Saturday, November 23, 2013

50 Years of Doctor Who - Prelude to a Time War *UPDATED*

The Time War. It has hung over the new series of Doctor Who. It meant the seeming end of two almost godlike species, whose power made the universe shudder. But the seeds and early shots of the war go back to the very earliest days of Doctor Who, in 1963.

The Daleks (Or, The Mutants)

In the second story of the series, after escaping the Stone Age of Earth, the Doctor and his companions found themselves on another harsh world. Outside the ship, they see a petrified jungle.

Seeing as the TARDIS navigation system is malfunctioning, the Doctor needs to leave the ship to determine where they are in space. (They will learn the planet is Skaro.) And while they are outside, they see a city in the distance, and the Doctor is drawn to explore it.

In the city they discover the monstrous mechanical terror of the Daleks. They are trapped in their city, relying on the electricity they draw from the metallic floor. It powers their life support and terrible weapons. They are limited in movement, but quite deadly.

They are also xenophobes, hateful of all others. They live in their armored shells, isolated from the irradiated world they've made for themselves.

They are also at war with a civilization out in the forest. The Thals. The Doctor is drawn into the struggle between the the two groups. He works to help the Thals be free of the Daleks (and get back a part from the TARDIS so they can flee the planet).

 The resulting fight leads to the destruction of the Dalek power source, which it is believed ends the Dalek menace.

If only.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth

But it was not over. Soon the Daleks would strike. And among the worlds they would strike was Earth.

When the Doctor finally returns to London (since leaving in the first story), it's the future, and it's in ruins. Something horrible has happen.

And soon they learn what happen to it. The Daleks. Somehow they survived the Doctor's efforts on Skaro, and found a way to improve their mobility, leaving there city and there planet. And now they are a terror to the universe.

The Doctor is quickly captured, and learns that the Daleks have been modifying humans to use as a force against those humans that have avoided capture.

But even while some are still free, the Daleks control the planet.

 They move at will wherever they wish.

And they hold humanity as there slaves.
But the Doctor won't stand for that. He aids the remaining human resistance, When he learns of the Dalek plan for Earth, to hollow out the planet and put in a massive propulsion system, he moves. And the Dalek invasion fleet is destroyed.

But what is one fleet to the Daleks?

The Chase

You may have thought the evolution of Dalek power between "The Daleks" and "The Dalek Invasion Of Earth" was impressive. How about this? Time travel.

Now the Daleks have made an impressive leap in technology, developing an equivalent of the TARDIS. It moves rapidly through Time and Space, a near match for the Doctor. It can track the Doctor's movements. And it is "bigger on the inside". The Time Lords may have to start paying attention to this species.

If the Doctor hadn't stumbled on knowledge of what the Daleks had developed, and what they were up to, the Doctor's first incarnation would likely have been his last.

He raced through Time and Space, barely outpacing the Daleks. It was only good fortune that lead him and his companions to defeating them, and taking away their time machine.

For now the Daleks heightened temporal threat is ended. But just for now.

This story shows the first time that Daleks are capable of creating replicas of a person, to use as agents. In this story they create replica of the Doctor, to confuse and kill the Doctor's companions.

I should also mention that this is an odd and quirky story.

But I do enjoy it.

The Dalek's Master Plan

While the Daleks were stymied in Time, they were thriving in Space. Plotting in many stories to conquer. (There are different book series detailing their ongoing wars with the expanding human society. Also, there is the struggle against the Movellans.) Few of their ploys is more elaborate then this one. It's also the longest of the stories done by Doctor Who. How long and convoluted? Enough that they felt the need to give it a prologue story (with no Doctor) to explain some parts. And then they took a break from the story at Christmas, to do some lighter fare (with a Christmas message).

In essence the plan was hatched to help in an invasion of the the Earth solar system, as a first step. But on a larger scale, the Daleks were bringing together leaders and delegates from a number of galaxies. They would, the delegates are told, divvy up the universe between them. But first they need to conquer the Earth solar system.

And to do this, and also part of the reason for the alliance, the Daleks bring together components to build a Time Destructor. It will rapidly advance time, killing all who are in range of it. It would be vital to their invasion.

But the Doctor's efforts and flight from them made this impossible, stealing a vital component at first. But he eventually was forced to return it. Then, with no choice , he activated the device, leading to the destruction of the Daleks on the planet Kembel. It also cost the Doctor the life of a companion. (And another was lost earlier in the story.)

But universal conquest was in reach. But they weren't helped by the Doctor arriving. Or there habit of executing delegates from allied galaxies.

Of note. They do still have time machines. But they don't seem as eager to chase the Doctor. Or rely on their ploys being Time based. But when the Doctor runs with a component they need, they do give chase.

Day of the Daleks

The Earth is conquered. The Daleks reign supreme. All of mankind is under their...suction cup.

But that's just the future. In the present it seems the pivotal event that will lead to Dalek conquest is about to happen. And rebels from the future have come to prevent it. And Daleks have come as well to ensure it happens.

