Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E05 – Evolution of the Daleks

In the fifth episode of the third series of Doctor Who, the Doctor and Martha are forced to deal with the possibility of the Daleks creating a new race of human-Dalek hybrids. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Ok, so maybe I do understand why this two-parter is not a fan favorite. Again, I wouldn’t say this was flat-out awful (FEAR HER FEAR HEAR FEAR HER), but it’s certainly underwhelming as a whole. The idea of the Daleks evolving is fascinating and I hoped that it would lead to a cliffhanger, in the sense that perhaps they’d escape with their new creations and we’d have to deal with them later. But nope. Instead, with the exception of just one Dalek, everything seems to be conveniently tied up.

It’s not that this episode doesn’t work entirely. Things start off fairly well, as we get one of the Doctor’s infamous speeches that act as a distraction to help them all escape. The idea that the Daleks are becoming more human was intriguing to me and for a moment, this episode headed in a direction that was totally fantastic and exciting before it veered off into MEH-VILLE.

The hybrid Dalek Sec acted as a great foil to the normal Daleks, and there was nothing that demonstrated this better than when our heroes returned to Hooverville to update Solomon about what was happening. Acting in a quintessentially human matter, Solomon clung to the idea that these beings could simply be reasoned with. While the hybrid begins to demonstrate more and more human tendencies, in direct contradiction to what the Daleks have always stood for, the Daleks are unable to budge from the purpose they’ve always known. As Solomon gives a speech that’s kind of corny, but still powerful nonetheless, I was actually horrified that the Dalek Caan simply exterminates him right on the spot. I mean, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but there was honestly a moment there where I believed that Dalek Sec’s influence might have affected Dalek Caan.


This episode also helped me put into words a thought I’d had long ago, but couldn’t articulate properly. In the Doctor Who universe, it seems the villains are awfully willing to explain their plans to the Doctor, aren’t they? I guess I noticed it before and simply thought nothing of it, but it’s kind of the standard way in which the Doctor (and us) learn about what these dastardly villains are planning. I kind of what to go back through the show and take note of how many times this happens, because I’d be interested to learn how frequent it is.

I suppose that this episode, though, has a very specific context to this phenomenon. Dalek Sec is far more talkative and reasonable than his counterparts and he seems to be explaining their plan to the Doctor out of respect more than teasing him with the futility of fighting against him. Even then, we learn Dalek Sec’s true intentions: to create a race of Dalek-human hybrids and use the Doctor to help them settle on a new planet.

Did you believe Dalek Sec at first? He was incredibly sincere while asking the Doctor for help, but I couldn’t help but think it was a trick. Still, it was an idea I’d not considered: if the Daleks evolved, leaving their biological purpose behind, could they exist in the Universe without being a force to be feared? I think the idea intrigued the Doctor and, maybe, it was a way for him to finally deal with the Daleks without exterminating them himself.

I think this is the point where this story sort of falls apart. Perhaps I really liked the idea of a true evolution of the Daleks and watching that idea be destroyed by DALEK BIGOTS and then ELECTROCUTION and then WHAT IS HAPPENING dampened my mood a bit. The end of “Evolution of the Daleks” feels convoluted to me, much like the beginning of “Daleks in Manhattan.” Essentially, there’s a lot going on at the same time. Martha and the Doctor get separated (AGAIN, COULD THEY PLEASE STAY TOGETHER FOR AT LEAST ONE EPISODE), and we left to deal with the Doctor attempting to perfect the DNA mix before the solar flare hits, and with Martha, Laszlo, Tallulah, and Frank having to deal first with figuring out what the Daleks are using the Empire State Building for, and then with the Pig Slaves sent to attack them.

Is their metal contraption scientifically possible? Just a thought.

I will say that that I enjoyed that the Doctor wasn’t able to remove the Dalekanium AND he dropped his sonic screwdriver, only because it’s interesting seeing him fail at something when he is otherwise flawless. Though, I suppose it doesn’t count as failure, as the act of having the gamma ray flow through him actually works to his advantage later on. The Daleks awaken since the Doctor doesn’t remove the Dalekanium panels in time, and then the chase begins. It’s at the theater that my hopes of a planet full of Dalek hybrids are completely destroyed. Literally. And maybe it was naive to think an episode would end on such a positive note, BUT STILL. LET A BOY DREAM.

Turns out that a little bit of Time Lord DNA got mashed into the hybrids, since the Doctor allowed the gamma rays to pass through him. So, after a particularly harrowing scene in which Dalek Sec sacrifices himself to save the Doctor and the remaining humans, the two Dalkes present in the theater discover that they’re not quite in control of their creations. Time Lords have a lot more freedom than the Daleks and the Doctor was correct in thinking that was all that they needed to resist the commands of their alien overlords.

EXCEPT WAIT THERE WAS ANOTHER DALEK FAR AWAY WHO KILLS THEM ALL REMOTELY. Well, not until the hybrids killed the two Daleks inside the theater first. Now that leads to an interesting idea: there is now just one Dalek left in the entire universe, just as there’s only one Time Lord left. So the odds are entirely equal, unless the writers come up with some hokey idea about Daleks hidden somewhere else in time.

Everything besides this detail seems tied up rather nicely at the end of “Evolution of the Daleks,” and I suspect it won’t be much longer before we find out what happens with that final Dalek left in the universe.


  • Ah, the emergency temporal shift! That’s how the Daleks arrived here. I UNDERSTAND NOW. Could they always do that?
  • mmmmmmm Andrew Garfield mmmmmmmmm
  • You know, I may not have liked this as much because there wasn’t much character development aside from the conversation Martha and Tallulah have about the Doctor. Martha is clearly aware that the Doctor’s time with Rose affected him strongly, so I’m curious to see if she’ll vocalize that to him.
  • MORE TIME WAR REFERENCES. I’m curious if we’ll ever learn more about the Time War in detail.
  • I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Doctor Who and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

234 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S03E05 – Evolution of the Daleks

  1. letitbe says:

    yes, you will be PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME. series three has a great ending, i think.

    i don't really remember much about this two parter because i didn't really like it the first time i watched it and so nothing stuck with me… besides andrew garfield… 😉

  2. kaybee42 says:

    “Doctor: Tallulah!
    Tallulah: Three L’s and a H, that’s me!” Haha! I laughed!
    Totally teared up when it looked like Laszlo was dying, even though I knew he doesn’t… I am SUCH a sap!
    And Frank was preeeeetty : ) How old was the guy playing him? He looked very young…
    Also I think this is the first time I’ve considered the second part of a two parter to be better than the first, which was odd…still not great, but I did prefer it.
    EDIT: Forgot, did anyone else think of Beetee's tree plan from Catching Fire when they did the metal pipes into the lift thing?

    • kohlrabi says:

      Oh I totally thought of Beetee's plan! Then again I just watched this for the first time right around when Mark was reviewing that section of the book. Still! Beetee!

    • pica_scribit says:

      Andrew Garfield was born in 1983, so he would have been 23 when this was filmed. He is a bit pretty, isn't he?

  3. who_cares86 says:

    Frankly I think this story is somewhat underrated. Yes the accents are terrible and the science is pretty darn bad but I do like where they take the Daleks in this. So clever idea, badly executed? In any case I think it deserves a little more credit than it gets.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      DEFINITELY. I don't hate it at all. It was fun, just kind of disappointing.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Good God, the science. I know this is Doctor Who, and I don't watch it for that- but it was honestly taking basic biology and exterminating it.

  4. NB2000 says:

    As I said for the first part, this story is just, there. It's something we need to get through and it has a lot of interesting bits but it's just, eh.

    I think it was in the previous episode too but "Dalekanium" just sounds so very ridiculous to me, it's too close to Unobtanium for me to take it serious as a word.

    I can understand why it didn't happen, but boy do I wish Frank had come along in the TARDIS at the end. That would have been fun.


    You can yell at me if this is too spoilery but, the main mythology thing for this series hasn't shown up since Smith & Jones so, there hasn't been anything to know. If that makes sense. That's sort of vague enough right? I haven't said what it was, just that you're not missing anything by not catching it…oh I don't know *shuts up*.

    • Fuchsia says:

      It took me until the last couple episodes of this series, when it came to be the main plot point, for me to know what this series' main arc was. Some of the series have it all over the place and it's way obvious, others don't. This is definitely the latter, especially at this point.

