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Despite the fact that he was not the unquestioned ruler of the Daleks, he was one of the Doctor’s greatest enemies, rivalling the Master in intellect and madness. Because of his creations, he was responsible for trillions of deaths and war across the universe.Davros was originally the head of the Kaled Scientific Elite, on the planet Skaro, but became better known as the creator of the Daleks. During the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, he served as Emperor of the Imperial Dalek faction and later of the Dalek race as a whole, but his relationship with his creations was always tense. He was frequently hunted, maligned or otherwise denigrated by some portion of the overall Dalek population.
Davros was born in the later part of the Thousand Year War between the Kaleds and the Thals on the planet Skaro, the issue of an adulterous relationship between Lady Calcula and Councillor Quested. He had an elder half-sister, Yarvell. It was a time when mercy and nobility were all but non-existent on Skaro and life was harsh and grim. The use of nuclear weapons and other agents of mutation produced Mutos, who resided in the Wastelands and were often used for slave labour by both the Kaleds and the Thals.
As a child, Davros claimed that only his mother believed in him. Others feared him and his determination and were right to do so. His stepfather, Colonel Nasgard (whom both believed to be his biological father), wanted him to become a soldier like his ancestors but Davros was determined to become a scientist. (Innocence)
During his childhood, he watched the propaganda television series Captain Croag and the Highland Rangers, as did Yarvell. (Guilt)
As a child, Davros often read the Book of Predictions, which was written in the extinct language of the Dals. Although the book was banned by the Council of Twelve, he kept it in his possession for decades. (Innocence, Guilt)
Shortly after his stepfather’s death, Davros joined the Military Youth before joining the Military Corps in his final year of college.
In Nasgard’s will, the family finances were held in trust under Davros’ name and his wife and daughter were forbidden access to it until Davros was married. Due to her connections with senior members of the Kaled judiciary, Calcula was successful in her attempts to have the terms of the will overturned. Prior to this, she had attempted to set Davros up with the daughter of Councillor Matros, another member of the Council of Twelve who belonged to one of the most influential and wealthy Kaled families. (Purity)
Davros vehemently disagreed with the ideas of his half-sister Yarvell, who had become a peace activist, of a compromise with the Thals. As he approached his thirtieth birthday, he regarded the only satisfactory outcome of the war as being the extermination of the Thals and the complete dominance of the Kaleds over all of Skaro. He was forced into the Military Corps, put in charge of developing new weapons and gadgets to help Kaled soldiers. After his mother killed his father, sister and aunt, Davros no longer had anyone to impress. In honour of Yarvell’s death, he and his mother commissioned a statue to house her ashes. In reality, however, Davros used her body for his genetic research. (Purity)
Davros’ first assignment in the Scientific Corps was in food processing. Consequently, he learned that the pills were made from not only waste vegetable matter but also the bodies of the dead. (Davros)
One month after the death of his mother, Davros was grievously wounded by a Thal bombardment of his laboratory in the Kaled Dome which cost him his eyes, taste buds, left arm and entire lower body. As a result, he was forced to spend the rest of his life confined to a mobile life support system.
After he was crippled, the Scientific Corps gave Davros a projectile poison injector to allow him to kill himself. He kept it but refused to use it. (Davros, Corruption)
Thirty seconds without his life support would have killed him. The life support system was controlled by a switch on the panel of buttons on his system. (Genesis of the Daleks) His chair acted like an iron lung and pacemaker in that monitored and maintained his body. (Davros)
He did not require nourishment due to his life support system, although he did occasionally eat. (Davros, Guilt)
After he assassinated the Supremo and the other members of the Council of Twelve, Davros became the de facto Kaled head of state as their deaths left him as the most senior surviving civilian in the Kaled Dome.
