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Apr 24, 2007

First We Take Manhattan

Dalek1 Daleks in Manhattan fails to hit the mark for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Daleks don't exterminate anyone. Secondly, the pigs looked silly. Thirdly, there was far too much yakking. And finally, the cliffhanger was pathetic.

The ramblings of a bitter and cynical 37 year old twat? No - this was the considered opinion of a 9 year old girl who believes that the new series of Doctor Who is the best thing since sliced bread, but who can also see this episode for what it is: daft, diluted, dreary nonsense.

I have a lot of issues with this episode myself, but given that it is a two-parter I am willing to concede that many of them will be answered later on. And while the first part will always be bogged down with a lackluster pace where we spend most of the time watching the Doctor figuring out what the audience already know, it could turn things around and drop some serious "megatonnage" on my bitter and cynical old head.

Five plot points they had better answer:

1) The most obvious one has already been picked up by a few reviewers on this blog, namely, how can Dalek Sec believe that turning himself into a one-eyed jellyfish on legs is somehow a step *up* the evolutionary ladder? As a Dalek he can fly, exterminate people, stop bullets, scan people, ignore the presence of time lords and turn his head 360 degrees. Now he can piss standing up. Bizarre. I am hoping against hope that Dalek Thay will blast Sec into little pieces within the first 30 seconds of part 2. Now, that would be a great twist that would make up for the Radio Times spoiler debacle. And anything that spares us from a squid with a Noy Yoike accent can't be all bad, can it?

Pig 2) What is the deal with the pigs? Why draw attention to yourself like that? Why not just brainwash bog-standard humans to do your dirty work, so when they sneak into camp for a spot of abduction you don't run the risk of people shouting "Look! Giant pigs!" I just don't get it and there had better be a bloody good reason for it. But worse than that, the sight of a pig running at the camera in the teaser was the funniest thing I've seen in this show since Aliens of London. Was it supposed to be funny?

3) When will the Doctor point Martha in the general direction of the TARDIS wardrobe? She must stink! Not since Tegan, Turlough and Adric have we seen such a "uniform" approach to a companion - even the Doctor has changed his suit twice since Smith and Jones. Sure, she's on her way home, but even so...

4) Why are the Daleks building the Empire State Building? Did they spend all those years in the Void Sphere watching Grand Designs? Is the next step up the evolutionary ladder to be "more like Sarah Beaney"? Or are they simply building an antenna that will punch a hole through time and space. Wouldn't it be funny if this allowed Thay, Caan and the other one to escape while poor old Sec suddenly realises that he is completely buggered? Oh please let it be so.

5) Pigs. Did I mention the f**king pigs?

So, it's all left to play for. Helen Raynor might address all of these issues and I will immediately apologise for being a bitter and cynical old fart. Until then, here's hoping...


You really need to stop watching Dr Who. It can't do your health any good? Yes, you are cynical but don't worry about it.

What I don't get is, new Who is just as bad as old Who for silly plot holes and silly looking baddies and yet everyone seems angrier?

At least they made the Daleks hard as nails, I couldn't get over the insult of seeing a Dalek being beaten to death by a bunch of rabid Exilons using wooden spears.

Actually I quite liked most of this, even though it was a bit talky.

I do imagine it may grate a bit with our colonial cousins - in a Dick Van Dyke/Mary Poppins payback sort of a way.

The acting and dialogue is sort of hokey - in a homage to King Kong sort of manner and, what with, the Empre State Building taking centre stage already, the denoument must have at least of smattering of KK - I doubt RTD could resist that. Maybe Tallulah being bandied about by a radionally mutated Lazlo - after all that hasn't been done since Robot.

Aside from speculation elsewhere that this marks the end of the Daleks, I wonder of it does. By himanizing them and putting them into the 1930's there is a kind of obvious spin about what they mutate into. Maybe too obvious - but then why else choose this time frame.

The fondness for porcine conversion could also have distinctly anti-semtic overtones - at least if you were pissed.

There have always been fans irritated by plot holes and storylines. Just consider the fan wars over "The Deadly Assassin" in 1976.

