Davros as in The Witch’s Familiar
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Davros, often referred to by his creations as the Creator, was originally the head of the Kaled Scientific Elite on the planet Skaro, but he became better known as the creator of the Daleks. The results of his attempts to bring the war on Skaro to an end were not as he envisioned, because the Daleks wiped out both the Thal and Kaled races, save for himself. Davros survived the centuries, using whatever medical assistance was available to sustain his life.
For a time, he sought to create a race of Daleks loyal to him, which led to the Imperial-Renegade Civil War, where he served as Emperor of the loyal Daleks, and later of the Dalek race as a whole. But his relationship with them was always a tense one. He was frequently hunted, maligned, or otherwise denigrated by one portion or other of the Daleks.
Davros had a brilliant scientific mind, and was constantly devising ways to give his creations greatness, often overlooking the fact they saw him as beneath them, and would often keep him imprisoned, either because he was a threat or for his genius. The only time they showed respect for him was when Davros neared death, Davros was kept alive by a machine that siphoned life energy off the Daleks. This let them trick The Doctor into donating regenerative energy, which renewed Davros and the Daleks.
Through his creations, many came to consider him responsible for trillions of deaths and innumerable wars across the universe. Despite the fact that he was not unquestionably the ruler of the Daleks, he was one of the Doctor’s greatest enemies, rivalling The Master in both intellect and madness. Despite this, both Davros and the Doctor called each other friends on separate occasions. Davros considered The Doctor the closest thing that the scientist had to a familiar, even as they served as foes.
The Doctor has described Davros as “an insane, paranoid genius who has survived amongst several billion trigger-happy mini-tanks for centuries.” (The Witch’s Familiar)
Davros was born in the later part of the Thousand Year War between the Kaleds and the Thals on the planet Skaro, the result of an adulterous relationship between Lady Calcula and Councillor Quested. He had an elder half-sister, Yarvell. It was considered a time when mercy and nobility were all but non-existent on Skaro and life was harsh and grim. The use of nuclear weapons and other agents of mutation produced Mutos, who resided in the Wastelands and were often used for slave labour by both the Kaleds and the Thals.
As a child, Davros claimed that only his mother believed in him. Others feared him and his determination. His stepfather, Colonel Nasgard, whom both believed to be his biological father, wanted him to become a soldier like his ancestors, but Davros was determined to become a scientist. (Innocence)
At some point in his childhood, he became lost on a battlefield. A soldier named Kanzo tried to help when he wandered across ground covered in Handmines, but was sucked into the ground by one of them. The Twelfth Doctor heard his cries for help and threw him his sonic screwdriver, which allowed them to hear each other. Although The Doctor had intended to help the child, when he learned that he was a younger Davros, he returned to the TARDIS and departed. Shortly afterwards, Davros heard the rematerialisation of the Doctor’s TARDIS, and, confused and frightened, witnessed the Twelfth Doctor point a gunstick towards him, saying that he was trying to save his friend the only way he could, before yelling “Exterminate!”, (The Magician’s Apprentice) killing the Handmines surrounding Davros and taking him by the hand and helping him get home. (The Witch’s Familiar)
During his childhood, he watched the propaganda television series Captain Croag and the Highland Rangers, as did Yarvell. (Guilt)
As a child, Davros often read the Book of Predictions, which was written in the extinct language of the Dals. Although the book was banned by the Council of Twelve, he kept it in his possession for decades. (Innocence, Guilt)
Shortly after his stepfather’s death, Davros joined the Military Youth before joining the Military Corps in his final year of college.