      • psycicflower says:

        Sadly for me I knew what to look out for and a bunch of people had figured out what it meant so it sadly wasn't too much of a surprise. Damn people spoiling others. If you don't know what it is though it's very easy to miss.

        • Fuchsia says:

          I remember finally finding out what it is and having my mind BLOWN. As soon as I finished I was like, "Great, now I have to rewatch the whole series with this in mind!"

          • psycicflower says:

            I did get one big oh my god surprise out of it at least which spoiler.

            I love rewatching for that very reason, being able to see what they were doing and where they were going. I aslo love it with a new person because now my ears perk up automatically but someone like Mark wouldn't even notice it. I actually have 'don't mention unless Mark does' for things like Bad Wolf, Torchwood and this series in my episode watching notes.

          • Hypatia_ says:

            Oh god, me too. I figured it out a bit late, but had kind of a lightbulb moment when I suddenly understood the whole situation all at once. There was much geeky flailing and ASDFGHJKLFGHJK!ASD

          • mkjcaylor says:

            Yes, same! That is what I did. Although I didn't immediately rewatch, but on the rewatch I deliberately looked for it.

      • agrinningfool says:

        GOD I just want to ask "IS IT… __________?" Cause I have a few ideas of what it is but honestly, I don't know! And it would be Spoilers! D: I don't even recall there being a connectivity in season 2 either. It wasn't Bad Wolf.. so what was it?

        • Fuchsia says:

          The second series arc was Torchwood (I think?). It wasn't mentioned in nearly every episode like the first series, so yeah. Not always as obvious as Bad Wolf.

          • agrinningfool says:

            Thanks! Yeah it really wasn't as obvious… O.o Like they didn't comment on it..

            • Fuchsia says:

              Yeah, exactly. It gets commented on a lot, but we had already seen the start of Torchwood and knew what it was, so it wasn't like this big huge reveal. It was mostly just to promote the new show, which started after the second series.

  5. PeterRabid says:

    A few things to say about this episode.

    1) It's still pretty meh.
    2) The "genetics" in this is so wonky, I just couldn't take it seriously.
    3) Damn that pesky emergency temporal shift!
    4) Did anyone else notice the pig-slaves sort of bouncing on the balls of their feet impatiently in the elevator? That always makes me laugh for some reason.
    5) I really, really love the mythology of this season. It isn't just some arc words, and it will definitely punch you in the face with awesome.

    I'm going to go torture myself by looking at the Gallifrey One website and wishing I could go this year. Is anyone else going to the con in LA? If so, I am supremely jealous.

  6. CuriousApe says:

    My main thought while watching the end was "DNA DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT" and I felt really horrible for that. I mean, it was such a nice idea to have that kind of twist. And I loved the idea that mere curiousity, simply asking "why?" was all that was needed to destroy the Daleks' plan.
    But, come on… no. Just too much DNA-mashing and – it just doesn't work like that. You can't just put some new DNA in corpses and then expect them to live. Besides, DNA defines how a body develops and functions, if it were to work at all there would be *changes* and… ugh.
    Sorry, inner biology geek got the better of me. I know, science fiction and stuff. But this DNA- thing still ruined it for me. Too much fiction, too little science.

    • who_cares86 says:

      It's bad but New Earth was worse. Also the whole changing or rewriting DNA thing has been sci-fi trope for years now. It makes no sense but since when do Sci-Fi writers care about biology. (cough interspecies romance cough)

      • Eric Johns says:

        Yeah… it always makes me cringe though…

        (and yes, interspecies romance)

        • mkjcaylor says:

          I found it refreshing when Voyager had a plot arc surrounding the male human (Paris) and the female Klingon (B'Elana) and whether or not they would be able to have a child, and how they would have to manipulate whatever in order to make it happen.

          Although I do have to mention here that interspecies hybrids actually do occur with relative frequency, especially between species that only formed recently. There are lots of hybrid fish (Sunfish is a good example) as well as birds. And there's scientific evidence that those of European descent have a bit of H. neanderthalensis in them, which is evidence of interspecies mating between H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. SO. In conclusion, it happens. The closer something is related, the more likely a baby would be possible. (And in Star Trek canon, all the humanoid species are actually related via a common ancestor, so they have even further attempted to explain it.)

          The human/cat person interspecies romance is a bit off, though. 😉

      • CuriousApe says:

        Yeah, but New Earth had Cassandra jumping from body to body, there wasn't too much realism in there to begin with. Though it's probably not a good idea to compare realism levels in Doctor Who. 😀
        One day – one glorious day, some writer will manage to write a script that does not contradict basic science. Or, you know, only does so in ways that are already established as possible in that universe.

        (it was still 10000x times better than Breaking Dawn's "science", though)

    • mkjcaylor says:

      I'm just gonna put some bat DNA, some scorpion DNA, and some lizard DNA into a blender and see what I get. Oh and an octopus.

      OMG WHOA:

      <img src=""&gt;

      I admit I really like Fringe, but this monster was one of the worst 'DNA creations' I have ever seen. Oh and, a bat can always find its baby? What? They made that up on the spot.

      • CuriousApe says:

        I still laugh at the cure for a virus discovered, what, hours earlier? – being made in a matter of minutes and from horseradish. But bat-scorpion-lizard-octopus-mashup here might beat the ridiculosity of that idea. 😀

      • echinodermata says:

        I still hated the virus that turned into a giant crawling thing worse.

        • mkjcaylor says:

          That's true, that was pretty bad. I would have been happier if the giant crawling thing somehow resembled the virus it was supposed to be (Wasn't it a cold virus? Even non-sciencey people know what a cold virus looks like, don't they? Hell they have a giant microbes cold virus and soap dispenser. It's not slug shaped!)

          That first season definitely challenged how much I trusted Walter as a 'genius'. Because. He would know better, he just would. I know better and I'm not a genius.

    • Stephen_M says:

      See here's the thing… I don't mind in the least when Who crosses that line from Science to Magic for the sake of plot convenience. I'd much rather that than endless spewing of technobabble. But… if you're going to go that route, go all the way and make up something suitably cool sounding. The moment you start half-arseing actual science into a throwaway explanation, usually involving various colorful liquids, the whole thing starts to creak…

      • CuriousApe says:

        YES. Precisely. I didn't make that clear in my post, but I *really* prefer magic. Sonic whatevers, Time Vortexes, Nanogenes, whatever other idea they can come up with. Just… don't butcher actual science, especially not if there is a rather large amount of people who understand the basic premise behind it.

        • Stephen_M says:

          To borrow a phrase from the master of this particular skill (not the phrase that I really WANT to borrow for that would spoil…):

          The Doctor: Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink.
          Mickey Smith: What's that?
          The Doctor: No idea, I just made it up. Didn't want to say "Magic Door"

        • mkjcaylor says:

          I agree with this completely!

          There are levels of science fiction and fantasy. I am a-okay with the 'magic door' that lets you jump across time to France from the middle of nowhere in space. I am perfectly happy with a TARDIS that not only can cross time and space, but that has a heart AND likes to contradict where the Doctor wants to go because somehow, she's got a mind of her own.

          And yet I have problems with DNA splicing to create a crazy creature. And I'm currently watching Eureka for the first time and the magic things they do on there (and try to explain) are bothering me a ton.

          There are classes of scifi and fantasy. Since Mark is currently reading The Hunger Games trilogy, I will use that as an example: the abilities of the Capitol are completely fantastical. But that doesn't bother me. On the other end of the spectrum, Star Trek uses its technobabble in an intelligent way, and in that way classes itself as science fiction and that does not bother me (everything they have in TNG and up–except warp– seems to be within the realm of possibility).

          But creating a bat-scorpion-lizard-octopus hybrid in this day and age (since Fringe is set in the NOW) and then trying to have Walter explain how you do that? Walter knows better. (Desmodus rotundus DNA my butt.)

          I think that's why I dislike the Cybermen so much in current Doctor Who mythology. Because they were created by someone on Earth in what is supposed to be a technological age comparable to our own. Just. Noooo.

          I think it's a delicate balance.

      • notemily says:


        That is all.

  7. THE Nessa says:


  8. mkjcaylor says:

    I would have had a different opinion of the Daleks had they actually evolved and changed beyond what they've always been. And I would not have minded if for a while they abandoned their pepper pot (cappuccino machine) ways. Since that didn't happen, I am definitely in the crowd of 'meh' about this episode. I like the song from the previous episode (not so much the singer, but the tune is nice).

