Evolution of the Daleks

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182b – "Evolution of the Daleks"
Doctor Who episode
DW S3.5 Evolution.jpg
Dalek Sec, now a hybrid
Directed by James Strong
Written by Helen Raynor
Script editor Lindsey Alford
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 3.5
Series Series 3
Length 2nd of 2-part story, 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 28 April 2007
← Preceded by Followed by →
"Daleks in Manhattan" "The Lazarus Experiment"
Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)
Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"Evolution of the Daleks" is the fifth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 28 April 2007,[1] and is the conclusion of the two-part story begun in "Daleks in Manhattan" on 21 April.

The episode is set in New York City in 1930. In the episode, Dalek Sec (Eric Loren) of the Cult of Skaro attempts to make further alterations to his human test subjects he intends to remake into a new race of Daleks as part of his species' evolution. Sec is betrayed by his fellow Daleks for doing this.

According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 6.97 million viewers and was the seventeenth most popular broadcast on British television in that week.[2]


The Human Dalek, as shown at the Doctor Who Experience

After the creation of the hybrid Dalek-human, the Tenth Doctor confronts the Cult of Skaro and uses his sonic screwdriver to help the others escape. Dalek Caan and Dalek Jast discuss their lack of confidence in the now-emotional Dalek Sec, hinting that a change of command may be needed. The Doctor and Martha return to Hooverville, where the Doctor warns Solomon that the Daleks are planning an attack. Solomon believes he can reason with them, but he is killed during the attack. The Doctor confronts Dalek Caan and provokes him, but Dalek Sec orders the Doctor to be brought to him alive.

At the Dalek lab at the Empire State Building, the Doctor learns that the Daleks are planning to combine their DNA with humans and create more hybrids. The process requires more energy than can be generated with the technology of 1930, so the Daleks plan to use gamma energy from a solar flare. The Doctor agrees to help once he realises that the human subjects are already brain dead and cannot be saved otherwise. He also offers to take the new hybrids and the Daleks to a new planet in the TARDIS so they can start over, in which Dalek Sec agrees. Daleks Caan, Jast, and Thay stage a mutiny, chaining up Dalek Sec and declaring him a traitor. The Daleks then decide to replace the human DNA completely with their own, making a new race of Daleks. The Doctor and the partially transformed Pig Slave Laszlo regroup with Martha, Laszlo's girlfriend Tallulah, and Frank. Martha has analysed the building plans and tells the Doctor he must remove the Dalekanium panels on the mast of the building to stop the energy collection. The Doctor climbs up, telling Martha to stay behind and fight. As the Doctor struggles to remove the panels, Martha lays out pieces of metal from the framework of the building to connect with the elevator. The Doctor fails to get the panels off in time and ends up holding the mast as the strike hits. The energy flows down the building, electrocuting the Pig Slaves in the elevator but also awakening the new hybrids.

Martha and the others help the Doctor down and then return to the theatre with the human-Dalek army following them in the sewers. In the theatre, the Doctor pleads with the others to listen to Dalek Sec and let him help. They refuse, attempting to kill the Doctor but Sec steps in between and sacrifices himself. The Daleks order their army to kill the Doctor, but find that the humans are resisting. By exposing himself to the gamma strike, the Doctor caused some of his Time Lord DNA to transfer to the human shells, allowing him to control the army. The human-Dalek army turn on Thay and Jast, killing them. Dalek Caan activates a termination sequence to kill the rest of the army. Upset by this act of genocide, the Doctor returns to the Dalek lab to face Caan, but Caan escapes once again via emergency temporal shift. Laszlo's heart begins to fail due to his partial transformation as a Pig Slave. The Doctor finds a way to stabilise his condition, but cannot restore his human appearance. Laszlo and Tallulah are reunited, and learn from Frank that the people of Hooverville will take Laszlo in despite his looks.



