Short Review: Doctor Who – Ascension of the Cybermen

Part 1 of this two part finale to the season is very, very much a ‘part one’ sort of story. As a single episode it is barely coherent and difficult to evaluate. The most pertinent observation is that there is a lot going on, including a fascinating side story set in 1950s Ireland about a foundling who grows up to join the Garda.

Like the over-wrought Lone Cyberman, the episode also has the appearance of chunks of other stories welded together. In particular there are elements from the Utopia/Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords triple that ended season 3 of nu-who.

I’m going to leave the review at that for the moment until next week and I’ve seen the whole thing.

3 thoughts on “Short Review: Doctor Who – Ascension of the Cybermen

  1. I’ll just say that it followed the classic template of a part-one-of-two cliffhanger: It wrote some extremely outrageous cheques, in order to motivate you to tune in again to see if they can cash them. Yay for teasing the viewer!

    (Against my better judgement, I totally loved the Eire/Gardai scenes. I wonder where the seacliff is? FWIW, all of those scenes looked genuine enough that I suspect they freed up a few quid from Auntie Beeb and took the ferry over from Holyhead to Dublin rather than faking yet another foreign locale using local Welsh places.)

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      1. The reason I felt it was real location shooting is not just the scenery but also the buildings and the actors, who were all spot-on. (By contrast, Greater Cardiff masquerading as Norway in ‘It Takes You Away’ didn’t fool me at all.) It’s not that this kind of verisimilitude can’t be achieved near Cardiff, but rather that doing the scenes by boarding the ferry to Eire and driving to a nice little village on the coast would be cheaper.

        (I happen to know the Cardiff area well enough that when I saw the lighthouse in Fugitive of the Judoon, I immediately said to my wife Deirdre ‘Ooh, that’s West Usk outside Newport!’)

        Anyway, if the impending Part II doesn’t centrally feature Doctor Ruth, I’m going to fly back to Cardiff and parade in front of BBC Cymru’s Roath Lock fortress^W studio with a sign saying ‘Chibnall is an insufferable tease.’

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