The general design of the Dalek war machine, which is the mobile unit that carries the actual mutated creature inside it; and is made from a protective casing of armour plating called "Dalekenium", has often been referred to as a "floating pepperpot".
New Dalek design and technological advancement have produced a Dalek which is capable of hover flight, and whose outer casing radiates a force field for extra protection. Below is a photo of the new, greatly improved war machine that now houses the Dalek creature.
This new style Dalek is basically the same design as older versions to look at, but it has many features that earlier models from the 1960's and 70's did not have, and the colour of the outer casing has changed from silver to bronze.
More information regarding the outward appearance, livery and weaponry of the Daleks will be mentioned in other chapters. There will also be some reference to any allies or enemies, which will include some of the incarnations of the Doctor.
Over time the Dalek machine has changed very little, but colour variants have been seen. Perhaps the most noticeable of these occurs in the Dalek Supreme, or Supreme Dalek as he is often referred to as. In the picture below you can see some of these changes made to his outer casing over the years from his earliest appearance up to the latest red version.
The creature known as a "Dalek" is not really the metal war machine which we see, and think of as a Dalek.
Inside of each mobile unit is a mutated creature more akin to a brain with tentacles. They have evolved very little in their appearance since being created by the chief Kaled scientist Davros; but all Daleks have an inherited hatred of all things which do not conform to their ideas, and they consider practically all other forms of life to be inferior to their own, and therefore useless!
Here we see the mutated creature which is inside each and every "Dalek" machine.
The interior of a damaged Dalek shows the creature sitting behind the control console. The war computer is located in this area which makes all Dalek fighting stratergy.
The very first Daleks to appear on the British television screens were of an aluminium silver body colour, with the skirt balls pale sky blue. Shortly afterwards, some Daleks appeared with the head dome painted black; and of course there was the Dalek Supreme or "Black Dalek."
Daleks have since been seen in many different liveries and colours of their body armour, or outer casing to be more precise! We have seen white Daleks, as in the Imperial forces from "Remembrance of the Daleks"; and various other colours, including red, grey and gold. Some pictures to show examples of these "coloured" Daleks are below.
Unlike any other Dalek, the Emperor has special metals fused into his outer casing. The blue-veined gold which is added to the protective outer shell of his machine makes him almost indestructable, and he is at least 7 times better protected than an ordinary Dalek soldier; and they are strongly protected also by their outer casing armoured defences. Here is a modern update of a Dalek Emperor surrounded by his royal guards made by Primacron who is a staff member of the Dalek World forum.
Dalek Emperors are unlike any other Daleks, as they have a design which makes them stand out. Here are 2 versions of the type only ever seen in the Century 21 comic stories. Both pictures are courtesy of Jim's Daleks.
Like all Daleks, the Emperor has a blaster gun and sucker arm; although his blaster is even more powerful than that of any of his troops, and is perfectly capable of burning a hole through an ordinary Daleks armour in a matter of seconds.
One of my favourite type of Dalek variants was the Imperial Daleks from the "Remembrance of the Daleks" story. In this the Emperor Dalek turns out to be Davros, which is amazing really as he does not appear in any other Dalek story as their Emperor, past or present.
Here he is on the bridge of the Imperial Dalek spaceship.
Like other Daleks, the Emperor's outer design has changed over the millennia, until it looked entirely different to earlier versions. This was how he was portrayed when last seen.
The Daleks sometimes need extra fire-power to overcome their enemies, so this is when special units are called in to help defeat the foe. Here we see an Imperial Special Weapons Dalek being used to help destroy rebel Daleks during the civil war from the story "Remembrance of the Daleks."
Let us start by describing the Dalek War Machine, or what most people see as a Dalek, as the mutated creature inside the machine is hardly ever seen outside of its protective outer casing anyway. I will use the blue Dalek pictured below as a reference!
1. The Eye- This is a wide angle lens which transmits pictures to the control centre inside, which is then viewed by the Dalek creature. Like a "fish-eye", the lens allows all round vision; the only blind spot being immediately behind the Dalek. The eye is equipped with a protective lens cover which opens and closes whenever necessary.