Davros began experimenting with organisms and teaching them to speak. In particular, he taught them to say his name. For his first experiment, he used a Thal brain, that of a spy named Baran, instead of a Kaled one. (Guilt)
CREATION OF THE DALEKS
However, intervention by the Time Lords began a chain of events. The Fourth Doctor was sent to Skaro at this time when Davros first demonstrated the Daleks to the Kaled Scientific Elite. Davros imprisoned the Doctor. He used a lie detector to force the Doctor to reveal the details of the Daleks‘ future defeats, so that he could learn from them and so his creations, the Daleks, could avoid them. (The Doctor later had this record destroyed.) Davros refused to listen to the Doctor when he begged him to instead make the Daleks peaceful creatures of good, rather than the evil exterminators they would become. (Genesis of the Daleks)
The extent to which the Time Lords‘ intervention changed history was unclear. However, prior to the known involvement of the Time Lords, Dalek history was quite different. In the pre-Time Lord history, Daleks were created by an entirely different person, Yarvelling, under circumstances that were only passingly similar, and by people whose physiology didn’t match the humanoid Kaleds attendant to Davros. (Genesis of Evil)
“DEATH” AND REVIVAL
The Daleks exterminated Nyder. However, Davros soon became their next victim, ironically because of the programming that he himself had given them: to exterminate all those who were not pure Dalek. He begged them to have pity on him but they stated that were incapable of doing so as he had not programmed them to feel pity. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Unbeknownst to the Daleks, they had actually only damaged his primary life support system. The secondary and backup circuits switched on immediately, placing him in suspended animation while his life support worked to regenerate him. After an unknown, but lengthy time had passed, the Daleks, now a major galactic power, sought to revive Davros so that he might offer them a way out of the impasse in their war with the Movellans.
Davros’ suspended body was eventually found in the underground remains of the crumbled bunker and he was revived. Davros opted to help the Daleks in their war against the Movellans. He devised a plan to destroy a Movellan ship. After this failed, he was captured by the Doctor and the escaped Dalek slaves, and imprisoned in a cryogenic freezer as “a block of ice”. (Destiny of the Daleks)
War of the Daleks claims that Davros was moved, unbeknownst to him, from Skaro to a decoy planet called Antalin, as part of a plan by the Daleks to stop Skaro’s destruction. Most of this is explained by the Dalek Prime, who might have been lying.
The humans decreed an indefinite sentence of suspended animation while Davros retained full consciousness. After ninety years, the Daleks, led by the Dalek Supreme, liberated Davros from his prison station in space, and revived him again. They believed he might help them to find a cure for the virus with which the Movellans defeated them, a virus that attacked only Dalek tissue. Pretending to research the cure, Davros experimented on Daleks to bring them under his control. The Doctor, now in his fifth incarnation, attempted to kill Davros at this time, though he lacked the resolve to do so directly. His treachery discovered by the Dalek Supreme, Davros released the Movellan virus onto the prison ship, killing all the Daleks on board.
The virus began affecting Davros, who promptly fled in an escape pod before Stien caused the station (and the prison ship) to explode. (Resurrection of the Daleks)
A NEW ENTERPRISE
It is unclear what order Davros and Revelation of the Daleks take place in. The Complete Davros Collections timeline places Davros between Resurrection and Revelation.
Davros was somehow picked up by a different space station and imprisoned in a vault. Arnold Baynes and his wife, Lorraine, extracted him and helped in his restoration. At this very same moment, the Sixth Doctor arrived after being called in by some friends. He demanded Davros be immediately placed in suspended animation, but as Davros was fully conscious he goaded the Doctor into doing the job himself. The Doctor couldn’t. Feeling Davros deserved a chance for redemption, Baynes offered him a job at his company, TAI. The Doctor also offered a working relationship with Davros.
