Publisher's summary Edit
"I find it fascinating that a living creature would subject itself to such dangerous experimentation. Knowing that it would die..."
Born into an influential family is Davros. Now aged sixteen, he is being pulled in various directions — his father wants him to follow tradition and go into the military. His sister has joined the Military Youth. And his scheming, devoted mother wants him to pursue a life of science.
But no one seems terribly interested in what Davros himself wants. So he must begin to assert himself, begin to take control over his own life, begin to work towards his destiny...
Davros finds himself on trial, placed there by his own creations, the Daleks. He learns that the Daleks want his assistance dealing with a schism among them; but they are not sure of his utility. He agrees to help, but scorns them for how far they have fallen as they cower on Skaro. He determines to review the past in order to plan their future. He thinks back to his own teenage years, and the everlasting war between the Kaleds and the Thals on Skaro...
Colonel Nasgard, Davros's father, is a high-ranking Kaled military commander. He oversees the execution of a squad of troops who panicked and briefly abandoned their post; he has no mercy on them. He is witnessed by Captain Brogan, who objects to the waste of life; he then begins to cough, for he is not well. In the city, his wife, Lady Calcula, who is an assistant to Councillor Quested, debates the war; she is in favour of it for its social benefits. Quested tells her to cover for him, as he has been summoned to an emergency Council meeting; he promises to explain later, in his quarters. When he leaves, Calcula is met by Magrantine, who is to be a tutor for her son, Davros; he asks her to finalize Davros's course of study. She sends him to meet with the boy, as only Davros knows where his intellectual preferences lie.
Elsewhere, Nasgard's sister, Tashek, encounters her niece Yarvell, Davros’s sister, who is two years older and on the cusp of adulthood — and the attendant mandatory military service. It becomes clear in their conversation that both Calcula and Nasgard favour Davros, largely disregarding Yarvell. Tashek sends Yarvell to summon Davros, who is loitering by nearby Drammakin Lake. Yarvell finds him swimming in the lake, much to her shock, as they have been told never to swim there; he scorns her concern, and shows her a rock which is actually the shell of a water creature. She is disgusted, but he muses that the Kaleds must have evolved from such creatures, and may one day evolve back into them.
Calcula meets with Quested, and looks over the city. She muses on her political position and her strained relationship with Tashek, who owns the family's lakeside villa. Quested states that the war is at a stalemate; Calcula thinks it has been going nowhere for many years. There may be a spy in their midst, as the Thals seem to know their moves before they make them. Quested suggests that even if no spy exists, it may be useful to invent one.
Nasgard summons Brogan to his tent, and reveals that Brogan is now in charge. Nasgard has been relieved of duty and is being summoned home. He reveals that he knows it was because of secret reports sent in by Brogan regarding Nasgard's health. Brogan admits it, and claims he is working in the interest of their people, and also of Nasgard himself; Nasgard claims to love his family, and now he can spend his remaining time with them. Nasgard challenges Brogan to shoot him here, giving him an honourable death as per military protocol, but Brogan refuses.
Davros does not like Magrantine, and voices his displeasure at being sent to study under the tutor. Calcula overrules him, but this results in an argument between herself and Tashek, with Yarvell and Davros watching. They are interrupted by the arrival of Nasgard, with Brogan assisting him inside. Tashek sees at once that he is very ill, and asks him to sit down. Davros demands to know when Nasgard will die; Nasgard welcomes the honesty, and insists he still has some fight left, though this seems to be a front. Brogan joins the argument; he thinks the war will be ended by political means, but Calcula disagrees, and insists that they must gain tactical advantage over the Thals. Brogan stays for the night due to the late hour. Later, alone with Davros, Nasgard asks why the boy is so quiet; Davros says that he expected his father to be killed in battle. Davros wants to be a scientist and end the war that way; Nasgard insists he must be a soldier instead, but at the same time, he tells Davros to follow his own goals. Meanwhile, Yarvell speaks with Brogan, and finds him to be a peaceful man...
Nasgard argues with Calcula over Davros, accusing her of poisoning the boy's mind. She is disdainful toward him, especially when learning that Brogan refused to shoot him. However, she refuses to let Davros be sacrificed to the military to end the war; she insists that the Kaleds need the war to give them meaning. Tashek catches Davros eavesdropping on the argument; he says that they never argue so over Yarvell. Tashek observes that Yarvell may be her father's daughter, but Davros is not his father's son; and she sends him to bed. Meanwhile, Calcular receives a message from Quested; the Council has been called into emergency session again, most likely to plan peace negotiations with the Thals. He begs her to come to the city with her family for safety, but she refuses, based on Nasgard's poor health. Quested orders Brogan to join him in the morning.
