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The Mercy of the Daleks is the ninth episode in the ninth season of Doctor Who, and sees the first appearance of the Daleks since season eight's New Dublin.


"Time is your burden, everyone you travel with dies, Doctor. The Daleks will never die!" - Supreme Patriarch

The TARDIS is caught in a powerful beam en route to ancient Greece, and the Doctor and his companions are held at the mercy of the Restored Dalek Empire, ruled by the Supreme Patriarch. While Billy and Jack are imprisoned on the Dalek mothership, the Doctor is held before the Patriarch, who judges his crimes and wars against the Daleks. The Patriarch refers to several incursions. The Patriarch even mentions how in The Victory of the Daleks how the Doctor swore to destroy the Dalek race entirely, and shows his hatred for them is far greater than any hatred they possess.

The Doctor argues, saying the Daleks are not without empathy or emotion, but the Patriarch refuses, saying the Doctor is at the mercy of his actions. Meanwhile Jack and Billy escape, and Jack steals a powerful gun to blast their way to the Doctor. The Patriarch says that the Doctor’s crimes are worthy of death, and that he should burn in the fires of Skaro’s children. He says the Doctor destroyed the Maker (Davros), but that he is far more powerful than Davros, and that the Dalek’s iron fist will descend upon the universe with the death of the Doctor. After accepting his fate, the Doctor realises the Patriarch’s source of power is a dying Hyperia star, chained into the Dalek ship, and that the Restored Dalek Empire is a lie, that the Patriarch and his bodyguard are all that remain of the Dalek race. The Patriarch becomes restless when the Doctor confronts him with his newfound knowledge, just as Jack and Billy enter, and the Patriarch shoots Jack. Billy, who thinks he is dead, calls for the Doctor to come and help, but he dismisses, saying “he’ll be fine”. Jack comes back to life shortly after, and stands up, frowning at the Patriarch, and telling him if he’s going to kill him, give him some warning.

The Doctor tells them to go back to the TARDIS and then goes over to the Hyperia star, chained in the ship’s core, and holds the Patriarch as mercy. He says if the Daleks do not surrender they will be incinerated. The Patriarch then says to the Doctor is that not what he wants, and the Doctor steps back, thinking on what the Dalek’s have done to him. The Doctor then remembers all the death and suffering they have brought him, and uses his sonic screwdriver to set off the Hyperia star.

As he flees the throne room the Patriarch tells him in the dying fires that he will always be alone, and that all those he holds close will die in time. As he rushes into the TARDIS he sets it off and as it hurtles away the Dalek ship explodes. When Jack asks what happened, the Doctor said he is becoming like the Daleks, without mercy.

The Patriarch and the Survivors

The Supreme Dalek Patriarch is a different type of Dalek than any the Doctor has seen. It is mainly gold and black, and its eye stalk bears similarity to the Seventh Doctor-era Daleks. Various pipes are connected to its lower body, feeding it the power of the dying Hyperia star. At first the Doctor is led to believe that the Patriarch has led a new restoration of the Daleks, but he later realizes the Patriarch and its bodyguard are all that remain.

Continuation and reference

  • The "Hyperians" were mentioned in No Tricks also.
  • The Doctor's hatred for the Daleks is greater than ever.
Season Nine of Doctor Who
New Times In Old London  • The Sting of the Zygons  • Parenthood  • The Spider's Web  • Heart of Wood  • Devour  • The Eternity Game  • Sands of Kada  • The Mercy of the Daleks  • I' Am The Doctor  • Gods and Men  • A Shadow On The Glass  • Time Lord  • The Remnants of Time