Doctor Who: The RTD Years Vol. 1 - Revisiting EVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The RTD Years Vol. 1 - Revisiting EVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS

The great spinning wheel of the TARDIS takes us back to a time when the Big Apple was just an apple and the Daleks... well, they were still pepper pots with anger issues. The sky-sweeping skyscrapers, the heart-wrenching allure of 1930s New York, and Daleks with a taste for Broadway. I'm talking about "Evolution of the Daleks". What happens when the universe's most hate-fueled creatures decide to take a bite out of the city that never sleeps?


Remember those days when the Doctor and his trusty companion found themselves not on an alien spaceship or a distant planet, but in the heart of New York City? The RTD era brought us the tale of the Cult of Skaro's last stand, and what a stand it was. Between buildings in construction, the city's underground, and the ethereal tones of Manhattan's theater, Russell T. Davies sure knew how to paint a picture with the palette of time and space. The episode beautifully juxtaposes the organic grandeur of the city with the cold, metallic persistence of the Daleks. I mean, nothing says "cultural mishmash" quite like Daleks in Manhattan.

Lead and Supporting Stars

The Tenth Doctor, played with typical verve and panache by David Tennant, is at his brooding best, especially when faced with the one thing he thought impossible – a Dalek with feelings. His interplay with Martha Jones, played with gusto by Freema Agyeman, gives the episode its emotional core. The bond between them tightens, especially when faced with, of all things, a singing Dalek.

Speaking of which, the Dalek Sec Hybrid. A being that quite literally wears its heart on its... face? Now, that's a bold sartorial choice, even for a Dalek.

Then we have Andrew Garfield, before he discovered that with great power comes great... you know the drill. He portrays Frank, a kid with dreams bigger than the Empire State but stuck in the grimy realities of the Depression-era streets. A pivotal, if somewhat short-lived role, his character embodies the hope and resilience of the human spirit.

Narrative Techniques

The dual setting of 1930s New York and the Dalek's ambition creates an intrinsic drama. The Daleks, always a symbol of single-minded purpose, are now conflicted. We see storytelling at its best when we're given a peek into what makes a Dalek tick (aside from its consistent "Exterminate" rhetoric). The narrative oscillation between Dalek-driven drama and human-centered subplots keeps the audience on their toes.

The use of music – ah! The poignant juxtaposition of a classic Broadway number against the metallic, emotionless march of the Daleks. The metaphorical dance between the two is a narrative masterpiece, accentuating the stark difference between them.

Linking the Past and the Future

This episode isn't just a standalone marvel; it builds on the legacy of "Daleks in Manhattan" and sets the stage for the Daleks' evolution in subsequent episodes. We're teased with the potential for Dalek emotion, a seed planted here that blossoms in future story arcs.

It also builds on Martha's journey. From being the "rebound" companion to someone the Doctor genuinely cares for and respects. Their adventures in New York are a turning point, laying the foundation for their relationship's dynamics in episodes to come.

A Legacy of Dalekanium

After watching the Daleks tap-dance their way through New York (metaphorically speaking, of course), subsequent "Doctor Who" stories had a hard act to follow. This episode, with its raw emotion, intense drama, and, dare I say, a touch of Dalek humor, has left an indelible mark on the Whoniverse.

Every time the Daleks make a reappearance, one can't help but think of that time they tried to conquer Broadway. And while their aspirations of musical stardom might have been short-lived, their legacy as the Doctor's most persistent (and persnickety) foes remains intact.

Concluding Notes

"Evolution of the Daleks" is not just another Dalek episode; it's a journey through emotions, ambitions, failures, and the ever-persistent hope that defines both humans and, surprisingly, Daleks. It's a reminder that even in the darkest of times, a song can light the way.

And if you find yourself walking the streets of New York, remember to look up. Not for web-slinging superheroes, but for the off chance that a Dalek might be trying to catch a show on Broadway. Stranger things have happened in the Whoniverse, after all!

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