The Doctor arrives on a junk ship which has another visitor: Davros, creator of the Daleks. The Thals want him to upgrade them into Dalek-like creatures, but that's just the beginning: Davros and the Thals are all part of a complex plan by the Dalek Prime to ensure his rule is absolute and supreme. And is it up to the Doctor to stop him? (I apologise if this summary makes the story sound far more exciting than it actually turns out to be.)
Before the book starts, the TARDIS has materialised in deep space. Thereafter it is taken aboard the Quetzel and put in Cargo Bay 12, and soon thereafter transferred to a Thal ship which goes to Skaro.
You might want to burn your copies of the Target novelisations of Destiny of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks, as they're not much use any more after this...
A basic familiarity with all the Dalek stories thus far is pretty much essential. Although, if you enjoyed them, you're going to hate this.
Pg 5 Dyoni is named after the character in The Daleks.
Pg 7 "'What museum did they find them in?' Cathbad asked. 'I thought they'd abandoned Spiders centuries ago!'" Spider Daleks were an idea mooted for various revivals of Doctor Who in the nineties. There are even animated designs floating around on the net. But see Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 24 The TARDIS food machine makes an appearance, also from The Daleks originally. It's doing dodgy things at the moment, producing stuff that always looks like a Mars bar and carrot juice. I blame Mel, myself.
Pg 26 "In one hand he held a piece of some intricate mechanism, and in the other his ubiquitous sonic screwdriver." He's presumably built a new one since the last one was destroyed in The Bodysnatchers.
The Doctor's listening to opera, which Sam assumes to be Puccini, which may be a reference to the Telemovie. (Incidentally, it's actually the duet between the Countess and Susannah from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and, as such, is one of the finest moments opera has ever produced.)
Pg 27 "The TARDIS lock. I've wanted to adjust it ever since the Master kept popping in and out of my TARDIS in San Francisco." The Telemovie
Pg 28 "From vampires to shopping malls." Vampire Science.
Pg 30 "Loran examined the scattered debris, and realized she was right. Normally, even if it had been destroyed in battle, there would be half to three-quarters of the ship salvageable. Here, though, there were only about twenty bulkheads, a dozen portions of walls and panels, and some scattered boards and circuitry. Less than five per cent of even a small ship." This is the Dalek killcruiser that Davros was operating from in Remembrance of the Daleks, and it's in such a rotten state of repair since the Hand of Omega gave it a fairly consummate end. See also Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 32 "Even Varga plants, maybe." These were seen in The Dalek Masterplan.
Pg 38 "Realisation dawned suddenly. 'Oh good grief!' he muttered." Suddenly the Eighth Doctor is channelling the Third.
"'Hostile Action Displacement System,' he explained. 'Surely I told you?' 'That's what made the TARDIS disappear when it was attacked back in the 1890s!' cried Sam, remembering back to an earlier adventure." The HADS first appeared in The Krotons, and the adventure Sam's referring to is The Bodysnatchers. She wasn't there when it happened, but presumably heard about it afterwards.
Pgs 39-40 "Sam stared at the Doctor, torn between wanting to kick seven shades of Shoreditch out of him for messing with the TARDIS systems and giving him a last, desperate kiss before utter annihilation." Shoreditch is where Sam came from - see The Eight Doctors - and the kiss prefigures the Sam is Missing arc which begins with Longest Day.
Pg 43 "The Doctor had talked about Daleks so often Sam felt she'd actually met them herself. 'I'm old enough to dodge Daleks' was one of her favourite retorts to the Doctor's occasionally overbearing paternal streak." Indeed she says just that in Vampire Science.
Pg 45 "And they climb stairs through telekinetic force." Just in case you'd forgotten that bit in Remembrance of the Daleks (and, more recently, in Dalek).
Pg 46 "'There's no appealing to their better nature, then?' 'I tried that once,' he admitted, 'I don't think it worked.'" I'm assuming this is a reference to Evil of the Daleks, but I could be wrong.
Pg 48 "It's a Type 40 TT capsule." As we learned in The Deadly Assassin.
Pg 67 "He was one of the physically most perfect specimens she had ever seen." Thals maintain their blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan perfection, as seen in The Daleks and Planet of the Daleks, even after all these years.
