Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 4

Daleks in Manhattan (1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 21, 2007 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
481 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Location: New York
Date: 1930s
Enemies: Daleks (Cult of Skaro), Pig Slaves

It's 1930s New York. As Manhattan finds itself in the grip of The Great Depression, people are disappearing off the streets. Savage Pig Men are hiding in the sewers and, at the very top of the Empire State Building, the Doctor's oldest nemeses, The Daleks, are busy preparing their most audacious plan yet.

The Doctor and Martha must team up with the locals to defeat the Daleks and prevent an already depressed city from total ruin.moreless

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  • Dag yo

  • My First Dr. Who!

    I thought the Daleks were a little cheesy the first time I saw this, and still do actually, but they've kind of grown on me. The kids have watched several seasons of Dr. Who on summer break, and I really enjoy watching with them. This was a fun intro show, but better watching the second time around when I had a better idea of what is going on .
  • Daleks in Manhattan

    Daleks in Manhattan was a perfect and awesome episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching this episode and it's one of my favorites. The story was superb and the characters were great. It was intriguing to see The Cult of Skaro and the references to the Original Doctor Who series. It was also interesting that the slave they created were pig men. I liked seeing New York in the 1930's and the stage actresses performing were great and had that 1930's New York Accent. The plan of the Cult of Skaro is revealed and it is interesting. I was surprised that Dalek Sec was the first to go through the transformation. Martha was awesome and smart. The other characters were very likeable. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Interesting concept, but astoundingly cheesy execution.

    This is, by far, the worst episode of the new 2005 series. The writing is ATROCIOUS, although it apparently appeals to the Brits, as most people rate this far higher than it every should have been. I find it amazing that the residents of a country with such a rich history of art and culture think THIS episode is worthy of a 9!

    The writer should be fired and never allow to work on the series again. Let's get Matt Jones in for another 2 parter. the Impossible Planet / Satan Pit episodes were VERY enjoyable.moreless
  • I find it's always difficult to accurately review the first episode of a two-part story without having seen the concluding episode. It's akin to doing a half-time report at a football match.moreless

    So, to continue the analogy, was the first of this Doctor Who game of two halves full of goals galore? Or a no-score bore? The story so far . . .

    Having been to Multiple New York five billion years in the future, The TARDIS has landed in 1930 New York, where The Doctor and Martha Jones discover an America in the throes of The Depression. They visit Hooverville, a camp in Central Park, where impoverished inhabitants are forced to live.

    Unbeknown to The Doctor, he's not the only alien in the city - The Cult Of Skaro, with the assistance of Dalek Sec's Emergency Temporal Shift, have escaped being sucked into the void at the end of their last encounter with The Doctor, and those last four Daleks in the Universe have plans for the human race and the under-construction Empire State Building.

    They have enlisted the help of a local high flyer, Mr Diagoras, who has been "recruiting" residents of Hooverville for Dalek experiments under the pretext of working in the sewers. The Doctor and Martha join the latest work party, and discover terrifying Pig Men lurking in the depths - as well as remnants of what appears to be an alien lifeform.

    Escaping to the surface, The Doctor, Martha and the leader of the Hooverville camp, Soloman, encounter a local showgirl, Tallulah, who explains her boyfriend, Lazlo, has disappeared.

    To The Doctor's horror, research on his discovery in the sewers reveals that it's of Dalek origin - but he has a more-pressing concern. Martha has gone missing (again) and he believes she has been taken back to the sewers. He and Tallulah head down there in pursuit, where they discover Lazlo, his face disfigured into pig-like form by the Daleks.

    Martha has been captured by the Daleks and, while The Doctor watches from the background, the Daleks reveal the secret of their "final experiment" to her - Dalek Sec has absorbed Diagoras inside its casing, and created a human Dalek hybrid. Their plan is to evolve into a new species . . .

