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
An opening TARDIS scene, in which Martha convinces the Doctor to take her on one last trip through time was cut. This matched up with the opening moments of the next story to be broadcast, "The Lazarus Experiment", in which the Doctor finally brings Martha home. See more »
The light that the Doctor points at the alien organic matter when he comes to analyse it is a Strand Pattern 765. These were not manufactured until 1972. See more »
[as Mr Diagoras is being brought to Dalek Sec]
[gets in the way]
Halt! This action contradicts Dalek imperative.
[also gets in the way]
Daleks are supreme! Humans are weak!
But there are millions of humans and only four of us. If we are supreme, why are we not victorious?
[Dalek Thay and Dalek Jast look at each other]
The Cult of Skaro was created by the Emperor for this very purpose: to imagine new ways of survival.
But we must remain pure!
No, Dalek Thay. Our purity has brought us to extinction! ...
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A strong first part to a new Earth-bound Dalek story
I've always preferred the two-part stories of the noughties "Doctor Who" series. There's more time to breath life into the script, more character development and a less hurried feel to the proceedings. Dare I say it? There is more of a mature "classic" feel to these episodes. "Daleks in Manhattan" is strong on a number of fronts. It avoids the silliness that occasionally creeps into the new stories from time to time, it has a genuinely dark and sinister edge to the tale, a convincing '30s atmosphere and some great performances. On top of this, Helen Raynor's script is excellent.
The Daleks are always a superb villain and they fit the '30s New York setting unexpectedly well. The moment a Dalek glides from an Art Deco lift in The Empire State Building, flanked by pig-men slaves, is unforgettable.
While the episode is mainly a scene setter for the second part, this is a fine viewing experience. New life is being breathed into Dalek mythology and the Cult of Skaro is proving to be an inspired creation. I'm pleased that the Daleks now seem to be a permanent feature of each season. There is clearly a lot of new ground to cover with these metallic dictators and they're not outstaying their welcome.
The cliffhanger is excellent but lacks surprise thanks to the week's "Radio Times" cover!
I genuinely can't wait to see the resolution to this tale.
9 out of 10.
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