In Nasgard’s will, the family finances were held in trust under Davros’ name and his wife and daughter were forbidden access to it until Davros was married. Due to her connections with senior members of the Kaled judiciary, Calcula was successful in her attempts to have the terms of the will overturned. Prior to this, she had attempted to set Davros up with the daughter of Councillor Matros, another member of the Council of Twelve who belonged to one of the most influential and wealthy Kaled families. (Purity)
Davros vehemently disagreed with the ideas of his half-sister Yarvell, who had become a peace activist, of a compromise with the Thals. As he approached his thirtieth birthday, he regarded the only satisfactory outcome of the war as being the extermination of the Thals and the complete dominance of the Kaleds over all of Skaro. He was forced into the Military Corps, put in charge of developing new weapons and gadgets to help Kaled soldiers. After his mother killed his father, sister and aunt, Davros no longer had anyone to impress. In honour of Yarvell’s death, he and his mother commissioned a statue to house her ashes. In reality, however, Davros used her body for his genetic research. (Purity)
Davros’ first assignment in the Scientific Corps was in food processing. Consequently, he learned that the pills were made from not only waste vegetable matter but also the bodies of the dead. (Davros)
One month after the death of his mother, Davros was grievously wounded by a Thal bombardment of his laboratory in the Kaled Dome which cost him his taste buds, left arm and entire lower body and left his eyes with severe damage to the point where using them would cause great pain. As a result, he was forced to spend the rest of his life confined to a mobile life support system attached to a wheelchair, and an eyestalk-bulb in his forehead, giving him partial eyesight without the use of his own eyes.
After he was crippled, the Scientific Corps gave Davros a projectile poison injector to allow him to kill himself. He kept it but refused to use it. (Davros, Corruption) In his life-support system, Davros was identified as a mutant. (Destiny of the Daleks)
Thirty seconds without his life support would have killed him. The life support system was controlled by a switch on the panel of buttons on his system. (Genesis of the Daleks) His chair acted like an iron lung and pacemaker in that it monitored and maintained his body. (Davros)
He did not require nourishment due to his life support system, although he did occasionally eat. (Davros, Guilt)
After he assassinated the Supremo and the other members of the Council of Twelve, Davros became the de facto Kaled head of state as their deaths left him as the most senior surviving civilian in the Kaled Dome.
Davros began experimenting with organisms and teaching them to speak. In particular, he taught them to say his name. For his first experiment, he used a Thal brain, that of a spy named Baran, instead of a Kaled one. (Guilt)
CREATION OF THE DALEKS
With his equally ruthless aide, Nyder, Davros ascended to a high rank in the Kaled Scientific Elite and ultimately presided over the creation of the Daleks. Having foreseen that over time the Kaleds would mutate and degenerate into mutants who could not live on their own, he set about accelerating this evolution, (Genesis of the Daleks) leading the Daleks to come into existence earlier than they would have in the normal course of historical events. (War of the Daleks) Since the mutants could not survive on their own, Davros created mobile casings for them, also making sure that they were equipped with fearsome weapons, as Davros’s true ambition was to create the ultimate warrior lifeform, able to dominate Skaro forever. (Genesis of the Daleks) The travel machines he built were based on designs stolen from other scientists, (War of the Daleks) the Dalek War Machine having been developed by the inventor Yarvelling in the early days of the war against the Thals. (Genesis of Evil)
However, an intervention by the Time Lords began a chain of events after that. The Fourth Doctor was sent to Skaro at this time when Davros first demonstrated the Daleks to the Kaled Scientific Elite. With the presence of the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan contradicting his claim that only Skaro could support life in the galaxy, (Genesis of the Daleks) Davros was enlightened to the wider universe and changed his ambitions from conquering Skaro to mastering the universe. (A Brief History of Time Lords) Davros imprisoned The Doctor. He used a lie detector to force The Doctor to reveal the details of the Daleks’ future defeats, so that he could learn from them and so his creations, the Daleks, could avoid them. (The Doctor later had this record destroyed.) Davros refused to listen to The Doctor when he begged him to instead make the Daleks peaceful creatures of good, rather than the evil exterminators they would become. (Genesis of the Daleks)
“DEATH” AND REVIVAL
Upon activation, the Daleks exterminated Nyder. However, Davros soon became their next victim, ironically because of the programming that he himself had given them: to exterminate all those who were not pure Dalek. He begged them to have pity on him but they stated that were incapable of doing so as he had not programmed them to feel pity. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Unbeknownst to the Daleks, they had actually only damaged his primary life support system. The secondary and backup circuits switched on immediately, placing him in suspended animation while his life support worked to regenerate him. (Destiny of the Daleks) During this time, Davros hoped that his creations had not forgotten him, and that he would be found once more and would rule the Daleks as he had originally planned. (The Lights of Skaro)
After a lengthy time had passed, the Daleks, now a major galactic power, sought to revive Davros so that he might offer them a way out of the impasse in their war with the Movellans. Both sides were in a stalemate because they were androids that relied solely on logical moves, so Davros’ organic mind would be able to think of ways to circumvent the situation.
