Dr Edwin Bracewell was an android modelled after a Scottish human. He was made by the Daleks after they landed in 1941. Bracewell was placed in the Cabinet War Rooms below London as an advisor to Winston Churchill. He was unaware of his origins and was implanted with memories of a human life and the creation of the Daleks as a weapon called an”Ironside” for Britain.
When Churchill summoned the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond to the war rooms, he introduced Bracewell to them, who proudly showed off his”creations”. The Doctor caused the Daleks to reveal their true nature. When Bracewell tried to stop the Daleks, they revealed him as their own creation, blasting his left hand off.
After The Doctor foiled the Daleks’ original plan, they revealed that Bracewell’s android body contained an Oblivion Continuum as a power source, and threatened to use it as a bomb and destroy the planet. The Daleks activated the bomb and fled.
The Doctor and Amy tried to stop the Oblivion Continuum from detonating by using Bracewell’s memories; they had been stolen from an actual human and contained every detail and emotion of his life — to force him to embrace his humanity. Memories of the post office his”parents” worked in, nearby ash trees, the trenches of the First World War and the death of his parents were not enough. It was only when Amy reminded him of fancying someone he knew he should not — Dorabella — that his android programming was broken, deactivating the bomb.
Afterward, Bracewell assumed The Doctor would deactivate him as he was Dalek technology, and had”no business” on Earth. He accepted this fate, but was overjoyed when he eventually caught on to The Doctor’s hints that he would do otherwise. The Doctor encouraged him to seek out a normal human life, to look for the post office and Dorabella. (Victory of the Daleks)
Some time after those events, Bracewell received one of the final paintings by Vincent van Gogh. He showed it to Winston Churchill. They recognised it as a message for The Doctor. Churchill tried to ring The Doctor to alert him, but was diverted to River Song in the 52nd century, alerting her to its existence. (The Pandorica Opens) The Doctor eventually changed the timeline such that these later events, and therefore the painting no longer existed. (The Big Bang)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Amy called Edwin”Paisley” and”Paisley Boy”. Head writer Steven Moffat is also a “Paisley Boy”.
Bracewell’s portrayal in Victory is in many ways similar to and the opposite of Davros in Genesis of the Daleks. As in that story, the “Ironsides” are intended as a weapon to win a war, and rebel against their”creator”. Davros created the Daleks, the Daleks created Bracewell and made him believe he created them. Davros lost his eyesight and movement of his left arm in undisclosed circumstances, and Bracewell uses spectacles and loses the use of his left hand over the course of Victory. Davros is an organic life-form who turns himself into a cyborg, Bracewell an artificial life form made to resemble a cyborg. Davros’s greed for power and disdain for life and emotions is what leads to his madness, the slaughter of his army, and his own death; Bracewell’s embracing of his own human emotions save his army and himself. Davros tortures The Doctor’s companions, knowing that they will feel pain where he will not; The Doctor believes that he can make Bracewell act human by forcing him to feel pain.
He is mentioned by the Ironside Dalek at the 2010 Doctor Who At The Proms.
He is referred to as “Professor Bracewell” on the packaging of his Character Options action figure.