Dr Who 2.4/2.5 - the Cybermen (Spoilers galore)

Spoiler free post before we get to the goodies!

Not bad at all, but not actually good. Trigger (from Only Fools and Horses) as the bad guy was a nice touch. And Mickey stays behind.

Very much standard mirror-universe fare with Rose’s parents, though.

I felt that the Cybermen were a bit too like the Daleks. “Delete! Delete!” But it worked well.

I agree that the “Delete!” thing was an annoyingly obvious attempt to get a Dalek-esque catch phrase (although, of course, the Cybermen already have a much cooler one: “You will become like us.”, spoken ina completely flat monotone), but I thought the Cybermen were much scarier than the Daleks. The Daleks can only kill you- they are very good at it, but they can be stopped. The Cybermen will take you and make you into them, and they are (unlike the Daleks) impossible to reason with. The other thing is that the Cybermen are quite empathic. “You are in pain. We can make the pain stop.” “I will create peace across the world.” “Rage, fear, grief. They hurt. I can take them away.” The have understandable, even sympathetic motives.

And that one scene with the Cyberman with the disabled emotional inhibitor (“Why am I so cold?”) was just heartbreaking, as was that last line of Pete’s, after they’d been stopped by the Jackie-Cyber: “Which one was it? They all look the same.” You could really hear the utter despair in his voice when he realised that his wife was not dead- he was prepared for that- but still alive, emotionless and locked inside a walking steel coffin.

However, cool as the Cybermen, and nearly all scenes with them, were (especially that one in the cooling tunnel, when they start waking up), I felt the rest of the script let them down. The parallel world was well-conceived but poorly executed, the Doctor was given enough MacGuffins to sink a ship (including the dual-use powercell and Cyberman-evaporator MacGuffin), the ending was weak and the subsidiary characters were not fleshed out. Pete Tyler and Lumick were the two exceptions, but the Scooby Gang were just so weak- especially the revelation that Ricky- dangerous, exciting Ricky, with a truck full of automatic weaponry and a team of trained urban guerillas- was a complete washout was just terrible (Parking tickets? Parking tickets? I wept tears of blood.) Ooh, nearly forgot, the amoral, duplicitous henchman turning on Lumick was a lovely touch.

Random bits and bobs:
-Did you know that the actor playing Lumick apparently also did Davros?
-How great is the Cyberman redesign?
-Why did the Cybermen blow up when their emotional inhibitors were switched off? I wanted to see them committing suicide by ripping their own heads off or sticking their hands into wall sockets in utter despair, not do the classic Deus-Ex-Machina “evil android dies when it encounter emotional conflict! Oh noes!” thing. Plus I thought it really cheapened the impact of the fact that the Doctor and Mickey just killed thousands of people whose only crime was to have been put in a cyber-body (well-set up by the earlier scene, also. It felt like the scriptwriter had thrown himself a perfect pitch and then dropped it.)
-Also, why did the factory blow up?
-Must the Doctor use his sonic screwdriver to remove all dramatic tension from every scene prior to the final confrontation?
-Zeppelins are freaking cool.

When did Roger Lloyd Pack do Davros? Was it in one of the audio things? (AFAIR, the actors who played him on-screen were Michael Wisher, David Gooderson, and Terry Molloy.)

I have to say, I thought Roger Lloyd Pack was surprisingly awful …

Oh, sorry, I might be wrong. I was under this impression from something they said on the commentary (released on the BBC website). Maybe one of the other actors formerly did Davros? (Maybe the old minion).

Decent episode until the Doctor disabled the inhibitor. Then it all went cliche-ridden, lazy writer stupid. The emotional inhibitor override convienently caused the cybermen to not only realize what had been done to them, but also start exploding. Blew up the factory somehow too. I would have found it a lot more fitting if, rather than the horribly cliched fall from the zeppelin ladder, Lumick had died at the hands of his own creations, killed by a mob of freed Cybermen enraged at what he had done to them. That would have been a good way to explain the destruction of the factory as well - Cybermen deliberately destroying the equipment rather than the place inexplicably exploding.

I’d also find it odd and remarkably convienent that all of the freed Cybermen self-destructed or were killed in the explosion. You’d think that out of all of them there would have been at least a few who, while certainly not pleased at what had happened, could at least deal with it enough to not explode or die. What happens to them afterwards, how they adjust and are treated by society, would make for an interesting ongoing story itself, although not one we’ll ever see as it’s been clearly stated we’ll never see this alternate universe again.

Mods – if you don’t want a thread this old resurrected, just kill it. Kill it dead.

I never saw these episodes until today – home sick, watching my girlfriend’s DVDs.

Just one thing: did it seem to anybody else that the Cybermen factory looked exactly like the factory on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals? Do you think that was a deliberate joke?

It looked the same because it was- Battersea Power Station. Wikipedia at least thinks the reference was intentional.

I also happen to think the Art Deco/industrial styling just happens to go well with the latest design of the Cybermen.

“Delete! Delete!” :wink:

Creating zombie Café threads is permissible, as long as the bump isn’t pointless.