Pg 69 "'If you are the Doctor,' Ayaka said, and there was something akin to respect in her voice, 'then you've changed again.'" The Thals learned that the Doctor could regenerate when they met him in Planet of the Daleks, thus clearly setting this story after that one.
Pg 70 "'You were the one who taught us to fight, Doctor,' Ayaka informed him. 'What we have become is what you helped to make. If you dislike what you see, you have only yourself to blame.'" This refers to The Daleks, but it's a slightly facile comparison given that, strictly speaking, it was Ian that did the deed in question. Presumably, in the intervening years, it has become a legend, and the details have become muddled.
Pgs 72-73 "'As I said, they're Thals,' the Doctor answered. 'Originally, they shared the planet Skaro with the Daleks - or Kaleds as they were back then.'" Genesis of the Daleks. There follows a brief summary of said story.
Pg 73 "I fell in with a band of their ancestors millennia ago." The Daleks, and there follows a brief, yet slightly inaccurate, account of that story. This does clearly put The Daleks as having happened in the long distant past of Skaro and not in its future.
"'How old are you?' 'A thousand, give or take a few weeks.'" Vampire Science suggested the Doctor was 1012, but presumably, against that kind of number 'a few weeks' could mean years.
Pg 74 "'I have a child,' Doctor,' Ayaka replied. 'Her name is Rebec; I named her for my ancestor.'" Who we met in Planet of the Daleks.
Pg 75 "To get back to your question, Sam. The Thals no longer live on Skaro, and neither do the Daleks now. I helped to destroy it." Remembrance of the Daleks.
Pg 78 "Alydon! Temmosus! Ganatus! I brought with me Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, and Susan!" The Daleks. Again.
Pg 86 "It swam by undulating its entire body, like a ray. Twin stalked eyes stared at him, malicious intelligence evident. A Slyther..." We met one of these in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Pg 90 "Faber felt an immense satisfaction at another payback on the Daleks. 'That one was for you, Marc,' he murmured to himself, honouring the memory of his fellow agent and best friend who had fallen to the Daleks not long ago." Marc Cory, Mission to the Unknown.
Pg 93 "'Sam, this is Davros; Davros, this is Sam.' He lowered his voice very slightly. 'He doesn't shake hands,' he confided. 'You should just curtsey.' 'I know his name,' Sam said, trying to muster her patience. 'You mentioned him on Tractis. You don't exactly sound like old friends.'" This is actually really tight continuity, given that the Doctor said exactly that - that he and Davros were old friends - in Genocide; he was being facetious, but Sam clearly took him at face value.
Pg 94 "'Yes, Doctor,' Davros agreed. 'You tricked me into using the Hand of Omega to destroy them.' 'No, Davros,' the Doctor countered. 'You tricked yourself.'" Remembrance of the Daleks, right down to (unnecessarily) incorporating a line of dialogue from that story.
Pg 98 "She reminded herself that six months ago her oratory skills had been confined to a poorly-attended sixth-form debating club." A-ha! This is the first piece of information that we've been given which gives us some idea how long Sam has spent on the TARDIS, and it's clearly less than six months.
Pg 101 On Davros: "I helped engineer his losses. But you can't count on his hatred of the Imperial Daleks to make him work for you." Pay close attention because now it gets complicated: As far as we knew, in Remembrance of the Daleks, Davros was leading the Imperial (white) Daleks, while the little girl and the Black Dalek were of the Renegade (grey) faction. It actually transpires that this is the wrong way around; the goalposts have been moved to the other end of the pitch, as it were. In fact, the renegade faction were Davros' Daleks, but considered themselves to be Imperial because Davros was styling himself as emperor. Meanwhile, we will later discover, the 'Renegade' Daleks were actually there under the order of the Dalek Prime, so they were, in fact, Imperial Daleks. Have you got all that? Good, because there's so much more where that came from.
Pg 112 "Davros created the Daleks in his own image. He used his genetic techniques to make them without mercy or consciences, and to believe that all other forms of life were inferior and fit only for enslavement or extermination. He forgot that, to the Daleks, he's an inferior form of life. They tried to kill him, not realising that he'd built a backup life-support system in his mobile unit." Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks. All true so far.
