Skaro from space (from the 1996 Doctor Who television movie)
|Notable locations||Kaalann (Capital City, Dalek era), Kaled Dome, Thal Dome|
|Genre||Science fiction television|
Skaro is a fictional planet from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who created by the writer Terry Nation as the home planet of the Daleks and, at times, the centre of the Dalek Empire.
Skaro is a planet of roughly the same mass and dimensions as Earth, and the twelfth planet from its sun. It has a single continent that is divided into east and west halves of almost equal size. When the Doctor first visits the planet in the 1963 serial The Daleks, Skaro is a nuclear wasteland, whose principal features are a petrified forest, the endless highly acidic rain, a lake containing the results of Davros' early experiments, and the Dalek city, Kaalann.
It is noted in Genesis of the Daleks that Skaro is situated in the "Seventh Galaxy", and Skaro's astronomers can identify only seven such stellar formations. This may indicate that Skaro's galaxy or local group of galaxies is distant from other galaxies or local groups, that Kaled technology was insufficient to detect other galaxies or local groups beyond their vicinity, or that there is a barrier of interstellar gas and debris that occludes other spatial areas from Skaro's scrutiny.
Before the Daleks arose, Skaro was the home of a humanoid species with two races, the Kaleds (or Dals) and the Thals. The races went to war with each other, using nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that eventually caused mutations which Kaled scientists recognized as being the end of their species in its (ideologically defined) "pure" form. In events shown in Genesis of the Daleks, the Kaled chief scientist Davros accelerated their mutations and placed the now mutated Kaleds in tank-like "Mark 3 travel machines". These cyborgs became the dreaded Daleks (an anagram of Kaleds).
The Daleks eventually drove the Thals from Skaro, only to find themselves ruling a devastated planet, with dead seas and a surface nearly devoid of life. However, even the ravaged Skaro remained rich in minerals, which the Daleks used to build massive armies to conquer and destroy other worlds, eventually building the interstellar Dalek Empire. Some time afterward, the Daleks abandoned Skaro, though the planet was later reoccupied by the Imperial Dalek faction, apparently at the behest of Davros.
Skaro's final appearance in the classic series (in the chronology of the Doctor Who universe) is in the story Remembrance of the Daleks, in which the Seventh Doctor tricked Davros and his "pure Imperial Daleks" into stealing the Hand of Omega. As per the Doctor's prediction, the Daleks attempted to use it on Skaro's sun in order to generate enough energy to recreate the Gallifreyan time travel experiments. However, the Doctor had already pre-programmed the Hand of Omega to turn their sun into a supernova, resulting in Skaro being completely obliterated.
At the start of the 1996 Doctor Who television movie, the Master is put on trial on Skaro by the Daleks and exterminated. Presumably this took place in the relative past of Skaro's timeline before its destruction, as the Eighth Doctor does not comment on it.
Skaro did not appear in any of the Dalek-related stories made for the revived Doctor Who until the seventh series, although a group of Daleks called the Cult of Skaro appear in the second series episodes "Army of Ghosts" (briefly) and "Doomsday", and the third series episodes "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks" — in the last of these the Cult threaten to turn Earth into "a new Skaro". In "Daleks in Manhattan", Daleks express apparent frustration at the continued prosperity of humanity compared to the current reduced circumstances of the Daleks after the Time War.
Skaro also features prominently in the first episode of the seventh series, "Asylum of the Daleks". It is shown as a wasted planet with a red atmosphere, skyscrapers (including an imposing one shaped like a Dalek), and acid rain pouring on its surface that nevertheless supports flocks of bird-like creatures. This view is consistent with the look of the post-Time War Skaro in the video game City of the Daleks.
Doctor Who serials that take place on Skaro or feature Skaro prominently are The Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks. For Destiny of the Daleks exterior scenes meant to take place on Skaro were shot in Winspit quarry.
Other appearances 
The canonical status of all spin-off media is debatable.
The brief appearance of Skaro in Remembrance of the Daleks is expanded upon in that story's novelisation by original writer Ben Aaronovitch. The book names the Dalek City as Mensvat Esc-Dalek in the Vekis Nar-Kangji (Plain of Swords). The novelisation also mentions other creatures living on Skaro: yellow and black beetles, as well as mountainous "rock leopards".
The Daleks, via time travel, discover records that show Skaro's destruction. After an attempt to change history (in Day of the Daleks) is unsuccessful, they terraform the planet Antalin to resemble Skaro and manipulate Davros and the Doctor into ensuring that Antalin was destroyed in the original's place. War of the Daleks also reveals that the events of Destiny of the Daleks took place on the terraformed Antalin. The novel also reveals that the name Skaro simply means "home" in the old Kaled language. However, the canonical status of these stories, as with all Doctor Who spin-off media narratives, is uncertain.
