In Asylum of the Daleks, the daleks have assembled in a parliment, showing some form of governance other than totalitarian rule by the Dalek Emperor.

Why do they have a 'Parliament'? Is this a retcon, or a new development?

  • 10
    well, why does anything happen in Dr.Who? The writers just make things up as they go along.
    – Anup
    Sep 5, 2012 at 21:00
  • 4
    I may be alone in feeling disappointed that the daleks ever displayed hierarchy. I always preferred the idea that they're intelligent but unified, interchangeable, without internal conflict or competition. Most of our self-promoting competitive behavior stems from our evolutionary biology; Davros had other ideas.
    – Beta
    Sep 6, 2012 at 22:56
  • 10
    Given that the Daleks now have Nanobots and a hive-mind, I worry less about them having a parliament than fearing they will say "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated" in future episodes.
    – Till B
    Sep 8, 2012 at 18:05
  • 5
    I assumed that by "parliament" the Daleks meant "genocide brainstorming session room".
    – Tynam
    Nov 29, 2012 at 17:41
  • 3
    So that at the end of the episode they could all go 'DOC-TOR WHO? DOC-TOR WHO?'
    – evilsoup
    Nov 10, 2013 at 17:12

3 Answers 3


Well we don't know what year they're from. It seems they might have adopted a more democratic form of governance in a future timeline.

There are some indications that these Daleks are from a future timeline:

  • They are more advanced technologically (nanotechnology that allows them to convert dead or alive beings into Dalek drones.

  • They also seem to be more tolerant when it comes to racial purity (after all they did "allow" a human to be turned into a Dalek).

Hopefully we'll find out for sure in the next couple of episodes! :)

  • 21
    it could be worse; they could have a Congress.
    – ohmi
    Sep 5, 2012 at 20:51
  • Makes you wonder... If the House of Lords would be the Pure Daleks and the House of Commons were the other Daleks. Except the House of Lords would EXTERMINATE the Commons...
    – ardent
    Sep 5, 2012 at 21:03

It's a continuity nod to the Daleks working with Churchill in Victory of the Daleks. As he famously said:

parliamentary democracy is by far the least efficient means of exterminating lesser races, excepting only all the other ways that have been tried from time to time.

Well nearly - original version of the quote is here . Presumably it got altered one of the times the Daleks were erased from history.

  • This is a great answer, but do you have any reference to say this was deliberate, and not just a happy mistake? In fact I can't find that Churchill quote anywhere
    – AncientSwordRage
    Feb 14, 2014 at 14:34
  • orginal version here richardlangworth.com/worst-form-of-government
    – soru
    Feb 14, 2014 at 14:50
  • firstly that'd be a much better edit than it is as a comment. Secondly i dont see the exact quote in your answer
    – AncientSwordRage
    Feb 14, 2014 at 16:56
  • 1
    The idea of a Parliament didn't seem to last long, when the twelfth doctor met them in "The Magician's Apprentice" and "The Witch's Familiar" back with the Supreme Dalek. Democracy and Daleks don't seem to mix very well.
    – user66716
    Jul 26, 2016 at 18:34

Several have mentioned a hive mind - this was an incorrect term used by Oswin, who then corrected herself. It might be easier for you to think of Pathweb as the internet of the Daleks. It therefore doesn't negate the need for a command structure.

No specific reason is ever given for the change from hierarchy to parliament in a canon source. One logical reason, though, can be seen in the casings. They have combined both new Paradigm Daleks and what appear to be War Daleks. The most likely source is from the Daleks trapped in the Void in "Doomsday", who were pure as well and would have their own command structure. Rather than a fight for dominance, they may have created a parliament to combine their forces.

  • I'm not sure the War Daleks were pure. There have been Dalek factions fighting each other for not being pure since the '60s
    – OrangeDog
    May 28, 2020 at 10:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.