Thursday, May 16, 2013

They call me .. . ..Porridge!

Neil Gaiman, writer of one of the most beloved episodes since The Doctor's return, “The Doctor's Wife”, is back by popular demand to once again show us his love for the series with his take on the iconic Cybermen and, in the local American parlance, he's hit it out of the park.

The run-up to the 50th Anniversary of “Doctor Who” has seen a nice mix of old school enemies coming back. The Daleks, the Ice Warriors, the Great Intelligence and now the Cybermen and with advances in television technology, these foes, some going back to 1963 (the Daleks), have been given new and incredible looking new life.

It is interesting that, in this episode, that the Cybermen go through yet another transformation, almost, if you're cynical, yet another “upgrade”. Over the years since the Cybermen appeared first in 1965 in “The Tenth Planet” as the residents of the Earth mirror planet of Mondas, the Cybermen have been redesigned and redesigned and re-re- re-designed, having gone through various upgrades.

In the Eccleston era, all 1 season of it, the Cybermen were referred to in the episode “Dalek” (the best of his run), when in the alien museum The Doctor and Rose saw an old school version of a Cyberman head on display, a version last seen in the Sylvester McCoy era, nice continuity.

Then The Doctor and Rose saw the re-birth of the Cybermen in the new series with the creation of the Cybex Cybermen in the alternative universe, which in hindsight, seems a bit nonsense. I mean the Cybermen have a history of “upgrading” based on their changing appearance, they could have just as easily re-introduced them as an upgrade. Oh well, as they say, hindsight is 20-20.

OK, enough of that, onto . . . . .

Neil Gaiman's back and he's all fanboyish, which is cool.

An interesting redesign of the Cybermen, more alien and more human at the same time (not gonna get into the whole looking like Iron Man thing). The rounded face, the spine in the back, the less obtrusive head handles.

The inclusion of children in the story. Doctor Who is a kids' show after all, and it was nice to see some actual “hide behind the couch” moments with this episode. I have to a admit that I jumped when the Chess playing Cyberman grabbed Mister Webley by the wrists and Cybermyted him into an upgrade.


Nice shoutout to the past with the reference to gold screwing with Cyber technology, which.

I think that not since “Rose's Theme” have I liked a companion's accompanying music, but I like “Clara's Theme” a lot. And speaking of music, this episode seemed to be very orchestral in its background music. To me it actually stood out, and in this episode it was a good thing.

Gaiman borrowed heavily from Stare Trek: The Next Generation for this eposide, which was something I feared might be the case. Simply seeing The Doctor in the previews with that piece of Cyber Technology on his face was reminiscent of seeing Captain Picard in the ST:TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds” when he was assimilated into the Borg Collective and renamed Locutus.

Also, the new (to us, as evidently this “new” version has been around for about 1000 years when The Doctor and crew stumble across them) Cybermen's ability to “upgrade” is pretty much the same as the Borg's ability to adapt to pretty much any situation and do it quickly. This is very evident when the gun that usually destroys them suddenly doesn't.

Angie was quite the annoying tween. She gets a ride in the TARDIS, ends up on another planet and acts like she's being dragged to some lame amusement park (OK as amusement parks go, it was pretty lame, aside from it being on a different planet, in a different galaxy, a kabillion years in the future).

It seems as if the Make-up Department are having a really bad time hiding the forehead scar on Matt Smith, and given the picture that I saw of his American movie debut character, that scare is seriously nasty.

That this is the penultimate episode for this season, and this is my BIGGEST complaint about Doctor Who, that we're given 13 episodes per season (or series as the Brits call them for some reason), it would be nice to have them all at one time, all in a row. Short season American shows seem to get it right, 13 episodes in a row and done until next year. We could live with that. On the SyFy Channel (an abominable name), they've actually nailed it on Warehouse 13 with their 13 episodes and a Christmas Special. They probably stole the concept from from Doctor Who in that the last Christmas special had to do with time travel (that and having a Christmas Special to begin with). Split seasons do nothing but annoy the fans and they are not the ones you want to annoy, they tend to go away when you mess with them (ya hear me Moffatt and the BBC?!!?)


Captain: Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle
Clara: Real castle? Drawbridge? Moat?
Captain: Yes, but comical.

Sorry, that was funny.

LASTLY . . . . . . .

The Clara Conundrum - I am sticking with my theory that she is a clone that has been seeded throughout The Doctor's life, but I am still not sure who did it.  I think that she was there for the benefit of The Doctor, but given his obvious regenerations, not always at the right time, since she never got him out of trouble during those regenerations.  I guess we'll find out next Saturday . . . . . .

This Cheery Fellow - great (a bunch of times)
Grandfather of the guys below.
9 Runs Into an
"Old Friend"

"'ello just dropped by from an alternate Universe"
"Want to play a game?"


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