Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks:
|ep 1 –||In the very first scene, Tallulah and Laszlo engage in some passionate kissing, but there isn't a hint of Tallulah's lipstick smudged anywhere on Laszlo's face. 1930s lipsticks weren't colourfast!|
|ep 1,2 –|
|ep 1 –||Witness the amazing teleporting Empire State Building: A couple of minutes into Daleks in Manhattan, the Doctor and Martha see the unfinished skyscraper just across the river from the Statue of Liberty — which would place it in Lower Manhattan (i.e. the southern tip of Manhattan Island). Less than 10 minutes later, during the Doctor's first conversation with Solomon, we see the building towering over Central Park, which would put it in the upper part of Midtown Manhattan, in other words about 5 miles further north than before. And in reality, neither is correct — the real ESB is between the two!|
|ep 1 –||Watch out for the painful typo on the newspaper front page when the Doctor and Martha first read it: "...aimed at the citiy's municipal government" — which should of course be "city's". Even more oddly, when the Doctor shows Solomon the same newspaper later on, the spelling has regenerated: it now says "the cities municipal government" instead, which is still wrong!
[The only possible explanation I can think of is that The Mill used CGI to cover up a typo — and in the process created a new typo instead?!]
|ep 1 –||Furthermore, did David Tennant use a hand double for the newspaper scene at the Statue of Liberty? The thumb holding the paper in closeup looks short and stubby compared to Tennant's skinny digits.|
|ep 1 –||The aerial shot of Central Park (nearly 5 minutes in) looks good at first glance: no obviously modern-looking buildings or other anachronisms. Unfortunately, on second glance, prominent on the left side of shot is a distinctive domed skyscraper — namely, the CitySpire Centre, built in the late 80s.|
|ep 1 –||Not to mention, Central Park looks remarkably green and leafy considering it's meant to be November!
[Have the Daleks been experimenting on the trees' DNA too?]
|ep 1 –||As the Doctor walks through Central Park with Martha, a dodgy edit sees his right hand go from swinging by his side to being instantly in his pocket, while he's explaining to Martha about the Wall Street Crash and Hooverville.|
|ep 1 –||The "real" Hooverville in Central Park didn't actually exist until 1931, the year after this story's setting.|
|ep 1 –|
|ep 1 –||When Diagoras suddenly decides to deal with his insubordinate foreman by introducing him to their "true masters", he presses the lift button, and 20 seconds later when the lift arrives — voilà, a Dalek! But how did the Dalek get there so quickly? Was it hanging around in the lift all day on the off-chance that Diagoras would want to summon it?|
|ep 1 –||The "floor indicator" above the lift in Diagoras's office bizarrely goes from 10 to 100. Firstly — why doesn't it go from 1 to 100? And secondly, even if we excuse that, there are no lifts in the real Empire State Building which go from 1 to 100: all the ground floor lifts only go as far as floor 80 — there's a completely separate set of lifts from floor 80 upwards.|
|ep 1 –||Why doesn't Diagoras offer more than "slave wages" to the volunteers he needs for the sewers? He knows they won't be coming back, so it's not like they're going to collect!|
|ep 1 –||The "sewers" don't look very much like sewers. For a start, there's no sewage! There are also lots of open gratings on the ceilings, which real sewers don't have, since that would release nasty niffs onto the street. OK, both the above suggest these might be actually storm drains rather than sewers, but there are too many junctions and 90 degree bends for them to be storm drains either. Also, notice how the sunlight passing through the 2ft-wide grilles casts 5ft-wide shadows on the floor? Not possible for a couple of reasons — light rays from the sun are parallel, so the shadow on the floor should be the same size as the actual grille. Also, at that time of year (November) the sunlight wouldn't be coming from directly overhead — i.e. any such shadow would be cast on the wall instead.
[I haven't even mentioned the biggest problem with the sewers, namely why the blazes is there a manhole cover leading directly into the backstage area of the theatre...??]
|ep 1 –||Diagoras proclaims that the Empire State Building's mast is "1,472 feet above New York". Sorry to burst your bubble, bud — the actual ESB didn't reach that height until the 1950s, when a radio antenna was added to the top. The height of the completed building in the 1930s was a considerably shorter 1,250 feet.