Davros gained a foothold and claimed to be working on a way to combat famine. He held great interest in the stock market and planned on closing it down by broadcasting a pattern he discovered, the results completely disrupting the Galaxy and enabling Davros to gain a military foothold. However Davros began to be haunted by his past, particularly the time before his accident when he had betrayed a female Kaled scientist named Shan whom he perhaps had loved. The Doctor halted his plan but Davros escaped in a ship. The Doctor took control of the ship from the TAI control room and made it crash while Davros screamed Shan’s name. (Davros)
EMPEROR OF THE IMPERIAL DALEK FACTION
Davros survived and set himself up as “The Great Healer” on the planet Necros and lured the Sixth Doctor there. Using the bodies of the dead at Tranquil Repose, Davros created a new race of Daleks with white and gold livery. These would become “Imperial Daleks”. The new faction was totally loyal to him. However those who weren’t intelligent enough were converted into concentrated protein to combat famine. The Supreme Dalek’s forces arrived on Necros after being called in by another Tranquil Repose worker Takis and captured him to put him on trial. (Revelation of the Daleks)
En route to Skaro, the ship carrying Davros crashed on the planet Lethe. Davros was rescued. He set himself up as ‘Professor Vaso’, altering the perceptions of the humans on the colony so they would not recognise him as the ‘Great Healer’. He attempted to create a new machine, a Juggernaut based on a Mechanoid design.
Lethe’s atmosphere prevented the Supreme Dalek retrieving Davros directly, but its forces intercepted the Sixth Doctor‘s TARDIS, forcing him to serve as an agent of the Daleks and stop Davros’ researches and manipulations. The Doctor discovered two of Davros’ Necros Daleks had survived the crash, but were destroyed following Davros’ final gambit on the colony and the Supreme Dalek’s intervention. (The Juggernauts)
Following this event Davros was most likely retrieved by the Dalek Supreme’s forces once more and returned to Skaro.
Davros was then taken to Skaro, where he was put on trial by the Dalek Emperor. Before a sentence could be passed, however, the Sixth Doctor released a virus onto the Daleks, saved Davros, taking him on board his TARDIS. (Emperor of the Daleks!)
By suggestion of the Doctor, (Up Above the Gods) Davros hid himself on Spiridon, along with his empire of Daleks. The Daleks who had put him on trial before came to return him to Skaro, but his Daleks held them off. Davros detonated the planet, killing the Daleks. He woke highly injured, four days into the Dalek civil war, in a new casing as the Dalek Emperor. (Emperor of the Daleks!)
By the time of his attempt to recover the Hand of Omega from Earth in November 1963, Davros had proclaimed himself the Dalek Emperor. He was completely encased within an Imperial Dalek-like shell, though his head and upper body still appeared to be at least partially Kaled. He was nearly killed when his ship was destroyed by the Hand of Omega, but survived once again in an escape pod. (Remembrance of the Daleks)
AFTER THE HAND OF OMEGA
There are two conflicting accounts of what happened to Davros next. This is the first.
The escape pod was taken on board by a garbage ship called the Quetzel. The Eighth Doctor and Sam Jones landed on the Quetzel. A Thal force later took control of the ship. They wanted Davros to alter their race so they could better fight the Daleks. A force of Daleks arrived and took Davros, the Doctor, Sam, the Thals, and the Quetzel engineer Chayn to Skaro, which Davros had believed destroyed by the Hand of Omega. The planet destroyed had in fact been a decoy world named Antalin. The Dalek Prime wanted to remove any supporters of Davros from the Dalek race and a trial was held. Those Daleks loyal to Davros turned on the Dalek Prime and a civil war broke out. In the end, the Doctor and his allies escaped from Skaro, Davros’ forces were defeated, and Davros was apparently executed by matter dispersal. However, there is a possibility that the Dalek operating the unit was loyal to Davros, and may have transported him to safety. (War of the Daleks)
This is the second.