Thankfully the Doctor determines what happens to lead to Dalek victory, and prevents the event. And the timeline favorable to the Dalek power is disrupted.

But the Doctor would soon be meddling in Dalek history again.

(This story sees the Daleks using some new temporal technology. They use portable time travel devices, instead of their ships. The Daleks seem to move towards technology like Time Corridors from now on. It is unclear if some issue arose in their time ships. Also, Daleks have a tool that can catch people traveling through time, and draw them to another point, like a magnet.)

Genesis of the Dalek

Now with this story do we see the first actually real stage of the Time War.

The Time Lords intercept the Doctor and force him to go to Skaro. They have decided that the Daleks have gotten the point that it is necessary to intervene in their evolution. And they've chosen the Doctor as the agent of change.

Destroy the Daleks. Or, make them less of a threat.

"Are we the baddies?"
To do this they drop him at the point of their inception. When the Daleks were still the Kaled, a humanoid race. They were engaged in a low and bloody war, poisoning there world. There chief scientist, Davros, developed a means to finally win the war. The Daleks, machines that could carry them out onto the battlefield and on to victory.

The doctor tries to steer them away from this path, but Davros and his creations won't take no.

And in the story the Doctor has one moment where he has it in his power to end the Daleks. To destroy them before they even begin. But he balks at it. He is terrified of the guilt of the act, and of how a universe without the Daleks ever arising will be changed.

But that still leaves the threat of the Daleks spreading out and killing everyone. The Thals (the opposition to the Kaled, who we first meet in "The Daleks") are rigging bombs to collapse the entrance to the Kaled bunkers, which will trap all inside.

While all non-Dalek Kaled are killed, the Daleks survive. And they plot, awaiting the day they finally escape the tomb that has been made for them.

They vow to spread out into the universe, and conquer and destroy.

Resurrection of the Daleks

In this story the Daleks are trying to recover Davros, their creator. He is needed to give them aid in their war with an android race called the Movellans. They are losing the war! A viral weapon was created that threatens the continued existence of the Daleks.

While the Doctor is drawn into events, the main issue in regards to the Time War comes from when Davros has captured the Doctor. He intends to build a duplicate of the Doctor, a perfect duplicate. It will then be sent to Gallifrey. There is will meet the High Council of the Time Lords, and then assassinate them all.

Davros was looking to lead his Daleks into an all out war with the Time Lords.

Thankfully, the Doctor stops Davros once again.

Remembrance of the Daleks

I did cover this episode more fully here.

In this story, the Daleks resume their quest to more fully master time travel. Yes, they have time corridors, but it's not on the same level of the Time Lords. They want to match them, then annihilate them.

To do this they seek a piece of ancient Time Lord technology. The Hand of Omega. With it they can turn the star at the heart of their home solar system into a vast power source much like what the Time Lords rely on. And then, they will have the capacity to go toe to toe with the Time Lords.

To quote Davros:
"The Daleks shall sweep away Gallifrey! And it's impotent quorum of Time Lords! The Daleks shall become lords of time!"
But they are met by the 7th Doctor. The master manipulator. He let's them have the Hand of Omega. And allows it to send their star into supernova. It obliterates the Dalek homeworld of Skaro (and all the Daleks there).

Also during the story, the Doctor allows the two existing factions of Daleks to go to war on one another, allowing attrition to do his dirty work. The Dalek were dealt of severe blow that day.

But we know how annoyingly capable they are of arising from their own ashes. (And as later stories show, Skaro does return.)

Passed the Original Doctor Who Series

In between the old series and the new series of Doctor Who the stories did not stop. In books, comic books, and audio dramas, the Daleks continued. They plotted, bickered with Time Lords, and even threatened the stability of time. Even once they attempted to access Gallifrey with a force via the Time Lord Matrix (It's a computer network made up of bio data from all the Time Lords, giving access to data from the past, present, and future.).

It was a struggle at time for the Time Lords to keep the Daleks in check. And then, they couldn't do it any longer.

The Time War

As open war broke out between the Time Lords and Daleks, the Doctor retreated into a focus on humanitarian efforts, trying to stave the damage where he could. But it proved all for naught.

The events of "Night of the Doctor" lead the Doctor...The War Doctor into direct intervention in the war. And he was deep into it. What it leads him to...I guess we'll be seeing later today.

But we know he's seen battle, like the one where it seems his old nemesis Davros dies, his command ship colliding with The Nightmare Child. He's there as Gallifrey falls under direct siege.

And he's there when Arcadia falls. Starting with this moment...

50th Mini epsode The Last Day by culttvstuff

And the war, and conflict with the Daleks had returned to Gallifrey.

And it was the beginning of the end of everything.


Of course I also wanted to point out this graphic for the looming Anniversary Special.

Mention of the The Moment makes we think of the ultimate weapon that the Doctor fled Gallifrey with on the last day of the Time War. Perhaps we'll finely be seeing it. And what it does.

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