Davros was born in the latter part of the Thousand Year War between the Kaleds and the Thals on the planet Skaro, the issue of an adulterous relationship between Lady Calcula and Councillor Quested. He also had an elder half-sister, Yarvell, on his mother's side. It was a time when mercy and nobility were all but non-existent on Skaro and life was harsh and grim. The use of atomic weapons and other agents of mutation produced mutos, who resided in the wastelands and were often used for slave labour by both the Kaleds and the Thals.
As a child, Davros claimed that only his mother believed in him. Others feared him and his determination and he felt they were right to do so. His stepfather, Colonel Nasgard, wanted him to become a soldier like his elders, but Davros was determined to become a scientist. (BFD: Innocence)
In Nasgard's will, the family finances were held in trust under Davros' name, leaving Calcula and Yarvell forbidden access to it until Davros was married. Due to her connections with senior members of the Kaled judiciary, Calcula was successful in her attempts to have the terms of the will overturned. Prior to this, she had attempted to set Davros up with the daughter of Councillor Matros, another member of the Council of Twelve who belonged to one of the most influential and wealthy Kaled families. (BFD: Purity)
Davros vehemently disagreed with the ideas of Yarvell, who had become a peace activist, of a compromise with the Thals. As he approached his thirtieth birthday, he regarded the only satisfactory outcome of the war as being the extermination of the Thals and the complete dominance of the Kaleds over all of Skaro. He was forced into the Military Corps, put in charge of developing new weapons and gadgets to help Kaled soldiers. After his mother killed his father, half-sister and aunt, Davros no longer had anyone to impress. In honour of Yarvell's death, he and his mother commissioned a statue to house her ashes. (BFD: Purity)
One month after the death of his mother, Davros was grievously wounded by a Thal bombardment of his laboratory in the Kaled Dome which cost him his eyes, left arm and entire lower body. As a result, he was forced to spend the rest of his life confined to a mobile life support system. (BFD: Corruption) Thirty seconds without his life support would kil him. The life support system was controlled by a switch on the panel of buttons on his system. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks)
Davros began experimenting with organisms and teaching them to speak. In particular, he taught them to say his name. For his first experiment, he used the brain of a Thal spy named Baran, instead of the brain of a Kaled. (BFD: Guilt)
However, intervention by the Time Lords began a chain of events. The Fourth Doctor was sent to Skaro at this time when Davros first demonstrated the Daleks to the Kaled Scientific Elite. Davros imprisoned the Doctor. He used a lie detector to force the Doctor to reveal the details of the Daleks' future defeats, so that he could learn from them and so his creations, the Daleks, could avoid them. The Doctor later had this record destroyed.
The Daleks were sent to exterminate the Thals, supposedly in retaliation for the attack on the Kaled Dome. Upon returning, the Daleks exterminated Nyder and the other Kaled scientists. Davros soon became their next victim, ironically because of the programming that he himself had given them: to exterminate all those who were not a Dalek. He begged them to have pity on him but they stated that were incapable of doing so as he had not programmed them to feel pity. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks)
Unbeknownst to the Daleks, they had actually only damaged his primary life support system. The secondary and backup circuits switched on immediately, placing him in suspended animation while his life support worked to regenerate him. After an unknown, but lengthy time had passed, the Daleks, now a major galactic power, sought to revive Davros so that he might offer them a way out of the impasse in their war with the Movellans.
Davros' suspended body was eventually found in the underground remains of the crumbled bunker and he was revived. Davros opted to help the Daleks in their war against the Movellans. He devised a plan to destroy a Movellan ship. After this failed, he was captured by the Doctor and escaped Dalek slaves, and imprisoned in a cryogenic freezer as "a block of ice". (DW: Destiny of the Daleks)
The humans decreed an indefinite sentence of suspended animation while Davros retained full consciousness. After ninety years, the Daleks, led by the Dalek Supreme, liberated Davros from his prison ship in space, and revived him again. They believed he might help them to find a cure for the virus with which the Movellans defeated them, a virus that attacked only Dalek tissue. Pretending to research the cure, Davros experimented on Daleks to bring them under his control. The Doctor, now in his fifth incarnation, attempted to kill Davros at this time, though he lacked the resolve to do so directly. His treachery discovered by the Dalek Supreme, Davros released the Movellan virus onto the prison ship, killing all the Daleks on board.
Davros was somehow picked up by a different space station and imprisoned in a vault. Arnold Baynes and his wife, Lorraine, extracted him and helped in his restoration. At this very same moment, the Sixth Doctor arrived after being called in by some friends. He demanded Davros be immediately placed in suspended animation, but as Davros was fully conscious he goaded the Doctor into doing the job himself. The Doctor couldn't. Feeling Davros deserved a chance for redemption, Baynes offered him a job at his company, TAI. The Doctor also offered a working relationship with Davros.
