The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. They originated from a humanoid race known as the Kaleds, which suffered prolonged exposure to radiation following a thousand-year war with their neighbours the Thals, devastating their homeworld of Skaro. Many Kaleds began mutating due to this exposure, and the Kaled scientist Davros experimented with the mutants and determined the final form they would eventually take. The end result was a highly intelligent yet diminutive and grotesque creature, incapable of surviving on its own. Davros then built special machines for the mutants: armoured robotic shells that would sustain the mutants and allow them to travel. And thus, the Daleks were born.
The Daleks are cold, ruthless beings that have had their emotions removed, save one: hatred. They are completely xenophobic, believing that they are the superior beings and that all other life-forms are inherently wrong and undeserving to exist. Over the centuries, the Daleks have built up a powerful military empire spanning many star systems, mercilessly attacking other races and exterminating whole populations whilst enslaving others. Their unparalleled aggression has led to the devastation of entire worlds and even caused other races that generally mistrusted one another to form alliances with each other out of mutual fear of the Daleks.
Throughout their history, the Daleks' conquest of the universe has been impeded by the renegade Time Lord known as The Doctor. The Doctor has interfered with many of the Daleks' major military campaigns and even tried to prevent their creation on one occasion, and so the Daleks have marked him as their greatest adversary.
The Dalek mutant is small and hideous. It appears as a mound of putrid, pulsating flesh with a large, sagging brain and several tentacles. It has a single eye, but looks like it should have another one. The exact form of the Dalek mutants has varied over the years, but this particular shape has been the most consistent, having remained since the Doctor Who TV show's revival in 2005. Earlier versions of the mutants have shown them to be capable of leaping and attacking others by strangulation, but the current Daleks have proven to be utterly useless without their robotic shells.
The Daleks are completely dependent upon technology and it has been incorporated into their very being. All Daleks rely on robotic casings that grant them mobility and provide life-support, as well as providing armour and weaponry for combat. The typical Dalek shell has been described as resembling a giant pepperpot and its appearance has often misled other beings into underestimating it, but these tank-like devices are extremely dangerous and should never be taken lightly. The specifications of the Dalek shell are listed below:-
- Armour - Dalek shells are constructed out of dalekanium, a form of polycarbide alloy of the Daleks' own design. This metal is light but also highly durable.
- Dome - The "head" of a Dalek can rotate 360 degrees and features two audio-receptor bulbs that light up as the Dalek speaks. A stalk attached to the dome serves as the Dalek's eye. The eye is the weakest point on a Dalek and attacking this area can leave it blinded.
- Arms - Daleks only have one arm which appears to be a telescopic rod ending in a suction cup. This limb has been jokingly referred to as a toilet plunger, but in fact can be used as a means of grasping and manipulating objects. Most Dalek technology and machinery cannot be operated without this manipulator arm and the arm is even useful as a weapon, capable of suffocating victims or even crushing a human's skull. Daleks also have a number of interchangeable arm attachments such as articulated claws, advanced sensors and cutting torches.
- Weaponry - All Daleks are outfitted with a projected-energy weapon which, at a glance, looks sort of like an egg whisk. This weapon, which has been referred to as a "neutraliser", "ruby-ray laser" and even "death ray", projects a beam of energy that will strike most targets dead with a single shot. The weapon has many settings, but when it is used against humans and most other life-forms, it leaves no visible wounds. Examination of the victim's corpse will reveal that the damage is all internal, with innards and vital fluids scrambled and boiled, resulting in an extremely painful death.
- Mobility - At the base of the Dalek shell is an electromagnetic repulsor that lets the Dalek glide over any surface with ease. In the technology's early stages, Daleks were only capable of moving within the confines of their own city on Skaro, but later would adapt to move anywhere without needing a constant power feed. Stairs used to provide difficulty for Daleks too as they had no legs and could not pursue humanoids that used stairs to escape them. However, this technology has since been perfected and the Daleks are now all capable of levitation and full-on flight.