In the 2005 Dr Who episode "Dalek", the imprisoned Dalek is revived and mutated by DNA that is transferred from Rose when she touches it. Earlier dialog indicates that the Dalek had been touched at least once before but the guy burst into flames.

Is there a reason that Rose's touch and DNA were able to revive the Dalek where the prior touch did not?

2 Answers 2


The explanation given in that episode is that time travelers in the TARDIS pick up a sort of background radiation. It's largely harmless, but during the Time War the Daleks picked up on it and adapted to steal the energy for their own use. It was enough to get the Dalek moving again, and was later used in Doomsday again when Mickey touched the Dalek "Genesis Ark" prison ship.

The DNA transfer seemed to be incidental, and accidental. Daleks seem to have a lot of defenses around that sort of thing, and it probably only happened because it was so weak.


From the transcript of Doctor Who episode Dalek:

DALEK [on screen]: I shall speak only to the Doctor.
DOCTOR: You're going to get rusty.
DALEK [on screen]: I fed off the DNA of Rose Tyler. Extrapolating the biomass of a time traveller regenerated me.

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