In the morning, Nasgard compliments Yarvell on her uniform, and gives her his medals to wear, noting that Davros would not appreciate them. Calcula finds Davros by the lake with a dead bird; he realises that nothing dies of old age on Skaro, due to the encroaching poisons from the war.
Quested meets with Brogan, and concurs that Brogan did the right thing in reporting Nasgard's health issues.
Calcula takes Davros and Yarvell to Magrantine; Davros rejoins his studies, but Yarvell leaves with Calcula to attend a meeting at the House of Congress. Calcula demands a daily report of Davros's progress. Davros is hostile toward Magrantine, but agrees to a tour of the educational complex.
At the villa, Nasgard tells Tashek that he hears a strange noise in the house, but she dismisses the concern. She reasserts his illness, and tells him he has been ill since before Davros's birth...in fact, he is sterile, and Davros is not his biological child. Both she and Calcula are aware of it; it is the reason Calcula favours Davros over Yarvell. Nasgard does not want to accept it; but they are interrupted by the strange noise, which Tashek now hears as well. Before Tashek can reveal the identity of Davros's real father, they locate a bomb in the communicator room...and are killed in its blast.
Magrantine shows Davros to his laboratory, which contains a radiation chamber; Davros overcomes his animosity toward Magrantine enough to become intrigued by the chamber. Magrantine intends to use it to analyse the effects of radiation on different creatures; indeed, he already uses live animals for tests. He intends to use sentient test subjects, and compartmentalises his emotions accordingly. He asks Davros if he is ready to make sacrifices for the truth.
Yarvell mourns Nasgard's death. Brogan tries to comfort her, but is unsuccessful. As she swears vengeance, he comments on the cycle of violence; she deduces that he is a pacifist, or as he calls it, a "peace activist".
Calcula informs Davros of the murders. With nothing left at the villa, she relocates to the city, near the school and the Council complex. Davros returns to the lab for the opening of the radiation chamber. Quested joins Calcula and discusses the murders, and theorises that the bomb was aimed not at Nasgard, but at Calcula.
Davros confers with Magrantine about his past experiments on dangerous plants, which were ordered destroyed by the Council. However, he knows that Magrantime disobeyed. They open the radiation chamber, and are greeted by the smell of burned flesh; Magrantine explains that the radiation can cause mutations in the subjects, but that the subjects rarely survive. He realises that Davros views such mutation as evolution. They enter the chamber.
Calcula finds Yarvell at home, excused from duty for the day in light of the murders. Calcula grows angry, and claims that any display of emotion will be taken as a sign of weakness by her opponents. Calcula suggests that Brogan was responsible for the bomb, and Yarvell lets it slip that Brogan is a pacifist; Calcula is horrified, and believes he is manipulating Yarvell. She concludes the plot was against their entire family.
An air raid siren sounds, and the Council building is evacuated; Brogan tells Quested that a Kaled missile has been launched into a Thal population centre. It seems to be an automated launch...meaning a missile from the Thals was en route first! The incoming missile is not nuclear, at least, but still, evacuation is warranted. Quested refuses to go. Brogan reveals it is headed for the educational complex...where Davros happens to be.
The missile strikes, heavily damaging the complex. Magrantine is trapped under some masonry, until Davros pulls him free. Magrantine leads the boy out of the complex.
Brogan reports to Quested that the damage was minimal; he believes a greater attack is coming. Quested reveals that the Council is planning a protective dome over the city. Calcula arrives and demands to know where Davros is; Quested reveals that he was seen leaving the complex with Magrantine. She turns on Brogan and accuses him, and reveals that he is a peace activist — a conflict of interests with his duties.
Davros and Magrantine rest on a hilltop outside the city. On the other side is a vast desert, with mountains beyond. Magrantine reveals that his son was murdered in that desert...by Nasgard. He draws a weapon and points it at Davros, intending to take revenge by killing him. Davros manages to talk him down, and tempts him with the promise of his prodigious scientific mind. Magrantine gives in, and Davros takes the gun; they start back toward the city.
