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May 05, 2007

2007: Fits the Fourth, Fifth: Fairytale of New York

Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks is one of those stories that benefits better, I feel, from watching both back-to-back.  I was bouncing in my seat first time through DiM, but come EotD, I was sort of blahing my way halfway through it.  Watching them both together, though, I see much better what they were doing, and the things that bothered me the first time hold up a bit better on second viewing.

Here, a quick bullet point system, as I've not the mental capacity at the moment, nor frankly the desire, to stick to the standard paragraph review system. Besides, this fits my note-taking style better, anyway..

> Lazlo & Tallulah: What an honest sense of affection I get from these two.  They're so sweet at the beginning, when they're both still young, beautiful people valiantly fighting off of the Depression.  Later still, when Tal sees Lazlo in the sewer, she straightens his collar, strokes his hair, crying at what they've done to him, yet refusing to look away from him. Most people only wish they'd get that reaction from their significant others should they face the unlikely fate of being mutated into a pig-man.

> Tallulah's accent: Have you ever met a New Yorker?  They don't sound too far off, even nearly 80 years later.  I thought the first thing upon seeing Ghostbusters and hearing receptionist Janine Melnitz.  Then I went to New York.  Crazy.

No, I don't know why there's a manhole in the theatre either.

> Music: Spot on brilliance.  Over the top at places, but never really drowning anything out, and sure I get chills during the rebirth when that choral part kicks in.

> Diagoras and the workers: Bravo, Brava, Bravi Helen.  Of my heritage, a little less than half were Irish that were in the Ulster area until a few decades ago, and the other were earlier immigrants, who started in Massachusetts and bred their way south, easily passing through New York around this time.  I'm certain I had family somewhere that worked construction in NY in the 30s, so Diagoras and those workers, to me, represented a lot of struggle between Irish and Italian immigrants struggling for work in that era.

You wouldn't see Imperial Daleks whinging on about Skaro and New York..

> Why, oh why, were the Daleks mucking about in NY? A question oft asked as of late.  What I figured, considering that we're dealing with four sneaky and imaginative Daleks as opposed to hundreds or thousands of unquestioning, intelligent soldier-scientists explains a lot.  Imperial Daleks wouldn't stand around whinging about Skaro and New York.  Maybe there's a reason we haven't heard about the Cult of Skaro until now.  Oh, and Daleks have NO peripheral vision..

> One thing I never could stand about the 30's.  Those damnable white wing-tipped shoes.  I could have taken Human!Sec completely seriously, had he been wearing a nice pair of black boots, or some spit-polished military surplus dress shoes, or ANYTHING aside from those -- I'll stop now.

> There seems to be a pattern this year of having one good solid, strong supporting character per episode.  Martha was first, then Shakespeare, then Brannigan, and for the two parter, Tallulah and Solomon.  Wonder who'll be next week's?

> Musical number: Great...but where was the orchestra?

> The Final Experiment: Not sure what to make of Thay / Jast / Caan's reactions, but I'm guessing the pig slaves were dry runs for combining Daleks with Humans.  If they could perfect the process with a pig, it would give them a control experiment to base the Dalek combination off of.  As for the jellyfish, they may have been trying to clone a Dalek mutant to use for recombination.  The script could have been a little bit clearer on this. Also, why were they still recruiting for the Final experiment after Sec had started evolving?  Were the others supposed to evolve too?  Didn't seem like they'd have gone for it.

The assault on Hooverville: Full of sound, fury, signifying nothing..

> Just where in the hell is that lab?  I see Dalek!Humans marching through a whole bloody montage, but the Daleks blow their way through the back of that theatre within seconds of the Doctor signalling them.

> As for the Doctor being singed, I did some reading, and a lightning strike (just a standard one, mind you, not a "gamma radiated lightnings strike" is more likely to cause nervous system damage than any significant external injury.  Lighting is blindingly hot, but only for a millisecond. Long enough to burn out someone's spinal cord, but not long enough to catch their coat on fire.

Looove the Thompson SubExterminator Guns.  Want one. 

> Those pig slaves aren't trained to kill, they're trained to grab people and carry them to the Daleks.  And carry big crates.  Some savages they are.

