Skaro from space (from the 1996 Doctor Who television movie)
Universe Whoniverse Notable locations Kaalann (Capital City, Dalek era), Kaled Dome, Thal Dome Notable races Dals
Notable people Davros Creator Terry Nation Genre Science fiction television
Skaro is a fictional planet from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who created by the writer Terry Nation as the home planet of the Daleks and, at times, the centre of the Dalek Empire.
Skaro is a planet of roughly the same mass and dimensions as Earth, and the twelfth planet from its sun. It has a single continent that is divided into east and west halves of almost equal size. When the Doctor first visits the planet in the 1963 serial The Daleks, Skaro is a nuclear wasteland, whose principal features are a petrified forest, the endless highly acidic rain, a lake containing the results of Davros' early experiments, and the Dalek city, Kaalann.
It is noted in Genesis of the Daleks that Skaro is situated in the "Seventh Galaxy", and Skaro's astronomers can identify only seven such stellar formations. This may indicate that Skaro's galaxy or local group of galaxies is distant from other galaxies or local groups, that Kaled technology was insufficient to detect other galaxies or local groups beyond their vicinity, or that there is a barrier of interstellar gas and debris that occludes other spatial areas from Skaro's scrutiny.
Before the Daleks arose, Skaro is the home of a humanoid species with two races, the Kaleds (or Dals) and the Thals. The races went to war with each other, and the mutations caused by the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons used are soon seen by Kaled scientists as being the end of their species in its (ideologically defined) "pure" form. In Genesis of the Daleks, the Kaled chief scientist Davros accelerates their mutations and places the now mutated Kaleds in tank-like "Mark 3 travel machines". These cyborgs then become the dreaded Daleks (an anagram of Kaleds).
The Daleks eventually drove the Thals from Skaro and rule a devastated planet, its seas dead and its surface devoid of almost all life. However, Skaro is rich in minerals which the Daleks use to build massive armies to conquer and destroy other worlds, building the interstellar Dalek Empire. Some time afterward, the Daleks abandon Skaro, which is later reoccupied by the Imperial Dalek faction, apparently at the behest of Davros.
Skaro's final appearance in the classic series (in the chronology of Doctor Who universe) is in the story Remembrance of the Daleks, in which the Seventh Doctor tricks Davros and his "pure Imperial Daleks" into stealing the Hand of Omega. As per the Doctor's prediction, they attempt to use it on Skaro's sun in order to generate enough energy to recreate the Gallifreyan time travel experiments. However, the Doctor had already pre-programmed the Hand of Omega prior to the Daleks attaining it, and it turned their sun into a supernova, resulting in Skaro being completely obliterated.
At the start of the 1996 Doctor Who television movie, the Master is put on trial on Skaro by the Daleks and exterminated. This presumably takes place in the relative past of Skaro's timeline before its destruction, as the Eighth Doctor does not comment on it.
Skaro does not appear in any of the Dalek-related stories made from 2005, although a group of Daleks called the Cult of Skaro appear in "Army of Ghosts" (briefly), "Doomsday", "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks" — in the last of these the Cult threaten to turn Earth into "a new Skaro". In Daleks in Manhattan, frustration is expressed on the apparent permanence of humanity compared to the current reduced circumstances of the Daleks after the Time War.
Doctor Who serials that take place on Skaro or feature Skaro prominently are The Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks. For Destiny of the Daleks exterior scenes meant to take place on Skaro were shot in Winspit quarry.
The canonical status of all spin-off media is debatable.
The brief appearance of Skaro in Remembrance of the Daleks is expanded upon in that story's novelisation by original writer Ben Aaronovitch. The book names the Dalek City as Mensvat Esc-Dalek in the Vekis Nar-Kangji (Plain of Swords). The novelisation also mentions other creatures living on Skaro: yellow and black beetles, as well as mountainous "rock leopards".
The Daleks, via time travel, discover records that show Skaro's destruction. After an attempt to change history (in Day of the Daleks) is unsuccessful, they terraform the planet Antalin to resemble Skaro and manipulate Davros and the Doctor into ensuring that Antalin was destroyed in the original's place. War of the Daleks also reveals that the events of Destiny of the Daleks took place on the terraformed Antalin. The novel also reveals that the name Skaro simply means "home" in the old Kaled language. However, the canonical status of these stories, as with all Doctor Who spin-off media narratives, is uncertain.
Skaro appears in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories The Mutant Phase and Davros (where we learn that Skaro had two moons: Falkus and Omega Mysterium, names drawn from a chart of Skaro's solar system in a 1976 Marks and Spencer tie-in book - Falkus is there revealed to be an artificial planet created by the Daleks as a last refuge), and was where the Emperor Dalek operated from in The Genocide Machine, and features prominently in the I, Davros spin-off series, looking at Davros's life and the events that led to him creating the Daleks. However in the Dalek Empire series (possibly set after Skaro's destruction in Remembrance of the Daleks) there is no appearance of Skaro and the Daleks are now operating instead from the Seriphia Galaxy.
