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War of the Daleks
Series: Doctor Who -
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Release Number: 5
Doctor: Eighth Doctor
Companions: Sam Jones
Enemy: The Daleks
Setting: Border of Thal and Dalek Space
Antalin (interlude)
Hesperus (interlude)
Author: John Peel
Publisher: BBC Books
Publication: October 1997
Format: Paperback Book, 277 Pages
ISBN: ISBN 0-563-40573-2
Previous Story: Genocide
Following Story: Alien Bodies


Publisher's Summary

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...


  • Is vegetarian.
  • Cries out "I'm too young to die!" before breaking into hysterical giggles that turn into odd laughter.
  • Has been in the TARDIS for around 6 months (page 98).
  • Is one of the original Daleks.
  • Is leader of all the Daleks.
  • Ayaka
  • Chayn


  • The Doctor removes the TARDIS lock to discover how the Master got through the lock in San Francisco.
  • The Doctor, Sam, the Thals and the crew of the Quetzel are taken by The Daleks to Skaro.
  • Skaro means 'home' in the original Kaled language.
  • It is suggested that the Doctor destroyed a planet called Antalin rather than Skaro.
  • Davros still has Dalek supporters on Skaro.
  • Davros used Hand of Omega which destroyed what he thought of as Skaro.
  • Various types of Daleks appear: Dalek Striders, Spider Daleks, Marine Dalek.
  • Movellans are suggested to be of Dalek manufacture.
  • The Quetzel has a Bussard Ram Jet which Sam learnt from reading Jane's Space Ships.
  • Mechanoids have fought the Daleks on more than one occasion.
  • The Doctor has another sonic screwdriver which he uses to kill the Daleks with high frequency shock waves.
  • The Doctor says the Daleks "have no interest in anything but conquest and war. Art, decoration, poetry, music - it's all irrelevant to them." (page 170), he's forgetting "The Lament of the Non-Operational".
  • A Slyther makes a brief appearance (during an interlude).
  • Some Draconians make an appearance (also during an interlude), they die.
  • Varga plants are mentioned briefly as the crew of the Quetzel consider what could be within the pod.
  • 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.

Story Notes

  • The meaning of Dalek colours is revealed in this novel: Grey Daleks are the foot soldiers with limited intelligence, next are the Blue Daleks which 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 at the top is the Dalek Prime.
  • This story was the first to feature a Dalek inside the TARDIS until 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.
  • War of the Daleks begun life as a four part TV story, but when the series was cancelled it held off, then it was put forward by John Peel as a possible Virgin New Adventures novel, but was rejected before finally becoming a 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."[1]


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. The planet Antalin was terraformed to resemble Skaro. Davros was 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 a new race of Daleks (Revelation of the Daleks). At this point, the plan seemed to go a bit wrong, as Davros instead began to create a new race of Daleks (Revelation of the Daleks).
Davros conquered Skaro with his Imperial Dalek faction. The Imperials and the Renegades and 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 to fulfil the historical record. Tricked by the Doctor who was tricked by the Dalek Prime, Davros destroyed Antalin (Remembrance of the Daleks).

Discontinuity and Errors

  • War of the Daleks is considered by many to be non-canonical, or at least on the outskirts of established canon as it makes numerous revisions to 'established' Dalek history.
  • In short, every TV Dalek story from Destiny of the Daleks to Remembrance of the Daleks is revised to fit War of the Daleks' plot.
  • The only 'question' this book seems to answer is where the Dalek Factory Ship seen in The Power of the Daleks came from.
  • However throughout the various discussions the events of Resurrection of the Daleks don't appear to gel with the story given to the Doctor by the Dalek Prime (its motivations do not make sense given what is said in this novel with regard to that story).
  • If the Movellans were created by the Daleks then who were the humanoid robots causing the Daleks grief in MA: A Device of Death.
  • Additionally if the Movellans were a ruse to trick Davros, why was there a Movellan virus created, why was it on Earth and why have all the Dalek shock troops (all from DW: Resurrection of the Daleks)
  • The Dalek Prime claims that the Daleks recovered Davros on Skaro, relocated him to Antalin, and altered his memories so that he would believe Antalin to be Skaro. However, if the Daleks did indeed find Davros before the events in Destiny of the Daleks, why did they not simply finish him off there? Davros had to apparently destroy Skaro. Perhaps the Daleks were afraid that if they killed Davros and created a paradox then the universe would end, or something.
  • In one of the Interludes in the book (page 81 - Interlude Human Space), it's set on a planet covered entirely by water, called Antalin. (This planet has the same name as the planet which was made to look like Skaro). Perhaps it simply shared Antalin's name, like there can be two places on Earth with the same name.
  • If during the events of The Dalek Invasion of Earth the Daleks discovered records of Skaro's destruction and set about preventing it, why would they not also find out about the cataclysmic (for the Daleks) events of Doomsday and Journey's End? The events of the Last Great Time War disorted the events of the timeline, so that it no longer follows the Laws of Time in a linear sense; wibbley wobbley, timey wimey...
  • The Daleks moved Davros from Skaro to Antalin. They buried him in a replica of the Kaled bunker. Once they had finished doing that, they presumably immediately set about digging him up again, all to fool him into thinking he was on Skaro. Did the Daleks use the slaves to bury Davros as well? If so, why didn't the slaves mention that in Destiny of the Daleks? If not, why did the Daleks need the slaves to dig Davros up? Maybe they used a different group of slaves.
  • If the renegade Daleks in Remembrance of the Daleks were taking orders from the Dalek Prime, and presumably were in on the plot, then why did the Black Dalek at the end of Remembrance blow itself up when told of its race's defeat by the Doctor, when it should know full well that everything is going according to plan?
  • The Antalin scheme requires either extreme carelessness on the part of the Doctor and Davros, or very careful alteration of maps by the Dalek Prime. In Remembrance, the Doctor sees a star chart of what is allegedly Antalin, and believes it to be Skaro; it also seems that at no point between being revived on Antalin in Destiny of the Daleks and leading his Imperial faction in Remembrance did Davros ever bother to look at his home planet on a map, which surely would have shown clearly that the planet he was ruling from was NOT the planet he had been born on. The Doctor had only been to Skaro four times before Remembrance. The first time, in The Daleks, the TARDIS was not working properly. The next two times, in The Evil of the Daleks and Genesis of the Daleks, he went there without the TARDIS (although he did leave in the TARDIS in Evil). The fourth time was in Destiny of the Daleks, and that was actually Antalin. If the Doctor had used his knowledge of Skaro's location gained in Destiny, then he would have false coordinates as that planet was Antalin.

A lot of this supports the theory put forward by some fans that the Dalek Prime's story about Antalin is actually untrue and is a fabrication for propaganda purposes, and that Skaro was destroyed in Remembrance. If this is true, it is possible that the "Skaro" featured in War of the Daleks is actually Antalin, as this novel reveals that "Skaro" simply means "home", and so presumably could be used to refer to whatever the current Dalek base of operations is. Evidence for this includes the fact that in War, "Skaro" is not radioactive.


External Links

  • The Doctor Who Reference Guide detailed synopsis of War of the Daleks
  • Whoniverse Discontinuity Guide entry for War of the Daleks
  • The Cloister Library - War of the Daleks


  1. Interview with John Peel, which appeared in Broadsword issue 11

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This article uses material from the "War of the Daleks" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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