I nearly cried last week at the end of Doctor Who, when I saw that they were doing another Cyberman episode. Sure it’s been a while, and some of their fans might welcome their return, but I was hoping that this newfound originality of the last few weeks might hold. I went into this episode expecting to see more of the same, but I was actually pleasantly surprised!
First up, let me get something straight. This isn’t “just another Cyberman episode”. My initial thoughts were completely wrong.
The Doctor has taken Clara and those two kids who she’s supposed to be looking out for (great job!) to Hedgwick’s World of Wonders, the greatest theme park that there is, or ever will be, anywhere in the universe! Complete with chess tournaments, anti-gravity, floaty around things, and the return of lots of deadly robots planning to kill, maim and take over everyone.
Luckily, this time around, the Cybers have some new and original tricks to make things more interesting. From the first attack we can see something different. They seem more agile, dodging blasts from the soldiers who are defending the
theme park, and moving forward with some distinctly Superman-like super speed effects.
These are explained as some new upgrades, and this isn’t all they have. The new Cybermen can possess human hosts, taking over their minds. One of these manages to latch onto the Doctor, and we see our Time Lord fighting himself, as well as his enemies.
This provides one of the most complex and captivating performances from Matt Smith, as he portrays two sides of himself; the Doctor side, and the vain Cyberman side, who has aptly named himself Mr. Smart. Unfortunately, in showing off what he can really do, he puts Coleman and those two kids out in the cold.
Coleman isn’t bad, she’s just painfully average in comparison to Smith. Those two kids on the other hand...well let’s just hope they stay at home in the future. It’s not just their performances that sullied the episode though. The presence of the kids themselves made the episode feel somewhat Sarah Jane-like (RIP Elizabeth Sladen), which isn’t bad, it just isn’t Doctor Who.
As well as this, the whole Cybermen upgrade thing didn’t go half as far as it could have done. After the cool looking super speed, I was expecting some other brand new and total badass powers that they might be wielding. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. All we got after this little teaser was an upgrade allowing them to cross through water. Yippee! How terrifying! The least we can hope for is that when they return, they bring some of these funky upgrades with them, and take it even further.
Next week we get something massively controversial. “The Name of the Doctor”. Tantalizing isn’t it? Until then, peace out fellow Whovians!