a real world point of view
- For The Dalek Chronicles, the graphic novel collection of the stories, see separate article.
The Daleks (retroactively re-named The Dalek Chronicles) was a single-paged comic strip that portrayed a history of the Daleks. It lasted one hundred and four episodes. There were no appearances by the Doctor.
The Dalek comic strip was reprinted many times in different forms by Doctor Who Magazine (in this form it was sometimes known as The Dalek Tapes) before appearing in 1994 as graphic novel form from Marvel Comics, as a single volume, unedited and in full colour, priced at £3.99 (UK).
Though the strips featured the credit "by Terry Nation", the scripts were written largely or entirely by David Whitaker. The editor of TV21 said that he had a heavy hand in the writing of the Genesis of Evil story. At different times, Richard Jennings, Eric Eden and Ron Turner did the art duties. Ron Turner produced the artwork for the series.
The strip did not "soften" the nature of the Daleks in any way and made them just as evil (if not more so) than in the television stories. Interestingly, although the strip described the Thals, they never appeared in the comic. Stories shifted from sympathetic humanoid protagonists (no humans appeared until the last story, in which the Daleks discover Earth) to the Emperor Dalek, who served as the hero (of sorts) of most of the stories.
The strip detailed the history of the Daleks from their creation on Skaro, to their discovery of space flight, their conquests, their war with the Mechanoids, tying into TV: The Chase. Given that the strips concluded with the Daleks' discovery of Earth, that would mean the whole comic was, in effect, a prelude to TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
The Dalek Chronicles gave an account of the creation of the Daleks very different from Genesis of the Daleks and a somewhat different account recounted, but not seen in TV: The Daleks. The TV 21 strips portrayed humanoid Daleks as diminutive blue men with large heads, similar in appearance to Dan Dare's Mekon and generally opposed to the Thals (though at least one Dalek wanted peace). According to the comic, these humanoid Daleks had created war machines and neutron bombs. The bombs were accidentally detonated by a meteorite fall. The explosion that followed created mutant Daleks who would use the war machines as their shells. For more information on this from a Doctor Who universe perspective, see Creation of the Daleks and Humanoid Daleks.
Later stories in the Dalek comic told of the expansion of the Dalek Empire and a lengthy war against the Mechanoids and other enemies. In the last published comic in this series, the Daleks learned the location of Earth, which they proposed to invade. Although much of the material in these strips directly contradicted what was shown on television later, some concepts, such as flying Daleks, Daleks acquiring human characteristics and turning against their masters and the design of the Dalek Emperor did show up later on in the programme.
Stories by TV Century 21 Issue
- 1-3: Genesis of Evil
- 4-10: Power Play
- 11-17: Duel of the Daleks
- 18-24: The Amaryll Challenge
- 25-32: The Penta Ray Factor
- 33-39: Plague of Death
- 40-46: The Menace of the Monstrons
- 47-51: Eve of War
- 52-58: The Archives of Phryne
- 59-62: The Rogue Planet
- 63-69: Impasse
- 70-75: The Terrorkon Harvest
- 76-85: Legacy of Yesteryear
- 86-89: Shadow of Humanity
- 90-95: The Emissaries of Jevo
- 96-104: The Road to Conflict
Although there was no individual titles given to the stories, there is a general consensus on 'episode titles' proposed by John Ainsworth (based on his research and discussions with those involved in the original strips), which were accepted for use by Doctor Who Magazine and other sources. Some earlier publications may refer to 'stories' by differing titles.
On some occasions, the title of the individual 'story' were taken from the preceding issue's 'coming next time' closing caption.
The title image occupied the first panel on the page for the first 75 issues. From issue 76 onward the title ran along the length of the page above the comic.
Reprint Title Graphics
The first set of reprints from World Distributors in the years 1976 and 1977 only used a series title graphic on the first page. On subsequent pages, as with most reprints of the series, both the title and the news box were replaced with narration. Where divided into parts, only the first part's title box carried the series title The Daleks. The Amazing World of Doctor Who's title box (not shown) read The Daleks in A New Start.
From 1980 to 1994, Marvel UK reprinted the series. The first block of reprints went uninterrupted from Doctor Who Magazine Issues 30-42 and used the title The Dalek Tapes (not shown). It included the standard elements of the tape graphic and the series title, however sizing, placement, and the presence of the other elements varied. Tape number didn't alway receive a special font and the episode title was originally placed in the news box. When the series was revisited, it carried the second TV21 title graphic on every page of Eve of War. The image was resized to fill the news box as well, avoiding the need to supply any new narration. The Archives of Phryne only carried the graphic on the first page in the issue because it had been originally reprinted in a Dalek Annual. The third set reproduced the 1978 Dalek Annual's reprints of the Skardal arc in original colour and featured the same whimsical lettering in the title box. Later reprints focused on better quality reproduction of the material. The graphic novel features the comics with original TV21 title and news panels intact.