This is the first of a two part story, it is set in 1930's New York. The Doctor and Martha arrive in New York, there is, however, trouble as the Daleks return once again, this time attempting to create a Dalek/Human hybrid creature in the New York sewers! These two episodes also see the return of the Dalek Sec and the Cult of Skaro. Written by
While trying to escape from the Daleks in the Empire State Building, one of the American characters sees the elevator coming up to the floor that they're on and refers to it as a "lift". An American would call it an elevator, not a lift. See more »
We gotta stick together. It's easy to get lost. It's like a huge rabbit warren. You could hide an army down here.
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There's a common myth that DOCTOR WHO is " The show with the Daleks in it " . Yes the show did feature Daleks from 1963-1989 but Daleks aren't the be all and end all of the programme . In fact when you think about it the most highly regarded seasons among fans , five ( 1968 ) seven ( 1970 ) , thirteen (1975-76 ) and fourteen ( 1976-77 ) haven't featured any Dalek stories at all . The reverse is also true with stories such as The Chase , Death To The Daleks and Destiny Of The Daleks held in very low regard by the fans . It's somewhat annoying when producers bring back the Daleks for the sake of it and this certainly applies to this story .
It's not just the return of the Daleks that's so underdeveloped -it's the entire script which has a lack of thought . In fact there's something painfully inconsistent with every scene . For example Soloman ( This week's token black character )talks about his time in The Great War and the need for sticking together but seeing as the American army was segregated until 1947 would such a character be aware of a need to be sticking together ? It'd be more logical and credible if he was bitter and anti assimilation . In an early scene he takes back a loaf of bread that'd been stolen and breaks it in half and gives half of it to the rightful owner and the thief . Is that moral ? I guess because his name is Soloman there's a biblical reference there somewhere but again there's a lack of credibility , same as it's pushed down the viewers throat of how hungry and poverty stricken the people are in Central Park then when they'r offered a chance of work most of these unemployed , hungry and poverty stricken people turn it down
You also have to ask yourself why is it the Daleks have decided to locate to New York in 1930 ? Despite the poverty caused by the Wall Steet crash America was still a capitalist democracy with a free press and where people were allowed to ask questions . Wouldn't the Daleks have been better off in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union ? Indeed with the dubious success of Stalin's five year plans it would be far more logical to have set the story there and have the character of Diagoras as a high ranking commissar who doesn't tolerate dissent , but I guess Daleks In The Gulag doesn't have the same ring to it
Director James Strong does his very best with the weak material , but there's a fly in the ointment and that is the " Noo Yoirk accents " . They are absolutely terrible and a great distraction . Likewise much of the dialogue such as " Laszlo was da smartest guy oi ever dated " . Strong does however make sewers look like sewers which is not often the case in the history of the show ( Attack Of The Cybermen being an example ) and he does pace the impact aesthetic of the cliffhanger very well . It's just a pity that the Radio Times gave away the episode ending with a front page photo
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