Davros is a villain from Doctor Who and is the creator of the Daleks. He was created by writer Terry Nation. The character of Davros first appeared on TV screens in the 1975 Doctor Who episode Genesis Of The Daleks.
History of Davros and the Creation of the Daleks
On a planet called Skaro long ago two sides went to war. The Kaleds and the Thals waged war on each other for a thousand years, but neither side was able to win. The war went on for so long that both sides were running out of weapons and soldiers. Finally, just two huge cities remained, each covered and protected by a massive dome. In the final days of this terrible war, the Daleks were born.
The Kaleds put their hope of victory in a brilliant scientist called Davros. He ran his own Scientific Elite in a special bunker away from the main Kaled city. Davros had been crippled during the war and now relied on a special chariot with built-in life support systems. But his experiment proved to him that an even worse fate lay in store for his people.
Davros discovered that the chemical and biological weapons used in the first century of the war had affected the people of both sides, slowly changing them into hideous, mutated creatures. Changing his research from looking into ways of winning the war to the survival of his people, Davros designed a travel machine and life support system for the creature he now knew his people would become. He based it partly on his own chariot and he gave it a name, the Dalek.
Doctor Who Television Stories
- Genesis of the Daleks (1975, 4th Doctor)
Written by: Terry Nation
Davros played by: Michael Wisher
When Davros first encountered the Fourth Doctor, he was the chief scientist of the Kaleds, heading the Elite Scientific Division. Davros realised that contamination from the nuclear and biological weapons used in the war was mutating the Kaled race and artificially accelerated the process to examine the ultimate evolutionary end product. The mutations were weak and crippled: no more than brains with tentacular appendages and with no hope of survival on their own. His solution was to remove all emotions pertaining to weakness, a category in which he grouped such emotions as compassion, mercy and kindness, and place the mutants in tank-like “Mark III travel machines” that were partly based on the design of his wheelchair. He later named these creatures Daleks, an anagram of Kaleds.
Davros quickly became obsessed with his creations, considering them to be the ultimate form of life, superior to all others. To stop his own people from shutting down his Dalek project, he arranged for them to be wiped out by the Thals. The Daleks then almost exterminated the Thal victors, but ultimately turned on Davros and apparently killed him at the conclusion of the serial.
- Destiny of the Daleks (1979, 4th Doctor)
Written by: Terry Nation
Davros played by: David Gooderson
The Daleks unearthed their creator � who had apparently been in suspended animation since his “death” in Genesis � to help them break a logical impasse in their war against the android Movellans. However, the Dalek force was destroyed by the Doctor, and Davros was captured and imprisoned by the humans.
- Resurrectionof the Daleks (1984, 5th Doctor)
Written by: Eric Saward
Davros played by: Terry Molloy
A small Dalek force aided by human mercenaries and Dalek duplicates liberated Davros from his space station prison, needing his expertise to find an antidote for a Movellan-created virus that had all but wiped them out. Believing his creations to be treacherous, Davros began using mind control on Daleks and humans, ultimately releasing the virus to kill off the Daleks before they could exterminate him. However, at the end of the story, he apparently succumbed to the virus himself before he could escape, his physiology being close enough to that of the Daleks for the virus to affect him. Ironically, the hypothetical creation of a viral weapon was the subject of a discussion between the Fourth Doctor and Davros in Genesis of the Daleks.
- Revelationof the Daleks (1984, 6th Doctor)
Written by: Eric Saward
Davros played by: Terry Molloy
Davros emerged as “The Great Healer” of the funeral and cryogenic preservation centre Tranquil Repose on the planet Necros where he used frozen bodies to engineer a new variety of Daleks loyal to him, distinguished from the original Daleks by their white and gold livery and slightly changed design. In this story there appeared to be two Davroses: one was a head in a tank and apparently a decoy for assassins; the other was in his usual chair (which could now hover), emerging from hiding when the decoy was indeed assassinated. Davros could now move his neck and fire electric bolts from his hand, although the hand was shot off shortly before his original creations arrived to defeat the new Daleks and transport Davros to face trial on Skaro.
- Remembranceof the Daleks (1988, 7th Doctor)
Written by: Ben Aaronovitch
Davros played by: Terry Molloy
Davros’ last classic Doctor Who tv appearance was as the Dalek Emperor, with his white and gold Daleks now based on Skaro and termed “Imperial Daleks”, fighting against the grey “Renegade Dalek” faction. By this time, Davros was physically reduced to a head in a customised Dalek casing, as referenced by the Doctor on a view screen saying to Davros “I see you’ve discarded the last vestiges of your human form” – the implication is that only Davros’ head or upper torso remain due to the results of the explosion of his chair self-destruct mechanism.
