The Dalek Project was BBC Books' second original graphic novel. Originally scheduled for publication in the autumn of 2009, it originally featured the then-current Tenth Doctor. Due to some narrative similarities to the then-in-production Victory of the Daleks, however, its publication was delayed until September 2012 — by which time it had to be reworked so as to accommodate the Eleventh Doctor.
Most mysterious of all, the drawing-room seems to open directly onto a muddy, corpse-filled trench on the Western Front . . .
Soon, the Doctor and his new friends are in a race against time to prevent the entire Western Front from becoming part of the Dalek Project!
2017 - North Eastern France a century after the Great War. Two archaeologists, Jules and Guillaume, uncover a Dalek saucer buried in the ground. They attach a power cable to it to get past the door. However, one of the Daleks inside is revived and attacks the two archaeologists with its manipulator arm. Guillaume is killed, and Jules manages to escape but is put in shock.
Some time later, the Doctor arrives at the dig, claiming to the lead archaeologist, Angela Todd, that it is a "surprise surprise inspection". He learns that the archaeologists are supposedly excavating a Bronze Age burial chamber. Much to his surprise, when he enters one of the tents, he finds that all of the "artefacts" they have uncovered are the rusted components of Dalek casings. After demanding to see the chamber, the Doctor unlocks the supposed tomb and the archaeologists are shocked to find the room within brimming with extremely advanced technology. Upon a nearby table lies a seemingly-unconscious man, which quickly activates and attacks the group, revealing itself to be merely a robotic Dalek duplicate of an unfortunate captive whose skeletal remains lie beside it. Shortly after escaping, the group stumbles upon a corridor filled with rusted, damaged Daleks — the Doctor explains that the mutants within the shells are merely dormant, conserving energy until they can find a new power source to power their casings. No sooner does he say this than the Daleks begin to slowly awaken, and try to destroy the group. The Doctor himself is struck by one of the guns, but survives due to the fact that the barely-active Daleks had yet to amass enough energy for a killing blast.
The group manages to escape the Daleks' survival chamber, but much to the Doctor's horror he discovers that one of the archaeologists, Pierre, had been working on a "reconstruction project" using the pieces they had excavated. Entering Pierre's tent, he finds the man dead, and his semi-accurate reconstruction project on the loose. The Quasimodo Dalek is able to restore power to the Dalek ship from power cables, as reawakened Daleks start attacking the archaeologists. However, the Doctor uses a cable from the TARDIS to overload the Dalek ship. As Professor Todd asks the Doctor how aliens came to be buried in WWI-era trenches, the Doctor realises that he is late for tea, and takes Angela with him in the TARDIS, recounting on the way the events that led to the Dalek ship's presence.
Back in France, 1917, the Doctor happened upon Hellcombe Hall, the residence of Lord and Lady Hellcombe. There, he encountered a lone servant, Mary Carter, and — unusually enough — a British soldier, Ted Anderson, who just a few moments before had been fighting in the trenches in North-Eastern France. The Doctor learns from Mary that there have been strange goings-on in Hellcombe Hall of late: Many of the locked rooms have had unusual noises coming from behind their doors: Gunfire, screaming, machinery, and even what sounds like a giant heartbeat. Investigating further, the Doctor finds several things: A room full of gigantic crates, and a nervous, balding man behind a desk who tells him to "tell them the funding's in hand" for "the project". He further tells the Doctor that he is grateful that they sent a human this time rather than "one of those things". Thoroughly mystified, the Doctor is about to ask the man to clarify, but is cut off by a gunshot from a nearby room.
Rushing in, he discovers that Corporal Anderson had found and shot a rat. The Doctor, however, discovers that the rat is more than it seems: Its eyes are outfitted with high-tech cameras. Opening one final door, the Doctor and Ted are shocked to find themselves in Lord Hellcombe's weapons factory. Inside the factory, the two discover a gathering of British military leaders, as well as Lord Hellcombe himself and his son, Ralph. Lord Hellcombe announces to his guests that he is about to reveal a machine that will bring an end to the endless bloodshed the Great War has wrought, and — much to the Doctor's surprise — unveils what appears to be a Dalek made with turn-of-the-century technology. The Proto-Dalek notices and identifies the Doctor, and attempts to gun him down with its machine gun. The Doctor and Ted barely escape, only to discover that the gigantic crates the Doctor had found earlier contained several real Daleks. Ted is paralysed and captured by one of the Daleks. Meanwhile, Lord Hellcombe, who up till this point had been told that the one Dalek he had worked with was the last of its race, is angered to find that it had lied to him. The Daleks capture him as well.
When the Doctor finally finds Ted and Hellcombe held captive in the Dalek ship, he learns the reason why Lord Hellcombe had collaborated with the Daleks: The Dalek he believed to be the last of its race had recovered Hellcombe's son, Ralph, after he was shot down, and used the last of its failing technology to save him. The Doctor, however, realises the truth: The Daleks shot Ralph down, and had reconstructed him in a robotic body to manipulate Hellcombe. The four finds a way out of the Saucer and swims to the surface as a Dalek pursuit squad follow them and burns the forest. the Doctor and his companions sees a boy named Joe who was orphaned when the Daleks killed his father and the other gardeners. Lord Hellcombe sees the body of his wife and feels sorry for what he has done.
