a real world point of view
|Daleks in Manhattan|
|Main enemy:||Cult of Skaro|
|Main setting:||New York City, 1930|
|Premiere broadcast:||21 April 2007|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1 45-minute episode|
|Confidential:||A New York Story|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Gridlock||Evolution of the Daleks|
|The Lazarus Experiment||Evolution of the Daleks|
During the building of the Empire State Building in 1930's New York, the Cult of Skaro continues their attempts to destroy humanity and reign supreme.
At the Majestic Theater in Midtown Manhattan, showgirl Tallulah is speaking to her boyfriend, Laszlo, one of the theatre's stagehands, before her nightly performance. She promises to come and see Laszlo's mother soon, and in turn, he gives her a rosebud for good luck. Later during the show, Laszlo is doing work when something runs past the door, oinking. Laszlo follows the sound into a storage room. Suddenly, a pig slave leaps out of the shadows and runs up to him.
A few days later, the Tenth Doctor and Martha materialize the TARDIS at the Statue of Liberty, the Doctor having decided to take Martha on a quick detour before taking her home. Seeing the uncompleted Empire State Building, the Doctor estimates the date, while Martha finds a newspaper dated November 1st, 1930. The Doctor looks at the newspaper and realizes that their small detour is going to be much onger: the headline on the front page is talking about a rash of people vanishing like flies from the Hooverville community in Central Park. The Doctor and Martha travel to the Hooverville to question the residents who live there about the incidents.
When the Doctor and Martha are walking in, a fight suddenly breaks out between two men over a loaf of bread. Solomon, the community leader, breaks up the fight by taking the loaf and dividing it in half. He reminds them that thirteen years ago, he fought in World War I, as did many of the others, and he and the others only survived by staying together.
The Doctor and Martha talk to Solomon. He asks the Doctor why people can build the Empire State Building, which will be the tallest building in the world when completed, when there is a Hooverville in midtown Manhattan.
At the top of the Empire State Building, as construction workers toil to complete work, a businessman named Mr. Diagoras orders one of his foremen to speed up construction on the roof mast, telling him that there is extra work that must be completed by tonight. He also says that it is because his bosses are demanding it. When the foreman refuses, Mr. Diagoras tells the man that he should instead complain to the masters himself. He quickly presses the elevator call button. As the elevator comes up, the foreman asks him about his new 'masters,' but Diagoras is very vague about them, only saying that they are from out of town and beyond the human imagination. Before the foreman can figure out what this means, the elevator arrives, and with a ding, the doors open and Dalek Caan and two pig men emerge. As the foreman backs away in shock, Diagoras tells Caan that the man is refusing to complete the work. Dalek Caan has the foreman taken away for 'the final experiment'. The pig slaves hustle the foreman into the elevator. Caan then orders Diagoras to recruit more 'bodies' for the final experiment.
Later that day, as the Doctor and Martha are in Solomon's tent questioning him about the disappearances, they are interrupted when a young man from Tennessee named Frank comes in to inform them that Diagoras has stopped by. Diagoras addresses the community members, saying he wants to recruit workers to clear a sewer collapse for a dollar a day. Intrigued by Diagoras' admission that people sometimes fail to come back, the Doctor accepts the job. Martha goes with him, along with Solomon and Frank. Mr. Diagoras tells them the location is about a half mile in, but they find no obstruction -- just a green lump of alien flesh. The Doctor examines and pockets it. Further on, they come across a lone pig slave. As the Doctor talks to it, more pig slaves arrive, and chase the Doctor and friends through the sewers.
Back at the top of the Empire State Building, Mr. Diagoras orders the crew working there to attach strange strips of metal (taken from a Dalek's 'skirt') to the base of the mast, and to complete the task that night. The workers complain about the unsafe conditions, but comply. Diagoras warns them that if they do not work, he can replace them in a flash. After they leave, Dalek Caan discusses the construction with Diagoras, and mentions that his planet was destroyed in a war, while he is somewhat impressed about the fact humans survive across time, building and rebuilding New York City. Diagoras tells the Dalek that he fought in a war (World War I), and that he promised himself he would survive at any cost. Noting that Diagoras is most like them in mentality, Dalek Sec orders him to the basement, where he is seized for use in their 'final experiment'.
