Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown - Daleks In Manhattan

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we are taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....
We continue with the next David Tennant episode.... Daleks In Manhattan
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.

19. Daleks In Manhattan

First Broadcast on 21st April 2007. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 6.69 million.
Written By Helen Raynor.
Directed By James Strong.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 7/10.


The Doctor and Martha find themselves in New York during the 1930s. Savage Pig Slaves are lurking in the sewers and the Doctor's oldest enemies are planning their most audacious plan yet at the top of the Empire State Building.

Extras: Promotional Photos | Videos | Articles | 

Production Notes:
Russell T Davies decided that he wanted a historical story in which the Daleks were menacing the people of the past. He felt this was a successful format and drew inspiration from the The Evil Of The Daleks (1967). He decided New York was the perfect setting as Cardiff could emulate the city well.
This story was initially assigned to Steven Moffat, but he was too busy to write a two part episode and offered to write the Doctor-lite episode Blink instead.
Helen Raynor took over and became the first woman to write for the revived series of the show and also the only woman to write a televisied adventure featuring Daleks.

The original idea was to have the story set in the jazz bars and speakeasies during the prohibition period, but Davies said he didn't want to use the jazz music that would be in such venues so Raynor changed her loaction to Broadway and Hooverville instead.
The character of Laszlo was intended to be involved with the mob, but this was also changed as was his fate. Raynor intended for him to be killed, but Davies felt it was far too depressing and so he was spared.

Showgirl Tallulah was named after Jodie Foster's Bugsy Malone character and Mr Diagoras was named after the Greek poet, Diagoras the Atheist.

After learning that Doctor Who Confidential were travelling to New York with writer Helen Raynor to conduct an interview, director James Strong suggested to Phil Collinson that a small selection of crew should also go to take footage of the city to be used within the episode. During the trip Strong took plate shots of various landmarks throughout the city.

Raynor had originally wanted the TARDIS to land on the roof of a theatre in Broadway, this was changed to the Tardis landing at the foot of the Statue Of Liberty however due to the fact that the budget wouldn't allow for David Tennant and Freema Agyeman to travel to New York this was actually filmed at Cogan Leisure Centre in Penarth.

The Hooverville scenes were filmed in Cardiff's Bute Park. The front of house scenes in The  Laurenzi Theatre scenes were filmed at the Parc & Dare Hall in Treorchy and the backstage scenes were filmed at Headlands School in Penarth. During the filming at Parc & Dare Thetare David Tennant was battling vocal issues  and a throat problem.

David Tennant originally told the TV Times there would be Art Deco designed Daleks in the episodes, but they were not eventually used.

Angel Face:
Tallulah was the star of the 'Heaven and Hell' centrepiece of the New York Revue on stage at the Laurenzi Thetare. Tallulah said she needed the job as without it she would end up living in Hooverville. She helped the Doctor in his investigations of the sewers beneath the theatre after her lover Laszlo went missing.
Laszlo was a good looking young stage hand, he was kidnapped by one of the Dalek's Pig Slaves and was being turned into one himself when he escaped halfway through the transformation leaving him neither one thing or the other.

Despite her slightly dippy persona, Tallulah had  a heart of gold and stood by the man she loved even when she learned that he had been converted into a Pig Slave. Laszlo was thrilled when he realised Tallulah wouldn't abandon him.
After facing up to the Daleks in Hooverville, Tallulah joined Martha Jones at the Empire State Building and met the Doctor and Laszlo there. 
After the Daleks were defeated, the Doctor used their Transgenic Lab to find a way to halt the decay and save Laszlo's life. Laszlo decided to live in Hooverville in the hope he and Tallulah could carry on their romance.

Pig Slaves:
When they first arrived in Manhattan, the Daleks began a series of genetic experiments, initially attempting to create new Dalek embryos. When that failed, Dalek Sec realised the way forward was to merge himself with a human but, to ensure they would be compatible, the Cult began using kidnapped humans and merging them with pigs, porcine flesh being the nearest to human, and thus they created the Pig Slaves. The resultant physical trauma meant the Pig Slaves had a limited life span, but it was long enough for them to kidnap more humans, the less intelligent of which were also turned into Pig Slaves. The more intelligent ones went on to koin the other aspect of the Final Experiment: the creation of a hybrid Dalek-Human army.
Most Pig Slaves were killed in The Empire State Building when Martha Jones used iron pole to conduct electricity from a lighning strike into the ranks. Once the Daleks were defeated any survivors would have roamed the sewers until they died naturally.


The Doctor: They survived, they always survive, while I lose everything...

Tallulah: Hey, you're lucky, though. You got yourself a forward-thinking guy, with that hot potato in the sharp suit.
Martha Jones: Oh, he's not.... We're not....together.
Tallulah: Oh sure you are! I've seen the way you look at him, it's obvious.
Martha Jones: Not to him.
Tallulah: Oh! I should have realised. He's into musical theatre, huh? What a waste.

Dalek Caan: We are the only four daleks in existence. So the species must evolve to survive. A life outside the shell. The children of Skaro will walk again!

Martha Jones: You can't experiment on people, it's insane. It's inhuman!
Dalek: We are not human.

  • Construction of the Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. Remarkably, it was officially opened just over a year later, on May 1 1931. 3,400 workers were involved in the project, of which five died during the construction. For 41 years, it stood proud as the tallest skyscraper in the world.
  • The Great Depression was an economic low point for the world, which started after the Black Tuesday stock market crash on October 29, 1929. Beginning in the United States, it quickly spread to the rest of the world, with devastating effects. International trade fell rapidly, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices and profits.
  • Among the classic horror films and novels that helped inspire this story are The Island of Doctor Moreau, Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera.
  • This episode marks the first Doctor Who that has ever been filmed partially in the USA, albeit for effects shots and without any of the principal cast. The scenes on the rooftops and those in Central Park were filmed in Cardiff.
  • Both the Daleks and the Doctor briefly visited the completed Empire State Building in The Chase; neither stayed long enough to appreciate any Dalek architecture that may have survived.
  • The Pig Men are the latest race of humanoid slaves used by the Daleks. Others have included Robomen (The Dalek Invasion of Earth), Ogrons (Day of the Daleks) and, er, humans (Resurrection of the Daleks)
  • The last time that the Doctor visited the USA, he was with Rose. On that occasion, he encountered what he believed to be the very last Dalek.
  • Sec is the first Dalek ever to wear shoes.

  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Freema Agyeman - Martha Jone
  • Miranda Raison – Tallulah
  • Ryan Carnes – Laszlo
  • Hugh Quarshie – Solomon
  • Andrew Garfield – Frank
  • Eric Loren  Mr Diagoras
  • Flik Swan – Myrna
  • Alexis Caley – Lois
  • Earl Perkins – Man #1
  • Peter Brooke – Man #2
  • Ian Porter – Foreman
  • Joe Montana – Worker #1
  • Stewart Alexander – Worker #2
  • Mel Taylor – Dock Worker
  • Nicholas Briggs – Dalek Voices
  • Paul Kasey – Hero Pig