DOCTOR WHO Dalek Week - Daleks In Manhattan

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Christopher Morley guides us through the Tenth Doctor story, Daleks In Manhattan.


Remember the Cult of Skaro, four very bad Dalek boys - Sec, Caan, Jast & Thay- tasked by the Emperor (Doomsday) to think as the enemy does in a bid to help the whole ' universal conquest' thing along a bit? Well, they're back & they fancy an emergency temporal holiday!

They've opted for the New York of the 1930s- a little glitz & glamour. Perhaps they were looking to catch Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig playing for the Yankees, watching spellbound & no doubt a little envious as Ruth actually manages to hold a baseball bat just like Ace did in Remembrance Of The Daleks- if, that is, they managed to fight the fear of being hit with the thing just as their forefathers once were.

After the game they head off to the work in progress that is the Empire State Building, casting off the caps they've been wearing to blend into the crowd. There's business to be done...it's November 1 & they've a deadline to meet if their latest scheme is to be a success- the ' Final Experiment'. Mr Diagoras, the American businessman they've appointed to oversee the construction of the building, has to deal with a foreman who's not playing ball.

He & his masters want work to speed up, but it seems the foreman & his crew can't meet the demand. A complaint to these 'masters' is coming...& luckily one is in the lift, waiting to reasonably & calmly discuss matters. Just kidding! He's going to be carted off & turned into a Pig Slave, just like the ones flanking Caan. Enough to put you right off bacon isn't it? Meanwhile, an old foe of theirs has arrived!


The Tenth Doctor & Martha Jones materialise at the base of the Statue of Liberty, safely parking Sexy so they can go for a quick walk. Reading the local newspaper it soon becomes apparent people have been going missing from Hooverville- something must be afoot. Actually what ' it' is doesn't have any feet at all, but that's besides the point. Making their way into the community itself, which sprang up following Black Tuesday ( a massive US economic downturn), they've got some questions for the residents.

Could it be that the Empire State Building is a big clue to all this? As if to reinforce the point Diagoras stops by to offer much-needed employment to everyone. For the princely sum of a dollar a day, all they've got to do is help clear out a sewer. 

Ten is intrigued & quickly runs off to change into a white T-shirt, hard hat & jeans you can clearly see the top of his bum through, making a mental note to ask for regular tea breaks & starting to practise lusty whistling for the future attentions of attractive lady passers-by.

Even the revelation that people don't tend to come back isn't enough to put him off. While the work party's down there the Doctor finds an odd-looking lump of green skin & quietly pockets it. There's a Pig Slave a little further down, too..after a quick chat with what appears to be a lone ranger a larger group arrives to chase the Time Lord & his colleagues away.


Just when things were looking promising! Further up, final preparations are being made for the ' experiment'. Metal taken from Sec's ' skirt' section is to be used in the building's final phase. Dalek fashion sense be damned, there's a race to rebuild & time is growing short. No wonder the foursome are getting a bit impatient.

Diagoras has a bigger part to play too- though he doesn't know it yet! After a conversation regarding war service with Caan ( the Daleks of course having fought in the Time War, Diagoras as an American GI in World War One), he's taken into the basement to become the ultimate part of their jiggery-pokery. 

Sec, as leader of the Cult, is very impressed with his human capabilities! If the Doctor were here he'd probably have some inkling of what comes next, having seen it ( sort of) in the first Dalek Civil War ( Evil Of The Daleks). He's got no time to waste reminiscing about many a great adventure with Ben, Polly, Jamie, Victoria, Zoe et al though....

The business at hand is getting out of the sewers alive, which he, Martha & community leader Solomon manage with gusto. But once they get out they find a gun pointed at their heads, having surfaced in a theatre. One of the showgirls, Tallulah, wants to know what's happened to her boyfriend Laszlo. He went missing two weeks ago, & she's demanding answers. As is Thay, who's questioning the sanity of their leader's plan.


Sec comes up with the quite reasonable for a Dalek argument that to survive they must evolve beyond their original form. Thay has a counter-argument, though. Surely merging with an ' inferior' ( human) specimen goes against every point of their philosophy? 

Sec, though, silences him with a quite brilliant statistic- for only four remaining Daleks, there are billions of humans. With that he announces a sacrifice greater than Thay giving up his ' skirt' metal. He's going to give himself over to a merger with Diagoras!

Back at the theatre there's a Pig Slave in the audience for Tallulah's big night. This one's different, though- more human than Piggy. But before Martha can learn more having followed him into a prop store, he's off down the drain. Ten hears her scream as she's seized by some nastier Piggies, & he & Tallulah set out to find her.

In the process they also find someone else rather important- Laszlo. It's he who's the human Piggy! He escaped the Daleks before they could finish the conversion process. It's a nasty one too, the ' lower intelligence' prisoners turned into Pig Slaves while those of greater intellect become pawns in the wider goal. 


Having been taken captive, the Doctor & Martha find themselves in the ' higher intelligence' group. Miss Jones understandably wants to know what on Earth's going on down here- she will bear witness to the ultimate rebirth of the Dalek race, no less!

After a traumatic final process, the new improved Sec steps out from his casing. Resisting the urge to do a little dance ( perhaps the period-appropriate Charleston?) now that he's got legs & a decent pair of arms, he contents himself with telling his three now rather terrified friends that he's a Human Dalek & by extension ' your future'. 


Meanwhile Ten, having seen all this, is probably racking his brains to try & remember what he did last time something like this went down while bemoaning the fact he hasn't got a recorder to help him think any more.

Exciting stuff, eh?
Warped Factor
Words in the key of geek!