    Sounds like a goalscoring feast to me!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, as I have this whole series so far. Four episodes in, and I've found Series 3 has stepped up considerably on the previous two series, as the production team gain more confidence and experience.

    I'm a fan of the two-episode format. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways in Series 1 and The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit and Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday in Series 2 are widely regarded by Doctor Who fans as the pick of their respective seasons, and the fact that these were longer stories is no coincidence. At the "old-style" four parts, the story has much more time to breathe and affords the writer space for improved characterisation. It would always be five two-parters and three single-parters for me. Possibly, some viewers are now accustomed to the faster pace of single episodes, and find two-parters slow by comparison but not me.

    Script Editor and Doctor Who writing debutant Helen Raynor (doubtless with assistance from her mentor, Russell T Davies) delivered a fine script, with good background work and some promising ideas, notably the human Dalek, of course. The Pig Men - although why they were actually in that form is a curiosity (file in the writers' prerogative box) - were horrible-looking things. Kudos to the prosthetic team!

    The Daleks were great here. Excellently voiced by Nick Briggs as always, seeing the individual Daleks with personality (of sorts) and interacting with each other as opposed to simply the "I obey" and "Exterminate" mantra, gives them an added dimension. Doctor Who moves up a level when the Daleks are around. And that was the case here, without them even engaging our eponymous hero. Loved the idea of the human Dalek, and it was superbly realised - a really great, dramatic cliffhanger, right up there with the end to Army Of Ghosts. And the Dalek Sec prosthetic was another triumph.

    More marvellous work from The Mill, too, with the absorption of Diagoras into Dalek Sec's casing and converting Cardiff into New York, and Murray Gold's show tune was great fun and a welcome spot of light relief. James Strong, who did such a sterling job on The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit is a good director at the helm. He really has the knack of making a TV series look anything but.

    The performances (because that's what they look like) of the extras and sometimes the supporting cast is a slight negative in many Doctor Who stories, I find, and some of the back-up and the accents did leave room for improvement. Hugh Quarshie was pleasing as Soloman, though and Miranda Raison was great as Tallulah (three els and an aitch). Obviously introduced as a lighter character to contrast the bleakness of the Daleks' plan, her Phantom Of The Sewers love story with Lazlo is another nice addition which couldn't really have been expanded upon in a single-episode story.

    There was also a brief reminder of the background one-sided love story between The Doctor and Martha, in her exchange with Tallulah (amusing that she observed that The Doctor's liking of musical theatre meant he must be gay The Doctor's aside to himself that "(the Daleks) always survive, while he loses everything (he has)" shows his hostility towards his bete noir will never diminish - and that his loneliness has not been eased by Martha's presence. His feelings towards her are much more in keeping with the classic series Doctors' aloofness. This may change later in the series, but there's little sign of it so far. I've come to take Freema Agyeman and David Tennant's excellence as read this series. The latter has this role absolutely nailed with last year under his belt. He is going to be very difficult to replace when the time comes. Eight and a half out of 10 so far.moreless
Hugh Quarshie

Hugh Quarshie


Guest Star

Eric Loren

Eric Loren

Mr. Diagoras

Guest Star

Flik Swan

Flik Swan


Guest Star

Nicholas Briggs

Nicholas Briggs

Dalek Voices

Recurring Role

Nicholas Pegg

Nicholas Pegg

Dalek Operator

Recurring Role

David Hankinson

David Hankinson

Dalek Operator

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The story is set in November, 1930, as revealed by the newspaper Martha finds early on. The Hooverville in Central Park, however, did not exist until 1931.

    • Although one can see the Empire State Building from Liberty Island (where the Statue is), the view seen by the Doctor and Martha in this episode looks like they are across from Mid-Town Manhattan rather than Lower Manhattan as it should be.

    • The line by Dalek Thay concerning racial purity is a reference back to their creation as revealed in the Tom Baker story Genesis of The Daleks. In the story, Davros, creator of the Daleks, is creating the ultimate form of the Kaled race. For Dalek Sec to say that they are at an evolutionary standstill AND need to improve themselves, is nothing short of miraculous given their programmed imperatives.