[It was still the tallest building in the world at the time, so not too shabby!]
|ep 1 –||If fixing the Dalekanium panels to the mast is so vitally important to the Daleks' plan, why don't the lazy beggars just fly up there and weld it on themselves? They want it done at night anyway, so it's not like the general public would see them!|
|ep 1 –||When we see Diagoras and the Dalek chatting on the 100th floor, ask yourself why this room is so ornately decorated when one of the walls is still missing! I'm not a builder, but I wouldn't think it's common practice to put down floor tiles and install elevator doors, lights, etc. when part of the room is still wide open to the wind and rain?|
|ep 1 –||During the same scene, while Diagoras and the Dalek are gazing out over the city, the Dalek's dome is clearly covered in dust — check out the handprint (well, three clear fingermarks, anyway) to the left of the eyestalk.|
|ep 1 –|
|ep 1 –||When escaping from the "pig men" in the sewer, why does the Doctor use his sonic screwdriver on the manhole cover? It's not as if manholes are usually locked into place, and in fact we can be 100% definite that it wasn't locked: as we see later, it's the manhole Laszlo has been using to get in and out of the theatre every day.
[Force of habit?]
|ep 1 –||The radio the Doctor cannibalises to make the impromptu DNA scanner clearly doesn't belong in 1930, despite its "retro" look — it's far too small! Remember, a "wireless" in the 1930s was basically a piece of furniture, not a handheld device.
[Apparently those in the know also tell me that when the Doctor examines the innards of the radio, you can see electronic components that weren't yet invented in 1930, but I'm not an expert so I'll have to take that part on faith]
|ep 1 –||How does Laszlo still manage to procure a daily supply of roses for Tallulah after he's been "pigified"? Roses don't grow in a sewer!|
|ep 1 –||When Tallulah hands Martha the rose, the camera cuts to Martha bringing it closer to her face to examine it (perhaps 6 inches away, at about chin level) but when we cut to behind Martha, suddenly she's holding it much further away from her face, and higher up too (at about Martha's eye level).|
|ep 1 –||When Solomon is giving the Hoovertown residents that "pep talk" around the campfire, it's visibly raining — however everyone's clothes, hats and faces all appear completely dry!|
|ep 1 –||At the end of the same scene, we see the Empire State with its upper floors lit up at night time, as it is nowadays — unfortunately, in reality that floodlighting wasn't installed until the 1960s.|
|ep 1 –||How does Diagoras fit inside Dalek Sec's casing? When it opens, it doesn't look like there's anywhere near enough empty space to fit a full-grown man.|
|ep 1 –||During the dance number, when Martha spots Laszlo at the far side of the stage, why does she try to clumsily sneak across the open stage, with all the ensuing chaos (and basically guaranteeing that Laszlo will see her) instead of just walking across unseen behind the rear curtains?|
|ep 1 –||I know Tallulah is supposed to be a stereotypical "ditzy blonde", but man alive, it takes an inordinately long time for her to realise the "pig-man" might be Laszlo when she and the Doctor meet him down in the sewer. Especially considering he spends most of the scene turned away or with his face in shadow. Doesn't Tallulah recognise her own boyfriend's voice?|
|ep 1 –||When Diagoras is being led to the "final experiment", he very noticeably puts on a pair of black leather gloves before meeting Dalek Sec. But at the end of the episode, when he emerges from the Dalek casing in "hybrid" form, despite still wearing his suit and spats, the gloves have vanished!|
|ep 1 –||The end credits mis-spell choreographer Ailsa Berk's first name as "Alisa".|
|ep 2 –||Just in case we haven't complained enough about the sunlight coming through the sewer gratings (see previous episode), early on in Evolution of the Daleks as the Doctor and co. make their escape from the lab, there's just as much light shining through the gratings as before — but when they get outside, we can see it's night-time!|
|ep 2 –||When Dalek Hybrid Sec picks up the remains of the radio to examine it, the "Hamilton" label on the front of the radio is written backwards, indicating that the shot has been flipped horizontally.|
|ep 2 –||So the Hooverville folk are dirt-poor — that's why they're in Hooverville in the first place, after all. So how come they have lots of shiny new rifles available for their fight with the Daleks?|
|ep 2 –||When the Daleks attack Hooverville, there's a huge amount of gunfire, explosions, etc. All in all, quite a racket — but strangely, the NYPD and the thousands of citizens living in the apartments around Central Park seem not to notice: not even so much as a distant police siren afterwards!|
|ep 2 –||Why does the Doctor offer to sacrifice himself after Solomon's death? OK, obviously he's angry, and it's a nice moment to show his heroism — but stop and think for a moment: He's the only one on Earth who has any chance of stopping the Daleks — and it's not like the Daleks would have killed him and then said, "That's that, then. I guess we'll just discontinue our master plan and let ourselves die out"...! By sacrificing himself, the Doctor would have doomed the Earth. That's not heroic, it's illogical and downright stupid!