"The Daleks managed to embroil themselves in a war with a robotic race known as the Movellans, and reached an impasse. To break it, the Daleks realised that they needed Davros's mind. They rescued him from the ruins of Skaro, and aimed to use him to defeat the Movellans. But I managed to engineer his capture, and he was taken to Earth for trial and imprisonment." Destiny of the Daleks, but hold your horses, it turns out not to have been quite so simple as that.
"But he was rescued again." Resurrection of the Daleks.
"I met him again in a holding house for the recently deceased and terminally ill." Revelation of the Daleks.
"But he somehow escaped and finished the creation of his army on Skaro." Only it turns out not to have been Skaro at all. These events are shown in the DWM comic strip Emperor of the Daleks.
Pgs 112-113 "In fact, I had already programmed the Hand to destroy Skaro's sun if it was deployed. Davros, secure in his arrogance, used the Hand. It wiped out Skaro's solar system and shattered his army totally." Remembrance of the Daleks again.
Pg 129 "Ayaka stripped off the armour, handing it over to the Thal. Sam couldn't help feeling another burst of envy when she saw Ayaka without the bulky clothing covering her. She was dressed in simple leggings that were held together all the way up the side of her legs by leather thongs. Above this, she wore a Y-shaped tunic, the upright up her spine, the two bars across her shoulders and down her front." This is identical to the Thal dress-code as seen in The Daleks, and, indeed, Ayaka states (Pg 130) that it is "traditional fighting costume, handed down from the time of our ancestors who fought the Daleks."
Pg 132 "'He knows his forces were wiped out when I destroyed Skaro' [...] 'Doctor,' Ayaka said, troubled. 'About Skaro -'" And so it begins. This is your first hint, ladies and gentlemen, that not everything is as it seems to have been.
Pg 139 "Maybe they're having more trouble with the Movellans." Destiny of the Daleks.
Pg 170 "According to our instruments, Skaro is still intact. Its sun has not become a nova." Oops. Remembrance of the Daleks.
"'No,' the Doctor said slowly. 'I paid a special trip there just before I took on this body - not normally allowed, but I had a special mission to perform. The year then tallied with what I know of Skaro.'" The Telemovie, and final proof that the Master's trial took place in the past of Skaro. That said, it's now not clear whether that was actually Skaro or the faux Skaro on Antalin.
Pg 171 "At one point they wanted me to avert their creation in the first place." Genesis of the Daleks.
Pg 175 "Does it really matter what the name of the planet was? Whether it was called Skaro of Fred?" This may be a reference to Romana's choice of name in The Ribos Operation, and is certainly a reference to Sam deciding that the Doctor's name might be Fred in Vampire Science.
Pg 177 "They descended towards a large range of mountains, eventually dropping through the low clouds. She could make out a large mountain lake, and then a large city close to the base of the mountains." This is the city we saw in The Daleks.
Pgs 178-179 "'No radiation,' he murmured. 'Odd. The entire planet ought to be radioactive.'" This is a further clue that we are in a distant future from the era of The Daleks, and it's surprising that the Doctor doesn't realise this.
Pg 181 "The Dalek gestured for them to enter what was clearly a lift. It followed, and then inserted its pad into a control surface. A moment later, the lift began to rise. Sam lost count after about forty floors, but they must have ascended about a hundred before the elevator came to a halt and the doors opened." It's possible that this is one of the lifts that the first TARDIS crew travelled in during The Daleks.
Pg 187 "'Oh, good,' the Doctor replied. 'I was starting to get worried that you'd discovered religion.'" The Doctor's concern that the Daleks had discovered religion interestingly predicts the events of The Parting of the Ways.
"'This is very worrying,' the Doctor muttered to Sam as they accepted the invitation. 'The next thing you know, he'll be playing musak.'" This creates some rather lovely images of Daleks going up and down their lifts in the city listening quite happily to the sound of Englebert Humperdinck.
"'You allude to the Hand of Omega?' the Dalek Prime asked." Remembrance of the Daleks. Yet again.
Pg 188 "So I was correct in my assumption, then? That you learnt about the Hand of Omega during your invasion of Earth?" Remembrance of the Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
"The Styles business and the Hand of Omega." Day of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks.
"'That Davros was on earth and utilised the Hand of Omega to destroy Skaro,' the Dalek Prime answered. 'There was no mention of your involvement.' The Doctor leaned over the whisper to Sam. 'That was the work of my last incarnation. He wiped most references to me from the computer records.'" Transit.