Davros’ suspended body was eventually found in the underground remains of the crumbled bunker and he was revived. Davros opted to help the Daleks in their war against the Movellans. He devised a plan to destroy a Movellan ship. After this failed, he was captured by The Doctor and the escaped Dalek slaves, and imprisoned in a cryogenic freezer as “a block of ice”. As anticipated by Tyssan, Davros was to stand trial for “crimes against the whole of sentient creation”. (Destiny of the Daleks)
The humans decreed an indefinite sentence of suspended animation while Davros retained full consciousness. After ninety years, the Daleks, led by the Dalek Supreme, liberated Davros from his prison station in space, and revived him again. They believed he might help them to find a cure for the virus with which the Movellans defeated them, a virus that attacked only Dalek tissue. Pretending to research the cure, Davros experimented on Daleks to bring them under his control. The Doctor, now in his fifth incarnation, attempted to kill Davros at this time, though he lacked the resolve to do so directly. His treachery discovered by the Dalek Supreme, Davros released the Movellan virus onto the prison ship, killing all the Daleks on board.
The virus began affecting Davros, who promptly fled in an escape pod before Stien caused the station (and the prison ship) to explode. (Resurrection of the Daleks)
23RD CENTURY INVASION OF EARTH
In the hundred years leading up to the Earth year 2254, Davros and the Daleks witnessed the human race advance their scientific knowledge to the point of becoming a threat. Ultimately, Davros decided that this problem needed to be rectified and so launched an invasion of Earth, intending to turn it into a Dalek production planet. (Dalek Attack)
Davros genetically tested a group of humans. Modifying their brains to remove their emotions of compassion, love and pity, Davros converted them into drones, as such, these drones were, like the Daleks, Davros’ children. As the Daleks continued their 23rd century bombardment of the Earth colony of Phobos, Drone 77 and Drone 69, formerly a human male and female respectively, were questioned by Davros. When they behaved in a fashion indicating disgust for him, both moving away when he went to touch them, and demonstrated fear by seeking comfort in each other’s arms, Davros ordered their extermination. As he left, he wondered if the same behaviour that he so despised also existed in the Daleks. (An Incident Concerning the Continual Bombardment of the Phobos Colony)
Back on Skaro in 2254, Davros addressed the Battle Commander Daleks in the presence of the Emperor Dalek, commencing the invasion of Earth. However, the Seventh Doctor led a resistance against the Daleks on Earth. Confronting Davros on Skaro, The Doctor informed Davros that his invasion of Earth had been foiled and that the Time Lords would ensure that he would never threaten the universe again. Davros was then frozen in time. (Dalek Attack)
A NEW ENTERPRISE
Davros was somehow picked up by a different space station and imprisoned in a vault. Arnold Baynes and his wife, Lorraine, extracted him and helped in his restoration. At this very same moment, the Sixth Doctor arrived after being called in by some friends. He demanded Davros be immediately placed in suspended animation, but as Davros was fully conscious he goaded The Doctor into doing the job himself. The Doctor couldn’t. Feeling Davros deserved a chance for redemption, Baynes offered him a job at his company, TAI. The Doctor also offered a working relationship with Davros.
Davros gained a foothold and claimed to be working on a way to combat famine. He held great interest in the stock market and planned on closing it down by broadcasting a pattern he discovered, the results completely disrupting the Galaxy and enabling Davros to gain a military foothold. However Davros began to be haunted by his past, particularly the time before his accident when he had betrayed a female Kaled scientist named Shan whom he perhaps had loved. The Doctor halted his plan but Davros escaped in a ship. The Doctor took control of the ship from the TAI control room and made it crash while Davros screamed Shan’s name. (Davros)
EMPEROR OF THE IMPERIAL DALEK FACTION
Davros survived and set himself up as “the Great Healer” on the planet Necros, operating through a fake head as a lure for assassins, and lured the Sixth Doctor there. Using the bodies of the dead at Tranquil Repose, Davros created a new race of Daleks with white and gold livery. These became “Imperial Daleks”. The new faction was totally loyal to him. However those who weren’t intelligent enough were converted into concentrated protein to combat famine.