Skaro appears in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories The Mutant Phase and Davros (where we learn that Skaro had two moons: Falkus and Omega Mysterium, names drawn from a chart of Skaro's solar system in a 1976 Marks and Spencer tie-in book - Falkus is there revealed to be an artificial planet created by the Daleks as a last refuge), and was where the Emperor Dalek operated from in The Genocide Machine, and features prominently in the I, Davros spin-off series, looking at Davros's life and the events that led to him creating the Daleks. However in the Dalek Empire series (possibly set after Skaro's destruction in Remembrance of the Daleks) there is no appearance of Skaro and the Daleks are now operating instead from the Seriphia Galaxy.
Skaro is also the setting for the Peter Cushing feature film Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) which is generally regarded as non-canonical, although the story in the film is a copy (with some changes) of the serial The Daleks (naturally shortened since a feature film does not have the same running time as a 7-episode serial).
The BBC-Licensed The Dalek Book (1964) includes a map entitled 'The Dalography of Skaro'. This shows the planet to have three continents (Dalazar, Darren and Davius), five seas (The Ocean of Ooze, The Sea of Acid, The Sea of Rust, The Serpent Sea and the land-locked Bottomless Sea) and three major islands (The Island of Gushing Gold, The Island of Moving Mountains and an island chain named The Forbidden Islands). Dalazar is identified as the location of the Dalek city, Davius as being populated by the Thals and Darren as the site of the neutron bomb explosion which transformed the Daleks from their humanoid form into mutants. The BBC-Licensed The Dalek Outer Space Book (1965) confirms some of these details in a cutaway illustration entitled 'The Strata of Skaro'. A sea called The Ocean of Death is added, together with The Islands of Mist which, from the description, appears to be an alternative name for the Dalek Book's Forbidden Islands.
The Time War 
An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 states that Skaro, like Gallifrey, was devastated at the end of the Time War. This suggests that the Daleks had managed to rebuild and/or reoccupy their home planet and is somewhat consistent with War of the Daleks. This is also generally consistent with Dalek Caan's claim in "Daleks in Manhattan" that his planet "is gone... destroyed in a great war".
This may also simply be that Skaro survived the events of Remembrance of the Daleks (as portrayed in War). However, as prior continuity established the existence of alternative Dalek installations and colonies outside their homeworld, Skaro's own survival is unnecessary to account for post-nova remnants.
An alternative explanation could also mean that the Seventh Doctor's actions in Remembrance were particular episodes within the Time War. While the canonical status of the novels is uncertain, Russell T Davies intimated in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 article that various Dalek stories take place as parts of the Time War, such as Genesis of the Daleks, which he refers to as "the first strike".
Despite this, Skaro makes an appearance in the first episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, entitled "City of the Daleks". As current executive producer Piers Wenger insists the interactive episodes are canon, surviving Daleks found the Eye of Time, an artifact of immeasurable power that gives its users unlimited control over space and time. With this power, the Daleks remove Skaro from the Time War and launch an invasion of Earth in 1963, killing off all humanity and conquering Earth. The Eleventh Doctor subsequently goes to Skaro, discovers the Eye, and releases it back into the Time Vortex before the Daleks find it, thus negating Skaro's post-nova survival outside the Time War and restoring the proper timeline.
At the start of "Asylum of the Daleks", the Eleventh Doctor is summoned to Skaro by Darla von Karlsen (a human converted into a Dalek "puppet"). The planet is devastated by war, but still in existence. The area on Skaro the Doctor is summoned to, is in (or near by) the dalek city. The city looks much like the one seen in "The Daleks", which the exception of a towering Dalek statue/building.
See also 
- The Daleks. Doctor Who. 1963-12-21–1963-02-01. BBC.
- Genesis of the Daleks. Doctor Who. 1975-03-08–1975-04-12. BBC. BBC1.
- Remembrance of the Daleks. Doctor Who. 1988-10-05–1988-10-26. BBC. BBC1.
- Doctor Who. 1996-05-14. Fox Network.
- Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson (2006-07-08). "Doomsday". Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One.
- Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson (2007-04-21). "Daleks in Manhattan". Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One.
- Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson (2007-04-28). "Evolution of the Daleks". Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One.
- The Evil of the Daleks. Doctor Who. 1967-05-20–1967-07-01. BBC. BBC1.
- Destiny of the Daleks. Doctor Who. 1979-09-01–1979-09-22. BBC. BBC1.
- "Winspit Quarry, Doctor Who - The Locations Guide". Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Aaronovitch, Ben: Remembrance of the Daleks, pages 151-152. W.H. Allen & Co. Plc, 1990.
- Peel, John: War of the Daleks. BBC Books, 1997.
- Whitaker, David & Nation, Terry: The Dalek Book, page 72. Panther Books Ltd. / Souvenir Press Ltd., 1964.
- Nation, Terry & Ashton, Brad: The Dalek Outer Space Book, pages 12 & 13. Panther Books Ltd. / Souvenir Press Ltd., 1965.