Reviewed By: Mercury
Review Date: 1/28/19 7:12 pm
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A two part Dalek story begins with this episode where the Doctor and Martha arrive in New York in 1930. The story tells us this is during the great depression with many poor and starving in America. We are shown how a homeless community is gathering in Central Park while the Empire State Building is being built nearby seeming a monument of inequality in such circumstances. We are also introduced to showgirl Tallulah whose boyfriend Laszlo goes missing while she performs in the theatre. Strange half human, half pig creatures are up to something and an unscrupulous manager exploits and pressures workers at the Empire State Building under orders from the new masters of the project - the Daleks. The Cult of Skaro, four Daleks, are all that is left of their race and they are stranded here. Their leader Dalek Sec is coming up with new ideas of how to bring the Daleks back to supremacy.
The plot and ideas contained in this opening episode are interesting and have no major problems. The following episode which concludes this story was less satisfying but this first part is mostly solid and entertaining. The pig slaves are not the greatest monster but we have menacing and impressive Daleks to make up for that. The setting of 1930 New York is great and is very well recreated with good use of effects, costume and atmosphere. The themes of examining the depression and its effect on people is very good and the acting and American accents are excellent. Future Hollywood superstar Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, Hacksaw Ridge) is excellent as Frank while Hugh Quarshie plays the part of Solomon perfectly. Showgirl Tallulah is well acted and fun with a decent song and dance number, while Laszlo too is endearingly portrayed. Freema Agyeman continues her superb performance as Martha while David Tennant is always great.
The negatives are firstly that the pig slaves and the disappearances in the sewers are not ideal elements of the story. A better, more exciting way of presenting the ideas of Dalek experimentation on humans could have been used. Secondly the Daleks needing humans to put the Dalekanium on the top of the building does not really make sense as if they are willing to fly to Hooverville to attack then they could have flown up at night and affixed the Dalekanium themselves. Overall this is a decent story with many good elements but does not reach its full potential. I rate it 7.5/10.
This episode - 7.5/10
Part 2 - 5.5/10
Overall story 6.5/10