After Kara hired Orcini, a knight of the Grand Order of Oberon, to assassinate Davros, they destroyed his fake head, and the real Davros subdued them. Davros then brought The Doctor to him, gleefully informing him that, while his allies, Natasha and Grigory, had destroyed the lab, they had been killed, and his main force of Daleks was elsewhere. During this encounter, Orcini‘s squire, Bostock, destroyed Davros’ hand. The Supreme Dalek’s forces arrived on Necros after being called in by another Tranquil Repose worker Takis and captured him to put him on trial, with his army being destroyed by Orcini. (Revelation of the Daleks)
En route to Skaro, the ship carrying Davros crashed on the planet Lethe. Davros was rescued. He set himself up as “Professor Vaso”, altering the perceptions of the humans on the colony so they would not recognise him as the “Great Healer”. He attempted to create a new machine, a Juggernaut based on a Mechanoid design.
Lethe’s atmosphere prevented the Supreme Dalek retrieving Davros directly, but its forces intercepted the Sixth Doctor’s TARDIS, forcing him to serve as an agent of the Daleks and stop Davros’ researches and manipulations. The Doctor discovered two of Davros’ Necros Daleks had survived the crash, but were destroyed following Davros’ final gambit on the colony and the Supreme Dalek’s intervention. (The Juggernauts)
Davros’ trial on Skaro as presided over by the Emperor Dalek. (Emperor of the Daleks!)
According to one account, Davros was then taken to Skaro, where he was put on trial by the Dalek Emperor. Before a sentence could be passed, however, the Sixth Doctor released a virus onto the Daleks, saved Davros, taking him on board his TARDIS. (Emperor of the Daleks!)
By suggestion of the Doctor, (Up Above the Gods) Davros hid himself on Spiridon, along with his empire of Daleks. The Daleks who had put him on trial before came to return him to Skaro, but his Daleks held them off. Davros detonated the planet, killing the Daleks. He woke highly injured, four days into the Dalek civil war, in a new casing as the Dalek Emperor. (Emperor of the Daleks!)
For more background on and an account of the war that followed between Dalek factions, see Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War.
According to another account, Davros encountered the Thal Lareen while en route to Skaro. Lareen was using a stealth suit that made her invisible to Dalek scanners. Lareen attempted to find Davros’ “good side,” and believed she had succeeded. She gave Davros a capsule containing an enhanced version of the Movellan virus and asked him to release it during his trial. This would destroy all Daleks on Skaro, and make Davros a hero.
Upon arriving on Skaro, Davros found that the Supreme Dalek had a new casing created. The Supreme Dalek planned to be moved to the new casing and named Emperor of the Daleks after Davros’ execution. During his trial, Davros told the Daleks of the Movellan virus, and proved his loyalty to the Dalek cause by refusing to release it. He then told them that Lareen was on Skaro and ordered them to exterminate her. The Daleks were impressed with this show of loyalty, and named Davros Emperor of the Daleks. (The Davros Mission)
EMPORER OF THE DALEKS
One of Davros’s earliest actions as Emperor was to order the assassination of the First Doctor, but his plot was foiled by the Seventh Doctor during his hunt for the Key to Time. (Time & Time Again)
At some point while Emperor, Davros developed mind-transfer technology and formed an alliance with Napoleon in the hope of changing history by altering the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo, planning to replace Napoleon’s mind with that of a Dalek and use Napoleon’s mind for the Dalek battle computers. The Sixth Doctor found Davros in 1815 and transferred minds with him. Davros’ mind was transferred back but The Doctor revealed the deception to Napoleon, who deliberately lost the battle. (The Curse of Davros)
By the time of his attempt to recover the Hand of Omega from Earth in November 1963, Davros had proclaimed himself the Dalek Emperor. He was completely encased within an Imperial Dalek-like shell, though his head and upper body still appeared to be at least partially Kaled. He was nearly killed when his ship was destroyed by the Hand of Omega, but survived once again in an escape pod. (Remembrance of the Daleks)
For more details on this, see the Shoreditch Incident.