    I think I was smacked upside the head with the main mythology in this series, too.

  9. aleja23t says:

    I completely agree. I felt that the writers were rushed to involve the Daleks in this series. There is a lot of background with the Daleks in Classic Who but it is not pertinent to the present Who. It's sufficient to know that the Daleks are the Doctor's oldest and most powerful adversary.

    I did not like this episode at all for the same reason as I stated before: the Doctor finds the solution way too easily sometimes ( ie: New Earth where all he needed to fight THOUSANDS OF DISEASED HUMANS INFECTED WITH EVERY DISEASE EVER was to make a colorful cocktail and have them hug each other) but it is nice that he shows fault every now and then.

    I disliked Martha the first time I watched Series 3 just cause she was not Rose. I, like you Mark, got way too attached to Rose and 10 but I'm glad you have given her a chance and love her as a companion. I see that you are moving on cause there are no Rose/Martha error! I can now say that watching it again has made me appreciate what a solid companion she is and the Doctor is lucky to have her! She has yet to evolve and you are oh so not prepared for what's to come!

    I'll just leave this video here for you Mark. It helped me move on from Rose/10. Get some tissues jic…

  10. Albion19 says:

    I hadn't seen this for years and I had forgotten who survived so spent the episode worried that Frank would die. He's to lovely!

    I liked that talk between Martha and Tallulah. Regardless if she has feelings for him it still sucks that she has to experience that. At this point, 5 episodes in, I really don't want the new companion feeling overshadowed by the old and instigated by the Doctor of all people.

  11. kohlrabi says:

    My thoughts on this episode can be summed up as I just watched it a couple weeks ago and I can't really remember what happens in it all. It wasn't terrible, just I really didn't care. Then again, I wasn't all that excited to see the conclusion from what happened in the first part. Meh, indeed.

  12. PeterRabid says:

    Gallifrey Base and Outpost are some of the nastiest centers of fanwank on the internet. I try not to go there too often.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Yeah, I pretty much go there solely for the quotes conversation fun thread, these days.

      Mind you, I should say, I found out about Mark Watches Doctor Who from that site. But that was before he watched Rose, so if they haven't found it by now, with any luck they never will.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Is it a bad sign that they send me a lot of traffic?

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          Only if they try to run you over. 🙂

        • fusionman says:

          As long as they don't try to murder you, send you death threats or say horribly rude things it's fine. I was just worried after some of the stories I've heard.

          • Donald G says:

            Don't believe all the stories you've heard. While I can relish a pointless argument as well as the next obsessive fan, I generally ignore or skip over the posts from those determined to be miserable about the state of Whodom and spread that misery around to the rest of us. 🙂

        • BBQ Platypus says:

          You shouldn't be worried. I happen to be a regular on Gallifrey Base. Most of us are quite sane (well, about as sane as a devoted Whovian can be said to be, anyway). There are assholes on every forum I've ever been on that is as large as GB is. It's really no more or less nasty than any other large forum dedicated to a science fiction show.

          I mean, really. I used to lurk on the RPG Codex. I've visited the Leisure Hive. If you think GB is bad, you ain't seen nothing yet.

    • sabra_n says:

      Some of them are perfectly well-adjusted. And others are anoraks who shouldn't be allowed in polite company. Same goes for LJ fans, who were more my crowd back in the day.

      • PeterRabid says:

        Oh yes, there are quite a few sane fans on those sites. I've read some very amusing and friendly threads on Gallifrey Base. But you have to admit, they are breeding grounds for some really nitpicky and mean-spirited fans.

        • sabra_n says:

          To be honest, I still mentally think of the place as Outpost Gallifrey, which should tell you how often I've visited in the past few years. 😛

          Anyway, I'm not really fond of the game of "my fandom is better than your fandom", or "my forum is better than your forum", given the fact that fandom in general is so often marginalized as the domain of pimply 40-year-old men in their mother's garages and (gasp!) teenaged girls. I mean, I'm hardly a fandom veteran compared to a lot of my friends, but I have been around long enough to just find that stuff exhausting at this point. I'd rather concentrate on enjoying things like Doctor Who with others than spend scarce energy pointing and wrinkling my nose at fans who don't suit me.

          That's right: I'm too lazy for fanwank. 🙂

  13. janype says:

    "I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end."

    Oh you are so not prepared.

  14. psycicflower says:

    Still sad they didn't make some kind of Dalek Caan joke.

    When Solomon started making his speech I just thought 'well you're going to die' although it was interesting to see Dalek Sec admire Solomon and his bravery. Although I'm sorry but I could not stop laughing with the Daleks lead Dalek Sec out on staging crawling in chains. It just felt like too much.
    I liked Martha feeling the effect of killing the pig slaves. I think it would be easy to dismiss them as not human but she acknowledged that they used to be and felt bad.

    I agree with everything you say here. The problem with this episode is that the idea and concept have a lot of potential but it just turns out meh. The idea of a Dalek that's willing to adapt and evolve in order to survive is fascinating in the context of the Dalek species and their general policy of shoot first and shoot again later. It's also interesting to see Daleks doubting and questioning their leader given how string they usually adhere to command and orders. Equally a species of human/Dalek/Time Lords existing would be great given all the history they have combined. But for whatever reason all of it just seems to fall flat when put into action here.

    Yay for Frank getting Laszlo accepted into Hooverville though. Mmmm Andrew Garfield.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  15. Albion19 says:

    But Mark is awesome, he should be safe 😉

    That's awful though, that poor woman. I stopped going on Outpost because the Martha hate at the time was just to much.

  16. Maya says:

    Yeah, I kind of hate these two episodes. It's the Dalek penis!beard. I should rewatch them just to ogle Andrew Garfield but the accents bug me too much.

    To make up for the crap episodes I bring:

    David Tennant's first acting job:

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>


    And the 1985 music video aimed to bring Who back after it was cancelled

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

    God bless the 80s

  17. ravendaine says:

    "Meh" sums up my feelings about this two-parter perfectly. They're episodes I usually skip when I'm rewatching. Which is sad. Luckily, there are so many other fine episodes to rewatch!

  18. zulaihaha says:

    I have two questions unrelated to this episode, which was over all… decent. Meh.
    Is it possible for the Doctor to go back or forward in time and meet himself? Or is the TARDIS keyed in to avoid that sort of thing?
    Can the Doctor regenerate into a female time lord? Or have there been mentions of other female time lords? Just curious.
    Of course, DO NOT SPOIL if these will be addressed in future episodes. If it's in classic Who, that's ok.

    • swimmingtrunks says:

      The general rule is you're not supposed to jump around in your own timeline, but the Doctor has met himself on multiple occasions, usually in different regenerations.

      It's never been said whether regeneration can change genders, but there have been Time Ladies before, like Romana who was the Doctor's companion for a while, in the old series.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      When the other Time Lord/Lady characters regenerated in the old series, they always kept their previous sex. Romana was still female, another character who I won't mention by name just in case was still male. I don't believe there's ever been a canonical word on whether sex can change with regeneration, but my guess is no.

      There is a parody where the Doctor regenerates as a woman though, "The Curse of Fatal Death". Totally not canon, but funny.

      In the old series, if the several of the Doctor's incarnations meet each other, it's usually a mistake, and/or shit is about to go down. It's generally thought to be not a good idea, overlapping with your own time stream and all that.

    • PeterRabid says:

      To the first question, meeting yourself is called crossing your own time stream. Generally, this is a big no-no, but the writers will often bend the rules just for an anniversary multi-Doctor team-up. When he meets another incarnation of himself, the older one will (usually) not remember the encounter from his previous self's point of view.

      As for the Doctor being able to regenerate into a Time Lady. Um… inconclusive. We really have no idea. There are plenty of Time Ladies in the Classic Series. Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana for short) travelled with the fourth Doctor for a while and later became Lady President of Gallifrey. The Rani was a villainess who was in the same class as the Doctor in the Academy. Let's see, there was also Chancellor Flavia, Rodan, Inquisitor Darkel, etc.

      • nyssaoftraken74 says:

        Ah yes, crossing time streams. Generally speaking, it's vitally important that you
        Don't Cross the Streams!!!

        Hold on…no, sorry, that's Ghostbusters.

        But the point still stands!