Alone in space, Davros created a virus capable of killing all living things, which the Doctor had hypothetically compared the Daleks to during their first conflict on Skaro. He was found by a Nekkistani ship. They helped him, and he rewarded them by killing them. The ship with Davros on board was found drifting in the Time Vortex by the Eighth Doctor, Gemma Griffin and Samson Griffin. Davros took control of Gemma and Samson and operated on the TARDIS after Samson had rendered the Doctor unconscious. Davros established a link to the TARDIS. He sent Gemma and Samson home and left the TARDIS to be damaged by the self-destruct of the Nekkistani ship. Davros conquered Earth by causing mutations and creating new Daleks. By the time he met the Doctor again, Davros teetered on the edge of sanity, his mind split between two warring personalities – Davros and “the Emperor”. The Doctor struck a deal with the Daleks, who considered Davros an unreliable leader. They would leave Earth with their true Emperor if the Doctor did not release the virus. The Daleks accepted and left Earth with Davros, his Emperor personality dominant. (Terror Firma)
At some point while Emperor Davros developed mind-transfer technology and formed an alliance with Napoleon in the hope of changing history by altering the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo, planning to replace Napoleon’s mind with that of a Dalek and use Napoleon’s mind for the Dalek battle computers. The Sixth Doctor found Davros in 1815 and transferred minds with him. Davros’ mind was transferred back but the Doctor revealed the deception to Napoleon, who deliberately lost the battle. (The Curse of Davros)
DURING THE LAST GREAT TIME WAR
Davros was a commander of the Daleks in the Last Great Time War, only to supposedly die during the first year of the conflict at the Gates of Elysium, when his command ship flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child. However, Dalek Caan broke the War’s time lock and saved him from death. Davros rebuilt the Dalek race by using his own cells, leaving his internal organs and skeleton exposed. Davros called these Daleks his “children”. (The Stolen Earth)
FOLLOWING THE LAST GREAT TIME WAR
After Davros was rescued by Dalek Caan and had finished creating his new army of Daleks, he used a planet-sized ship known as the Crucible to “steal” planets from across space and time. They took the planets to the Medusa Cascade in a pocket of time one second out of sync with the rest of the universe. The Tenth Doctor had lost the trail on the missing Earth, but the Children of Time used the Earth’s phone network to contact him. Davros then hacked into the Subwave Network to speak to him. (The Stolen Earth)
Davros had once again become a slave of the Daleks, who had placed him under guard within the Vault on the Crucible as part of a deal he made with the Supreme One. This arrangement required Davros to build a Reality bomb powered by the Crucible and the twenty-seven planets in the Medusa Cascade to destroy all of existence, leaving the Daleks the sole inhabitants of the universe. However, the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor and Donna intervened, destroying the new Daleks and leaving Davros on a burning Crucible. Before leaving in the TARDIS, the real Doctor offered to save Davros, but the creator of the Daleks refused, blaming the Doctor for what had happened and naming him “The Destroyer of Worlds”. Davros ultimate fate was never confirmed. (Journey’s End)
Most notable of Davros’ creations is the Mark III travel machine, which became known as a Dalek. Davros also experimented with other Dalek forms, such as a Dalek able to walk over rough terrain known as a Spider Dalek. (War of the Daleks)
Davros also created an Imperial faction of Daleks to counter what he saw as a Renegade faction of Daleks, as well as the cybernetic Juggernauts by combining human components and DNA with the robotic Mechanoids. (The Juggernauts)
Davros had a sound mind early in his life, but the incident that crippled him and his overall experiences in the Thal-Kaled war left him a depraved and insane megalomaniac. He became tyrannical and ruthless, tolerating no opposition to his will and dismissing fairness and democracy as “the creeds of cowards”. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Brilliant and driven, he relentlessly experimented to find the final form of the Kaled people. Although he respected the Fourth Doctor as a fellow scientist, he refused to make the Daleks into less vicious creatures, which almost resulted in his death. His respect for the Doctor had faded completely by the time of the war in the Medusa Cascade and he took a sadistic pleasure in reminding the Doctor of how many people had died for him and even implied that he considered the Doctor to be a coward calling him “the man who keeps running”. The final words Davros ever spoke were to insult the Doctor and he screamed “You are the destroyer of worlds!” (Corruption, Guilt, The Stolen Earth, Journey’s End)
Davros was malevolent and sadistic; it was his ability to command and delegate that was most forceful and cold. While his conversation with the Doctor following his awakening (Destiny of the Daleks) suggests that he may have survived the extermination attempt through forethought, it seems to have made Davros even more bitter. This led him to making what would later be the Imperial Daleks. (Resurrection of the Daleks). His sadistic side increased after the Time War as he demonstrated a desire to psychologically torment the Doctor, informing the Tenth Doctor that he turned his companions into soldiers and weapons (Journey’s End) and mocking the Twelfth Doctor by claiming that his compassion was the reason that he had lost his friends and his TARDIS due to his refusal to destroy Davros or the Daleks at their beginning (The Magician’s Apprentice).