[Shame on you Doc!]
|ep 2 –||When Sec throws the "mad scientist"-style switches in the Dalek lab to turn on the lights and whatnot, the way he does it is wrong — he's actually opening the circuits, i.e. turning them off instead!|
|ep 2 –||Speaking of those switches... Sec pulls one switch, and it illuminates the entire ceiling of the room (all the human "shells" become visible). When he pulls the next switch, one single solitary human shell comes down from the ceiling. OK, the Daleks could have set the switches up like this, but... why?|
|ep 2 –||The CGI effects shot showing the roof of the genetics lab (visible after Sec throws the first switch) doesn't match up to the actual set. The effects shot shows the stone columns stopping at around "normal" ceiling height and with several of them joined at the top by horizontal metal girders. If you compare this to the actual set (most noticeable when we see the shot from above of the "human shell" descending from the ceiling), the stone columns go up higher, and there are no girders joining them, but there's a decorative metal surround on the columns at about normal ceiling height (which the effects shot doesn't have).|
|ep 2 –||When pointing out that the Daleks don't have enough power to convert all the captured humans, the Doctor says "This planet hasn't even split the atom yet!" Sorry to contradict you, old chum — Ernest Rutherford is generally considered to have been the first to split the atom, and he managed it in 1917, a whole 13 years before this episode. Besides, what would it matter if Earth scientists hadn't done this yet? You might not have noticed Doc, but Daleks have access to non-Earth technology too!|
|ep 2 –||Why does Sec take his time trying to win over the Doctor, in a most leisurely fashion — when it turns out there's only 11 minutes until the solar flare?|
|ep 2 –||It's night-time in New York. So the sun is on the opposite side of the planet. That's pretty dreadful planning on the Daleks' part since they're relying on the gamma radiation from the solar flare: gamma radiation can't travel all the way through the Earth — it'd be absorbed long before it made it to New York!|
|ep 2 –||When Martha first looks at the revised plans for the Empire State Building, Frank points out that the latest alterations are dated November 1st (that day's date). And right underneath this, where it says 'CHANGES' in big red letters, we see that the plan spells out exactly what was changed that day — freeze-framed, it says "See Sheet No. 49B for new mast cladding". With such useful and specific information right in front of her, why does Martha immediately ignore this and start comparing sheets to play spot-the-difference?|
|ep 2 –||When Martha has the building plans spread out on the floor, she pulls out one sheet in particular and lays it on top of the pile — this sheet has a more detailed view of just the top of the tower, and as she moves the sheet around, we can see that the corner nearest the camera also has a close-up drawing of one of the Dalekanium panels. With this sheet on top, we move in for a close-up as she talks to Tallulah about the Doctor. When we cut back to the wide shot, the sheet on top still has the plan of the tower — but it's a different version, with no close-up of the Dalekanium, and no indication that Martha rearranged the sheets while she was talking.|
|ep 2 –||When Tallulah looks out over the New York skyline from the top of the Empire State Building, the brightly lit crown of the Chrysler Building is visible. Yes, the building was completed in May 1930, just months before the episode takes place. However, the lights on the spire weren't added until the 1980s!|
|ep 2 –||As Laszlo rescues the Doctor from the Daleks and their pig slaves, he says "there's the lift" to the Doctor as the lift arrives. Then later on, Martha tells the Doctor "We came up in the service elevator". Hang on a minute — Laszlo's American and Martha's English — he should have said "elevator" and she should have said "lift", not the other way around!
[Also, the sign in the service elevator (behind Martha's head) refers to it as a "lift"]
|ep 2 –||Dalek Sec's empty casing is still where he left it at the start of the "gene feed" experiment. However, by the end of the experiment it has disappeared.
