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
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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