Saturday, 11 July 2015

Know Your Cybermen - Cyberwoman


TW: Cyberwoman (2006).
There was one Cyber-survivor from the Battle of Canary Wharf - Ianto Jones' girlfriend Lisa Hallett. He deliberately ingratiated himself with Captain Jack Harkness in order to get employment at Torchwood Cardiff. Once in place, he smuggled Lisa into the lower levels, and set about finding a way of returning her to normal. For Lisa had been partially converted into a Cyberman. Much of her body had been converted, and her mind had been conditioned. As such, she even killed the surgeon whom Ianto had employed to save her. Lisa spent much of her time dormant, lying in a Cyber-Conversion unit. When this began to drain the power from the Hub, it alerted the others to what Ianto was up to. Lisa broke out and ran amok within the Hub. At one point she killed Jack with an electrical discharge, but of course he could come back to life. Throwing BBQ sauce over her made her a target for the Pterosaur which lived in the Hub. Eventually, Lisa had her brain transplanted into a woman who had come to deliver pizza. Ianto had been ordered to destroy her, but couldn't bring himself to do it. Lisa was shot dead by the rest of the team.
It is claimed that the Cybermen started to make such conversions once the Daleks attacked during the battle, which seems odd as simply inserting the brain directly into a Cyber-form was such a speedy process. Perhaps they had run out of complete bodies.
One also has to wonder how Ianto got her and the conversion unit out of the Tower without anyone spotting them, and where did he keep them before getting his job in Cardiff.


Story Notes:

  • This was the fourth episode of the first series of Torchwood. It was written by chief writer Chris Chibnall. Whilst there are Doctor Who references throughout the series, this is the most blatant tie in with the parent programme - being a sequel of sorts to Army of Ghosts / Doomsday.
  • Being post-watershed, the body horror quotient is raised, and the Cyberwoman costume is highly fetishised.
  • Fans quickly showed their displeasure at this episode. They didn't like the sexualised outfit, thought the plot poor, and wanted Torchwood to concentrate on more original stories. The first series was a bit all over the place. Jack had lost his humour, the others were not particularly likeable, and tonally it looked like the writers did not know where they wanted the series to go.
  • Lisa is played by Caroline Chikezie. She subsequently made a couple of appearances in the long-running US series Supernatural
  • We get to see Ianto's efforts to ingratiate himself with Jack in the Series 2 episode Exit Wounds, where four of the team have flashbacks to how they came to join up.

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