I understand that Daleks can kill, but they don't have any hands. How do they build those huge ships they fly around in?

The only logical conclusion I can come up with is they have a huge slave population of humanoids that work for them, since I doubt anyone would willingly work for them. They must also hold classes in technology, otherwise the humanoids wouldn’t have a clue a how to build such incredible stuff like spaceships.

I do not think Dr Who has ever addressed that. How do the Daleks build anything?

  • 8
    Excuse me, but what do you mean by "Level 4" and "Dalek Strategist"? Those words seem to dangle in the air.
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 6, 2013 at 9:11
  • 5
    Ah wait, you copied it from here.
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 7, 2013 at 8:44

4 Answers 4


In First Doctor serial 2x02, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," the Daleks have enslaved the humans of Earth, sometime after 2164 AD, and using them to drill a big hole into the crust so they can blow it out of orbit and pilot it around.

In Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer (a Seventh Doctor comic) the Daleks are using slave labor to mine killer gas.

If they can do that, it stands to reason they'd use slave labor for everything else.

  • 1
    Note that they have also been shown using slave labor in the new series... in Daleks in Manhattan they use "human" (sort of) slaves to build their antenna assembly.
    – eidylon
    Jan 7, 2013 at 19:28

I don't know of any canon support, but since the Daleks are capable of operating their suits it seems logical that they can operate other machinery as well. After all, when humans make cars they don't use their hands to bend the metal. Since the Daleks either were made by Davros or mutated from Dals (depending on which history you believe!) there was plenty of opportunity to build machinery that could be remotely operated.

  • 4
    Who knows what pops out of all those bubbles on their armor units... their suits could be like R2-D2, hiding every tool imaginably needed under panels and doors.
    – eidylon
    Jan 7, 2013 at 19:22

The answer to this is simple; nano tech.

In other episodes they've had a "nano cloud" which can convert biological matter into Dalek technology so I think each Dalek can release a small cloud of nanos that Daleks can program to make almost anything.

  • I assume you're referring to Asylum of the Daleks. Do you have any evidence that they use this tech beyond that episode?
    – Valorum
    Mar 21, 2015 at 0:16

It is possible that before their bodies became reliant on their suits (and according to their first episode, they were originally humanoid), so they were able to construct machines that could interface with their suits in order to take care of that. Also, they may have some kind of advanced 3D printer that could generate anything they need.

  • While this is a nice speculation, the actual answer is different.
    – o0'.
    Feb 10, 2014 at 18:26

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