    • Fuchsia says:

      1) It's generally looked down upon and is one of the "rules" but it happened in "The Three Doctors", which was the classic Who episode that Mark watched last week.

      2) No idea, but I've discussed it with friends before. You know how the Doctor is always disappointed when he regenerates and isn't ginger? Next, I want him to be a ginger woman.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Short version: the Doctor cannot cross his own timeline except in cases where a) some suitably big threat is at hand for those in charge of the Rules of the Universe to decide an exception may be in order, b) said Rules of the Universe had a really rough night and are more concerned with getting the room to stop spinning than noticing some silly little temporal paradox or c) a cheap trick can be performed.

  19. kytten says:

    DULLDULLDULL And far too neat.

    The villain explanation is, from what I recall, A very 'who' thing- either that or the Dr just rambles on till he figures out something that makes sense.

  20. EofS says:

    I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end.

    You might even say that… you are not prepared?

  21. Maya says:

    Yeah, I kind of hate these two episodes. It's the Dalek penis!beard. I should rewatch them just to ogle Andrew Garfield but the accents bug me too much.

    As a gift for surviving this two parter, I bring you the Doctor trying to convince children to smoke.

  22. nextboy1 says:

    How do Daleks even tie up chains?

  23. Stephen_M says:

    Yep, I stand by what I said yesterday, potentially great story but made much, much worse by using the Daleks. Simple fact is you kinda know how this is going to turn out. There's no WAY the hybrid makes it to the end of the episode alive and there's got to be at least one of them escaping (possibly while doing it's best Doctor Claw impression. "I'll get you next time Doc-Tor! Next Time!). Have this as a new species to the Whoniverse just trying to survive after some catastrophic event and you have a much more interesting tale to tell.

    There's also a couple of MAJOR plot holes, the biggest one being the remote destruct for the new Dalek-Humans. If you have that facility available why not use it BEFORE the new army has managed to blow the only other two Daleks in existence into itty bitty pieces?

    Most of my other complaints are really minor nitpicks in the grand scheme to be honest. There's something a bit weird about the pacing here, there's a few too many happy coincidences for the sake of plot convenience and I still think the ending with Laszlo is schmaltzy to a point way beyond that which Who normally indulges in. Leave the happy endings to Moffat (well you gotta have SOMETHING to recover from the trauma…) 😉

  24. Hypatia_ says:

    "MEH-ville": excellent description of this two-parter. I'm so put off by the bad accents that I can barely watch it. Tallulah makes me want to poke my eardrums out with a knitting needle. Andrew Garfield however…I agree with Mark on that point. Yum.

    Also, Human Dalek Sec's head is so ridiculously phallic that I can't take him even a little bit seriously. Bad design there.

    • mkjcaylor says:

      It's funny, because from what I saw in Confidentials of how they made some of the creatures in later episodes, RTD makes sure he sees them before they're used so that he can approve them.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        Well, Mark said he didn't notice until everyone pointed it out. Maybe RTD didn't see it either. It's the only reasonable explanation I can think of.

  25. psycicflower says:

    I generally only lurk in fandom but even what little I'd heard of Gallifrey Base was enough to know to avoid and never join. Definitely not the fun or good part of fandom.

  26. Donald G says:

    It may be too late. I learned about "Mark Watches Doctor Who" from a thread on Gallifrey Base.

    • fusionman says:

      Oh God. Well at least yesterday didn't get the whole "OMG YOU LIKE DALEKS IN MANHATTAN?! YOU MUST DIE!! IN ALL THE FIRES!!" 😛

      • Donald G says:

        "Mark Watches…" was first mentioned on GB on December 21st. Only a handful of people commented, but the reaction was quite positive to Mark's remarks.

        Oh, BTW, my brother and I like "Daleks in Manhattan" and don't think it's anywhere as bad as it's made out to be. I don't think the American accents are that bad in this story compared to the attempts at American accents and characterizations we used to get in the classic series. And I don't hate Helen Raynor or her writing, nor do I wish ill upon her. 🙂

        I love reading the thoughts of new viewers and value their insights, so please don't hold my semi-regular GB participation against me. 🙂

  27. Stephen_M says:

    Is it bad that I deliberately don't mention this site on Twitter just on the off-chance that the lunatic fringe MAY find out about it?

    Ah Remembrance of the Daleks, I still remember that serial from when I were a lad. Any time the police turn up because the BBC failed to tell them exactly how huge the earth shattering kaboom was likely to be you know you're in for a fun time!

    • fusionman says:

      No that's sensible. I can understand the paranoia.

    • PeterRabid says:

      LOL I love that serial. So many explosions! What can you expect from a serial with Ace in it?

      "Ace, hand me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying!"

      • Stephen_M says:

        As I can't comment on the story itself or the characters within for fear of spoiling his Markness allow me to give the following tale from behind the scenes.

        The crew is shooting a Dalek scene which involves a big explosion. This is being shot under Waterloo Bridge. Explosions were a tad bit larger than expected and cause a century of grime and soot to come billowing slowly out from under the bridge. Local residents call emergency services. Emergency services arrive. Emergency services, unaware that it was the BBC and concerned it might be the IRA, are a tad surprised to see two Daleks roll out of the cloud…. While this is unconfirmed I wouldn't be entirely surprised if those in the vehicle(s), having likely grown up with Who, didn't need to visit a dry cleaners on the way back to base…

        • PeterRabid says:

          XP I can definitely picture that happening.

          Mark, you must watch this serial soon! It is absolutely fantastic!

      • Hypatia_ says:

        That may be my favorite Seventh Doctor line.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Not at all. I've made an effort not to talk about Mark Reads/Watches in some circles I run in, because I unfortunately know a lot of assholes that I want to keep separate from this place (this place feels like a safe space for me in many ways, and I cherish that).

  28. __Jen__ says:

    The plot of this episode is ridiculous, so I mostly just ignore that for the awesome of Team Martha/Tallulah/Frank being problem solvers and fighting pig-slaves together.

  29. rys says:

    That's awful. Hopefully everyone involved in the show realises its an extreme of fandom, and not representative of fans as a whole.

    • fusionman says:

      I'm sure they do. Almost everyone who's worked on the New Series grew up on Who. Moffat wanted his current job since he was 8. RTD loved Who. Tennant became an actor JUST SO HE CAN PLAY THE DOCTOR etc…

      They are fans and know how the fans are.

  30. buyn says:

    This episode magically rates a 5 for scariness. And, well, let's soldier on then?

  31. diane says:

    For your question about whether the gamma ray strike on the lightening rod is scientifically plausible, NO IT IS NOT. Gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation, just like light. And completely unlike electricity, and lightening. Gamma rays would not focus at a point. And any gamma ray blast strong enough to have an effect at a single point would likely fry all life on earth. So, junk science again, but this is Doctor Who and we don't watch it for scientific education.

    From what I can remember in episodes you've reviewed, old-style Who villians are talky and gloaty. Some of the newer ones aren't (Empty Child, clockwork monsters in Girl in the Fireplace, the thingy in FEAR HER, etc.) Stephen Moffat likes non-communicating monsters, so far.

  32. virtual_monster says:

    This is my least favourite episode of series 3. Again, I don't hate it – it's got Daleks in it for a start, which continues to be a good thing to me, long after everyone else has grown bored.

    I liked what it tried to do – the conflict between Dalek Sec and the others, which just can't make that leap. And I was glad that they couldn't – I like my Daleks to be TOTAL MURDER MACHINES. Oh yes.

    The thing that ruins it for me is the massive fail in science. I can believe that Daleks are smart enough to splice DNA together as if it were Lego, that's not a problem. I can even justify the coloured liquids in New Earth to myself, saying that they possibly contained some kind of nanoscale miracle things that cure instantly.

    I'm not at all sure I can confuse lightning with gamma rays. And even if I decide to believe that the gamma strike caused a simultaneous lightning strike by ionising a path through the atmosphere, I can't quite believe that Time Lord DNA teleports down the gamma rays into the clever Dalek!Lego!DNA construction. Not unless they at least hint that's a possibility first, because otherwise it just looks as though the production team doesn't understand biology at all. Or physics.

    Which is a pity, because actually I liked the idea that a little bit of Time Lordiness got caught up in the mix.

    I love that when Sec is exterminated his skull has the single eye orbit though.

    Dalek Caan's emergency temporal shift at the end was predictable and yet fitting. Seeing the Doctor willing to swallow his pain and make peace with Caan to avoid another genocide, only to have Caan reject it and flee? It just rubs salt into the Doctor (psychological) war wounds.

