Doctor Who – Series 12, Episode 9: “Ascension of the Cybermen”

  • The chapters from the life of Brendan interspersed throughout the episode seem pretty random – another one of those things that Steven Moffat would do – but I’m trusting that it has some purpose which will become evident in the finale. (I’m also guessing that Ser Barristan Ko Sharmus is Brendan.) Brendan’s abandonment as a baby and apparent immortality seem to indicate something alien about him; his coming back to life with a deep inhalation was reminiscent of Captain Jack Harkness, so I considered that he might be Jack’s son or something – except we know from Torchwood that other children of Jack’s aren’t immortal. Quite possibly there’s some Gallifreyan in him, but his revival didn’t look like a regeneration. Hmmm….
  • So how does this Cyber War fit in with the future Earth we saw in Orphan 55? Or is it another “possible future”?
  • I like how the Fam plan to target previously exploited Cyberman weaknesses, like gold and reactivating their emotions. Too bad they don’t get the chance – that would be too easy, after all.
  • Those flying Cyber heads look just as silly as the flying Cybermen in Series 8. Surely the Cybermen could come up with a better design than that for their drones?
  • Thirteen is still being unusually intense, ordering her companions to leave rather than risk them falling into the Cybermen’s hands. Clearly what happened to Bill has left lasting and specific scars.
  • I’m glad that the Lone Cyberman is still around. It seems good to have a central baddie for the finale, and one that has at least a partial face to express himself with.
  • How come these Cybermen say “delete” when it was the Cybus Cybermen who said that, and these ones are presumably of the Mondas (i.e. our universe) variety?
  • Interesting that the Cyberguards accompanying the Lone Cyberman are of the revival design, while the ones on the ship look more classic with their flattened faces. Presumably they represent different generations, with the ones on the ship being older?

This first part of the finale starts out solid in the first half but unfortunately slows down in the second. It feels more like the first part of a mid-season two-parter rather than a series finale – at least until the cliffhanger where Gallifrey and the Master turn up. Rating: 3.5/5.

About R.J. Southworth

Hi there. I've been blogging since January 2014, and I like to talk about all sorts of things: book reviews, film reviews, writing, science, history, or sometimes just sharing miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you!
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