Pg 189 "When that was foiled, you then used your nascent time-travel abilities to attempt to change the results of that failure, creating a parallel timeline. That also failed." Day of the Daleks.
"'Correct,' the Dalek Prime admitted. 'It became clear that we could not save Skaro by travelling back to earth year 1963 and stopping Davros. Our unit was therefore sent back to ensure his plan succeeded, but without his realising it.'" So that's what was going on in Remembrance of the Daleks. Funny; you don't get that impression when watching it.
"When we discovered that Davros would be resurrected, a search was conducted for his remains. They were discovered buried deep within the old Kaled bunker in suspended animation. This was unexpected." Genesis of the Daleks and Destiny of the Daleks. Presumably it's the suspended animation that was unexpected, rather than the location, because Davros himself was exactly where you left him.
Pg 190 "That wretched randomiser I'd put in." The Armageddon Factor.
"The Movellans arrived and tried to take possession of Davros to help fight a better war against you." Destiny of the Daleks, but it turns out that this was all a massive con-trick as well.
Pg 191 "You ensured that Davros would be captured and taken to Earth. Then you arranged for him to be sprung from prison and given access to the time-travel technology he needed to go back in time to the 1960s and obtain the Hand of Omega." Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks.
Pg 192 "Instead he began constructing his own race of Daleks." Revelation of the Daleks.
Pg 193 "Before the resurrection of Davros, the Dalek Prime was the sole undisputed leader of the Daleks. But once Davros was reawakened, their creator had returned. Some Daleks obviously feel that they should still be loyal to their creator. Which means that the Dalek Prime here isn't undisputed leader any longer." This is almost word for word something that Cornell-Day-Topping point out in The Discontinuity Guide: before Davros, the Daleks are a powerful and united fighting force, once he is part of the equation, they are nowhere near as strong as they used to be.
Pg 194 "You have been willing to kill Davros in the past." Resurrection of the Daleks at least, but he didn't go through with it.
Pg 195 "'The first time I came to Skaro, I saw a similar view to this,' he confided in her. 'Only then it was of Thals approaching the Dalek city.'" The Daleks, and the Doctor continues this little tale for a paragraph or two.
Pg 197 "Skaro was dead, destroyed by his own hand - and Omega's." Remembrance of the Daleks. Yet again.
Pg 198 "'The future is ours! I shall perfect the Dalek race, and we will go on to become the dominant species of the entire universe!' His voice had risen to a grating crescendo." How very televisual of Davros - this is exactly as he has always been portrayed.
Pg 203 "The screen showed an immense room. It had to be six hundred feet long, and at least three hundred wide and tall." It's possible that this is the Emperor's throne room from The Evil of the Daleks.
Pg 204 "He'd also seen Special Weapons Daleks about, another of his own innovations." Davros claims to have designed the Special Weapons Daleks. This doesn't quite square with the Remembrance of the Daleks novelization, in which the Special Weapons Dalek is very much a one-off, but they've been mentioned sufficiently since that time (particularly by Ace) to imply that, even if that one was the first, others have been created since then.
Pg 206 "'Davros has always favoured arrogance over intelligence.' The Doctor gestured to the screen. 'Rebuttal time, I think,'" The Doctor and Sam passing comment over the outcome of the trial is, bizarrely, like a cricket commentary and just about as exciting. I am suddenly reminded of that odd bit in the middle of The Daleks' Master Plan episode 7.
"The first Daleks understood your futile madness when they elected to destroy you. I am the last survivor of those first Daleks." The closing moments of Genesis of the Daleks.
Pg 208 "This is Professor Rachel Jensen, recording for Military Intelligence. Subject: the Coal Hill incident. Summary: an alien invader, Davros, and his force of Daleks, led a force into London with the purpose of retrieving and utilising an alien artefact known as the Hand of Omega. When deployed, the artefact destroyed Davros's home world of Skaro." Leaving aside the atrocious syntax on display (how can a force lead a force?), this is, one more time, a reference to the events of Remembrance of the Daleks.
Pgs 210-211 "Why did you not test the Hand of Omega first on earth's sun instead of targeting the Dalek star?" It's a fair point, but it turns out that it wouldn't have made the damndest bit of difference; the Doctor is clear on the point that the moment Davros activated the Hand, it was programmed to destroy Skaro, no matter what orders Davros gave to it.