    • When the Doctor and Martha are standing in front of a line of washing and watching Solomon in Hooverville, look carefully at the gap between them below the white t-shirt and you'll see a football goal in the background. Not something that would have existed in 1930s Central Park.

    • Dalek Caan: My planet was destroyed in a great war.

      Skaro was in fact destroyed when the Seventh Doctor used the Hand of Omega to cause Skaro's sun to go supernova in Remembrance of the Daleks.
      As this was before the Time War story was created there is no mention of the War within the episode, however Russell T Davies has previously intimated (in the Doctor Who Annual 2006) that various Dalek stories take place as parts of the Time War, such as Genesis of the Daleks.

    • The Empire State Building's superstructure up to the 85th floor was completed by October 1930, with masonry cladding finished in November, however the mast was not fully erected until March 1931.

    • When the Dalek is talking to Diagoras about his home planet, look carefully in the background. Someone's head pop's up in the block of light for about 5 seconds, then disappears again.

    • The Doctor and Martha should be standing in front of the Statue of Liberty in 1930, yet Liberty's torch is the gold-plated, post-1986 version instead of the post-1916 version with 600 windows of yellow-tinted glass.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Solomon: And, uh, who might you be?
      Martha: He's the Doctor, I'm Martha.
      Solomon: A doctor? Huh. Well, we got, uh, stockbrokers, we've got a lawyer, but you're the first doctor. Neighbourhood gets classier by the day.

    • Foreman: One word from me and every man on this site stops work. So, go on, tell your masters that.
      Diagoras: If that's your attitude, I think you should tell them yourself.
      Foreman: Yeah? Well, I ain't afraid of no man in a suit (Diagoras presses the elevator call button) These… these new bosses, what's their names?
      Diagoras: I think you can say they're from outta town.
      Foreman: Italians?
      Diagoras: Bit further than that.
      Foreman: How much further?
      Diagoras: Beyond your imagination.
      Foreman: Oh, what's that supposed to mean? Who are they? (pause) Mr. Diagoras, who are we working for?
      Diagoras: Behold your masters.
      (The elevator doors open to reveal Dalek Caan, flanked by two Pig Slaves)

    • Martha: Daleks! I demand to be told. What is this Final Experiment? Report!
      Dalek Jast: You will bear witness.
      Martha: To what?
      Dalek Jast: This is the dawn of a new age.
      Martha: What does that mean?
      Dalek Jast: We are the only four Daleks in existence. So the species must evolve. A life outside the shell. The children of Skaro must walk again!

    • Dalek Thay: (after scanning Martha) Superior intelligence. This one will become part of the Final Experiment.
      Martha: You can't just experiment on people. It's insane! It's inhuman!
      Dalek Thay: We are not human!

    • Laszlo: They're divided into two groups: high intelligence and low intelligence. The low intelligence are taken, become Pig Slaves like me.
      Tallulah: That's not fair! You're the smartest guy I ever dated!
      The Doctor: And the others?
      Laszlo: They're taken to the laboratory.
      The Doctor: Why, what for?
      Laszlo: I don't know. The masters only call it the Final Experiment.

    • Tallulah: That metal thing? What was it?
      The Doctor: It's called a Dalek. And it's not just metal, it's alive.
      Tallulah: You're kidding me!
      The Doctor: Do I look like I'm kidding? Inside that shell, there's a creature born to hate, whose only thought is to destroy everything and everyone that isn't a Dalek too. It won't stop until it's killed every human being alive.
      Tallulah: But if that's not a human being, that kinda implies… it's from outer space. (off the Doctor's look) Yet again, that's a no with the kidding. Boy! Well, what's it doing here? In New York?

