Thousand Year War
The Thousand Year War pitted two indigenous peoples of Skaro, the Kaleds and the Thals against one another. The conflict ravaged the planet, with radiation forcing the remaining combatants to live within domed cities. The war created a third race of sorts in the Mutos, made outcasts due to their disfigurement. Even as the cause of the war was lost to memory, both sides remained committed to victory - and the Kaleds achieved a scientific breakthrough when Davros engineered the Daleks.
By the time that the Fourth Doctor visited Skaro on a mission to prevent the creation of the Daleks, the Thals and Kaleds lived in two domed cities overlooking a polluted wasteland. The Scientific Elite, headed by Davros and his assistant Nyder, and a Military Elite hoped to create weapons that would finally bring victory. The use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons had led to genetic mutations among both Thals and Kaleds, disparagingly referred to as Mutos. The Mutos were driven out by the Thals and the Kaleds to keep their races pure.
Weapons and technology edit
An anachronistic mixture of technologies on the battlefield showed a society which had devolved rather than evolved, with combatants using energy weapons alongside rifles and machine guns and engaging in trench warfare as in Earth's early 20th century. Their uniforms were frequently mismatched - soldiers could be seen wearing modern combat jackets made of synthetic fibre with other articles of uniform made of leather.
In the long-range, as well as the biological and nuclear weapons already mentioned, both sides used chemical rockets. Towards the end of the war, the Thals intended to use a neutronic missile against the Kaleds. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
The war did not conclude so much as peter out. Davros gave the Thals information to allow them to breach the Kaled Dome, causing massive casualties amongst Davros' own people.
This provided a rationale for the Kaleds in turn to set the newly created Daleks against the Thals. At last, a Thal rocket destroyed the Kaled Dome. Thals, led by Bettan, and Mutos, led by Sevrin, joined to fight against the Daleks emerging from the ruined Kaled city. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
The war led to the extinction of the Kaleds and nearly wiped out the Thals and traumatised them to a point that they embraced strict pacifism and simple living, something that they would not change for many hundreds of years. (TV: The Daleks)
Behind the scenes edit
According to the non-narrative reference book Doctor Who: The Dalek Handbook, the war lasted from 450 AD to 1450 AD. In the television story The Daleks, the Daleks refer to the war as occuring "over 500 years ago", which would seem to indicate that the events of the story take place in 1950.