AFTER THE HAND OF OMEGA
Eventually making his way to Azimuth, Davros attempted to make contact with other Daleks in the universe. There, he encountered the Seventh Doctor again. After Will Arrowsmith told him about the Persuasion machine, he wanted it to reassert his control over the Daleks. Davros revealed that the main reason he had returned to Azimuth was to track down an old experiment he had carried out to clone himself, but learned that the clone had developed its own consciousness after it was activated by the remaining Daleks. The clone had assumed the identity of Falkus, and now considered himself Davros’ ‘son’. Falkus attempted to torture The Doctor for information about his past victories and brainwash his companion Elizabeth Klein to power the Persuasion machine, but Klein was actually a duplicate of herself who used the machine to destroy the Daleks and Falkus. Davros was able to escape in a Dalek time machine, but was trapped again when The Doctor diverted his escape pod to a planet occupied by the Wraiths of Lamuria, a group of spirits dedicated to punishing criminals. (Daleks Among Us)
Davros was eventually able to escape his punishment, but he was left drifting in space in another escape pod that was eventually discovered by a garbage ship called the Quetzel. The Eighth Doctor and Sam Jones landed on the Quetzel. A Thal force later took control of the ship. They wanted Davros to alter their race so they could better fight the Daleks. A force of Daleks arrived and took Davros, The Doctor, Sam, the Thals, and the Quetzel engineer Chayn to Skaro, which Davros had believed destroyed by the Hand of Omega. The planet destroyed had in fact been a decoy world named Antalin. The Dalek Prime wanted to remove any supporters of Davros from the Dalek race and a trial was held. Those Daleks loyal to Davros turned on the Dalek Prime and a civil war broke out. In the end, The Doctor and his allies escaped from Skaro, Davros’ forces were defeated, and Davros was apparently executed by matter dispersal, although the Spider Dalek responsible for Davros’s sentence had actually been converted to his cause earlier. (War of the Daleks)
Now alone in space, Davros created a virus capable of killing all living things, which The Doctor had hypothetically compared the Daleks to during their first conflict on Skaro. He was found by a Nekkistani ship. They helped him, and he rewarded them by killing them. The ship with Davros on board was found drifting in the Time Vortex by the Eighth Doctor, Gemma Griffin and Samson Griffin. Davros took control of Gemma and Samson and operated on the TARDIS after Samson had rendered The Doctor unconscious. Davros established a link to the TARDIS. He sent Gemma and Samson home and left the TARDIS to be damaged by the self-destruct of the Nekkistani ship. Davros conquered Earth by causing mutations and creating new Daleks. By the time he met The Doctor again, Davros teetered on the edge of sanity, his mind split between two warring personalities — Davros and “the Emperor”, his casing keeping the lower half of his Imperial Dalek casing mixed with the top half of the Dalek City Emperor fought by the Second Doctor. The Doctor struck a deal with the Daleks, who considered Davros an unreliable leader. They would leave Earth with their true Emperor if The Doctordid not release the virus. The Daleks accepted and left Earth with Davros, his Emperor personality dominant. (Terror Firma)
DURING THE LAST GREAT TIME WAR
One of the events in the Last Great Time War was known as the “Seven Deaths of Davros”. (The Day of the Doctor)
During the “very first year” of the Time War, (The Stolen Earth) Davros was promised his own legion by the Dalek Emperor. The Emperor asked him to build a new creature to use against the Time Lords. Davros created the Nightmare Child, which was what he termed “the perfect Dalek.” The Nightmare child quickly became hungry, wishing to consume everything in its path. Left with no choice but to kill it, Davros tried to send it into the Gates of Elysium. He sent a distress signal to the War Doctor, but instead of wanting to be rescued, he really only wished for The Doctor to see him die, helpless to save him. Davros’ command ship flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child, and the Gates of Elysium closed behind them. Davros was believed to have been killed. (The Third Wise Man) In actuality, Davros was saved when Dalek Caan broke the War’s time-lock and took him to the post-war universe. (The Stolen Earth)
FOLLOWING THE LAST GREAT TIME WAR