Skaro is also the setting for the Peter Cushing feature film Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) which is generally regarded as non-canonical, although the story in the film is a copy (with some changes) of the serial The Daleks (naturally shortened since a feature film does not have the same running time as a 7-episode serial).
The BBC-Licensed The Dalek Book (1964) includes a map entitled 'The Dalography of Skaro'. This shows the planet to have three continents (Dalazar, Darren and Davius), five seas (The Ocean of Ooze, The Sea of Acid, The Sea of Rust, The Serpent Sea and the land-locked Bottomless Sea) and three major islands (The Island of Gushing Gold, The Island of Moving Mountains and an island chain named The Forbidden Islands). Dalazar is identified as the location of the Dalek city, Davius as being populated by the Thals and Darren as the site of the neutron bomb explosion which transformed the Daleks from their humanoid form into mutants. The BBC-Licensed The Dalek Outer Space Book (1965) confirms some of these details in a cutaway illustration entitled 'The Strata of Skaro'. A sea called The Ocean of Death is added, together with The Islands of Mist which, from the description, appears to be an alternative name for the Dalek Book's Forbidden Islands.
Planet Skaro (www.planetskaro.org.uk) is also the name used by a popular Doctor Who fan forum which has been running since 2002.
In City of the Daleks, the Doctor and Amy go to Skaro to put the natural Earth timeline back on track because the Daleks had killed the Human Race in 1963 via the Eye of Time.
The Time War
An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 states that Skaro, like Gallifrey, was devastated at the end of the Time War. This suggests that the Daleks had managed to rebuild and/or reoccupy their home planet and is somewhat consistent with War of the Daleks. This is also generally consistent with Dalek Caan's claim in "Daleks in Manhattan" that his planet "is gone... destroyed in a great war".
This may also imply that Skaro survived the events of Remembrance of the Daleks (as portrayed in War'). However, as prior continuity established the existence of alternative Dalek installations and colonies outside their homeworld, Skaro's own survival is unneccessary to account for post-nova remnants.
An alternative explanation could also mean that the Seventh Doctor's actions in Remembrance were particular episodes within the Time War. While the canonical status of the novels is uncertain, Russell T Davies intimated in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 article that various Dalek stories take place as parts of the Time War, such as Genesis of the Daleks, which he refers to as "the first strike".
Despite this, Skaro makes an appearance in the first episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, entitled "City of the Daleks". As current executive producer Piers Wenger insists the interactive episodes are canon, surviving Daleks found the "Eye of Time", an artifact of immeasurable power that gives its users unlimited control over space and time. With this power, the Daleks remove Skaro from the Time War and launch an invasion of Earth in 1963, killing off all humanity and conquering Earth. The Doctor subsequently goes to Skaro, discovers the Eye, and releases it back into the Time Vortex before the Daleks find it, thus negating Skaro's post-nova survival outside the Time War and restoring the proper timeline.
- ^ The Daleks. Writer Terry Nation, Directors Christopher Barry, Richard Martin, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield. Doctor Who. BBC, London. 21 December 1963–1 February 1963.
- ^ Genesis of the Daleks. Writer Terry Nation, Director David Maloney, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 8 March 1975–12 April 1975.
- ^ Remembrance of the Daleks. Writer Ben Aaronovitch, Directors Andrew Morgan, John Nathan-Turner (uncredited), Producer John Nathan-Turner. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 5 October 1988–26 October 1988.
- ^ Doctor Who. Writer Matthew Jacobs, Director Geoffrey Sax, Producers Peter V. Ware, Matthew Jacobs. Fox Network. 14 May 1996.
- ^ a b "Doomsday". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2006-07-08.
- ^ "Daleks in Manhattan". Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-04-21.
- ^ "Evolution of the Daleks". Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-04-28.
- ^ The Evil of the Daleks. Writer David Whitaker, Director Derek Martinus, Producer Innes Lloyd. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 20 May 1967–1 July 1967.
- ^ Destiny of the Daleks. Writer Terry Nation, Director Ken Grieve, Producer Graham Williams. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 1 September 1979–22 September 1979.
- ^ "Winspit Quarry, Doctor Who - The Locations Guide". http://www.doctorwholocations.net/locations/winspitquarry. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- ^ Aaronovitch, Ben: Remembrance of the Daleks, pages 151-152. W.H. Allen & Co. Plc, 1990.
- ^ Peel, John: War of the Daleks. BBC Books, 1997.
- ^ Whitaker, David & Nation, Terry: The Dalek Book, page 72. Panther Books Ltd. / Souvenir Press Ltd., 1964.
- ^ Nation, Terry & Ashton, Brad: The Dalek Outer Space Book, pages 12 & 13. Panther Books Ltd. / Souvenir Press Ltd., 1965.
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