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S12.E09: Ascension of the Cybermen (Part 1)

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18 hours ago, Eulipian 5k said:

They went directly from her first meeting with the Lone Cyberman to the coordinates Shelley wrote on his walls. Otherwise she would have to make infinite guesses as to where/when she would find and stop Ashad. (Maybe all the future doctors will join her in the Finale Part 2 ala the 50th?) lol.

Right, but I'm assuming the overall Cyber War took place over a longer time period than this one day, in this one place, involving only the Lone Cyberman and his 2 (?) cyber lieutenants. So it's not what we're seeing on screen necessarily, but the off screen that led up to this point that I wonder why it wasn't stopped sooner, before it got to the worst case scenario. It removes me from the story when they do these high stakes scenarios because we don't know how it got to this dire point and with the Doctor being able to travel through space and time, seems odd that one of them wouldn't have popped up earlier in the war to stop the Cybermen from gaining such ground. 

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Okay, I neither hated or loved the first part of this finale but it was exposition heavy without really moving anything forward. I really hope the next episode can resolve the Cyber Wars thing and not totally botch up some previously established continuity for the sake of this Timeless Child stuff.

The best bits of the episode were the Brendan scenes. Going with the assumption that he's a Timeless Child and that his mentor and adopted father were Time Lords or CIA agents or what not.

The rest of the episode was the definition of plodding. Out of the other last surviving human characters, Ravio made a bit of an impression due to her scenes with Graham. The rest could've been taken out of the equation.

Someone feels like they're going to die -Yasmin? Graham? Ryan maybe? It's gotta be someone, right?

I do like the variety of the Cybermen and the scenes with the Doctor and Ashad.

Really glad the Master appeared at the last minute too, 7/10

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1 hour ago, darkestboy said:

Okay, I neither hated or loved the first part of this finale but it was exposition heavy without really moving anything forward. I really hope the next episode can resolve the Cyber Wars thing and not totally botch up some previously established continuity for the sake of this Timeless Child stuff.

The best bits of the episode were the Brendan scenes. Going with the assumption that he's a Timeless Child and that his mentor and adopted father were Time Lords or CIA agents or what not.

The rest of the episode was the definition of plodding. Out of the other last surviving human characters, Ravio made a bit of an impression due to her scenes with Graham. The rest could've been taken out of the equation.

Someone feels like they're going to die -Yasmin? Graham? Ryan maybe? It's gotta be someone, right?

I do like the variety of the Cybermen and the scenes with the Doctor and Ashad.

Really glad the Master appeared at the last minute too, 7/10

I agree. I'm leaning Yaz or Ryan. 

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1 hour ago, darkestboy said:

Someone feels like they're going to die -Yasmin? Graham? Ryan maybe? It's gotta be someone, right?

I'm going to say nope on all of them (I think the conversion of Bill is too soon, plus other reasons). Of course, someone could be threatened with death or getting converted

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14 hours ago, Gimmick Genius said:

Nobody's addressed my complaint about this and several other stories of the 13th Doctor: Why do they park the freaking TARDIS so far away!? The Fam had to schlep all that anti-cyber gear at the start some uncomfortable distance. Similarly in the one with the dying birds they parked it a hundred yards down the beach from the lab. In the Villa Diodata ep they left it far out in the woods. The point of the TARDIS (it's smaller on the outside) is that you can bring it into a building or a ship - even a pretty small one. Now, I know this can be a Deus ex Machina answer to problems but it's dumb to ignore it. When all cyber-heck broke loose, they had to flee the planet in two different ships - abandoning the TARDIS! They could have piled all the refugees inside while working out a plan of survival. If all the running around is supposed to be more 'dramatic'....? Bad writing I call it.

In universe explanation - the Doctor doesn't take the TARDIS into battle, because the risk of it being captured would be catastrophic.  I believe 11 said something like that in the episode with Wifi and spoonhead people.

Real world explanation - too many episodes would be over in 20 minutes after everyone evacuates to the TARDIS.