After Davros was rescued by Dalek Caan, he used cells from his own body to create the New Dalek Empire. This sacrifice left some of his internal organs and part of the skeleton exposed on his upper torso. At the epicentre of this new hidden empire was a planet-sized space station known as the Crucible, stationed within the Medusa Cascade but in a pocket of time one second out of sync with the rest of the universe. At some point, these new Daleks refused to recognise Davros as their leader, and installed a Supreme Dalek. They did not exterminate Davros, though, and he still considered them his “children”. They made an arrangement to keep him under guard inside the vault room of the Crucible. In return, he helped them steal 27 planets from across space and time to fuel a reality bomb, which would leave them the sole inhabitants in all existence. (The Stolen Earth)
The Tenth Doctor had lost the trail on the missing Earth, but the Children of Time used the Earth’s phone network to contact him. Davros then hacked into the Subwave Network to speak to him, and soon The Doctor was brought in his TARDIS aboard the Crucible where they met face-to-face. Davros and the Daleks neutralised several threats (such as Sarah Jane Smith’s warp star and Martha Jones’ Osterhagen key) and prepared to detonate the reality bomb. However, the “DoctorDonna” intervened by shutting off the bomb by closing off all of the Z-Neutrino energy relay loops of the reality bomb by using an internalised synchronous back-feed reversal loop, returning most of the stolen planets, followed by the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor maximising the Dalekanium power feeds and blasting them back, destroying the Crucible and the fleet. Before fleeing the carnage in the TARDIS, the original Tenth Doctor offered to save Davros, but the creator of the Daleks refused, naming him “the Destroyer of Worlds” and choosing to stay aboard the exploding Crucible. (Journey’s End)
Having somehow survived, Davros, on the brink of death, remembered his encounter with the Twelfth Doctor in his childhood, and ordered Colony Sarff to bring him to him. When he faced The Doctoragain, Davros talked about the Daleks, calling them children. He admitted that even though he created them he couldn’t control them, claiming he couldn’t stop them from exterminating The Doctor’s friends. During this meeting, Davros showed The Doctor that he had recorded all his foe’s speeches about morality. Perhaps as a taunt, Davros singled out one about killing a child who would grow up to be a “ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives”, The Doctor had the chance to prevent Davros from ever creating the monster known as Daleks, but had failed because of his compassion. (The Magician’s Apprentice)
Davros revealed the cables connected him to the life force of every Dalek. While attempting to make The Doctor feel compassion for him as part of a plan to steal his regenerative energy, Davros learned that The Doctor had saved Gallifrey from destruction at the end of the Time War. Whether sincerely or not, Davros congratulated The Doctor on saving his people, referring to his own failure to save the Kaled race from extinction. Shutting down his eye implant, Davros told The Doctor that he wanted to see one last sunrise with his own eyes. However, when The Doctor, apparently driven by compassion, released regenerative energy into the cables, Davros was quick to act, using Colony Sarff to secure The Doctor, he began siphoning regenerative energy from the Time Lord and transmitting it into every Dalek across Skaro, using some of it to renew himself and remove his reliance on the life support for survival. However, after being saved by Missy, The Doctor revealed that he had known of Davros’ plan, and had let him take the energy as part of his own plan to stop the Daleks. He then revealed that Davros’ transmission of the energy into every Dalek on Skaro had included the decaying Daleks in the sewers beneath the city, who attacked the Dalek City and destroyed it, with Davros still inside when the roof of the infirmary collapsed on him. (The Witch’s Familiar)
Most notable of Davros’ creations was the Mark III travel machine, which became known as a Dalek. Davros also experimented with other Dalek forms, such as a Dalek able to walk over rough terrain known as a Spider Dalek. (War of the Daleks)
Davros also created an Imperial faction of Daleks to counter what he saw as a renegade faction of Daleks, as well as the cybernetic Juggernauts by combining human components and DNA with the robotic Mechonoids. (The Juggernauts)
The Twelfth Doctor would later poke fun of what Davros invented, saying that he couldn’t even invent legs, and asking how the Daleks felt when everyone else had more than one eye. (The Witch’s Familiar)
