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The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara meet the Daleks in the second story of Doctor Who. Here the Dalek's are limited to staying within the city - and there is no mention of Davros. Obviously out of universe this is because the background had not been written and Davros hadn't been invented, but has it been written where he was and what he was doing at this point?

I'm interested to know where his guy is

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    Dalek continuity is a mess, not least because it keeps being (in universe) changed. One theory goes that the events of Genesis of the Daleks changed the timeline, so everything seen from the Doctor's perspective after that was altered. Following that theory, all we know about Davros' activities in First Doctor serials is the information on his early life from before he met the Fourth Doctor.
    – Quentin
    Jan 22, 2017 at 19:20
  • @MrLister bad editing
    – user46509
    Jan 22, 2017 at 20:02
  • @Po-ta-toe — The latest edit doesn't really help
    – Quentin
    Jan 22, 2017 at 20:06
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    IIRC he gets killed at the end of genesis and then gets resurrected some time later by the daleks. So his absence in the original serial might be explained by him being dead at the time.
    – evilsoup
    Jan 22, 2017 at 22:03

2 Answers 2

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According to "The Tardis File" wiki:

In The Official Doctor Who & the Daleks Book it is explained that the Daleks encountered in this story were not the main Dalek race, but the descendants of a group of mutated Kaled survivors from the Thousand Year War who crawled into a city of abandoned prototype Dalek casings built by Davros. The book argues that as Davros' technology for his Daleks progressed and gave them greater mobility, they left the metal city behind, and this is consistent with the explanation given by the Daleks themselves in this story: that they were mutated survivors of the war, which is a somewhat different background to the Daleks from Genesis of the Daleks. This suggests that events happened very early on in Dalek history, before the Dalek race emerged from entombment in Davros' bunker. However A History of the Universe and AHistory argue that shortly after discovering space travel, one faction of Daleks leaves Skaro to become conquerors, while another faction which stays behind are the Daleks seen here; the space-faring Daleks later return to Skaro and reoccupy it.

Perhaps the simplest summation would be: Daleks ended up timey-wimey. By this I mean that the Great Time War, the Doctor's intervention in their creation, their own time travelling and time meddling, and the various factions of Daleks that broke off from each other over the years... I'm likely to lean to the first theory above, that the Daleks Doctor 1 run into are survivors on Skarro who salvaged or scavenged prototype or disabled or otherwise underpowered mobile armor.

I'd point out that the original name of the Daleks, according to Genesis of the Daleks, was "Mark III Travel Machine." It makes perfect sense that there must have been a Mark II and a Mark I. Mark III Travel Machines power themselves off background radiation; it makes perfect sense that prototypes would need some other form of energy; picking it up from the floor would be a great way to run prototypes without wires, while allowing the mobility required to actually test the machines.

In the end, though, perhaps the only species more scrambled up by time travelling shenanigans than the Daleks are we humans. In the Timey-Wimey rules of Doctor Who, anything is possible.

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  • That seems an odd hair to split. If these were not "true" Daleks, and just Kaled squatters, it begs the question of how the "real" Daleks knew who the Doctor was during "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". One would assume these erzatz versions would not have access to the Dalek information database. I'd go with a simpler explanation - these were "real" Daleks from a relatively early point in their existence, and Davros was buried under the rubble of the Kaled city, protected and preserved by personal force fields and suspended animation systems. Jan 24, 2017 at 16:02
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    The explanation is in the A History of the Universe theory above; the Kaled Survivors were reoccupied by either Daleks coming from below, having made their way through the sealed out tunnels, or Daleks from above, returning to their home planet. The big problem here is we don't actually know where in the timeline Doctor 1 meets with the Daleks. The assumption most people make is that these were prototype Daleks, but Genesis of the Daleks invalidates that. Without knowing exactly when Doctor 1 meets the Static Daleks, it's only theory.
    – Zoey Green
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:17
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I think no in-universe explanation is possible or even desirable. The original Dalek serial is a great standalone story with its own history. (I love watching the Hartnell era with a complete disregard for the later stories.) If you wanted an origin story for the Daleks back then, you had to read about the "true" creators, Yarvelling and Zolfian in the TV Century 21 comic strips. Keep in mind that long-term continuity was not a thing in Doctor Who until at least the later Tom Baker stories.