    What I do love though is the thought that sneaks up if you realise that the Daleks land on the Empire State building while chasing One in the aptly named 1960s serial The Chase. Because they built that building for their own purposes, and then they land on it later. That's rather neat. especially if the chronologically later Daleks are in fact earlier pre-Time War Daleks in Dalek relative time, as they would seem to be. Because that then suggests the daleks built the Empire State Building to match what they knew would be there, creating an ontological paradox. I may just be overthinking this…

  33. THE Nessa says:

    DAMMIT. I fail at posting gifts

  34. THE Nessa says:


  35. swimmingtrunks says:

    Once again I feel like all my views have either been expressed by you, or will soon be by another commenter- and I think we're all going to agree about the meh-ness of this episode. I've said it before: NuWho episodes in which the Doctor has to climb up a tower to shut something off have generally been anticlimactic, I feel. First the Wire, now this. I will agree with you that it was refreshing to have the Doctor fail for once.

    Dalek Sec would have been a lot better (more intimidating/interesting), face penises and all, if he had sounded like a Dalek instead of doing that weird whispery thing with remnants of the New York accent. I do have to say though, I love a good Dalek side-eye, and the other three were doing it all over the place this episode. Dalek water cooler talk- "How do you feel about Dalek Sec?"- also love. I agree with something you said in the last review- Daleks are best when they are either frightening, funny, or both. Here, a lot of the time, they were neither. Such a shame.

  36. Penquin47 says:

    Dalek Sec looks like a mind flayer. I squeed "Illithid!" when I first saw him.

    I like both ideas in this two-parter, but they needed to be separate episodes. Evolution of the Daleks dealing with Dalek-human hybrids, and 1930s pig-slaves with a different mad scientist creator that happened because they went to visit Broadway in the '30s. It was too much going on too confusingly and led to a "meh" two-parter instead of two good episodes.

  37. fantasylover12001 says:

    Am I the only one who liked Lazlo and Tallulah? Yeah, their storyline was a little pointless (and man were those accents bad) but still, I found them cute and Tallulah was kind of hilarious sometimes.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I don't hate Tallulah as a character, I hate her accent. It makes my head hurt. I was amused by her references to "musical theatre" where the Doctor was concerned, and how Martha's like "Wait, what? Musical…oh. I don't think…whatever. Never mind."

      • fantasylover12001 says:

        Yeah, despite the stereotyping that one made me giggle too. Such as when he leads them to the theatre and Tallulah's all "Um…Doctor, I know you like show tunes but there'a time and place." and then the Doctor gives her this look and that says "huh?"

    • kaybee42 says:

      Yeah I loved them, accents be damned!

    • agrinningfool says:

      I liked Tallulah and Lazlo. ^^

  38. In the Doctor Who universe, it seems the villains are awfully willing to explain their plans to the Doctor, aren’t they?

    I reckon he has one of those faces (well. more than one of those faces) that encourage chattiness in villains.

    • sabra_n says:

      Well, if you don't talk back to him he will just talk and talk and talk and talk and…

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      He's slightly psychic isn't he? I just hand-wave it by saying he's /influencing/ the villains to talk and talk and talk…

  39. GoddessMER says:

    Yeah, this isn't one of the better two parters. And yes, there is a lot of "I'm the bad guy and going to tell me what my plan is!" going on. But I think it's always been that way. I'll have to consult my Tom Baker DVD collection to double check.

    But it always has made me think of this:

    I've always loved this, and feel the need to whip it out every here and now.

  40. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    I don't have much to say about this, except `Hero Pig` Paul Casey from the previous episode evolved to `Hero Pig Man` this time, which is just nowhere near as good.

  41. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    One other bit of trivia: The Daily Record promoted this episode with the headline:
    `How to be a Ham Actor`.

    That's worse than one of *my* puns!

    Mind you, when the Doctor cured Laszlo, he really saved his bacon, didn't he?

    (I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.)

  42. Starsea28 says:

    I dislike the pattern that's starting to develop in this season where everything seems to be a repeat of what happened with Rose. And I know that the Doctor is still grieving her but it also feels like the WRITERS are doing the same thing. The Dalek episode with Rose back in the first new series was fresh, startling, it had impact. After Doomsday, this two-parter doesn't have the same effect. It's toothless because we saw the Daleks so recently. I think the idea of the Daleks evolving was really interesting but inevitably, it was jettisoned. I also dislike Lazlo and Tallulah's 'happy ending', because honestly, where are they going to go? Lazlo's only way to make a living now is a travelling freak show or maybe Coney Island. He should either have been cured completely or heroically sacrificed himself. This isn't an alien planet where genetic anomalies might be accepted, it's 1930s New York.

    The writers keep the Doctor and Martha separate for the greater part of these episodes, but at least this does give Martha a chance to show that quick thinking she demonstarted back in Smith and Jones. I find it really frustrating how Martha can be kick-ass and amazing without the Doctor but not in conjunction with him. It's like the writers are afraid that either she'll overshadow him or that she might overshadow Rose if that happened. *sigh*

    • sabra_n says:

      I find it really frustrating how Martha can be kick-ass and amazing without the Doctor but not in conjunction with him. It's like the writers are afraid that either she'll overshadow him or that she might overshadow Rose if that happened. *sigh*

      They did the same thing to Rose herself in S2. Did you notice how all her big moments of agency come when she and Ten are separated? Note to the writers: It's possible for a man to be strong at the same time as the woman standing next to him. Trufax.

      • Starsea28 says:

        Oh, I know! Don't get me started on what happened to Rose in the last series! I certainly have problems with the writers' treatment of her character, as well, but at least she didn't have the Doctor blowing hot and cold and treating her like she was second best.

        It's possible for a man to be strong at the same time as the woman standing next to him. Trufax.

        Exactly! I wish I could say more but… spoilers. 😉

    • hassibah says:

      Honestly I don't know if the writers are deliberately comparing Martha and Rose as they were just recycling the same old themes/episode ideas. Something I can't help but noticing it happens a lot on Joss Whedon's shows (and probably a lot of others I'd be able to name if I watched more TV.)

      Your second point is interesting, and I hadn't really thought much about it cause I like seeing Martha doing her thing, and she seems to do that best when the writers aren't worried about romance on the show.

      • Starsea28 says:

        There are only so many ideas in the world but it feels like they're not making much effort to dress them up. So far, anyway.Yeah, I like Martha doing her own thing, as well. Not sure why they had to include the romance in the first place but oh well.

        • hassibah says:

          I don't get it either, I seriously hope that the producers didn't think that people under 20 won't watch a show that doesn't have sexual tension between the two main characters, cause that's just sad. I wonder too if they just didn't want to see Martha upstaging the Doctor when they're sharing screen-time since he's officially the hero. Either way, that's not really an excuse.

          • Starsea28 says:

            Yeah, maybe. I mean, even the DALEKS call Martha "wise" in the first part. When your mortal enemy is complimenting your companion on her intelligence, you really ought to be paying more attention.

    • samarkand_ says:

      There's a Dalek episode in every series, so get used to them!

      • Starsea28 says:

        Firstly, I have seen all of New Who, I was just trying to write about the series as it has been developing. Secondly, I'm pretty sure that your comment counts as a spoiler.

  43. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    You know, I'm gay and i love penises and I never thought Dalek Sec looked like a penis…

    ……until now.

    Will thus be unable to see anything else forever.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I'm a straight chick and that was my first thought upon seeing Human Dalek Sec.

      Not sure what that says about me…

      • kytten says:

        Bi chick here and I actually sung 'he has a penis face! Penis face! He has a penis face! cock all o'er his faaace' Loudly and obnoxiously.

        Mind you I have watched a lot of…. dodgy anime so maybe my brain is hardwired to see tentacle/cocks all oer the place.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      You should so watch The Creature from the pit – giant green phallus monster and Tom Baker gives him a blow job.

      No, seriously. He does.

      • trash_addict says:


        Must at least find clip on YouTube…

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          Hmm. I did try to post a link but it seems to have vanished/been deleted. Never mind. Just do a Youtube search for `Doctor Who Creature Pit` go to Part 7 about 7mins in, and watch the next 2mins..

    • sabra_n says:


    • ldwy says:

      Haha, my first thought was turnips.
      But then my second thought was penises.
      Ah well.