Davros had a sound mind early in his life, but the incident that crippled him and his overall experiences in the Thal-Kaled war left him a depraved and insane megalomaniac. He became tyrannical and ruthless, tolerating no opposition to his will and dismissing fairness and democracy as “the creeds of cowards”. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Brilliant and driven, he relentlessly experimented to find the final form of the Kaled people. Although he respected the Fourth Doctor as a fellow scientist, he refused to make the Daleks into less vicious creatures, which almost resulted in his death. (Genesis of the Daleks) His respect for The Doctor had faded completely by the time of the war in the Medusa Cascade and he took a sadistic pleasure in reminding The Doctorof how many people had died for him and even implied that he considered The Doctor to be a coward, calling him “the man who keeps running”. The final words Davros ever spoke to the Tenth Doctor was to insult him, calling him “the destroyer of worlds”. (Journey’s End)
Davros was malevolent and sadistic, it was his ability to command and delegate that was most forceful and cold. While his conversation with The Doctor following his awakening (Destiny of the Daleks) suggested that he may have survived the extermination attempt through forethought, it seemed to have made Davros even more bitter. This led him to making the Imperial Daleks. (Revelation of the Daleks) His sadistic side increased after the Time War as he demonstrated a desire to psychologically torment The Doctor, informing the Tenth Doctor that he turned his companions into soldiers and weapons (Journey’s End) and mocking the Twelfth Doctor by claiming that his compassion was the reason that he had lost his friends and his TARDIS due to his refusal to destroy Davros or the Daleks at their beginning. (The Magician’s Apprentice)
After his supposed death and rescue from the Last Great Time War, Davros arguably seemed less power-crazed and somewhat defeatist, perhaps due to having lost control over the Daleks yet again. He also seemed to have developed a dislike of pride and vanity: he admonished the Dalek Supreme for displaying pride, and distastefully noted “arrogance” in The Doctor’s voice. (The Stolen Earth) Davros was also a hypocrite which was shown when he himself displayed pride when he refused The Doctor’s offer to save him from the exploding Crucible, choosing death over capture and by his statement, “Behold, the apotheosis of my genius”, showing that he himself was as narcissistic as ever. He was also a complete maniac, even more than before, and was consumed by an insane desire to completely destroy the entire omniverse, whereas previously, he had wanted to rule it. (Journey’s End)
Davros did possess a sense of humour, however rarely it was expressed. He coldly quipped that informing the beneficiaries of his Necros-produced protein that they would be eating their own relatives would have created “consumer resistance”. (Revelation of the Daleks) He once remarked to The Doctor that “your appearance is as inconstant as your intelligence”, and when The Doctor reminded him that he had defeated him each time they had met, Davros laughed and replied, “You flatter yourself!” (Remembrance of the Daleks) He later seemingly parodied his own hyperbolic tendencies when listing The Doctor’s failures, ending with the matter-of-fact statement, “Oh, the end of the universe has come.” (Journey’s End)
By the Movellans’ definition, Davros was a humanoid mutant. (Destiny of the Daleks)
As a child, Davros had the skin tone similar to a Caucasian human, brown hair and two functioning blue eyes. (The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar)
Davros was originally seen by the Fourth Doctor sitting upright in a life-support chariot resembling the base of a Dalek. His skin was discoloured and his body crippled by some accident in his past, leaving him without the use his legs or his left arm. His Kaled body was humanoid, though a blue lens in his forehead replaced his lost vision, allowing him a semblance of sight. This appendage mirrored the look of a Dalek’s eyestalk lens. A metal brace was attached to his head, and wires were plugged into his skull. Davros also had a throat microphone implant to enhance his damaged voice. He had only his right hand, which he used to operate controls on his chariot. These could perform functions for controlling doors, the Mark III travel machines, or his own life support system. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Davros’s body was old and withered with parchment-thin skin and a shrivelled skull with sunken pits for eyes and a thin, cruel gash for a mouth. He was more machine than man, with his lungs, heart, speech, hearing and sight being mechanically or electronically aided. He had a helmet-like arrangement of wires and plastic tubes suspended over his head. (Doctor Who and the Destiny of the Daleks)
Following his cryogenic imprisonment, Davros’s face gained a yellowish, sagging appearance. (Resurrection of the Daleks)
Davros’ chair had anti-gravity gravitors that enabled him to hover, possibly an upgrade. (Revelation of the Daleks)
