The Draconians were a tall, reptilian species. They could be identified by their green scaly skin, pointed ears and bulging foreheads.
The Draconians, despite developing a interstellar empire, were run by a monarchy, lead by the Emperor and his royal court of nobles. Respect must be shown to superiors. When speaking to the Emperor, nobles must request to speak, bow and kiss the Emperors claws and finally say "My life at your command". Lower-class people and women were not allow to speak to the Emperor at all, though by the time of the Galactic Federation women were given more rights. There was also no freedom of speech, with only nobles allowed to express opinions publicly. In general, nodding was expected when talking to a superior.
The Draconians were also a highly formal race and were known for their adherence to rules and traditions. They believed that rules were made to be followed and would stick to them no matter what. Draconians also believed that men should not show sadness or cry.
The Draconians, like other species in the universe, had a horned god of evil, which the Doctor believed to be the Beast. Mr. Smith told Luke Smith that Draconia was one of many worlds in the universe which had developed a form of astrology, but, in the 34th century Salamanca said that Draconians had no astrology.
Typical Draconian clothing style was for black robes with high pointed shoulders. Houses were given curved walls without straight lines and were coloured green.
During the 26th century, the Draconians used battle cruisers. They were large, imposing ships covered in guns with neutronic missiles. The Draconians also used a form of land cruiser.
In the year 1645, an outbreak of Skreeths was discovered and the Time Lords dispatched the Doctor to enlist allies to stop the infection. After informing the Draconians, they decided to adopt a "scorched galaxy" policy which involved obliterating any worlds that developed signs of infection. This was something that the Doctor later regretted after the chain of events, though he later managed to end the infection from spreading.
During the reign of the fifteenth Emperor (at some point during the 21st century), Draconia was suffering from a plague. The Doctor came to the planet and cured the plague. He was remembered as the form of a painting in the Emperor Palace. He was also granted the rank of Noble.
By the 25th century, the Draconians had spread out from their homeplanet and started dominating the Galaxy. Theirs was the largest empire, matched only by the Earth Empire. As the two empires were on the opposite side of the Galaxy, there was an agreement to avoid each other and only attempt to colonize planets on their side of the Galaxy, with a buffer zone in between.
In 2487, two Draconians were at New Memphis.
In the 25th century, The Doctor was in a high-stake poker game with a Draconian. The Doctor won a planet in the Magellanis system, giving it back to the Earth Colonies but retaining nominal ownership.
In an in attempt to decide the buffer zone between the Earth and Draconia, a neutral planet was chosen as site for discussion in 2520. The Earth Ambassador, along with John Williams and the future President of Earth. When the ship ran into a neutron storm, most of the crew was killed, leaving Williams in charge. When he arrived at the planet, he was panicked by the armed Draconian ship and attacked it. With the Draconian peace convoy killed, the Draconians declared war, leading to a war which only lasted 3 days but had over 500 million causalities.
By 2540, there was an uneasy peace between Draconia and Earth. The Daleks intended to attack the Galaxy, but would thought the two Empires would pose a threat. Their agent, the Master, used a device and his Ogron soldiers to attack ships, with the device making it look like it was the opposite side who did it. There were several attacks on ships, until the Doctor and Jo Grant were accidentally caught on an Earth ship when it was attacked. With the device making them look like Draconians and then Draconian agents, they were brought to Earth as prisoners. They were eventually taken prisoner by the Master (who intended to bring the Doctor to the Daleks), but the ship was captured by Draconians and brought to Draconia. After the Ogron's botched attempt to rescue the Master, the Draconians were able to see the truth, joined forces with the Earth Empire and followed the Master.
By the time of the Galactic Federation, the Draconians became members of the Federation. In 3375, several Draconians, including Salamanca, worked on-board the Piri Reis. When the Darkheart was used, the Draconians were all turned into Humans.