Doctor Who: Daleks in Manhattan & Evolution on the Daleks

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I'm a little late on this since I waited for both parts to be finished to discuss the new two-part "Daleks in Manahattan" and "Evolution on the Daleks" episodes of Doctor Who.

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*spoilers*

Well... even though I've only been a Who fan for a few years now, I have totally immersed myself in as much older stuff as I can get my hands on and I think that was a mistake to do.

Like any adult fan of any "geek" related fiction one reaches a point where being a part of fandom crashes right into the enjoyment of the thing you are a fan of. The more and more knowledge you have of a given geek thing, the harder and harder it is to just enjoy it for what it is.

Doctor Who is much like Transformers in that respect.

No matter how much we want them to be otherwise, both of these geek things were and are aimed for children.

An adult of course can enjoy them, but for me, I want so much more out of the typical fiction that just never can be.

So.

The 2-part "Daleks in Manahattan" and "Evolution on the Daleks" has come and gone and I feel ultimately let down.

I basically called every major plot point exactly like it would happen.

That means I'm now either too familiar with Who or RTD's producing is just too predictable.

On second viewing, the 2 episodes are a bit better than the first time but they still don't change the status quo much.

So after Series 2's finale, Dalek Sec and the Cult of Skaro boys pull a deus ex machina time-shift and escape the destruction of the Cybermen and the genesis ark Daleks via the Void.

We find out that they've time-shifted to the early 1930's and are manipulating the building of the Empire State Building to take advantage of a solar flare.

Seems like good old Sec has finally realizes that the Daleks, for all their supposed superiority, seem to get their asses handed to them in every single appearance they make whereas the humans seem to exist against all odds.

So what does he want to do?

Yup! Evolve the Daleks and hybridize them with humans making what else... Human-Daleks.

There's a lot of stupid human-pig slave hybrids running around and a very annoying Welsh attempt at a "New Yoik" accent. I mean, this New York accent has to the BBC's revenge against Dick Van Dyke's accent in Mary Poppins!

Eventually, Dalek Sec becomes a hybrid and of course, begins to be influenced by the new emotions he's feeling and totally sees where the Dalek race has to go.

And of course, the episode collapses into the usual cliches of Who sci-fi after that.

Instead of actually doing something fresh and exciting with the Daleks, regardless of how crappy the hybrids look, the produces chose to just go right back to the status quo.

The remaining 3 Daleks immediately consider Sec an abomination and turn on him, they then proceed to kill a lot of people, all the while the Doctor interferes with their plans to make totally subordinate Dalek-humans out of dead bodies.

In less than 5 minutes all these Dalek-humans are dead, Daleks Thay and Just and the new Sec are killed, the 1930s Depression era is saved, and Dalek Caan, now the last remaining Dalek in existence, plays his deus ex machina card and does another temporal shift.

It actually kind of sucks.

While I thought the Sec-human hybrid looked crappy (he needed much longer head tentacles that didn't look udder-like), I was really hoping that Sec would survive and somehow become another major force in the Doctor's world. Hell... he should have done some kind of thing where he felt Kaled again.

That way, we'd get the traditional Daleks that have to remain and then another new race that we get to learn about.

Alas. No. We basically got the Star Trek big red reset button hit and returned to the status quo at the very end.

Oh. And the pig-slaves? This is where my earlier comments about knowing too much who and trying to enjoy these as an adult clashes.

There was absolutely no real story need for the pig slaves other than their effect on kids watching the show.

The Daleks have used a shit load of races, and quite frankly I would have loved a fan wank to "robohumans" from The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Plus, it would have cost a lot less and tied back into the early days without anything being different.

Martha was excellent and she's fast becoming a favorite of mine. She's totally above Rose's chav-level stupid and definitely is a cross between Sarah Jane and Zoe and Liz Shaw.

Oh. And a lot of reviews I read, mostly from my favorite Who blog Behind The Sofa, seem to not like David Tennant so much and his typical "screaming" of dialogue and such.

I love Tennant. I had never seen him in anything before Doctor Who and he's just different.

I tend to think of his portrayal of the Doctor as this just being the 10th Doctor. No more. No less.

He's not exactly like any of the others. He's his own Doctor.

All in all, the episodes could have been a bit better in conclusion.

But frankly, I'm just happy to still have new Doctor Who.

Now this past week's episode "The Lazarus Experiment"?

Oh my god... it fucking rocked the balls of awesomeness!

Well. For me at least.

4 Comments

1. Ha! I see 'chav' has crossed the Atlantic. God bless you, Rose Tyler. :)

2. Although there are definite parallels between the Doc and TFs, I would say that the former is not exclusively tied to a child audience. Doctor Who occupies a position that isn't often seen in the US; a show that is aimed at the entire family.

(I'm guessing such a thing just isn't considered an effective advertising channel by the networks here.)

3. Other than that, great recap! :) I'm sorry to hear that the pulled a reset button; but the neat thing about the show is that with time, space, and other dimensions all on hand, anything is possible. I mean, how many times has Davros died, now? Maybe we'll see more Sec or more hybrids in future. :)

4. Speaking of Sec, he does rather look like they just welded a Dalek to his head. I don't know if I would describe the tentacles as "udder-like"; but they could definitely be longer, channel some Mindflayer vibe.

1: Actually, I absorbed the word because of Doctor Who and Little Britain. There isn't really an equivalent here. The closest I'd come is something "wigger-white trash" I suppose but I don't see that in all the "chav" things I've seen. There's just no exact equivalent.

2. True. It has a broader audience. But there are just some Who-things in the new Who that seem to exist because of a scare factor for kids and not so much for good storytelling. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is just me as an adult watching a show that isn't fully aimed at adults and I understand that.

3. Great? Total shit! I've had this in an unpublished state for over a week now and I just haven't had time to really reread it and post it. I like to think of these as more of train of thought rants. I'm an awful writer. It isn't so much of a reset as a the usual Star Trek-ish full wrap-up that closes off other story potential. (Adding Time Travel back into it would just make it more confusing. Sec didn't need to die. Hell. He'd make an awesome companion for a bit. If a Cyberman can have been a companion (comic-wise) then why not a Dalek-Human!)

4. Ok. If there were bovines on Skaro their udders would look like that. Actually, while I haven't seen Pirates 2, there's this squid-like Davey Jones or something that I've seen pics of that would be more like what I would have done budget-permitting.

1. Wahoo! Little Britain. Love that show. :) And 'white-trash' isn't that far off the mark... I think it's just a very 'British' version of white-trash, if that makes any sense. More Vinnie Jones-esque.

2. Ah, I understand. :) The great British tradition, cowering in fear behind the sofa. :)

3. Don't sell yourself too short as a writer. It's always good to retain a self-critical eye (I know too many writers that don't, more's the pity.) But we do come here for a reason, you know. :P

Also, Sec as a companion would've been awesome! I think it's something that would've only played well for a couple of episodes, but talk about the possibilities! And the Doctor would be crazy enough to bring him along, too.

4. Davy Jones is exactly what I had in mind. Considering the costume budgeting that went into The End of the World alone. Surely this is something the beeb could've pulled off within even their financial constraints?

Im in ur crk blog, sturrins up trubles!!!

I read somewhere (not here, I don't think) a blog that complained--and rightfully so, I'm beginning to think--that this season is just a rehash of last season. New Earth, Shakespeare Code...they're all starting to run together. And I'm REALLY hating Martha. I was just talking to The Brother about how sick I am at how they're trying to force this whole romance thing. I mean, seriously, we have to save the planet from Daleks! But let me take 10 minutes here to complain to you about my unrequited love for The Doctor and how much it sucks. What-EVAH.

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This page contains a single entry by Nala published on May 8, 2007 10:20 AM.

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