On Necros, Bostock fired a gun which destroyed most of his right hand and with it his ability to operate independently. (Revelation of the Daleks) For a short time after, his hand was replaced with a claw (Emperor of the Daleks!) and finally with a prosthetic substitute. (The Juggernauts, The Stolen Earth, Journey’s End, The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar) He was capable of projecting electric shocks from both his organic and mechanical hands and his eye, allowing him to ward off attackers and stun or even kill them. (Davros, Revelation of the Daleks, Journey’s End)
During the Dalek Civil War, Davros sat in a bloated dome. His head was cradled by metal braces from which wires trailed down into the hidden body of the Dalek shell. His eyes were hollow scars and the skin of his cheeks was withered and cracked. (Remembrance of the Daleks)
By the time that Davros had risen to become the Emperor of the Imperial Dalek faction during the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, his life-support chariot no longer featured a button with which he could deactivate his life support, (The Curse of Davros) as it had when he had first met The Doctor on Skaro. (Genesis of the Daleks)
At some point prior to, during or immediately after his rescue from the Time War, Davros dispensed with his skull wires and throat microphone. However, he retained his head brace. (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End)
While tricking the Twelfth Doctor into using his regeneration energy to create a new Time Lord-Dalek race, it was revealed that while Davros didn’t use his real eyes and hadn’t in a long time, he was not blind and could still open his eyes and see. When he did this, he shut down his artificial eye in the middle of his forehead. (The Witch’s Familiar)
His artificial eye was evidently connected to his nervous system and susceptible to pain, as he visibly winced when Missy jabbed him in that eye. (The Witch’s Familiar)
The Eleventh Doctor claimed that the TARDIS had a GPS with Davros’ voice. (Trouble in Paradise)
The Ninth Doctor once referenced Davros (though not by name) to Henry van Statten, calling him a “genius” as well as a “man who was king of his own little world”. He commented that van Statten would like him. (Dalek)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Michael Wisher (who had previously played the voice of the Daleks in several Third Doctor stories) portrayed Davros in his debut story Genesis of the Daleks. (He also contributed toward the voices of Daleks for the same story.) Wisher rehearsed with a paper bag on his head because of the limited vision he would have with the Davros mask makeup.
For Destiny of the Daleks, David Gooderson took over the role for the unavailable Wisher.
Subsequently, Terry Molloy, who first appeared in Davros’ third story, Resurrection of the Daleks, has played the role on television and audio more times than any other actor, beginning in 1984. Rory Jennings played Davros as a child in an extended flashback sequence in the Big Finish Productions audio mini-series I, Davros, which examined Davros’ life before creating the Daleks.
Julian Bleach played Davros on television in The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End in 2008, and again in The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar in 2015. Joey Price also portrayed Davros as a child in The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar.
In the audio story The Curse of Davros, Davros was played by Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor switches bodies with Davros in an attempt to reform the Daleks.
The ending of Genesis of the Daleks would have shown a button on Davros’ wheelchair flashing after his “death”, hinting that he had not died. In the event, by mistake, this detail did not make it onto screen.
Terry Nation saw Davros as a voice for the Daleks. In DWM #250, he commented:
The Daleks, when they have to make any kind of long speech, are immensely boring creatures. You can’t have a Dalek doing four or five sentences in a row, so I wanted someone to speak for them. The thing that was half-man and half-Dalek was a perfect example of this, and I made sure he was not killed…he actually became a very good plot piece.Terry Nation [src]
Davros appeared on stage, once more played by Julian Bleach, during the initial Doctor Who at the Proms. He dramatically appeared on-stage to welcome attendees to his Dalek Empire and claimed the Royal Albert Hall as his new palace and the audience would become his slaves. This website deems the Prom presentations, often a mix of in-universe and real-world guests, to be an invalid source for narrative.
Davros curses The Doctor for defeating him. (LEGO Dimensions)
Davros appears in The DoctorWho level pack in LEGO Dimensions.
This website does not consider Dimensions to be a valid source due to role-play-like mechanics within the non-story elements of the game.