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I wonder what is going on that would make common cause for both the Master and the Doctor. The Master, in spite of his nastiness, seems to think the Doctor will feel the same way about the discovery. Would the Master care if Brendon was in an endless loop of torture to create regenerations or time fuel for a privileged few? Well maybe I will be convinced of it. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, Affogato said:

I wonder what is going on that would make common cause for both the Master and the Doctor

It would be in keeping with his history if the Master allied with whichever enemy of the Doctor turned up that week planning to betray them later, only for them to betray him first, forcing him to turn to the Doctor for help. I guess we'll see if it happens again this Sunday!

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What was with Graham this episode? He was just so extra with his conversating that he was starting to annoy me, which is definitely a first for him. Was there a point to it or is it just Chibnall?

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1 hour ago, Terrafamilia said:

What was with Graham this episode? He was just so extra with his conversating that he was starting to annoy me, which is definitely a first for him. Was there a point to it or is it just Chibnall?

No idea but his folksy Good Bloke shtick is starting to annoy me too

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3 hours ago, Terrafamilia said:

What was with Graham this episode? He was just so extra with his conversating that he was starting to annoy me, which is definitely a first for him. Was there a point to it or is it just Chibnall?

 

1 hour ago, AudienceofOne said:

No idea but his folksy Good Bloke shtick is starting to annoy me too

He certainly seems to have done it most if not all of this season. If he was doing it some last season, he seems to have turned it up a lot this season. I have to wonder if Bradley Walsh requested it. He seems to have added way more Cockney  speech

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Thought the episode was fun and zipped along and set things up well for next week - let's see if this sticks the landing. The trailers promise SO MUCH.

I'm just really really nervous about the seeming "humanity is the origins of Gallifrey" retcon they seem to be promising. I hope it's an elaborate misdirection, eeeeeee.

On 2/25/2020 at 12:46 AM, Llywela said:

 I can't see the police box form of the TARDIS being relevant in any way, there really haven't been any hints related to that 

I thought the reason many fans are finding it significant is because of the possibility that Ruth!Doctor is a pre-Hartnell incarnation? In which case maybe there's some tangly police station / police box connection. Ruth's home had some interestingly shaped windows and mirrors, so I think hyperactive fans are on the alert.

The Doctor specifically mentioned a retained memory/skill of their youth in this episode.

On 2/25/2020 at 12:56 AM, QuantumMechanic said:

FWIW, in the scene where Brendan is sick as a child, the closed captions say that if he gets worse “we’ll call the Doctor” — with a capital D rather than a lower-case one.

Commonwealther here who got their streamed episode fresh off the BBC after it aired in the UK. Closed captions would be the BBC's and have lower case "doctor". Not that mentioning a doctor might not be significant!

On 2/25/2020 at 3:10 PM, Gimmick Genius said:

Nobody's addressed my complaint about this and several other stories of the 13th Doctor: Why do they park the freaking TARDIS so far away!?

I just assumed it was to keep the Cybermen from it / a DW plot convenience trope, but while "Just Go With It Okay?" often works with this show I feel a line or two really could have been added here.

On 2/25/2020 at 1:17 AM, Llywela said:

Brendan is clearly related to a much wider mystery. I just think it highly unlikely that mystery has anything to do with the reason the TARDIS looks like a police box (which we already know anyway) - whichever poster at GB came up with that theory was stretching further than Elastigirl!

I've seen a lot of analysis of the Brendan scene (hyper fan here too) and it seems like there's a lot of deliberately ambiguous misdirections added, which is fun. Something I noticed hiding in a few frames in the next time trailer for the last episode could be another one. (Speculation also below.)

Spoiler

Going frame by frame, overlaid over the start of the scene on Gallifrey where someone who looks like Commander Gat faces two people in chairs, is the police interview scene. The combined images are distorted, then clear and resolve to just the Gallifrey scene, over in a fraction of a second. If you look at the way the three people are sitting in each scene, with regard to the particular placement of chairs, it appears to be the same. The person in Brendan's chair position in the Gallifrey scene does very much appear to be a young dark-skinned woman. Someone is in the foreground to the left, which looks like it could be Thirteen observing.

The parallels between the police station storyline and the "job" Ruth!Doctor described she had had, is striking. I do wonder at the falling off the cliff and the awarding of the medal, Lee won a medal for bravery too.