    • (Tallulah follows the Doctor into the sewers looking for her boyfriend)
      The Doctor: Tallulah, you're not safe down here.
      Tallulah: Then that's my problem. Come on. Which way?

    • Dalek Sec: The Final Experiment is greater by far.
      Diagoras: But how does that involve me?
      Dalek Sec: We need your flesh. Bring him to me!
      Dalek Thay: Halt, this action contradicts the Dalek imperative.
      Dalek Jast: Daleks are supreme, humans are weak!
      Dalek Sec: But there are millions of humans and only four of us. If we are supreme, why are we not victorious? The Cult of Skaro was created by the Emperor for this very purpose; to imagine new ways of survival!
      Dalek Thay: But we must remain pure!
      Dalek Sec: No, Dalek Thay, our purity has brought us to extinction! We must adapt to survive. You have all made sacrifices, and now I will sacrifice myself for the greater cause. For the future of Dalek-kind. Now bring me the human!

    • Solomon: (to the residents of Hooverville) The stories are true. People are being taken. We lost Frank today. He was… stolen from right in front of me. No more. I swear to you, no more. Now I made a pledge that this place would be a peaceful place. But now it's time to take up arms. We need weapons; we need sentries on duty. We need men prepared to fight. We got to protect ourselves, cos you know no one else will. Now, get moving. Arm yourselves! Come on!

    • Tallulah: You got yourself a forward-thinking guy with that hot potato in the sharp suit.
      Martha: He's not… we're not together.
      Tallulah: Oh, sure you are! I've seen the way you look at him, it's obvious.
      Martha: Not to him.
      Tallulah: Oh… I shoulda realised. He's into musical theatre, huh? What a waste.

    • Tallulah: (to Martha) It's the Depression, sweetie. Your heart might break, but the show goes on. Cause if it stops, you starve.

    • Solomon: How 'bout you, Doctor? Where you from? I been all over, I never heard anyone talk like you. Just exactly who are you?
      The Doctor: Oh, I'm just sort of… passing by.
      Solomon: I'm not a fool, Doctor.
      The Doctor: No. Sorry.

    • Dalek Caan: (looking over New York City) This day is ending. Human-kind is weak. You shelter from the dark. And yet… you have built all this.
      Diagoras: That's progress. You gotta move with the times, or you get left behind.
      Dalek Caan: My planet is gone. Destroyed in a great war. Yet versions of this city stand throughout history. The human race always continues.
      Diagoras: We've had wars. I've been a soldier myself, and I swore then I'd survive. No matter what.
      Dalek Caan: You have rare ambition.
      Diagoras: I'm gonna run this city whatever it takes. By any means necessary.
      Dalek Caan: You think like a Dalek.
      Diagoras: I'll take that as a compliment.

    • Solomon: (about Diagoras' rise to power) These are strange times. Man can go from being king of the hill to the lowest of the low overnight. Guess with some folks, it works the other way round.

    • Martha: So, what about you, Frank? You're not from around these parts, are you?
      Frank: You can talk! No, I'm Tennessee born and bred.
      Martha: So how come you're here?
      Frank: Uh, my daddy died. Momma couldn't afford to feed us all. So I'm the oldest, it's up to me to feed myself. So I put on my coat, hitched up here on the railroads. There's a whole lotta runaways in the camp, younger than me, from all over: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas. Solomon keeps a look-out for us. (pause) So what about you? You're a long way from home.
      Martha: Yeah, I'm just a hitcher too.

    • Dalek Caan: The Empire State Building must be completed in time!
      Diagoras: It will be. Trust me, labour is cheap. That man can be replaced.
      Dalek Caan: The plan must not fail! We calculate the gamma strike has accelerated. We need more bodies immediately!

    • Solomon: (to the Doctor and Martha) I will say this about Hooverville, we are truly equal society. Black, white, all the same, all starving. So you're welcome, both of you. But, tell me, Doctor, you're a man of learning, right? Explain this to me. (indicates the nearly-completed Empire State Building) That there's gonna be the tallest building in the world. How come they can do that and we got people starving in the heart of Manhattan?