2. Eye Stalk Discs- Located just behind the eye are a series of discs. These act as insulators against cosmic rays and protect the delicate electronic nerves inside the eye stalk.
3. The Head Dome- Found inside the dome are the vocal centres and translators. A Dalek has no vocal chords, and therefore cannot actually speak. The vocal centre translates a Dalek's thought waves into audible sound, and into whatever language is required, enabling a Dalek to speak and communicate. For example, an Englishman would hear a Dalek talk in English through what are known as "thought noises" or telepathy. When someone talks to a Dalek, the process is reversed and it hears you even though the creature itself does not have any ears!
4. Ear Lights- Located on top of the head dome are 2 flashing light bulbs. A Dalek has no human emotions, though they do have hate and anger. These "bulbs" act as a safety device for the release of electrical overcharge (equivalent to anger in a human) by discharging red heat and supersonic squeals (like a dog whistle, and beyond our hearing pitch), like us losing our temper. Before these release valves were perfected, a Dalek could quite literally explode with anger!
5. The Head Screens- Just below the dome a Dalek has mesh screens all around its head. These are super-sensitive to all light and sound, which is fed directly into a Daleks central computer for analysis to inform it about its surrounding environment.
6. The War Computer- Located deep inside of every Dalek, this is the nerve centre which contains every battle, fighting manoeuvre or dangerous situation in its memory banks. With this knowledge a Dalek can select a necessary course of action within micro-seconds.
7. The Outer Casing- Made from Dalekenium, which is 10 times stronger than steel, yet 4 times lighter in weight density than aluminium.
8. Waist Bands- 2 central bands, 1 above and 1 below the arm and gun, which are super-sensitive in response to stimuli. If a Dalek is ill, a Dalek repair technician ("doctor" to us) can detect this via vibrations from these bands, and then diagnose the problem.
9. Blaster Gun- Emitting a high energy blast, getting shot with this is like being hit by a bolt of lightening equivalent to 70,000 volts. The result is instant death when used on full attack mode. Though a Dalek can choose to reduce the power so that a victim is rendered only unconscious, or immobilised for a short period of time. When given the order to EXTERMINATE however, the blaster is always fired at its fullest and deadliest capacity.
10. Sucker Arm- Looking much like a sink plunger, the sucker produces a tremendously powerful vacuum. Combine this with the hydraulic arm, and a Dalek can lift enormous weights. Within the sucker cup is a small rod. This is used to operate mechanisms on Dalek doors, hoverbouts, space craft and so on. It can also extrapolate and deduce information from anything computer based, just as the Dalek did when searching for the code to open the vault doors in the Dr. Who story "Dalek", as shown on BBC television in 2005 A.D. Note that some Daleks have a claw on the end of their arm, like the one in the photo. Dalek arms can be fitted with several different kinds of arm endings and devices for other uses, just like we can hold tools in our hands for instance!
11. The Skirt Balls- Looking like half sections of a tennis ball, these are sensor globes, and react to external conditions such as heat, cold, movement; in fact, anything beyond the limit range of the eye. A lot like the sensory nerve endings in human skin, which flash information back via electrical impulses to the brain. The skirt balls do exactly the same thing for a Dalek. Some of these skirt balls actually absorb solar energy and charge up a Dalek's power pack when it requires motive energy to move about, acting like photo-electric cells.
12. Lower Fender- At the base of each Dalek is a fender (like the bumper bar on a car). During close quarter battles, Daleks tend to go a bit mad and wildly blast away at any moving object. These "bumpers" warn them when other Daleks are dangerously too close for comfort; and as a result, may injure or destroy one another. During the battle of Mercury in the Skaro year 115,197, half the Dalek Battle Squadrons were totally wiped out by their own forces, simply because these sensory bumpers had not been evolved and fitted at that time. Since then, the Dalek race has strived for ultimate perfection in the creation and production of all Daleks and their war machines!