Quested suggests merging resources with Calcula for her safety, as the spy is still at large. She insists that Brogan is the spy, though Quested argues against it. Calcula insists that this is the reason why Brogan defied protocol and refused to shoot Nasgard — so that he would gain access to their home to plant the bomb and remove the entire family.
Magrantine and Davros find the lab somehow intact. Davros insists the incident on the hill is forgotten; he suggests using those who are close to death for their experiments. Magrantine agrees, and says that the hospitals will supply test subjects. Some time later, after the first round of experiments on such "volunteers", Magrantine performs an autopsy on one mutated victim, which has some unrecognisable structures, as Davros points out. However, they will need volunteers from elsewhere, as they have already exhausted the supply from the hospital.
Quested and Calcula go to watch an execution, where Yarvell is on the firing squad. The "traitor" being executed is also allegedly involved in the murder of her father and aunt, much to her surprise. Yarvell is further shocked when it is revealed that Brogan is the traitor. She argues with her mother, but is ultimately overruled, and takes her place in the firing squad; the squad opens fire.
Later, Davros meets Yarvell, and argues with her over their mother and the execution. When she speaks in defence of Brogan, Davros brushes her concerns aside, and asks for Brogan's body for experimentation. She calls him a monster, and screams that she no longer considers him her brother.
Quested thinks that with Brogan gone, they will be able to break the stalemate and end the war. In the meantime, he proposes marriage to Calcula...and proposes that Davros should be told that Quested is his real father. Calcula refuses, saying that she will only do so when the time is right.
Davros tells Magrantine he could not obtain the body; but the tutor is not dissuaded, as he prefers a living sample. Davros follows him into the radiation chamber...and then locks him in, and turns on the power. As Magrantine bangs on the door and threatens to tell Calcula, Davros leaves to tell her himself...that is, to tell her how Magrantine committed suicide in grief for his son.
As the argument between Quested and Calcula picks up, she suddenly realises that Quested himself may be the real spy, as he has made a number of missions to the Thal capital in recent years. She realises she sentenced an innocent man to death — and whether or not there really is a spy, Quested is responsible; after all, he did say that it may be useful to invent a spy if one is not forthcoming. Quested turns the situation on her; he grabs her and demands to know how many other innocents have died because of her. Davros arrives at that moment and orders him to let her go; Davros pulls out the gun he took from Magrantine. Quested reveals that he is Davros's real father. Davros denies it, and shoots him.
Davros escorts Calcula to the lab, and reveals the now-mutated Magrantine, who is alive, but horribly changed. He begs to die, but Davros refuses; he can be used for more experiments. The air raid siren sounds, but Calcula assures Davros that this is only the beginning.
- Davros - Terry Molloy
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Young Davros - Rory Jennings
- Councillor Quested - Sean Connolly
- Tashek - Rita Davies
- Colonel Nasgard - Richard Franklin
- Captain/Major Brogan - Richard Grieve
- Kaled Officer - Scott Handcock
- Yarvell - Lizzie Hopley
- Lady Calcula - Carolyn Jones
- Tutor Magrantine - Peter Sowerbutts
- Davros' home is beside Drammankin Lake.
- Colonel Nasgard is a senior member of the Military Elite.
- Major Brogan is also part of the Military Elite as well as being a peace activist.
- Yarvell is part of the Military Youth.
- When Kaleds are exposed to radiation and begin to mutate, their rib cages becomes tendril-like.
- Davros places Magrantine within his radiation chamber, mutating him.
- Skaro's moons are Falkus and Omega Mysterium.
- Yarvell was named after Yarvelling, the humanoid Dalek scientist from the comic story Genesis of Evil.
- This audio drama was recorded on 31 July 2006.
- The story was reissued in 2007 as part of The Complete Davros Collection DVD boxset.
- The Dalek interviewing Davros on Skaro refers to the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks)
- Calcula refers to a dead bird as a "flying pest." (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
- Shortly after his stepfather's death, Davros joined the Military Youth before joining the Military Corps in his final year of college. (AUDIO: Purity)
- Davros would keep the Dal Book of Predictions in his possession for decades. (AUDIO: Guilt)
- Drammankin Lake would later become known as the Lake of Mutations. (TV: The Daleks) In the later stages of the Thousand Year War, it would be one of the few remaining places on Skaro where animal life still existed as the devastation had made almost all species other than the Kaleds and the Thals extinct. (AUDIO: Corruption)
- A younger Davros encountered the Twelfth Doctor. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)