The Doctor, Martha and Solomon escape the sewers through a manhole, but Frank is captured. The others emerge in the theatre, where Tallulah points a gun at them. She demands to know what they did with Laszlo, who disappeared two weeks earlier. The Doctor gets Tallulah to discard the gun (which was only a prop), and Tallulah tells them about Laszlo's disappearance. The Doctor and Solomon search for equipment the Doctor can use to examine the alien flesh, while Martha and Tallulah compare notes about Laszlo and the Doctor. Solomon confesses that he left Frank behind because he was scared. Solomon then returns to Hooverville, telling everybody about what happened to Frank, and that they must now fight.
Dalek Sec states that, to survive, the Daleks must evolve. Dalek Thay questions the results of the experiment, arguing that merging with humans (an inferior race) is directly against Dalek philosophy; Dalek Sec counters that after everything that has happened, there remain millions of humans but only four Daleks. Dalek Sec intends to sacrifice himself for the survival of the Dalek race, just as Dalek Thay sacrificed the metal from his casing. Dalek Sec opens up his casing and uses his long tentacles to grab Mr. Diagoras. He pulls him closer and envelops him in his own body before dragging him into his casing to begin the 'evolution'.
Martha is watching Tallulah's dance number when she notices a pig slave watching from the other side of the stage. She tries sneaking behind the dancers to reach him, but he runs away. Noticing that he is more human than pig, she follows him into the prop store, where he disappears down the manhole.
The Doctor studies the alien matter he found in the sewer, and identifies the object as "467-989," using this to learn its planet of origin: Skaro. He rushes to find Martha, and hears her scream as she is seized by pig slaves. He goes down the manhole after her. Tallulah follows him, despite the Doctor's warning. Moments later, he grabs her and hides as a Dalek glides by. The two then find the pig slave that Martha saw. It's not any pig slave: it's Laszlo, who appears to be in a state halfway between that of a pig slave and a human. He had somehow managed to escape the Dalek lab before he could be completely converted.
Back in the Dalek lab, smoke billows from Dalek Sec's casing while he shakes violently. His comrades urge him to cancel the experiment, but he refuses and asks for an injection. Dalek Jast plunges a syringe containing a chromatin solution into his casing.
Martha is thrust in with a parade of captives taken from Hooverville, including Frank. They are met first by Dalek Caan, and then Dalek Thay who reports that "the Dalekanium is in place." The Daleks use their plunger arms to scan their captives' brains as the Doctor hides nearby and watches. Laszlo explains that the "low intelligence" captives (which would include many of the people from Hooverville) become pig slaves, while the "high intelligence" ones are destined to become part of 'the final experiment'. Laszlo urges Tallulah to go back without him. The Doctor joins Martha in the high intelligence group as they proceed towards 'the final experiment'. Tallulah runs through the sewers, but gets lost.
The captive party reaches the Daleks' Transgenic Laboratory under the Empire State Building, where Dalek Jast attends to Dalek Sec. The Doctor tells Martha to ask what they are doing; he does not want the Daleks to notice him. Martha steps forward and demands to know what is happening. The Daleks tell her she will bear witness to the rebirth of the Dalek race. Dalek Sec's casing opens, and a humanoid creature emerges, with a Dalek mutant-like head and brown hands, wearing Mr. Diagoras' suit. It flexes its new limbs as the other three Daleks recoil from it. "I am a human Dalek," it tells them all, "I am your future..."
- 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 Swann
- Lois - Alexis Caley
- Zeffrey - Earl Perkins
- Hooverville Resident - Peter Brooke
- Foreman - Ian Porter
- Workers - Joe Montana and Stewart Alexander
- Dock Worker - Mel Taylor
- Dalek Operators - Barnaby Edwards, Nicholas Pegg, Anthony Spargo, David Hankinson
- Dalek Voices - Nicholas Briggs
- Hero Pig - Paul Kasey
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- Laszlo is turned into a pig slave.