Pg 216 "Mechon 179 knew what Daleks were from its memory banks." Presumably as a result of the events of either The Dalek Invasion of Earth or The Chase.
Pg 217 "Accompanying them were human-looking machines that Mechon 179 recognised as Movellans. It was not puzzled as to why these creatures had joined with the Daleks; it was simply a fact to be accepted." That said, I'm slightly puzzled as to how Mechon 179 actually recognises them. Presumably, in some unrecorded adventure, the Movellans, working with the Daleks, travelled backwards in time with the Daleks and encounted the Mechanoids, or some other being that would eventually inform some sort of central computer that programmed the Mechanoids with the way to spot the Movellans' identity.
Pg 225 "'We have our brains,' the Doctor comforted her as they hurried along. 'Great. I'm defenceless.' But she managed a weak smile." Rarely has Sam spoken a truer word!
Pg 228 "'My probe's in the control mechanisms,' she said. 'I've ordered it to half-close any doors between here and the spaceport. We can duck under them. Daleks can't.'" Undoubtedly the cleverest moment in the entire book, leaving you sitting back and thinking 'Why has no one thought of that before?'
Pg 246 Yet another reference to the Hand of Omega from Remembrance of the Daleks.
Pgs 262-263 "Yes, the Daleks are defeated. For the time being. And no, the factory ship's not destroyed exactly. I rather think it's just been flung back through interstitial time and space." The Doctor goes on to suggest that this was the 'factory' that he's already defeated in The Power of the Daleks, because that was one of the few Dalek stories that hadn't been mentioned thus far.
Pg 268 "Please tell me you remembered to reconnect the State of Grace circuitry." He's been messing with this since Genocide. And, no, as a matter of fact, he hasn't reconnected it at all.
Pg 277 "'We will rebuild,' he stated. 'We will grow stronger. And then we will strike. The galaxy will be ours. Such is the destiny of the Daleks. Nothing will stand before us! Nothing!'" This is so reminiscent of the end of so many Dalek stories where, at the end, the Dalek turns to camera and talks directly to the viewer, that it's clearly deliberate. It's most like the end of Genesis of the Daleks.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
The Dalek Prime is, one presumes, the one that we saw in The Evil of the Daleks, although this appears to be earlier in its timeline than that event. There's an implication also that the Dalek Prime is the final Dalek we see gurning into camera towards the end of Genesis of the Daleks.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Ayaka, a Thal with something of a conscience. Other surviving Thals include Cathbad and Argini.
Space Special Security Agent Dryn Faber, although the Doctor never meets him.
Daleks. Pretty much as they always ever were. That said, versions we haven't seen before include a Marine Dalek (like a normal one, but with the 'face' on top of the head), Spider Daleks (with eight legs) and Strider Daleks (with eight legs but about ten times the size of a normal Dalek). Also Special Weapons Daleks, for whom I always feel slightly sorry after reading the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks. There's also, at the end, a prototype Infiltration Unit Dalek that can disguise itself as a lectern for some reason (pg 272).
Various alien fishy creatures on the watery Antalin, including a big eel-like creature.
A Movellan, an example of a race which turns out to have been built by the Daleks, not in a war against them, makes a cameo appearance.
A whole bunch of Mechanoids get blown up too. Mechon 179 is actually quite sweet.
Pg 28 The good ship Quetzel (which sounds like something George Bush Jr. might choke on), currently in the gap between Dalek and Thal space.
Pg 81 The water world of Antalin, just within human space, a planet which appears to have quite a common name. The time period would appear to be within a few years, possibly only months, since the events of The Daleks' Master Plan, placing this soon after 4000AD.
Pg 137 The main characters are now on a Thal ship, in a holding cell.
Pg 153 Draconian Space, on board the ship Hunter. Which is destroyed. The time period would appear to be some time after Frontier in Space - female Draconians are in the military now - but it's not clear how long; it could be years, it could be decades or centuries.
Pg 177 The Doctor and co. land on Skaro (a word which means 'home' in the Kaled language).
Pg 213 Hesperus, unclear time period, but probably about 225 years after the Mechanus segment of The Chase, which, sadly, we don't have a clear date for.