And the DWB years were far angrier.

I thought DiM was ok but the two plot holes of the Sec's 'evolution' and the pig men left me scratching my head. If the Daleks simply wanted slaves wouldn't mind-controlled humans attract less attention and if they were creating Dalek/Human hybrids wouldn't they have appeared as malformed,tentacled hybrids?

The 'evolution' plan was the biggest plot hole. I can't wrap my head around the idea that swapping an armoured,flying battle shell for a fleshy body is somehow a 'step up'. I had visions of the Brigadier emptying his service revolver into Dalek hybrid as he wipes a tear from the corner of his eye -
"At last, something that isn't immune to bullets" :)

Classic Who was made in a multi-camera studio system, bar film inserts on location.

New Who is made using a single camera system, that should allow it to look like a movie each episode.

All rubber masks look fake in bad or natural lighting- because they're rubber masks!!! Even high quality movie animatronics look fake if you film them badly.

The rather dodgy mask in City of Death could have worked if it had been filmed differently, shadows and back light.

the wonderful mask for the Chief Dalek could have been stunning if it was shot properly.

All TV has plot holes, but they're not usually of the nature we've seen in New Who, where sometimes things just don't make any sense!

Elements are included because they look good (often look crap like the pig masks ended up) but as Neil pointed out make no sense in the overall story.

Hi :) I'm new to this and I am young so, please don't hurt me! I've been reading this blog for some time now and always wanted to comment...

I think Sec was a disaster, and the fact that we knew what was coming made it even worse. Personally, I think there was no way he could be improved, except one. What happened to the dalek voice? Anyway, I liked the pigs and very much reminded me of Torchwood weevils - I dunno whether that's good or bad. Overall, the effects and CGI etc etc was brilliant and it's one of the best so far this series.

Let's see; Some kid thinks it's bad while the AI figure is yet another Officially Excellent (86). Doctor Who for the win yet again, methinks. (Number 1 for the night, in the Top 20 for the week.)

I do hope the moaning minnies never stop though, as watching a handful of bitter shut-ins fail to understand how popular and successful and loved the series is, year afer year after year, will never cease to ammuse.

I'm surprised no-one has made any comment to the first appearance of the Weevils (look on wikipedia). Also this was the first episode in, I suspect, at least 30 or 40 years not to include the word EXTERMINATE! I spotted this at once, and cheered when the credits rolled and it had not been used. Then I cringed in the preview of next weeks.

By the way, I haven't posted for Shakespeare, Gridlock, or Manhattan yet, because my computer and my TV have simultaneously collapsed. Will be on ASAP.

I like to moan at the naff points. I never said it was a naff episode though - probably one of the bests. As for weevils, I have failed to find it on wikipedia about being in this episode? And, in fact, I made a referrence to them when I made my review on Sunday at http://thesonicspoon.blogspot.com/

Bitter shut-ins- oh dear little do you know!

There's a whole load of crap on TV that gets excellent figures- be it reality TV or soap operas- does that mean it is good- of course not.

The series is popular hurray- great fantastic! Just think how good it would be if the scripts all made sense- hey we're not asking much are we here!

One thing that never ceases to amuse me is people say oh just enjoy it- its all good fun, doesn't matter the scripts are weak, just sit back and enjoy!

By the same token you could be expect to forgive the Star Wars Prequels are Matrix sequels for being badly written and ill thought out- because lots of things blow up and people flock to see them.

Pandering to the lowest common denominator is easy.

I thought the point with the pigs was that they were earlier experiments in the mixing together the dna of two different species.

If that is the case then why is Dalek Thay surprised that the plan is to evolve the Daleks into humans? If he was annoyed about turning them into humans he must have been really pissed off at the suggestion they turn themselves into pigs!!!

Good point...

Maybe Thay thought they were just breeding a new type of human ham? Probably sounded delicious to a Dalek...

Stu beat me to it - the point of the pigmen was to practice combining species: hence the "final experiment" (more Nazi Dalek echoes) being worked up to. Thay was presumably surprised because he hadn't been told that the Daleks were going to combine *themselves* with anything.

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