- The Cult of Skaro are Dalek Sec, Dalek Caan, Dalek Thay and Dalek Jast.
- Dalek Sec initiates the Final Experiment with Mr Diagoras to become a human Dalek.
- The struts attached to the building are made of Dalekanium which is the metal that Dalek casings are made of.
- The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver as a component in a biological tissue scanner to identify the home planet of the mutant tissue as Skaro. The tissue type is 467-988.
- When Tallulah asked Martha if she's ever been on stage before, Martha said Shakespeare, presumably referring to the events of The Shakespeare Code.
- Tallulah used the stereotype of liking musical theatre as a euphemism for homosexuality.
- Solomon is a Biblical reference to King Solomon, famously known for his wisdom and descent to sin, who once decided the true mother of a child by threatening to cut the child in two. This Solomon was a wise leader and warrior who told the Doctor he is not a fool, settled an argument by dividing a loaf of bread, and confessed the weakness of fear after acting on it.
- Solomon asks the Doctor "Who are you?".
Story notes Edit
- The working title for the episode was originally Daleks in New York but was changed due to the fact that it would be easier to say Manhattan.
- Although various Dalek Emperors, Dalek Supremes, and the Dalek creator Davros have appeared over the years, the Daleks of the Cult of Skaro (Sec, Caan, Jast and Thay) were the first individual recurring Daleks.
- The cliffhanger of this episode (the appearance of a humanoid Dalek) was spoiled when the production team chose to feature an image of it on the cover of that week's Radio Times.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- 6.69 million viewers - BARB final ratings
- 6.3 million viewers - Overnight ratings
- 1.13 million viewers - BBC3 Repeat ratings
- Several rumours about an art deco Dalek appearing in this episode or the next part were proposed when names were revealed of series three episodes. No such Dalek appeared.
- Another rumour was that Mr Diagoras, when in completely human form, was Dalek Sec. This was due to pictures of him standing next to three other Dalek-aware humans, who resembled the Cult of Skaro.
Filming locations Edit
- Some location filming in New York.
- Bute Park, Cardiff.
Production errors Edit
- There is a point where a Dalek is looking at Mr. Diagoras and his eyestalk is moving up and down but when it cuts to the view from the Dalek, it is still.
- Throughout the episode, Thay, Jast and Caan's recognition codes switch.
- When Diagoras is seen being merged he has gloves on but when he becomes a hybrid the gloves are gone.
- The Cult of Skaro last appeared in TV: Doomsday.
- This is the first time that Skaro had been mentioned on screen in the new series (the last mention on screen was in the 1996 TV movie). The Cult of Skaro, of course, was mentioned in Doomsday, but Skaro was not explicitly stated as being the Daleks' home planet until this story.
- This is the first time since the Daleks' debut story that one of them has actually considered leaving their shells.
- Martha recognises the name "Dalek" upon hearing one of the Daleks identify their species. She was told about the Daleks by the Tenth Doctor in the previous episode, Gridlock.
- Daleks also arrived in New York City in TV: The Chase, but only for a moment.
- The Daleks previously tried to harness the Human Factor, causing the Daleks involved to become more human than anticipated. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
- When Tallulah learns of the existence of creatures from outer space, her surprise seems to evoke Martha's (TV: Smith and Jones): in both cases the girl asks if the Doctor is kidding her and he gives no reply but a mute and concerned gaze.
Home video releases Edit
- This episode was released with Evolution of the Daleks, The Lazarus Experiment and 42 on the Series 3 Volume 2 DVD.
- It is also part of the Series 3 DVD box set.
See also Edit
- BBC Website - Daleks in Manhattan Episode Guide
- Detailed synopsis of Daleks in Manhattan at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Daleks in Manhattan at The Whoniverse
- Daleks in Manhattan at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Daleks in Manhattan at The Locations Guide