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War of the Daleks
This is the fifth in The Eighth Doctor Adventures series of novels published by the BBC. It is notorious amongst fans for the cack-handed way in which it retcons (retroactively changes) the end of Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25).
Where does this fit?
For the Doctor, this happens in sequence with the rest of the Eighth Doctor Adventures. For the Daleks, it takes place after most of their appearances in the Classic Series, but before the Time War.
The characters listed below are the series regulars, important recurring characters, and real life historical characters. If a character's appearance is a major spoiler, then their details will be hidden in spoiler tags. In general, recurring characters are not listed here on their first appearance unless they become a series regular during the story, or they are a real life historical character.
Sam Jones is a teenaged schoolgirl from London 1997 who joined the Doctor in The Eight Doctors (BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures). She is a do-gooder with a heavy interest in groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty. She has blonde hair.
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Daleks are a race of mutants encased in powerful cyborg bodies whose shape is reminiscent of pepperpots. They view all other species as inferior, to be enslaved or exterminated. The Doctor first encountered them on their home planet of Skaro in The Daleks (Classic Series Season 1). He has subsequently fought them on numerous occasions in every single incarnation. In Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12), the Time Lords sent him to interfere with their origins. In Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25), he was responsible for the destruction of their home planet, Skaro.
The Dalek Prime is the leader of the Daleks and the last survivor of the original Daleks seen in Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12). He is probably intended to be the Emperor Dalek seen in The Evil of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 4).
Davros is a scientist who created the Daleks during the events of Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12). His experiments had discovered the form that his people, the Kaleds, would eventually mutate into. He then removed positive emotions such as love and compassion from those mutants, and created the Travel machines in which the Daleks now travel around. He, he was betrayed, and apparently exterminated, by his creations. However he actually survived the attack. In Destiny of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 17), the Daleks returned to Skaro and discovered and unearthed his body to help with a war against a robotic race called the Movellans. Some time after this, Davros created a rival faction of Daleks. His faction was destroyed during Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25), when the Doctor tricked him into using a device called the Hand of Omega to destroy Skaro's sun. Davros was last seen abandoning his spaceship in an escape pod just before Skaro's sun exploded.
The Movellans were a robotic race who fought against the Daleks. In Destiny of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 17) the war had reached a stalemate, with neither side able to break through. In Resurrection of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 21) they had designed a virus which could wipe out the Daleks.
The Thals were one of two races which inhabited the planet Skaro. By Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12) they had fought a long war with the other race, the Kaleds. This war turned Skaro radioactive, and eventually resulted in the creation of the Daleks. The radiation mutated the Thals into a peace-loving race who were blond and blue-eyed. In The Daleks (Classic Series Season 1), the Doctor taught the Thals to fight against a Dalek city near their encampment. In Planet of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 10), they had become a spacefaring race and begun a war effort against the Daleks.
The following stories and other resources are not necessary in order to follow the plot (we've summed up the essential bits for you). But being familiar with them will probably enhance your enjoyment of this story.
In The Daleks (Classic Series Season 1), the Doctor defeated a group of Daleks confined to a single city on Skaro. In the process, he taught the (by then) pacifist Thals how to fight.
In The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Classic Series Season 2), the Daleks had conquered Earth for ten years of the 22nd Century. The Doctor defeated their plan to mine out the Earth's magnetic core so that they could turn Earth into a spaceship.
In The Chase (Classic Series Season 2) and The Daleks' Masterplan (Classic Series Season 3), the Daleks made use of a time machine similar to the TARDIS to chase the Doctor.
In The Daleks' Masterplan (Classic Series Season 3), the Daleks attempted to conquer Earth in the year 4000 AD. Their plan involved a weapon called the Time Destructor, but the Doctor foiled their plans by stealing its taranium core.
In The Power of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 4), the Doctor defeated a Dalek factory on the planet Vulcan.
In The Evil of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 4), the Daleks hatched a plan to isolate the Human Factor and the Dalek Factor and seed 19th Century humanity with the Dalek Factor to ensure that the Daleks eventually defeated humanity. However, the Doctor defeated this plan, starting a Dalek civil war on Skaro.
In Day of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 9), the Daleks changed history so that they invaded Earth a whole century earlier than in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. However some rebels stole a Dalek time travel device and travelled back in time. Their actions disrupted a world peace conference chaired by Sir Reginald Styles. The Doctor's intervention destroyed this future timeline.
In Planet of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 10), the Doctor helped a group of Thal soldiers destroy a large Dalek army hidden on the planet Spiridon.
In Death to the Daleks (Classic Series Season 11), the Doctor prevented the Daleks from obtaining the only supply of Parrinium, the only cure for a space plague in the galaxy.
In Genesis of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 12), the Time Lords sent the Doctor to interfere with the creation of the Daleks. During this story, he met Davros for the first time.
In Destiny of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 17), the Daleks unearthed Davros so that he could help them end the stalemate in their war against the Movellans. The Doctor prevented this plan, and arranged for Davros to be sent to Earth in suspended animation.
In Resurrection of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 21), the Daleks sent a force to free Davros from imprisonment. The Doctor foiled an insanely complicated Dalek plan, and Davros escaped from both humans and Daleks.
In Revelation of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 22), Davros had started creating his own force of Daleks on the planet Nekros. The Doctor stopped his plans, and Davros was taken captive by the original Daleks.
In Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25), two Dalek factions travelled back to the Earth of 1963 to capture an ancient Time Lord device called the Hand of Omega. Davros and his faction obtained the Hand. However, the Doctor tricked him into using it to destroy Skaro's sun - thus destroying all life on Skaro. The Doctor then talked the leader of the other Dalek faction into committing suicide.