R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

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DOCTOR WHO: "Rise of the Cybermen"



*thinks about this a bit*

Okay, let's just take it as given that my overall opinion of this story will depend largely on what I think of Part Two, but I am feeling kind of underwhelmed at the moment. Not exactly sure why, seeing as there were lots of cool ideas in it, and frockish stuff like the Doctor in a tux, and a Big Epic Crisis-type plot, and a fair share of Character Moments to keep it from being just a lot of fireworks and running around. And zeppelins, which, like Audrey Hepburn, are always tasteful and always in style. Well, except for that scarifyingly pointy bra she was wearing under her fetching tank-and-capri outfit near the end of Sabrina, which I seriously expected to put Humphrey Bogart's eye out at any moment (it didn't help that he's short) but unlike zeppelins don't tend to wear bras so I think we're okay on that one...

Er, where was I? Oh, yeah. "Rise of the Cybermen". Which did not have Audrey Hepburn in it, more's the pity. It did, however, have Noel Clarke in rather a fun dual role, and showing off his acting chops rather smashingly in that scene where Mickey is reunited with his alt-grandmother. I think I actually got a lump in my throat there. I was actually much more interested in Mickey's part of the plot than I was with the Doctor and Rose's, which... is kind of wrong. Isn't it? On the other hand, seeing that Rose apparently has the Doctor on a short leash, which grates exceedingly on this old-school Whovian, maybe not.

Whatsisface who played the creator of the Cybermen, who is only coincidentally reminiscent of Davros (since you know and I know, or at least I know anyway, that the only reason the actor was in that wheelchair is because he broke his leg before filming) chewed the scenery in an excessive and rather unconvincing manner. I am not sure that the Old Skool fanboys who have been grousing for the last two weeks about all the frockery and wuvviness going on and spoiling their show won't think that's just a fantastic throwback to the old series, though. I mean, once you can sit through Mordred laughing evilly in a very camp manner for approximately 20,000 years before anybody thought to shut off the cameras in "Battlefield", surely no amount of overacting can bother you any more.

Um, the new Cybermen look okay? Enough like the old ones to be recognizable, but new enough to be scary. Well, scary to somebody somewhere, I'm guessing. Kids maybe? I found myself rather unmoved. Pity, that the villains who were the originals of the Borg should be so thoroughly outshone by their Trekified imitation, but... yeah. The Borg were, at least before Star Trek did its usual thing and strip-mined all the inhumanity out of them, a much more effective employment of the concept. Not only because they didn't have an obvious leader that you could kill or control or otherwise get a handle on (well, at least not until they introduced the !@&*%# Borg Queen, but don't get me started or I'll never stop) but because parts of them were still recognizable as formerly human. Whereas the Cybermen look like... clunky metal suits.

I also think I can predict the resolution of this week's cliffhanger: the Cyberman (or -men) about to kill the Doctor will shut down suddenly because the processing of the human being inside was a rushed job and there are still glitches in the system. The Doctor, Rose and Pete, taking advantage of the brief respite, will run away into the night, la ti da. See, I'm not even in suspense for next week, and that is sad because the cliffhangers in classic Who were almost always the best part. Sigh.

You'd think from all this that I really hated the episode or something, but I didn't. It wasn't nearly as flawed as the early episodes of S1/S27, particularly "World War Three" which I found positively embarrassing and cringeworthy. I just... somehow... can't get up the energy to care that much about it one way or the other, and that's not exactly indicative of greatness, you know?

So there you have it.
Tags: doctor who, reviews, tv
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