Evolution of the Daleks
|Season 3, Episode 5|
|Airdate: 28 April 2007|
|Writer: Helen Raynor|
|Director: James Strong|
Evolution of the Daleks
It’s no secret that Terry Nation’s greatest wish for his genetically modified monsters was that they should take off in America. Forty years on, they finally get their suckers stuck into the Big Apple, but has it been worth the wait?
…Sadly, this horrifying and effective sequence leads on to what can only be regarded as the worst part of the story ¬– and indeed one of the worst elements to feature in the series in modern times – The Human/Dalek hybrid. Over-lit and utterly ridiculous, it carries echoes of one of the great Who villains, Scaroth, yet would not look out of place in an episode of Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct…
With an end that points the way to a rematch with Dalek Caan, the Daleks’ Stateside venture is itself a strange hybrid, combining the very best the series has to offer with the very worst. – Total SciFi Online
On paper, this all sounds cool. The Doctor and Martha in 1930s Manhattan, facing off against the Daleks. There’s a tip to the deeper mythology of the show, as these Daleks are part of ‘The Cult of Skaro’ – a reference to the Dalek home world. There’s the new ‘Human Dalek’, chases through the sewers and battles in the Empire State Building. And yet, it all comes across a bit…flat.
This episode still comes across quite a bit better than the previous installment of the two parter. There’s some fun stuff here as the ‘Human Dalek’ essentially is won over by its own absorbed humanity and decides to work with The Doctor, turning the other Daleks and their pig-man henchmen against them. It’s also fun to watch Martha in action, as she is shaping up to be quite a capable companion. – IGN
I don’t want you to think I hated the episode. Certainly it’s not in the same league as the hair-pulling-out horror that was the ‘Aliens of London’ two-parter. Instead, this one is more in the league of last year’s Cyberman two-parter–a good idea stretched a bit thin and not living up to its potential. Make no mistake–this one could have been great.
It has some isolated great moments. The Doctor offering himself to the Daleks to exterminate once and for all is a wondeful moment and Tennant continues to impress in this role. Overall, the acting is univerally good (though the actress playing Tallulah is still grating. Not sure if it’s her or the character) and visually its stunning (as always). The scenes of the Daleks attacking Hoover-town are nice, as is the Doctor offering to surrender to them to save the town. But there’s still some weaknesses to the overall story that are too gaping and apparent to label this one as anything more than a nice try and a bit of a disappointment.
It’s the first time this year I’ve walked away from ‘Doctor Who’ feeling unsatisfied…and hopefully it will be the last. – Slice of SciFi