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
Since its revival, Doctor Who has had some incredibly strange story lines. The ones that you simply cannot figure out where they're going, and how, when presented with a certain situation, it's going to resolve itself. I think so far, season one's The Empty Child ranked as the biggest case in point. However, Daleks in Manhattan has completely blown that away in terms of its sheer unpredictability. Even after the trailer for next weeks second part, Evolution of the Daleks, I have absolutely no idea how it's going to turn out.
The beauty of this revived series is that it's got stupid comedy, all-out scary and deeply emotional rolled into one. Not always all three in the same episode, mind you. And some episodes are designed to be just one - last years Love and Monsters springs to mind in the comedy stakes - in this case, this episode, and I expect next weeks conclusion, follow the road of last years The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit double header in being intensely dark and deeply sinister.
Don't get me wrong. It's a beautiful episode, and everything slots together perfectly. The four remaining Daleks somehow seem perfectly in place in 1930's New York, Helen Raynor's script is absolutely brilliant, and the Daleks pigmen slaves are somehow genuinely disturbing.
This new season seems to have made a habit of really rolling out the guest stars, and after Andree "Hollyoaks" Bernard's and the delightful Christina "Hex" Cole's unexpected showings in The Shakespeare Code, and then Ardal "Father Ted" O'Hanlon and Lenora "Sugar Rush" Crichlow's appearances in Gridlock, this episode rolls out no less than three of the best TV actors in England. This time we get the fantastic Hugh "Holby City" Quarshie, Andrew "last seen being dumped by a lesbian in Sugar Rush" Garfield, and Miranda "Spooks" Raison, and all of them excel in their roles (although I do have one small gripe - how does a black man get any sort of respect in 30s New York, one of the most racist periods in history?).
All of this adds up to one thing - this series is shaping up to be the best yet.
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