Tenth Doctor: Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks (dual review)

daleks-in-manhattan

Writer: Helen Raynor

Director: James Strong

Producer: Phil Collinson

Companion: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman)

Series: 3, eps 4 and 5

Summary: The Doctor and Martha travel to 1930’s Manhattan. They discover the Daleks have been mutating humans into “pig-men” for menial labor.  They want to turn the Empire State Building into a satellite to contact the other Daleks.  They are the cult of Skaro, and they are attempting to evolve by experimenting on themselves and humans–creating human Daleks!

Review: Many Whovians consider this a low point of the Tennant era.  The only positive thing I can say is that I like the way it showcases the Great Depression. My two biggest gripes are: 1. The Doctor is actually helping the Daleks. This is something he would never do, he hates them too much! My second biggest gripe is how ridiculous the science of the episode is. We’ve got a scene where a lightning bolt is supposed to give off gamma radiation in order to create the “human Daleks”. Lightning doesn’t do that! And then the Doctor’s DNA supposedly travels down the bolt into the humans, causing them to rebel. DNA doesn’t do that! The Daleks are creating pig-men. Did we learn nothing from “Day of the Daleks”, when they had ape-like minions? The Daleks have no need of minions. They should be frightening enough on their own. This story is terrible.

Overall Review: 3/10

Continuity: This episode explains how the Daleks escaped the events of “Doomsday” and where they ended up. The Daleks have actually been in New York before, in the Hartnell era episode “The Chase”. The Second Doctor missing episode “Evil of the Daleks also has the Daleks trying to turn humans into Daleks.

Trivia: This story made Helen Raynor the first woman to write for Doctor Who.

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