The Doctor, Ted and Hellcombe arrives on a German factory where it's industrialist Erik Graul constructed his own Proto-Daleks. The trio comes to his office and tries to convince him to stop the Dalek Project. Herr Graul refuses and the Doctor discovers a Dalek doing the same thing to Graul whose son was killed in Russia, so he wants revenge. the three runs to a submarine to escape from the factory as well as eluding three German Proto-Daleks. Ted fires a torpedo to hit the ship. The Daleks sent Aqua-Daleks to attack the submarine. The trio survives and goes back to Hellcombe Hall to go to Hellcombe Factory, leaving Joe and Mary watching the Dalek ship. The portal brings them to the trench and a Dalek follows them but the Doctor deactivates the transmat portal, destroying the Dalek. A modified rat notices them running. The Black Dalek orders to begin the final stage of the Dalek Project. The Doctor, Lord Hellcombe and Ted find the factory empty and it's all run static electricity. The factory comes alive and manufacturing Proto-Daleks. Hellcombe will find someone to shut the factory down. Ted goes to alert the British troops.
The Doctor is about to sabotage the generators that send power to the Dalek ship, but two Daleks stops him and reveal the Project has been running for centuries. The Doctor thinks the Daleks crashed in a time-storm, but the Daleks reveal they have been travelling through history to gain knowledge of human strategy. They landed in 1908 and planned to finally see how humans will react toward certain death. The British Daleks and German Daleks are sent toward each other but turn on the humans. The Daleks are ordered to exterminate all the soldiers to eradicate all evidence of Dalek activity. Joe and Mary jump at a home of the Dalek ship as it hovers and is going to France. Ralph holds Hellcombe hostage. He yells at a Dalek for taking everything he had. Ralph is ordered to kill his father but the bullet missed him and the Doctor escapes. The soldiers order a shell bombardment. The Doctor changes the robot Daleks so they recognise Daleks as enemies. Lord Hellcombe dies when his plane crashes into the German factory, destroying it. Ralph crashes a plane into the Dalek saucer, bringing it down. The bombardment destroys the Daleks but the Doctor and Anderson escape through one of the Dalek portals, closing it before the Daleks pursuing them can get through. The Doctor took Angela to 1917 to drink tea with Ted and Mary. However a surviving modified rat sees them. In 2017, a rat crawls on a damaged Dalek, its eye glowing, indicating it is still alive.
- Eleventh Doctor
- Mary Carter
- Corporal Edward Anderson
- Lord Hellcombe
- Ralph Hellcombe
- Angela Todd
- Erik Graul
- The Doctor speculates that Gavrilo Princip was conditioned by the Daleks to kill Archduke Ferdinand so that the world would be plunged into war, which the Daleks could use to their advantage as they advanced the Dalek Project. These suspicions are never confirmed.
- The Doctor thinks he is on a jungle planet named Jungloria before realising that the plants are in fact British and that the area smells like Kent.
- The Daleks counts in rels.
- This may have been originally cancelled due to the episode Victory of the Daleks that was being filmed around the time this comic was due to be released. There are some similarities and differences between this and Victory of the Daleks:
- The Doctor is without a companion in this story. He is joined by Edward Anderson as a one-off companion.
- This is the first story of the revived series to feature a Black Dalek as a rank. Other Black Daleks like Dalek Sec and Dalek X were individuals and it is unlikely other Daleks shared their status.
- A Dalek on low power attempts to kill Jules using its manipulator arm, the same way the "Metaltron" killed Simmons. (TV: Dalek)
- The Doctor dons a Panama hat, claiming that "Panama hats are cool", as he had done previously in relation to a number of different items of clothing. (TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Big Bang et al.)
- The Proto-Daleks use machine guns in place of Dalek gunsticks. Daleks previously resorted to conventional projectile weaponry when their energy was being drained by the City of Exxilon. (TV: Death to the Daleks)
- Several Daleks are killed when they are caught in their closing transmat systems, a technique the Seventh Doctor had used previously on an Imperial Dalek. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- The Daleks once again pretend to ally themselves with humans in order to construct more Daleks. (TV: The Power of the Daleks, Victory of the Daleks)
- The Black Dalek is connected to the Dalek ship via wires. The Chief Strategist in COMIC: The Only Good Dalek was similarly connected.
- A console of Survey Ship Sigma is similar to one on the Daleks capital city of Kaalann. (GAME: City of the Daleks)
- A Dalek duplicate android body found on the Dalek ship is similar in appearance to Edwin Bracewell's android body. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
- Dalek duplicates appear. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
- The Doctor mentions UNIT. (TV: The Invasion, et al.)
- Hellcombe Factory is powered by static electricity. (TV: The Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth)