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"Daleks in Manhattan" is an episode of the British science
fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 21 April 2007, and is
the fourth episode of Series 3 of the revived
Doctor Who series. It is part one of a two-part story,
concluded in "Evolution of the Daleks".
According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 6.69
million viewers and was the eighteenth most popular broadcast on
British television in that week.
In New York, 1930, in
the midst of the Depression, people are disappearing
from among the homeless and jobless masses. Pig-like creatures hide
in the sewers, and at the bottom of the Empire
State Building, some of the Doctor's greatest and oldest
enemies, the Daleks, are at work, preparing their most
horrific plan yet.
The Doctor and
Martha, after leaving
New New York, visit New York City in November 1930
(materialising the TARDIS at
the base of the Statue of Liberty), before he returns
Martha to her present. Stumbling across the mystery of people
disappearing, they travel to the Hooverville community in Central Park and meet
Solomon, the leader of the downtrodden residents, who explains more
about the disappearances. When a wealthy businessman Mr Diagoras appears in
Hooverville recruiting workers for sewer construction, the Doctor,
Martha, Solomon, and a young man from Tennessee named Frank join up. As they
explore the tunnels, the Doctor finds a mass of alien organic
matter which he holds to analyse later. The group soon runs into a
number of Pig Slaves and are forced to flee, though
Frank is captured by the creatures.
The Doctor, Martha, and Solomon use a nearby ladder to escape
and find themselves in a theater, being held at gunpoint by
Tallulah, a showgirl
demanding to know what happened to Laszlo, a stagehand she was
dating. After the three explain their presence, the Doctor uses
equipment in the theatre to create a matter analyser, while Martha
helps to console Tallulah, learning that Laszlo disappeared
similarly to the others a few weeks earlier. Tallulah goes on stage
for her show, with Martha watching from the wings, when she spots a
Pig Slave across the stage. Martha gives chase into the sewers,
where she is captured by more Pig Slaves. The Doctor and Tallulah
follow, but only find the sole Pig Slave Martha was chasing.
Tallulah recognises him as her Laszlo, who has been incompletely
transformed. They also encounter a Dalek, confirming the Doctor's analysis that
shows the organic matter being from the planet Skaro. As the three follow the Dalek, they learn
from Laszlo that the Daleks either transform those humans with low
intelligence into the Pig Slaves, or take those of high
intelligence aside for a "final experiment".
They find themselves under the incomplete Empire
State Building, and the Doctor and Laszlo sneak inside to
locate Martha. When the Doctor and Laszlo join both Martha and
Frank with the rest of the high intelligence captives, they find
that the Cult of
Skaro are working on experiments to merge the Dalek and Human
races so that the Dalek race can continue, assisted by Mr Diagoras
during the construction of the Empire State Building. Dalek Sec plans to
sacrifice himself to prove to the others that their evolution is
possible. Dalek Sec, using energy collected by panels of
"Dalekanium" attached to the mast of the Empire State Building,
fuses himself to the body of Mr Diagoras, becoming a hybrid creature, and
proclaiming himself as a "Human Dalek" and the future of the Dalek
- Joe Montana, who appears as "Worker #1", had previously played
the Commander in the Ninth Doctor episode "Dalek".
- Hero Pig played by Paul Kasey is mentioned in the credits. This
is not a reference to a specific character but to the pig who was
given the most to do, 'Hero' being the term for a prop or costume
with the most detail and therefore most suitable for closeups.
- Tallulah asks Martha if she has ever been on stage, to which
Martha replies "Some Shakespeare", referring to the events of
- When Mr. Diagoras reveals to his employees who his bosses are,
he echoes the line "Your lords and masters"; a line previously
spoken by Lynda in the 2005 episode "Bad Wolf". This phrase was repeated by the
Master in "Last of the Time Lords", however
in a slightly different form - 'your lord and master' rather than
'your lords and masters'.
- The song performed by Tallulah, "My Angel Put The Devil In Me",
is heard in the background during the bar scene in part two of
The End of
- The members of the Cult of Skaro (Daleks Caan, Jast, Sec and
Thay) are the only individual Daleks ever to become recurring
- Dalek Caan states that "[his] planet was destroyed in a great
war". In Remembrance of the
Daleks, Skaro was
destroyed when the Seventh Doctor used the Hand of Omega to
cause Skaro's sun to go supernova. According to the Eighth Doctor novel
the Daleks, which was published before the 2005 revival
and thus the Time War story, Skaro was never destroyed (the Doctor
blew up the wrong planet, which was part of a grand Dalek plan).
While the canonical status of the novels is uncertain, Russell T
Davies has previously intimated that various Dalek stories take
place as parts of the Time War, such as Genesis
of the Daleks which he refers to as "the first
- This is the first episode of the revived series in which Skaro
is explicitly mentioned as the Dalek homeworld.
- All of the scenes with Martha and the Doctor in front of the
Statue of Liberty actually take place in Wales. The production team
found a wall that matched the base of the statue. This was
mentioned in the accompanying Doctor Who Confidential.
- Helen Raynor
is the first woman to write a televised Dalek story, and the first
woman to write a story for the revived series.
- Some filming for this story was done in New York for plates of the city, including
images of Central
Park, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of
However, on the online episode commentary for "Gridlock", David Tennant, when
asked if he filmed in New York, replied, "I didn't, everybody else
did!" The Confidential episode shows that The Mill also used the shoot
for elements of the Majestic Theater.
- A shot supposedly in the Hooverville shows the Empire State
Building, incomplete, looming over trees in the background. In fact
the building is about 2 km (1.25 miles) from Central Park,
much further than might be inferred from the shot. Similarly the
view of the southern tip of Manhattan from Liberty Island is
exaggerated to make the building seem part of southern Manhattan
and close to Liberty Island. The true distance is about 8 km
(5 miles) from the island to the building. The closest point on
Manhattan is 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the island.
- This episode includes the first location filming outside of the
United Kingdom since Doctor Who's return in 2005. Several
original Doctor Who stories included location filming
outside of the UK: City of Death (1979) included
filming in Paris, Arc of
Infinity (1983) included filming in Amsterdam, Planet of Fire (1984) included
filming in Lanzarote,
and The Two
Doctors (1985) included filming in and near Seville. Also, the entirety of
the 1996 Doctor Who TV
movie was filmed in Vancouver, apart from some stock footage of
and world capitals.
- The dance scene was rehearsed in London but shot in the Parc and Dare
Hall, in Treorchy, South Wales.
- The presence of the Daleks in this story was reported by the
the World on November 12, 2006 and
confirmed by the BBC in late December. An
interview with David Tennant in TV Times indicates
there will also be 'Art
However, they did not appear in either this episode or the second
part, "Evolution of the Daleks".
- The cover for the Radio Times for the week from 21–27
April consists of a photograph of the Dalek/human hybrid and names
it as such: "Half-Dalek, half-human total monster? The Daleks are
back!" It is played by Eric Loren who also plays Mr Diagoras, and
this, too, is revealed within the magazine, which contains a
how-they-made-it feature and also a small section on the
half-man/half-pig Laszlo played by Ryan Carnes. The decision to
reveal the hybrid on the cover caused controversy, with some fans
considering it a major spoiler as the creature's appearance and
nature as a mutated combination of Dalek Sec and Diagoras is the
episode's big cliff-hanger reveal.
- This episode along with "Evolution of the Daleks", "The
Lazarus Experiment", and "42" was released as a 'vanilla' DVD
(i.e. with no special features).
- In the scene where the Doctor and Martha arrive in New York,
the incidental music is "Rhapsody in Blue" by George
Gershwin, as famously used in the Woody Allen film Manhattan.
- As the Doctor and Martha Jones stand beneath the Statue of
Liberty, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue can be heard playing
in the background.
- In Central Park, New York City, a Hooverville existed between 1931 and 1933
in the former Lower Reservoir of the city water supply system,
which was being emptied and landscaped into the Great Lawn and
- Tallulah is based on Jodie Foster's character, also named
Tallulah, in Bugsy
Malone. It may in turn be a reference to the actress Talullah Bankhead.
- The Island of Doctor
Moreau, Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera
were amongst the horror novels and films that served as inspiration
for this story.
- On arrival, the Doctor extemporises on the name, "New York, New
York: 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."
This is a humorous reference to the city's location within New York
State, as popularised in the song "New York,
New York (So Good They Named It Twice)". New Amsterdam was
the original name of the Dutch colony that became New York
- The 2007 episode guide on the Doctor Who site has the
caption for this episode as "Sec's in the City",
referencing the popular sitcom Sex and the City, also set in New