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.
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.
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.
The Hooverville scenes were filmed in Cardiff's Bute Park.
Overnight viewing figures for this episode were 6.3 million, with a final viewing figure of 6.69 million.
The Dalek's Pig Men slaves were inspired by the H. G. Wells novel The Island of Dr Moreau.
The half human/half Dalek face mask takes 90 minutes to apply.
In the scene where the Doctor and Martha arrive in New York, the incidental music is Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.
The Daleks were originally created by Terry Nation.
This episode and the second part Evolution of the Daleks are Helen Raynor's first scripts as Writer for Doctor Who, though she has written the Torchwood episode Ghost Machine.
International Airdates: Australia: 21 July 2007
Canada: 8 July 2007
New Zealand: 16 September 2007 on Prime
US: 27 July 2007
Turkey: 7 November, 2010 on CNBC-e
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'.