After his supposed death and rescue from the Last Great Time War, Davros arguably seemed less power-crazed and somewhat defeatist, perhaps due to having lost control over the Daleks yet again and being aware that once he was of no further use to them, they would exterminate him. He also seemed to have developed a dislike of pride and vanity: he admonished the Dalek Supreme for displaying pride, and distastefully noted “arrogance” in the Doctor’s voice. Davros was also a hypocrite which was shown when he himself displayed pride when he refused the Doctor’s offer to save him from the exploding Crucible, choosing death over capture. He was also a complete maniac, arguably even more than before and was consumed by an insane desire to completely destroy the entire universe. (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End)
Davros did possess a sense of humour, however rarely it was expressed. He coldly quipped that informing the beneficiaries of his Necros-produced protein that they would be eating their own relatives would have created “consumer resistance”. (Revelation of the Daleks) He once remarked to the Doctor that “Your appearance is as inconstant as your intelligence”, and when the Doctor reminded him that he had defeated him each time they had met, Davros laughed and replied “You flatter yourself!” (Remembrance of the Daleks) He later seemingly parodied his own hyperbolic tendencies when listing the Doctor’s failures, ending with the matter-of-fact statement “oh, the end of the universe has come”. (Journey’s End)
On Necros, Bostock fired a gun which destroyed most of his right hand and with it his ability to operate independently. ( Revelation of the Daleks) For a short time after, his hand was replaced with a claw (Emperor of the Daleks) and finally with a prosthetic substitute. (The Juggernauts, The Stolen Earth, Journey’s End, The Magician’s Apprentice) He was capable of projecting electric shocks from both his organic and mechanical hands and his eye, allowing him to ward off attackers and stun or even kill them. (Davros, Revelation of the Daleks, Journey’s End)
By the Movellans’ definition, Davros was a humanoid mutant. (Destiny of the Daleks)
Davros was originally seen by the Fourth Doctor sitting upright in a life-support chariot resembling the base of a Dalek. His skin was discoloured and his body has been crippled by some accident in his past, leaving him without the use his legs or his left arm. His Kaled body was humanoid, though a blue lens in his forehead replaced his lost vision, allowing him a semblance of sight. However, he is capable of opening his real eyes and seeing but does not because it causes great pain. (The Witch’s Familiar) This appendage mirrored the look of a Dalek’s eyestalk lens. A metal brace was attached to his head, and wires were plugged into his skull. Davros also had a throat microphone implant to enhance his damaged voice. He had only his right hand, which he used to operate controls on his chariot. These could perform functions for controlling doors, the Mark III travel machines, or his own life support system. He has no lower body at all, just wires and a detached spinal cord. (Genesis of the Daleks The Witch’s Familiar)
Following his cryogenic imprisonment, Davros’s face gained a yellowish, sagging appearance, probably caused by the effects of the time he spent in sub-zero conditions. (Resurrection of the Daleks)
Davros’s chair had anti-gravity gravitors that enabled him to hover, possibly an upgrade. (Revelation of the Daleks)
On Necros, Bostock fired a gun which destroyed most of his right hand and with it his ability to operate independently. (Revelation of the Daleks) For a short time after, his hand was replaced with a claw (Emperor of the Daleks) and finally with a prosthetic substitute. (The Juggernauts, The Stolen Earth, Journey’s End, The Magician’s Apprentice) He was capable of projecting electric shocks from both his organic and mechanical hands and his eye, allowing him to ward off attackers and stun or even kill them. (Davros, Revelation of the Daleks, Journey’s End)
By the time that Davros had risen to become the Emperor of the Imperial Dalek faction during the Imperial–Renegade Dalek Civil War, his life-support chariot no longer featured a button with which he could deactivate his life support, (The Curse of Davros) as it had when he had first met the Doctor on Skaro. (Genesis of the Daleks)
At some point prior to, during or immediately after his rescue from the Time War, Davros dispensed with his skull wires and throat microphone. However, he retained his head brace. (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End)
While tricking the Twelfth Doctor into using his regeneration energy to create a new Time Lord-Dalek race, it was revealed that while Davros doesn’t use his real eyes and hasn’t in a long time, he is not blind and can still open his eyes and see. When he does this, he shuts down his artificial eye in the middle of his forehead. However, he only did this while tricking the Doctor and resumed use of his artificial eye afterwards. (The Witch’s Familiar)
As a boy, Davros’ form was much different than his form after he created the Daleks. Davros was extremely humanoid to the point that he could be taken for a human being by someone not knowing better. (The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Michael Wisher (who had previously played the voice of the Daleks in several Third Doctor stories) portrayed Davros in his debut story Genesis of the Daleks. (He also provided the voices of Daleks for the same story.) Wisher rehearsed with a paper bag on his head because of the limited vision he would have with the Davros mask makeup.
