd know. So how can he not detect Jenny? (In The Doctor's Daughter, it is shown that the Doctor still does not know she exists after she is shot, so maybe he can't her in the universe. Not really the right story to put it under but Jenny is unconventional in the way she was 'born' therefore the way to detect her might be different. The TARDIS detected her so brought the Doctor to her to create her (timey-wimey, wibbley-wobbly)
  • When the Dalek shoots the water everyone touching it is electrocuted, basic physics tells this is not possible as lazers use radioation not electricity.Its never stated that it is a lazer beam is it ? and it could be electric in older daleks then the newer post time war ones.
  • Also why isn't the dalek electrocuted along with the men, its touching the water. Daleks may be able to withstand this due to some unknown technology
  • In this story the daleks casing can swivel 360 degrees yet in all past and future stories it can't. this Dalek may be a prototype created near the end of the Last Great Time War and after the Daleks were destroyed the other survivors weren't capable of swiveling 360 degrees


  • This story was adapted by writer Robert Shearman from his Big Finish Audio Drama Jubilee. This was the first time that a licenced Doctor Who story from the "expanded franchise" had been adapted in this way. Later, DW: Boom Town would reference a novel, and DW: Human Nature/The Family of Blood and Blink would be based upon a previously published novel and short story, respectively.
  • This is the second story to feature Daleks (on screen) rising up stairs, the first being Remembrance of the Daleks where an Imperial Dalek "climbs" stairs.
  • The Cyberman head displayed in van Statten's museum is of a style from Revenge of the Cybermen. This is the first time an old-series Cyberman appeared in the revival series, but to date only Pete's World Cybermen have been featured in an active fashion in the revival. This is not the first story in which both Cybermen and Daleks have appeared, however; discounting flashbacks, that honor goes to The Five Doctors.
  • Adam Mitchell becomes the first on screen male companion of the Doctor since Vislor Turlough departed in the 1984 story Planet of Fire.
  • The Doctor tries to convince the Dalek that it no longer has any purpose, perhaps trying to use the same tactic as he did in DW: Remembrance of the Daleks which resulted in a Dalek self-destructing.


DVD and Other Releases

Series 1 Volume 2 DVD Cover

Faux documentary

Following the broadcasts of The Parting of the Ways, BBC Radio aired The Dalek Conquests, a 2 1/2-hour faux documentary on the history of the Daleks. Narrated by Nicholas Briggs and featuring extensive sound clips from Dalek and other Doctor Who stories dating back to 1963, the documentary supposedly takes place at some point after Dalek, with Briggs describing a post-incident visit to van Statten's facility, now decommissioned.

The Dalek Conquests was released to CD by BBC Audio in 2006.

See Also

External Links

  • Official BBC Website - Episode Guide for Dalek
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Dalek
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Dalek
  • The Whoniverse - The Discontinuity Guide to: Dalek
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Dalek
Series 1
Rose  • The End of the World  • The Unquiet Dead  • Aliens of London  • World War Three  • Dalek  • The Long Game  • Father's Day  • The Empty Child  • The Doctor Dances  • Boom Town  • Bad Wolf  • The Parting of the Ways
Dalek television stories
Major appearances: The Daleks  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth  • The Chase  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Power of the Daleks  • The Evil of the Daleks  • Day of the Daleks  • Planet of the Daleks  • Death to the Daleks  • Genesis of the Daleks  • Destiny of the Daleks  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Revelation of the Daleks  • Remembrance of the Daleks  • Dalek • Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways  • Army of Ghosts/Doomsday  • Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks  • The Stolen Earth / Journey's End
Minor appearances: The Space Museum  • The Wheel in Space  • The War Games  • The Mind of Evil  • Frontier in Space  • Logopolis  • The Five Doctors  • The TV Movie  • Human Nature  • The Waters of Mars
Non-canonical: The Curse of Fatal Death
 • Complete List of Appearances •
Slitheen Television Stories
Doctor Who
Aliens of London  • World War Three  • Boom Town

The Sarah Jane Adventures
Revenge of the Slitheen  • The Lost Boy  • From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love

Attack of the Graske  • The Gift  • The End of Time

Blathereen Television stories
The Gift

This article uses material from the "Dalek (TV story)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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