The mere mention of the name is enough to send shivers down the spine of many a fearless space traveller. Some believe they exist, some think of them as merely a myth. But whatever your view, are all are agreed on one thing-we don’t want to cross them.
The Daleks are fearsome enough, but the Cult of Skaro are something else. Set apart from the other Daleks, this faction do not get involved in wars, they do not conquer, they do not fight. They observe. They plan. They strategise. They exist in the shadows, moving around out of sight.
But how did the Cult come about? What was their original purpose? Why were they needed in the first place?
Many years ago, the Kaleds and the Thals were engaged in a terrible war on Skaro. So terrible that both races were almost wiped out. As the war waged on, Davros, the Kaled chief scientist, was working on a way to end the war. His studies led him to discover the final mutated form of the Kaled race. Disgusted, he designed life support machines for the Kaled mutants to live in. He gave them transport, he gave them visual aids and he gave them weapons. He even gave them a new name, an anagram of their previous one. The Dalek machine was born.
Davros built them so well that they were almost impossible to defeat. They had everything. Well, almost everything. The one thing the Daleks were short of was a good catchphrase.
Davros was aware that the other evil geniuses in the universe all had their own special idiom, a saying that people would remember. Throughout time and space, people and civilisations would baulk at the words “I am the Master and you will obey me”. If they were going to conquer all, the Daleks needed their own motto too. And this is where the Cult came in.
Locked away in their secret hideouts, the Cult of Skaro worked tirelessly. After literally years of extensive research, they finally had it. The Cult met up with Davros once again to reveal their findings. Davros was impatient. “What have you got for me?” he demanded. The leader of the Cult uttered only a single word-Exhilarate.”
“Exhilirate?” screamed Davros in a rage, wheeling round and round in circles, unable to believe what he was hearing. “Exhilarate? Are we going to thrill our enemies to death? Are we going to take them on exciting adventures? No, we’re not. We’re going to terrify them.”
So the Cult returned to work. They sent out volunteer Daleks on discovery trips to minor planets in order to gauge reaction to their findings.
“Exonerate” didn’t really have the desired effect on the three headed Zaptoids of Zarkan; the Flangdoodles were left slightly underwhelmed by “Excommunicate” and the less said about the Chunkuk reaction to “Exfoliate” the better. Only “extortionate” had an effect on the Black Marketeers of Migdol, but only then enough for them to merely knock 10% off the price of having your name carved onto a grain of rice.
The Cult of Skaro had to admit defeat. They returned to Davros in shame. “You exasperate me,” he yelled. “I am short of words to exclamate. I have a good mind to expatriate the lot of you!”
So off they went to fend for themselves. They booked into a small bed and breakfast on the edge of the petrified forest and headed straight for the kitchen. Hatching evil plots is hungry work. The Cult leader fancied an omelette and, as chance would have it, Davros had fitted him with a whisk instead of a sucker.
“For how many rells do I need to stir these eggs?” he rasped to his second in command. “Eggs? Stir ‘em in eight,” came the reply. A second’s silence followed as the cult members turned to face each other. They knew they had to get back to Davros as soon as possible.
And so the legend was born…