[Did the pig-men tidy up?]
|ep 2 –||The arrival of the gamma radiation from the solar flare is referred to as a "gamma strike" during the climax of the episode and appears for all the world like a bolt of lightning. There are so many problems with this I don't know where to start, but here goes: 1) There's no such thing as a "gamma strike". 2) Gamma radiation doesn't cause lightning. 3) Neither do solar flares! 4) Most of the gamma radiation released by solar flares is absorbed by the outer layers of the atmosphere: only a tiny amount makes it to Earth's surface (or indeed the top of a tall building). 5) If the Daleks really wanted a source of gamma rays, why not just go digging for uranium or radium or other naturally radioactive isotopes? 6) And even if the all the above points weren't true, you still have the insurmountable problem we mentioned above, i.e. that it's night-time in New York, so any effects of a solar flare would only be apparent on the other side of the world!|
|ep 2 –||How come the Dalekanium plates on the spire don't have any cables leading out of them, to carry the power down to the basement? OK, presumably to string out the suspense — i.e. it would have been too "easy" for the Doctor to yank out a cable, compared to the drama of having to laboriously unfasten each panel. And sure, you might well say that cables are so old-fashioned: we're dealing with advanced alien technology here, surely the panels would somehow be able to wirelessly "transmit" the energy downstairs without cables — fine, but in that case, why would they be rendered useless by simply unbolting them from the spire...?|
|ep 2 –||While waiting for the "lightning" to electrocute the pig slaves, Martha tells Tallulah and the others not to touch anything metal — as they all sit with their backs against a massive metal pillar...!|
|ep 2 –||OK, so the Daleks altered the gene feed to make the human bodies "100% Dalek", but after the gamma strike they still look 100% human? Huh? If they were 100% Dalek they'd look completely like Daleks, that's what "100%" means! OK, we found out later that the Doctor mixed some Time Lord DNA in there as well, but surely the fact that they don't look even 1% Dalek-y should have rung alarm bells with the Cult of Skaro?
[To put it another way, if you were planning an experiment to make humans "100% banana" but they came out of the process not looking the slightest bit yellow, you'd assume something was wrong and pull the plug on the experiment, no?]
|ep 2 –||So the Doctor asks if Tallulah can get him into the theatre after midnight, which she duly does, and along with Martha, Frank and Laszlo they all sneak into the auditorium, before the Doctor reveals his plan: activate his sonic screwdriver to "tell" the Daleks where he is. Once he does this, he immediately tells Martha to escape back to the safety of Hooverville, although it's too late as the "Dalek-Humans" arrive almost instantly. Not great planning on your part to be honest, Doc — if you were that concerned about Martha's safety, why bring her to the theatre in the first place? Or at the very least, why not give her a minute to make her escape before activating your sonic screwdriver??|
|ep 2 –||Speaking of the Daleks' arrival in the theatre — how do they get there so quickly? They have Sec on a chain (and crawling no less) so they would have been moving very slowly (and couldn't have "flown") so it should have taken them ages to get from the lab in the Empire State through the sewers to the theatre. Furthermore, why do they bring Sec to the theatre in the first place? Why not just leave him in the lab where he was securely chained to the wall?|
|ep 2 –||When the two Daleks on stage have the Doctor at their mercy and are (finally!) ready to exterminate him, only the last-minute intervention of Dalek Hybrid Sec saves the day, as he "takes a bullet" for the Doctor. But hang on a mo, there are two Daleks on stage and Sec only gets in the way of the one on the right — why is the Dalek on the left just sitting there, doing nothing and missing a golden chance to exterminate the Doctor??|
|ep 2 –||As Sec collapses onto the stage after being exterminated, the chain holding him to the Dalek's plunger gets yanked free. But a minute later, the chain is suddenly back around the plunger again.|
|ep 2 –||The Daleks are clearly dubious enough about the "Dalek-Humans" to implant a self-destruct mechanism. So why would the Daleks then trust them enough to also give them weapons which are harmful to Daleks?? Surely it would be infinitely more sensible to supply them with weapons that could kill humans without being fatal to Daleks — machine guns for example?|
|ep 2 –||Speaking of the self-destruct, why doesn't Dalek Caan activate it as soon as the Dalek-Humans start firing at the "pure" Daleks? Instead he leaves his poor colleagues to get blown up first before finally getting around to destroying the hybrids.|
|ep 2 –||If the Doctor goes all-out to save Laszlo at the end, why does the poor bloke still look just as "piggy" afterwards? As the Doctor quite rightly points out, he's in a "great big genetics laboratory" — could he really not have removed some of Laszlo's pig DNA when doing whatever he did to fix his heart?
[As it stands, Laszlo's got a pretty crappy life ahead of him, hiding from the world in Hooverville. Thanks for nothing Doc!]