Daleks in Manhattan

 

The Daleks are often used to represent the darker side of human nature. Their ‘creator’ (that’s Terry Nation not Davros) stated that they were inspired, in part at least, by the Nazis. Scriptwriter Helen Raynor seems to using them here to highlight a different sort of oppression; that of the capitalistic wealthy exploiting the employment hungry workers. The metaphor becomes literal when employer, Mr Diagoras, merges with the organic component of Dalek Sec.

 

There are archetypes within the story, reflecting those contained within classics such as, Beauty and The Beast, The Phantom of The Opera, and Doctor Faustus, that also give the story a feeling of cultural depth.

 

The Cult of Skaro is unusual in that it features named Daleks who reappear in Doctor Who episodes as characters in their right. The only other time Daleks were given names was in a story entitled The Evil of The Daleks. Three Daleks had been given ‘human’ personalities. These Daleks then made friends with the Doctor, and even spent time playing with him! He named them Alpha, Beta and Omega. They never made a reappearance, but one can still hope they do one day.

 

Set in Manhattan during the Depression, with Daleks and a good script and with the feel of ‘Big Budget’ about the episode, this story may well be an attempt to capture a bigger slice of the American market. If the series can maintain this standard it deserves to.



15 comments


    Sniz

    April 24, 2007

    To Sue Burnett.
    I’m glad i’m not the only one who thinks so, I just vented my spleen to my mates about the exact same thing!
    To me it makes me think we are governed by alien overlords and we’re expendable things rather than ‘valued workers’.

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    I’m time travelling my comment up to 2nd!

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    are the comments ordered by day of the month, rather than day+month+year?

    Ian McNicholas

    April 24, 2007

    Tend to agree with all of the above, but suprised that pete didn’t pick up on the political incorrectness – after all, if the witches in the shakespeare episode may be offensive to wiccans (only one I know actually fell about laughing !) then the combination of miscegenated pig-men and unchaste women should have had moslems baying in their bomb factories. Personally, I found the atitude of management to workers as expendable much more offensive, particularly as it is one which is returning to our society under our current neonazi rulers. Nice to see the daleks back though, and a cliffhanger ending, can hardly wait for next week !!

    theagingfanboy

    April 24, 2007

    Neonazi eh? Some of you Dave Spartists really should get out more. But get back in in thime for the next episode.

    Sue Burnett

    April 24, 2007

    And talking of management attitude to workers… once upon a time, organisations had ‘Personnel’ departments and now they have ‘Human Resources’ departments. I’ll say it again: ‘Human Resources’.

    Financial resources = money.

    Physical resources = buildings, computers, desks etc.

    Human resources = …some numbers on a balance sheet? …pieces of equipment like desks, filing cabinets or PCs?

    I find the phrase deeply, deeply offensive.

    Rant over! (well, for the moment…)

    Frank Sable

    April 24, 2007

    I remember attending a SF convention in Winchester not long after the collapse of the Berlin Wall (was it in 1989?). Anyway, one of the SF authors there (I wish I could remember his name) stated how we should all be worried now that the Eastern Bloc had collapsed. He said that from now on people would just be considered a resource, just like any other one. Not a bad prediction, but then he was a SF writer.

    theagingfanboy

    April 24, 2007

    Putting my opinion of management practices to one side, can I ask a question about the Daleks? I’m a Who fan of long stsnding (I saw the first episode).

    If the Time Lords and the Daleks fought a great war (to be explained sometime, I assume) why are the only Daleks met since from the same time, that is AFTER this war? In the very first Dalek episode the Daleks were destroyed on Skaro “millions of years in the future”; when they met again later it was earlier in the Dalek’s history.

    So do we assume:

    1) The Daleks destroyed on Skaro by William Hartnell were a group which escaped and took refuge back on Skaro.

    2) There’s some kind of “supertime” which means that the Doctor and the Daleks are locked into a “temporal relationship” since the time war. This means that they are somehow bound together on their own timelines and so wherever and whenever they go they are in the same time relative to each other.

    Gosh I love this stuff!

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    I see the argument. If they had time travel, why not simply travel to after the great war.

    Perhaps they had some kind of time weapons which erased people from time itself?

    petegrehan

    April 24, 2007

    I think the nature of a ??????time war would be to attempt to expunge the enemy from the time line. The opening move in this war might well have been the story The Genesis of The Daleks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/genesisofdaleks/), in which the Doctor was sent to prevent the creation of the Daleks in the first place. As a result of this war, lots of the events that older fans remember from the original series simply never happened (like the Dalek Invasion of Earth ??????? http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/dalekinvasion/), although the Doctor (and the viewer) will remember them because he travels in and out of the changing timelines.
    Of course another reason for having a time war is that it gets rid of all those annoying continuity problems that the new production team couldn??????t be asked to bother with.

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    perhaps May has swapped places with April!

    David

    April 24, 2007

    Don’t get into arguements about Doctor Who canon, how come that the first shot you see in the Paul McGann, 8th Doctor Movie is of Skaro, when the 7th Doctor destroyed it with the Hand of Omega ? Anyway, the Daleks we are seeing now are the ones who survived the Time War in the sphere (from Army of Ghosts and Doomsday). Perhaps the Daleks we have seen previously are ones that can travel *backwards* in time, and this is the reason they can’t escape the time war. In the William Hartnell story The Daleks (also called The Mutants), all he did was close down the power supply to the city, so they could escape. There is no suggestion that this is the end, who is to say that a backup system wouldn’t automatically kick in after a while ?

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    I thought miss piper got rid of them all anyway. 🙁

    Smock

    April 24, 2007

    Hmm. it’s actually 14:45 May the 1st right now 😮

    DaveN

    April 24, 2007

    lets face facts the Daleks will never be killed off completely

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