Both Skaro and the Imperial Dalek mother ship were apparently destroyed when the Seventh Doctor tricked Davros into using the Time Lord artefact known as the Hand of Omega. However, a Dalek on the bridge of Davros’ ship reported that the Emperor’s escape pod was being launched and a white light was seen speeding away from the ship moments before its destruction, leaving a clear route to bring Davros back in the future.
New Doctor Who TV Series
In the 2005 series, it was revealed that the Daleks and the Time Lords had engaged in a mutually destructive Time War, although the Dalek Emperor survived to build a new race of Daleks. Davros was referred to (albeit not by name) in the episode Dalek: the Ninth Doctor explains that the Daleks were created by a genius, “a man who was king of his own little world.”
When the Emperor made its appearance in the season finale, The Parting of the Ways, it was a Dalek mutant floating in a tank of fluid connected to a giant Dalek shell and was evidently not Davros. Davros’ status at this point, or any role he may have played in the Time War, is unknown.
An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 states that one of the “Dalek Puppet Emperors” openly declared his hostilities towards the Time Lords and their planet, Gallifrey. This may be a reference to Davros’ threats against the Time Lords in Remembrance of the Daleks.
In the 2007 episode Evolution of the Daleks, the Doctor referred to the Daleks’ creator as believing that “removing emotions made a race stronger”. Again, he was not referred to by name, and has yet to be in the new series.
6. The Stolen Earth (Part 1) (2008, 10th Doctor)
7. The Journeys End (Part 2) (2008, 10th Doctor)
Written by: Russell T. Davies
Davros played by: Julian Bleach
These two episodes are the last two of series 4.
Davros (6th Doctor, released September 2003)
When Davros is revived and asked by the head of an Earth corporation to use his great genius to work for good ends, the Kaled scientist seems to be playing along. The Sixth Doctor arrives and insists that Davros cannot be trusted, that he is “one of � no, actually, the most evil being this galaxy has ever produced!” Forced however to work alongside his nemesis, on projects such as famine relief, the Doctor seeks to uncover Davros before he can put new schemes to create a powerbase into effect.
Davros Audio Play does not feature the Daleks. The stort fills in the gaps between Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks and has the scientist trying to manipulate the galaxy’s economy into a war footing similar to Skaro’s. The Sixth Doctor manages to defeat his plans and Davros is last heard when his ship explodes, an event obliquely mentioned in Revelation.
The Juggernauts (6th Doctor, released February 2005)
The Juggernauts similarly takes place between Revelation and Remembrance. There, Davros adds human nervous tissue to robotic Mechanoids to create the Juggernauts of the play’s title; he hopes to use these as an army to destroy the Daleks. At the end of the story, the self-destruct mechanism of Davros’ life-support chair explodes, destroying an entire human colony. It is not clear how Davros survives to become the Dalek Emperor as seen in Remembrance.
Terror Firma (8th Doctor, released August 2005)
By the time of the Eighth Doctor audio play Terror Firma (set after Remembrance), Davros is commanding a Dalek army which has successfully conquered the Earth. His mental instability has grown to the point where “Davros” and “the Emperor” exist within him as different personalities. His Daleks recognize this instability and rebel against Davros. By the story’s end the Emperor personality is dominant, and the Daleks agree to follow him and leave Earth.
Terror Firma seemed to contradict the events of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel War of the Daleks by John Peel, in which an unmerged Davros was placed on trial by the Dalek Prime, a combination of the Dalek Emperor and the Dalek Supreme. The novel also revealed that the planet Antalin had been terraformed to resemble Skaro and destroyed in its place. It was also revealed the Dalek/Movellan war (and indeed most of Dalek history before the destruction of “Skaro”) was actually faked for Davros’ benefit; the Daleks discovered records of Skaro’s destruction during their conquest of Earth, but, unable to change history, developed an elaborate plot to bring the recorded events about while ensuring Skaro’s survival.
I, Davros (Released September 2006)
In 2006, the story of his early life was revealed in the four-part audio drama I, Davros, starring actor Terry Molloy in the title role in the Big Finish mini-series. I, Davros is set before Davros’ trial after Revelation.
War of the Daleks
War of the Daleks is an original novel written by John Peel and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor and Sam. This novel was the first appearance of the Daleks in an original Doctor Who novel; they had not appeared at all in either the Virgin New Adventures or the Virgin Missing Adventures � although War of the Daleks was originally announced by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society as being published as a New Adventure around the time of The Left-Handed Hummingbird.
This story chronicles the demise of Davros once and for all and the rising of the supreme Dalek force. This also conflicts the destruction of Skaro which has survived thanks to a larger plot played by the Dalek Prime.
BBC – Norfolk – People – Terry Molloy: Interview with actor Terry Molloy, who played the Davros character in three seasons of the classic Doctor Who series, talks about recording the four-part audio drama – the story of Davros’ early years.
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