> Martha: Sounds a lot better barking orders at aliens than Rose did.  "..and you've just GOT to pick it up.." was quite possibly the cutest line I've heard all year.  By "Not human," I'm sure she meant not PART of a human. Still good. Tone down the "OH MY GOD" moments though, that almost drove me nuts with McCoy's latest companion, Hex.

> David, david, david.. Shouty!David is still silly, but you have to stop and think: This is the guy that, when he shows up, you know you're plans already failed.  The implications that this guy can wheeze and gurn and he's still going to beat you is chilling.  I'll excuse Alonsi.  The Doctor's been saying random things in the heat of excitement for a long time.  4 words: Oh my giddy aunt. And could these suicidal tendencies be that survivor's guilt dredged up again by seeing the Daleks STILL being alive? I do absolutely ADORE Tennant when he gets that quiet sort of angry and starts losing his Mockney.  There's nothing scarier than an angry Scots that's STOPPED shouting.  Note to self: When trying to convince someone of something completely outlandish, pull out a handful of glop.  Works every time.

> Saving Private Lazlo: The production team trying once again to outdo Series 1's "EVERYBODY LIVES", or the Doctor trying to within the confines of the story?

> Sec's voice: Makes perfect sense to me.  The Dalek Mutant's no longer using an artifical travel machine voice box, but the hijacked vocal cords of an Italian-American New Yorker.  That's what I'd think he sounds like.

> The emergency temporal shift may have been a cowardly way out, both for the writer and for Caan, but seeing Tennant and Caan face off like that was chilling.  Also, can you imagine the frustration this must cause the Doctor?

> Next week! CRIPES That's a creepy rickety CGI monster.  Also, did anyone think Mark Gatiss looked like Peter Davison when he stepped out of that chamber?


Am I in the right blog? It's almost as if someone like something.

Ahh, but that's what we do *best* according to half the comments we get. :)

Yep, I was convinced it was PD when I saw the trailer at the end of The Runaway Bride.

You say - "The Final Experiment...The script could have been a little bit clearer on this."

That is putting it mildly! As you say, there are a lot of great elements, but for me, all of the production team's efforts are overshadowed by the plot of the the Final Experiment.

Here is a synopsis regarding the Final Experiment to illustrate my point:

- Daleks in Manhattan.

The Daleks experiment on Pig-Humans (seemingly in preparation for the Final Experiment.)

The Daleks experiment on Dalek blobs (seemingly in preparation for the Final Experiment.)

The Final Experiment: a Human-Dalek!

The Bronze Daleks don't like this idea...

(Great so far...)

- Evolution of the Daleks

Sec announces plans for the Experiment After The Final Experiment, with a special liquid: Human-Dalek-Humans!

After ruminating, Sec then announces he wants them slightly more human: bring forth the Human-Human-Dalek-Humans!

Those crafty Bronze Daleks have other plans: Aha! Dalek-Humans!

But they didn't count on the Doctor and his magic lightning: Behold! The Dalek-Human-Time-Lords!

End of synopsis. This is literally the plot.

Really! WTF?!

Alright, who let the ghost of Douglas Adams on this blog?

Now, making Peter Davison look younger would be a good thing for the spin off media, or for a multi doctor story. Do you reckon this Lazarus bloke could work his magic on the Bakers?

Pip and Jane, or Tom and Colin?


I'm sure Chris Chibnall would love to bring Pip and Jane Baker back to the world of Who, to work on Torchwood (for a reconciliation after their BBC "Open Air" shared experience.)

Also - thank you for the compliment!

I am not channeling the spirit of Adams, (although I did enjoy the Lazarus Experiment episode over a couple of Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters.)

I must say you often have an amusing turn of phrase yourself!

Cheers John. I like to fancy myself a writer, but it never hurts to hear a good word. Now we'd better stop before we're slapping each others backs smugly =X

I also just realized that I made an alcohol reference just prior to yours. Tom and Colin = Tom Collins? Was I drinking that night? I may have been..

Tallalulah's accent was atrocious - you'll hear more New Yorkers who sound like that in old movies because they affect that voice than in actual life, in which it's rare - but it didn't affect the story one way or another.

John (of lastvisible etc) who just commented above:

There are various people called John (and at least one Jon) who comment on the blog.

Do you think you could expand upon the comment-name of John in future to avoid confusion?

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