  44. Karen says:

    This episode is a decent follow up to the previous one, but it’s lack of a musical number and the reduced focus on the secondary characters knocks it down a notch for me. Idk. In spite of the interesting stuff done with the Doctor's character, the plot just doesn't do it for me at all.

    Sidenote: The way that Dalek Sec talks reminds me a lot of the way that William Shatner talked in Star Trek. I’m just… saying. His speech… is… stilted.

    <img src=""&gt;
    I like that we get to see Martha doing some actual doctor-ing in this episode which is awesome. And she gets to do some stuff on her own which is nice to see. Unfortunately we do get some more pining and self-pitying in parts of this episode which is just not my cup of tea.

    Martha: He had this companion a while back- this friend. And ever since then, he’s been on his own. But you know, sometimes I say something or do something and he looks at me and I just sort of think… he’s not seeing me. He’s just remembering.

    Yeah… the Doctor is definitely still not in the right emotional space to actually be a friend to Martha. He is just so caught up still in mourning Rose that he doesn’t really see Martha.

    <img src=""&gt;
    Martha Jones: And I am telling you I'm not going!

    Rock on, Martha! But also: LOL LOL LOL. Dreamgirls song.

    • Karen says:

      The relationship between the Doctor and Martha is still weird here. Martha is obviously pining after the Doctor and the Doctor is just kind of ass to her. Like he sees her and hugs her, but then says "never waste time in a hug!". Oh Doctor. Stop taking your emo out on Martha. It’s not nice. Also, stop lying. You and Rose practically had master’s degrees in hugging and cuddling.

      Martha Jones: Do you reckon it's gonna work, those two?
      The Doctor: I don't know. Anywhere else in the universe I might worry about them, but New York- it's what this city's good at. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and maybe the odd pig-slave-Dalek-mutant-hybrid, too.
      Martha Jones: [laughs] The pig and the showgirl. Just proves it, I suppose. There’s someone for everyone.
      The Doctor: Maybe. [walks away]

      Ouch. The Doctor is so oblivious. He really fails at reading Martha when it comes to personal things. And the way the Doctor delivers the “maybe” really makes me think that he’s thinking of Rose. Yeah yeah. I’m a crazy shipper, but I think it’s a valid reading of the scene. The Doctor is really terse and his voice sounds a bit like he’s covering some pain. I’m sure that the Doctor, The Last of the Time Lords © never thought he’d find someone, but then he did, only to lose her.

      The Doctor is dealing with some hardcore angst throughout this entire episode. I can’t think of another time where we’ve seen the Doctor so hopeless. When the Daleks are attacking Hooverville, he’s ready to die.

      <img src=""&gt;
      Doctor: All right! So it’s my turn! Then kill me! Kill me if it’ll stop you attacking these people.
      Dalek: I will be the destroyer of our greatest enemy.
      Doctor: Do it! Do it! Just do it! Do it!

      So basically, the main gist of this episode is that the Doctor can’t deal with any more loss, not even the loss of his greatest enemies. He’s lost too much. First Gallifrey and then Rose. He can’t handle it any more. And so what does the Doctor do this episode? He tries to save the Daleks. In Dalek Sec he sees the potential for change and redemption, so of course the Doctor goes all “I CAN SAAAAVE YOOOOU” on the Daleks. Too bad the original recipe Daleks are having nothing to do with it and instead are going to push through their ridiculous Empire State Building scheme.

      And then it’s just the Doctor and Dalek Kaan. The last of the Time Lords and the last of the Daleks.

      Doctor: Right now you’re facing the only man in the universe who might show you some compassion. Because I’ve just seen one genocide. I won’t cause another. Kaan, let me help you. What do you say?
      Dalek Kaan: Emergency temporal shift!

      He’s just so desperate to not be alone, to be with someone who understands, even if it is his own worst enemy.

      Tallulah: [fretting over Lazlo who is about to die] Doctor, can't you do somethin'
      The Doctor: Oh Tallulah with three l's and an h… just you watch me
      The Doctor: [jumps up, takes off his coat and starts trashing around] What do I need, oh I dunno. How about a great big genetic laboratory. Oh, look I've got one. Lazlo, just you hold on! There's been too many deaths today, way too many people have died. Brand new creatures, wise old men and age old enemies. And I'm telling you, I'm telling you right now. I am NOT having ONE more dead. You got that? NO ONE!

      So the Doctor finds one way in which he can save someone and make him (and Tallulah) happy, and he jumps at it.

      In closing….

      Dalek Sec: You… have betrayed me!
      Dalek Thay: You told us to imagine and we imagined your irrelevance.

      Dalek smackdowns are the best.

      • kytten says:

        you are my favourite commenter. Seriously,

      • kaybee42 says:

        "You and Rose practically had master’s degrees in hugging and cuddling" how hard was it to fight backthe urge to say PhDs and make a Doctorate joke?? 😛

        • Karen says:


          lol. I think I just went for the masters degree thing because I'm working on one right now, so it was on the brain. I am never one to shy away from groan worthy word play based humor! If I had thought of it, I would have totally used it.

      • kilodalton says:

        And the way the Doctor delivers the “maybe” really makes me think that he’s thinking of Rose. Yeah yeah. I’m a crazy shipper, but I think it’s a valid reading of the scene. The Doctor is really terse and his voice sounds a bit like he’s covering some pain.

        To me, it's very clear that's exactly what Davies/Raynor/Garnder/James Strong were going for. Don't call yourself a crazy shipper =( It's canon, it's in the dialogue and, sometimes, it's even been in the stage directions. All you are doing is making reasonable, logical, observations and connecting the dots. Crazy would be if you ignored them =)

        What I'll say is — why hasn't anyone here mentioned "DO IT! DOOOOO IT!!!!!!" at the beginning? That gets so much fan!hate usually – and I love that moment and his emo!breakdown so so so very much – that I came on here fully expecting the usual reaction to it. But … crickets! Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing XD

        • kaybee42 says:

          You mean the ragey begging the Dalek to kill him? That is the moment in this entire two parter that I love so much, like, seriously would marry the moment and have a bunch of baby moments(to use a phrase from another doctor, Dr Cox, in Scrubs). People say David can't do his HUGE emotional, ragey moments but I get sucked into them every time and for me this one is the ultimate. So much sadness and loss and fury and everything about David's acting feels entirely real (even the beating his chest bit, which I know gets some fan hate).

        • mkjcaylor says:

          Yes, I know. I don't see how seeing his Rose angst is in any way because I'm a 'shipper'. IE, I see that the Doctor was in love with Rose and I see that he continues to battle with losing her. Because it's right there on the screen.

          Bah, I still don't get the anti-Rose/Ten argument, but that is me. I feel like for some reason people in this fandom have to walk on eggshells to explain what is plainly happening in front of their face.

          • kilodalton says:

            I 100% agree with everything you said. It's like arguing against any other major plot point … it happened. It's fact. Some people might not like it, but that doesn't make it any less canonical, and arguing that it didn't happen is like arguing that anything else that's highly canonical didn't happen. I don't get it at all, either.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        "Ouch. The Doctor is so oblivious. He really fails at reading Martha when it comes to personal things."

        See, what bothers me about Ten in this series is that I don't think he's failing to read Martha. Ten is very human when compared to some of his other incarnations, and he's usually pretty good at reading people. I'd be less bothered if I thought he really didn't get it (if we were talking about, say, Four, I'd have no problem believing that he has no idea about Martha's attraction. Four is, after all, the incarnation who gave us the line "You're a very beautiful woman, probably.").

        It seems to me that he does understand, but is doing his emotional avoidance thing, to his detriment and Martha's. He's hurting a lot, but doesn't want to deal with it, so he tries to treat Martha as a sort of Rose surrogate, and when that doesn't work he takes out his grief on her. And that bothers me a lot more than thinking that he just doesn't see how she feels about him.

      • trash_addict says:

        'original recipe Daleks'

        And in amongst all the very cool insight….this made me LOL.

      • electric ashera says:

        Dalek smackdowns ARE the best! also: <3

    • sabra_n says:

      Someone else made the Dreamgirls connection! Yay!