As I said, could be even more deliberate clever misdirection. But regardless, I'm feeling quite strongly that Brendan and his idyllic twee life are not actually real. I also think the scene of the Doctor and the Master on top of the mountain is unlikely to be literal either, more of a shared vision/reality. (And is that the Tomb of Rassilon? And maybe the Death Zone aka Wales on a glum day?)

.

Edited by Kite
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Is it just me or is there is a possible correlation between baby Brendan being ginger, and newly regenerated doctors asking, or expressing concern about being ginger.  My brain seems stuck on the notion and I'm having difficulty shifting it...

Overall, I'm struggling with this season.  I like Jodie but I wish we could see her with better stories and better writing.

 

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Seems to me that with all this pointed talk about how far Graham has come and what an adroit time/space adventurer he's become, that by ironclad TV and movie convention, he's now bound to die an heroic death saving the universe and declaring with his last breath that it was worth it and he wouldn't trade the last months for anything.

Not to be cynical or anything.

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16 minutes ago, Tikileaky said:

Is it just me or is there is a possible correlation between baby Brendan being ginger, and newly regenerated doctors asking, or expressing concern about being ginger.  My brain seems stuck on the notion and I'm having difficulty shifting it...

That's a New Who-only throwaway running joke, so I really hope not...

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When the Chameleon Arch rewrites your DNA, does it mean a Time Lord will age? Maybe they're about to de-Arch (nu word!)

Brandon so that he doesn't age, like his "father". Looks like baby Brandon appeared on the road after it went thru a "portal" of some sort. Dad didn't look freaked out about this "gift" from heaven.

11 hours ago, Kite said:

I'm feeling quite strongly that Brendan and his idyllic twee life are not actually real.

Some are suggesting "it's all in Ashad's head", like Oswin Oswald, or the Doctor in his Tardis in Hell Bent.

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Nothing in casting actors is by accident, or at least isn’t considered for visual significance. Ginger is relatively unusual, and a hair colour particularly remarked on, and already has a show reference attached to it. I'm sure they're happy to tease fans along with all the other multi-directional clues. But yeah I don’t think Brendan literally exists. Also, talking of clues, visions and associations, the fact that it’s Ireland makes me think

Spoiler

of the show reference about the Doctor joking that Gallifrey was possibly in Ireland (was that classic or new)?

Also the Seal of Rassilon looks really Celtic. RTD tried to do away with this design for this reason not wanting something so Earthish and culturally specific (until fannish set designers snuck it in haha).

(RTD didn’t want the Doctor’s association with humanity to be anything but a fond idiosyncratic choice, preferring the show’s tension between human and alien to be thematic - Gallifrey needed to be very alien, distant, preferably out of reach.)

 

 

Edited by Kite

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I agree with the too many things going on.  Thousands of cybermen, Gallifrey, The Master.  Any minute I expected to see Daleks flying overhead.

So, why did the lone cyberman make the cyberman in stasis scream just like good ol’ dad did to Brendan?

 

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12 hours ago, Pattycake2 said:

So, why did the lone cyberman make the cyberman in stasis scream just like good ol’ dad did to Brendan?

Chibnall is bringing back a character from the RTD days, and his advice on the writing this series is: "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key". Perhaps is the "hope" Yaz and the Doc keep harping about, we can only hope they tie this all together in a neat (face of) bow.

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While I was pleased to see the Doctor (and fam) taking some actual proactive steps to head off the menace of the Cybermen at the beginning of the episode, I was less than thrilled by how ineffective they were. Overall I found this week pretty boring, and felt like most scenes were just marking time until the last minute reveal of Gallifrey and the Master.

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On 2/26/2020 at 9:15 AM, Gummo said:

Seems to me that with all this pointed talk about how far Graham has come and what an adroit time/space adventurer he's become, that by ironclad TV and movie convention, he's now bound to die an heroic death saving the universe and declaring with his last breath that it was worth it and he wouldn't trade the last months for anything.

This would be fairly in line with 'television'. I noticed he was kind of Doctorish here too with the crew about not giving up and figuring out a bonkers way to save them.

I don't like companions dying because when they do 'grow up' or become brave or be more then they die and they don't get the chance to pass on their experiences with the Doctor to more people.

