Daleks Take Manhattan (c) BBC
Daleks In Manhattan (c) BBC

Daleks in Manhattan

First Broadcast April 21st, 2007 @ 6.35pm (6.69m viewers)

Daleks! In New York! In the 1930’s!

The Doctor (David Tennant) and Marth Jones (Freema Agyeman) - Doctor Who - Daleks Take Manhattan (c) BBC
The Doctor (David Tennant) and Marth Jones (Freema Agyeman) – Doctor Who – Daleks In Manhattan (c) BBC

Such ingredients are impossible for any other television programme to combine so seamlessly and few would even attempt it. Yet Doctor Who manages to achieve it. However, this episode proved to be style over substance. The glitz and glamour of a New York show juxtaposes with the harsh reality of Hooverville where people are living in desperate poverty. In the distance is the Empire State Building, proof that progress continues in spite of its citizens. All three elements are wonderfully brought to the screen, a credit to the production team who managed to deliver not just New York but historical New York from South Wales. The Daleks themselves fit nicely into their surroundings and are up to some malevolent scheming in order to survive. However to create a plot, and a poor one at that, the very core ideology of the Daleks is dispensed with to create a Dalek/Human hybrid.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Dalek Sec- Doctor Who - Daleks Take Manhattan (c) BBC
Dalek Sec- Doctor Who – Daleks in Manhattan (c) BBC

The biggest controversy concerning this episode was the fact that the cliffhanger featured on the cover of a national TV listings magazine, revealing the Dalek Sec human hybrid. The magazine was available on the Tuesday prior to transmission, meaning it was very difficult to avoid the image of what was, without a doubt, an intriguing creation. Fortunately, Steven Moffat has learnt from this mistake and is far tougher on spoiler leakage.

It is interesting to compare this episode to ‘Dalek’ only two years previous. In that story, one single Dalek is capable of exterminating the population of Salt Lake City. However in this episode, despite greater numbers these four Daleks are supposedly more vulnerable than ever. This then triggers the creation of the hybrid, an abomination to the Daleks who were created to exterminate all that is not like them, a philosophy shared with the Nazis. The error is even addressed by Dalek Thay, proving what a misjudgment the experiment was to the characters but crucially also to the audience. By addressing it in such a way only accentuates and draws attention to the flawed plot.

Cast:

The Doctor – David Tennant
Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman
Tallulah – Miranda Raison
Laszlo – Ryan Carnes
Solomon – Hugh Quarshie
Frank Andrew – Garfield
Mr. Diagoras – Eric Loren
Myrna – Flik Swan
Lois Alexis – Caley
Man #1 – Earl Perkins
Man #2 – Peter Brooke
Foreman – Ian Porter
Worker #1 – Joe Montana
Worker #2 – Stewart Alexander
Dock Worker – Mel Taylor
Dalek Operator – Barnaby Edwards
Dalek Operator – Nicholas Pegg
Dalek Operator – Anthony Spargo
Dalek Operator – David Hankinson
Dalek voices – Nicholas Briggs
Hero Pig – Paul Kasey

Crew:
Writer – Helen Raynor
Producer –  Phil Collinson
Director – James Strong

Also on this day…..

  • Planet of the Daleks: Episode Three
  • Doctor Who Confidential: A New York Story

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