The Daleks actually gives a lot of back story about Skaro, its two races, and their war. While rewatching the episodes, I was most intrigued by Ganatus' and Antodus' interaction regarding the swamp and its mutations. Ganatus explains to Barbara that five men went and only he and his brother returned. While they're in the swamp, Antodus is clearly upset and his emotional unraveling seems to begin there. I wanted to know what exactly happened to Ganatus and Antodus on their previous swamp expedition and why were they keeping it so secret?
The humid heat of the night pressed down on Ganatus as he waited for Trysdon to come relieve him of his lookout post by the lake. The two of them, along with Maritus, Elysus, and Ganatus’ younger brother Antodus, had come to the swamp on an expedition for resources. It marked four years since the last rain and one year since the Thals had left their dead crops on the plateau in search of food and in search of hope.

“Nice night.” Trysdon said facetiously.
“Glad you’re finally here.” Ganatus replied with a smile. “Nothing to report. I’m going to turn in.”
“I shall see you in the morning.” Trysdon said.

Ganatus nodded and walked back to the small camp they had set up on the driest land they could find. He settled into his mat and blanket and allowed the others’ snores to lull him to sleep.

When they awoke that morning, Trysdon was nowhere to be found. It was as though he had simply disappeared. The four remaining men split into pairs to search for him. Ganatus and Antodus went to the lookout post where he was last seen and Maritus and Elysus headed farther down the lakeshore.

“Look!” Antodus said pointing to Trysdon’s abandoned torch lying on the bank. As Ganatus crouched down to examine it, they heard a cry from the others. The two brothers hurried towards the noises of struggle. When they reached them, Maritus lie in the grips of a multi-tentacle swamp monster as Elysus held onto his arm pulling as hard as he could.

“Help me!” Elysus cried to them.

By the time Ganatus and Antodus could brace themselves in the mud and grip onto Elysus, Maritus was barely visible above the surface of the lake. The creature’s menacing eyes bore down on the Thals. Maritus let out a gurgled scream and disappeared into the water completely. The creature was no longer visible and Elysus’ resistance ceased.
An eerie still followed. The three Thals looked at one another and then back to the lake. A swirling vortex began to form in the water, growing rapidly in speed. Suddenly Elysus fell to the ground. His body started to quickly slide into the vortex.

“No!” Antodus cried out and threw himself down to hold onto Elysus.

Ganatus hurried to grab onto Antodus and anchor them. As soon as he made contact with his brother, all three cried out in agony. A telepathic force moved between their minds deep into their souls. It was the consciousness of the mutations in the lake, and they were in pain, terrible pain. The three were linked now by the consciousness and they could hear the mutations’ thoughts in their heads. They were the thoughts of thousands of Thals crying out for salvation, trapped in the lake as mutations from the war. Five hundred years of suffering after the Daleks detonated the neutron bomb, and it all poured into their brains at once.

Ganatus opened his eyes to see Elysus slipping deeper into the vortex. He yelled to Antodus to let go, but Antodus would not budge.

“Save yourselves!” Elysus cried.
“We must go!” Ganatus yelled to Antodus.
“I won’t leave him.” Antodus said. It was too late though. Elysus was lost to the vortex. His clothing bubbled up moments later.
“Antodus!” Ganatus said sternly. He grabbed his brother by the vest and dragged him away from the lake. He shoved him forward into the dry swampland and said, “Run!”

Antodus began to run, Ganatus following directly behind him. They fled the swamp back to the boulders that led to the hillside where the Thals’ camp was located for the time being. Once they were out of the swamplands, Antodus stopped and turned to Ganatus, his face full of fear.

“You felt it too, Ganatus. I know you did.” He said to his brother.
“Listen to me, Antodus” Ganatus grabbed him by the shoulders and looked at him very seriously. “We must never speak of this to the others.”
“But the lake, the creatures in it...They are us!” Antodus whispered as he trembled.
“Not anymore,” Ganatus said. “They are mutated beyond recognition now. That is what we will tell everyone. There is no hope for those mutations. They only live to kill now. Do you understand?”

Antodus said nothing. He stared into the distance, deep into the thicket of the swamplands. They heard someone approaching from the hills and turned to find Kristas and their leader Temmosus.

“There you are.” Temmosus said to the brothers. “We’ve come to find you. We have news.”
“What is it?” Ganatus asked.
“What has happened? Where are the others?” Temmosus asked, looking around in vain for the dead men.
“They were lost to the swamp.” Ganatus said quietly.
“It is full of mutations.” Antodus said. The brothers shared a look.
“What a terrible loss.” Kristas said after a moment.
“Indeed.” Temmosus nodded solemnly.
“What is your news?” Ganatus asked finally.
“There was a disturbance in the petrified jungle. Alydon has gone to investigate.” Temmosus told them.
“A disturbance?” Antodus asked.
“A strange noise. Nothing can live there, so we want to know what it is.” Temmosus explained. “Come, let us go back to the others at camp. You both could use a rest.”

Ganatus and Antodus nodded and followed Temmosus and Kristas back to camp.

© Copyright Lorena Gay, Andy W. Clift & Doctor Who Online, 2012.
Page Updated: 22/4/2012

Written by:
Lorena Gay

Artwork by:
Andy W. Clift


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