I was hoping that would be Jack jumping through at the end.

 

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When the Doctor did her "Dr. Ruth" (the other one, not Chibnall's) psychoanalysis of the L/Cybrmn, he said the Cyberium told him she was right; that his anger intensified his drive to rebuild the cyber race.

Did she just give him what he wanted? because he used that info to do what he did to the other cybermen, possibly creating more cybermen with his anger/psychosis.

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5 hours ago, Eulipian 5k said:

When the Doctor did her "Dr. Ruth" (the other one, not Chibnall's) psychoanalysis of the L/Cybrmn, he said the Cyberium told him she was right; that his anger intensified his drive to rebuild the cyber race.

Did she just give him what he wanted? because he used that info to do what he did to the other cybermen, possibly creating more cybermen with his anger/psychosis.

Did she give him this info? I'm looking at the closed captions here:

DOCTOR: I mean, talk about an identity crisis.
You despise who you are.
That anger and hatred that's driving you... those are human emotions.
But real Cybermen... they don't do emotions.
So, you loathe your own being because of what's driving you.
Now, that's what I call an inner conflict.

ASHAD: Yes. You are correct.

DOCTOR: Oh. Am I? Didn't expect you to take it that well.
I'll have to bill you for therapy, at this rate.

ASHAD: The Cyberium has given me understanding.
It has distilled my purpose.
I am the perfect vessel.
Everything is in me for the ascension of the Cybermen... and beyond.

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6 hours ago, Kite said:

Did she give him this info? I'm looking at the closed captions here:

DOCTOR: I mean, talk about an identity crisis.
You despise who you are.
That anger and hatred that's driving you... those are human emotions.
But real Cybermen... they don't do emotions.
So, you loathe your own being because of what's driving you.
Now, that's what I call an inner conflict.

ASHAD: Yes. You are correct.

DOCTOR: Oh. Am I? Didn't expect you to take it that well.
I'll have to bill you for therapy, at this rate.

ASHAD: The Cyberium has given me understanding.
It has distilled my purpose.
I am the perfect vessel.
Everything is in me
for the ascension of the Cybermen.

That’s the way I heard it. And they I don’t call me “All Ears” for nothing! Is he modifying/upgrading some of them to be perfect vessels like him ?

Thx for the readout.

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This was basically a set up episode, basically leading us into the finale, and while it was nice seeing the Doctor and the fam being proactive and actually going after the Cybermen, it felt incomplete. It was such a set up episode, that it didnt really feel much like a full episode on its own, which I guess means that how I feel about this episode will all depend on how next week and goes and what the pay off to this all is. 

None of the survivor characters made a huge impression, except maybe the woman Graham was hanging out with, and the old gatekeeper guy. I did like seeing the Doctor get rather angry and yelling, in general this season has given her a lot more to do and allowed her to show a wider range of emotions, and her fear for the fam (and humanity at large) when it comes to Cybermen is a good show of character consistency, considering the Doctors various Cybermen related traumas. It really sells how big this threat is, and the Cybermen look really cool, and I like seeing the various types and models. 

The most interesting parts to me were the Brendan scenes, mainly because I have no idea what the hell is going on. Is this all a simulation, and Brendan is the Timeless Child, and his adopted father and boss are Time Lords? Maybe this is how the Time Lords created regeneration, they used this kid to give him multiple lives, then "killed" him and started all over again until they got the process down? I've heard a lot of guesses that he is Ashad, but I think that this will get tied into the Galifry plot, maybe even tied into the humans fleeing to Galifry. Maybe the early Time Lords used the refuge humans to "improve" on themselves and thats the big terrible secret? Or something, I am probably wrong, but who knows?

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Ratings update:

Overnights: 3.71 million viewers, rank: 8th most-watched program for the night. Appreciation Index: 81

7-Day: 4.99 million viewers, rank: 25th most-watched program for the week

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On 3/3/2020 at 9:44 AM, DanaK said:

Ratings update:

Overnights: 3.71 million viewers, rank: 8th most-watched program for the night. Appreciation Index: 81

7-Day: 4.99 million viewers, rank: 25th most-watched program for the week

28-day: 5.551 million viewers

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