After a bit of a break the lads down in Modern Recap-itulation emerge from their hidey hole with a double-header of nu-Who caps for Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks. Here’s where we at the Tour damn with faint praise. There’s nothing particularly wrong with either end of this two-parter, but there’s a certain Death to the Daleks feel that’s hard to avoid in this story.
Back in the Pertwee era the Daleks were brought back after a five-year absence in Day of the Daleks. After such an interregnum, the novelty, and the menace, of the Daleks, seemed afresh again. Then the production team got the Dalek virus and brought them back year after year in Planet of the Daleks, Death to the Daleks and finally Genesis of the Daleks. It was only in the last of these four that something truly novel happened with the introduction of Davros, and the rest as they say, is history.
Similarly Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks are the third links in a chain which ends with Journey’s End and Davros once again. But there’s a certain level of inventive desperation going on with this stateside pair of stories … ‘a human-Dalek hybrid? Haven’t tried that one before!’ that works … to a point.
But there’s also, literally, too much theatricality going on with one Mister Tennant. The knock, fair or not, of facial gurning was often put upon Patrick Troughton, but he had nothing on Tennant at least in these stories. We certainly could have used less of it. The new caps and caps for Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks are lovely however.