  • This is the first episode to use the "_____ of the Daleks" titling scheme since 1988's Remembrance of the Daleks. The scheme was started on screen with The Power of the Daleks in 1966, although the earlier The Dalek Invasion of Earth (which had no onscreen title) had The Return of the Daleks as a working title.
  • Several other Doctor Who stories have featured Daleks and human beings being combined in different ways. These include:
    • The Evil of the Daleks: humans are infused with the "Dalek Factor", and Daleks infused with the "Human Factor"
    • Revelation of the Daleks: human beings kept in suspended animation, pending the discovery of disease cures, are instead converted into Daleks
    • "Dalek": a Dalek extracts human DNA to regenerate itself, and is altered in the process
    • "The Parting of the Ways": the Daleks in this story are all created from humans by the Dalek Emperor
    • The Doctor Who Quick Reads book I am a Dalek: The Dalek Factor is added to humans in the Roman era
    • "Asylum of the Daleks": Oswin Oswald, a human, is fully converted into a Dalek and several other humans are made into Dalek Puppet slaves.
  • At the climax of this story, the Daleks are defeated when the human/Dalek hybrids turn on them. The Daleks are similarly overthrown by their creations in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, in which the Doctor's companions turn the Robomen, humans conditioned to serve the Daleks, against their masters.
  • The Daleks' creator Davros is mentioned for the second time since the show's return in 2005 (the first having been in "Dalek").
  • Dalek Sec refers to the emergency temporal shift that they activated in "Doomsday", explaining that the Cult of Skaro escaped being sucked into the Void by this method. Dalek Caan also initiates an emergency temporal shift at the end of this episode. In "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End", it is revealed that the temporal shift at the end of this episode takes Dalek Caan into the Time War.
  • Once again, the Daleks use a 'battle computer' to direct mass operations on Earth, as in Remembrance of the Daleks. On that occasion, it was controlled by an altered human girl; here, it is operated by a direct link to Dalek Caan.
  • The Daleks state that they first attempted to reproduce themselves in New York by creating Dalek "embryos". Dalek embryo technology and an "embryo room" were previously seen in Genesis of the Daleks. The idea of Daleks being genetically replicated was previously seen in Power of the Daleks.

Outside references[edit]


The theatre sequence was filmed at the Parc & Dare Theatre, Treorchy.[5] Scenes set at the Hooverville shanty town were filmed at Bute Park, Cardiff.[6] Some second unit filming for this story was done in New York City.[7] It primarily consisted of static shots of landmarks and landscape views, many of which were digitally altered to remove architecture created since the story's setting. This constitutes the second time any filming for Doctor Who has been conducted in America. (The 1996 TV movie, although produced in Vancouver, Canada, included establishing shots of San Francisco filmed by a second unit; an earlier story, The Two Doctors, was originally to have been filmed in New Orleans, but the budget of the time would not allow it.)

The presence of the Daleks in this story was reported by the News of the World on 12 November 2006,[8] and confirmed by the BBC in late December.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Doctor Who UK airdate announced". News. Dreamwatch. 27 February 2007. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. 
  2. ^ "Evolution - Final Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey News Page. Source: BARB. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  3. ^ Behind the Sofa's review of "Evolution of the Daleks" Archived 11 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Lyrics for Are You Being Served?
  5. ^ "Walesarts, Parc Dare & Theatre, Treorchy". BBC. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Walesarts, Bute Park, Cardiff". BBC. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  7. ^ Davies, Russell T (2007-12-03 cover date). "Production Notes: 12 Facts a-Facting!". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 377. p. 66. Seven hours a-flying! That's how long it took for our director, James Strong, and his team to fly to JFK, for the Official First Ever Doctor Who Shoot in New York!  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Richardson, Rachel (12 November 2006). "Dalek return". News of the World. p. 31. 
  9. ^ Darlington, David (28 February 2007). "Script Doctors: Helen Raynor". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 379. pp. 30–36. 
  10. ^ "Doctor battles Daleks in New York". BBC News. BBC. 2006-12-27. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 

External links[edit]