  45. jennywildcat says:

    Unpopular Opinion Time! The first time I watched this two-parter, I loved it (I still do) and I was very surprised to find out that so many fans hated it. Maybe it's because I don't know a whole lot about DNA and evolution and science-y stuff (plus, I'm willing to overlook a quite a bit in a science-fiction show. Dude, THE MAN TRAVELS IN TIME AND SPACE IN A BOX THAT IS BIGGER ON THE INSIDE – the writers can get away with botching a few biological explanations), but I loved this story for the fact that it continues the Time War storyline in a way that we haven't been treated to so far in New Who. If there is any species in the universe that the Doctor hates, it's the Daleks. They are responsible for the Time War and the destruction of the Doctor's planet and his people. They are the reason he can't take Martha to his home world (watch him describing Gallifrey to Martha at the end of "Gridlock" and tell me he doesn't miss home). You really get the Doctor's emotion and despair when he realizes the Cult of Skaro survived the events of "Doomsday." Compare the Doctor's reaction to discovering the Daleks survived that to his reaction in "Dalek" when he finds out there's still one Dalek who survived the Time War. That moment in "Daleks in Manhattan" is even more gut-wrenching for the audience because we saw what happened at Canary Wharf, whereas we haven't seen the Time War at all.

    The final confrontation in the theater gets me every stinking time. The Doctor trusted his greatest enemies for just a moment and they completely burned him and he is pissed to the point of recklessness. It's a glimpse of the Doctor as he was in the midst of the Time War and it is downright scary (forget anything the Daleks are trying to do here – there's a reason the Doctor's called "The Oncoming Storm.") That the Daleks are trying to blend themselves with humans – a species that the Doctor is extremely fond of – is so heartbreaking for him and that only adds to the intensity of the scene. I love watching David Tennant in those scenes (the stuff the writers give him only gets better from here on out). There's a lot I am willing to forgive in this story just because I think this gave us a look into the Time War and truly how horrible it was for the Doctor (I later watched "Genesis of the Daleks" – a 4th Doctor story and one I highly recommend for the next "Mark Watches Classic Who" – and that explained the Daleks' behavior and attitudes so much. I think I remember reading somewhere that Helen Raynor took a lot of cues from that story for this two-parter).

    On the surface, the Daleks really are so comical and it's difficult to take them seriously without the subtext of the Time War behind them. Take away the subplot and the silly accents and and musical numbers and get to the root of what the Cult of Skaro was trying to do – also, how difficult it probably was for the Doctor to even think about helping the Daleks (but his belief that even the most despicable villains can change wins out, much to his detriment) – and this is a very emotional story. Not to mention a bittersweet character-building moment for the Doctor. Personally, I love it.

  46. Hotaru-hime says:

    Yeah, I don't think I liked this episode. I should rewatch the series.

  47. sabra_n says:

    Mark, you will indeed be punched in the face with awesome when the myth-arc of this season comes to bear. YOU ARE SO UNPREPARED IT'S RIDICULOUS.

    But back to this story: The nice thing is that Who won't have another set of episodes this bad for a long time. And certainly not this season. (Though obviously YMMV.) But even in a story as utterly discombobulated as this one, there were some memorable bits:

    -Watch Martha when she's conceiving and creating the lightning rod. She's the Doctor. Obviously that's a little theme that's been present since her debut – the way she's a doctor in her own right and had a whole lot more going on in her life than Rose did when she was picked up. But the mannerisms, the way it's shot…it just reminds me hugely of when the Doctor has one of his manic little schemes. But Martha's a much softer touch than Ten is, so I believe her more when she feels awful for killing the pig-men.

    -"And I'm telling you I'm not going!" First of all, GO MARTHA. Second of all, am I the only one who started singing the tune from Dreamgirls as soon as she said that?

    -When the Doctor suicidally asked to be blasted in the Hooverville, it was one of the few times I believed in Ten's despair and rage. So well-done in that instance, Tennant.

    -An image from this episode will be repeated later, under very memorable circumstances. And that's all I'm going to say about that. 🙂

  48. hassibah says:

    Now that I'm forced to think about it I think it's not really that this episode is so bad, it's just that it's really obviously the worst episode in this season. I'd never argue that it's great by any means, but I still think that like 90% of it's badness is due to cockface. This episode had some cool ideas that could have been interesting but it just didn't come together this time, it happens. At least it's all uphill from here!

  49. Vicki_Louise says:

    A total 'meh' episode.
    What makes it a 'meh' episode, for me, is the way the Daleks are used. In the very first Dalek episode, they were sneaky and conniving, and i appreciate that Helen Raynor tried to bring the Daleks back to the way they were at the beginning, it's just that i prefer it when the Daleks are rampaging, psychotic murder machines, instead they're hiding in the sewers and doing experiments. It just doesn't work for me.

    Though there are things i like:
    Tallulah. With three 'L's and a 'H'. She's an adorable character, though if she was my friend in real life she'd get very annoying very quickly!
    Love how Martha figures out what to do for herself. But i always feel a bit iffy about her electrocuting the pig slaves, i think it goes a bit too far.
    Andrew Garfield. *sigh* (whenever i see his name i always think of lasagne!) I watched a Channel 4 drama called Boy A, which had him in it as the Boy A of the title and he was incredible!

    I do love Martha, though i hated her when i first saw series three. Because i loved Rose so much and was so heartbroken by Doomsday, i was determined not to give Martha a chance, out of some weird form of loyalty to Rose. I saw Martha as a carbon copy of Rose and refused to see any differences between them. But having fallen head over heels in love with a……erm………different character, i can now see that Rose and Martha are completely different. It's good to be wrong sometimes. (I'll explain how different they are when we get to a future episode)

    Helen Raynor is a good writer, i think she wrote a Torchwood episode, which if i'm remembering the right one, was very good! And something else she wrote (which i can't say for fear of spoilers), which i thought was brilliant and i really enjoyed watching it.

    The Doctor losses his Sonic Screwdriver again. Don't worry Doc, if you ever need a spare you can always borrow mine. 🙂
    ^yes i am showing off! Hehe

    The story arc for this series is very subtly used, so much so that i didn't even notice it the first time!
    Oh my are not prepared for it!

  50. psycicflower says:

    He means the thing in the background that you're meant to look out for, like in series 1 it was Bad Wolf and in series 2 it was Torchwood.

  51. electric ashera says:

    I believe my main reaction to the two-parter was along the lines of "Dalekanium?! THAT'S REALLY WHAT IT'S CALLED?!"

    <img src=""&gt;

  52. Kitalita says:

    I fucking hate these episodes so much oh my god. Even my massive Andrew Garfield crush hasn't gotten me to rewatch them. It's like HEY LET'S MAKE OUR OWN VERSION OF THE HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN OF DALEKS. HE CAN TALK ABOUT FEEEEEEEELINGS. Blarrghhlllarggbblll.


    And isn't that fun?

  53. Ned says:

    I HATE DALEKS SO MUCH. They show up every four episodes, or something. I just. DALEKS ARGH.

  54. Sierra says:

    "I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end."

    I think that might have been part of the point. The previous two seasons were pretty blatant about letting you know that something big and particular was coming up, and this one just kind of sneaks up on you because by this time you're sort of conditioned for all the foreshadowing.

    YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. And this time, you really aren't. 😉

  55. echinodermata says:

    Oh god, fucking hybrids. I'm a bio geek, so any genetic hybrid in scifi puts me on the defense since it's rarely done well. I don't mind Spock since whatever, Vulcans are advanced scientifically, and Star Trek never really tried to explain the science that quite probably shouldn't work.
    But this? Just, only the most extreme rage gifs do justice to how much I DO NOT WANT the science fail in this episode.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Oh look, Daleks have a double helix. Why? I mean, it's unimaginative. The reason DNA as a double helix works so well is because of the way replication occurs. But the picture of the Dalek helix doesn't seem to depict any real reason why it makes sense for them to have a double helix – there's no drawn link between the two stands or anything. Also, I'm irritated both molecules have the helical turns lined up. This is my most nit-picky paragraph though, and it's about writers never being creative enough with alien genetics.

    Next, the spiky dalek helix just looks stupid – it's depicting molecular structure, so they should both be represented in the same manner since molecules are molecules where-ever you are in the universe. It's not like DNA actually looks like balls and sticks pieced together.

    Also, gamma radiation will not in any way splice together entirely different helices. This right here is a travesty:
    <img src=""&gt;
    Seriously, this picture (well, this entire scene) will be the death of me.