Davros gained a foothold. He held great interest in the stock market and planned on closing it down, the results completely disrupting the Galaxy. However Davros began to be haunted by his past, particularly the time before his accident when he had betrayed a female Kaled scientist named Shan, whom he perhaps had loved. The Doctor halted his plan but Davros escaped in a ship. The Doctor took control of the ship from the TAI control room and made it crash while Davros screamed Shan's name. (BFA: Davros)
Davros survived and set himself up as "The Great Healer" on the planet Necros and lured the Sixth Doctor there. Using the bodies of the dead at Tranquil Repose, Davros created a new race of Daleks with white and gold livery. These would become "Imperial Daleks". This new faction was completly loyal to Davros. However, the Supreme Dalek's forces arrived on Necros and captured Davros to put him on trial. (DW: Revelation of the Daleks)
En route to Skaro, the ship carrying Davros crashed on the planet Lethe. Davros was rescued. He set himself up as "Professor Vaso", altering the perceptions of the humans on the colony so they would not recognise him as the Great Healer. He attempted to create a new machine, a Juggernaut based on a Mechanoid design.
Lethe's atmosphere prevented the Supreme Dalek retrieving Davros directly, but its forces intercepted the Sixth Doctor's TARDIS, forcing him to serve as an agent of the Daleks and stop Davros' researches and manipulations. The Doctor discovered two of Davros' Necros Daleks had survived the crash, but were destroyed following Davros' final gambit on the colony and the Supreme Dalek's intervention. Following this event Davros was retrieved by the Dalek Supreme's forces once more and returned to Skaro. (BFA: The Juggernauts)
Davros was then taken to Skaro, where he was put on trial by the Dalek Emperor. Before a sentence could be passed, however, the Sixth Doctor released a virus onto the Daleks, saved Davros, taking him on board his TARDIS. (DWM: Emperor of the Daleks!)
When Renegade Daleks, led by the Supreme Dalek, landed on Spiridon with the the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, Davros set his faction of Imperial Daleks against them, along with a Special Weapons Dalek. The Supreme Dalek died in the conflict. In the aftermath of the battle, Davros found his wheelchair damaged. He suffered amnesia, remembering only his ambition to make himself the new Emperor. (DWM: Emperor of the Daleks)
By the time of his attempt to recover the Hand of Omega from Earth in November 1963, Davros had proclaimed himself the Dalek Emperor. Apparently, he had lost most of his organic body and was completely encased within an Imperial Dalek-like shell, though his head and upper body still appeared to be at least partially Kaled.
Aided by the Special Weapons Dalek, the Imperial Daleks won their battle on the streets of Shoreditch and the Hand of Omega, which the Doctor had planned all along. Davros, as 'Emperor' of the Imperials, plotted to make the sun of the Daleks' homeworld Skaro go supernova, giving the Daleks the power of unlimited time travel. This action, however, apparently destroyed both the planet and the Imperial fleet, but Davros survived once again in an escape pod. (DW: Remembrance of the Daleks)
The escape pod was taken on board by a garbage ship called the Quetzel. The Eighth Doctor and Sam Jones landed on the Quetzel. A Thal force later took control of the ship. They wanted Davros to alter their race so they could better fight the Daleks. A force of Daleks arrived and took Davros, the Doctor, Sam, the Thals, and the Quetzel engineer Chayn to Skaro, which Davros had believed destroyed by the Hand of Omega. The planet destroyed had in fact been a decoy world named Antalin. The Dalek Prime wanted to remove any supporters of Davros from the Dalek race and a trial was held. Those Daleks loyal to Davros turned on the Dalek Prime and a civil war broke out. In the end, the Doctor and his allies escaped from Skaro, Davros' forces were defeated, and Davros was apparently executed by matter dispersal. However, the Dalek operating the unit was loyal to Davros, and transported him to safety. (EDA: War of the Daleks)
Alone in space, Davros created a virus capable of killing all living things, (BFA: Terror Firma) which the Fourth Doctor had hypothetically compared the Daleks to during their first conflict on Skaro. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks) He was found by a Nekkistani ship. They helped him, and he rewarded them by killing them. The ship with Davros on board was found drifting in the Time Vortex by the Eighth Doctor, Gemma Griffin and Samson Griffin. Davros took control of Gemma and Samson and operated on the TARDIS after Samson had rendered the Doctor unconscious. Davros established a link to the TARDIS. He sent Gemma and Samson home and left the TARDIS to be damaged by the self-destruct of the Nekkistani ship. Davros conquered Earth by causing mutations and creating new Daleks. By the time he met the Doctor again, Davros teetered on the edge of sanity, his mind split between two warring personalities - Davros and "the Emperor". The Doctor struck a deal with the Daleks, who considered Davros an unreliable leader. They would leave Earth with their true Emperor if the Doctor did not release the virus. The Daleks accepted and left Earth with Davros, his Emperor personality dominant. (BFA: Terror Firma)
The Last Great Time War
Davros was a commander of the Daleks in the Last Great Time War, only to die during the first year of the conflict at the Gates of Elysium, when his command ship flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child, despite the Doctor's attempt to save him.
