Lazlo was kind of a hottie before being partially made into a pig slave.
So for some reason, the title of this episode always makes me think of The Muppets Take Manhattan. I really don’t know why because there is only one word in common between the two titles. I think I just watched the Muppet movies too many times when I was a kid. Ok, now to move on from the weird movies I watched as a kid to the actual episode.
The plot of this episode is kind of… eh. Whatever. The Daleks have some wacky scheme to bring back their race and destroy the world. What else is new? Except this time their plan involves turning people into pigs? And the Empire State Building? And using men with really awful New York accents? Ok.
And then the episode ends with a Dalek and human merging to form a Dalek-human with phallic looking tentacles all over his face? LOL WAT.
What saves this episode from being in the ‘C’ range are two things. 1) I love the supporting cast. Tallulah, Frank and Solomon are all awesome and 2) THE MUSICAL NUMBER. Idec what you think, that moment was AWESOME.
Tallulah is too adorable in her 1930s dancer ways. She’s so bubbly and cute. I love her! She’s all bright and sparkly, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. She not some sort of superficial ditz, she really does love Lazlo and can be feisty when things concern him. When Tallulah sees Lazlo she doesn’t recoil in horror and reject him. In conclusion, Tallulah is awesome. Haters to the left.
And I do really like Solomon, even though when he was splitting the bread between the two Hooverville men, I was like “LOL. SOLOMON. CLEVER, WRITERS. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE”.
My love for Frank is only partially motivated by the fact that I think he’s cute. He’s totally adorable and sweet and generally awesome. Also the actor was Anton in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and I loved him in it.
Throughout these two episodes the Doctor has some interesting character exploration… and Martha… does not.
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 realized. He's into musical theatre, huh? What a waste.
Noooooo! Self-pitying!Martha, go away! Bring back the awesome Martha from the end of the last episode. UUUUUGH. I hate it when they go this direction with Martha’s character.
Fortunately we do get the start of some neat Doctor characterization. He’s lost a lot recently. And it shows.
The Doctor: No... no, no, no... They survive, they always survive, while I lose everything.
Ok, I know that this isn’t specifically a Rose!angst moment, but it could be. I mean, the Doctor has been emo about Gallifrey recently, so I’m sure that’s on his mind. But the last time he saw Daleks was when he lost Rose. Not only that, he lost Rose for the sake of destroying Daleks forever, but obviously that didn’t happen. So he lost Rose and didn’t defeat the Daleks after all. Poor Doctor. Anyway, the point of this line is to show how much the Doctor has lost which comes into play in the next episode.
3x05 “Evolution of the Daleks”
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 pushes this episode into the ‘C’ range. 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.
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 her characterization is still pining and self-pitying in parts of this episode.
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.
GO AWAY SELF-PITYING MARTHA. BRING BACK AWESOME MARTHA.
Martha Jones: And I am telling you I'm not going!
Ah, there you are! But also: LOL LOL LOL. Dreamgirls song.
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 when 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.
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.
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.
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!
At the end of the series, he does the same thing with the Master. He’s just so desperate to not be alone, to be with someone who understands.
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.
Dalek Sec: You... have betrayed me!
Dalek Thay: You told us to imagine and we imagined your irrelevance.
Dalek smackdowns are the best.