    And next, the problem with alien hybrids in general is that there's no reason to believe different genetic codes would in any way be compatible. You know how people mock the movie Independence Day for having a computer virus be compatible with the alien spaceships? Same basic conceptual failure.

    Furthermore, whatever molecule the genetic code exists as, it's still a physical thing that can't simply be transmitted by lots of lightning coursing down a metal rod. So the Doctor having…infected the hybrids when he was on the roof is just worlds of no.

    And things like compassion and a sense of freedom probably have very little to do with genetics and more to do with sentience in general, so the basic plot doesn't work for me at all.

    Basically, please show, never ever try to explain fictional science again. Just say they're hybrids – please don't bother attempting to legitimize it.

    Finally, and this goes to basically every sci fi show ever: not all chemisty is glassware with pretty colored liquid and smoke bubbling out the top. In fact, that shit needs to be placed in a fume hood.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Exactly. Thank you. The reason the advanced space-time travel works in this is the Doctor says "its far too complex for you to understand." He doesn't try to explain it through semi-quantum physics which would leave everyone who actually understands it (okay, all fifty of them XD) glowering in rage.

      Keep the science vague. You'll annoy less people that way.

      • mkjcaylor says:

        Oh, come on!

        Bounce the graviton particle beam
        off the main deflector dish.
        That's the way we do things lad
        making shit up as we wish…

        • echinodermata says:

          I've no problem with making shit up, it's just when there's accompanying technobabble trying to justify new plot devices/plot resolution.

          Moffat seems to do quite fine without technobabble, for instance – I don't need nanogenes explained, and I'm fine with the magic door. He's still making shit up, but it doesn't bug as much since he's not trying to make sense out of obvious fictional devices. Basically, the fictional science just needs to be shown to work, and that's okay. Explanations unnecessary.

    • notemily says:

      I'm not even a science geek, but I loved this comment. When he started mixing together strangely colored "chemicals" and having them be all smokey I was like REALLY.

      This same basic thing is why Season 4 of Buffy is full of fail. Monsters and magic don't need scientific explanations, so you can make whatever convoluted plot point you like and just explain it away by going IT'S MAGIC. But if you start to bring Science into it, you can't do that anymore. Yeah, Riley, sure, you just had the WILLPOWER to pull out a computer chip that was WIRED INTO YOUR CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Ahem. Sorry.

  56. Kaci says:

    I agree that this episode is underwhelming, but I don't actively dislike it the way some people do. Also yes, you are going to be bitch-slapped with the awesome when the season's mythology shows up.

  57. Selthia says:

    "So the odds are entirely equal, unless the writers come up with some hokey idea about Daleks hidden somewhere else in time."

    —Now you're getting it. ;p

    "I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end."

    –I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just join everyone else and say you are not alone prepared.

    This two parter is one I usually just skip. One of the weakest of Martha's run, although not nearly into fear Her or Love & Monsters territory. There are some interesting things in here, such as the evolving Daleks and an evolving place in the universe that gets squashed because they fear it, but they get drowned out by the rest of the episode.

    This episode does feel a bit cluttered overall.

  58. FlameRaven says:

    I think this is the point where I started to get really tired of the Daleks as a villain. In season one it's great because you have 'Dalek' which is just a very interesting episode. Then you have the season finale and that's cool too. Then they come back in Season two and I was like "What? Really? Daleks again?" but it was still entertaining seeing them against the Cybermen.

    By this point I was like "OKAY RTD DALEKS. WE KNOW. THEY ALWAYS COME BACK." I think I would enjoy the Daleks more if we hadn't consistently seen them build up three armies that were thousands/millions strong and then they all get insta-killed/disposed-of easily. Especially since half the time they're in the background and then it's like 'SUDDENLY DALEKS, EVERYWHERE." :/

    The Daleks are iconic and can be handled well, but so far aside from their initial introduction in the new series, I haven't enjoyed most of their episodes.

  59. MowerOfLorn says:

    So…yes, a bit of a dull episode. I don't hate it, and there's certainly some good things. Its nice to see at least one Dalek drop that villain ball they're always carrying, since he does have a nice point. All the peaceful species in the universe are flourishing, while they're now on their last metaphorical legs. But we knew there couldn't be any real change, since Daleks are one of the show's oldest villains, and lets face it, they show writers aren't going to get rid of them, either through death or making them peaceful.

    I actually really like the character of Tallulah; I know her voice is grating, but I feel that they took the classic dumb-blond dancer stereotype and subverted it. I appreciate that.

    The science makes me cringe. Horribly. As far as I can tell the conducting electricity it fine, but the 'genetics' makes me clutch my text-books fearfully.

    • virtual_monster says:

      I'm sure the 'genetics' has Crick and Watson turning in their graves. Which is no doubt a bad shock for James Watson on account of his being still alive.

  60. arctic_hare says:

    Yeah, this episode, ugh. Just… ugh.

    I have to admit, I rolled my eyes really hard at Ten telling the Daleks to kill him. Look, I get that he's mourning the loss of Rose, but come on – really? That was so over the top, and as much as I hate to invoke this, it reminded me of Twilight. Bleh.

    • Albion19 says:

      Lots of people seem to think that's it about Rose and yeah he misses her but she's alive while his whole planet is gone, along with everyone he may have cared about. Maybe seeing the Daleks again just brought that pain to the surface.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Yeah, I thought it had less to do with Rose and more to do with the fact that he's suffered unimaginable losses in the recent past. He's been through a horrific war, lost his home, his family, his entire planet. Losing Rose was just sort of the last straw.

  61. canyonoflight says:

    I don't really remember much about this episode.

    Is their metal contraption scientifically possible? Just a thought.

    Idk, let's ask Beetee.

  62. fakehepburn says:

    "I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS SERIES’ MAIN MYTHOLOGY IS. That’s kind of exciting because then I’ll get PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME by the time I get to the end."


  63. You know, I remember liking this episode okay when I saw it, but, reading this review, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Hooverville? Dalekanium? Remotely?

  64. jackiep says:

    These episodes are ok, there's no need for the scale of the hate for them. OK some of the ideas might be hatily executed, but there's interesting stuff here.

    The Cult of Skaro were given the job of thinking outside the box (literally) and Dalek Sec eventually grasped that perhaps what Daleks were missing was the reason as to why they kept losing.

    The human who he merged with was probably one of the least pleasant individuals around. Somebody so damaged by his Wartime experiences that survival and ambition were all that mattered to him, so he had no moral qualms about sending the hungry and homeless to the Daleks. Yet, Dalek Sec was so transformed by this, not just physically but morally that he was no longer thinking like a Dalek (showing just how alien Daleks really are in their mentality that even the worst example of humanity could give him an insight into mercy, compassion and the need for the new Dalek race to have a place of their own where they could live without threatening the rest of the Universe.

    I know the science is hokey, but then we don't actually know how Timelord DNA works, after all it's stuff which can change totally upon a death experience…

    As for the arc work, I think you'll be facepalming yourself after the next episode! But so far we've only had two verbal mentions and two physical "mentions".

  65. MichelleZB says:

    I've taken the opportunity to start watching Season 1 of Torchwood again, which is "happening" around the time of Season 3 Doctor Who.

    Oh god, people, I've forgotten how filthy and wrong it is. LOVING IT.

  66. Internet User 027 says:

    The DNA thingy worked because the Doctor reversed the polarity of the neutron flow, duhh.

    (this is not my favorite Dalek episode)

  67. RJM says:

    I don't think it helps that most of the themes from the The Daleks Take Manhattan were explored much more effectively back in the sixties with Evil Of The Daleks. (Sadly, EotD is one of the ones that's mostly burninated, although they still have an audio version to listen to.)

  68. Pingback: property & casualty insurance

  69. Pingback: futures trading software


  71. Pingback: acne

  72. Pingback: Travel Offers

  73. Pingback: Chopper Tattoo Review

  74. Pingback: Camsex

  75. Pingback: Quickest Way to Lose Weight

  76. Pingback: Short sale

  77. Pingback: Property Solicitor

  78. Pingback: Immigration solicitors

  79. Pingback: Carpet Cleaning Reading

  80. Pingback: auto repair

  81. Pingback: Boston Apartments

  82. Pingback: Simple golf swing system Review

  83. Pingback: immigration solicitors

  84. Pingback: luxury apartments Boston

  85. Pingback: Back Bay apartments

  86. Pingback: Solicitors

  87. Pingback: Investment opportunities

Comments are closed.