    • Solomon: We all starving. We all got family somewhere. No stealing and no fighting, you know the rules. Thirteen years ago, I fought in the Great War. Lot of us did, and the only reason we got through, because we stuck together. No matter how bad things get, we still act like human beings. That's all we got.

    • The Doctor: Herbert Hoover. Thirty-first President of the USA; came to power a year ago. Up 'til then, New York was a boom town, The Roaring Twenties and then…
      Martha: The Wall Street Crash, yeah. When was that, 1929?
      The Doctor: Yeah, whole economy wiped out overnight. Thousands of people unemployed. All of a sudden, the huddled masses doubled in number with nowhere to go. So they ended up here in Central Park.
      Martha: What, they actually live in the park? In the middle of the city?
      (Martha and the Doctor walk through Hooverville)
      The Doctor: Ordinary people lost their jobs. Couldn't pay the rent, they lost everything. There are places like this all over America. No one's helping them. You only come to Hooverville when there's nowhere else to go.

    • Laszlo (re Daleks): They'll kill you!
      The Doctor: If I don't stop them, they'll kill everyone.

    • Martha (re Pig Men): They're following you
      The Doctor: I've noticed that, thanks.

    • Solomon: What's the work?
      Mr. Diagoras: A little trip down the sewers. Got a tunnel collapse, needs clearing and fixing. Any takers?
      Solomon: A dollar a day. That's slave wage. Men don't always come back up, do they?
      Mr. Diagoras: Accidents happen.
      The Doctor: What do you mean, what sort of accidents?
      Mr. Diagoras: You don't need the work, that's fine. Anybody else? (The Doctor raises his hand) Enough with the questions!
      The Doctor: Oh no, no no no, I'm volunteering, I'll go.
      Martha: I'll kill you for this (raises hand as well).

    • The Doctor: I suppose that makes you the boss around here.
      Solomon: And uh, who might you be?
      Martha: He's the Doctor, I'm Martha.
      Solomon: A doctor! Well we got, stockbrokers, we got a lawyer, but you're the first doctor. Neighbourhood gets classier by the day!

    • Martha: I wonder what year it is, The Empire State building's not even finished yet .
      The Doctor: Work in progress. Still got a couple of floors to go, and if I know my history, that makes the date somewhere around...
      Martha: (picks up a newspaper) November 1st, 1930.
      The Doctor: You're getting good at this.

    • Martha: That's so brilliant, I've always wanted to go to New York. I mean, the real New York, not the New New New New New one.
      The Doctor: Well, there's the genuine article. So good they named it twice. Mind you, it was New Amsterdam originally. Harder to say twice, no wonder it didn't catch on. New Amsterdam, New Amsterdam...

    • Dalek Sec Hybrid: I am a human Dalek I am your future.

    • Martha: I am so glad to see you!
      The Doctor: Yeah well you can kiss me later. You too, Frank, if you want.

    • The Doctor: They survived. They always survive when I lose everything.

    • Dalek: Daleks have no sense of worry.
      Mr.Diagoras: Yeah? Lucky you.

    • Solomon: Doctor, when you got less than nothing you hold on to what you got.

  • NOTES (8)


    • The character of Solomon is based on the biblical figure King Solomon. The scene where he breaks the bread and shares it between the two men is similar to a story where Solomon threatens to cut a baby in half in order to determine which of two women is the baby's real mother. He gives the baby to the woman who does not want the baby harmed.

    • The Doctor: (looking at the Statue of Liberty) Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

      This is a quotation from a poem called 'The New Colossus', written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) which was then engraved in a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty. It is generally considered as the spirit behind the Age of Immigration and the Melting Pot culture of America.

    • Tallulah is based on Jodie Foster's character, also named Tallulah, from the 1976 musical 'Bugsy Malone'.