However, Dalek Caan broke the War's time lock and saved Davros from death. Davros rebuilt the Dalek race by using his own cells, leaving his internal organs and skeleton exposed. Davros called these Daleks his "children". (DW: The Stolen Earth)
The Reality Bomb
After Davros was rescued by Dalek Caan and had finished creating his new army of Daleks, he used a planet-sized ship known as the Crucible to travel the universe and "steal" planets. They took the planets to the Medusa Cascade in a pocket of time one second out of sync with the rest of the universe. The Tenth Doctor had lost the trail on the missing Earth, but the Children of Time used the Earth's phone network to contact him. Davros then hacked into the Subwave Network to speak to him. (DW: The Stolen Earth)
Davros had once again become a slave of the Daleks, who had placed him under guard within the Vault on the Crucible as part of a deal he made with the Supreme One. This arrangement required Davros to build a Reality bomb powered by the Crucible and the twenty-seven planets in the Medusa Cascade to destroy all of existence, leaving the Daleks the sole inhabitants of the universe. However, the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor and Donna intervened, destroying the new Daleks and leaving Davros on a burning Crucible. Before leaving in the TARDIS, the Doctor offered to save Davros, but the creator of the Daleks refused, blaming the Doctor for what had happened and naming him "The Destroyer of Worlds". (DW: Journey's End)
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- "No, I am Davros! I AM DAVROS! I... AM..."
- The Last Words of Davros
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Davros had a sound mind early in his life, but the incident that crippled him and his overall experiences in the Thal-Kaled war left him a depraved and insane megalomanic. Brilliant and driven, he relentlessly experimented to find the final form of the Kaled people. (BFD: Corruption)
Davros was cool and sadistic; it was his ability to command and delegate that was most forceful and cold. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks) While his conversation with the Doctor following his awakening suggests that he may have survived an extermination attempt through forethought, it seems to have made Davros even more bitter. (DW: Destiny of the Daleks) This led him to making what would later be the Imperial Daleks. (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks)
Davros was also a hypocrite. He disliked pride and vanity, traits which he himself had always exhibited. He admonished the Dalek Supreme for displaying pride and distastefully noted "arrogance" in the Tenth Doctor's voice. (DW: The Stolen Earth) He himself displayed pride, refusing to escape the exploding Crucible with the Doctor, choosing death. (DW: Journey's End)
Habits and Quirks
Davros was originally seen by the Fourth Doctor sitting upright in a life-support chariot resembling the base of a Dalek. His skin was discoloured and his body has been crippled by some accident in his past, leaving him without legs or a left arm. His Kaled body was humanoid, though a blue lens in his forehead replaced his lost vision, allowing him a semblance of sight. A metal brace was attached to his head, and wires were plugged into his skull. Davros also had a throat microphone implant to enhance his damaged voice. He had only his right hand, which he used to operate controls on his chariot. These could perform functions for controlling doors, the Mark III travel machines, or his own life support system. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks)
Following his cryogenic imprisonment, Davros's face gained a yellowish, sagging appearance, probably caused by the effects of the time he spent in sub-zero conditions. (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks)
On Necros, Bostock fired a gun which destroyed most of his right hand and with it his ability to operate independently. (DW: Revelation of the Daleks) For a short time after, his hand was replaced with a claw (DWM: Emperor of the Daleks) and finally with a prosthetic substitute of futuristic design (BFA: The Juggernauts). He was capable of projecting electric shocks from both his organic and mechanical hands and his eye, allowing him to ward off attackers and stun or even kill them. (DW: Revelation of the Daleks, DW: Journey's End)
By the time that Davros had risen to become the Emperor of the Imperial Dalek faction during the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War, his life-support chariot no longer featured a button with which he could deactivate his life support (BFA: The Curse of Davros), as it had when he had first met the Doctor on Skaro. (DW: Genesis of the Daleks)
At some point during or after the Time War, Davros would dispense with his skull wires and throat microphone, having gained access to more advanced medical equipment. However, he retained his head brace. (DW: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End)
Behind the scenes
- Michael Wisher rehearsed with a paper bag on his head because of the limited vision he would have with the Davros mask and makeup.