For Destiny of the Daleks, David Gooderson took over the role for the unavailable Wisher.
Subsequently, Terry Molloy, who first appeared in Davros’ third story, Resurrection of the Daleks, has played the role on television and audio more times than any other actor, beginning in 1984. Rory Jennings played Davros as a child in an extended flashback sequence in the Big Finish Productions audio mini-series I, Davros, which examined Davros’ life before creating the Daleks. Molloy has stated that Julian Bleach’s performance has stayed true to the type of person that Davros seems to be.
The ending of Genesis of the Daleks would have shown a button on Davros’ wheelchair flashing after his “death”, hinting that he had not died. In the event, by mistake, this detail did not make it onto screen.
At some point in his childhood, he became lost on a battlefield. A soldier named Kanzo tried to help when he wandered across ground covered in Handmines, but was sucked into the ground by one of them. The Twelfth Doctor heard his cries for help and threw him his sonic screwdriver, which allowed them to hear each other. Although the Doctor had intended to help the child, when he learned that he was a younger Davros, he returned to the TARDIS and departed. Shortly afterwards, Davros heard the rematerialisation of the Doctor’s TARDIS, and, confused and frightened, witnessed the Twelfth Doctor point a gunstick at him, claiming that he was trying to save his friend the only way he could, before yelling “Exterminate!”. (The Magician’s Apprentice)
EMEMBERING HIS CHILDHOOD
Having somehow survived, Davros, on the brink of death, remembered his encounter with the Twelfth Doctor in his childhood, and ordered Colony Sarff to bring him to him. When he faced the Doctor again, Davros talked about the Daleks, calling them children. He admitted that even though he created them he couldn’t control them, claiming he couldn’t stop them from exterminating the Doctor’s friends.
During this meeting, Davros showed the Doctor that he had recorded all his foe’s speeches about morality. Perhaps as a taunt, Davros singled out one about killing a child who would grow up to be a great threat to others; the Doctor had had this chance, to prevent Davros from ever creating the monster known as Daleks. (The Magician’s Apprentice). Davros revealed the cables connected him to the life of every Dalek. He told the Doctor he wanted to see the sun rise with his own eyes. The Doctor sent regeneration energy into the cables, however this enabled it to be sent into the Daleks, and rejuvenated Davros. Yet the Doctor revealed this was a trick. The energy also regenerated the rotting Daleks in the sewer, who attacked the Dalek city and destroyed it, with Davros still inside when his room crumbled down on him. (The Witch’s Familiar)
He witnessed the Twelfth Doctor point a gunstick towards him, telling that he was trying to save his friend the only way he could, before yelling “Exterminate!”, (The Magician’s Apprentice) killing the Handmines surrounding Davros and taking him by the hand and helping him get home. (The Witch’s Familiar)
As a boy, Davros’ form was much different than his form after he created the Daleks. Davros was extremely humanoid to the point that he could be taken for a human being by someone not knowing better. (The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar)